Volume 45 No. 4
April 2014









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capital idea
Capital Idea
another day
Just Another Day ...
we are xavier
We Are Xavier
community service
Community Service

Keeping Tradition Alive

day at the races
Day at the Races

1834 Summer Sessions
at Bargain Prices

The traditional slate of daytime and evening classes at Xavier is giving way to even more and better this summer as the university has added a significant number of online/hybrid courses to the mix.

No less than 50 online/hybrid degree-credit courses will be available this summer, including offerings in English, business, communications, languages, mathematics, philosophy, and political sciences. The Graduate school is also offering a number of summer courses.

All courses are available to both Xavier and non-Xavier college students, What’s more, all classes are being offered starting at $200 per credit hour.

This year’s summer schedule boasts two five-week sessions (Summer Session I and II) with courses offered in more than 20 different disciplines, and another eight-week session with offerings in four areas. The complete list of courses is available HERE.

Registration for Session I and II are Mary 26 and June 27, respectively. Registration for Session III is June 6. For more info, contact the Registrar’s Office at 520-7583 or visit HERE.

1834 Basketball Wrapup

MEN: The Gold Rush's season ended with a 61-52 loss Hope International in first round of the NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in Kansas City MO.

The men, won won the regular season conference (GCAC) title for the third straight year, finished at 23-9 (10-2 GCAC).

The Gold Nuggets' season ended in the second round of the NAIA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament in Frankfort KY with a 59-55 loss to Campbellsville KY.

The women, who won their fourth GCAC tournament title in five years, finished 24-10 (10-2 GCAC).

1834 Applications for XU Summer Programs

Applications for pre-college summer programs are being accepted now, and the University is encouraging the community to enroll students soon, expecting the programs to be filled to capacity. Space is limited. New this year is an online, common application that should make applying easier and convenient.

Visit HERE for more info or to register.

1834 XU to Host 2014
Festival of Scholars

Xavier will host its Eleventh Annual Festival of Scholars Thursday-Friday, April 10-11.

Sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR), with grant funding from Title III, Part B and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the yearly event showcases student research developed during the academic year.

This year’s Festival features 51 posters, nine individual presentations, and nine panel discussions highlighting student scholarship in the sciences, communication, education, humanities, and art.  Currently scheduled are poster presentations in biology, computer science, chemistry, political science, history, art, English and theology.
Free and open to the public, the Festival begins with a free pizza party at noon Thursday and continues until Friday at 4:00 p.m. On both days, student researchers from disciplines across the curriculum will present their scholarship during poster presentations, panel discussions, and individual presentations.

For a full list of 2014 presentations or for more information about CUR, please visit HERE or call (504) 520-5066.


XU Joins Generation Study Abroad Group

Xavier has joined a group of 150 higher education institutions in pledging to significantly increase the number of students who study abroad.

“Generation Study Abroad,” officially launched by the Institute of International Education (IIE) earlier this month, is designed to bring together leaders in education, business and governments who have committed to specific, measureable actions to provide more American students the opportunity to graduate from college with an international education experience

As part of its participation in the initiative, Xavier’s Center for Intercultural and International Programs along with its Faculty Global Awareness Committee established the following commitments: increasing study abroad scholarships, enhancing students support at all stages of the study abroad process, promoting multiple opportunities for students to study abroad by discipline, and creating faculty-led programs.

“Under the Generation Study Abroad Initiative, we have pledged to increase the annual number of Xavier students who study abroad to ten percent by the end of the decade,” said Dr. Torian L. Lee, Director the XU Center for Intercultural and International Programs (CIIP).

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” he said, echoing the sentiment of Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”
To date more than 150 higher education institutions from 41 U.S. states have already signed the Generation Study Abroad Commitment, including large state and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions.

For more info on the initiative, visit HERE.


XU Team Ready for
All-Star Challenge

A XU Team will add to the brainpower from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be on display at the 25th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament April 12-16 in Torrance CA.

Competing for XULA will be Jacqueline Baidoo of Takoradi, Ghana, McKenzie Marie Moses of Kansas City, MO, Alayna Joshalynn Robinson of Atlanta, GA and Haley Nicole Severin of New Orleans, LA will represent Xavier University. Darryl Keller, Jr. will coach the team.

For more details visit HERE.



