Marketing & Communications

This Month @ Xavier December 2017




Shalani Taylor, a senior public health sciences major from Sparks NV (Edward Reed High), smiles radiantly after being officially crowned Miss Xavier University of Louisiana 2017-18 by XULA President Dr. Reynold Verret during the annual Coronation Ball. Looking on approvingly is Mr. Xavier 2017-18 Hassan Owens, a senior biology/premed major from St. Louis MO (Miller Career Academy).


Jawan Brown Alexander, a second-year doctoral candidate in educational leadership, receives the 2017-18 Dr. Rosalind Pijeaux Hale '69 Endowed Scholarship from Dr. Hale herself and Division Chair Dr. Rene Akbar.


Members of the XULA chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers relax during a break in the Fall Region V Conference in Tulsa OK.


Some of the 33 XULA students who made poster or oral presentations at the 2017 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Phoenix AZ huddle during a break with XU CURGO staffer Logan Perkins. Four students won awards (see Xavierites).
President Dr. Reynold Verret visits with award-winning actress CCH Pounder during a special reception opening the art exhibit “Queen”, which features works from her extensive collection. The exhibit remains on display 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the University’s Administration Building.
National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial shares a moment backstage with Urban League representative Wanda Jackson, XULA President Dr. Reynold Verret, and students (L-R) Erin Ratliff, Kara Hebert, Mack Williams, Timothy Ambrose, and Olivia Vega following his address at the Future Housing Leaders Summer Internship Program information session.


Dr. Brenda Armstrong, Senior Associate Dean for Student Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention at the Duke University School of Medicine, visits with XULA premed staffers Laticia Barthe' and Quo Vadis Webster after conducting  an on-campus Admissions Information Session for XULA students.

Dr. Long Jie (5th from left), Head of Education in the Consulate General’s Office of P.R. China in Houston TX, joined representatives from 21 Confucius Institutes in the eight U.S. Southern States at the Annual Regional CI Directors' Conference held at Xavier.


The Confucius Institute hosted the 2017 U.S. Southeast Chinese Language Association Conference, with more than 70 teachers and administrators in attendance.

More than 30 participants – ranging from elementary teachers to university/college professors – attended a one-day GLOBE boot camp hosted by the XULA Physics and Computer Science Department and the Division of Education. GLOBE is an international program that provides opportunities for participation in data collection and in the scientific process.


Good food, good times, and new friends were aplenty as XULA celebrated its annual Cultural Night.
Sr. Grace Mary Flickinger S.B.S. is honored for her long-time service during the Homecoming basketball game with a banner that will hang in the Convocation Center.


Xavier was one of only 90 colleges and universities nationwide profiled in the Kaplan Educational Foundation’s publication, Your 2018 Guide to College Transfer, a resource guide to the college transfer process for community college and high school students. The highlighted schools are deemed “transfer friendly”. 


Xavier has earned designation as a 2018 Military Friendly® School from Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM Jobs, and Military Spouse.

First published in 2009, Military Friendly® Schools is the most comprehensive, powerful resource for veterans today. Each year, the list of Military Friendly® Schools is provided to service members and their families, helping them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media’s proprietary survey. More than 1,700 schools participated in the 2018 survey, while less than 1,300 were awarded with the designation. 

education grant
Representatives from XULA and the five other partners in a new collaborative initiative to recruit, prepare, and develop new teachers for the New Orleans area look on attentively as President Dr. Reynold Verret addresses the media during a press conference announcing the nearly $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.


The Division of Education and Counseling will take the lead role in a U.S. Department of Education-funded initiative designed to recruit, prepare, and develop nearly 900 highly-effective, culturally competent teachers from diverse backgrounds for New Orleans schools by 2020.

The federal agency is funding the ambitious project – which establishes a unique and innovative partnership of teacher training programs including Xavier, Loyola University, and four New Orleans education non-profits (Teach for America Greater New Orleans, teachNOLA, the Relay Graduate School of Education, and New Schools for New Orleans) – to tune of nearly $13 million.

The six partners will work together to address teacher pipeline challenges across the city, implementing their unique teacher preparation models to meet the needs of schools with high concentrations of High-Need Students while collaborating on best practices and problem-solving.

“The partnership that this award will help foster is an important step for our city,” said Dr. Renee Akbar, Chair & Associate Professor of XULA’s Division of Education and Counseling. “We will come together across the full range of ways teachers are prepared to work in our city’s schools – residencies, university programs, and alternative routes.”

