Volume 42 No. 2
February 2011









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Welcome Aboard!
Solar Patrol
Remember Haiti
He's Back!
coast guard
At Your Service

1834 Basketball Update

MEN: The Gold Rush, 20-2 (2-0) on the season and ranked No. 11 in the NAIA national men’s poll, return to action Feb. 2 at home against Belhaven.

WOMEN: The Nuggets, 19-4 (2-0) overall and ranked No. 16 in the NAIA national women’s poll, also return to the court Feb. 2 gainst Belhaven.

Check HERE for the latest statistics and schedules for both teams.

1834 Tennis Opens

XU Tennis has returned to the court for what promises to be a challenging season.

Counted among the NAIA's best tennis programs in recent years, XU will play five men's opponents and eight women's opponents from NCAA Division I in 2011.

Check HERE for the latest statistics and schedules for both teams.

1834 Xavier Review

The new issue of Xavier Review (Vol. 30.1) is available for purchase at the Department of English and African American Studies, Administration Annex, Room 204, or by calling 520-5246.

This issue features essays on Afro-Formalist poets and includes poetry by African American poets.

1834 Fitch Praise CD

Copies of Connie & Dwight Fitch’s new praise CD "Victory In Jesus" – inspired by the outpouring of love and support from the Christian Community during Dwight's battle with lung cancer – are now on sale in the Campus Ministry Office.

100% of the proceeds from the first 100 CDs sold will benefit the building of the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel. The cost is $10.

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 Research Journal

XULAneXUS, the university’s online undergraduate research journal is now accepting submissions for Volume 8, Issue 2 (to be published in April 2011).

Students who have recently completed artistic projects, papers, and/or research projects are especially encouraged to submit their work. The deadline is Feb. 11. Visit HERE for more info on the journal and HERE for submission guidelines.

For more info contact Dr. Ross Louis by E-MAIL, call 520-5103 or visit the journal WEBSITE.

1834 Lincoln Exhibition

The NEH/ALA Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War Traveling Grant Exhibition for Libraries – funded by National Endowment for the Humanities and created by the National Constitution Center – will tour the Xavier Library Resource Center April 6 to June 25. 

In conjunction with the exhibition the XU Library is sponsoring a Lincoln Essay Contest. Visit HERE for more details or contact Michele Woods at 520-7584. Other events and activities associated with this one-of-kind exhibit will be announced later.

1834 Scripture Series

The Office of Campus Ministry will offer a Late Night Scripture Series “Blacks in the Sacred Scripture" every Wednesday during Black History Month at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel.

Topics include: (Feb. 2) “Single Parent Dilemma", (Feb 9) “Call It What It Is: Racism", (Feb. 16) “Crossroads Decision", and (Feb. 23) “Victory Testimony at a Parade". The Rev. Fernand Cheri, XU Chaplin, will be the presenter.

1834 Author Eileen Julien

Author and XU graduate Eileen Julien ‘69 will read from her novel, “Travels with Mae: Scenes from a New Orleans Childhood,” Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the UC Ballroom. 

The event is free and open to the public. Visit HERE for more info.

1834 XU in the News

2Education Executive
Xavier: Coming Back Strong
1Catholic News Service
US Bishops, College Leaders to Discuss Catholic Identity
2Montgomery Advertiser
Tuskegee New President
- Dr. Gilbert Rochon '68
1Bright Hub
Top Black Colleges
in the United States
2St. Louis Post Dispatch Native Son Honored
with Trumpet Award
- Harry Johnson, Sr. '77


Kaitlyn Gaddis, a junior speech pathology major from New Orleans and chair of Mobilization at Xavier (MAX), accepts a Student Community Service Award from XU President Norman C. Francis during the 25th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Week for Peace convocation.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Xavier is one of twelve schools and the only HBCU to be named a 2011 member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Science Education Alliance. Fourteen others will join as associate members.

“The Department of Biology at Xavier is very excited about being awarded a full membership to the Science Education Alliance of the HHMI and as a member of Cohort IV, is looking forward to participating in the inquiry-based teaching initiatives,” said Dr. Shuba Kale Ireland, Professor and Chair of the department.
- more -


Kaitlyn Gaddis, a junior speech pathology major from New Orleans, was honored for her community service during the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration.