Award-winning actor/director/producer Blair Underwood will deliver the commencement address at Xavier’s 87th annual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 a.m. in the Convocation Center.
Underwood, who will address more than 550 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families, will also be awarded an honorary degree at the commencement, along with retiring Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen and New Orleans educator, activist and community leader, Sybil Haydel Morial ‘52.

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 09), at 6:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center.
- more -


Applications are now being accepted for admission into The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s (TCSPP) new Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Program at Xavier.

The opening of applications for the five-year program - the only Clinical Psy.D. Program offered in the City of New Orleans as well as the first of its kind to be offered in the state of Louisiana - follows formal approval by both the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accrediting agency.

The unique program opens the door to well-qualified candidates from Xavier and other local universities, as well as professionals already in the field, who seek clinical psychology graduate studies..
 - more -


Mary Keller Zervigon, Chair of the Keller Family Foundation and a Trustee of the RosaMary Foundation, has been named to a new three-year term on the Xavier Board of Trustees.

Zervigon has served on the University governing board previously, from 1999 to 2004 and from 2006 to 2012, most recently as chair. - more -


Senior Vice President for Administration Ralph Johnson has announced the appointment of Jason Horn as the new Athletics Director (AD) at Xavier. He joined the athletics staff March 31.

Horn comes to Xavier from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) in Detroit MI, where he has served as Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs since 2011, overseeing the areas of event management, marketing, licensing, development, fundraising, ticket sales, social media, branding, and media relations, as well as supervising several sports.

During his tenure he also served as UDM interim Director of Athletics for more than seven months.
- more -


Students / Alumni / FacultyStaff


Brandan Dotson, a senior chemistry/premed major from Richmond CA (Lowell High School), has been accepted into medical school at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), Howard University, Meharry College, and SUNY-Downstate.

Brea Edwards, a junior chemistry major from Germantown TN (St. Agnes Academy) has been accepted into the Research Scholars (STaRS) program this summer at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Rasheed Gilmer, a senior philosophy major from Lowry GA (Sammamish High School), has been accepted into law school at the University of Notre Dame.

Brehana Hawkins, a senior biology/premed major from Baton Rouge LA (University High School), has been accepted into the Southern College of Optometry.

Kyriante' Henry, a junior psychology/premed major from New Orleans (Xavier Prep), has been into the Early Acceptance Program for entry in 2015 at the Tulane University Medical School. She has also been accepted into the 2014 SMART Program at the Baylor College of Medicine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Jessica Johnson, a senior biology/premed major from Bossier City LA (Airline High School), has been accepted into the LSU-Shreveport School of Medicine.
Where Are They Now? Alumni Sisters Make Medical Dynamic Duo

Sisters Tamara Hughes ‘05 and Tara Hughes ‘07 have always been close. Just two years apart in age, the two usually had similar likes and interests growing up. They never imagined that when they grew up, they would choose complimentary career paths, work together and eventually plan to go into business together.

They both work at Georgia Regents University Hospital in Augusta GA – Tamara, 30, in her third year of residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Tara, 28, a Registered Diagnostic Sonographer, specializing in high risk Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“They have always been close, being the youngest girls in the family,” said their father, Howard Hughes. “They managed to end up working together.” - more -

medical duo
Tara and Tamara

commencement cont

- Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood has distinguished himself as an award-winning actor/director/producer who continues to showcase his multitude of talents in the world of film, television, theatre and literature.

Underwood, whose most recent film was a Lifetime production based on the Tony-award winning play, “A Trip to Bountiful”, first burst into the national spotlight in the 1980’s with his confident and passionate portrayal of lawyer Jonathan Rollins in the NBC hit series “L.A. Law”, a role that earned him the first of his two Golden Globe nominations.

The next decade saw him singled out by TV Guide as one of “The Top Stars of the 90s”, and land a major role in CBS’ top-rated 1998 dramatic miniseries, “Mama Flora’s Family,” a performance which earned him the first of 13 NAACP Image Awards nominations, as well as the first of his six wins.

In 2000, People magazine named him one of its “50 Most Beautiful People” and in 2004 named him one of the “Sexiest Men Alive.”

Some of his more memorable cable and television movies include:  HBO’s groundbreaking drama “In Treatment”; as well as NBC's "Murder in Mississippi"; HBO’s “Soul of the Game” and Sex & the City”; Steven Bochco's "City of Angels"; and TNT’s award-winning “Heat Wave”.

