Volume 40 No. 12
December 09

Elvira Henry Selected
Alumnus of the Year
Elvira Day Henry ’58 of New Orleans was honored as the University’s top alumni at the annual Alumni Homecoming Gala. National Alumni president Frederick Carter '69, Dr. Joseph Labat ‘59 and XU President Norman Francis '52 made the ... [ more ]
Summer Programs Receive
$1 Million from NASA

Xavier has received a $1 million dollar award from NASA to implement new summer programs and continue existing summer programming in Math and Science ... [ more ]

Cross Country Runners Score Conference 4-Peat Xavier swept the individual and team titles of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships at Choctaw Trails MS, winning the latter for the fourth year in a row ... [ more ]
Where areThey Now?
Doing Justice to Food
It has been said that we are at unenviable moment in human history when our yearning for unhealthy diets is taking us toward extinction. That if we do not change what we feed our children and teach them ... [ more ]
1834 Some Things You
Really Should Know

The Department of Music presents the University Chorus in a Christmas concert Dec. 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public. For more info call 504-520-7597.

In conjunction with the Frankenstein traveling exhibition, the Library is hosting two activities this week: a panel discussion Dec. 2 at 4:00 p.m. in Room 105 of the NCF Academic Complex and a viewing of the movie Frankenstein Dec. 4 at 5:00 p.m. in the Administration Auditorium. For more info visit DISCUSSION or MOVIE.

December 1 is World AIDS Day and on the day after … the conversation continues. All Xavierites are invited to extend the conversation by joining in a brown bag lunch discussion about HIV/AIDS in the African American and global communities Dec. 2 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. in the University Center, Room 205. For more info contact Dr. Robin G. Vander at rvander@xula.edu.

1834 Basketball Update

MEN: The Gold Rush take a 6-1 record into their Dec. 4 home game against Philander Smith. Junior guard Devin Andrew of Harvey LA (Vandebilt Catholic) and senior forward Landon Bussie of Baltimore MD (Woodlawn High) currently lead the Rush in scoring and rebounding with 14.0 and 8.0 averages, respectively.

WOMEN: The Nuggets, also 6-1 on the season, don't play again until Dec. 28 when they travel to compete in the Surf City Classic in California. Team leaders include sophomore forward Jazmone Kelly of Cincinnati OH, (Ursuline Academy), who is averaging 11.8 points a game, and senior forward LaTishia Wise of Belle Rose LA (Assumption HIgh), averaging 5.4 rebounds per game.

For basketball schedules and updates on all XU sports, visit HERE.  

1834 What's All the
Buzz About QEP?

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is the campus-wide plan to enhance the quality of the University.

The "Read Today, Lead Tomorrow" initiative will encourage all members of the Xavier community, not only students, to become more active and engaged readers. 

For more info on the QEP project visit HERE or contact Student Services by e-mail or call (504) 520-7357.

1834 Women's Volleyball to
be Reinstated in 2010

Xavier will reinstate its intercollegiate women's volleyball program for the fall 2010 season.

The University competed in women's volleyball in 2003-04 but suspended the program in 2005 because of the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

In announcing the move, XU Athletics Director Dennis Cousin said Xavier will endeavor to make the new volleyball program as competitive as its other intercollegiate teams have been in basketball, cross country and tennis.

A search for a head COACH is currently underway.

1834 Faculty Shine at
SCMLA Conference

Thirteen faculty members from the Department of English and African American Studies made presentations or chaired panels at the participated in the South Central Modern Language Association conference held in Baton Rouge LA.

Reading from their papers or writings were: Ralph Adamo, “The New Public Education Paradigm for New Orleans”; Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (professor emeritus), “The Presbyterian Presence in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening”; Danielle Bray, “Snack Time: Representations of Food and Child Mother-Figures in the Works of Barrie, Rowling, and Pullman”; Dr. Violet Bryan, “Fish’s Waking Dreams and Father-Son Relationships in Richard Wright’s A Long Dream”; Dr. Oliver Hennessey, “Shakespeare’s Grief and Mardi Gras 2006”; Katheryn Laborde, “On Better Paths: Life Changes in the Early Days of Katrina Recovery”; and Robbi Pounds, “Holy Cross”.

