Volume 38 No. 12
December 07


Stroger '52 Selected
Alumnus of the Year

Business Students Excel
in Sales Competition

Cross Country Repeats
Conference Champions

UMR Team Wins
Seven PRSA Awards

Student Newspaper
Sports a New Look

Xavier Writes

Xavier in the News

Miss Xavier

1834 Basketball Update

Gold Rush: The Xavier men are 6-1 on the season going into this weekend's (Dec. 1-2) addidas Hardwood Classic.

Jarrel Lake, a 6-8 sophomore forward from Los Angeles, Calif., currently leads the club in both scoring average (13.9) and rebounds (7.6). A total of six players are averaging in double figure scoring for the Rush.

Visit HERE for a look at the remaining schedule for December. The Rush begin conference (GCAC) play Jan. 3 at against Belhaven.

Nuggets: Erica Turnbull scored 17 points to lead the XU women to a 73-42 victory over the College of the Bahamas Thursday night to give Coach Bo Browder his 200th coaching victory at Xavier.

The Nuggets, now 7-2 on the season, have only one home game during December: this Sunday (Dec. 2) vs. Houston Baptist.

Turnbull, a 6-0 forward from Baltimore, Md., tops the team in both scoring (13.6 points a game) and rebounding average (6.7 per game), while Jarryn Cleaves, a 5-8 guard from Memphis, Tenn., is second in scoring with 13.q points a game.

The Nuggets also open conference play Jan. 3 at Belhaven. Take a look HERE for the schedule.

1834 English Faculty Shine at CMLA Conference

English faculty had broad representation at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference in Memphis, Tenn.

Four faculty – Dr. Violet Bryan, Dr. Bonnie Noonan, Dr. Biljana Obradovic and James Shade – made presentations.

Bryan presented the paper "'I'm watching God": Repetitions, Modifications, and Omissions in the Film Adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God"; Noonan presented the paper "The Outer Limits of Women"; Obradovic presented "Serbian Poet Bratislav Milanovic: Fisherman, Native Writer, Philosopher"; and Shade presented "Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke: A Chronicle of the Near-Death of a Culture.

In addition, Dr. Nicole Greene represented Xavier Review at the conference's book and journal exhibition.

Both Dr. Thomas Bonner and Bryan served as officers of sessions; while Shade was elected as a session officer for 2008.

1834 Got News for TMAX?

Recently been accepted into professional or graduate school, earned an advanced degree, received an internship or scholarship, won an award, secured a grant, had a book or article published, accepted a new job or promotion?

If so, why not share the good news with the XU community? Send an e-mail to the TMAX at rtucker@xula.edu – it’s really that simple.

1834 XU in the News

1 WWL-TV (New Orleans)
Francis Tops List of 10 Most Powerful New Orleanians
2Rochester Democrat
Med Students Want to Help Minority Communities
- Thomas Fugate '07

1 Black College WireStudents Register for Emergency Alert Systems
2 CityBusiness
LRA Chairman Thanks Congress for Aid to Louisiana
1Milwaukee Journal
Sister Calls Church
to Action on Racism
- Sister Jamie Phelps

2Baton Rouge Advocate Baton Rouge Natives
Help Xavier Win Titles

1 Times-Picayune
Two Tapped for
Jindal Recovery Panel
- Dr. Norman Francis '52




Yonnie Lynn Clark, daughter of John H. Stroger, Jr. ’52, accepts the 2007 Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year Award on behalf of her father from Dr. Joseph Labat '59 during the annual Homecoming Gala, while XU President Norman Francis ’52 and Alumni Association President Frederick Carter ‘69 look on. Stroger himself was unable to attend the event due to illness.

photo by Irving Johnson III


John Stroger Jr. ’52 was honored as the University’s top alumni at the annual Alumni Homecoming Gala.

Stroger, who recently retired as president of the Board of Commissioners of Illinois’ Cook County (Chicago), was unable to attend the event due to illness, but his daughter, Yonnie Lynn Clark, accepted the 2007 Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award for him on his behalf.

A powerful Democratic political figure in Chicago for decades, Stroger rose to the level of chief executive of one of the most significant counties in the nation, a multi-city area with a larger population and bigger budget than 35 states. He presided over a workforce of 23,000. The billion dollar Cook County hospital was named in his honor.

