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Mitchell Honored as Top Alumnus for 2016
Education Announces New Residency Program

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 morris day

Morris Day, headliner for the Homecoming 2016 Benefit Concert, hangs on to his public persona while visiting Mr. Xavier Nkemdi Agwaramgbo and Miss Xavier Jasmine Merlette backstage. 


Homecoming means family at Xavier … particularly when there’s food involved. Here’s two, well five, at the annual tailgate BBQ which proceeded the Gold Rush basketball game.

on the yard

Miss Xavier Jasmine Merlette shares a moment with some of her fellow students during Homecoming’s annual student-alumni Celebration on the Yard.


Xavier Herald editor-in-chief Kaelin Maloid and graphics design editor Nicholas Davison show off arms-full of collegiate journalism awards Xavier’s student media received in 2015-16. Get the full scoop HERE. The student publication remains among the top-rated in the nation.


Serving as SGA officers for 2016-17 are (L-R): Kaylin Jolivette, treasurer; Victoria Williams, secretary; ‎Alayna Freeman, vice president; Sierra Blanchard-Hodge, president; Jasmine Merlette, Miss Xavier; and Nkemdi Agwaramgbo, Mr. Xavier.


Xavier celebrated its diversity at its annual Cultural Night. Here the mimes remain mum.


Still more diversity was displayed during the popular Cultural Night event, as Vietnamese students take over the stage.


Thirty-nine Xavier students participated in the ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students) meeting in Tampa FL. The Xavier BUILD Program had 18 undergraduate students and 2 post-baccalaureate technicians attending, while other Xavier diversity programs (including RISE, MARC, USSP, and McNair, were also represented.  A total of 31 oral and poster presentations were made by Xavier students, with BUILD Trainees Khari Gilmore and Huang Michael Nguyen receiving awards for their poster presentations.

meet and greet

L-R) XU Center for Continuing Studies & Distance Education Program Director Yiraliz Beltran welcomes Bri'Ana Lawson, Capt. Amanda Hull of Tulane University AFROTC, and Cynthia Marquez from the VA Regional Office to the Veterans Meet and Greet event held on campus.


NY alumni assist XU admissions rep Holly Terrie '92 with recruitment at the 30th annual NY Urban League sponsored
college fair.


alumni of the year

Dr. Earl Mitchell ’60 accepts the 2016 Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award from XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret during the annual Homecoming Gala, which drew a sellout crowd to the University Center Ballroom. Also on hand for the presentation were Dr. Joseph Labat ’59 and National Alumni President James Paschal '57.


Dr. Earl Mitchell ’60 was honored as the University’s top alumnus at the 2016 Alumni Homecoming Gala.

He was presented the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award during the event by XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret, with Dr. Joseph Labat ‘59, and XU National Alumni President James Paschal '57 also on hand.

This year’s Homecoming Gala drew a sellout crowd of alumni and friends. During the event, Class agents for the 15 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $234,830. The Class of 2001 led the way with 108 members contributing $38,332, while the Class of 1996 had the largest number of donors (109).

Mitchell is Department Head Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University, where he had served as a professor and scientist since 1967. During his tenure there he was praised for working to develop and support programs for students of color not only at Oklahoma State, but across the country.

Much of Mitchell’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He co-authored a research study funded by the USDA that started the international renowned Goat Research Center at Langston University, a HBCU in Oklahoma.  He served as the Associate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs at Oklahoma State, the Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Black Studies Committee, the Chair of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has served as the President of the Payne County Chapter of the NAACP.

Although Mitchell’s work at Oklahoma State University was extensive, he has remained committed to his alma mater, Xavier University of Louisiana. He has served as an alumni recruiter and officer of the National Alumni Association, where he worked tirelessly to increase alumni participation and membership in the local chapters and the national alumni association.

In 2005, Mitchell was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized as an Uncrowned Community Builder, and as a Distinguished African American Scientist of the 20th Century.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Xavier in 1960 and went on to earn a Master of Science in Organic Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. He is married to Bernice Compton Mitchell of New Orleans.


Xavier, New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), and five Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) have partnered to develop a first-of-its-kind program designed to train and retain locally-educated teachers.

The program, known as the Norman C. Francis Teacher Residency, is a teacher residency program that is modeled after the medical residency. This innovative partnership is designed to address several challenges facing the teacher pipeline in New Orleans, including supply of teachers of color (both males and females), teacher quality, and teacher retention. The program has two goals: transforming teacher preparation and developing a local pool of talented teachers that are more reflective of the students attending NOLA public schools.

“This program is essential in creating a pool of locally-trained career educators,” said Dr. Renée Akbar, Chair of the Division of Education and Counseling. The residency will recruit its first class of 25 individuals starting on December 5, with application deadlines on January 30 and March 15.

