Volume 43 No. 08 August 2012









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1834 New Student Orientation Dates

New incoming freshmen and their parents should note that New Student Orientation for the Fall 2012 semester will be held Aug. 17-26.

The ten day program is designed to help you transition into Xavier and our traditions as well as introduce you to the Xavierite Experience! As a Xavierite, you are now part of the esteemed ranks of students and alumni that proudly call Xavier home.

Please keep in mind that Orientation is mandatory for all new students.

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 London-Jones to Head Financial Aid

Emily London-Jones ‘80 has been named the University’s new Director of Student Financial Aid.

London-Jones comes to XU from the University of New Orleans, where she served as Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for the past 12 years. She has been in the financial aid profession for more than 38 years, including 26 years previously at Xavier where she served as Associate Director of Student Financial Aid.

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 Free Computer Classes for Alumni

The Office of Alumni Relations is offering free computer classes covering a variety of areas this summer and fall.

Visit HERE for full details.

1834 Cross Country Opens August 31

Xavier’s six-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) defending men's and women's teams will begin the 2012 cross country season Aug. 31 in the Mississippi College Opener at Clinton MS.

The teams will compete in three other regular season meets – Sept. 8 at the Loyola Wolfpack Invitational in Metairie LA, Sept. 22 at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge LA, and Oct. 6 at the Walt Disney World Classic in Kissimmee FL – before returning to Clinton Oct. 20 or 27 to defend its GCAC titles.

The teams hope to qualify for the NAIA Nationals at Vancouver WA for the second straight year and the fourth time in five years. The GCAC team champions receive automatic bids to the national meet.

1834 Social Reading Sweepstakes

This summer the Read Today, Lead Tomorrow initiative not only wants to know what you're reading; they want you to share what you're reading with other people.

The 2012 Social Reading Sweepstakes is open to all currently enrolled Xavier students (that includes first-time freshmen who will begin in the Fall 2012 term). One winner, selected at random from all valid entries, will receive $500 to pay for his or her textbooks for the fall semester.

Sweepstakes ends Aug. 15. Visit HERE for more info.

1834 Atlanta Alumni
Plan Picnic

The Atlanta Alumni Chapter will hold its annual family picnic and membership drive Aug. 11 from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. in Trammel Crow Park, 4980 Cascade Road in Atlanta.

Food and drink will be provided at no additional cost to alumni paying their 2012-2013 dues of $35. Tickets for guests/friends are $10; children under age six are free. 

RSVP by Aug. 8 to James Paschal at 229-886-2349 or paschal07@comcast.net.

role models


Long-time XU biology professor Sister Grace Mary Flickinger S.B.S., shares a light moment with Dr. Myiesha Taylor ’96 and her three children during a special campus reception for XU-educated doctors attending the annual National Medical Association Convention in New Orleans. Flickinger is holding a collage featuring the Disney Channel’s Doc McStuffins encircled by 131 African American women who are the animated character's real life-counterparts which Taylor sent to Disney to show their appreciation for the character, who has become a symbol of pride and hope for black women in medicine and the daughters they want to inspire.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Thirty-four upperclassmen have been named Rousseve Scholars for the 2012-13 school year.

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


Xavier, in partnership with the New Orleans Public Library, has been awarded a grant to host The Big Read in New Orleans.

Xavier was one of 76 not-for-profits to be recommended for a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2011 and June 2012. The Big Read in New Orleans will focus on A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. Activities will take place Feb. 23 and March 23, 2013. MORE


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

In its annual "Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers" issue (July 2012), the magazine shows XU ranking 15th in the nation in the number of African American students earning professional doctorate degrees (in Xavier’s case, the Pharm.D. degree). It was also ranked 95th in the total number of minority professional doctorates in all disciplines combined with 133.

The Diverse Issues report is based on a review of the 2010-2011 preliminary data distributed by the U.S. Department of Education. The magazine has reported on degrees conferred since 1992, tracking trends in degree conferrals to African American and other minority students.


The 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges has tabbed Xavier as among its “Best Buy Schools” for academics and affordability.

The publication has designated 41 such institutions – 20 public and 21 private – as “Best Buys.” To qualify for the distinction, the colleges and universities must have a four- or five-star academic rating, be in the inexpensive or moderate price category, and have a good quality of student campus life.

Student Profile Rolland's Debut: All-American Athlete, 4.0 GPA

After two semesters in college, Devinn Rolland has already carved a unique niche in Xavier history.

A chemistry/pre-pharmacy major from Harvey LA, she is the first XU freshman student-athlete to be named an All-American. And she's the first from Xavier to record a 4.0 grade-point average for both semesters during an All-American year.