For its part, Xavier will recruit, prepare, and develop new teachers over the course of the grant through the Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency (NCFTR), a partnership between Xavier and New Orleans charter management organizations. It will also serve as the lead convener of each of the awardees.

“Xavier is extremely proud to take the lead in this dynamic educational endeavor,” said XULA President Dr. Reynold Verret. “Developing a diverse pool of locally trained teachers is critical to the future of the educational system In New Orleans and to the success of our youth. We are grateful to the Department of Education supporting us in these efforts.”


Maria Sly George ’58 accepts the 2017 Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award from XU President Dr. Reynold Verret during the annual Homecoming Gala, which drew an impressive crowd to the University Center Ballroom. Also on hand for the presentation were Victor J. Labat ’55 and and National Alumni President James Paschal '57.


Maria Sly George ’58 was honored as the Alumnus of the Year during the 2017 Alumni Homecoming Gala.

She was presented the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award during the annual event by XU President Dr. Reynold Verret, with Victor Labat ‘55 and XU National Alumni President James Paschal '57 also on hand.

This year’s Homecoming Gala drew an impressive crowd of alumni and friends. During the event, class agents for the 14 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $343,206. The Class of 2002 led the way with 100 members (the largest number of donors in any one class) contributing $58,050.

George, a retired elementary school teacher who worked both in Lafayette and Orleans parishes, has been an active member of the Xavier Alumni Association and a tireless volunteer in the University’s fundraising efforts for nearly 50 years. She has served three terms as president of the New Orleans Alumni Chapter and in numerous roles on behalf of the National Alumni Association.

She is a member of Xavier’s 1925 Society, a group of alumni that have made a decision to include Xavier in their estate plans.


A jubilant Latoya Cantrell '97 celebrates with her supporters after her historic election as the first female mayor of New Orleans.


Xavier graduates seem to have a knack for making political history in New Orleans.

First there was Ernest “Dutch” Morial ’52, who in 1977 was elected the first African-American mayor of New Orleans. Now, exactly 40 years later, LaToya Cantrell ’97 has made her own mark after being elected the first female mayor in the 300-year history of the Crescent City.

Cantrell, a city councilwoman, got 60 percent of the votes over her opponent, former municipal court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, in a runoff following a lengthy campaign that originally included a crowded field of some 14 mayoral candidates.

“We deserve better and together we truly will be better," Cantrell told her enthusiastic supporters following the election. "This victory is not about LaToya Cantrell, this campaign did not start about myself. It only started with and has been rooted in the people of the city of New Orleans."

Her victory is further unique in that New Orleans mayors have typically come from families with political pedigree. They have well established ties to the civic and business community. The great majority have claimed native roots.

Cantrell, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the city and the public scene. A California native, she is the first outsider elected to the office since Chicago-born Victor Schiro in 1961. Before her election to the City Council as the District B representative in 2012, her  community visibility was limited to Broadmoor, where she led a nonprofit that expedited the neighborhood’s recovery after Hurricane Katrina.

She was re-elected to the Council in 2014. During her time in office, she has led the passage of an ordinance that prohibits smoking in bars, casinos and most public spaces in New Orleans, as well as taken part in an initiative to make the city more diverse.

Now as mayor of New Orleans, Cantrell will tackle several challenges that are facing the city, including a surge in violence, and repeated water equipment failures and flooding from heavy rains. She will officially take office in May 2018.



  • Janelle Jones, a junior accounting major from Baton Rouge LA (Episcopal High), has accepted a PwC IFS (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and subsidiaries - Internal Firm Services) Start Internship in Dallas TX. The program is designed to introduce PwC to high-performing students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups within the professional services industry.

  • Jorian Reeves, a sophomore chemistry/pre-pharmacy major from Chicago IL (Lindblom Math & Science Academy), was one of 10 students nationwide selected for the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship (FDGF) Program, a four-week summer study abroad program designed to enhance their leadership and intercultural skills in Cape Town, South Africa. FDGF covers all program fees and travel costs for the Fellows, who were nominated by their respective college presidents and selected from a large pool of applicants in a national competition.

  • Simone White, a senior public health sciences major and a BUILD scholar from Hot Springs AR (Hot Springs High), participated in the American Public Health Association Conference in Atlanta GA.

  • Ammiel Williams, a senior political science major from Los Angeles CA (Alexander Hamilton High), has been awarded a Rangel Fellowship, a graduate program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship provides 22k in scholarship funds for graduate school, grants an internship this coming summer on Capitol Hill and the following summer in a foreign embassy, ultimately ending in employment in the state department as a foreign service officer.