His theater credits include his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of Stanley in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” – which earned him a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination.

Underwood made his feature directorial debut with the independent drama “Bridge to Nowhere.” Additionally, he produced the TLC series “Million Dollar Christmas”, and served as director, executive producer, writer and star of the dramatic short “The Second Coming”.

His first book, “Before I Got Here”, a collection of stories and anecdotes from parents that speak to the existence of a child’s soul prior to birth, was a national bestseller, while the four detective novels he has co-authored have earned both critical and reader acclaim.

In 2009, Underwood won a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word for former Vice President Al Gore’s album “An Inconvenient Truth” (with co-readers Beau Bridges & Cynthia Nixon). He also portrayed Jesus in the audio book “The Bible Experience”, which since its release in October 2006, it has become the No. 1 selling audio Bible in history.

Underwood is involved in numerous charitable organizations. His dedicated support of The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) won him the 1993 Humanitarian Award, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of MDA. In 2003, Underwood, along with Ashley Judd, served as the spokesperson for YouthAIDS.

Underwood is also co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a nonprofit organization working in the U.S. and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, assist children orphaned by the disease, advance human and civil rights, educate and empower youth, and build bonds between our nations through arts, culture, and our shared pursuit of social justice.

In 2009, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the United States’ largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider, announced the grand opening of their first AIDS treatment center in Washington DC – and the facility was named after Underwood in recognition of his longtime advocacy.

- Dr. Scott Cowen

Dr. Scott Cowen, Tulane University’s 14th President, is set to retire in July 2014 after 16 years at the helm. He will leave behind a thriving university community and a remarkable legacy.

During his tenure, Tulane more than quadrupled its undergraduate applications while experiencing all-time highs in student quality. In addition, the university more than doubled its level of total private giving and received a record level of research awards, leading to the implementation of a number of innovative academic, research, and community outreach initiatives.

The consummate fundraiser, Cowen successfully led the “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane” campaign which exceeded its $700 million goal, making it the largest university fundraising effort in the history of Louisiana.

Cowen also led Tulane through the most trying period of its history in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Under his leadership, a sweeping renewal plan not only strengthened and focused the university’s academic mission, but strategically addressed its operations in the post-Katrina era.

His response to Katrina was not limited to Tulane. Cowen was an integral figure on the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, leading a committee which reformed and rebuilt the city’s failing public school system. He also served as a commissioner of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, and was co-founder of the Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors program, a group of New Orleans civic leaders who spread the message nationwide that post-Katrina New Orleans was an economically viable, livable city with a recovery plan in progress.

The recipient of several national awards and honorary degrees, Cowen was named one of the nation’s Top 10 Best College Presidents by TIME magazine and was one of only four university leaders nationwide to receive the 2009 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award. He is also a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies.

Locally, he has received The Times-Picayune’s Loving Cup, and was also recognized by the New Orleans CityBusiness and Gambit newspapers as “A Driving Force in New Orleans” and “New Orleanian of the Year”, respectively.

Cowen has held leadership positions in numerous national academic and professional associations, including the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the NCAA, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Cowen’s areas of scholarship and teaching focus on strategic financial management systems, corporate governance and leadership. He has consulted with dozens of companies, from startups to Fortune 100 companies and is currently a board member of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. and Forest City Enterprises.

Cowen holds both a master’s and doctoral degree from The George Washington University in the fields of finance and management. He and his wife, Marjorie, have four adult children and four grandchildren.

- Sybil Haydel Morial

Sybil Haydel Morial, a beloved educator, activist and community leader, is a New Orleans treasure.

The former First Lady of New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana administrator began a lifetime of involvement in human and civil rights dating back to the 1950s, when she became an active member of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the League of Women Voters.

She was a founder of the Louisiana League of Good Government, a non-partisan, interracial women's organization devoted to civil liberties and full participation in government for all Louisiana citizens.

Both her late husband and her son served as mayor of New Orleans. During their terms, Mrs. Morial worked to improve the quality of education and healthcare for minorities. She also served as executive producer of A House Divided, a highly acclaimed documentary about the desegregation of New Orleans.

