Volume 45 No. 2
February 2014










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Good Show
Tuned In
Papal Audience
On Target
grand celebration
Grand Celebration

1834 694 Scholars Make Fall Dean's List

A total of 694 student scholars made the Dean's List during the fall 2013 semester, according to XU Registrar Avis Stuard.

Students merited a spot on the honor roll by earning a semester grade point average of 3.3 or above while taking at least 12 semester hours. The honor students listed below are grouped by major and include their classifications, high schools and/or (hometowns). Unless otherwise noted, the latter is New Orleans.

The complete lists are available HERE (College of Arts & Sciences) and HERE (College of Pharmacy).

1834 Basketball Update

MEN: The Gold Rush, ranked No. 13 in the most recent NAIA national poll, are the GCAC leaders at 16-5 overall and 5-1 in conference.

Next up a four-game road trip. Visit HERE for updates.

WOMEN: The Nuggets, back up to No. 24 in the current NAIA national poll, also lead the GCAC with a 16-6 overall and 6-0 conference record.

The road beckons for the Nuggets as well. Check HERE for updates.

1834 Xavier Strategic Plan

Xavier is in the process of developing its new five-year plan (2014-2019) and is seeking input from the students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Click HERE to view three short videos that give a quick overview of the planning process or HERE to watch a more extensive webinar summar. (In the login email window, type the password "xavier")

Some typical questions: · What do you feel Xavier needs to change? · What must Xavier keep the same? · What is Xavier most known for today? ·  What should Xavier be known for in the future?

To participate, visit our Facebook page HERE or take the anonymous survey HERE.

1834 Opera Production Nominated for Award

The 9th Ward Opera Company's double bill of George Gershwin's "Blue Monday" and Xavier University of Louisiana music professor Dr. Dan Shore's "An Embarrassing Position" has been nominated for a Big Easy Award. 

The Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education (FEDE) announced special awards and nominations for performances of classical music, opera, ballet and ethnic and contemporary dance in the New Orleans area in 2013. Winners will be announced at the Tribute to the Classical Arts luncheon Feb. 14 at the Hotel Monteleone.

The production, which featured Xavier graduates Danielle Edinburgh-Wilson ’10 and Dedrian Hogan ‘13 as well as current music major Micah Turner in “An Embarrassing Position”, was nominated in the Best Student/Community Opera Production category.

For a complete list of nominees, visit HERE.


State Library Event Features Baby Dolls

In celebration of Black History Month, the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is hosting Dr. Kim Marie Vaz, author and XU Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences, for a discussion of The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition.

The presentation will take place at noon on Feb. 6 at the State Library Seminar Center in Baton Rouge LA. Visit HERE for more info.

1834 MPower NOLA Business opportunity

This July, the New Orleans Startup Fund, in media partnership with Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola, will showcase top high growth minority entrepreneurs from around the country at M-POWER NOLA, an initiative sponsored by Chevron.

Entrepreneurs will be invited to participate in the pitches by invite only. Nominations are being accepted through February 2014.

Rita Reed ’02, president of FFC Capital Markets in New Orleans, encourages her fellow alums to look into this great opportunity.

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 VITA Offers Free
Tax Preparation

The XU Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site is once again offering FREE tax preparation and electronic filing of federal and state income tax returns NOW through April 10 to all individuals who earned less than $54,000 in 2013.

The VITA site is located in the X-Ncubator in Xavier South (Room 211). The service is offered Tuesdays & Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Visit HERE to schedule an appointment.

1834 Business Idea

The XU Entrepreneurship Institute has announced a business idea competition for New Orleans high school students.

Get details HERE. Deadline for entries is March 8, 2014.

1834 Journal Accepting Student Research

XULAneXUS, the University's undergraduate research journal, is now accepting submissions for its spring issue.

Get details HERE. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 21, 2014.



XU College of Pharmacy professor Dr. Tarun Mandal, the lead inventor of the drug formulation recently awarded a U.S. Patent, analyzes the surface morphology of the buprenorphine microcapsules using a FE-Scanning Electron Microscope in his campus laboratory.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a U. S. Patent for a new drug formulation developed in the Xavier College of Pharmacy which promises to improve methods for treating pain and heroin addiction.

