Volume 40 No. 08
August 09
College of Pharmacy Accreditation Reaffirmed The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) announced in July that it has reaffirmed the accreditation of the Xavier College of Pharmacy ... [ more ]
Xavier Ranks High in
Diverse Issues Report
A special report by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine once again provides documentation of Xavier's success in a number of academic disciplines  ... [ more ]
Top Students Designated Rousseve Scholars Thirty-six upperclassmen have been named Rousseve Scholars for the 2009-10 school year  ... [ more ]
Alumna Ready to Become
America's Family Physician
It seems apropos that the nation’s leading producer of African American graduates for medical schools should spawn what the New York Times has called “the nation’s top doctor.”  ... [ more ]

1834 XU Included in Fiske Guide to Colleges

Xavier is among the nation’s “best and most interesting colleges and universities” according to the 2010 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

The annual guide, published by Edward Fiske, education editor for the New York Times newspaper for 17 years, highlights just 330 of the more than 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States.

Schools are assessed in terms of academics, social life and overall quality of life.

1834 New Pharmacy Admissions Standards

The College of Pharmacy has revised its minimum requirements and deadline(s) for applicants applying for admission into the Pharm.D program.

The new requirements for consideration for admission include a pre-pharmacy minimum 2.75 grade point average (GPA) and a math/science minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants must also submit a score from the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).  

Prospective students also face an earlier deadline for applications and submission of supporting documents, which have been moved up to Oct. 15, 2009, and Dec.1, 2009, respectively. There is a five-year limit on grades to transfer.

For more info contact the COP Office of Student Affairs at 504-520-5397.

1834 Famed Marching 100
Band Master Dies

The Xavier family joins the larger New Orleans community in mourning the passing of Edwin Harrell Hampton '52, the legendary music director and band master of St. Augustine High School for more than half a century.


Hampton devoted his entire professional life to St. Augustine, its students and its music program. Under his leadership the "Marching 100" became a Mardi Gras favorite after becoming the first high school band from a Black school ever invited to march in the mainstream parades. The band went on to achieve national fame, performing before eight U.S. presidents and Pope John Paul II as well as several NFL Super Bowls, the Rose Bowl and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

1834 UNCF Scholarship
Opportunies Online

XU students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher and demonstrated financial need (as confirmed on the FAFSA) are encouraged to complete a United Negro College Fund (UNCF) general scholarship application.

Filling out an application tags students as searching for scholarship assistance and matches them with many of the specific programs administered by UNCF. The online application is available HERE.

1834 Gstohl Faculty Liaison for Service- Learning

Dr. Mark Gstohl, associate professor of theology, has been named Service-Learning Faculty in Residence. 

Housed in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, he will work in partnership with the Center for Student Leadership and Service to provide services to faculty incorporating the pedagogy of service-learning into the curriculum and in promoting civic engagement through meaningful community

1834 Join the XU Alumni
Online Community!

Want to make sure you’re on the mail and e-mail lists to get the latest news and info about your alma mater? Want to stay in touch with your former classmates and other Xavierites, and receive up-to-date info on alumni and class events?  

Then you’ll want to join the Alumni Online Community, a password-protected website available only to registered members. Some features of the community are: individual profile pages, an alumni directory, online event registration, reunion class notes, e-mail forwarding for life, a career directory and chapter pages. 

It’s easy to join, just visit HERE.

1834 Career Assistance
Offered to Alumni

Alumni Affairs and Career Services have formed a partnership designed to assist alumni currently in the job search process.

Whether you are a recent graduate or seeking a career change after many years, check out XU’s new on-line job bank and web-based recruiting system, Gold Rush Express.[username: your email address; password: xavier (all lowercase letters)]

1834 Houston Alumni Set Meet & Greet Events

The Houston Alumni Chapter invites all metro area Xavierites to its annual Meet & Greet Weekend August 7-9.

Scheduled events include a mixer, bowling night and potluck dinner – the latter of which will welcome incoming freshmen into the Xavier family. 

For more info visit HERE.