Stroger was recognized for his extraordinary dedication and service to his alma mater. He served as both a member and chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. He has given of his time and resources to the many endeavors of the Chicago Alumni Chapter.

A faithful financial supporter of the University, he and his wife Yonnie are charter members of the Xavier 500 Alumni Leadership Initiative – a select group of individuals who have committed $10,000 or more over a 10-year period to support student scholarships. This past year – at the request of his family – his John H. Stroger Jr. Charitable Foundation contributed $500,000 to establish an endowed scholarship fund for deserving Xavier students.

The annual Homecoming Gala drew a sell-out crowd of more than 460 attendees to the University Center Ballroom. Class Agents for the 14 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $620,693. The Class of ’52 led the way with 21 individual donors contributing $392,275.

Check HERE to see a photobank of Homecoming 2007 activities.


Xavier business sales and marketing students took home first place honors in the Fifth Annual Bayou Sales Challenge competition, held earlier this month.  

Giselle Rouson, a senior marketing major from Mobile, Ala. (McGill-Toolen High School), took first place in the Overall Competition; Christina Gilbert, a senior marketing major from West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley High School), won first place in the ‘Pressure Round’

Team Xavier took second place. Team members included Rouson and Gilbert, along with Jessica Taylor, a junior marketing major from Oxnard, Calif. (Oxnard High) and Tresa Northington, a senior Spanish major from Bellevue, Wash. (Newport High).

Bayou Sales Challenge is a sales role-play competition that gives students a chance to compete against each other and demonstrate their selling skills.  Students compete on an individual level and also on a team level representing their university. The judges for the competition are sales professionals from a variety of industries.

Dr. Joe Ricks served as the faculty advisor and coach of the winning team.  Last year Team Xavier also took home two first place awards and placed second in the competition.


Xavier runners have done it again!

The men's and women's cross country teams won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championship for the second year in a row. This year the GCAC title was determined at the NAIA Region XIII Championships, where both squads finished fourth.

A total of eight Xavier runners earned All-GCAC honors. The Gold Rush had four of the first seven finishers in the men's division and scored 30 points to win that title by 35 points over runner-up Spring Hill, while the Gold Nuggets had four of the first nine finishers in the women's division and scored 33 points to win their title by 17 points over runner-up Spring Hill.

"I'm very proud of my runners," said Coach Joseph Moses, who for the second consecutive year was voted GCAC Coach of the Year for men and women. "Everybody stepped up and did what they had to do."

In the 8,000-meter men's race, freshmen David Salmon (27:44.32) and Milo Barry (28:31.59) finished 3-4 in the conference to lead the Gold Rush. Darren Wallace and Joe Drexler-Dreis were also All-GCAC.

For the second straight year Ebony Harding was the GCAC runner-up with a women’s 5,000 meter time of 20 minutes, 36.77 seconds. Teammates Lonique Moore and Ashley Broden both made all-conference for the third time, while freshman Stacey Windon also made All-GCAC.


For a second consecutive year, Xavier's Office of University & Media Relations (U/MR) brought home seven awards from the annual Public Relations Society of America, New Orleans Chapter Awards banquet.  

The U/MR team received Excellence awards for its online magazine "This Month At Xavier" (TMAX) and for a video production entitled “Norman C. Francis' 50 Years at Xavier: In His Own Words.” Both pieces may be viewed currently on the university's web site www.xula.edu.

In addition, Xavier photographer Irving Johnson III received an Excellence award in addition to a "Best in Category" citation for his photo promoting the university's “E-2 Campus sign-up" campaign.

The University & Media Relations team also received merit awards in the Feature Story category for “The Last Snap” about Xavier’s last football team, written by publications director Richard Tucker; in the External Publication category for its Xavier Gold alumni magazine; and in The Great Idea category, for the "E-2 Campus Text Messaging" campus sign-up campaign.
Associate Vice President Warren Bell, Jr. heads the University and Media Relations team for Xavier; which includes Tucker and Johnson, as well as Carol Dotson, media relations manager and Trina Vincent, marketing & promotions manager.

The U/MR team’s winning entries were judged in competition against entries from some of the top agencies and PR professionals in New Orleans.



Anita Roussel Ashmore ‘89, a clinical pharmacist with the specialty pharmacy division of Accredo Therapeutic in Norcross, Ga., has been accepted into an executive MBA program at the University of Georgia.