Patent No. 8,628,701B2 – “An improved method of microencapsulation” – is for a new, long acting buprenorphine formulation that allows for a reduction in the frequency of dosing. Buprenorphine is a pain killer which is also effective against opioid addiction. more


Xavier will host an historic, national one-day summit focusing on how prevention can lead to a tobacco-free generation Feb. 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the XU Convocation Center.

The “Summit on the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Tobacco Report” marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, a report which concluded that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. The focus of the summit, however, is on prevention.

The event will feature conversations with the several former U.S. Surgeons General, tobacco control history makers, youth activists, advocacy groups, foundations, public health officials, and national and local community leaders.

Co-hosted by Xavier and the Louisiana Cancer Research Center under the leadership of Dr. Regina Benjamin, the XU nola.com/Times-Picayune Endowed Chair in Public Health Sciences and the 18th U.S. Surgeon General, is free and open to the public. Registration is required.. Visit HERE for more details or to register.


Students who will attend Xavier’s diverse array of pre-college and collegiate summer programs can count on learning analytical reasoning and verbal skills that will help them with their future studies, in some cases college credits.

Applications for the pre-college student programs are being accepted now, and the University is encouraging the community to enroll students soon, expecting the programs to be filled to capacity. Space is limited. New this year is an online, common application that should make applying easier and convenient. more


The Office of Career Services will sponsor the annual Youth Motivation Task Force/Black Executive Exchange Program (YMTF/BEEP) on February 23-25.

This program will bring to campus a team of 50 African American professionals from a variety of career fields including education, the military, business, government, and the private and non-profit sectors.  more

Students / Alumni / FacultyStaff


Shaquan David, who recently completed his undergraduate work, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Houston.

Jesslyn Magee
, a junior biology/premed major from Corona CA (Centennial High) and a LS-LAMP (Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation) scholar, worked on a project with the LSU-Shreveport School of Medicine focusing on cortical thickness in the brain convexity in multiple sclerosis. She is currently working in the lab of Dr. KiTani Parker-Johnson (pharmacy) investigating pharmacological interventions to inhibit triple negative breast cancer cells.

Erika McClain
, a senior chemistry major from Jacksonville FL (Wolfson High) and a  LS-LAMP (Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation) scholar, currently has two publications under review in the Journal of Undergraduate Research relating to her  research focusing on the production of Cytochrome p450 suicide inhibitors under mentor Dr. Maryam Foorozesh (chemistry).  She also participated in the ACS National Meeting held here in New Orleans.



Yves-Yvette Young, a senior psychology major from St. Paul MN, is congratulated by XU Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Loren Blanchard after receiving a student community service award during the 28th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration for her leadership role in the University’s MAX service program and numerous other activities.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Yves-Yvette Young, a senior psychology major from St. Paul MN, was honored for her community service during the 28th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration.

Young, whose passion for children and love of people has fueled her zeal for community service throughout her years at Xavier, was recognized for emulating the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and for embracing the Xavier’s mission of leadership and community service. 

Young’s penchant for involvement became obvious as early as her freshman year, her volunteer work with the Girl Scouts at Xavier and the Hunger Coalition earning her a reputation of “always going the extra mile.” The next year she served as Outreach Day Project Coordinator, organizing cultural enrichment and educational activities for youth 6–12 years.

A MARC Scholar, she has served as a Peer Dean (orientation leader), XU Love freshman mentor, Orientation Community Service Chair, and on the MLK Week of Peace Committee. Embracing her passion to serve and capacity to lead, Young is now in her second year as co-chair of MAX (Mobilization at Xavier), keeping tabs on over 250 volunteers, 10 programs and 15 project coordinators.

“I just try to lead by example,” she said. “Encouraging others and showing the way to keep the Xavier tradition, and my purpose, growing strong.

Young was one of four students (one from each of the MLK Week-sponsoring local institutions: XU, Tulane, Dillard and Loyola) to receive a community service award during MLK Week’s signature convocation. Other events included an interfaith service, an expressions of unity celebration, and a community service day.

Where Are They Now? U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Helps "Build the Builders"

Helping abused children, working on their recovery, coaching them to find their strengths and move on has always been the way of life for workers at the Home for Girls in Iloila, Philippines. But a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer has taught them to love their job and at the same time love themselves.

