Marketing & Communications



Best Kept Secret?

Two XU Students Earn Coveted NY Times Spots

Scott Named New DIrector of Admissions

774 Scholars Earn Spots on Fall Dean's List

AFAM Leaders, Authors Top BHM Speakers

Flickinger Steps Down as Faculty Athletic Rep

In Memorium: Duane P. Carkum Sr.

YMTF Professionals Come to Campus Feb. 19-21

Athletics Announces


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urban league

Urban League President/CEO Marc Morial and Erica McConduit-Diggs congratulate XU President Dr. Reynold Verret after he was honored at the organization’s annual luncheon, held in New Orleans.


Xavier’s Division of Business team – (L-R) Alaina McClue, Mallory Butler, Dr. Richard Peters, Maya Suell, and Taj Dright – took 2nd place in their bracket at the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business National Diversity competition. The competition was attended by thirty five colleges and universities from across the United States and required students to prepare and present an innovative business campaign for the competition's chief sponsor, Target.

chinese new year

More than 250 middle and high school students from Audubon, Lusher, and Warren Easton charter schools, who are learning the Chinese language through the Confucius Institute at Xavier’s K-12 Mandarin program, got a taste of Asian culture and the Xavier campus during “Celebrating Chinese New Year: The Xavier Experience”.


Counseling graduate students had a great MLK service day in the Gert Town community garden


XULA students were determined to not let a little rain dampen their obligation to make it to class that day - or any day!


This week marks the 31st Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy that killed Dr. Ronald McNair, a physicist and astronaut. His legacy is honored by the federal TRIO program which bears his name, the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, which helps to prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue research doctorates (Ph.D.). The 2016-17 program currently serves 32 scholars on campus across a variety of majors.

734 Scholars Earn

A total of 730 student scholars made the Dean's List during the fall 2016 semester, according to XU Registrar Avis Stuard.

Students merited a spot on the honor roll by earning a semester grade point average of 3.3 or above while taking at least 12 semester hours. The honor students listed below are grouped by major and include their classifications, high schools and/or (hometowns).

The complete lists are available HERE (College of Arts and Sciences) and HERE (College of Pharmacy.


[View HERE]


The annual Youth Motivation Task Force Program (YMTF) hits campus Feb. 19-21.

Professionals from business, government, pharmacy, medicine, public relations, law, clergy, math, military, non-profit, education, and health sciences will go into classrooms to provide real world advice to students. Some 33 of the 58 consultants are alumni. [see the list HERE]

In addition to the classroom appearances, all students are invited to interact with the consultants during a "Lunch & Learn" panel focused on Careers in Science as well as a Speed Networking session Feb. 20.

Gold level program sponsors include Enterprise Holdings, the United States Coast Guard, and Drs. Algernon (XU' 04) and Amanda (XU' 06) Kelley.

Get the full YMTF details HERE.


Xavier Athletics has contracted with UniversityTickets to provide online ticketing for athletics competitions, concerts, and other events.

Fans will be able to purchase online tickets for the remaining men's home games and five women's home games of the 2016-17 basketball season and all future athletic events.

Visit HERE for full details.



Two students – Allana Barefield, a sophomore mass communications major from Lynn MA, and Nicholas Davison, a junior art major/mass communications minor from Grand Bay AL – have been selected to the competitive New York Times Student Journalism Institute in New York City in May where they will train exclusively with veteran New York Times reporters, editors, designers etc. They will have all their expenses paid. Additionally, Barefield was also competitively selected as an intern reporter this summer with The Boston Globe. [more details HERE].


At this rate, Xavier’s unofficial title as the “Best Kept Secret in Education” may be in jeopardy. That’s due in part to a recent upsurge in national media attention.

Last December a Wall Street Journal published the results of a WSJ/Times Higher Education report, which included an acknowledgement that Xavier received the highest grade in the nation in a student survey which asked students how they feel their school is preparing them for their chosen career. You can see the details HERE.

On the heels of that, a Jan. 18 New York Times OpEd piece, “America’s Great Working Class Colleges”, that ranked Xavier No. 6 in the nation for social mobility and student transformation. Positions in the so-called “Upward Mobility 10” were determined comparing the percent of students from the bottom fifth of income distribution who ended up in the top three-fifths of income following their graduations. See the details HERE.

You might recall that Xavier received extensive coverage in the New York Times Magazine, “A Prescription for More Black Doctors”, last year. (view HERE)


Some might argue, the chances of winning the lottery are greater than getting a coveted slot at the New York Times Student Journalism Institute; yet not one, but two of Xavier University’s students are heading to the big apple this summer to cash in on their professional future.