At Xavier, she served in a variety of administrative roles for more than 20 years, including Associate Dean of the Drexel Center for Extended Learning, Vice President for Public Affairs, and Vice President for External Affairs. She retired in 2005.

Morial's other civic affiliations include the Metropolitan Area Committee, the United Fund, the New Orleans Council of Arts for Children and the Amistad Research Center. Her community involvement has merited many awards, including the Torch of Liberty Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, the Whitney M. Young Brotherhood Award and the National Council of Jewish Women's Hannah Solomon Award.

In 2011 she was presented the first ever Outstanding Mom of New Orleans award by Feeding Dreams, the General Mills company’s platform for celebrating the hero in African American women and the catalyst for its Feeding Dreams Get Together initiative, a grassroots program that provides intimate forums in communities across the country to discuss efforts to positively impact health and education in African American communities.

She served on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana Board for 14 years. She is also a past Board Chairwoman of HMO Louisiana, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross.

A 1952 Xavier graduate, Morial also holds a master's degree from Boston University. She has five children.

psy.d. program cont

Applications for the program’s Fall 2014 semester are currently being accepted on the TCSPP website HERE.

Hosted at Xavier, the TCSPP Doctor of Clinical Psychology Program offers 106 credit hours of rigorous training in culturally competent service provision while exposing students to a variety of professional training opportunities. It offers the highest degree for practitioners in the field who wish to apply their knowledge as practicing clinicians. Students will experience extensive clinical training with community partners such as clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, and governmental agencies.

Students will complete foundational coursework in four intervention orientations including: Cognitive Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Humanistic Existential, and Systems and have the opportunity to tailor their coursework with focused study to meet individual educational and professional goals.
A unique feature of this program is the Research Clerkship model through which students are paired with core faculty to receive mentorship in research and scholarship, and obtain important support and preparation for their dissertation. All students complete three years of practicum experiences, allowing them to be well prepared for internship placement.
Graduates of the Psy.D. program at Xavier will be equipped with expert knowledge in theory, research, and practice in clinical psychology, preparing them to serve as practitioners in clinical settings. Upon completion of the program and following additional post-graduate study, graduates will be prepared to sit for the state licensing exam administered by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, as well as the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, the national psychology licensing exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

The need for mental health service providers in New Orleans is well-documented following Hurricane Katrina. Many mental health professionals left the region after the storm, and the City of New Orleans is slowly rebuilding its mental health infrastructure. The training of culturally competent practitioners who intend to practice locally is critical to meeting the needs of those with mental health and behavioral health issues.
“It is no secret that the mental health service needs in this region, as well as throughout this country, are great,” said Xavier University President Dr. Norman C. Francis, “This doctoral degree program will address some of those needs by providing new, young professionals with the finest undergraduate and graduate psychology training experience possible right here in New Orleans.”

“We are excited by the initial response from prospective students who are eager to continue their doctoral studies in the clinical psychology field,” stated TCSPP’s National President Dr. Nealon-Woods. “The Chicago School’s groundbreaking approach to the training and practice of psychology through its Engaged-Profession model will enable practitioners in the field to begin the work at hand of rebuilding the mental health programs of the City and its regional areas. We are excited to bring this much-needed Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology to New Orleans.”

“We foresee this collaboration as being one of mutual benefit to both Xavier and The Chicago School of Psychology, as well as to our respective communities,” he added, noting that TCSPP, the nation’s  leading graduate institution devoted to psychology and the fields of behavioral and health sciences,  is already very familiar with the quality of Xavier students, having accepted nine XU graduates in the past three years into its graduate programs on its Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles campuses.

zervigon cont

Currently she also serves as chair of the Advocates for Science and Mathematics Education in New Orleans and of the New Orleans Board of Liquidation, City Debt from 1992 to the present. She previously held the position of Chairman of the Louisiana Tax Commission.

Zervigon received her B.A. degree from Loyola University and her J.D. from the Loyola School of Law.

horn cont

“I am elated that Mr. Horn will be joining the Xavier community,” said Johnson. “His professional accomplishments are remarkable and he has extensive and successful experience in athletics operations. He will be a tremendous asset as we position all aspects of the Xavier athletics program for enhanced success.”

