Volume 37 No. 02
February 07

Admissions Prospects Encouraging for '07

Newhouse Foundation
Endows Professorships

Co-ed Receives Service
Award During MLK Week

YMTF Professionals
Make Annual Visit

Alum Proves It's More
Than Just Therapy


Xavier in the News


Art Courses to Help Rebuild New Orleans

A visiting professor from New York University will work this semester with Xavier faculty and students with a focus on building community through the arts.

Jan Cohen Cruz of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, is co-teaching two courses with art department chairman Ron Bechet.

Bechet said the courses – “Developing Community Programs through the Arts” and “Arts Trends and Policy” – will help students to contribute to rebuilding New Orleans.

“There’s a community component involved in the courses that not only gives students hands-on experiences, but will also support the development of New Orleans Culture, he said, noting that students in the course will work with the Porch organization, the Ninth ward’s Nina Center, a Lakeview theatre group, and the Ashe Center.

Cohen-Cruz is an associate professor of drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she helped to found the Center for Art and Public Policy.  She was scholar-in-residence for the Bronx Museum of Art’s two-year Action Lab.

Bechet has served as director of Xavier’s Community Arts Program and served in many arts and youth programs in the New Orleans Area. He was recently nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters’ and Sculptors’ Grant. He was part of the production of the new national community arts casebook which also featured Xavier’s Community Arts Partnership Program.

1834 Faculty Address Post-Katrina World

Members of the English faculty addressed post-Katrina living and teaching with a presentation, "Teaching and Writing in Post Katrina New Orleans,” at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference, held in Dallas, Texas.

The session was led by Dr. Nicole Greene, who presented the paper "Flushing Out the Basements: The Status of Contingent Composition Faculty in Post Katrina New Orleans."

Other presentations included: Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr., "Facing the Flood: the English Department as a High Axle Vehicle"; Katheryn Krotzer Laborde, "Show and tell: Using Personal Snapshots, Essays, and Anecdotes to Teach Composition"; and Dr. Bonnie Noonan, "When Life Gives You Lemons: Katrina as Subject." 

In an unrelated session on Slavic literatures, Dr. Biljana Obradovic gave the paper "Dubravka Djuric: Serbian Language and Performance Poet."  Dr. Violet Bryan and
Bonner served as officers of other sessions.

1834 XU Tennis Teams
Back on the Court

The Xavier men’s and women’s tennis teams began their first full season of play since Hurricane Katrina this past weekend and promptly celebrated with a sweep over Southern University.

"We've been looking forward to the season," said Green, a former XU tennis standout who has compiled a dual-match record of 58-22 with the women and 39-25 with the men in three seasons.

"We haven't played in duals in over a year," he said, "and everyone was ready to get back on the court and see where we fit in with the nation's best teams in the NAIA."

Xavier has fit in nicely during Green's coaching tenure. The women won conference championships in ' 03, ' 04 and '05 - qualifing for the NAIA National Tournament the last two years. The men were the GCAC runner-up in both '03 and '04, then won the title in '05.

XU did not compete last season because of Katrina, although Green's teams returned to the court briefly in September for a pair of Georgia tournaments.

The men return four lettermen: senior Thomas Fugate, juniors Vusumzi Kempele and Miroslav Vukicevic and sophomore Terry Richardson. The women's only returning player is junior Dominique Bell, a two-time GCAC Player of the Year and No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's NAIA fall women's singles rankings released Dec. 1. Bell is the only GCAC player to appear in the rankings.

For the complete spring schedule, visit the athletic website.

1834 Basketball Update

The Gold Rush and Nugget basketball squads - fresh off victories over archrival Dillard, are 12-7 and 16-6 overall on the season, respectively, going into the second half of the conference season.

The Rush are currently tied for fourth in GCAC conference play in league play at 5-4, having won five straight.

The Nuggets, ranked No. 21 in the nation, are all alone in first place in the conference standings at 7-1. The win over Dillard marked their 30th consecutive win at home in league play.

For the latest athletic news visit here.

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.