Carla Gibson Baker ’77
, assistant to U.S. Eastern District of Louisiana Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby and Fifth Circuit Judicial Secretaries Advisory Group representative, participated in the Jumpstart Program for Judicial Assistants and Judges’ Secretaries, held in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Loren Blanchard ’84, has been appointed associate vice chancellor for academic and multicultural affairs at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.

Bill Boyd ’98, had his article "Privilege Lost: Shifting Creole Identity in Antebellum Louisiana" published in the fall 2007 edition of the Griot.

Bettina Benoit Durant ’94, has joined the Humanities Division faculty at Georgia Perimeter College (Atlanta, Ga.), where she teaches communications courses. She is a recent graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

Danyale Ellis ‘97
, director of development at Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago, has been appointed Midwest Regional Secretary for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an organization of college educated women committed to the development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the African American community.

Catrina Hawkins ’02, was ordained a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at a ceremony held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio. 

Lynda Plant McGee ’84, a college counselor at DownTown Magnets High School in Los Angeles, Calif., has been named College Counselor of the Year in L.A. County by the All Student Loan Corporation.

Dr. Robert L. Miller Jr. ’85
, director of the Research, Training and Mentoring Core, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities for the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany (N.Y.) has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. He is the first African American male black man to be tenured at the school of social welfare.

Vernet Nettles '88
, has received an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Lynn Flint Shaw ’76, has been elected chair of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors. A member of the board since 2003, she is the owner of Lynn Flint Shaw, M.C.D/C.C.C. and Associates – a company supervising speech pathologists, physical therapists and occupational therapists in private practice.



Faculty advisor Melinda Shelton and a pair of her student editors Reggie Parquet, a senior mass communications major from New Orleans (Jesuit High), and Allison Hudson, a senior mass communications major from New Orleans (Edna Karr) review the latest issue of the newly designed and expanded Xavier Herald student newspaper.

photo by Irving Johnson III


It wasn’t too long ago that the University’s student newspaper was hailed as a model publication. It had accolades from the Associated Collegiate Press to prove it.

Then along came Hurricane Katrina. Like the city and campus it called home, the Xavier Herald took a beating, losing all of its equipment, most of its staff and much of its direction. Although the publication was revived shortly after the University itself reopened in January 2006, the publication has struggled for much of the past two years to regain its former edge.

But all that is changing. Jump-started by a new advisor with extensive background in print communications, buoyed by the acquisition of new state-of-the-art equipment, and, best of all, energized by a renewed commitment among the students themselves, the Xavier Herald is in the midst of a comeback.

The paper’s cosmetic improvements should be readily obvious to anyone who picks up a copy. The Herald has returned to its original full tabloid size – jumping from 11 x 15 inches to 11.5 x 17 inches – and is being printed on heavier, better quality paper at a new printer (Signature Offset Press in Hattiesburg, Miss).

More careful observation will show that the newspaper has undergone a total redesign – complete with a more striking masthead, new features such as photo skyboxes, more readable typefaces, and a liberal use of color. Likewise, a more careful reading will show a considerable increase in campus-oriented articles, better writing and improved editing.

“The student editors and writers have been nothing short of amazing,” said Melinda Shelton, a veteran educator and award-winning newspaper editor, writer and photographer, who is in both her first year at Xavier and as Herald advisor. “Most of them were here when Katrina knocked all of us to our knees, and when it would have been acceptable to continue their education elsewhere, they chose to return and be a part of the rebuilding.”

Much of the credit for the new look can be directly attributed to editor-in-chief Ashley Bailey, a senior mass communications major from Donaldsonville, La. (Donaldsonville High), and managing editor Allison Hudson, a senior mass communications major from New Orleans (Karr High).

"Getting all this new equipment has really made a big difference for us," said Baily, pointing out that it wasn't until earlier this year that Herald staffers were able to move back into their old offices, and, even then, spent much of their time working out of a general computer lab.

"I think we are are operating much more efficiently now – and we have an advisor who is really focused on the paper," added Bailey, who has served in almost every editorial position on the paper during her stay at Xavier and has also interned with the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Hudson also has extensive previous experience as a writer/editor for the Herald and has interned with the New York Times. This pair's invaluable journalistic experience – and their willingness to share what they have learned with other members of the staff possessing little or no training – has helped speed up the paper’s re-emergence.

