Volume 45 No. 11
November 2014









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Years of Service


1834 Pre-registration
Set for Nov. 4-8

Pre-registration for the Spring semester will be held Nov. 3-7. Visit HERE for the schedule and other important details.


40 Under 40 Alumni Honorees Named

Xavier has announced its inaugural selection of 40 Under 40 Young Alumni Awardees.

Included among the Class of 2014 are nationally prominent educators, music industry innovators, an Emmy nominated journalist, international research scientists, and prominent healthcare professionals.

The recipients, who were selected from among 270 candidates, have demonstrated significant accomplishments before the age of 40 in arts, entertainment, healthcare, sciences, education, law, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, public service, and government. See full story HERE.


Homecoming 2014 Has Lots to Offer

Alumni from across the country will return to the campus Nov. 19-23 to celebrate Homecoming 2014. Make sure YOU are in that number!
Activities scheduled for the Reunion Weekend include the joint student/alumni Celebration on the Yard, receptions for special groups, the Alumni Mixer, the TGIF party, the basketball doubleheader and tailgate brunch, the Homecoming Banquet, and more. “More” includes a special tribute gala for Dr. Norman C. Francis.

The Classes ending in 4 and 9 are special honorees, , but all alumni are encouraged to attend.

Visit HERE to register online, or call 520-7575 or 1-877-WE-LUV-XU for more info.


The Many Faces of Louis Armstrong

Xavier will host a special lecture/concert, “The Many Faces of Louis Armstrong,” November 06.

Professor, scholar and musician Dr. Michael White will discuss the musical and cultural importance of New Orleans born jazz legend, Louis Armstrong, as well as the trumpeter’s several stylistic changes, shifting public image, legacy and influence.

The event will begin at 7:00 pm in Xavier’s University Center McCaffrey Ballroom (3rd floor). It is free and open to the public.

See the full story HERE.

1834 Entrepreneurship
Institute Funded

The Entrepreneurship Institute at Xavier University received a $10,000 grant from Capital One Bank, according to EI Director Mark Quinn.

The proceeds of the grant will be used to support the entrepreneurship development programs of the EI, including: the X-ncubator, Xavier Enactus, the Xavier Cup Innovation Challenge, and Lunch With a ‘trep.

Information on the EI activities is available by contacting Prof. Quinn at 504.520.5046 or via e-mail at mquinn@xula.edu.

1834 XU Review Press Publishes Everett Collection

Dr. Nicole Pepinster Greene, executive editor of the Xavier Review Press, announces publication of Percival Everett: Writing Other/Wise, a scholarly collection of theoretical and literary essays on the renown African American writer (and one-time professor of creative writing at Xavier University of Louisiana) co-edited by XU professor Dr. Robin Vander.

Percival Everett:  Writing Other/Wise presents eight original critical essays analyzing the fiction and poetry of contemporary American writer, Percival Everett and includes a special section highlighting Everett’s visual art.

See the full story HERE.

run for funds RUN FOR FUNDS

XU students, faculty, staff, and friends join President Dr. Norman C. Francis for a photo op at the start of the 26th Annual
United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Walk for Education, held at Audubon Park Riverside.

photo by Irving Johnson III


Xavier has received a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the national Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. Xavier will use the grant to expand the already thriving biomedical programs the historically Black university offers its students.

“Xavier is already number one in the nation as the primary undergraduate source of African American Ph.Ds. in the Life Sciences,” said Dr. Norman Francis, president of Xavier University, “Yet, with this grant, we believe we can triple the number of these graduates and increase the number of African American Life Science Ph.Ds nationally by 10%. We are proud that NIH has named us one of the institutions that they believe can uniquely contribute to this important goal.”

The award is part of a $240 million NIH investment involving more than 10 institutions to develop new approaches to engage student researchers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. Xavier and fellow awardees will establish a national consortium to train, mentor and encourage students from underrepresented groups to enter into and stay in research careers. Presidential Search
Committee Announcement

(click here)
See the full story HERE.


The 100,000 Strong Foundation (100K Strong) – a national organization leading the movement to ensure that the next generation of Americans is equipped to engage effectively with China – has designated Xavier University of Louisiana as the lead institution for its “Advance Louisiana – Educating a Globally-Competent Workforce” initiative.