She was recognized for embodying the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a community leader and a spirit for change in various efforts to restore, rebuild and renew the New Orleans community.
x - more -


As the University's priority deadline of March 1 fast approaches, the XU Office of Admissions reports that freshman applications 2011-2012 term are running 33 percent higher than last year.

That’s music to the ears of XU Dean of Admissions Winston Brown, who attributes much of the increase to a growing national interest in the University’s varied offerings. - more -


Embarrassing Position, an original opera written by XU music professor and composer Dr. Dan Shore, has been selected to receive the Big Easy Entertainment Award’s 2011 Creative Achievement in Opera award.

Shore will accept the honor at the organization’s 17th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts benefit gala Feb. 7 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. The benefit supports the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education.xx - more -

Dr. Dan Shore


The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) has announced the addition of two new members, Philander Smith College and Talladega College, for the 2011-12 academic year.

The addition of the Little Rock AK and Talladega AL based-schools will give the conference a total of eight members next season, including three charter members – Xavier, Dillard University and Tougaloo College – as well as three other current members – Edward Waters College, Fisk University, and Southern University at New Orleans.

The GCAC, founded in 1981, is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), in Division I.


The University is now taking applications for its popular slate of pre-college Summer Enrichment Programs.

Among this year's offerings are:

- Business Achievers Summer Program
- British Petroleum Math & Science Initiative
- Center of Excellence program
- EPsAR Summer Program
- Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program
- Mardi Gras Indian Arts program
- New Orleans Urban Initiative
- PREM Summer Bridge program
- Speech Pathology Recruitment Program
- SAA (MathStar, BioStar, ChemStar and SOAR1)
- SuperScholarEXCEL
- Upward Bound
- Write N.O.W. at Xavier.

Check HERE for more detailed info.


1834 SKD Chapel Campaign

It's an understatement to suggest that building a free-standing religious chapel on campus has been an elusive dream for most of Xavier's history.

A chapel was actually included in (then) Mother Katharine Drexel’s original blueprint plans for the Xavier campus in the late 1920’s and it has been mentioned as an upcoming project in nearly every university strategic plan for the past 80+ years. However those plans were always deferred in order to address other essential campus needs such as new classrooms and laboratories, faculty and staff offices, living residences and other student oriented service facilities.

But that dream is finally about to become reality. The University has officially launched an $8 million campaign to fund the new St. Katharine Drexel Chapel and construction has already begun.

Visit HERE for more details on the Chapel and how you can contribute to this project.


Accomplished professionals from the public and private sectors will visit the campus Feb. 20-22 to participate in the Office of Career Service’s annual Youth Motivation Task Force/Black Executive Exchange Program (YMTF/BEEP).

A team of 50 African American professionals, representing a variety of career fields ranging from medicine to the military, will visit classrooms to share their stories and give advice on how to succeed in life after college. 

In addition to the classroom visits, team members will be available to meet with students for an informal mixer, and the program will also include panel discussions on careers in law and career options to medical schools.

This year’s YMTF/BEEP team, chaired by XU Director of Career Services Carolyn Duvigneaud Thomas ’71, includes 22 other alumni, including: Patricia Boyer ’81, Chad Broussard ’99, Conchetta Carpenter ‘99, Gary Carter ‘96, Dr. Lynette Causey ’72, Veronica Harrison ’86, Ellen Hazeur ’86, Kristi Hubbard ’78, Dr. Adrienne Johnson ’95, Frank Joshua Sr. ’84, Clark Knighten ’79, Kristie Lebeau ’95, Dr. Ambrose Martin III ’76, Vernon Martin, Jr. ’73, Giovanni Morris ’90, Dylan Perry '97, Howard Rodgers IV ’04, Randall Schexnayder ’80, Mike Scott ‘85, Melanie Sullivan ’88, Sharonda Williams ’94, and Vernon Williams ’85.

This year’s event is being sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard.


hhmi cont

Xavier and the other schools will begin offering an innovative course from HHMI’s Science Education Alliance (SEA) that will give students hands on research experience in an elective course.

“This will be a small group of students doing very hands-on, intensive research,” said Dr. Joseph Ross, XU Associate Professor of biology and one of the program coordinators. The course will target sophomore biology majors, and students will be recruited mainly from those presently enrolled in Biology 1240 (the second semester of the General Biology series).

