Volume 43 No. 07 July 2012









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BP STEM Summer Institute
NABJ Visit

1834 Free Computer Classes for Alumni

The Office of Alumni Relations is offering free computer classes covering a variety of areas this summer and fall.

Visit HERE for full details.

1834 Athletics Records Highest NAIA Finish

Xavier finished a school record 50th in the final National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings of 2011-12.

It's the third time in four years that XU has placed among the top 100. The previous best all-sports ranking was 83rd in 2009-10. Xavier is the first Gulf Coast Conference (GCAC) school to finish in the top 50 since Mobile was 46th in 2007-08.

Points were awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports – six women's and six men's.

1834 XU Captures GCAC
All-Sports Trophy

Xavier has captured the Thomas Howell Cup, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's (GCAC) all-sports award, for the second consecutive year.

The Cup is awarded annually to the school with the most points based on order of finish in various sports. Boosted by championships in men's cross country, women's cross country, women's volleyball, women's basketball and men's basketball, XU finished the year with 44.5 points. SUNO was second with 33 points.

1834 Cross Country Opens August 31

Xavier’s six-time Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) defending men's and women's teams will begin the 2012 cross country season Aug. 31 in the Mississippi College Opener at Clinton MS.

The teams will compete in three other regular season meets – Sept. 8 at the Loyola Wolfpack Invitational in Metairie LA, Sept. 22 at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge LA, and Oct. 6 at the Walt Disney World Classic in Kissimmee FL – before returning to Clinton Oct. 20 or 27 to defend its GCAC titles.

The teams hope to qualify for the NAIA Nationals at Vancouver WA for the second straight year and the fourth time in five years. The GCAC team champions receive automatic bids to the national meet.

1834 Social Reading Sweepstakes

This summer the Read Today, Lead Tomorrow initiative not only wants to know what you're reading; they want you to share what you're reading with other people.

The 2012 Social Reading Sweepstakes is open to all currently enrolled Xavier students (that includes first-time freshmen who will begin in the Fall 2012 term). One winner, selected at random from all valid entries, will receive $500 to pay for his or her textbooks for the fall semester.

Sweepstakes ends Aug. 15. Visit HERE for more info.

1834 Youth Basketball, Volleyballs Camps

Xavier is offering summer camps in basketball and volleyball this summer.

Dates of the basketball camp, for boys and girls age 6-16, will be July 9-12; the volleyball camp will offer sessions for ages 9-13 from July 16-18 and ages 14-18 from July 19-21.

For more info visit HERE or call Alfred Williams (basketball) at (504) 520-6778 or Christabell Hamilton (volleyball) at (504) 520-5344.


High School participants in Xavier’s popular MathStar summer program – (L-R) Blake Reddix, Kelsey Raymond, and Maici Williams – team up to investigate the effect of slopes during an interactive lab session. MathStar, a component of the BP STEM Summer Initiative, is one of 12 programs for high school and pre-college students which were held or are currently active on campus. Another three will gear up in July.

Photo by Irving Johnson III

Xavier is first among the nation’s colleges and universities in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Xavier had 60 African-American graduates earn medical degrees in 2011, the latest year for which complete data is available. Howard University was second with 43 graduates, followed by the University of Florida with 26. The remaining schools ranked in descending order are Harvard University, Yale University, Duke University, Stanford University, Spelman College, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The statistics, which were published in the June 7 issue of Diverse issues in Higher Education magazine, are not altogether surprising, since for the past three decades Xavier has been one of nation’s leaders in preparing and sending graduates to medical and professional schools. In fact, Xavier was No. 1 in the nation in placing African Americans for 15 straight years before an enrollment drop due to the six-month closure of the school following Hurricane Katrina curtailed its numbers. Even still, in 2011 the University placed 68 students into medical school according to AAMC data, second only to much larger Howard University.

Nor is it surprising in light of some recent grants Xavier has received designed to help the university continue, build upon, and share with other colleges and universities the programs and practices that have helped build it into a powerhouse of science education.

Earlier this year the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced that Xavier was one of 47 U.S. colleges and universities selected to participate in a $50 million initiative. Identified as among one of the best universities in the nation at producing graduates who go on to science careers, Xavier was given a Capstone Award of $1 million.

1834 644 Scholars Make Spring Dean's List

A total of 644 student scholars made the Dean's List during the spring 2012 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 complete lists can be viewed online at A&S and Pharmacy.The students are grouped by major and include their class, high schools and/or (hometowns). Unless otherwise noted, the latter is New Orleans.

Capstone recipients are charged with assessing which elements of their various approaches to science education have been successful and why, establishing a leadership role for these schools. More details available HERE.

Xavier’s undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program was also recognized with a $500,000 grant from UNCF/Merck Science Initiative. As the only recipient of this grant, Xavier was able to demonstrate the strength of their STEM program and stand out in UMSI’s competitive selection process. More details available HERE.