1834 Xavier in the News

Founder of St. Aug
'Marching 100' Dies

- Edwin Hampton ['52]
Tammany Educator Takes
on a New Challenge

- Byron Williams '80
2New York Times [editorial]
The Nation’s ‘Top Doctor’
1NPR News [audio] Perservering Doctor Picked
For Surgeon General
2Miami Herald
Mementos from the Past
- Marvin Ellis '76
Center's Opening Includes
Tips from Leah Chase
XU Finishes Highest of Area Schools in GCAC Sports Cup


The City of New Orleans patiently waits in the background as the Qatar Pavilion expansion of the College of Pharmacy begins to take shape with workers systematically building up the levels floor-by-floor. Target date for completion is Spring 2010.

photo by Irving Johnson III



The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) announced in July that it has reaffirmed the accreditation of the Xavier College of Pharmacy.

This decision was made at the June ACPE Board meeting and was based on findings from an evaluation team that visited the campus in March 2009. The Accreditation Action and Recommendations Report ensuing from the Board meeting concluded that the XU College of Pharmacy meets all 30 ACPE professional standards.

“We remain confident in the quality of our pharmacy program and are proud that this professional assessment confirms the value of Xavier’s College of Pharmacy,” said Dr. Norman C. Francis, president. 

Xavier continues to be one of the top producers of African American pharmacists in the nation on an annual basis. Admission to its College of Pharmacy is highly competitive with more than 1,000 annual applications to be among the 165 students admitted for each first-year class. Of the 524 students who graduated from Xavier this past spring, 150 of them earned the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

“The reaffirmation of our ACPE accreditation is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the Pharmacy faculty, students, and staff,” said Dr. Loren J. Blanchard, XU senior vice president for academic affairs at Xavier. “It is vital for the Xavier name to be synonymous with excellence and high academic standards. This endorsement from ACPE contributes to that assurance.”

Underscoring the vitality of Xavier’s pharmacy program is the construction of a new, $30-million Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion supported by a major grant through the Qatar Katrina Fund in Xavier’s fundraising campaign for this facility. The new Pavilion slated for spring 2010 occupancy will provide an additional 65,000 square feet to the existing College of Pharmacy including new classrooms, student spaces, offices, laboratories, and a vivarium.


A special report by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine once again provides documentation of Xavier's success in a number of academic disciplines.

In its annual "Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers" issue (June 2009), the magazine shows XU once again ranking first in the nation in the number of African American students earning baccalaureate degrees in two areas – the biological and biomedical sciences, as well as the physical sciences.

Xavier is comfortably ahead of the pack in both categories: graduating 120 students in the biological and biomedical sciences – nearly 20 percent more than that of second-place Howard University – and another 41 students in the physical sciences – twice that of runner-up Jackson State University. Xavier also places 41st and 44th in awarding undergraduate degrees to African Americans in history and psychology, respectively.

The Diverse Issues report is based on a review of the 2007-2008 preliminary data distributed by the U.S. Department of Education, which includes the effect of Hurricane Katrina (e.g. Xavier’s smaller total enrollment).

The magazine has reported on degrees conferred since 1992, tracking trends in bachelor degree conferrals to African American and other minority students. The complete report can be viewed at HERE


A 2008 economic impact study shows that Xavier University of Louisiana is a significant contributor to the metropolitan area's economy.

According to the study, Xavier generates more than $320-million in economic activities, and about $115.6-million of that is household earnings in the Greater New Orleans Region. The nation’s only Historically Black & Catholic university is one of the area’s leading employers, and its spending helps to provide more than 4,200 jobs in Orleans Parish.

According to Dr. Ronald Durnford, XU vice president for planning and institutional research, approximately $158.6-million of the total economic activity generated is due to spending by students and visitors from out of state, plus spending by the University on those students.

"The unique economic contribution of Xavier is that we bring millions of dollars into the City and the state unlike the typical business that just re-circulates dollars within the State," said Gene D’Amour, senior vice president for resource development at Xavier.

The study was conducted by Frederick Rodgers, a respected economist at Medaille College in New York, who employed the Regional Input-Output Modeling System to estimate Xavier’s economic impact on the region.

Xavier is located in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). That area includes the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard. St Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany.  While Xavier draws students from outside the New Orleans area, many students served by the University live within the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner MSA.