XU Dean of Admissions Winston Brown and his staff review some of the more than 1,700 freshman applications that the University has received to date far for the Fall '07 semester - a comparable number to those received for the same period in the pre-Katrina years. Students from the region and across the nation are apparently showing renewed interest in applying to the nation’s only historically Black and Catholic university.

(photo by Irving Johnson III)

Admissions Prospects Encouraging for '07 Freshman Class

New Orleans, La. - What a difference a year makes, when you’re the Dean of Admissions at a university whose campus was ravaged by a hurricane and still being repaired during the critical months when most high school seniors are submitting their applications to become members of your next Freshman class.

That was the situation in the Fall months of 2005 for Winston Brown and his staff of admissions counselors, working from satellite offices outside of New Orleans on behalf of the University. Working closely with the university communications, information technology and media relations staff, the Admissions team was steadily communicating its post-Katrina recruitment message: that the Xavier campus was reopening as of January 2006 for its current students, and that they were aggressively recruiting applicants for the Fall 2006 semester.

“We printed and mailed nearly 30,000 Admissions search pieces to high school recruits nationwide, followed up by regular e-mail messages that included progress reports on our campus’ road to recovery with photos of the campus being completely renovated,” says Dean Brown, who had lost his own home to the hurricane along with 85% of the Xavier staff and faculty. “But with nonstop national media coverage of the city’s slow pace of recovery, unsafe health conditions, and so forth, applicants for the 2006 freshman class was much smaller than it had been for decades.”

The end result? 445 Freshman started the Fall ’06 semester at Xavier, compared with an average one- thousand Freshmen in the years before Katrina.

One year later, the Admissions office at Xavier is once again a busy place, processing almost 1,600 applications as of Jan. 15, 2007. That is nearly as many applications as they received for the same period in the pre-Katrina years. Students from the region and
across the nation are apparently showing renewed interest in applying to the nation’s only historically Black and Catholic university, due in part to its continuing reputation for excellence and leadership in the math and science fields – especially Biology, Pre-Med and Pharmacy – combined with a solid liberal arts core curriculum.

Still, the Admissions dean is cautious with his optimism about Xavier’s next Freshman class being closer to pre-Katrina levels, pointing out that “It is great to see nearly three-quarters of the applicants that we used to see, but we still have to overcome what we call the Momma Factor…”

That’s the term coined by Xavier’s longtime president, Norman C. Francis, referring to parental reluctance about sending their students to college in a rebuilding city like New Orleans. Like their counterparts at other local universities, the Xavier recruiters have had to reassure parents in far away states that their midtown campus has long since been cleaned up, repaired and restored. They tell them about hundreds of available dormitory rooms, a fully functional multi-purpose center, various student services and other recreational activities, a modern cafeteria, and – perhaps as important as anything else – a safe campus, thanks to a fully commissioned campus police force.

Brown opines, “If we can get our message across to the parents that Xavier has been reopened and fully functional for more than a year already, and that we continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment, then we are confident that we will see our yield of
Freshman increase.”

The University will also continue exploring ways to enhance its outreach strategies in order to recruit more students. The university’s web site www.XULA.edu has been refined to offer more complete admissions information to prospective students, and to encourage them to take advantage of Xavier’s online application process.

Meanwhile, enrollment at the 81-year-old HBCU continues to hold steady for the 2006-07 academic year with a total enrollment of nearly 2,900 for the Spring 2007 semester. That’s an increase over the Spring 2006 enrollment, and it represents more than 70% of Xavier’s pre-Katrina enrollment.

The University is also engaged in a major strategic planning initiative involving faculty, staff and students, to chart a course for it was no surprise that our pool of the university’s next two decades. Campus expansion and progress are, in fact, already on the drawing board. Groundbreaking will take place later this year for a major expansion of the College of Pharmacy building, and plans are being developed to build a free-standing chapel dedicated to the memory of Saint Katharine Drexel, Xavier’s founder. (The current chapel, located on the ground floor of the administration building, is being renovated after being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina flood waters.)

The University is also pursuing plans to establish a Center for Math & Science Teaching, as a means of sharing its tradition of excellence in those areas with math and science teachers at the middle- and high-school levels.