  • A Division of Business team of junior accounting majors – Janelle Jones from Baton Rouge LA(Episcopal High), Alaina McClue of LaPlace LA (St. Mary’s Dominican High), Cydney Stevenson of Fulshear TX (Westbury High), and Aaliyah Young of Birmingham AL (Shades Valley High) – were the Grand Prize winners of the inaugural Hewlett Packard (HP) HBCU Case Competition. The competition required student teams to propose and present an innovative business idea to senior HP staff from across the nation. For their efforts, each of the students will receive a laptop computer, a tour of three HP locations where they will meet with high level company decision makers, and an internship opportunity with HP.

  • Three Xavier students – Sarah Bertrand, a junior biology/premed major from Baton Rouge LA (St. Joseph’s Academy); Maya Bragg, a junior biology/premed major from Peoria IL (Notre Dame High); and LaMiah Hall, a junior biology/premed major from Decatur AL (Austin High) – have all been granted conditional acceptance into the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College for entry in Fall 2019 via the Early Assurance Program (EAP). The special program allows eligible students to apply for early acceptance at the end of sophomore year at Xavier.

  • Four students – Shanzay Chaudhry, a junior biology/premed major and MARC scholar from Kenner LA (Grace King High); Victoria George, a senior biology/premed major and BUILD scholar from Cordova TN (White Station High);  Alanna Humphrey, a neuroscience major from Plymouth MN (Wyzata High); and  Ja’Niece Walker, a senior biology major and BUILD scholar from Spring Lake NC (Ramstein High) – received awards for their poster and oral presentations at the 2017 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Phoenix AZ. In all, 33 XULA students presented at the conference.


  • Dr. Katrice Albert ’94, Executive Vice President of Inclusion and Human Resources for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), was presented the inaugural Leo Sam Jr. ’52 Career Distinction Award during Alumni Homecoming 2017.

  • Latoya Cantrell '97 made history when she was recently elected the first female mayor of New Orleans. She previously served on the City Council.

  • A portrait of President Emeritus Dr. Norman C. Francis ’52 is now on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in the historic art museum's latest collection of its annual “Recent Acquisitions” exhibition. The portrait of the 86-year-old educator and lawyer from Lafayette LA will be featured among images of numerous individuals who made "a significant impact" on the nation's history and culture. See more HERE.

  • Dr. Rosalind Pijeaux Hale ’69, Professor Emeritus of Education at XULA, was presented the inaugural Dolores Aaron ’47 Spirit of Xavier Award during Alumni Homecoming 2017.

  • The husband and wife duo of Randy McKee, Esq. ’91, a partner with Carter & McKee LLC, and Dr. Lisa Gibson-McKee ’92, OB-GYN and a partner with Jackson Health for Women, were presented the inaugural Clarence Jupiter ’48 Service and Philanthropy Award during Alumni Homecoming 2017. 

  • Four XULA alumnae – Dr. Amber Robins ’10, Bridget Moore ’99, Mia Robins ’06, and Alexandra Alcorn McCarty ’11 – and three other women share their personal stories of success, struggle, and triumph in a new book, Empower Now for Women, part of the group’s efforts to inspire people to be their best. Visit HERE  for details. 


  • Marion Bracy (V.P., Facility Planning & Management) made a presentation during an APPA (Leadership in Educational Facilities) webinar panel discussion, “Responding to Catastrophic Events on Campus.”

  • Bro. Herman Johnson O.P. (Languages) was selected president of the Order of Preacher’s Commission for the Vocation of the Cooperator Brother during the first meeting of the new eight-man commission, which was held in Rome.

  • Joseph Lamperez (English) was co-editor of a book, Urban Monstrosities: Perversity and Upheaval in the Unreal City, which was printed by the Cambridge Scholars Press. He also presented a paper, “From 'Profaner Rites' to 'Potent Enginery': Paganism and Technology in Wordsworth's Excursion," at the International Conference on Romanticism, held in El Paso TX.

  • Dr. Joe Ricks, Jr. (Chair, Division of Business) was quoted in a P.R. Newswire article, “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Signatories Gather to Take Actionable Steps Toward Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace.” [See it HERE.] He serves as President of the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable.

  • Randall Schexnayer (Pharmacy) served as guest speaker for a meeting of STEM students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He also visited the campus of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as a member of their Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) External Advisor Committee.

  • Dr. Monica Scott (Director of Admissions) was the keynote speaker for the Kemper County School District (DeKalb MS) Celebrate Success awards night.

  • Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville (Associate Dean, A&S) had her op/ed piece on the New Orleans mayoral runoff election published by The Lens. Read it HERE.


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