Allana Barefield, a sophomore majoring in mass communication and Nicholas Davison, a junior majoring in art and minoring in mass communication received word recently that they are two of only 26 students, out of several hundred applicants, who will work as a journalist and news page designer for the most prestigious and demanding news organization in the nation. [-more-]


Xavier has a new Director of Admissions, Dr. Monica Clayborne Scott, who assumed the role in mid-January.

As Director of Admissions, Scott is charged with providing daily leadership and supervision of staff in the Office of Admissions, developing and managing an aggressive recruitment program designed to attract and retain a diverse pool of freshman and transfer students from traditional and non-traditional markets, supervising all admissions procedures, and carrying out the academic policies of the institution. [-more-]


Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, known as one of the leading intellectual voices in the country, and Shaun King, a mentor and motivational speaker addressing controversial issues such as social justice, police brutality and race relations, and Stevona Elm Rogers, an author and activist, are all set to speak at Xavier during Black History Month. [-more-]


Sister Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S., who achieved National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame status for her service on the local, regional, and national level while serving as Xavier University of Louisiana’s faculty athletics representative (FAR), has stepped down from that position after 36 years.

Never fear, however, Flickinger, a member of the XULA biology faculty since 1968, will continue her primary role as a professor in the Department of Biology. Verret has appointed Dr. Elliott Hammer, a longtime member of the Department of Psychology, as Flickinger’s successor as FAR. [-more-]


Students in Dr. Elizabeth Manley’s historical research and writing class – John Tortorich, Alexis Stokes, and Edward Wiggins, who worked all semester with particular archival collections at the Historic New Orleans Collection – pose with HNOC and XU reps after making a year-end presentation at the venue.



* Serena Newberry, a sophomore English Education major from Detroit MI (the Roeper School), has been awarded the English-Speaking Union of the United States’ prestigious Luard Morse Scholarship, which provides her $25,000 towards a semester of study at an English University. She plans to spend the spring 2018 semester traveling and studying in England, where 75 previous Luard Scholars have performed with distinction at 18 British universities since the inaugural award in 1969.

* Two students – Huy Do, a senior chemistry/premed major from New Orleans (Jesuit High), and Taylor Sanders, a biology/premed major from Flossmoor IL (Homewood High) – were were featured on  the Association of American Medical Schools (AAMC)  website article “How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam. View it HERE.

* Premed advisor Quo Vadis Webster reports that to date, no less than 18 XU juniors have been granted conditional acceptance into Tulane Medical School, via the Early Acceptance Program for entry in 2018.  The students are required to take the MCAT and earn a total composite score in the 70th percentile or better.  In that number are: Ryane Adams, Marialaina Carter, Arielle Crook, Steven Do, Noor Fatima, Robert Freter, Indigo Gill, Margaret Hazelton, Sydney Labat, Hannah Mbony, An Nguyen, Anthony Nguyen, Son Nguyen, Derian Pugh, Bryan Redmond, Myka Taylor, Pauline Tu, and Tajhshea Walden. Needless to say, that’s a record number. Note that some of these same students have also been extended early acceptance offers by the University of Rochester and Dartmouth University.

* Kudos to Xavier's student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which received the Commendable Award from national ACS organization for activities it conducted during 2015-16 academic year.


* Allison Breanna Hudson ’08, public information officer for the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office (LA), was among those honored in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report’s 2016 Forty Under Forty feature article recognizing “the capital region’s brightest young leaders, innovators, and business professionals”. View HERE.

* Dr. Breanne McGhee ’11 was featured in Women in Optometry magazine for a community service project, “Discover. Learn.Play. Optometry.”, which she held for 3- and 4-year-olds and their parents. See the article HERE.

* LaDonna Smith ’15, a seventh grade mathematics teacher at Stella Worley Middle School, was one of three Teacher of the Year district winners selected by the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS). As such, she is eligible for the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching Middle School Mathematics. More details HERE.

* Damon Williams, Jr. ’01, director of recruitment and EDGE at Emory University’s Laney Graduate School, was featured in Black Enterprise Online Magazine’s on-going “Be a Modern Man” series. See it HERE.


* Joseph Byrd (VP for Student Services) has been named to the Transition Team of the 35th General (National) President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Dr. Everett Ward. He will also serve as National Chairman of the Committee on Fraternal Standards. He was also the keynote speaker for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration, hosted by the APA chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi.

* Albert Cornish (University Police) has been named interim Director of Public Safety and Chief of University Police. He had been serving as Assistant Police Chief.

* Dr. Nicole Greene (English) notes that the latest publication from Xavier Press, The Shy Mirror, a posthumous volume by Catholic New Orleans poet Gordon Robert Sabatier, is available for purchase. Darrell Bourque, the former Louisiana poet laureate, has written an appreciation for the volume. View more details HERE.