The partnership will have three major objectives – all designed to enhance Louisiana’s capacity in the understanding of Chinese language and culture – to include:

  • Significantly expand Mandarin teaching in Louisiana primary and secondary schools, community colleges, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Facilitate and enhance study abroad in China for those students in Louisiana who participate in Mandarin instruction.
  • Enhance the cultural understanding of owners and employees in businesses throughout Louisiana – especially those engaged in the tourism industry.
“The programs initiated by our own Confucius Institute the past two years – programs that fully complement what the 100K Strong Foundation has been striving to implement on the national level – place Xavier in a unique position to serve as the lead institute for the Advance Louisiana initiative,” said Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. Norman. C. Francis. “We are committed to preparing a Louisiana 21st century workforce that is culturally competent and to training the next-generation of political, business, and civic leaders with a global perspective.”

See the full story HERE.


Xavier won the men's and women's team titles for the ninth consecutive year, and XU senior Kwame Jackson set a record with his third individual title at the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday at City Park.

The Gold Nuggets had six of the eight fastest women and scored 21 points to win their championship by 21. The Gold Rush had a much closer battle with Edward Waters, outscoring the Tigers 36-43 in the closest men's team finish since 2006.

Jackson, however, never was seriously challenged. He ran the 8,000-meter men's course in 29 minutes, 3.16 seconds and won by nearly 42 seconds.

See full story HERE.


Xavier announced the addition of two new members to its Board of Trustees at the annual fall meeting of its governing board.

Named to initial three-year terms were: New Orleans natives Frank B. Stewart, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Stewart Enterprises, Inc., and Roderick "Rod" West, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Entergy.

Michael Rue, President of Marketplace Properties in Anaheim CA, retained his leadership position as Chair of the now 19-member Board. Other officers include: (vice chair) Mary Zervigon, Chair of the Keller Family Foundation; and (secretary) Sonia Perez, President of AT&T Louisiana.

Rotating off of the Board after serving six years were Mark Romig, Dr. Dale Cochran, and Sister Rita Radloff, S.B.S.

Stewart serves as Chairman of the Board of Stewart Enterprises, Inc. and as Chairman of the Board and sole owner of Stewart Capital, LLC, one of the largest private investment companies in the Gulf South.

Stewart joined the family business in 1959 and became President and Chief Executive Officer in 1966, serving as President until 1984 and Chief Executive Officer until 1989. The family business was consolidated as Stewart Enterprises, Inc. in 1970, and, effective with that reorganization, he became a member of the Company's board. Stewart was appointed the board's Chairman in 1984, overseeing the initial public offering in 1991. That expansion has resulted in Stewart Enterprises current position as the second-largest provider of funeral and cremation merchandise and services, along with cemetery property, merchandise and services in the death care industry in the United States today.

frank stewart

rod west
In 2003, after more than 44 years in the business, Stewart retired from all management positions with the Company and became Chairman Emeritus. He was appointed Chairman of the board again in April 2007, a position he currently holds.

He has served as President and Director of the Southern Cemetery Association, former President of the Louisiana Cemetery Association, and is a member of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association ("ICCFA"). In 2010, ICCFA honored Mr. Stewart with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stewart holds a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane’s University. He lives in Metairie, LA and is married to the former Mrs. Paulette de la Vergne.

West, who joined Entergy in April 1999, has been Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer since 2010. Prior to that appointment, he had served in a variety of administrative positions, including President of Entergy New Orleans, Chief Executive Officer, Senior Regulatory Counsel, Manager of Regulatory Affairs, and Region Manager for Distribution Operations.

He began his professional career in 1993 with the New Orleans-based law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, LLP.  

A member of the Office of the Chief Executive, he has the responsibility for Entergy’s shared services functions supporting commercial activities of its utility and nuclear operations, and wholesale commodities businesses. Functions reporting to the CAO include finance operations, supply chain, business processes, administrative services, information technology, human resources and administration, federal policy, regulatory and governmental affairs and corporate communications.

During his tenure he has overseen the development and launch of the Entergy Shared Services Company, a redesign of all corporate center and business support functions. The redesign focused on delivering improved performance and cost savings across Entergy through efficient, compliant and standardized business processes.

