Marketing & Communications

THIS MONTH AT XAVIER (TMAX) - September 2016


Freshman Class Checks in at 763 Strong
XU Gets Nod in 2017 Princeton Review Guide
Four Added to Board of Trustees
XU Adds VP for Enrollment Management
Alumni Corner: Why I Give

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Asia Satchell, Clarke Evans, Bianca Dirige, and Arielle Crook show their Xavier pride in Port Au Prince Haiti while participating in a Medical Apprenticeship Program.

costa rica

Xavier students get in some sight-seeing at the National Museum in San Jose during their five-week faculty led study abroad program in Costa Rica. (L-R) Tyler Kelly, Sydney Williams, Savannah Samuel, Michaela Wiseman, Claudia Lopez, Tiffany Hogan, and Zelana Smith.


Thirty-one XULA students – including a large number of athletes – traveled to Baton Rouge to help with recovery efforts, which included gutting flooded houses or working at a Red Cross shelter.

peer deans

How many Peer Deans does it take to fill a staircase? Lots.


XU President Reynold Verret is pleased to accept a $60,000 check from AT&T Louisiana Regional Director Leo Marsh earmarked for future improvements to residence halls and support scholarships for high achieving students who are in need of financial aid in order to begin their college careers. On hand for the presentation was State Senator Troy Carter.


Xavier Connection: Congratulations to USA athlete Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. Proud to note that she is the daughter of XULA alumni parents Sharron Griffin Manuel ’89 and Marc Manuel '88.

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 XU Adds VP for Enrollment Management

Keyana Scales has been named Vice President for Enrollment Management. In the newly created position, Scales will be charged with providing leadership, supervision, and direction to the Offices of Admissions, Student Financial Aid, and the University Registrar. Scales, who will begin Sept. 12, will report directly to the Provost.

"We are pleased to welcome Keyana Scales to campus,” said McCall. “As Vice President for Enrollment Management, she will lead the integration of important units on our campus to ensure that students who can best benefit from a Xavier education enroll and have every opportunity possible to succeed. With extensive experience in a variety of institutions and strong leadership skills, Ms. Scales proved the perfect candidate for this key position.” “I look forward to working with her very soon and introducing her to the entire Xavier community."

Among her core responsibilities at Xavier will be developing and implementing strategies to reach recruitment, tuition discounting, student revenue goals, and retention; strengthening the University’s enrollment through effective outreach strategies; overseeing the management of all aspects of the enrollment process from prospect development to enrollment; and ensuring that high ethical standards are maintained in all areas of admissions, recruitment, and financial aid policies and practices.

Keyana Scales

Scales has more than 15 years of experience in college admissions and recruitment. She comes to Xavier from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she has served the past two years as Director of Freshman Recruitment and Scholarships.

Prior to that, Scales served as Director of Admissions at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (2010-13) and as Associate Director of Admissions at North Carolina State University (2008-10). She began her professional career at the latter as an undergraduate admissions counselor in 2001 and spent nine years on staff in various capacities. She holds a BA in communications and a Master of Education in Counseling, both from North Carolina State University.








2016 capping

Nothing says you’re officially a Xavierite quite like getting that XULA “Class of 2020” baseball cap at the end of New Student Orientation. Then classes begin.

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Xavier welcomed a solid class of 763 first-time freshmen to the campus in August for New Student Orientation and the start of the fall 2016 semester. That number – which was not yet final at press time – represents an 11.5 percent increase over last year’s freshman total of 684 students.

“We are excited about this new freshman class, which meets all of our expectations for both numbers and the quality of the individual students,” said President C. Reynold Verret, attributing the increase to the University’s national reputation for academic excellence and leadership in both the sciences and the liberal arts.

“It is gratifying to see that students and their families can recognize the value of the private college educational experience that Xavier offers,” he said.

Preliminary figures indicate that the total enrollment (which includes the undergraduate, graduate, and pharmacy programs) for fall 2016 will be near 3,000.


Xavier has once again been singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2017 edition of its annual edition of "The Best 381 Colleges”.

In its profile on Xavier the guide praises the school for its academics, faculty, and providing a “thriving underlying foundation upon which students can achieve the very best for themselves.”

The New York-based company – which is best known for its test-prep and education services, books, website and other resources for students – showcases only about 15 percent of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States in its annual guide. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in any order.

Xavier is one of six five colleges in Louisiana (others include LSU, Loyola, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, and UNO) and one of only five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (others include Hampton, Howard, Spelman, and Tuskegee) to make the list.

  best 381

"Xavier University of Louisiana offers outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our choice of schools for the book,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP/Publisher and author of "The Best 381 Colleges".