“Xavier has achieved a national reputation for excellence in placing the most African American students in medical schools and graduating the most African American biologists, chemists, and physicists, in addition to an impressive number of African Americans completing PhDs in science and engineering,” said XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis. “Going forward we intend to build upon that success.” 


The XU Department of Business was one of 66 U.S. colleges and universities recognized as a “Top University Sales Program for 2012” by the Sales Education Foundation (SEF).

The selected schools were cited for demonstrating a strong sales curriculum, university recognition and support, and the opportunity for experiential learning such as internships. The schools are listed in the SEF’s sales education annual publication, which is available online HERE.

Xavier offers both a major and minor in sales and marketing. The major requires a core of 48 hours in business, including 24 hours in sales and marketing focusing on selling and data analysis skills.


Five XU student-athletes, led by three-time recipient Jamaan Kenner, have been recognized as Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars for 2011-12.

2012 graduate Jamaan Kenner (men’s basketball) from LaPlace LA and sophomore Javon Mead (track and field/cross country) from Baton Rouge LA were named to the first-team, while 2012 graduate Patrice Hightower (volleyball) from New Orleans, sophomore Angelica Alexander (women’s basketball) from Shreveport LA, and sophomore Jolie Bellow (women’s basketball) from Natchitoches LA, were given honorable mention.

Mead is an accounting major, while the rest are (or were) biology/premed majors.

Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars are student-athletes of color who maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2 and are active on their campuses or in their communities. The magazine Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine sponsors the awards, which are named after the late African American tennis star.



Lauren Day, a third-year (P3) pharmacy student from Missouri City TX (Hightower High School), has been accepted into the New Orleans Schweitzer Fellowship Program for 2012-13, a component of the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program. She is one of 250 exceptional students chosen competitively from around the country who will partner with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health need, design a yearlong service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation and impact. After successfully completing their service year, they become members of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network of over 2,500 Leaders in Service who are dedicated and skilled in meeting the health needs of underserved communities. 

Loic Didavi, a junior business major from Cotonou, Benin, was named to the 2012 NAIA Men’s Tennis All-American first-team as well as the Louisiana Tennis Player of the Year by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association. He was 25-6 in singles and 27-8 doubles this past year, earning top-10 rankings in singles and doubles from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Also receiving national recognition were Zach Taylor, a senior business major from Monroe LA (St. Frederick High), and Victor Svoboda, a sophomore English major from Kamenice, Czech Republic, who received NAIA All-American second team and honorable mention, respectively.

Quinton Guillory, a sophomore biology/pre-med major from Lake Charles LA (Washington-Marion High), has been chosen to attend a six-week summer program at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He will work with top students from other universities as they engage in intense coursework, labs learning-skills, and career development courses for six weeks at the medical school.

Dr. Osaretin Idusuyi ’85, a surgeon with the Orthopedic Center of Illinois in Springfield IL, was presented the American Red Cross’ Healthcare Hero Award for using his own resources to build a free health-care clinic in his native Nigeria.

(L-R) Xavier professor Brenda Edgerton-Webster and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Bryan McDonnell help St. Augustine High School sophomore George Aidoo, Jr. write a script for a television broadcast during the third annual National Association of Black Journalists High School Workshop co-hosted by XU's Mass Communication program. The purpose of the comprehensive four-day workshop is to expose high school students to journalism and work with some of the strongest professionals and educators in the industry. The workshop was held on Xavier's campus.

Photo by Irving Johnson III
Where Are They Now? Alum Sees Hope in TV's 'Doc McStuffins'

A pig-tailed girl whose favorite accessory is a pink stethoscope has become a symbol of pride and hope for black women in medicine and the daughters they want to inspire.

Doc McStuffins, the African-American title character of an animated TV series for children, dreams of becoming an M.D. and, for now, runs a cheerful home clinic for stuffed animals and dolls. "I haven't lost a toy yet!" Doc exclaims as she hugs a blue dinosaur in need of attention.

For Dr. Myiesha Taylor ‘96, who watches Disney Channel's "Doc McStuffins" with her 4-year-old, Hana, the show sends a much-needed message to minority girls about how big their ambitions can be.

"It's so nice to see this child of color in a starring role, not just in the supporting cast. It's all about her," Taylor said. "And she's an aspiring intellectual professional, not a singer or dancer or athlete."

So Taylor sent a message back to Disney, creating an online collage featuring an image of the bouyant

Dr. Myiesha Taylor '96 -  AP Photo by LM Otero

Doc encircled by photos of 131 black women who are Doc's real life-counterparts, most garbed in their scrubs or doctor's coats.

"We are trailblazers," Taylor proclaimed on her website. "We are women of color. We are physicians. We ARE role-models. We are Doc McStuffins all grown up!"

For black women whose own wish to practice medicine came true, the show is welcome affirmation. The doctors shown in the collage are graduates of schools including Harvard, Yale and Stanford and work in a range of specialties such as neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and psychiatry. Taylor is a board-certified emergency room physician.

