Volume 46 No. 12
December 2015





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Rain or Shine
I Feel Like Dancing
royal court
The Royal Court
Black Lives Matter
Research Scholars
Confucius Classroooms
A Tale Worth Telling
They Mean Business

1834 CAT Awarded Grant for Campus Seminar

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development  (CAT) has been awarded a $1.000 grant from Bringing Theory to Practice to support a one-day seminar on “Well-Being & Sustainability at Xavier,” which is planned for Jan. 23, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Mellon Seminar Room (Library 532B).

Call 520-5164 for more info.

1834 English Profs Shine at Conference

Four members of the Department of English made presentations at the 72nd annual South Central Modern Language Association Conference in Nashville TN.

Dr. Violet Harrington Bryan, "Love and Protection in the Works of Four Black Women Poets of New Orleans"; Dr. Nicole P. Greene, "The Somerville and Ross Archives: New York, Dublin, Castletownshend"’ and Dr. Biljana Obradovic, "Roma, Lesbian, and Japanese Serbian Poetic Women's Voices in Serbia"; Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) read his story "Front Lines" and chaired the session on Bibliography and Textual Criticism.

The conference acknowledged the Department as a sustaining member of SCMLA and Bonner as a life member.
alum of the year BEST OF 2015

Mabel Francis Bailey ’63 accepts the 2015 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 Constance Ray Labat '65, Michael Labat Sr.  '63, and National Alumni President James Paschal '57.

photo by Irving Johnson III


Mabel Francis Bailey ’63 was honored as the University’s top alumnus at the 2015 Alumni Homecoming Gala.

She was presented the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award during the event by XU President Dr. C. Reynold Verret, with Labat family members Constance Ray Labat '65 and Michael Labat Sr. '63, and XU National Alumni President James Paschal '57 also on hand.

This year’s Homecoming Gala, the first to be presided over by the University’s new President, drew a record, overflow crowd of alumni and friends. During the event, Class agents for the 12 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $351,644. The Class of 1995 led the way with 109 members contributing $65,372 while the Class of 2000 had the largest number of donors (124).

Bailey, who has been described as a “Xavierite extraordinaire”, was honored for her active involvement in Xavier’s Alumni Chapter in Lake Charles LA and her unwavering support for the fundraising campaigns and student recruitment initiatives of the National Alumni Association.

Affectionately referred to by locals as “Aunt Mabel”, she is a tireless worker on behalf of the Lake Charles Chapter, constantly striving to recruit new members into the fold and encouraging all members to support the Chapter’s nearly dozen annual events.

A generous financial benefactor of Xavier, Bailey is a consistent contributor to the Annual Fund and a Benefit Concert patron since its inception in 2008. She also supported the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel campaign with her own donations, while encouraging her family and friends to do the same. She has served as co-chair of the Silent Auction Committee for the Annual Fundraiser for the past three years.

The actions she took in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 stand as a testimony to her commitment and dedication to the University. Opening her home in Grand Couteau LA  to her brother, Dr. Norman C. Francis and other family members from New Orleans, her home eventually became the central operation site for XU official communications with faculty, staff, employees, students, S.B.S., city officials, government officials and more. She quickly summoned her sons, family members, friends and leaders in the community to assist with technology, supplies and support.

“Mabel Francis Bailey is driven by the values emphasized by her parents and further nurtured by the Holy Family Sisters and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. God is the center of all

1834 Xavier Herald Cited
by Collegiate Press

The Xavier Herald student newspaper was selected as one of the top 25 newspapers in the country – open competition – by the Associated Collegiate Press in its prestigious newspaper Pacemaker Awards division at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Austin TX.

This is the second consecutive year that Xavier's student newspaper has been recognized by the ACP in its "Collegiate Pulitzer" competition.
that she does,” said Kim Reese ‘95, XU Director of Alumni Affairs. “She believes in working hard, using her gifts and talents to do good, serving others with joy in her heart and most importantly, treating others with dignity and respect.”

During the 30 years that she lived in Grand Coteau, she was a member of St. Charles Parish, serving as a Eucharistic Minister and being was involved with the Altar Society, Bazaar Committee and worked with the Sr. Citizens. She is a member of the Knights of St. Peter Claver’s Ladies Auxiliary and the Catholic Daughters of Charity.