Thirty-six upperclassmen have been named Rousseve Scholars for the 2009-10 school year.

Students selected for the University’s Rousseve Scholars Program generally represent the top ten students in the sophomore, junior and senior classes based on their academic performance the preceding two semesters. Each recipient receives a full tuition scholarship and a book allowance.

This year’s recipients, grouped by their class, are listed below along with their major field of study and high school-hometown.

Sophomores – Leslie Anderson, biology/pre-med, Edna Karr High-N.O.; Kara Edmond, chemistry/pre-med, Hanahan High-Charleston SC; Kaitlyn Gaddis, speech pathology, South Gwinnett High-Snellville GA; Ashley Matthew, chemistry/pre-med, North Quincy High-Quincy MA; Asia Matthew, chemistry/pre-med, North Quincy High-Quincy MA; Brittany Moore, chemistry/pre-med, Baton Rouge Magnet-Baton Rouge LA; Theresa Nguyen, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Morgan City High-Amelia LA; Valencia Potter, biology/pre-med, Murphy High-Mobile AL; Cherise Steib, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, St. James High-St. James LA; Morgan Weber, chemistry/pre-med, Academy of Our Lady-Harvey LA; Simone Williams, chemistry/pre-med, Pass Christian High-Pass Christian MS; and Michelle Winn, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Natchez High-Natchez MS.

Juniors – Jillana Cavalier, English education, Baton Rouge Magnet-Zachary LA; Lauren Cooper, psychology/pre-med, Bishop Montgomery High-Los Angeles CA; Danielle Foster, biology, Arsenal Tech-Indianapolis IN; Charisse Graham, chemistry/pre-med, Stanton High-Jacksonville FL; Jasmine Holmes, chemistry/pre-med, Ben Franklin High-N.O.; Thy Ho-Pham, chemistry/pre-med, West Jefferson High-Gretna LA; Danielle Jones, biology/pre-med, Episcopal High-Baton Rouge LA; Steve Morgan, biology/pre-med, H.L. Bourgeois High-Gray LA; Hong Nguyen, mass communications, L.W. Higgins High-Westwego LA; Raphaela Romero, English, Helen Cox High-Gretna LA; Daphanie Taylor, biology/pre-med, Garland High-Garland TX; and Kristen Walker, biology/pre-med, Denham Springs-Baton Rouge LA.

Seniors – Ryan Boudreau, P2 pharmacy, Rummel High-Kenner LA; Sandy Dang, P2 pharmacy, Blenk High-Marrerro LA; China Davis, P2 pharmacy, McKinley High-Baton Rouge LA; Courtney Harrell, P2 pharmacy, De La Salle High-N.O.; Uyen Tram Le, P2 pharmacy, Laquinta High-Westminister CA; Jalisa Mathis, mass communications, Belle Chasse High-Belle Chasse LA; Dat Nguyen, P2 pharmacy, Glenbard North High-Carol Stream IL; Luu Ngo, P2 pharmacy, Cornerstone High-San Angelo TX; John Nguyen, P2 pharmacy, John Ehret High-Harvey LA; Thao Nguyen, P2 pharmacy, Ben Franklin High-N.O.; Tuong Pham, P2 pharmacy, Morgan City High-Morgan City LA; and Rebekah Sadaiappen, biology/pre-med, Destrehan High-Destrehan LA.



Ivory Rogers, a freshman English major/political science minor from Star City AR (Star City High School), participated in the month-long Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholar program at the Villanova School of Law in Philadelphia PA. The highly-selective, rigorous program is designed to give pre-law students a glimpse into the first year of law school.


Dr. Shiela Bouldin ’87, has been promoted to an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson MS. A recent graduate of the Association of Professors in Gynecology and Obstetrics’ Academic Scholars Leadership Program, she also serves as the program director of the UMMC Ob/Gyn Residency Program.

Cynthia Brown '07, has been accepted into medical school at American University of Antigua.

Christina Council '06, has been accepted into the University of Medicine and Health Sciences-St. Kitts.

Shelley Dailey '09, has been accepted into medical school at the University of Maryland, Howard University and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson.

Candace Douglas '09, has been accepted into the Howard University College of Medicine.