According to the American Medical Association's "Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S., 2012 Edition," there were 18,533 black female physicians in 2010, or less than 2 percent of a total of 985,375 U.S. doctors, including nearly 300,000 female physicians. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, blacks make up 12.3 percent of the population at about 40 million, with more than half of them women.

Taylor, 38, who works in Dallas-area suburbs as an ER specialist at Texas Regional Medical Center and as a physician supervisor at a manufacturing plant, built her career on family tradition: her mother was a registered nurse, and Taylor's grandmother was a vocational nurse.

"When I came along, my mom said, 'You should be a doctor. That's the next step,'" Taylor recalled. She was inspired to pursue ER medicine after her father, Dwight Taylor, was among the first bystanders shot in the 1992 Los Angeles riots and was taken to a hospital without a trauma center, where he died. He was 42.

For daughter Hana, Taylor said, "Doc McStuffins" is reinforcement of what mom has accomplished. "I see her engage and play with her toys (like a doctor) because it's normal," Taylor said. "It's even more awesome when people ask her, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' and she says, 'A doctor.'"

"Doc McStuffins," which is produced for children ages 2 to 7 by Ireland-based Brown Bag Films and airs on the Disney Channel and on the new 24-hour Disney Junior channel, recently was renewed for its second season. [ edited from an AP article by Lynn Elber].

Michael Seaberry, a junior biology/pre-med major from Lake Charles (Alfred Barbe High), was one of six students chosen by the American Heart Association Founders' Affiliates for a ten-week independent research at the University of Rochester Medical School.

Two members of the Men’s Cross Country team – sophomore accounting major Javon Mead of Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge Magnet) and P1 pharmacy student Matt Pieri of New Orleans (Bro. Martin High) – were named to the Capital One Academic All-District 4 college division men’s track and field/cross country team.


Leslie Anderson ’12 has begun medical training at the University of Rochester Medical School.

Allan Augillard ’12 has begun medical training at the University of Rochester Medical School.

Eboni Betts ’08 has earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia.

Heather Brightharp '08 has earned a master’s degree in medical science from Hampton University.

The late Peter “Champ” Clark ’38, a pioneering and award-winning journalist, was honored by the New Orleans Saints with a press-box plaque in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Robert Durr '09 has earned a master’s degree in medical science from Hampton University.

Harry Johnson, Sr. ’77, a Texas attorney and entrepreneur, has been named to the March of Dimes National Board of Trustees.

Derrick Jones ’87, an anesthesiologist in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, operates his own company, Uumbra Anesthesiology. He recently traveled to Ecuador with the International Medical Alliance to provide volunteer anesthesiology services in the Ecuadorean highlands to residents with cleft palates needing lip reconstruction. He provided similar services in the Philippines.

Dr. Carlos Minor ’96 has been appointed an assistant professor of education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Malcolm Mitchell ’06 has earned a Pharm.D degree from Hampton University.

Lauren Powell ’06, the lead Clinical Research Coordinator at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been accepted into the Clinical and Population Health Research PhD program at the University of Massachusetts.

Kamilah Taylor '07 has earned a master’s degree in medical science from Hampton University.

Gabriel Thompson ’10 has earned a master’s degree in finance with a specialization in energy from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.

Sharonda Williams ’94 is serving as the Chief Deputy City Attorney for Litigation for the City of New Orleans. Prior to taking this position, she was a partner at Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, also in New Orleans


Dr. Mehnaaz Ali (chemistry) has received a $35,000 Single Investigator Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement in support of his research project, “Aptamer-based biosensors with co-factor modulated enzyme signaling”.

Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) had an essay "The Functions of Ambiguity: A Response to 'Miss Emily After Dark'" in a special edition of the Mississippi Quarterly on William Faulkner; in another issue he had a review of Maria Hebert-Leiter's Becoming Cajun, Becoming American: The Acadian in American Literature from Longfellow to James Lee Burke. Several brief reviews of southern literary studies have appeared in Choice.

Marion Bracy (vice president, facility planning and management) will serve as a general session speaker at the annual 2012 APPA (Association of Physical Plant Adminitrators) Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Denver CO.

Joseph Byrd (Vice President for Student Services) was keynote speaker for the College of Education graduates at Fort Valley State University. While there he also conducted a round table with the Student Affairs staff as well as serving as keynote speaker for the end of the year banquet for the university’s chapter of the National Pan Hellenic Council.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton '85,'98 (pharmacy) served as keynote speaker for the Membership Intake Process Luncheon of the Omicron Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The message focused on Lifelong active membership.

Alan Green ’02 & MA ‘08 (athletics) was named Louisiana Tennis Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association.

Dannton Jackson ’92
(athletics) served as a court coach for the 2012 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO.

Dr. Joseph LaRochelle (pharmacy) has been accepted as a Fellow in the Academy for the Advancement of Educational Scholarship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Joe Ricks, Jr. (chair, business) had an article, "Managing Emotions in Personal Selling: Examining the Role of Emotion Regulation Strategy in Salespeople", accepted for publication in the Journal of Selling and Major Account Management.

Quo Vadis Webster ’00 (premed) has been approved as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) by the State of Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners.

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