For university president Norman C. Francis, it’s all very simple: “With our recovery from the ravages of Katrina nearly complete, our message for 2007 is that Xavier is not only back, but advancing and expanding our mission so that we’ll be even better moving forward.”



Crystal Dobbins, a senior sales & marketing major from Garland, Texas (Lakeview High), has accepted a sales position with the 3M Corporation.

Jewel Pichon, a senior sales & marketing major from Slidell, La. (Salmen High), has accepted a sales position with the 3M Corporation.

Mitchell Shanks, a senior sales & marketing major from Naperville, Ill. (Naperville North High School) has accepted a management position with Walgreen’s and has enrolled in the MBA program at Northern Illinois University.

Ashleigh Ward, a senior sales & marketing major from New Orleans (McDonogh 35), has accepted a sales position with Kellogg’s.


Daria Cross ’99, has taken a position as a pharmacy technician and customer service representative with the pharmaceutical management company Express Scripts in St. Louis, Mo. She recently earned a pharmacy tech license and has enrolled in a medical massage science program at Missouri College.

Allen C Miller ’95
, has been elected as an equity partner with the law firm of Phelps Dunbar LLP in New Orleans.

Demetria George '98, has accepted a position as Campaign Director for Uplift Education, a charter school system in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Previously she worked as an Associate Campaign Director for Community Counseling Service.

Joy Bachemin Joseph ‘60
, has been named chair of the Food Additives Advisory Panel for sixth edition of U.S. Pharmacopeia’s publication, Food Chemicals Codex.

Phyllis King, '86, has published her first book, BECAUSE: A Collection of Writings ... under the pseudonym of Candace King. Info on the collection of poetry/prose, humorous anecdotes, advice and recipes, can be found at www.freewebs.com/granddiva



Courtney Anthony, a second-year pharmacy major from Houston, is congratulated by XU President Norman Francis and Princeton University’s Dr. Cornel West after receiving a student community service award during the annual MLK, Jr. Week for Peace Celebration.

Photo by Irving Johnson III

Co-ed Receives Service Award at MLK Week Ceremony

Courtney Anthony was honored for her community service during the 21 st annual Martin Luther Ling, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration.

Anthony, a second-year pharmacy major from Houston, Texas (Carnegie Vanguard High School), was praised for utilizing community service to uphold Xavier’s tradition and commitment to a more just and human society.

She was singled for her extensive involvement in the Girl Scouts, where she is credited with giving area female youth the opportunity to participate in a scouting program and for organizing programs to help young girls learn conflict resolution, the value of teamwork and the importance of diversity.

She was one of the four students to receive a community service award – representing each of the MLK Week sponsoring local institutions – XU, Tulane, Dillard and Loyola.

Newhouse Foundation Endows New Professorships

The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation has pledged $600,000 that will help create as many as 12 endowed professorships at the University.

The gift – awarded through the United Negro College Fund's campaign to help Katrina-stricken colleges – will be presented in $100,000 annual installments.

President Norman Francis indicated he hopes to split each year's gift and create two $100,000 professorships by getting $20,000 from private sources and asking the state Board of Regents for $80,000 more. Another option for the money, he said, would be to create a $1 million professorship with the Newhouse grant and $400,000 in matching money from the regents.

"The beauty of this is that it provides a leveraging opportunity that will double the investment," Francis said.

Endowed professorships are assets for recruiting and retaining faculty members and rewarding outstanding achievements, he said. They also give faculty members money to do the things they would like to do to enhance their work, including research and travel, Francis said.

"Faculty like to be appreciated," said Gene D'Amour, Xavier's senior vice president for resource development. "When you give a faculty member an endowed professorship, you're showing that the university appreciates him."

These positions could be important lures because Xavier needs to hire more professors to keep up with what is expected to be a growing student body, D'Amour said.

Francis said he has not decided which departments will get these positions.

The Newhouse Foundation is a private, charitable organization set up by the family that owns Advance Publications, whose holdings include The Times-Picayune.