West currently serves as a Trustee at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. He also holds a master’s degree and a Juris Doctor from Tulane University. He is married to the former Madeline Doucette and they are the parents of one daughter.


Sixty-six long-time faculty and staff members were honored as part of Xavier University of Louisiana's annual Founder’s Day celebration. 

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of their employment at XU were Karen Watkins (President’s Office) with 45 years of service, and Winston Brown (Admissions) with 40 years of service.

Other employees honored included:

35 years – Barbara Franklin (Student Services), Gladys Hampton (Fiscal Services), Yvonne Parker (Fiscal Services), Sondra Reine (Admissions), Viola Spencer (Housing), and Richard Tucker (Institutional Advancement).

30 years – Shirley Labbe (Counseling), Randall Schexnayder (Pharmacy), and Silas Steele (Recreational Sports).

25 years –Dr. Teresa Birdwhistell (Chemistry), Roy Crowley (Physical Plant), Alma Henderson (Athletics), Gwendolyn Hudson (Pharmacy), Bro. Herman Johnson O.P. (Languages), Emily London Jones (Financial Aid), Dr. Janet Privett (Chemistry), Dr. Sindhu Unnithan (Mathematics), and Jacqueline Windham (Switchboard).

20 years – Dr. Robert Blake II (Pharmacy), Dr. Michelle Boissiere (Biology), Dr. Violet Bryan (English), Dr. Carroll Diaz, Jr. (Mathematics), Dianne Encalade (History), Ultra Fredricks (Fiscal Services), Osannah Harrison (University Police), Dr. Shubha Ireland (Biology), Dr. Vlajko Kocic (Mathematics), Dr. R. Raymond Lang (Computer Science), Karen Lee (Center for International Studies), Dr. Joe Ricks (Business), and Paula Singleton (Library).

15 years – Kerwin Byrd (Central Plant), Bart Everson (CAT), Dr. Conchetta Fulton (Pharmacy), Dr. Dominique Gendrin (Communications), Dr. Galina Goloverda (Chemistry), Karen Hodge (Fiscal Services), Lionel Jacobs (Central Plant), Kelsh Kelly, Jr. (Campus Police), Mapo Kinnord-Payton (Art), Toni LaBranch (Counseling), Dr. Adrianne Mitchell (Pharmacy), Dr. Paul Schafer (Philosophy), Dennis Sigur (ITC), Vincent Simmons (ITC), Reginald Starks (Animal Care Facility), Paul Waddell (ITC), and Robert Williams (Post Office).

10 Years – Dr. Amy Bellone Hite (Sociology), Duane Carkum (University Police), Nicara Christoff (University Police), Lorie Gie (Fiscal), Gloria Kindrick (Registrar’s Office), Dr. William Kirchain (Pharmacy), Pamela Mitchell (Housing), Joseph Moses (Athletics), Dr. Boonie Noonan (English), Shirelle Perkins (Housing),  LeShawn Porter (Financial Aid), Benjamin Ragos (Physical Plant), Dr. Tim Turner (Music), Adicia Waddell (Human Resources), and Patricia Washington (Housing).

(A small sampling of the newest Xavierites)

Kenneth Clark – The Perfect Fit

f you are curious as to what getting an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) medical scan is like, Kenneth Clark would be an ideal source.

Due to injuries he received from an auto accident, Clark has been undergoing the procedure a minimum of every six months since he was in the first grade. That encompasses the period both before and after the surgery he underwent in the waning month of his eighth grade year to remove pressure on his brain from a non-malignant tumor, including the nine weeks of radiation that followed.

See full story HERE.

kenneth clark
John Tortorich - A Navy Man All the Way

Back in the 1970s when John Tortorich’s father was going through ROTC and then progressing into active service, the U.S. Navy recruitment marketing pitch was “It’s Not Just a Job, It’s an Adventure”.

Tortorich, one of two brothers now at Xavier, can certainly attest to the “adventure” part of the pitch. In his short life he has already spent time in Australia, Spain, Italy, the Azores Islands, and in no less than five U.S. states. But that has only wetted his appetite for more.

See full story HERE.

john tortoruch



Nour Abbes, a sophomore from Tunisia, become Xavier's first-ever NAIA tennis singles champion at USTA/ITA National Small College Championships this fall. She is 30-1 in singles over the past two seasons.

