Volume 40 No. 01
January 09


CUR Awards $50,000 in
Campus Research Grants

Dick Gregory to Headline
MLK Week Celebration

Tickets on Sale for XU-DU Basketball at the Arena

CAT Launches New
Podcast Series

Harding, Moses Repeat
All-Louisiana Cross Country

Innovation Not Just the Province of the Young



Campus Closed for Christmas Holidays

The Xavier campus will close for the Christmas Holidays Wednesday (Dec. 24) through Sunday (Jan. 4). No offices will be open.

Spring registration dates are Thursday-Friday (Jan. 8-9), with classes resuming on Monday (Jan. 12).


Basketball Update

Gold Rush: Going into the Christmas holiday break the men were 7-3 record with two road games left to play in 2008. Coach Dannton Jackson’s charges are ranked 27th in the most recent NAIA Division I poll.

The leading scorers through 10 games are 5-11 senior guard Shaun Dumas of New Orleans (St. Augustine High) and 6-4 junior guards Olumide Olafioye of River Rouge MI (River Rouge), averaging 9.6. and 9.5 points a game, respectively.

The Rush open conference play with a pair of road games Jan. 8 and Jan. 10. The GCAC home opener Jan. 15.

Nuggets: The women took a solid 8-2 mark into the holiday season. Coach Bo Browder’s team, ranked 16th in the latest NAIA Division I poll, also has two road games left on its December schedule.

Team leaders to date include 6-0 junior forward Brittany Powell of Milwaukee WI (Divine Savoir), who is averaging a team-high 12.1 points per game, and 5-7 freshman guard SiMon Franklin of Baton Rouge LA (St. Joseph’s), contributing 10.5 points per outing.

The Nuggets open conference play with a pair of road games Jan. 8 and Jan. 10. The GCAC home opener is Jan. 15 against Tougaloo.

1834 XU to Host Black-Jewish Conference

Xavier will serve as the primary host site for a special conference and dialogue on Black-Jewish relations Jan. 17-19, presented by the American Jewish Committee and the Office of Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York.

Set over Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend and on the eve of the Obama presidential inauguration, the conference, “Americans at the Pulpit and in the Public Square,” represents an effort to examine and re-invigorate Black-Jewish relations in a new context and provides a unique opportunity for leaders and activists from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds to join together in an authentic dialogue about moving forward together as one united nation.

The conference will feature an impressive line-up of top academics, activists, and elected officials, including Dr. Cheryl Greenberg, author of Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century; Lucia Small, co-producer and co-director of the documentary film “The Axe in the Attic”; XU President Norman C. Francis; Miami City Council member Andre Williams; and Rabbi James Rudin, advisor to world leaders on inter-religious affairs.

Registration is required. Visit HERE for more information.

1834 Francis Anniversary
Art Tribute On Sale

A limited-edition, original art print celebrating Dr. Norman Francis’ 40th Anniversary as president is being offered for sale by the National Alumni Association.

Entitled “Honoring an Icon”, the artwork is an artistic rendering of Francis’s life and varied accomplishments. It was designed and created by alumnus Steve Prince ’91.

The 22" x 30" commemorative artwork is available both as signed limited-edition lithographs (costing $500 to $1,000) and full-color silk-screen posters (costing $60). Proceeds from the sale will support establishment of an alumni scholarship in honor of NCF and Blanche Francis.

Click HERE to see the print or HERE to download an order form, or contact Kim Reese at 1-877-WE LUV XU.


New Alumni Directory
Set for Publication

Xavier has contracted with the Harris Publishing Company to produce a new alumni directory.

Scheduled for release in August 2009, the directory will be the most up-to-date and complete reference on more than 20,000 XU alumni ever compiled.

Harris is compiling information for the directory by e-mailing and mailing questionnaires to all alumni with known addresses. Please respond when you receive yours.

1834 Xavier in the News

2Diversity Careers
Women Escalating Role in IT
- Sherrie Brown Littlejohn ‘791Catholic News Service
Mr. Cao goes to Washington
- Hieu Hoang '07
2Catholic News Service Faith, Flexibility and Fortitude
Accolades Abound
- Sr. Thea Bowman 1937-90 xxxx(IBCS Co-Founder)


An unexpected early Christmas gift of snowfall arrives on the XU campus on Dec. 11 right in the midst of finals. Between exams, students took advantage of the occasion to create a new "Frosty" friend. Visit HERE for more campus snow photos.