"Xavier has been a great university with a well-deserved national reputation and a vital role in New Orleans higher education," Times-Picayune Publisher Ashton Phelps Jr. said. "Having been swamped by the floods of Katrina and risen to that extraordinary challenge, Xavier is an integral part of the recovery of New Orleans. It has proved its greatness by the toughest standard imaginable. We are delighted the Newhouse Foundation grant will help fund a future that benefits this community and the nation."

The gift will establish The Times-Picayune/Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation professorships. It was made to the UNCF's Wave of Hope Campaign, established to help repair hurricane damage at seven historically black colleges and universities and provide scholarships for students there who need them.

Dennis Sigur ‘97 (Xavier ITC) has been elected to the board for the Louisiana Quality Foundation. He has also completed the Metropolitan Leadership Forum given by the Committee for a Better New Orleans/Metropolitan Area Committee.

Dr. David Travillion ’90, who recently completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Texas health Science Center in San Antonio, has accepted a position with the Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Augusta, Ga., a joint venture between the U.S. Army and the V.A. designed to meet the needs of soldiers wounded during the current Iraq conflict. 

Clifton Watson '04, who recently received his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, has been accepted into the school’s doctorate program.

FacultyDr. Teresa Birdwhistell (chemistry) and Dr. Maryam Foroozesh (chemistry) were among the 220 scientists around who served as volunteer judges of the 1,048 poster presentations and 72 oral presentations presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), held in Anaheim, Calif.

Dr. Amy Bellone Hite (sociology) co-edited a book, The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change, which has been published by Blackwell Publishers.

Katheryn Krotzer Laborde (English) has her photos of message-bearing refrigerators and a water-lined Virgin Mary grace the cover of the current issue of The Xavier Review. Her brief essay about the post-K refrigerator phenomena is included, as well.

YMTF Professionals Ready to Make Annual Campus Visit

Close to 60 successful African American professionals – many of them XU graduates – will descend upon the campus Feb.11-13 to help encourage students toward career goals.

Members of this year’s Youth Motivational Task Force (YMTF) represent a wide range of public agencies, corporations and private businesses. These positive African American role models will visit classrooms and counsel students during the three-day program to introduce undergraduate students to opportunities in the job market and to offer insight into the skills and attributes they will need to be successful.

Carla Major

This year’s event – the first since Hurricane Katrina – is chaired by Carla Major, VP of Human Resources at Harrah's New Orleans. YMTF is a program of the Office of Career Services.

The YTMF group includes 21 XU graduates, including: Dr. Katric Albert ’94, Charles Baquet III ’63, Dr. Kenneth Boutte ‘76, Dr. Lynette Causey ’72, Heidi Lovett Daniels ’92, Dr. Ian Heisser ’95, Kristi Hubbard ’78, Dr. Ernest Jackson ‘75, Frank Joshua Sr. ’84, Julie Gil;yard ' 94, Veronica Harrison ' 86, Marlon Lloyd ’94, Dr. Ambrose Martin III ‘76, Vernon Martin Jr. ’73, Ann Coxen Mitchell ’78, Godwin Ndukwe ’85, Dr. Tammuella Singleton ’94, Melanie Sullivan ‘88, Tahra Taylor ‘91, David Terrie ‘88 and Barbara Whitaker ’77.

Where Are They Now?

Alum Proves It's More than Just Therapy

Dr. Norma Charles

When asked about her choice to enter the mental-health field, Dr. Norma J. Charles ’81 thought back to her childhood.

“My mother was a counselor and clinical social worker for the federal government,” she said. “I always knew as a child that I wanted to be directly involved in helping others.”

Originally aspiring to be a medical doctor, Charles volunteered to work with physical and occupational therapists at various hospitals in the greater New Orleans area. Her first therapeutic experience came during her junior year in college, when she served as a volunteer crisis advocate for the YWCA battered women’s program.

“As a volunteer, people always used to say to me, ‘You’re so easy to talk to – have you ever thought about being a counselor?’” Charles said.

It was her volunteer clinical experience, counseling and psychology coursework and upbringing in a family with a love for community and outreach that led Charles to discover her niche in psychology.