* Dr. Biljana Obradovic (English) was awarded a $7,000 grant from the Ministry of Culture from the Government of Serbia for her role in the publication of Cat Painters: Contemporary Serbian Poetry by Dialogos Press, which she co-edited, translated 70 percent of, and co-wrote the introduction. View the book HERE. She has also published her fourth collection of poems, Incognito (View HERE), from which she will be giving readings March 4 at 2:00 p.m. at The Latter Library in New Orleans, and also at UNO and Dillard.

* Quo Vadis Webster ’00 ’10 MA (Premed Advisor) made a presentation at Claflin University, "Premedical Advising: The Xavier Model."

* Two English faculty – Dr. Biljana Obradovic and Ralph Adamo – whose poems appear in the new Maple Leaf Rag VI anthology published by Portals Press this month, read their poems during a Maple Leaf Bar event celebrating the publication. (View HERE).

institute (cont.)

“The call from The New York Times felt amazing,” said Barefield. “It felt like everything is paying off. It feels like everything is going in the right direction. Can’t put a price on this.”

“Once I heard that I got it, it was kind of a star-struck moment,” said Davison.  “I was speechless almost; (New York Times) so prestigious and such an honor. I’m very grateful for it all. It’s awesome to see my hard work come into play.”

This latest honor comes as no surprise to their professor and mentor, Dr. Shearon Roberts, Xavier University assistant professor of mass communication.

"I am proud that we have not one, but two of our students selected to this year's New York Times Student Journalism Institute,” said Roberts. “They show that our little program is innovative, vibrant and produces future media workers who can compete with students from the biggest and best programs in the country, and who can potentially land jobs at the top of the industry."

According to Richard Jones, Director of The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, rarely are sophomores accepted into the program, but there was something special about Barefield and Davison that the committee could not ignore.

“Allana caught our eye a year ago,” said Jones. “Her writing; her work really speaks for itself. She may not have a lot of experience, but the work she has done was done at a high level. Both (students) have exceptional promise. We are really beyond excited to be a part of their professional development.”

Barefield who is in her second year of college has completed more internships than some graduating seniors. Freshman year, she covered news for the The Louisiana Weekly and worked at New Orleans NBC affiliate, WDSU.  Last summer she interned as a reporter for The Louisville Courier where she covered Muhammad Ali’s funeral.   She is currently contributing to The New Orleans Advocate while carrying a full load at Xavier. And when she completes her internship with The New York Times, she’ll travel a little farther north and spend the rest of her summer interning at The Boston Globe.

Allana came into my office her first few weeks as a Xavier freshman determined to do what was necessary to get to the very top journalism opportunities that was possible for a student reporter,” said Roberts. “She has the drive, perseverance, and commitment needed to succeed in the news business, but more importantly she has the heart to tell beautiful stories about the lives of both the celebrated and the man on the street.”

Davison who has managed his graphic design company called Creat1ve since he was 13, received multiple awards for his creative style of work with the college paper, The Xavier Herald.  For two consecutive years, he placed first for most effective use of graphic design on a single page; recognized by the Louisiana Press Association.

Last year he finished third for best house ad design at the College Media Association Pinnacle Awards. Davison placed first for his media app innovation for Xavier's first Media Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2016. He recently received a $1,000 scholarship from the National Newspaper Publishers Association for his work. Davison has also produced CD covers for accomplished and up and coming musical artists.

"Nicholas stumbled upon the news business as an art major, but his visual eye allows him to design the news in ways in which stories transcend beyond words,” said Roberts.  “His striking cover designs make you want to pick up an issue of any newspaper.”

Barefield and Davison said they do not take this opportunity with the New York Times for granted. According to Jones, thousands applied for the 2-week institute. The last time a Xavier student was accepted in the prestigious program was 2007.  Allison Hudson, who is a public information officer in the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, was Xavier’s shining star at the time.

Barefield and Davison said they knew at an early age they were destined for careers in journalism.

“Since I was a kid I loved sports and I loved writing,” said Barefield. “I don’t see me doing anything else besides being a reporter.”

Barefield’s father passed away from cancer her sophomore year in high school. But his love for news, sports and writing which he instilled in her has propelled his daughter to heights unimaginable.

“The motivation is to keep living off of his legacy and to make him proud,” said Barefield. He means a lot to me.”

In the eyes of his peers, Davison is considered a self-made man. The 20-year-old started his company well before high school.

“As I grew up, I started to notice my love for the arts a lot more,” said Davison. “I would always be very much on the computer. I loved MTV as a kid and Nickelodeon and Disney and capturing aspects of like different music videos so I always knew there was that interest and knack there.”

Davison who is from Grand Bay, Ala. and Barefield from Lynn, Mass. said they would not be where they are today had it not been for the guidance and support given by Xavier’s mass communication department. Dr. Sheryl Kennedy-Haydel, Xavier University’s assistant professor of mass communication was instrumental in recruiting Barefield while attending a National Association of Black Journalist conference. Barefield said Kennedy-Haydel left a lasting impression that sealed the deal when it came time to choosing a university.