Chairing conference panels were: Greene, the Irish Literature panel; Dr. Bonnie Noonan chaired the Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature panel; Dr. Biljana Obradovic, the Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Literatures panel; and James Shade, the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities Panel.



Elvira Day Henry ‘58 of New Orleans accepts the 2009 Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year Award from (L-R) President Norman C. Francis ’52, Dr. Joseph Labat '59 and National Alumni President Frederick Carter '69 at the annual Homecoming Gala. The annual celebration drew a sell out crowd to the University Center Ballroom. Visit HERE for more HC photos.

photo by Irving Johnson III



Elvira Day Henry ’58 of New Orleans was honored as the University’s top alumni at the annual Alumni Homecoming Gala.

National Alumni president Frederick Carter '69, Dr. Joseph Labat ‘59 and XU President Norman Francis '52 made the presentation of the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award to Henry during the annual Gala, the traditional highlight of alumni homecoming week.

“Tonight we honor an alumna who has proven time and time again her loyalty and dedication to the University,” said Carter in his introduction of this year’s winner. “Despite her busy schedule the recipient has always included Xavier among her top priorities.”

The annual Homecoming Gala drew a crowd of nearly
400 attendees to the University Center Ballroom. Class agents for the 14 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $352,195. The Class of '49 led the way with 22 members contributing $86,026.

Check HERE to see a photobank of Homecoming 2009 activities.

A long-time university volunteer, Henry has served as one of the first co-chairs of Xavier’s annual fund. She has held the position of treasurer for the National Alumni Association and New Orleans Alumni Chapter for a number of years, where she regularly serves as a Jazz Round-up committee member, reunion class agent, phonathon volunteer, a worker at the freshmen orientation reception and a member of the XU booster club.

“Her love of Xavier and dedication to our mission has remained extraordinary throughout the years,” said Carter. “In addition to the tremendous financial support she and her husband give to the University, she doesn’t hesitate to make calls to encourage others to give as well.”

“She makes so many trips to the University in her volunteer capacity that the campus police know not to mess with her when she parks in the reserved spot at Xavier South that reads ‘Reserved for the President!’," he added.  

Henry, now retired, was a teacher for more than 20 years. She remains active in her church and community serving as a Eucharistic Minister and providing transportation to elderly members of her church.

She comes from a family of Xavierites: her husband Sterling and one of three sons attended the University. Keeping the tradition alive, she currently has a grandson at Xavier.
1834 Scholarship Concert Rocks the House
A star-studded lineup which included Xavier’s own Wanda Rouzan ‘69 and her Taste of New Orleans had the University Center rocking like a Saturday night at one of the city’s hottest nightclubs, providing one of the highlight events of Homecoming 2009.

More than 650 alumni and friends attended the event – the 2nd annual Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert – which also included a performance by Irvin Mayfield and Purple Disrespect.

Proceeds from the concert added more than $40,000 to the scholarship fund, which was established last year during the year-long celebration of Francis’ 40th year as XU president. The purpose of the scholarship fund is to ensure that future generations of deserving students are afforded the opportunity to earn a XU education. To date more than $540,000 has been raised toward a $1 million goal.

It’s not too late too late to honor Francis’ legacy of helping students. To contribute please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (504) 520-7575.


Xavier has received a $1 million dollar award from NASA to implement new summer programs and continue existing summer programming in Math and Science.

The grant will support the University’s award-winning Summer Science Academy and the Experiential Problem-solving & Analytical Reasoning (EPsAR) program, as well as a new program in Academic Affairs and the Division of Education's GLOBE teacher training program.

The popular Summer Science Academy includes BioStar, ChemStar, MathStar and SOAR1 and services students from grades 8 through 12. MathStar, BioStar and ChemStar prepare students for their upcoming school year in those subjects, while SOAR1 is geared toward exceptional students interested in pursuing science/health-related careers.

EPsAR is a six-week summer bridge program conducted by the Science, Engineering and Math Educational Programs Office (SEMP), designed to strengthen mathematics, problem-solving, critical-thinking and reading skills.


Xavier swept the individual and team titles of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships at Choctaw Trails MS, winning the latter for the fourth year in a row.

XU's women won the team title with 38 points, followed by Spring Hill with 55 points and Loyola with 60. The XU men had the first four finishers to score 25 points, the fewest by a GCAC men's champion since 1998. Spring Hill was second with 43 points.