Home, a center for young girl victims of abuse managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region VI, is the place of assignment of Xavier graduate Tamorah Hawthorne ‘11 since September 2012. In that period, she has carved her place in the hearts of the staff and residents.

“I thought it was about time to also give attention to the workers who help the children. So I, along with social worker Roqueta Aquio, thought of implementing the “Building the Builders Project,” said Hawthorne. “We wanted a project that would positively affect the lives of the residents (refers to girl residents of the center) and that is investing in the staff through staff development.”

peace corps
Tamorah Hawthorne '11

She illustrated the importance of the project into a flowering plant in a pot. “It’s like the pot is the center, the soil is the staff and the flowers are the children. For the flowers to blossom beautifully, the soil must be rich,” she said.

The project implementation began with the retreat conducted in September at Alobijod Cove Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. The goal of the activity was to renew, energize and have a venue for bonding among the staff. Topics included personal assets, team building, vision, mission and goal design, self-care, positive and objective feedback and personal baggage.

It was followed by the three-month staff development series with the goal of increasing professional and technical skills of the staff. Training sessions were conducted during monthly staff meetings. Discussed were Effective Communication strategies for authority figures, development of the Why-Igniting Passions and Conflict Resolution.

At this point, project implementation is on its third stage which is the creation of a Home for Girls training team, a group that will coordinate and facilitate future staff development activities.

Rosalina Lorque, center head, was quoted saying, “We are thankful to Ms. Hawthorne for helping us and giving a part of herself to us. We value so much her contribution to the center and the optimism and improved ties will be maintained. This will be her legacy to us … that even after her assignment ends the efforts for the development of the staff are sustained.”
She further said that the project is well-appreciated by the staff as it gave focus to them to become “change agents and mentors” to the children whom they serve.

For Hawthorne, being assigned at Home is a blessing. “I feel proud and lucky to be a DSWD and Home for Girls volunteer. I truly feel blessed to be assigned at Home for Girls. All of the staff and residents are amazing and a pleasure to work with. Working at DSWD Home for Girls Field Office VI is a dream come true. I know even after my service they will live in my heart forever,” she said.

- Courtesy of May Castillo, Regional Information Officer
Republic of the Philippines, Department of Social Welfare and Development

patent cont

“The new patented buprenorphine formulation will not only reduce the frequency of dosing from daily to once in three or six months because of the compositions and preparation method, it will also reduce the potential for abuse,” said Dr. Tarun Mandal, the lead inventor of the subcutaneous or intramuscular injection formulation and the head of the group which will initiate the safety and efficacy study soon. 
“Opioid addiction is a medical condition; not caused by lack of morals, nor controlled by willpower, not cured by good advice. It is a disease as is cancer or diabetes,” he said, noting that virtually every American has been touched by addiction in some way, whether it was an addicted parent or child or spouse or co-worker or friend.  He estimated that addicts’ costs the country in excess of $400 billion a year.

Buprenorphine is commercially available as sublingual tablet and film (Subutex and Suboxone) for daily dose. Subutex, which contains only buprenorphine is not allowed as take home medication because of its abuse potential and must be dosed in a clinic, whereas Suboxone contains a second drug naloxone to reduce the abuse potential and therefore, used as a take home medication. Sales of these two medications reached $1.5 billion in the U.S. in 2012 and are growing by about 10 percent annually.

summer programs cont

In addition to those special programs, the summer schedule also includes regular college degree-credit courses available in two five-week sessions, and an additional eight-week session. Some new and exciting online and hybrid courses will be offered, too.  All three sessions, offered at low tuition rates, are open to currently enrolled, new and returning Xavier students, as well as students enrolled at other universities. Registration for Session I and II are May 26 and June 27, respectively. Session III registration is June 6.