Rolland was named NAIA All-America after finishing sixth May 24 in the long jump – she produced a personal record of 19 feet, 5½ inches on her fifth of six jumps – at the national outdoor track and field championship meet in Marion, Ind. The top eight in each individual event and all four runners from the top eight relay teams received that honor. Nearly three weeks earlier, she completed her second straight XU semester with all A's. MORE

Devinn Rolland
Students / Alumni / FacultyStaff


Two P4 pharmacy students – Breannie Charles of Lafayette LA (Northside High) and Jonn Bailey of New Orleans (Bonnabel High) – were awarded scholarships from the Louisiana Pharmacists Association at the annual LPA convention in Lafayette LA. Both are members of Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society.


Sarah Ann Anderson ‘06, a graduate student at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York NY, has been awarded a Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowship through the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative.

Lyndon Barrios ’90, animation supervisor at Image Engine in Vancouver (Canada), was presented awards for Best Short Film and Best Director of a Short Film at the Madrid International Film Festival for his short-action film “The Lift” which he wrote and directed.

LaJuana Chenier ’88 has been named Regional Development Director with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). She previously served as Associate Vice President for Development/Chief of Staff at Xavier.

Dr. Tunicia Giron ’92, an anesthesiologist and current chief of surgery at Tanner Health System, was recently voted Medical Director of Anesthesiology for the next five years.

Nicole Chapman Griffin ’93 has earned a master’s of science in nursing degree from Loyola University of New Orleans.

Dr. Tomia Palmer Harmon ’94 is serving as Director, Primary Care Skills, on the Georgia Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Master of Theology degree graduates of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies – (second from left) Garnet Smith and Linda Mitchell-Blount – celebrate with (from left) Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago IL, XU President Dr. Norman Francis, and XU Senior VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Loren Blanchard following the conclusion of this year’s summer program.

Photo by Irving Johnson III

rousseve cont

This year’s recipients, grouped by their class, are listed below along with their majors, hometown and high school.
Seniors / P2s – Peter Baham, business-finance, New Orleans (Grace King High); Krista Burton, engineering, Jonesboro GA (Creekside High); Nnenia Clark, business-management, Riverdale GA (The Paideia School); Brittany Gorden, pharmacy, New Orleans (St. Mary’s Academy); Megan Haynes, political science, New Orleans (Xavier Prep); LaTasha Henderson, biology/pre-med, Shreveport LA (Caddo Parish High); Tuyet-Trinh Nguyen, chemistry/pre-med, New Orleans (Ben Franklin High); Mia Ward, science education-chemistry, McKinney TX (McKinney North High); Faith Webre, pharmacy, Reserve LA (Riverside Academy); and Schuyler Williams, biology/pre-med, Collierville TN (Houston High).

Juniors / P1s – Nadine Bizimana, business-accounting, Opelika AL (Opelika High); Javon Bracy, English, New Orleans (De La Salle High); Brandon Dang, biology/pre-med, Harvey LA (Archbishop Shaw High); Brandan Dotson, chemistry/pre-med, San Francisco CA (Lowell High); Taylor Harris, chemistry/pre-med, Little Rock AR (Wilbur Mills High); Rayya Hunter, pharmacy, Markham IL (Hillcrest High); Vallery Jenkins, middle school education, Centreville MS (Wilkinson County Christian Academy); Kayla Johnson, biology/pre-med, Milwaukee WI (Rufus King High); David Nguyen, biology/pre-med, Harvey LA (John Ehret High); and Jeffrey Quach, pharmacy, Marrero LA (Archbishop Shaw).

Sophomores – Kristia Abernathy, biology/pre-med, St. Louis MO (Hazelwood East High); Jamie Bolden, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, LaPlace LA (Riverside Academy); Caitlin Bucher, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Kenner LA (Archbishop Chapelle High); Sara Elsayed, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Kenner LA (Haynes Academy); Paige Estave, biology/pre-med, Kenner LA (Archbishop Chapelle High); Catherine Fakler, English, Phoenix AZ (Xavier Prep); Nicole Fisette, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, River Ridge LA (Archbishop Chapelle High); Kristen Fowler, biology/pre-med, Kenner LA (Archbishop Chapelle High); Kyriante Henry, psychology/pre-med, New Orleans (Xavier Prep); Stacey Le, chemistry/pre-med, Harvey LA (Thomas Jefferson High); Jesslyn Magee, biology/pre-med, Corona CA (Centennial High); Amber Owens, psychology/pre-med, Jackson MS (Jim Hill High); Devinn Rolland, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Harvey LA (Cabrini High); Chandler Schexnayder, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Patterson LA (Patterson High); and Chelsey Walker, biology/pre-med, Harvey LA (Haynes Academy).  