It was the first time since 2004 and the second time in 10 seasons that a GCAC member swept the individual and team championships.

The meet provided personal redemption for two XU standouts. P3 pharmacy major Ebony Harding of Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge Magnet), a three-time runner-up in the GCAC 5,000-meter women’s event, won this year’s individual title with a time of 19 minutes, 41.33 seconds. Sophomore business major Ray Walston of Atlanta (Benjamin Mays High), the runner-up in the 2008 8,000-meter men's race, won this year’s event at 27:55.18.

The top 10 finishers in each race were named all-conference, and Xavier had four in both divisions.

Joining Harding on the women's All-GCAC team were: freshman elementary education major Sabrina Vargas of Pattison TX (Royal High) – seventh; sophomore biology/pre-med major Anna D'Souza of Baton Rouge LA (St. Michael’s) – ninth; and sophomore pre-med major Brianna Dekine of Culver City CA (Culver City High) - (tenth).

Joining Walston on the men’s team were: freshman psychology major major Mark Dotson of Alexandria LA (Holy Savior High) – second; senior mass communications major Darren Wallace of Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge Magnet) – third; and freshman chemistry/pre-pharmacy major Matt Pieri of New Orleans (Bro. Martin High) – fourth.

As a result, both XU teams earned automatic berths in the 2009 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships at Vancouver WA. Dotson and Harding were the fastest finishers for Xavier at the event, placing 215th out of 323 men and 263rd out of 330 women, respectively. The Rush and Nuggets both finished 31st out of 32 schools in the team scoring.



Harry Johnson Sr. ’77, an attorney in Houston TX, is serving as CEO $120 million Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial project, which broke ground on the mall in Washington DC last month.

Dr. Kevin B. Sneed ‘98, has been appointed the founding dean of the University of South Florida’s new School of Pharmacy. He previously served as associate professor of family medicine and assistant dean and clinical director of the USF College of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Pharmacy.

Cynthia Willard-Lewis ’74, District "E" representative on the New Orleans City Council, was honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Greater New Orleans during its Annual Torchbearer's Awards Gala. She is a former state legislator and previously worked as Bureau Chief in the Housing Division of the City of New Orleans.


Dr. Kenneth Boutte, Sr. ’76 (Dean, Freshman Studies) has accepted the position of Program Officer with the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). He will be on leave from XU while he serves this rotational appointment.

Dr. Joseph M. LaRochelle (pharmacy) has been selected as a reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs by the U.S. Department of Defense. He is profiled HERE. He was also appointed chair of the Professional Practice Advisory Group for the New Practitioner’s Forum of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

Dr. Claire Norris (sociology) shared her experiences in navigating the doctoral process with current and potential doctoral students and colleagues during the "Building a Community of Support within Doctoral Scholars Program" presentation at the Southern Regional Education Board’s 16th Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, held in Arlington VA.

Three faculty from the Department of English and African American Studies participated in the Louisiana Association of College Composition conference in Monroe LA. Dr. Nicole P. Greene moderated the panel "Trends in Composition," Dr. Jason Todd organized and participated in the Writing Center Roundtable, and Jeremy Tuman read his non-fiction work, "Fun's Last Gasp."

Four faculty – Dr. Wendy Gaudin (history), Dr. Lynne Gleiber (political science), Dr. Adrian Woods (director, academic enhancement) and Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore (chair, political science – led a breakout session "Carpe Diem: Opportunities for Teaching and Learning Tolerance in the HBCU Classroom" at NYU's 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Faculty Resource Network, held in Atlanta.

Where Are They Now?

It has been said that we are at unenviable moment in human history when our yearning for unhealthy diets is taking us toward extinction. That if we do not change what we feed our children and teach them about symbiotic relationship between a healthy planet, healthy food and healthy bodies – then our demise will be hastened. 

But who wants to be subjected to that guilt trip again? End of lecture.

That’s where Bryant Terry ’97 comes in. A self-described eco-chef, author and food-justice activist, he realized early on that while there was a need to educate people on healthy choices, they were tired of being preached to. So he decided to deliver the same message via a more interesting, nay, more “palatable” sermon.

“I’ve come to understand that a diet is such a personal journey,” said Terry. “I don’t think it’s my place to say what anyone’s diet should be, and I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to say what one’s diet should be, it’s really about checking in and being on that journey with one’s self.”