“Whether it’s junior or high school students participating in one of the summer enrichment programs, or our own current students mixed with transient or adult learners taking affordable summer classes for college credit or trying to improve their professional skills, each summer the Xavier campus is filled with a myriad group of students all with the common goal of getting summer enrichment,” said Damon Williams, XU Director of Summer Programs. “This summer we will offer more evening and online courses which gives the students more flexibility and the ability to work or carry out other responsibilities during the day.”
Interesting and informative pre-college programs beginning in May and June include:

  • British Petroleum STEM Summer Institute (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
    • Summer Science Academy “Star” Programs – offers three “STAR” programs – MathStar, BioStar, and ChemStar – for high school students who have an expressed interest in science careers
    • Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program (LEAP)/Summer Scholars – a  competitive and intensive honors program designed to improve the analytical reasoning and verbal skills of students considering careers in engineering, mathematics or the sciences
    • Exploring Computer Science at XU – for students interested in learning more about science
  • Center of Excellence Program – a four-week session designed to grant a small group of high school students interested in pharmacy a broader perspective of the academic requirements and exposure to various career opportunities in pharmacy
  • Future Mathematics and Science Teacher Academy (FMSTA) – a worldwide hands-on, middle and secondary school-based science/math education program
  • The Stress On Analytical Reasoning (SOAR1) – a program that prepares students in analytical reasoning and provides early exposure to science/health careers
  • SuperScholar/EXCEL – a four-week residential summer enrichment program that is geared toward students who are interested in pursuing college degrees in the arts, humanities, social sciences and education

While the pre-college programs give the campus a different feel during the summer, XU’s regular collegiate summer school sessions, offered at low tuition rates, and several special college-level programs also attract a brisk enrollment. Special program offerings include the following:

  • Biomedical Scholar Summer Program (BSSP) – provides the opportunity for very high-ability incoming freshmen students who intend to major in Biology, Chemistry-Premed, or Psychology-Premed to complete one semester of Xavier's General Chemistry course earning 3 hours of college credit. Invitation only.
  • Business Achievers Summer Program – for incoming freshmen business majors. Invitation only.
  • Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) Summer Bridge – enhances diversity in materials research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, collaborative research and education partnerships between minority- serving colleges and universities and the National Science Foundation
  • Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program – ten-week program for students interested in obtaining first research experience in Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • STEM Scholars Summer Bridge Program – a five-week program for incoming freshmen majoring in math, computer sciences, physics and engineering 
  • XUPharmPrep - a four-week program for incoming freshmen majoring in Chemistry-Prepharmacy that is designed to prepare students in key academic areas and expose them to opportunities in pharmacy.  Invitation only.

In addition, the Math and Science Teacher Institute (MSTI) and Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) are expected to draw higher enrollment numbers as well.

For more information on Xavier’s Summer Programs, visit HERE.

ymtf cont

Team members will go into classrooms to talk with students about their goals and how they should prepare to achieve them. The program will also include panels on Careers in Law and Career Options to Medical School.

Chaired by Carolyn Duvigneaud Thomas, ’71 the event will include 27 alumni including Eugenia Foster Adams ’73, Jhan Doughty Berry ’93, Whitney Brown ’08, Monica Bertran ’88, Ken Boutte ’76, Mark Boucree ’90, Patricia Boyer ’80, Charlese Brown ’81, Lynette Smith Causey ’72,  Clement Dugue ’80, Royce Duplessis ’04, Houston Gilliand ’89, Kimberly Henderson ’03, Kristi Hubbard ’78, Paula Narcisse Hooks ’89, Frank Joshua ’84, Adrienne Johnson ’95, Algernon Kelley ’04, Amanda Kelley ’06,; Wayne Lopez ’99, Vernon Martin ’73, Willie McKinney ’90, Andrea Rance ’09, Larry Rivarde ’74,  Randall Schexnayder ’80, Pete Thomas ’90, and Cheryl Mayo Thomas ’71.

CONTINUING EXCELLENCE: Current participants in Xavier’s McNair Scholars Program take time out from their studies to commemorate the anniversary of the Space Shuttle explosion that took the life of African-American engineer, scientist, and astronaut Ronald E. McNair, whose legacy of scholarship and accomplishments is preserved in the federal TRIO program, which prepares qualified first-generation, low-income and/or underrepresented students for PhD programs, and ultimately, to diversify the faculty in colleges and universities across the country. Xavier is one of only three universities in Louisiana and the only one in New Orleans to have this prestigious program on campus. (front row L-R): Brea Edwards, Ashanti Anderson, Bria Carmichael, Adia Walllace, Gabrielle Glotson, and DeVon Pruitt; (second row) Kyriante` Henry, Gregory DeGruy, Thomas Vu, Javon Mead, Keyaish Thomas, Megan Roell, and Yves-Yvette Young; (third row) Jarmal Druilhet, Sidnie Jackson, Brandi Temple, Antonio Roberts, Amithyse Moore, Michael Seaberry, and Rebecca Udokop; (back row) Davon Carter, Jesslyn Magee, and Anthony Lotten. Not pictured: Kamaria Beamon, Ricaylah Citizen, Brandan Dotson, Gregory Jones, Jade Romain, and Charles Warner-Hillard. (photo by Irving Johnson III)