The scholarships are named in honor of the Rousseve family, outstanding alumni and supporters of the University.

big read cont

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

“Providing our students and our fellow New Orleanians with opportunities to discuss Mr. Gaines’s book, to learn about the historical context in which it is set, and to think about its connection to their present day lives will encourage literacy through NEA’s model of focusing on a single book within the community,” says Jason Todd, XU English professor and Quality Enhancement Plan Director.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “Since 2006, nearly three million Americans have attended a Big Read event, more than 39,000 volunteers have participated locally, and nearly 27,000 community partner organizations have been involved. The Big Read’s success depends on these commitments of time, energy, and enthusiasm and I look forward to seeing these 76 communities come together in celebration of a great work of literature.”

The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants ranging from $2,500 to $17,000 to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Reader’s, Teacher’s, and Audio Guides.

The Big Read initiative fits into XULA’s ongoing Read Today, Lead Tomorrow program, in place since 2010. Read Today, Lead Tomorrow has been designed, in part, to foster the formation of literary communities and to make students more engaged readers by providing opportunities to think about reading material in the context of the greater world around them.

Xavier’s Big Read activities will include an opening night ceremony honoring Mr. Gaines, an oral history project through which local high school students will interview local senior citizens about life under segregation and Jim Crow, essay contests for other students, a series of book discussions and related lectures, a film series of books by Mr. Gaines, and a closing night ceremony celebrating the work and learning done by local students.

For more information about The Big Read please visit neabigread.org.

fiske cont

Xavier is the only Louisiana university and one of only three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to make the list.

In its 25th year, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has provided millions of parents, counselors, and college-bound students with an independent perspective on the distinctive personalities of the best and most interesting colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. The author, Edward B. Fiske, served for 17 years as education editor of the New York Times.

Other schools selected include: (public) University of British Columbia-Canada, College of Charleston, University of Edinburgh-UK, Evergreen State College, University of Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Mary Washington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Oregon State University, University of St. Andrews-UK, SUNY–Binghamton University, SUNY–College at Geneseo, University of Texas at Austin, Truman State University, University of Utah, and University of Wisconsin–Madison; (private) Adelphi University, Alfred University, Brigham Young University, Butler University, Clemson University, Cooper Union, Deep Springs College, DePaul University, Elon University, Emerson College, Marquette University, Millsaps College, Morehouse College, Olin College of Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of the South (Sewanee), Spelman College, Trinity University-Texas), Warren Wilson College, and Wheaton College-Illinois.

rolland cont

Rolland also qualified for the NAIA meet in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. In both events she reached the semifinals.

"I'm not surprised," said Nancy Walsh, her basketball coach at Cabrini High School in New Orleans. "Devinn is amazing. Her senior year we did early morning preseason conditioning several days a week … from the start of school in August until the start of practice in October. Devinn never missed a workout, and her grades never suffered."

Rolland was a Cabrini salutatorian and a National Achievement Scholarship recipient. It's her academic success which enabled her to attend Xavier on a Board of Trustees Scholarship, a full cost-of-attendance award that she'll keep for 2012-13 because of her outstanding grades.

"You have to study," Rolland said. "You have to stay on top of your academic work because if you don't, it'll get difficult."

It seems that the only difficulty Rolland has encountered is deciding to participate in track and field. She says she's always been fast – “When I was younger, I was always beating the other kids when we raced on the playground" – and an uncle in coaching encouraged her to formally compete. Rolland remembers attending one practice for a local age-group team, but she didn't continue.

Finally, after one year at Cabrini, Rolland joined the track team in ninth grade. "I thought it would be too tough," she said. But her performances suggested otherwise. Rolland was a Class 4A state champion outdoors as a sophomore in the long jump and won another 4A state title in the 200 a year later. As a senior at the 4A outdoor meet she placed second in the long jump, third in the 200 and anchored a pair of top-three relay teams. Cabrini scored 64 points to finish second, its best finish ever at the state meet.

"To me, Devinn is the complete student-athlete," Cabrini track coach Rudy Horvath said. "She's bright. She's competitive. She's very coachable. And to top it all off, she's a phenomenal athlete."

Rolland faced another do-I-or-don't-I decision at Xavier. Coach Joseph Moses — who revived the XU track program by entering some of his cross country runners in meets during the spring 2010 semester and had followed Rolland's Cabrini career — had an open-arm welcome ready for her. But, once again, she had doubts.

"I was very close to not running track," Rolland said. "I thought I wouldn't be able to handle it and stay on top of my studies. But when I got to orientation in August, I decided to give it a try and see what happened."

What happened was Rolland's usual standard of excellence. She handled all challenges in the classroom. Though she didn't relish weight training and the resulting soreness, eventually she got stronger.

"Devinn had an awesome year," Moses said.

At the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships on April 28 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, Rolland was the only female to win three individual events. She beat defending champions in the 100 and long jump and finished first in the 200. All three of Rolland's winning marks were better than those of the previous year. Her times of 11.87 seconds in the 100 and 24.51 in the 200 were personal records.