Recruitment will focus on graduating majors from all disciplines, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), as well as high performing professionals seeking a career change. Under the program, a resident receives extensive experience in a New Orleans public school under the supervision of a mentor in addition to traditional coursework, culminating in a Louisiana teaching certificate and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

Participants in the program will receive training through Xavier and do their residency at schools within the five CMOs (New Orleans College Prep, KIPP New Orleans Schools, Inspire NOLA Schools, Choice Foundation Schools, and FirstLine Schools).

Learn more about the program at and RSVP at the homepage for an Information Session on December 5 at 5:30, in the University Library Resource Building (Room 501).



* Nkemdi Agwaramgbo, a senior biology major from New Orleans (Lusher High), has been accepted into the SouthMed Prep Scholars Program at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

* Cornita Cannon, a senior biology/premed major from Fairview Heights IL (Belleville High East), has been accepted into medical school at St. Louis University.

* Huy Do, a senior chemistry major from New Orleans LA (Jesuit High), has been accepted into the LSU-Shreveport School of Medicine.

* Kevin Lam, a senior biology/premed major from Kenner LA (Haynes Academy), has been accepted into Tulane University Medical School, the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.

* Hoang Michael Nguyen, a senior biology/premed major from New Orleans (Ben Franklin High), has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans.

* Genesis Richard, a senior biology/premed major from New Orleans (Warren Easton High), has been accepted into medical school at Tulane University.

* Alinna Sam, a senior psychology/premed major from New Iberia LA (New Iberia High), has been accepted in the Tulane University School of Medicine.

* Kayla Street, a senior biology/premed major from Mobile AL (Murphy High), has been accepted into the Tulane University School of Medicine.

* Two Xavier runnersMaliya Vaughan, a sophomore chemistry/pre-pharmacy major from Spring TX (Klein Collins High), and Christopher August, a senior psychology/premed major from Sacramento CA (West Campus High) – turned in notable performances at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Elsah IL. Vaughan turned in the top time for XU, completing the 5,000-meter course in 20:06 minutes to place 268th out of 334 women. It's the second-fastest time ever by a Gold Nugget at nationals. August placed 301st out of 331 men; his 8,000-meter time of 28:32 being the fastest by a Gold Rush runner at nationals since 2012.


* Ashanti Anderson ’16, a student in the MFA program at University of California, has had his poem, “Ode to Brown,” nominated for a Pushcart Prize, an American literary prize awarded by Pushcart Press honoring the best "poetry, short fiction, essays, or literary whatnot" published in the small presses during the previous year.

* Jodi Chatters ’16 has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans.

*Constance Christian ’12 has been accepted into the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

* Dr. L'Issa L. Gates ’03, a pediatric specialist at Ochsner Westside in Marrero LA, was named one of New Orleans City Business magazine's 2016 Women of the Year for her extraordinary accomplishments in healthcare and child advocacy.

* Quentin Guillory ’15 has been accepted into medical school at Southern Illinois University.

* Commander Leon McClain, Jr. ’98, U.S. Coast Guard, is serving as Captain of the Port, Officer-in-Charge of Marine Inspection, Federal Maritime Security, and Federal On-Scene Coordinator at the Marine Safety Unit in Pittsburgh PA.

* Nadrea Reeves Njoku ’06 and her seven Indiana University classmates (“The Great 8”) who together made history as the largest class of African American women to graduate from the University’s School of Education at the same time – were named to the Ebony magazine’s 2016 Power List 100.

* Dr. Brandi Sinkfield ’01, a practicing anesthesiologist, was named Assistant Medical Director of Clinical Quality and Initiatives at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose CA.


* Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English), gave a talk on "Issa and Being Human" at the Haiku Society of America conference in Hot Springs AR.

* Dr. Michael White ’76 (Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities) was awarded the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers’ (ASCAP) Paul Williams "Loved the Liner Notes Award," for outstanding writing on the subject of music. He was recognized for the 7,500 essay he wrote to accompany the Smithsonian Folkways released CD, "New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Street of the City." In addition to writing, he also produced the CD, performed on it with his Liberty Brass Band, and contributed an original composition, "Liberty Funeral March." ASCAP is America's oldest, largest, and most visible performance rights organization.

* Two English Department faculty presented papers at the annual conference of the Louisiana Association of College Composition at Grambling University: Dr. Nicole P. Greene (Kellogg Professor of English), "Report from the Conference on Acceleration in Developmental Education"; and Jeremy Tuman, "Research Folly: On Effective Source Use in First-Year Composition."

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