Volume 38 No. 07
July 07
 
THIS MONTH AT XAVIER

ARCHIVES/IN THIS ISSUE:

New Approach Should
Benefit Incoming Freshmen

IBCS, Popular Pre-college Summer Programs Return

University's Top Students Named Rousseve Scholars

Psychology Professor
Has Tales to Tell


XU Ranks High in
Diverse Issues Report

St. Charles Named
VP for Advancement

19 Business Majors
Serving Internships

XavierWrites

Xavier in the News


1832 XU Ranks High in Diverse Issues Report

A special report by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine once again provides documentation of the Xavier's success in a number of academic disciplines.

In its annual "Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers" issue (May 31, 2007), the magazine shows XU once again ranking first in the nation in the number of African American students earning baccalaureate degrees in two areas – the biological and biomedical sciences, as well as the physical sciences.

Xavier is far ahead of the pack in both categories: graduating 165 students in the biological and biomedical sciences – more than twice that of second-place Howard University – and another 48 students in the physical sciences – more than 50 per cent higher than runner-up Florida A&M.

Xavier also places 26th in awarding undergraduate degrees in psychology to African Americans with 53.

The Diverse Issues report is based on a review of the 2005-2006 preliminary data distributed by the U.S. Department of Education, which includes the effect of Hurricane Katrina.

The magazine has reported on degrees conferred since 1992, tracking trends in bachelor degree conferrals to African American students by HBCU institutions compared to all other institutions.

ken
St. Charles
1832 St. Charles Named
VP for Advancement

The University has promoted Dr. Kenneth St. Charles to serve as Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

As the head of Advancement, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the university's fund-raising activities through the Alumni Office, Development Office, Advancement Services, and the University & Media Relations Office.

St. Charles, who came to XU in 2005, previously served as Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. Before that he served for nine years as the Area Development Director for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) New Orleans office, where he was responsible for raising more than $19 million during his tenure there.

 "Dr. St. Charles brings to this position years of experience specifically related to the university institutional advancement area," said XU President Norman Francis. "The national search conducted by the university's committee confirmed the significant value Xavier gains with his appointment."

1832 19 Business Majors Serving Internships

Nineteen accounting and business majors are using their summer time to gain real-world corporate experience through internships at locations across the country.

The students are listed below according to class year, along with their hometown (high school) and the place they are serving their internships:

Seniors: Jason Gourier, New Orleans (De La Salle High), Northwestern Mutual – Metairie, La.; Rynika Herbert, Morgan City, La. (Central Catholic), McDermott International – Amelia, La..; Taryn Hicks, Sacramento, Calif. (John F. Kennedy), Miller Brewing Company – Milwaukee, Wisc.; Brandon Leach, Marrero, La. (John Ehret), Bernstein Global Wealth Management – Houston, Texas; Christopher Phoenix, New Orleans (De La Salle), Bruno & Tervalon CPA - New Orleans; Meredith Sanders, St. Louis, Mo. (Pattonville), Walgreen’s Management Training – Houston, Texas; and Iesha Wilson, Dallas, Texas (Duncanville), Wells Fargo – San Francisco, Calif.

Juniors: Ashton Baltrip, Houston, Texas (B.T. Washington), Gatorade – Dallas, Texas; Whitney Brown, Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux High), The Federal Reserve – Washington, D.C.; Candyce Chenier, La Habra, Calif. (La Habra High), 3M Company – St. Paul, Minn.; Christina Gilbert, West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley), Procter & Gamble – San Francisco, Calif.; Arian Gilyot, New Orleans (Ursuline), V.A. Hospital – New Orleans; Autumn Guidry, Port Arthur, Texas (Ozen), Wells Fargo – San Francisco, Calif.; Camiel Irving, Baltimore, Md. (Notre Dame), 3M Company – St. Paul, Minn.; Dominique Payne, Philadelphia, Pa. (Mastbaum), Louisiana Supreme Court – New Orleans; Andrea Rance, Seattle, Wash. (Holy Names Academy), Elba Medical – Metairie, La.; and Giselle Rouson, Mobile, Ala. (McGill-Toolen), Miller Brewing Company – Southwest Region.

Sophomores: Amanda Garrison, Atlanta, Ga. (Chamblee), University Directories – Atlanta, Ga.; and Kandice Keelen, New Orleans (McDonogh 35), United Health Care – New Orleans.