Her long jump PR at the NAIA meet qualified her for the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Bloomington, Ind., in mid-June. Though she finished 11th out of 19 jumpers and did not qualify for the U.S. team which competed at the IAAF World Junior Championships this month in Barcelona, Spain, Rolland finished ahead of NCAA Division I athletes from Kent State, North Texas and Appalachian State. And, according to Moses, she took another positive step just by competing.

"Devinn has just begun to scratch the surface in track and field," Moses said. "She's a special young lady with tremendous natural ability. She will get better the longer she competes because of the experience she'll gain. Going to NAIA nationals and going to USA juniors opened her eyes to what's out there. I expect her to get PRs in the sprints and the long jump next season."

This XU program made noise a year ago, too. With the help of several basketball players, who combined to score nearly one-third of the the Gold Nuggets' points, Moses coached Xavier's women to the 2011 GCAC outdoor championship, edging crosstown rival Dillard by 5½ points. The women's 4x400 relay team — Marchelle Jones, Brianna Dekine, Ashley Taylor and Dominique Webb — competed at the 2011 NAIA meet.

"Track at Xavier has a long tradition of success," Moses said. "I think the potential is here for a team to win a national championship."

Amelia Hardy ’98 was honored at the 4th Annual Garden Party of Honoring Women Worldwide (HWW), a nonprofit organization with a mission to mobilize, inspire and honor women and families from all cultures to lead and achieve personal success. She was nominated by the Women Leadership Network.

Dr. La Toya Jackson ’00 has accepted a position as faculty physician for the new family medicine program at Houston County Medical Center in Warner Robins GA.

LeReginald Jones '12 has been accepted to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he will pursue a master's in psychology and counseling.

Gregory Lee '96 was named executive sports editor of the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper. He previously served as senior assistant sports editor at the Boston Globe.

Dr. James Paschal ’57 was elected Lt. Governor of the 16th Georgia District of Kiwanis International.

Steve Prince ’91, an assistant professor of art at Montgomery College in Germantown MD, conducted a week-long workshops for students in Mount Pleasant MI  and Prince George CA. He will also be the featured speaker at Dordt College's First Monday Lecture Series in September in Sioux Center IA.

Anthony Sharp ’03 received his minister's license under the leadership of Pastor Greg Henderson at New Life Church of God in Christ Ontario, CA.

Sierra Stewart ’12 has been accepted into law school at Southern University.

Cmdr. Will Watson ’90 has taken command of the U.S Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit in Lake Charles LA. A 17-year veteran of the service, he previously served as executive officer at Marine Safety Unit Texas City TX.

Tiffany West ’00 is serving as bureau chief of the surveillance and epidemiology branch at the Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS division in Washington, D.C.

Stacey Windon ’11 was honored at the 4th Annual Garden Party of Honoring Women Worldwide (HWW), a nonprofit organization with a mission to mobilize, inspire and honor women and families from all cultures to lead and achieve personal success. She was nominated by the African American Society.


Ed Cassiere (athletics) was awarded first place for features in the NAIA Sports Information Directors of America's Dr. W. Jack Bell Writing Contest for his profile of 1940s XU men's track and field standout Herbert Douglas. Another feature, about medical-school-bound men’s basketball standout Jamaan Kenner, placed third. He was also honored for his season previews of men’s cross country, and women’s volleyball and basketball.

Fr. Giles Conwill (campus ministry) preached the St. Ann Novena at St. Ann’s Church in Metairie LA.

Dr. Danielle Duffourc has joined the Office of Planning, Institutional Research, and Assessment staff as the Director for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment. She comes to XU from SUNO, where she served as Accreditation Support Officer in the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Strategic Planning.

Dr. Farrah Gafford (sociology) has been awarded a $12,000 Henry C. McBay Research Fellowship through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) for her study, “Is it Easy Living in the Big Easy?: Examining the Lives of African American Emerging Adults in Post-Katrina New Orleans”.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English) participated in two book signings for the Bulgarian translation of his novel, Frog Poet, in the cities of Blagoevgrad and Sofia. While in Bulgaria, he also gave a paper on "Beauty-Loving Animals in the Haiku of Issa" at a haiku conference. This paper was published recently in the Romanian journal, Kado. Closer to home, he led a workshop on "Reading the New Haiku" at the Haiku Society of America's South Regional Conference in Shreveport LA.

Dennis Sigur ’97 (Information Technology Center) made a presentation on “New Ways to Communicate at Xavier University of Louisiana” at the Blackboard World Conference.

Dr. Michael White ‘76 (languages) will be featured on the Aug. 8 broadcast of the National Geographic Channel’s new series, “America’s Lost Treasures”, with jazz legend Omer Simeon’s clarinet in tow. Check your local listings. He is also set to appear in an episode of HBO’s “Treme” later this fall (TBA). In addition, his new CD was featured in USA Today.

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