Photo by Warren Bell, Jr.


The XU Center for Undergraduate Research has awarded more than $50,000 in research grants for the spring 2009 semester.

Those receiving grants and their respective research projects are:

  • Farrah Gafford (sociology), Community Interrupted: Rebuilding Community in Pontchartrain Park in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina;
  • Dr. Dominique Gendrin (communications), Cognitive Processes, Relational Variables and Life Satisfaction Among African American and Vietnamese American Women;
  • Dr. Gloria MaGee (chemistry), Microdevice Electrophoresis Determination of Estrogen Metabolites;
  • Dr. Peter Martinat (biology), Behavioral and Chemical Ecology of the Gulf Fritillary in New Orleans;
  • Dr. M.A. Qasim (chemistry), Predicting the Reactivity of Kazal Family Inhibitors from their Sequence Slone;
  • Dr. Robin Vander (English), Performing Exile: Housing and Human Rights in Post-Katrina New Orleans; and
  • Dr. Frank Wesselmann (physics), Sub-Nuclear Degrees of Freedom: Studying the Spin Structure of Protons and Neutrons.

All of the research projects receiving grants include significant participation of Xavier undergraduate students who plan on attending Graduate School. The funding for each project, provided through a Title III grant, range from $4,800 to $10,000.


Comedian, civil rights advocate and nutritional consultant Dick Gregory will be the keynote speaker for the 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace, Jan. 16-23, 2009.

The Martin Luther King Week for Peace is presented by Xavier, Tulane, Loyola and Dillard Universities. This year’s theme is “The Dream Fulfilled in the Midst of the Storm.”

In addition to the featured Wednesday night lecture – at which Lifetime Achievement and Student Community Service awards will be presented – other MLK week activities include a community day of service, a candlelight vigil and interfaith service, and an Expressions of Unity celebration. All events are free.

Gregory, an African American comedian and civil rights activist whose social satire changed the way white Americans perceived African American comedians when he entered the national comedy scene in 1961, was on the frontline in the sixties during the Civil Rights Era and today continues to be a "drum major for justice and equality."

In 1973, the year he released his comedy album Caught in the Act, Gregory moved with his family to Plymouth, Mass., where he developed an interest in vegetarianism and became a nutritional consultant. In 1984 he founded Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. In 1987 Gregory introduced the Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet, a powdered diet mix.


Tickets on Sale for XU-DU Basketball Game at the Arena

Tickets for the annual Xavier-Dillard Allstate Sugar Bowl Crosstown Classic basketball game at the New Orleans Arena (Jan. 24) are now available at Ticketmaster [504-522-5555].

These general admission tickets are priced at $12 (plus Ticketmaster fees).

Tickets will become available for purchase on campus when the university reopens Jan. 5. Prices will be $20 for floor seating, $12 for general admission and $10 for XU students.

The complete calendar of MLK events follows: 

- Community Service Day, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
     Staging at Tulane University’s Lavin-Bernick Center

MONDAY, Jan. 19
- Candlelight Vigil, 4:00 to 4:30 p.m.
- Interfaith Service, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
     Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel

- MLK Convocation: Reception 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Convocation 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Award, Student Community Service Awards
    and speaker Dick Gregory
       Xavier University Center

FRIDAY, Jan. 23
- Expressions of Unity, 7:00 p.m.
     Loyola University’s Nunemaker Auditorium


The Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT) has announced the official launching of a new podcast series designed to examine how teaching intersects with a diverse range of topics.

The podcast series, entitled Teaching, Learning, and Everything Else, consists of a chain of audio programs distributed free over the internet. Each episode consists of a conversation with a teacher in higher education, with the interviews conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Yost Hammer, Director of Xavier’s CAT.

The five episodes currently available online include conversations with Dr. Suzie Baker of James Madison University about teaching, learning and technology; with Dr. David Park of Xavier about teaching and service learning; with Dr. Marcia Rossi of Tuskegee University about teaching, learning, and dealing with personal problems of students; with Dr. William Buskist of Auburn University about master teachers; and with Dr. Tracy Zinn of James Madison University on teaching, learning and classroom discussions.