Horn replaces Xavier’s retired AD Dennis Cousin, taking over an athletics program that has achieved unparalleled success competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). During the past 10 years Xavier teams have won 50 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference or NAIA unaffiliated group championships and qualified 37 times for NAIA National Championships in basketball, cross country, tennis, and volleyball. During that same stretch, 125 of 130 senior student-athletes under the current head coaches received degrees from Xavier or are still enrolled.

XU facilities also received a major upgrade last year with the completion of the XU Tennis Center and the new Convocation Center, which hosts all of the University’s intercollegiate basketball and volleyball games.

Horn’s professional career spans nearly 20 years in the field of marketing and promotions, ticketing and sales, holding positions with Northwestern State University, the University of Central Florida, Bowling Green State University, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Development League, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Conference USA, and the 1996 and 2002 Olympic Games.
A University of Michigan (UM) graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Horn started his career as a UM Basketball Operations Assistant. He was born and raised in the Detroit MI, graduating from Southfield Lathrup Senior High School. He is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators.

Erika McClain, a senior chemistry major from Jacksonville FL (Wolfson High School), has been accepted into the 2014 France/Belgium iREU program sponsored by LSU and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). She will conduct research at the Institute Pasteur de Lille for at least 12 weeks this summer. The program includes travel, housing, and monthly stipend.

Jade Romain, a senior speech pathology major from Los Angeles CA (St. Mary’s Academy), has been accepted into the Master of Science degree program in the biobehavorial sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Desmond Stewart, a senior biochemistry major from Louisville KY (DuPont High School), has been accepted into the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine.

Treyc Terry, a junior biology/premed major from Alexandria LA (Peabody Magnet), has been accepted to Tulane University School of Medicine via the Early Acceptance Program for entry in 2015.

Lauree Thomas, a senior chemistry/premed major from Laurel MS (Laurel High School), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Mississippi.

Adia Wallace, a senior philosophy major from Jackson MS (Jim Hill High School), has been accepted into the Master of Education Program in Technology, Innovation and Education at Harvard University, a prestigious curriculum which has traditionally accepted less than 10 percent of its applicants. She has also received an acceptance from the University of Virginia’s Instructional Technology – Master of Education program.

Charles Waller, a senior psychology major from Taylorsville MD (Bassfield High School), has been accepted into the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Doctor of Psychology program.

Kendale Watson, a freshman biology/premed major from Morgan City LA (Morgan City High), has been accepted into SMDEP Summer Medical and Dental Educational Programs at UCLA, Columbia University, and Howard University. 

Three Gold Rush student-athletes – Lucas Martin-Julien, Sydney Coleman, and Morris Wright – were named to the 2013-14 All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Team. Visit HERE for details.

Two Gold Nugget student-athletes – Whitney Gathright and Paige Gauthier – were named to the 2013-14 All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Team. Visit HERE for more details.


Nnanna Alozie ’11 has been accepted into medical school at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Merije Chukumerije ’10, newly minted MD via the New York Medical College, will serve his residency in internal medicine at the University of Southern California.

Dr. L'Issa L. Gates '03, a pediatrician and partner at Westside Clinics, AMC in Marrero LA has been named a Healthcare Hero by New Orleans City Business Magazine.

Leneshia Haynes ’13 has been accepted into the Creighton University School of Dentistry.

Ayana Johnson ’09 has been accepted into the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Christina Patterson ’13 has been accepted into the biomedical sciences program at William Carey University and Mississippi College.

Steve Prince ’91, artist in resident at Allegheny College, completed a commissioned artwork, “Make Me Over”, for Grand Rapids Christian High School in Grand Rapids, MI.

Allissa Hosten Richardson '03
, a professor at Bowie State University, has been named a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University's prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism, where she will continue to develop an open online course to teach people how to effectively report the news using mobile devices.

Kristin Signater ’12 has been accepted into medical school at Morehouse College.

Cameron Williams ’10 has been accepted into dental school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Case-Western Reserve University, the University of Detroit-Mercy, Georgia Regents University, and Meharry College.


Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) has a chapter "Kate Chopin's The Awakening and her Louisiana Fiction as Travel Literature" in Critical Insights: The Awakening (Salem Press). He also made presentations to Xavier alumna Joi Martin's senior English classes at West St. John High School in Edgard LA.

Joseph K. Byrd
(Vice President for Student Services) was keynote speaker for the Black History Program for the Department of Army, New Orleans District, Corps of Engineers.