Javon Mead, a McNair Scholar and senior accounting major from Gonzales LA (Baton Rouge High), has been invited to participate in the highly-competitive Accounting Diversity Consortium hosted by the Wake Forest University School of Business.

Ashley Moss, a senior biology/premed major from Biloxi MS (Biloxi High) took third place in US Medical Supplies’ 2013 Medical Professionals of Tomorrow Scholarship essay contest. She was awarded a $500 scholarship.

Kaylan Rogers, a junior elementary education major from Rosenberg TX (Lamar Consolidated High), has been named recipient of a 2013-14 Boyer Teacher Scholarship, which are awarded annually by the Ernest L. Boyer Center to undergraduates who have demonstrated their commitment to education and to emphasizing community and service. She was awarded a $1,500 scholarship.

Two Engineering LS-LAMP Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation) scholars – Jamere Maxwell, a senior chemistry major from Baton Rouge LA (McKinley High), and Jami Blouin, now pursuing an advanced degree in engineering at the University of Miami – have filed a provisional patent on a new invention: the “Solar Powered Turbine Photobioreactor”, which acts to lower CO2 emissions while also growing algae for biofuel production. The team, under mentor Dr. Kristy Brumfield (biology), is currently seeking collaboration from other engineering programs to advance the project.


Dr. Jerryl Briggs ’85 has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer at Mississippi Valley State University. He previously served as vp for student affairs and enrollment management at Central State University.

Dr. Malcolm Byrnes ’81
, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Howard University College of Medicine, had an article, “Climate Justice, Hurricane Katrina, and African American Environmentalism” , published in the online Journal of African American Studies.

Christina Francis ’89
has been named senior vice president at Magic Johnson Enterprises. She previously served as vice president for marketing and events for the NFL Players Association.

Louis E. Livers Jr. ‘90, president of Livers Construction, participated in the groundbreaking for his latest general contracting project: construction of a three million dollar Small Business Incubator Center facility at SUNO.

Devin Sasser ’11, a third-year student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry, has been elected president of the American Optometric Student Association. View related story HERE.

Darren Wallace '10 served as a camera intern during the filming of 12 Years a Slave, the critically acclaimed movie which won the Golden Globe for Best Drama and has received nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.


The comments of Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) on the late Italian poet Gerardo Sangiorgio have been published as part of a commemorative anthology in Biancavilla, Sicily. His reviews of American literary studies were published in Choice.

Dr. Kristy M. Brumfield (biology and the LS-LAMP coordinator) made a presentation on STEM disciplines and the need for more young women to pursue Ph.D.’s in the sciences, at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72
(African American & Diaspora Studies/English) was the Guest Editor for La Creole:  A Journal of Creole History & Genealogy 6.1 (December 2013), a publication of the Louisiana Creole Research Association, Inc.

Dwight Fitch
(campus ministry) has released his fourth CD, “Requiem Request The Renaissance”. Copies are available in the Campus Ministry Office for $10.

Katheryn Laborde
(English) read her creative nonfiction essay, "Andalusia," at the 2013 Words and Music Feast sponsored by the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society. She was also featured in the Round Table discussion on "The Year of Flannery O'Connor." "Andalusia," which is about the 2011 trip she took to O'Connor's home, appears in the recent issue of The Double Dealer.

Dr. Silas Lee (sociology) presented at a series of meetings on “Developing a Communications Strategy for Putting Students First” in New York City, an initiative exploring strategies to measure the perceptions of strategies to address education and social disparities in the African American mobility. He also presented at a seminar building diversity in partnerships for African American entrepreneurs at the Uptown Chamber of Commerce in Harlem NY, and was also quoted in USA Today.
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