“We base our selections primarily on data we obtain in our annual institutional data surveys," he said. "We also take into account input we get from our staff, our 24-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, our personal visits to schools, and the wide range of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools.”

Visit HERE for Xavier’s unique profile in the book. Visit the Princeton Review website HERE for more info on the publication.


Four new members were added to the Board of Trustees at the summer meeting of the governing board. Named to initial three-year terms were: Dr. Gilda Barabino ’78, Ms. Carmen Bermudez, Sister Theresa Chato SBS ’71, and Dr. John Jackson IV ’94. It is Chato's second stint on the XU Board (having previously served from 2001-2006).

Carryovers on the 21-member Board – who are serving either their first or second terms on the board – include: Justin Augustine III, Sister Donna Breslin SBS, Mark Goodman, Bishop Curtis John Guillory SVD, Gladstone Jones, The Honorable Ivan Lemelle, Dr. Marie McDemmond, Alden McDonald Jr., Marc Morial, Sister Jane Norton SBS, Sonia Perez, Sister Marianne Poole SBS, Michael Rue, Frank Stewart Jr., Roderick West, and Mary Zervigon. XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret is an ex-officio member of the Board.

Rotating off of the Board after serving two consecutive terms will be Carla Harris, Sister Stephanie Henry SBS, Dr. Toni Hoover, and Sister Barbara Specker SBS.

Barabino, a 1978 Xavier graduate, is a Berg Professor and Dean of The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY). She holds appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and the Sophie Davis School of Medicine. A noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering, she consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development, and faculty development.

Bermudez is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of Mission Management and Trust Company, the nation’s first and only minority-woman owned independent trust company. Headquartered in Arizona, the company specializes in investment management, trust administration, securities custody, retirement and IRAs, global custody, employee benefit plans and charitable gift planning. It is also known for its efforts to increased opportunities for women and minorities and for contributing a meaningful portion of all revenues to charitable projects. Earlier this year, Bermudez was honored by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament with the St. Katharine Drexel National Justice Award for her commitment to charitable organizations, providing opportunities to minorities and women, and for her support of cultural and social equality.

Chato, who also holds a degree from Xavier, is currently Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Chinle AZ, where she has served since 2011. She has previously served as campus administrator, and as vocation director at the SBS Motherhouse in Bensalem PA., as well as Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance AZ. She has also held teaching positions at SBS schools in Santa Fe NM and Pala CA.

Jackson, still another Xavier graduate, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. The Foundation focuses its resources on efforts to ensure a high quality public education for all students by identifying and eliminating the policies and practices which lead to race and gender educational disparities. Jackson joined the Foundation in 2007 after serving seven years in leadership positions at the NAACP, including as the organization’s its Chief Policy Officer and National Director of Education.


Gilda Barabino

carmenCarmen Bermudez

Sr. Theresa Chato

John Jackson

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* Clarke Allen, a junior biology major from Mendenhall MS (Mendenhall High), has been selected to participate in the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program (MRDSP). The program offers students the opportunity to receive DAT preparation, benefit from mentoring from practicing rural dentists, and earn a $140,000 dental school scholarship in return for four years of service. Upon successful completion of all dental admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of Mississippi’s School of Dentistry.

* Chandler Schexnayder, a P4 pharmacy student from Patterson LA (Patterson High), was awarded the Dr. JW and Erma Ligon NPhA Endowed Scholarship award valued at $1,000 at the annual SPhA/NPhA conference held in Atlanta GA. He also teamed up with Jasmine Eugene, a P3 pharmacy student from New Orleans (Xavier Prep), to place third among 64 challengers in the conference’s 2016 Kroger pharmacy sponsored Clinical Skills Competition.

* A team of current and former Mass Communication majors – Vashni Balleste '16 of New York NY, Keshante Horton ’16 of New Orleans, and junior Kendall Lawson of San Francisco CA​, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts (Mass Com) – spent part of their summer in Haiti and the Dominican Republic learning about Haitian media, consorting with students at Universite d'Etat D'Haiti in Port-au-Prince, and putting together a video of some local events and their own travels. See the video HERE.

* Xavier was recipient of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association’s (SNPhA) coveted “Chapter of the Year” award during the annual SNPhA/NPhA conference in recognition of countless community services events and other health initiatives conducted by the students during the year. The Chapter was awarded $6,500.


* Dr. Amber Robins ’10, a family medicine resident at the University of Rochester as well as a medical resident in the ABC News Medical Unit, presented her perspective on being an underrepresented minority in medicine – making a point to highlight her alma mater’s achievements in the area – for a ABC News web feature article, “A Doctor’s Take on Being a Minority in Medicine.” View it HERE.