“This is a direction we have wanted to move some of our courses to for a while," he said. "It is a very effective technique to immerse students in research. We have of course done hands on before but nothing like this. This course will give them tools to enable them to do better in other science course work as well.”

While some participating schools offer the course as a substitute for their introductory biology laboratory, at Xavier the course will be an elective. Biology majors must choose 15 hours of biology electives in their program.

In the first term, the students isolate phages (a group of viruses that infect specific bacteria) from locally collected soil. Given the diversity of phages, each one is almost certain to be unique, and the students get to name their newly identified life form. They spend the rest of the term purifying and characterizing their phage and extracting its DNA.
Between terms, the DNA samples are sequenced at one of several research centers across the country. In the second half of the course, the students receive digital files containing their phage’s DNA sequence. The students then learn to use bioinformatics tools to analyze and annotate the genomes.

The 12 schools joining the SEA were – Xavier, Brown University, Carthage College, College of St. Scholastica, Georgia Gwinnett College, Johns Hopkins University, Montclair State University, Ohio State University, Ouachita Baptist University, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Florida and Washington State University – were chosen through a competitive application process. They will offer the course beginning in Fall 2011. HHMI provides training, research, and laboratory materials, as well as support from HHMI staff.

HHMI created the SEA in 2007 to develop resources that enable undergraduate science educators to present innovative courses and programs. Since then, participating faculty have worked together to roll out the course and bring the excitement of experimental research to students in a novel, collaborative way.

The National Genomics Research Initiative is the alliance’s first program, and HHMI has committed $4 million to the course. With these new schools, the course is now being taught in 29 states and Puerto Rico. “I feel like the tide is continuing to roll, that the SEA is really branching out,” said the SEA’s director, Tuajuanda Jordan.

mlk cont

Gaddis, who prepped at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville GA, has totally embraced the institution’s mission of “promoting a more just and humane society,” dedicating countless hours of service and leadership to programs offered by the XU Center for Student Leadership and Service.

This year, she serves as chair of Mobilization at Xavier (MAX), the university’s student-led service organization that consists of twelve very diverse community service programs. She is also in her second year of coordinating Outreach Day, a MAX community service program which invites elementary school children in the New Orleans area to campus once monthly to participate in educational, cultural and social enrichment activities.

Last year, Gaddis also served as secretary of MAX, responsible for keeping tabs on and communicating with all students registered in the umbrella community service organization. She has also served on the planning committee for the citywide MLK Day of Service for two years and worked to coordinate community service projects as part of the 2010 Homecoming Week.



Chante Calais, a senior biology/pre-med major from Breaux Bridge LA (Cecila High), has been accepted into the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Brittaney Hill, a senior biology major from Memphis TN (Memphis Catholic High), has been accepted into dental school at Meharry College.

Kordell Hunter, a senior biology/pre-med major from Opelousas LA (Southern Lab High), has been accepted into the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Tasha Johnson, a senior biology major from Cincinnati OH (St. Ursula Academy), has been accepted into medical school at Morehouse College.

Courtney Lee
, a senior biology/pre-med major from Harvey LA (John Ehret High), has been accepted into medical school at Southern Illinois University.

Steve Morgan, a senior biology/pre-med major from Gray LA (H. L. Bourgeois High), has been accepted into the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

DaJonitta Richmond, a senior chemistry/pre-med major from Tomball TX (Klein Oak High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Texas-Galveston and Meharry College.

Daphanie Taylor, a senior biology/pre-med major from Garland TX (Garland High), has been accepted into medical school at the University of Texas-Galveston.

Kristen Walker, a senior biology/pre-med major from Baton Rouge LA (Denham Springs High), has been accepted into the University of Rochester Medical School.

Ashley Williams, a senior biology/pre-med major from Hiram GA (Hiram High), has been accepted into the masters of medical science program at Drexel University.


Warren A. Fleet ‘71, has been elected to partnership in the law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre L.L.P. Based in Baton Rouge LA, he specializes in energy issues for the firm, which provides a comprehensive range of legal services to a national and international corporate client base through offices in five states and the District of Columbia.

Timothy Francis ’80, has donated two large sculptures to the ever growing Blanche and Norman C. Francis Collection.
More details and visuals HERE.

Lawrence C. Houston '90 and '02, has been ordained a permanent deacon for the Archidocese of New Orleans. He is assigned to St. Peter Claver Church.