The Business Department places great emphasis on internships as part of the undergraduate experience and works closely with the Office of Career Services to help students through the internship process.

SUMMER SESSIONS KEEP CAMPUS HOPPING
cop SIZZLING SUMMER

High School students (from left) Gretchen Roberts and Angell Lutter team up to complete a laboratory exercise during the College of Pharmacy’s Summer Enrichment Program, one of 11 XU programs educating more than 700 high school and elementary school students this summer.

photo by Irving Johnson III

New Approach Should Benefit Incoming Freshman Students

When members of the new freshman class arrive in August, they’ll be the beneficiaries of some significant changes the University has made in its approach to incoming students.

Since being named Xavier’s Dean of Freshman Studies earlier this year, Dr. Ken Boutte ’76 has been working closely with academic departments and other campus offices to develop a unique freshman year experience – part of an overall plan to increase the retention and graduation rates for all students.

While the planning has only just begun, some new strategies for supporting the freshman class have already been deemed ready for prime time. They entail changes to the University’s traditional freshman orientation week and the freshman curriculum, as well as the addition of a new reading component.    

“We are deliberately referring to this as the freshman-year ‘experience’, not the freshman year ‘program’,” said Boutte. “By instituting these changes we hope to engage students early on so we can identify any problems and provide solutions.”

“Our goal is to provide incoming students with all the resources they need to be successful both here at Xavier and in their professional careers – starting on Day One,” said Boutte.

While making a smooth transition from high school to college life and providing an opportunity for students to socialize with their new classmates remains an important aspect of orientation week, this year’s freshmen will be spending a lot more time interacting with the faculty and staff in their respective academic department than in the past.    

“After reviewing our orientation week activities, it was quite apparent that there were not enough academic aspects,” said Boutte, noting, for example, that students were spending just one hour with their departments. That meant little time for proper student evaluation, counseling and scheduling.

He points out that while most freshman pre-register for classes online, some students take classes at other Universities during the summer, while still others have AP classes from high school that have to be taken into account. University placement tests in such core areas as English and mathematics also have to be considered.

With so little interaction, faculty – especially those in the departments – had difficulty evaluating their new students properly, and as a result, mistakes were being made in scheduling. That, obviously, could have huge repercussions for the students later on.

In addition to spending more time within their departments, students will also be schooled in some fundamental skills which the University deems essential to a successful first year in college.

“Some students come to Xavier having never seen a syllabus, while others have no concept of time management,” said Boutte. “We don’t want them to be shocked on their first day of class.”

Boutte said the special attention for freshmen won’t stop once classes begin. There will be an extensive monitoring and mentoring process. In addition, Xavier’s old 1010-1020 courses have been dropped, replaced by a new, non-credit Freshman Seminar course that will be a part of every freshmen schedule this fall.

The new seminar course differs from the old 1010-1020 courses in that most of the topics have been developed by teams of faculty. Students will have the opportunity to learn important study, time-management and test-taking skills. Guest speakers will share their real-life knowledge of the skills and behaviors that promote academic and professional success. Students will be invited to investigate ways to improve their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Last, but not least, they will also become familiar with Xavier’s history and mission.

“It pains me to say that there are seniors who think Xavier’s colors were black and gold, and others who don’t know what the initials S.B.S. stand for,” said Boutte. “It is important that all our students understand our history and appreciate the unique culture that exists here – in other words, what it means to be a Xavierite.”
 
Boutte said a one-hour credit course is being developed for Spring 2008 that will complete the orientation cycle.

Another new facet of the freshman experience is the requirement that all new students read The Paradox of Choice, a best-selling book which examines the myriad of choices in our society, the adult dilemma of making the right choices, and the idea that there would be less stress if there were fewer choices.

 “These are young adults, many of whom will be making independent choices without parental guidance or influence for the first time in their lives,” said Boutte. “There is, of course, a proper method for making the correct choice and we hope this book will be a catalyst for discussion. We are encouraging faculty who will be teaching freshman to incorporate the book into their respective disciplines.”

Looking further down the line, Boutte and the Freshman Planning Committee are developing a program that will allow students needing to complete developmental courses to do so in the summer before starting their freshman year. Implementation of the program, which may also include a summer freshman orientation program, is scheduled for summer 2008.