Toyane Buckman Faulkner ’88, held a book-signing in New Orleans for her most recent literary effort, Ebony Rainbow Daughters.

Tiffany Hill '06, has been accepted into medical school at the American University of the Caribbean.

Brandi Howard '09, has been accepted into the M.S. program in medical sciences at Hampton University.

Dr. Dzifaa Lotsu ’00, has been awarded a Gastroenterology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN.

Ashley Mahone '09, has been accepted into the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Public Health.

Dr. Trimiko Melancon '99, an assistant professor of English, Women's Studies, and Africana Studies at Auburn University, has been awarded the renewal of her prestigious fellowship at Emory University's James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies where she is completing her book manuscript, Unbought and Unbossed: Transgressive Black Women and the Politics of Representation.

Jamela Middleton '08, has been accepted into Meharry Medical College.

Kelechi Okoroha '08, has been accepted into medical school at Meharry College and Howard University.

Chisom Onyilofor '09, has been accepted into the Drexel University School of Public Health.

Alejandro Perkins ‘99, an attorney with the Law Offices of Hammonds & Sills in Baton Rouge LA, has been elected president of the Greater Baton Rouge chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, a state-wide organization of African American attorneys dedicated to community and civic involvement.

Where Are They Now?


It seems apropos that the nation’s leading producer of African American graduates for medical schools should spawn what the New York Times has called “the nation’s top doctor.”

That became a reality in July when President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Regina Benjamin, a family physician and a ’79 Xavier alumna, to be the next U.S. Surgeon General. Her appointment requires Senate confirmation.

Benjamin, founder of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic which serves the poor, uninsured and other underserved patients in Mobile County AL, gained acclaim for her determination to rebuild her clinic after hurricanes George in 1998 and Katrina in 2005 shuttered the building. In 2006, a fire destroyed Benjamin's clinic just after flood damage was repaired.
Dr. Regina Benjamin with President Barack Obama
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- Associated Press Photo
During this period, Benjamin, who often administers medical services to her patients for free, and her staff operated the clinic from a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer.

When people couldn't pay, she didn't charge them," Obama said, calling her a relentless promoter of programs to fight preventable illness. "When the clinic wasn't making money, she didn't take a salary for herself."

Benjamin herself speaks with compelling simplicity about what brought her to her calling and why her family could not be with her in Washington DC for the crowning moment in an already stellar career.

"Public health issues are very personal to me," Benjamin said. "My father died with diabetes and hypertension. My older brother, and only sibling, died at age 44 of HIV-related illness. My mother died of lung cancer, because as a young girl, she wanted to smoke just like her twin brother could. My Uncle Buddy, my mother's twin, who's one of the few surviving black World War II prisoners of war, is at home right now, on oxygen, struggling for each breath because of the years of smoking."

"While I . . . cannot change my family's past," Benjamin said, "I can be a voice in the movement to improve our nation's health care and our nation's health for our future."

“Regina Benjamin has defied the odds for so long, in a way, I knew that this was coming,” said XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis. “This is a tribute to why Xavier University was founded. We were founded by a woman (Katherine Drexel, a nun) who saw a need to have young people in New Orleans get what was denied – a Catholic higher education. She saw the need and filled it. Regina took the message well. She saw the need in Bayou La Batre and filled it.”

“Even in her quiet manner, Regina Benjamin has got strength that few people have,” Francis added. “To be able to work day and night with no idea that she is going to be paid at all and to rebuild after three catastrophes requires a tremendous amount of grit and a commitment to people.”

Benjamin's expertise goes beyond medicine. In addition to her Xavier degree, she received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984 and a master’s in business from Tulane University.

Her medical training was paid for by a federal program, the National Health Service Corps, under which medical students promise to work in areas with few doctors in exchange for free tuition, one year of service for every year of paid tuition.

Benjamin founded her health clinic in 1990. Many of her family practice patients are immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos who make up a third of Bayou La Batre's 2,500 population, and many of them are uninsured.

Her commitment to them has meant making house calls during the rebuilding, mortgaging her house and maxing out her credit cards.

"My priority has always been the needs of my patients," she said. "I decided to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay."