Ben Jackson ’97, senior financial reporting manager at Beiersdorf, Inc., has been named 2011 MBA of the Year by the Westchester/Greater Connecticut Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

Andrea Lee ’09, has been accepted into medical school at Southern Illinois University.

Anita Madison ’10, has been accepted into the Tulane University School of Medicine.

Dr. Carlen Luke McLin ’77, has been named chief of staff at Tuskegee University. Previously she served as assistant dean, Division of the Natural Sciences & Public Health, and chair of the School of Public Health at Dillard.

Rida Nadeem ’08, has been accepted into medical school at the American University of the Caribbean.

Jamika Pessoa ’01, premiered her new cable television show, Home Made Simple, in January on TLC (The Learning Channel). She also has a new website.

Steve Prince ’91, has accepted a position as assistant professor of art at Montgomery College in Germantown MD. He also did the artwork for a new book, African American History Reconsidered, written by Michigan State professor Pero Dagbovie and was interviewed for another book, Ministry Unplugged: Uncommon Calls to Serve.

Ashley Ross-Smith ’08, has been accepted into dental school at Baylor University and the University of Texas-Houston.

Cheryl M. Thomas ’71, has been appointed senior director of development at Tuskegee University. Previously she held the positions of director of planned giving and senior development officer for major gifts at Meharry Medical College and XU.


Dr. M. Shawn Copeland (Institute for Black Catholic Studies) presented a session, “The Subversive Power of Love”, at the 4th Annual Evangelization Conference, hosted by the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Office of Black Catholic Ministries.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton (pharmacy) '85, '98 has been elected secretary/treasurer of the Louisiana State Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP).

A member of the 2010–2011 XU Homecoming Court, she is also a  mentor in Xavier’s  Leading Others Via Excellence (XU L.O.V.E.) program, and an intern at the Lagniappe Academies of New Orleans.

Gaddis was one of the four students from the MLK Week-sponsoring local institutions (XU, Tulane, Dillard and Loyola) to receive a community service award during the convocation. New Orleans’s desegregation pioneer Ruby Bridges, now chair of her own foundation which promotes "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences", was presented the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award during the same event.

Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni delivered the keynote address at the MLK Week’s  signature convocation. Other MLK events included a community service day and expressions of unity celebration.

applications cont

“Applications from Louisiana students are up, but we are seeing more dramatic increases in applicants from throughout our region and across the country,” said Brown. “Because of the increased competition for admission slots, it is more important than ever for high school students who are serious about attending Xavier to apply as early as possible.”

This year’s pool of applicants shows a distinct preference for the online application. Online applications have increased from 62% last year to 81% for the Fall 2011 class. Xavier is in its inaugural year of membership in the Common Application.
Meanwhile, enrollment at the University for the Spring 2011 semester holds steady at 3,217 students. This number includes 123 new or returning undergraduates.

Brown said this is evidence that enrollment is expanding in spite of the tough economic times. “A Xavier education remains a coveted experience,” he said.

Interested students should apply ONLINE.

opera cont

According to Shore the opera is based on a sketch by Kate Chopin set in 1890’s New Orleans and takes its musical inspiration from 19th-century Creole composers like Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Basile Barès.

The plot of the one-act comedy recounts the troubles of a young bachelor running for political office who receives an unexpected visit from the lovely and naïve daughter of a family friend and, before he can figure out what to do with her, notes another knock at the door – that of a gossip columnist for the New Orleans Times-Democrat!

“It’s a direct result of my experiences here in the city,” said Shore of the piece. “I wrote the entire score in my office at Xavier, and we tested out a scene with our opera workshop.”

The opera had its premiere at the New England Conservatory in Boston MA in May 2010. Xavier’s opera workshop performed the opera locally in the fall of 2010.

It’s not the first of Shore’s operas to receive recognition. His 2007 opera “The Beautiful Bridegroom,” hailed as ‘a little masterpiece’ by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David del Tredici. It has been produced 11 times throughout the country, including a date at the National Opera Association meeting earlier this month in San Antonio, TX.

Shore, who holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, has taught at Xavier since 2008 when moved to New Orleans from Boston MA in 2008 to join his wife Meredith Rouse, who plays the English horn with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

If you have any comments about TMAX or have some information you
would like to submit for publication, please direct an e-mail to rtucker@xula.edu

© 2011 Xavier University of Louisiana. All rights reserved