Bryant Terry

photo by Sara Remington

Since graduating from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, Terry has used cooking as a tool to illuminate the intersections among poverty, structural racism and food insecurity.

His interest in cooking, farming and community health can be traced back to his childhood in Memphis, where his grandparents inspired him to grow, prepare and appreciate good food. That’s the combination that he wants people to grasp.

“For me, it’s about helping people become more aware of the interconnectedness of all living beings, and how we’re just part of this complex whole with the environment, the animal kingdom, the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom,” he said. “I want to help people to see how every action we take affects the whole.”

In 2001, Terry founded b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a five-year initiative created to raise awareness about food justice issues and empower youth to be active in creating a more just and sustainable food system.

A resident of Oakland CA, he has traveled to dozens of cities, doing cooking demonstrations and speaking at public events as well as at universities and colleges. He contributes essays and recipes to a number of online and print outlets, and his work has been featured in most major food-oriented magazines.

Terry, who also holds a M.A. in American history from New York University in addition to his B.A. in English from Xavier, has garnered many honors for his work, including receiving the inaugural Natural Gourmet Institute Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Food Education, being selected as one of the 2008 "Hot 20 Under 40" in the San Francisco Bay Area magazine 7×7 and recently being hailed as one of the “40 Chefs Under 40” by the online Mother Nature Network.

In 2003 he published his first book, Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, which received a 2007 Nautilus Award for Social Change.

His second book, Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, is a deeply personal and cutting-edge cookbook where Terry revisits his Southern roots and offers innovative, animal-free recipes mostly inspired by African American and Southern cooking. VSK recipes use fresh, whole, best-quality, healthy ingredients and cooking techniques with an eye on local, seasonal, sustainably grown food to demonstrate that dishes don’t have to be heavy or greasy to be delicious.

He is currently working on his third book and a television project. [visit his website]

Terry is also a fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program, which provides funding to professionals in food and agriculture enabling them to use mass media channels to inform and shape the public agenda. He fully supports the program’s goal of creating sustainable food systems that promote good health, vibrant communities, environmental stewardship, worker justice and accessibility for all.

As such, he has spent much of the last two years focusing a great deal of his professional energies on the Southern Organic Kitchen Project as a way of addressing the rise of chronic illnesses in historically-excluded urban communities in the South.

“One of the biggest things I uncovered in my work, especially working with young people, is that a lot of people living in low income areas and urban areas are living in what are known as ‘food deserts’,” said Terry. “They have very little access to fresh food – healthy, local, sustainable, all that – and have an overabundance of the worst foods, the fried things, the packaged fast food that has a negative impact on their overall health.”

“Lack of access to healthy food is a huge issue, but it’s only one indicator of material deprivation these people are living with,” he added. “Usually it is accompanied by failing infrastructure, dilapidated schools, high levels of illiteracy and low income. These are all issues that need to be addressed.”

The University has convened an 11-member search committee representing faculty, staff and students from across the institution to select a new Dean for the College of Pharmacy.

The search committee will work with the Atlanta-based firm of Hodge Partners to identify viable internal and external applicants. Top candidates will be brought to campus for interviews and the committee will make its recommendation to Dr. Loren Blanchard, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The new dean is slated to begin on or before July 2010. More info on qualifications can be found HERE.


Eight faculty members have been awarded grants from Xavier's Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR) through funding provided by the Mellon Foundation.

Faculty receiving grants and their research topics are:

- Dr. Ralph Adamo (English), A Grassroots Report on How Post-Katrina Change in Local Public Education Has Affected Quality and Equity;
- Dr. Wendy A. Gaudin (History), Two Faces of Con Lai: Vietnamese Americans at Home and Abroad;
- Dr. Nicole P. Greene (English), Completion of a Primary Bibliography of all the Writings of Edith Somerville and Martin Ross;
- Dr. Mark Gstohl (Theology), Music in Tragedy's Wake: Hip Hop's Response to Hurricane Katrina;
- Dr. Ross Louis (Communications) and Dr. Robin Vander (English/African American Studies), Performance Studies Thematic Research Circle;
- Dr. Elizabeth Manley (History), Assessing, Organizing, and Indexing Digitized Historical Documents: Constructing a Digital Library and a New Approach to Historical Research; - Dr. Steven J. Salm (History), The Globalization of West African Music.
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