IBCS, Popular Pre-College Summer Programs Return

Anyone observing the ages of the students who are keeping the campus jumping during the hot summer months would correctly surmise that the University is back on its regular academic schedule.

Last summer Xavier was forced to use the summer months (and all its classrooms and labs) to catch-up on the “spring” semester that was delayed by Hurricane Katrina. That ruled out any summer courses, closed out most of its popular regular pre-college offerings and even forced the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) to take up residence at the University of Notre Dame.

This summer, however, all of those programs – plus a couple of new ones – are back on campus. And not surprisingly, area elementary school, high school and college students have responded by filling most of the programs to capacity.

The eight offerings designed for pre-college students which began in June – among them: XU All-Stars, the College of Pharmacy’s Enrichment Program, the Mardi Gras Indian Arts Summer program, MathStar, BioStar, the Family and Community Life Center’s P.E.A.C.E., Upward Bound and engineering’s EPsAR program – have already attracted more than 380 students to campus. The three programs that will be opening in early July – ChemStar, SOAR and Howard Hughes – are expected to add another 140 students to that number.

Xavier’s regular summer school, which offers college credits in a variety of undergraduate disciplines, also reported a brisk 715 students attending the recently concluded Summer Session I. Attendence figures aren't available for Summer Session II, which is just getting underway.

Not only has the IBCS and its 70 participants returned to New Orleans, this summer’s session features several new courses for religious and lay ministers, catechetical instructors and parishioners interested in a faith enrichment program .

In collaboration with the New Orleans Archdiocese Office of Black Catholic Ministries and the National Black Catholic Congress, the IBCS is currently hosting the African American Rights of Passage Program – a one week immersion experience that provides an intensive and comprehensive model for spiritual growth that focuses on self-discovery. 

In addition the IBCS is offering seminars focusing on pastoral musicians, a prayer, worship and justice ministry with young, adult faith formation and Black Perspective of the Gospel on campus, as well as a one-week degree seminar for priests that was inaugurated last summer.

University's Top Students Designated Rousseve Scholars

Thirty upperclassmen have been named Rousseve Scholars for the 2007-08 school year.
Students selected for the Rousseve Scholars Program generally represent the top ten students in the sophomore, junior and senior classes based on their academic performance the preceding two semesters. Each recipient receives a full tuition scholarship and a book allowance.

This year’s recipients, grouped by their class, are listed below along with their major field of study, hometown and high school.

Sophomores – Rita Aregbesola, biology/pre-med, Orlando, Fla. (Bishop Moore); Ryan Boudreau, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Metairie, La. (Rummel); Jenna Hill, biology/pre-med, New Orleans (McMain); Uyen Tram Le, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, West Minister, Calif. (Laquinta); Anita Madison, biology/pre-med, New Orleans (Xavier Prep); Josiah Morgan, chemistry/pre-med, New Orleans (McDonogh 35); Luu Ngo, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Houston, Texas (Cornerstone Christian); Dat Nguyen, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, D’Iberville, Miss. (D’Iberville); Ugochi Obih, biology/pre-med, New Orleans (Dominican); and Pauline Smith, psychology/pre-med, Redford, Mich. (Bishop Borgress).

Juniors – Brittany Allison, chemistry/pre-med, New Orleans (Dominican); Meghan Bias, biology/pre-med, Grand Coteau, La. (Sacred Heart); Shelley Dailey, biology/pre-med, Forestville, Md. (Bishop McNamara); Kim-Hue Dinh, PharmD (P1), Marrero, La. (L.W. Higgins), Justin Frederick, engineering, Atlanta, Ga. (Druid Hills); Thuy Nguyen, PharmD (P1), Ocean Springs, Miss. (Ocean Springs); Britney Richardson, biology/pre-med, Independence, La. (Independence); Nina Vo, PharmD P1), New Orleans (Ben Franklin); Lauren Williamson, biology/pre-med, New Orleans (Ben Franklin); and Nazima Yousuf, PharmD (P1), Chalmette, La. (Andrew Jackson).