Kwame Jackson, a senior biology major from Humble TX (Kingwood High), won a record third straight Gulf Coast Athletics Conference individual men’s cross country title at the 2014 conference meet, qualifying for the NAIA National Meet in Lawrence KS Nov. 22 in the process. He ran the 8,000-meter men's course in 29:03.16 minutes, winning by nearly 42 seconds.

Amithyse Moore, a senior speech pathology major from Aiea HI (Aiea High), was invited to participate in the annual Healthy People Penn State Conference and Exposition at Penn State University as a prospective Communications Sciences and Disorders graduate student.


Dr. Geneva A. Stark ’82, HR Specialist/District KTIP Coordinator for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville KY, has been selected by the Kentucky Department of Education to participate in the two-year Minority Superintendent Internship Program.

Voris Vigee ‘94,  Executive Vice President for Program Operations at Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans, was named a 2014 Women of the Year honoree. Each year the publication recognizes 50 local individuals based on their career and community contributions.

Otis Washington ’61, a football coaching legend at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, has been named to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Washington enters the hall with stellar credentials: his prep teams won state championships in 1975, 1978, and 1979 in the LHSAA's highest classification.

John Williams ’99, founder and managing attorney at JSW Law Offices in New Orleans, was featured in the New Orleans Citybusiness' “Ones to Watch” feature.

Two Xavier alums – photographer/visual documentarian Marvin Ellis ’76 and family research specialist Michael Henderson ’79 – will share their journeys and successful research strategies used to discover their African-American and African-Caribbean heritage during the 2014 Miami Book Fair International at Miami-Dade College Nov. 22. Email marvinellis1@hotmail.com for details.


Ralph Adamo (English), who just published his seventh collection of poems Ever: Poems 2000-2014, was interviewed by both The Uptown Messenger and on WWNO’s The Reading Life.

Dr. Amy Bellone-Hite (sociology) wrote a book review of Vincanne Adam’s Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith:  New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina the for the journal Anthropos.

Dr. Regina Benjamin ’79 (NOLA.com/Times-Picayune Endowed Chair in Public Health Services) has been named to the Ascension Health Board of Directors. The nation's largest Catholic and non-profit health system, Ascension Health’s mission-focused health ministries provided $1.3 billionhealth care and community benefits last year. She also delivered two addresses during the University of West Alabama’s Project Engage STEM.

Bart Everson (CAT) is one of three New Orleans designated as “2014 Urban Heroes” by Urban Conservancy, which cited his legacy project – Friends of Lafitte Corridor – and other community outreach. He will be honored at the organization’s annual Gala in November.

Emily London Jones ’80 (Director, Financial Aid) was honored for 30 years of service in the profession by the Louisiana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (LASFAA).

Kenneth Kirk & Dennis Sigur ’97 (Information Technology Center) made presentations on “Data Exchange”, “Tracking Attendance Electronically”, and “Data Collection Using Surveys & Population Selections” at the 2014 Louisiana Banner User Group Annual Conference.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English), gave a talk on "Issa and the Meaning of Animals," at the Haiku Society of America conference in New York City NY.

Dr. Wyndolyn Ludwikowski (psychology) presented a poster, “The Impact of an Ability Measure in Predicting Vocational Outcomes,” at the 122nd Annual American Psychological Convention in Washington DC.

Joseph Moses (athletics) was voted GCAC Coach of the Year for the ninth consecutive time (men’s) and for the sixth straight season – and eighth time overall – (women's) after both XU squads won their respective ninth straight conference team titles.

Denise Spellman (Financial Aid) was awarded the 2014 Lifetime achievement award from the La. Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (LASFAA) and honored for her 30 years of service in the profession.

At the annual convention of the South Central Modern Language Association in Austin TX, Dr. Biljana Obradovic (English) presented the paper, "War Trauma in the Recent Poetry of Nenad Milosevic"; Dr. Nicole Greene (English) represented Xavier Review Press at the book exhibition; Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) presented, " From Holograph to Print: Forces of Nature on Paper in Selected Literary Archives" and read from his story "Leonce"; and  English alumna Michelle Pichon ‘93 presented the paper "Roots on My Sleeve" addressing native Americaness from mixed heritage perspectives.

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