As a licensed psychologist and mental-health counselor, Charles counsels in private practice through her business, Counseling and Consulting with Care, LLC, and is an independent provider with The Intensive Treatment Modalities Group (ITM) in Gainesville. She serves as the coordinator for minority programs at the University of Florida Student Health Care Center, Department of Mental Health, where she assists students, faculty and staff. Charles is also an active member of several of UF’s programs, including the Minority Mentor’s Program, The McNair Scholars Program, the Employee Assistance Program and formerly the University Athletic Association Program.

Before coming to UF in 1996, Charles earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Xavier University of New Orleans and obtained her Masters of Education in post-secondary agency counseling from the University of Kansas. She worked with the U.S. Department of the Army as a counselor on a military installation in Germany and as a psychology intern during her tenure as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. She also earned a Masters degree in clinical psychology and a Doctorate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Charles said she made it her mission in life to make sure people get more than just therapy and that persons of color have access to mental health, which is one reason why she decided to go into private practice. She used the phrase “people of color” to describe not only African Americans but also other ethnic groups such as Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and international clients. During her childhood and early adult years, Charles didn’t see any persons of color in rural or urban Louisiana in community mental health.

“Even today, finding a provider of color is limited in Gainesville,” she said. “Oftentimes, people of color don’t know that there are providers of color in their communities to help them without word of mouth.”

Charles said insurance panels are more concerned about the number of providers in their counties rather than  the diversity of providers and that people of color are often reluctant to seek counseling if they need it because they don’t feel as if they’ll be understood by a provider of different racial or ethnic backgrounds.

“If clients know there’s someone out there who looks like them and may share similar life experiences as them, they might be more inclined to seek help,” she said.

Regardless of the clients’ backgrounds, however, Charles’ method for helping her clients is personalized.

“My approach depends upon the client and the client’s needs,” she said. “I see myself as an added resource and will go the extra mile to help a client. When you come to see me, you get more than just therapy.”

q XU in the News

Baton Rouge Advocate
FEMA duns
storm-displaced students

Students Advocate for
Civic Works Legislation

Inside Higher Education
A Bill from FEMA

Georgia Bulletin
Mass Emphasizes
Call To Be ‘True Neighbors’

Chicago Sun Times
New Orleans: Just A Game?

Biz Yahoo
A Rebuilding Surge in N.O.

PR Newswire
'Louisiana Winter' Students Arrive in New Orleans

New Orleans Citybusiness Universities Lead the Way Managing N.O. Recovery

Minnesota Daily
Youth Corps Calls
for Action in Gulf Area

National Catholic Register
Xavier Prez Honored

New York Times
Once Jeered, Headbands
Now Scoring Style Points

Charles’ counseling method is to form a personal one-onone “team” with her clients and meet them at their world view. She said while her clients are experts on themselves and know their own strengths and weaknesses, she is an expert for them to seek help because she is not emotionally tied to her clients’ crisis.

“I can be more level-headed and objective to help them reach their goals,” she said.

Her personal approach to counseling has aided individuals, couples, groups and families alike. But while Charles is a generalist, her clinical expertise is as diverse as the clients she serves. She has aided individuals experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol, child, marriage and family issues, domestic violence and sexual assault. She facilitates support groups for both men and women and provides consultation and psychoeducational outreach.

Besides helping her clients work out psychological issues, Charles will attempt to assist clients with other concerns or point them to appropriate resources in the community. For example, a client may come to her with a relationship problem but may also need assistance with housing and financial concerns as well. Charles credited her diverse family for giving her the patience, perspective and sensitivity that clients need, especially when they seek counseling for the first time.

Whether she’s helping an individual client or an agency meet therapeutic and clinical goals, Charles said she realized the importance of the personal touch needed in counseling.

“If you’re just putting out flyers and business cards, potential clients don’t really get to know you,” she said. “It’s important to be a visible resource, accessible provider and a caring and humanistic individual when helping others.
“Most importantly, take care of oneself as a provider in order to be a viable resource to others.”

Adapted from the Gainesville Today Magazine

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