Seniors – Airat Agbetoba, biology/pre-med, Richmond, Texas (Bush); Garrett Anderson, biology/pre-med, Hinesville, Ga. (Bradwell); Michael Aregbesola, biology/pre-med, Orlando, Fa. (Bishop Moore); Joshua Coney, biology/pre-med, Houston, Texas (Debakey); Breyanna Grays, biology/pre-med, Grand Blanc, Mich. (Grand Blanc); Desmin Milner, chemistry/pre-med, Birmingham, Ala. (Ramsay); Alyce Richard, psychology/pre-med, New Orleans (Ursuline); Erica Stevens, biology/pre-med, Mobile, Ala. (Murphy); Thao-Nguyen, biology/pre-med, Marrero, La. (John Ehret); and Alona Williams, PharmD (P2), Baton Rouge, La. (Broadmoor).

Psychology Professor Has Tales to Tell

We’d be lying if we said that Edgar Rice Burroughs (of Tarzan fame) is alive and teaching at Xavier, but there are those who would say that’s not too far off the mark.

Enter Dr. Charles Allen Gramlich, by all appearances an unassuming professor of experimental psychology and unbeknownst to most, a prodigious crafter of yarns and spinner of tales. He is the author of several novels and numerous short stories, most of which fall into the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Three of his novels have already been published: the horror/action-themed Cold in the Night (2002) – whose sci-fi elements have drawn comparisons with the early work of N.Y. Times best-selling author Dean Koontz (Strangers) – and his fantasy, adventure-themed Swords of Talera (2007) and Wings Over Talera (2007) – which some critics have likened to the works of the legendary Burroughs [think John Carter: Warlord of Mars]. 
 
This summer he is anticipating publication of his latest novel, Witch of Talera, the third and perhaps final chapter in what he calls the Talera Cycle – his fantasy adventure series in which a 19th-century Earthman is mysteriously transported into a world dominated by ancient warriors and deadly beasts. 
gramlich
Dr. Charles Allen Gramlich
Although the Talera trilogy is just now being released in book form, it dates back to his college days; in fact, Gramlich wrote the first installment during late night breaks from his graduate research. But his interest in the genre and his love of writing goes back much further than that.

“I grew up reading adventure stories like Tarzan and John Carter and they really struck a cord with me,” said Gramlich. They were also ready companions for a young boy growing up on a farm near the foothills of the Ozark Mountains six miles away from his nearest neighbor.
Xavierwrites

Students

Olumide Olafioye, a sophomore health and physical education major from River Rouge, Mich. (River Rouge High) and a guard on the Gold Rush basketball team, was invited to tryout for the Nigerian National Basketball team, which is preparing for this summer’s All-African Games and the 2008 Summer Olympics. He averaged nearly eight points a game for Xavier last season.

Alumni

Letita Aaron ’03, scored her first freelance success in the June issue of Black Enterprise magazine with an article, "MADD Dad: One father's fight against a devastating loss”, a profile about Glynn Birch, the first male and minority president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  

Matthew Alemu ’07, has been accepted into graduate programs in economics and public policy at the University of Chicago, Georgia State University and the University of Michigan. He will enroll in the latter’s Ford School of Public Policy this fall.

Dr. Keith Amos, ’92, has completed his surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas (MD Anderson Cancer Center) in Houston, and has accepted a faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Youshea A. Berry ’98, an attorney in Washington, D.C., has been awarded the Alex Fee Memorial Award from the Maryland State Bar Association and the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland in recognition of her significant pro bono contributions.   

Bill Beverly, Jr. '03, is a Media Assistant with the Communications Department of Freeport-McMoran in New Orleans.

Dr. Michael Bradley ‘03, a primary care clinical pharmacist with the Grady Health System in Atlanta, Ga., has achieved Certified Diabetes Educator status from the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.

Pauline Lang Clark ’58, a biology teacher at Xavier Prep in New Orleans, has been presented the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching from the National Science Foundation, administrators of the White House’s Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program.

Dione Frost ’92 (MA), has been named principal at St. Joan of Arc Catholic elementary school in New Orleans by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Mellisa Manson ‘05, has been accepted into medical school at Virginia Commonwealth.

Dr. Ambrose Martin III '76, has been elected president-elect of the New Orleans Dental Association. He is the first African American to hold this position.

Shayla Nesbitt ’97, has been accepted into the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and awarded an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to provide HIV/STD education to the Spanish-speaking population of Forsyth County, NC.

Dr. Kevin Sneed ’98, has been named clinical director and assistant dean of the new Division of Clinical Pharmacy at the USF Health (University of South Florida).

Husan Thompson ’01
, has been named Learning Services Coordinator at Loyola Marymount University in California.