“This series offers a fresh and personal approach to faculty development that will appeal to anyone who teaches at the college level, regardless of discipline or rank,” said Bart Everson, Multi Media Artist at CAT and the series producer. “We're just getting started, and hope to continue branching out and exploring new topics with each episode.”

For more info and to listen to the show, visit the CAT website.


Ebony Harding did it again. So did her coach, Joseph Moses. Anna D'Souza earned recognition too. All three were cited on the 2008 All-Louisiana cross country teams selected by a Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel.

Harding, a junior from Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge High) made the seven-member women's team for the third consecutive season. Moses was voted women's Coach of the Year for the second time in three years and men's Coach of the Year for a state-record third consecutive season. D'Souza, also from Baton Rouge LA (St. Michael's) did not make the women's team but tied in the voting for Freshman of the Year with Centenary's Brittany Wilkens.

Harding broke her Xavier women's record for 5,000 meters three times this season and became the first Gold Nugget to cover the distance in less than 20 minutes (19:48.84). Harding also set a school record of 24:41.13 at 6,000 meters.

Moses, only the second three-time recipient of the men's coaching award, led XU to a third consecutive GCAC team championship in both the men's and women's divisions, with both teams qualifying for the NAIA National Championships for the first time since 2002. XU tied a state collegiate men's cross country record by winning a third consecutive conference title.

D'Souza was All-GCAC as a result of finishing fifth in the conference meet.


Jericka James, a second year pharmacy student from Baton Rouge (Scotlandville Magnet), has been accepted into the Summer Term 2009 at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an independent, nonprofit organization which provides selected students an opportunity to work in government, business and the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C. while earning academic credit.

The international Catholic weekly The Tablet has published writings on the '08 presidential election by six freshmen: biology/premed majors Brandy Davis of Springfield IL (Springfield High), Joshua Farmer of Hinesville CA (Liberty), Raven Foster of Marrero LA (Higgins), Courtney McClain of Elgin IL (Larken) and Onome Oboh of Cnosa Park CA (Faith Baptist), and psychology/premed major Jimmetra Hall of Humble TX (Humble). The students were enrolled in the English classes of Ralph Adamo and Dr. Violet Bryan, while the article was compiled by Dr. Nicole Pepinster Greene (English).


Dr. Gilda Barabino ’82, has been named the first vice provost for academic diversity at Georgia Tech. A member of the President’s cabinet, she is for directing the Institute’s growing diversity efforts, including the recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in both the student body and faculty. She previously served as a professor and associate chair for graduate studies at Emory and GT.

Misty Crittle Miller ’02, is working as a video editor for the New Light Christian Center Church in Houston TX. She produced Dr. Bridget Hilliard’s cable televised show "Women Who Win" for The Word Network.


Dr. Loren Blanchard '84 (Vice President, Academic Affairs) has been appointed to a two-year term on the Louisiana Blue Ribbon Commission for Education Excellence, which makes recommendations to state policymakers to help increase the effectiveness of teachers and educational leaders in the state. He has also been selected as the 2009 presiding chair of the Association of Chief Academic Officers of the Southern States (ACAOSS), charged with maintaining communications with 150 academic officers throughout the southern region pertaining to critical issues facing higher education.

Danielle Burrell ‘77 (institutional advancement) has joined the office as Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations, responsible for building partnerships with corporations and foundations. She returns to XU from the Jefferson Parish Youth Training Center, where she worked as a business consultant and career development specialist.

Patricia Sills (art) showcased a collection of her photography and graphic design work – “Interwoven: Digital Collages with Stitching” – as a guest artist at the BECA Gallery in New Orleans. She has also published a book, Field Guide to Nola Nature.

Dr. Adrian Woods (Assistant Dean of Freshman Studies/Director of Academic Support) had a paper, "Unexpected Outcomes: Academic Success and the Impact of Faculty-Student Interaction at an HBCU" published in Journal of the Professoriate (Vol 2, Issue 2) co-authored with Barbara Johnson (Jackson State University).

Where Are They Now?