“I still enjoy the writing, but it is equally gratifying to have some knowledge that you can pass on to younger students,” said Hudson, whose role as managing editor involves supervising the staff, reviewing all copy and playing a major role in the layout and design of the twice-monthly publication.

“Sometimes you teach them so well they end up doing the job better than you,” she laughed.

A solid cadre of student editors and writers rounds out the editorial staff, among them section editors Khalillah Hill (editorials), Reggie Parquet (sports), Mercianna Oliver (entertainment) and Jonathan Ystad (photo), and the regular writing staff  including Michael Alfred, Andy Asonye, Jalisa Mathis, Britnee Morgan, Hong Nguyen, Jena Perriatt, Darren Wallace, Ciera-Chantel Walker and Ashley Winston.

The next issue (Dec. 4) will see the debut of seven new writers, all from Shelton’s introduction to mass communications course.

“I spend many hours behind the scenes teaching proper writing and editing, guiding layout efforts, and helping the student editors and writers to improve their overall reportorial skills,” said Shelton. “I particularly enjoy working one-on-one with blossoming writers and photographers; it is absolutely thrilling— and so rewarding—to be part of their success.”

That growing stable of writers and potential editors is imperative to the stability and future success of the paper.

“We need to continually renew ourselves,” said Shelton, noting that her lead editors (Bailey and Hudson) are graduating in December and May, respectively. “It is my hope that we can create a pool of qualified candidates who compete for positions on the newspaper staff. That’s how you gain continuity; that’s how you maintain quality.”


Dr.  Bryan Bilyeu (physics & engineering) has received a CUR Research Circle Grant ($3,000) in collaboration with Dr. Stassi DiMaggio (chemistry), entitled, "What are the imaging capabilities at Xavier? Characterization of particle size distribution and morphology of custom synthesized polymeric nanomaterials by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopic (AFM) probe".

Dr. Charles Gramlich (psychology) has had his latest book, Witch of Talera – the third book in his Talera fantasy trilogy – published by Borgo Press.

Dr. Nicole Pepinster Greene (English) has published Vol 9 of the Journal of College Writing, a special Katrina/Rita edition.  She also chaired the annual conference of the Louisiana Association of College Composition (LACC), of which she will serve as president 2007-08.

Dr. David Lanoue (English) went to Belgrade to celebrate the publication of the Serbian translation of his book, Haiku Guy, where he did a reading for the Haiku Society of Serbia and Montenegro, and signed copies at the International Book Fair in Belgrade

.Dr. Silas Lee (sociology) is recipient of the Ernest N. Morial endowed professorship in public policy. He also had an article titled, "Who's Going to Take the Weight? African Americans and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century," published in the National Urban League's State of Black America and was a presenter at the American Federation of Teachers’ Civil, Human and Women's Rights Conference. He is also a pollster for the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign.

Dr.  Anderson Sunda Meya (physics & engineering) has been awarded a $7,500 Mellon Foundation Research grant for the proposal: "Green energy: hydrogen from water and aluminum. Production, modeling and simulation," and a $10,000 MIE-NSF grant for his research, "Biomaterial synthesis and characterization: silver nanoparticles from Capsicum Annum L. extract”.

Shelton said the hard work of the students would be for naught if not for the support they have received from the University administration, communications chair Dr.  Dominique Gendrin and all of the department’s faculty and staff. 

“Dr. (Marguerite) Giguette (XU’s associate VP for academic affairs) asked me what equipment we needed to make the Herald flourish and she delivered – using valuable grant money to purchase a new workstation, updated software, cameras for the staff, a printer to print out tabloid-size page proofs, and proper newsstands to display the Herald,” said Shelton.

Shelton also acknowledged the support of Charlotte Klasson, a local advertising and design executive, who has donated many hours helping students design the paper and incorporate advertising into the publication.

Now that the newspaper has regained some of the swagger, Shelton has set her sights on further improvements, among them: fine-tuning and updating the online Herald; developing the position of business manager; hiring a graphics designer; and networking with the business and art departments—and as many other departments as possible—to involve their students in the Herald.

“Getting the students to understand the pivotal roles they play in producing the university newspaper, and the ethical responsibilities they have in the stories they write and the photographs they publish is very important,” said Shelton. “I want them to pick up every issue of the Herald and feel deep pride and a great sense of accomplishment.

“Likewise, I want other students, faculty, and staff to pick up a copy, read it from cover-to-cover, and appreciate the effort that went into producing it,” she added.  

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