Camille Treaudo ’94 (MA), has been named principal at Our Lady of Grace School Catholic elementary school in Reserve, La., by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Faculty/Staff

Dr. Kenneth Boutte (dean, Freshman Studies) and three faculty members – Dr. Marion Carroll (chemistry), Dr. Mack Crayton (biology), and Dr. Syed Muniruzzaman (biology) – made presentations at the Learning Communities for STEM Academic Achievement (LCSAA) Annual Conference, held in Talladega, Ala. Boutte was joined by two other faculty members – Dr. Calvin Porter (biology), and Dr. Joseph Ross (biology) – at the Molecules of Life summer seminar held at New York University by the Faculty Resource Network.

Sr. Donna Gould, S.B.S.
(English) directed the SCCCL Symposium "Crossing
Traditions: Faith and Religion in Literature and the Arts" in Taos, N.M. She also presented a paper, "The Epic of Gilgamesh." Other English faculty presenting papers were: Dr. Thomas Bonner, "Presbyterian Impulses and Catholicism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening”; Dr. Richard Collins, "Blacksheep Buddhists:African  Americans Leaving the Christian Fold"; and Dr. Ronald Dorris ‘72,  “Internationalization  and Spiritualism in Jean Toomer's Cane."

Nedra Kelley has been named executive assistant for the University's new Office of Academic Enhancement. She previously served as an administrative assistant in Planning and Institutional Research.

Avis Stuard (registrar's office), who has been serving as the University’s interim registrar since February, has been promoted to registrar. Prior to joining the Registrar’s Office she served with Xavier’s ITC office.

Dr. Adrian Woods has been named the Assistant Dean of Freshman Studies and Director of Academic Support in the University's new Office of Academic Enhancement. She previously served in the Financial Aid Office. 

“When I first started ‘telling’ stories to myself as a pre-teen, without writing them down, I set almost all of them in a fantasy landscape that was essentially an expanded version of the farm where I was growing up,” he said, explaining that the seven ponds in the area became the seven seas of his fantasy world. “Even today some of my fantasy stories take place in a variation on that original world building.”

“I love telling a good story; that’s what I am looking to do whenever I write,” he said.

Intitially Gramlich wrote for his own amusement, but after sharing some of his stories with his college friends, he began to realize he had some talent in that area. Much to his chagrin, however, he had launched his writing career in what mainstream publishers dubbed “the waning years of the popularity of the adventure/fantasy genre” – thus the huge gap from creation to fruition.   

However, he eventually caught the eye of the now-defunct Startling Science Stories magazine, which published the trilogy as a four-part series in 1999. He also earned the magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for that year.

Oddly enough, the novel he wrote in between volumes of the Talera series – Cold in the Night, a horror novel about earth-evolved humanoids run amok in rural Arkansas [think along the lines of Predator] – was published in book form first. It was also much harder to write.

Cold has a lot more sub-plots than the Talera series,” said Gramlich. “I had a basic concept and an ending, but unlike the trilogy I didn’t plot out the story before I started writing because I didn’t want to know all the answers up front. I wanted to even surprise myself.”

Today all four novels are available through amazon.com and other on-line retailers, and Gramlich is hopeful that they might soon find their way to retail stores. And while book sales have not reached the point where he is ready to give up his day job, he admits the additional income has provided more than few extra luxuries.

“Let’s just say I make enough money that I’m not wasting my time doing this,” he laughed.

For Gramlich, who has taught at Xavier since 1986, fiction novels represent just one facet of his writing repertoire. Over the years he has published more than 70 short fiction stories, 60 poems and 100 non-fiction and academic writings.

Oddly enough, his fictional writing has been shelved this summer while he completes some more “educational” projects for the publisher of his Talera trilogy (Borgo Press), most notably a student guide for writing effective term papers.

Of course for some students, writing term papers is an adventure in itself.

1832 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.

1832 XU in the News

1902Times-Picayune
Scientists Could Get Grants
--Dr. Tarun Mandal, pharmacy
1902Woman Dentist Journal Loving Louisiana
--Dr. Kimberly Rayford ’98
1902Times-Picayune
City Contends for Debate
1902Vanderbilt University
Ideal Place for Career Growth ----Kimberly Carter '01
1902Times-Picayune
Insurance Ruling Appeal
1902Louisiana Weekly
Tribute for Fr. Jerome LeDoux

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
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