Ordinarily you might not expect to find a music teacher at the forefront of efforts to provide free cancer information and screenings, but then again, if you knew Dr. Grace Butler ‘58, you just might.

Butler is the founder and board chair of Hope Through Grace Inc., a Houston TX-based, non-profit organization that seeks to provide low income, uninsured and underinsured people with information and life-saving medical services to prevent colorectal cancer. 

She is also a Stage III colon cancer survivor. 

Butler started Hope Through Grace in 2002, some 30 years after she witnessed first-hand her father’s painful death from prostate cancer and only three years after she herself was diagnosed with colon cancer. 
Dr. Grace Butler

In 1999, after eight months of chronic pain, Butler left her office at the University of Houston, an office she would never return to, and was admitted to the hospital. After four consecutive days of testing, doctors reported that the tests showed no signs of disorder and she would be released. Certain that there was something wrong in her body, Butler insisted that more extensive testing be done. At her urging, a colonoscopy was performed and, coincidentally, cancer was found.   

Determined not to let others walk down a similar path, she began her personal crusade.Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Recently she was named a 2008 Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures (www.civicventures.org), a national think tank, for “Innovation, Extraordinary Contribution in Encore Career, After Age 60”.

The Purpose Prize is part a national campaign which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers, which combine social impact, personal meaning and continued income in the second half of life — and produce a windfall of human talent to solve society’s most pressing issues.

The Purpose Prize supports Fellows by helping develop their capacity, linking them with funders and venture philanthropists and connecting them to other social innovators over 60. This year’s group of Fellows also participated in the first-ever Encore Careers Summit at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’ Center on Social Innovation, one of the world’s leading academic centers focused on social entrepreneurship.

Butler was praised for her untiring efforts to serve the uninsured and medically underserved, and her willingness to absorb the financial burden of colorectal cancer prevention, screening and early detection of the disease in others.

Education and awareness of constituents are also vital aspects of her innovation, fueled by the realization that health behaviors will not likely improve if people are uninformed or misinformed.

“In tough economic times, we need more creative solutions to long-standing social problems,” said Marc Freedman, co-founder of The Purpose Prize program and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life. “It’s reassuring to note that as America ages, we have creativity in greater abundance. Purpose Prize Fellows such as Grace Butler show that experience and innovation can go hand in hand, that inventiveness is not the sole province of the young.”

“I am deeply humbled by this recognition,” said Butler. “Indeed, at the onset of this, my third, career, I only wanted to assist in preventing suffering and possibly premature death for those who do not have the financial means to get screened, to gain access to health care, or to engage in health habits that contribute to the prevention of this preventable disease.”

“I sincerely believe that this recognition will propel us to new heights that are yet to be conceptualized by Hope Through Grace, Inc. and we are now better positioned to fulfill our mission of eliminating colorectal cancer through prevention and early detection,” said Butler, who was a panelist at a White House sponsored Roundtable on Advances in Cancer Prevention held at the National Institutes for Health, and who serves on advisory boards for the Texas Children's Cancer Center and the University of Texas - M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Butler’s first career began as a band and orchestra teacher in New Orleans. She also taught in the New York City public school system. Progressing in her career, she accepted faculty appointments at The Ohio State University, The University of North Texas, Texas A&M and settled in Houston to accept the position of Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs at the University of Houston. Currently, she holds the distinctive honor of Professor Emeritus at UH.

In addition to her Xavier degree, she holds a Masters of Music and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from New York University.

For more info on the Hope through Grace, Inc., visit the website www.hopethroughgrace.org.

1834 Beyond Jena: Blogs,
Education and Justice

Beyond Jena: A Forum on Bloggers of Color, Education and Social Justice in New Orleans will be held Jan. 31, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

The forum will engage diverse panels of bloggers of color, faculty, students and activists in informative discussions concerning the rise of the black blogosphere in New Orleans and the unique ways that this grassroots media can be utilized to affect social justice and enhance Xavier’s mission within the classroom and beyond.

Admission is free, but registration is required. Visit HERE for more info.

1834 Got News for TMAX?

Recently been accepted into professional or graduate school, earned an advanced degree, received an internship or a 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 – it’s really that simple.

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