Benjamin said she has worked for years to scrape together the resources needed to keep the clinic doors open and found "it has not been an easy road. ... It should not be this hard for doctors and other health care providers to care for their patients."

She praised Obama "for putting health care reform at the top of your domestic agenda," and said she hopes, if confirmed by the Senate, "to be America's doctor, America's family physician."

"As we work toward a solution to this health care crisis, I promise to communicate directly to the American people, to help guide them through whatever changes come with health care reform. I want to make sure that no one falls through the cracks," she said.
Benjamin was the first Black woman to head the State of Alabama Medical Association and was associate dean for rural health at the University of South Alabama's College of Medicine. In 1997, she received one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon physicians in the United States: election to the elite Institute of Medicine.

And, as if her list of achievements was not long enough, last year Benjamin received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights and a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant."


Four Louisiana meets, including three in a row in September, are on the 2009 Xavier men's and women's cross country schedules.

Joseph Moses, in his fifth season as head coach, said in announcing the schedules that it represents the first time since 2003 that Xavier will compete in four state meets.

The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets, both three-time defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference champions, will open their seasons Sept. 4 in the Southern Miss Invitational at Tatum Park in Hattiesburg, Miss. The women will run 5,000 meters at 6:30 p.m., followed by the men's four-mile race at 7. Xavier will compete at Southern Miss for the third consecutive year, and it will be the first of three Friday meets this season.

The second meet, the Wolfpack Invitational on Sept. 12 at Lafreniere Park in suburban Metairie, La., will be Xavier's only local appearance of the season.

The Rush and Nuggets will stay in-state for the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational at Lafayette on Sept. 18 and the LSU Invitational at Baton Rouge on Sept. 26.

October meets will be the Gulf Coast Stampede at Pensacola, Fla., on the 3rd, the Choctaw Open at Clinton, Miss., on the 17th and the Demon Invitational at Natchitoches, La. on the 23rd. Oct. 10 is an open date.

Xavier will return to Clinton and be the host school for the GCAC Championship on Nov. 7. The GCAC team champions and the five fastest men and five fastest women not on those teams will qualify for the NAIA National Championships at Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 21. It will be the first time that the NAIA runs its national meet on the West Coast.

Kelvin Simmons '06, has been accepted into the Baylor University College of Dentistry.

Oliver Sims, Jr. ‘94, owner/operator of Cougar Sims Productions in Los Angeles CA, has been awarded a 2009 NATPE Diversity Fellowship, a program designed to help people of color make contacts and get work in television and content creation. He recently received a credit as an associate producer on the Warner Brother’s release, Black August.

Courtney Washington '09, has been accepted into medical school at the American University of the Caribbean.

Shirley Porter Washington '54, has published a book, Countee' Cullen's Secret Revealed by Miracle Book, a childhood biography of the legendary African American poet. She is his neice.

Lanita Williams '09, has been accepted into the George Washington Univesity School of Public Health.


Dr. Peter Barrett (biology) presented two posters "Toward a C. elegans-based model of nociception and analgesia" (co-authored with XU students Rebekah Sadaiappen, Allan Augillard, Jazmoné Kelly, and Lynez Preyan) and "Ultraviolet light mutagenesis for integration of extrachromosomal arrays in C. elegans" (co-authored by students Jenna Hill, Shavonn Whiten, Preyan and Sadaiappen) at the 17th International C. elegans Conference held at UCLA.

Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) served as a judge for the Oxford American magazine's Great Southern Literature Poll. He also was appointed to the website committee of the Kate Chopin International Society.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton '85, '98 (pharmacy) made a presentation, "Women in the Pharmacy Academy: Rx for Increased Success in the 21st Century," at the Women in the Academy: Prospects and Promises Roundtable held at St. Anne's College in Oxford, England.

Dr. Leonard Jack, Jr. (pharmacy) has published a comprehensively referenced scholarly-authoritative resource on diabetes in the African-American Community. book, Diabetes in Black America: Public Health and Clinical Solutions To a National Crisis.

Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore (political science) presented a paper, "Gender Inequity in the Academy: Policy Initiatives, Economic Realities and Legal Constraints,"  at the Women in the Academy: Prospects and Promises Roundtable held at St. Anne's College in Oxford, England.

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