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ORD/OSP/TITLE III

Gene D’Amour received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Philosophy of Science and Mathematical Logic.  He received a faculty appointment to West Virginia University, where he was instrumental in refining, extending and disseminating a new approach to teaching problem solving, one of four in which the Exxon Education Foundation invested $7 million to encourage widespread dissemination.  Dr. D’Amour left WVU to serve as a program manager/rotator for the National Science Foundation before moving to Tulane University in 1980.  During his twenty-two-year-tenure at Tulane, Dr. D’Amour served in several capacities, including Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Provost, Vice President for Research and Project Administration, and Vice President for Institutional Program Development and Government/Agency Affairs.  While at Tulane, Dr. D’Amour developed and played a principal leadership role in implementing Tulane’s Strategic Plan to increase research funding.  During this period, Tulane increased its Federal R & D expenditures more than seven-fold, increased its total R & D expenditure ranking by twenty-three places, and its federal R & D ranking by fifteen. Dr. D’Amour served as Chairman of Louisiana’s state-wide NSF EPSCoR Committee from 1985-2002. As Chair, he led the strategic planning process for the newly-created $250 million Board of Regents Support Fund.  Also, he was instrumental in organizing the Coalition of EPSCoR States, a Washington based association established to enhance the competitiveness of scientists and engineers in states receiving low levels of federal R & D funding.  D’Amour chaired this coalition as it initiated legislation that extended the NSF-EPSCoR program from one to eight Federal agencies and increased appropriations from $10 million to $350 million per year. Dr. D’Amour joined Xavier’s administration as Senior Vice President of Resource Development in 2002. He has been a consultant to more than thirty universities, foundations and government agencies and has been a leader in promoting a variety of non-profit, charitable organizations in the greater metropolitan area of New Orleans. Dr. D’Amour has published one book, The Nature of Evidence, as well as numerous articles spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences.

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Ann M. Smith earned her B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from SUNO.  She began her career as an accountant and retail sales manager for Goodyear. Later, Ann joined CNG Producing Oil & Gas Corp. as the Coordinator of Engineering Service, overseeing construction projects (oil platforms and production facilities) and budgeting matters from a $200 Million Budget.  Prior to coming to XU in 2005, she served in the capacity of CFO for the Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal District Court Office, writing grant proposals, handling the Court’s budgets, and acting as purchasing agent.  As XU’s Director of Sponsored Programs Administration for the past three years, Ann has overseen pre and post-award activities for grants totaling, approximately, $147 Million dollars.

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Leigh A. Mogilles is the Program Coordinator in the Office of Sponsored Programs. Prior to joining Xavier University, she was a Project Development Coordinator for an event management and public relations firm.  Leigh was responsible for planning, designing and implementing major projects, execution of events and onsite management, and managing budgets in excess of $1million.  Additionally, she has a range of experience with private sector, government, and community-based organizations.  A native of New Orleans, Leigh earned her B.A. in General Studies with a minor in Latin Studies from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of New Orleans.

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Meka A. Francis received her B.S. degree in Business with a concentration in Business Administration from Xavier University of Louisiana.  Her experience includes working at the NFL/YET Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana as the Office Administrator and the Education Coordinator and at AT&T as a DSL Customer Service Assistant. At Xavier, she is the Program Assistant in the Office of Sponsored Programs.

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Rachel E. Cruthirds  is Assistant Vice President for Resource Development.  Prior to joining the XU Family, she was a Program Associate at the Louisiana Board of Regents, working with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a National Science Foundation Program.  At the BOR, Rachel was additionally responsible for administering a series of faculty development grant programs that enhance the research competitiveness of Louisiana faculty members.  Also, she helped administer a $9 million NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement award, which involved over 50 faculty members from nine institutions across the state.  A native of Baton Rouge, Rachel earned a B.A. in History from LSU and her M.S. in History and Sociology of Technology and Science from Georgia Tech. 

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Melanie Steen-Sighinolfi is the Grant Coordinator for a series of the National Science Foundation institutional grant programs operated by the Office of Resource Development. Prior to joining the office, she was a Program Manager for the National Minority AIDS Education Training Center –HRSA grant with the Xavier University College of Pharmacy.  Melanie is a Certified Information and Referral Specialist (CIRS) and an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST).  She has extensive experience in the areas of Community Information and Resources, Counseling, and Grant Administration.  Melanie earned a B.A. in Psychology/Substance Abuse from Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) and her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Mankato State University, Mankato, Minnesota.

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Deborah Lidy Associate Coordinator of Title III, has been a member of Xavier’s staff since 1971.  During that time she has held several positions in departments throughout the campus, including Xavier’s Library, the Department of Social Services, the Office of Information Services, Xavier’s Planning Office, and now in the Office of Resource Development/Office of Sponsored Programs.  Deborah is a graduate of the Spencer Business School and has completed numerous in-service workshops, including Practice for Excellence, Path to Success, and Skill Path Workshops.  She serves as a member of Xavier’s Credit Union Board.

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Isabella B. Thompson joined Xavier University in 2001 as Executive Assistant and Office Manager in Institutional Advancement.  She currently serves as Coordinator of Board Relations and Office Administrator for Resource Development, where she is the liaison on board matters with members of Xavier’s Board of Trustees and the University Executive Team.  Isabella assists the Senior Vice President of Resource Development and the University President on matters of board governance. Prior to coming to Xavier, Isabella worked as a Planned Gifts Analyst in the Office of Planned Gifts at Tulane University and as a Regional Liaison for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in their conduct and strategic oversight of banks to guarantee financial safety for depositors. Isabella is also active in the areas of social justice, having worked in various counties and parishes to help bring about change in the disparity of economic benefits that exists for many. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University.

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