* Congratulations to Sharron Griffin Manuel ’89 and Marc Manuel ’88,  parents of USA athlete Simone Manuel, who made history at the Rio games as the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming with her victory in the 100-meter freestyle event.


* Dr. Nicole Greene (Kellogg Professor of English) presented a paper entitled "The Dispersal of the Somerville and Ross Manuscripts and the Challenges of Archival Research" at the International Conference for the Study of Irish Literature at University College Cork, Ireland.

* Katheryn Krotzer Laborde (English) had her essay about teaching the work of Flannery O'Connor at an HBCU appeared in The Flannery O'Connor Review, and three flash-fiction pieces appeared in The Journal of College Writing. In addition, she was a guest blogger for the Andalusia Farm: Home of Flannery O'Connor blogsite.

* Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary professor of English) gave a paper, "Childlike Consciousness in Issa: An Analysis of the Hokku of a 1797 Kasen," at an International Renku Symposium at Seikei University, Tokyo.

* Dr. Kathleen Kennedy (Dean, COP) and Dr. Anne Barbre ’70 (Associate Dean, COP) were both honored as Life Members of the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) at the annual SNPhA/NPhA conference, held in Atlanta GA.

* Dr. William Bill Kirchain (pharmacy) was elected president of the Louisiana Pharmacists Association’s 2016-17 Board of Directors at the organization’s 134th Annual Convention, while Dr. LaKeisha Williams (pharmacy) was named a regional director representing New Orleans.

* Dr. Cirecie Olatunji (education/counseling) has been appointed editor-elect of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development by the Governing Council of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD). It is a three-year appointment.

* Dr. Florastina Payton-Stewart ’99 (chemistry) was among 10 professors from across the nation been selected as a 2017 Keystone Symposium Fellow. Keystone Symposia is a nonprofit organization that convenes international scientific research conferences each year designed to accelerate life science discovery by bringing together and fostering collaboration among the world’s leading and next generation of research scientists.


* The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) named Xavier’s 2015 Recovery Month Event as the winner of the Educational Event’s category of its Recovery Month Annual Event Award Program, noting that Xavier’s event exceeded expectations and reflected commitment to expand the breadth and reach of Recovery Month activities. It’s the third time that XU has won the prestigious award.

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I donate to the Annual Fund at Xavier as I strongly believe in giving back to help students. Many students and families face financial difficulties across the county and globally; however, these students should still be able to attend college to earn their degree and pursue their career goals.

My parents taught me that everyone should have the same opportunity to pursue their college education regardless of their socioeconomic status, background or any obstacles they face.  Furthermore, I hear the stories of students who have to make the decision whether they continue to attend college or if they have to leave as they have to support themselves and sometimes even their family. As a counselor, I believe in having funding available for students who are coping with behavioral health issues if they need external resources as well.  Personally, I do not want students to have to abandon their dreams of attending or staying in college because of financial or other difficulties.  College has to be more accessible for students to attend and matriculate to earn their degree.


Chantel K. Gant ‘06

I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and continue to live in the city. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Xavier University in 2006 and Master of Education in Professional Counseling from the University of Georgia in 2008. Currently, I work as a counselor at the Counseling & Wellness Center at Xavier where I thoroughly enjoy working with students to destigmatize behavioral health and help them to reach their full potential as young adults.

It is inspiring to have donors fund scholarships at Xavier.I am tremendously grateful for the donors who provided me with scholarships while attending Xavier including the Xavier University Academic Scholarship, Father Kasal Foundation Scholarship, Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC Scholarship), and TOPS Scholarship.

I encourage the amazing group of young alumni at Xavier University to give back so we can all work together to help uplift students and communities. A thought is to remember when you were a student, think about the economic challenges you, a friend, peer or a family member faced, and know that someone helped us all to reach our goals. Reflect back on the moment when you graduated and how proud you felt when you reached another milestone. Envision the student now who is two semesters away from feeling that same sense of pride but does not have a solid plan to make that goal a reality. There is a bigger picture when we see the student who has to work full-time, the student who lost their parent during the semester, the student who is coping with anxiety, or the student who is homeless.

For just a moment, think about how giving back helps to decrease the financial pressures of students who face personal challenges while in college.  The dollar amount does not matter remember that whatever you donate is instrumental in impacting student lives in a positive way.  Expenses are soaring in all areas, job loss is a reality, and scholarship funds are becoming increasingly more limited making it crucial to donate. As alumni, we can be advocates for more funding by leading the charge by donating, and outreaching so future generations can continue to echo the importance of giving back.

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