Dr. Jeremy Cohen (psychology) gave a research lecture at the Tulane Neuroscience Program Seminar Series covering his research concerning anatomy of human insular cortex and its involvement in the development of anxiety disorders in genetic developmental disorders. 

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American & Diaspora Studies/English) presented a paper, “African Americans and Land-Grant Institutions: Transcending the Shadows of Reconstruction”, at the Louisiana Reconstruction Conference held in New Orleans.

Dannton Jackson
(athletics) was selected GCAC men's basketball Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season after leading the Gold Rush to a 22-7 regular season record and winning the conference regular-season title for a school-record third straight year. He is the winningest men's coach in XU history, compiling a 248-105 record in 11 years.

Dr. Biljana Obradovic
(English) published a review of Danica Vukicevic's book of poems, Visoki Fabricki Dimnjaci (High Smokestacks), in the March/April 2014 issue of World Literature Today.

Blake Smith ’12
(Career Advancement) has been accepted into the Graduate Theological Studies Program at Saint Louis University.

Michele Woods
(Library) attended the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia PA as a result of being selected as Copyright Clearance Center's 2014 ALA Midwinter Academic Librarian Scholarship Recipient.

medical duo cont

The two sisters have shared many things, especially their stellar academic performance, in both high school and college. They both attended Princeton High School, and then Xavier for their undergraduate work.

Academic powerhouses in high school, they continued to excel on the college level, majoring in biology/premed and chemistry/premed. Both were members of several honor societies (including Alpha Epsilon National Premedical Honor Society) and were regulars on the Dean’s List.

After college, both girls pursued rigorous training programs, but in preparation for different roles in obstetrics and gynecology. Tara headed to Newark OH, where she received her training as a sonographer (or ultrasound technician). One of only 12 students accepted into Central Ohio Technical College that year, she went on to earn an associate degree in Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Tamara  meanwhile traveled to Washington DC to attend medical school at Howard University College of Medicine, where she won the Outstanding Service and Leadership Award, and the Howard University Student Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology Award.

After medical school Tamara began her residency at Georgia Regents University Hospital in Augusta GA. She was named Intern of the Year for 2011-2012, an honor given to a first year resident who displays excellence in OB/GYN specialty, test scores on the OB/GYN exam and the votes of the OB/GYN faculty.

“I knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was about five or six years old,” Tamara said. “I always had a feeling I was going to be a doctor and deliver babies. There was a show that was on in 1995 called `A Baby Story,’ that followed mothers during their pregnancy through delivery. I watched it every day. I loved that show."

When Tara was close to graduating from her two-year program in sonography, she and Tamara began to talk about where they would look for jobs. As Tamara neared the end of her first year of residency, she heard about a job opening for a sonographer at her hospital.

“When she was in school in Newark, I always wanted her to come down here,” Tamara said. “I just happened to hear one of the people in the ultrasound department say she was leaving. I told Tara to apply then, in June 2012. They interviewed her and really liked her.”

Both Tamara and Tara say they love living in the same city again, and working together. “We get a chance to interact during the day,’ Tamara said. “Sometimes my patients are scanned by her. The ultrasound department is just around the corner from the OB/GYN Office at the hospital.”

“We both love our jobs,” Tara said. “I like to bop down the hall and see what Tamara is doing when she is in clinic, and she does the same with me. Sometimes we are mistaken for each other.”

Tamara’s four-year residency will be over July 2015. She plans to join an established OB/GYN group practice. When she does go into practice herself, she plans to hire Tara as an ultrasound operator.

“Because sonograms are so much a part of each pregnancy, many obstetricians buy or lease ultrasound machines and have sonographers on staff,” Tamara said. “It would be great for us to build a practice together.”

Tara agrees. Although she performs many other diagnostic scans as a part of her job, her favorite patients are mothers-to-be.

“I like seeing the pregnant patients,” Tara said. “You only receive two ultrasounds during a normal pregnancy – at the beginning to confirm your baby’s due date, and then at 20 weeks to check the baby’s development. It’s so much fun to share that moment when the mom first sees her baby!”

But no one is happier than their own dad. “I’m really proud of my daughters, and the wonderful things they are doing with their lives,” he said. “The fact they are working together makes it even more special.”

- Article courtesy of Linda Wright, Wright Communications
- Photo courtesy Tamara and Tara Wright

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