She later moved to the Lake Charles area, where she is an active member of St. Theodore Catholic Church.

In addition to her B.S. in home economics education from Xavier, Bailey holds an M.A. in education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana- Lafayette).
Mabel is the mother of four sons with the late John Bobb Jr. Now married to Jack Bailey, she fully embraces his two children as well.

(Part of a Series: A Small Sampling of the Newest Xavierites)
Markell Allen – A Master Plan

Considering his father was a career Navy man, it’s almost ironic that Markell Allen has spent most of his young life trying to become what can be best described as “an army of one”.

Shy and unsure of himself as a young child [traits he no longer exhibits, by the way], Markell partially compensated for his repeated need to readjust to new surroundings – he’s  already lived in no less than five states (Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Texas) – by trying to absorb as much knowledge in as many different areas as possible. His goal was to become a “complete” person.

See full story HERE.


James Vu – Follow Your Heart

Officially listed as a biology/pre-med major, James Vu envisions himself following in the footsteps of his older sister Anh Vu, now in her final year of residency at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport LA, and becoming a physician. Yes, he most definitely wants to become a primary care doctor.

That is, of course, if his particular current fascination with the workings of the eye doesn’t pull him in the direction of optometry.

See full story HERE.


xu proud






Four standouts on the Gold Nugget Volleyball squad – all seniors – were repeat selections on the 2015 All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference team. Claudia Haywood, a psychology major from Memphis TN (Cordova High), and Franziska Pirkl, a mass communication major from Munich (Germany) – were chosen to the first team by the GCAC's seven head coaches, while Taylor Reuther, a P3 pharmacy student from Metairie LA (Dominican High), and Darian Harris, a biology major from Gretna LA (McGehee High),  made the second team. More details HERE.


Dr. Elaine Parker Adams ’61 has received a Child Safety Award from the Texas Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities for spearheading the development and distribution of a brain injury survivor card to be used when brain injury survivors interact with police and first responders, and for developing related state and national educational programs.

Dr. L'Issa Gates '03, a board certified pediatrician and partner at Westside Clinics AMC in Marrero LA has been named a 40 Under 40 Award recipient by Gambit Weekly Magazine.

Chastity James ’06
, a registered nurse, has received her master’s degree of Nursing Science with a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner. She was also recently named as one of the Top 100 Nurses of Louisiana for 2015 and inducted into Sigma Theta Tau the National Honor Society and Nursing.

Patrick Jefferson ’96 has been named the Assistant Vice President for Student Services/Dean of Students at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Dr. Shayla Nesbitt ’97 has completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University School of Medicine and has joined Center for Women's Health and Birth Care in Beaumont TX.

Dr. Ashley Williams Robinson ’06 and husband Keith have opened their first dental practice, The Smile Company Dental Care, LLC, in Maryland Heights, MO.

Dr. Jaszianne Tolbert ‘02, an assistant professor of pediatrics and a Postdoctoral Fellow (Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Innovation) at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, was featured in an ESPN E:60 documentary on one of her young patients. See it HERE.

Faculty / Staff

Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) had two stories published: "Front Lines" in War, Literature, and the Arts and "Cane River 1870" in the New Laurel Review.

Dr. David Lanoue
(RosaMary Professor of English) gave the keynote lecture at the 40th annual Yuki Teikei Society Haiku Retreat in Asilomar CA.

Dr. Joseph LaRochelle (pharmacy) has earned is Board Certification as a Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist.

Sara McCool
(library) has joined the University staff as the new Media Specialist in the Library. She previously worked at Austin Peay State University as the Multimedia Coordinator for Distance Education.
Dr. Biljana D. Obradovic (English) gave a poetry reading at Ladyfest in New Orleans. 

Dennis Sigur ’97 
(ITC) and Terry Schulenburg (Blackboard, Inc.) made presentations on “The Importance of Tracking Attendance Electronically” at the 2015 Mid-South Blackboard User Group Annual Conference at the University of Central Arkansas.

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