Melinda Shelton, Xavier University’s director of student publications, gave Davison the autonomy needed to create and produce award -winning graphic designs for the student paper. Davison said Shelton’s skills and insight has made him a better designer because he is learning how to create art from a journalistic perspective.

“Nick is introspective, intelligent, incredibly funny, considerate, and his humility is genuine, said Shelton. “ He is a living and breathing representative of Xavier's mission. The world is better for Nick's presence, and an amazing life awaits him.”

The New York Times Student Journalism Institute is a bright beginning of what is to come for Barefield and Davison. One committee member said he is content with Xavier’s dynamic duo that is so full of potential. “They have a clear commitment to pursuing careers in journalism,” said Jones. “These two are excellent selections.”

scott (cont.)

As part of the Enrollment Management team, she will also assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive model that supports retention and timely graduation.

“I am thrilled that Monica has joine the Enrollment Management team,” said Keyana Scales, Vice President of Enrollment Management. “I am confident that her demonstrated leadership, communication style, strategic vision and her experience with facilitating organizational change will prove to be a strong asset to the Office of Admissions and to Xavier University of Louisiana.”

Scott, whose career in higher education spans 10 years, comes to Xavier from Lane College in Jackson TN, where she was serving as Director of Admissions, Chair of the Enrollment Management Committee, and as Coordinator of the Presidential Leadership Scholarship Program.

She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Union University, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Bethel University and a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lane College.

speakers (cont.)

“If there has ever been a time for solidarity in this country, the time is now,” said Amber Davis-Prince, director of campus activities and organizer. “All three speakers genuinely care about the plight of America and specifically African Americans and understand the importance of education and social justice which is crucial to our students’ success in the near future.”

Hill will speak Feb. 2, King on Feb. 16, and Rogers on Feb. 22. Each will speak at 6:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom, located on the 3rd Floor at 1 Drexel Drive in New Orleans. All three events are free and open to the public.

Hill is a distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College as well as an accomplished author who currently hosts BET News and VH1 Live. He is a founding board member of My5th, a non-profit organization located in his hometown of Philadelphia that is devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. Hill also works closely with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. Over the past few years, he has actively worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and to release numerous political prisoners.

King, a pastor, motivational speaker and inventor raised $1.5 million to send tents to Haiti after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The New York Daily News Senior Justice Writer was successful because he founded and used Twitter and eBay to raise the money. Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria was a spokesperson for the campaign. This inspired him to launch, a charity auction site. TwitChange held Twitter charity auctions on eBay where celebrities offered to retweet winning bidders' tweets in exchange for support of a particular charity. One campaign raised funds to build an orphanage in Bonneau, Haiti. In 2010, TwitChange won the Mashable Award for "Most Creative Social Good Campaign."

Rogers also known as “Stevie” was raised in inner city Birmingham, Ala, She graduated from the University of Alabama in 2007 and is an alum of Teach for America Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta. Currently she serves on staff as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development. As an educator, advocate, and activist she continues to challenge Black youth to strive for excellence and liberation of themselves and others.

flickinger (cont.)

"Sister Grace Mary has admirably served Xavier University of Louisiana, our athletics department, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC), and the NAIA with untiring devotion in this important position," Verret said. "We are grateful for her many decades of service, her passion and devotion to our student-athletes, and the integral role she has played in the progress of athletics at Xavier."

In the structure of the NAIA, faculty representatives oversee the welfare of the student-athlete, certify eligibility, and ensure the emphasis of academics in university athletics. In the GCAC, the vote of faculty representatives is a crucial step toward ratification of new policies and procedures. Xavier currently fields intercollegiate teams in men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, track and field, and tennis, as well as women’s volleyball.

A New Jersey native, Flickinger has been a member of XULA’s biology department since 1968 and joined XU’s athletics committee in 1981. A few years later, she took on responsibilities as academic counselor for athletics at the request of former men’s basketball coach Denny Alexander. She also has served the GCAC as president for two terms (1990-91 and 1995-99), vice president, faculty athletics representative, and on its eligibility and executive committees. On the national level she chaired the NAIA’s Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives.

Flickinger was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2007 she received the NAIA’s Wally Schwartz Award for her work as a faculty athletics representative.

Flickinger, who also served for several years as  coordinator of advising, has been a long-time proponent of one-on-one advising and nurturing of all students, not only for their smooth transition to Xavier as freshmen but also for their persistence and degree completion, as well as  their spiritual growth. Having earning a reputation as tough, but fair, she remains is a favorite among alumni.

Hammer, who has served at Xavier for 16 years (including seven as Chair of the Psychology Department), will assume the duties of FAR this spring. His honors include the Visionary Leader Award and Model Institutions of Excellence mentor award, both from Xavier.

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