Volume 44 No. 07
July 2013









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advanced training
Advanced Training
have sign will travel
Have Sign, Will Travel
bearing gifts
Bearing Gifts

1834 624 Earn Spot on Spring Dean's List

A total of 624 student scholars made the Dean's List during the spring 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 and Sciences) and HERE (College of Pharmacy.

1834 Own a Piece of XU Athletic History

The Barn, once the centerpiece for athletics and other campus events, has now been relegated to history. Gone but not forgotten. Xavierites, here’s a chance to own a small commemorative piece of that iconic building.

Visit HERE for details.

1834 XULA Alumni @
Medical Convention

Xavier physicians planning to attend the National Medical Association Convention in Toronto, Canada, this month, should check out the Xavier table in the Exhibit Hall, AND, even more importantly, RSVP for the Taste of New Orleans reception scheduled for July 29.

Call (504) 520-5189 or visit the website HERE.

1834 Benjamin Steps Down as Top Doc

Dr. Regina Benjamin ’79 has stepped down as U.S. Surgeon General after four years in the post.

"My goal was to create a grassroots movement, to change our health care system from one focused on sickness and disease to a system focused on wellness and prevention. With your help, that movement has begun," she said in announcing her decision.

In an e-mail to staff, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Benjamin should be "proud of her many achievements."

"Regina has served as America's doctor since 2009 and has impacted the health and lives of Americans across the country. I am deeply grateful for her leadership and service," Sebelius wrote. "The Surgeon General's road to prevention has touched the lives of millions of Americans and has had a positive impact on the health of this Nation."

As surgeon general, often referred to as the "Top Doc", Benjamin chaired the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, which was created under the Affordable Care Act to develop a strategy to improve access to care.

Prior to her nomination, Benjamin served as CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, which she founded in 1990. The Alabama native was also the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association, and served a term as chairwoman of the group's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

taking in the sights TAKING IN THE SIGHTS

11 XU students and faculty/staff members – (L-R) Sheldon Maurice, Adina Ewing, Sheridon Trepagnier IV, Jazmine Thompson, Avion Bailey, Leonard Clay, Dr. Lori Crawford, Joseph Hicks, Shu Peng, Ahmeena Anderson, and A’Vanti Glenn – take in the iconic Great Wall near Beijing during a two-week visit to China sponsored by the Confucius Institute. The nine students, who all studied the Mandarin language at XU, received further intensive Chinese language training and were exposed to Chinese culture and history.

Photo courtesy Confucius Insitute at Xavier


Xavier is ranked number 13 in the Affordable CollegesOnline.org (ACO) website’s list of the Top 36 Most Affordable Roman Catholic Colleges with High Starting Salaries.

XULA is the only predominantly Black and the only Louisiana college to make the list.

“This recognition is exciting news and provides yet another wonderful example of the benefits of choosing Xavier University of Louisiana,” said XULA President Dr. Norman C. Francis. “We remain committed to ensuring that students receive a great education and that upon completion, are able to successfully enter the workforce in their chosen career and receive a competitive starting salary."

In these days when students and parents have a great deal of choice in selecting a particular college  or university, the return on investment for the tuition paid is a critical factor and we are delighted to have been recognized as a leader in this area.” more


Effective July 1, the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier will be reorganized from its present structure with seventeen departments and two divisions into a structure with six divisions, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

The six new divisions include Biological and Public Health Sciences (which houses the Department of Biology and the Department of Public Health Sciences); Business; Education and Counseling; Humanities and Fine Arts (which houses the Departments of Art, English, History, Languages, Music, Philosophy, and Theology); Mathematical and Physical Sciences (which includes the Departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics); and Social and Behavioral Sciences (which includes Communication Studies, Mass Communications, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Speech Pathology). more


Xavier University of Louisiana added three new members to its Board of Trustees at the June meeting of the governing board.

Joining the board were strategic marketing and business operations leader Mark D. Goodman, former university president Dr. Marie V. McDemmond, and civil rights leader Marc H. Morial.

Goodman, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Boyer's Coffee Company, located in Denver Colo., has served as a top executive in leading public and private backed companies that include Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, the McDonald’s Corporation, and Goldman Sachs Private Equity. Prior to his current position, he served as Chief Executive Officer for the MG Capital Group. 

McDemmond, a 1968 Xavier alumna, is President Emeritus of Norfolk State University, where she actively served as president from 1997 to 2006. Prior to her stint at NSU she served as Vice President for Finance at Florida Atlantic University. Previously she served in several administrative and financial positions at Atlanta University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Emory University.

Morial, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Urban League since 2003, has compiled a successful career as an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, legislator, and city administrator. A two-term mayor of the City of New Orleans, he started several successful small businesses, including an apparel wholesale company, a special events company, and a janitorial company. He has served as a state legislator and an adjunct faculty member at Xavier, which awarded him an honorary degree in 2002. more

Students / Alumni / FacultyStaff


Evelyn Ambush, a P2 pharmacy student from Norcross GA, has received a UNCF/Glaxo-Smith-Kline Achievement Award Scholarship Award of $3,000.


A charter elementary school in New Orleans East, the former Reed Elementary, has been renamed Delores T. Aaron '47 in honor of the late XU alum, whose forged a legacy as a children’s advocate, educator, and former director of the New Orleans Recreation Department. She died in 2012.

Nkrumah Dixon ’98
, A&M Consolidated Middle School Principal in College Station TX, was named Middle School Principal of the Year by the Education Service Center Region VI.

Dr. Kelly Harris-Johnson ’03, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was featured in a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Bulletin about successful graduates of its Exceptional Research Opportunities Program.

Monique Moliere Piper ’02 has authored a new motivational book "Dance in the Sun: Being the Authentic You”.

Jonathan Tennial '10 has earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.


Dr. Syed Ahmed (business) had a manuscript, “Usability Studies In Virtual And Traditional Computer Aided Design Environments for Navigation”, accepted for publication in the International Journal of Management & Information Systems.

its a math problem PROBLEM-SOLVERS

(L-R) Group leader Anastasia LaBeaud guides high school MathStar participants Marlon Esteves, Jordan White, Tyrone Trufont, and Troy Shelton through an experiment measuring force and acceleration during the XU Summer Science Academy’s pre-algebra summer enrichment program.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


On the surface of it, you’ve got to applaud teenagers who would give up their free summers to go to school; but when you dig deeper you realize they’re really not sacrificing all that much. In reality they’re spending their “down time” making friends, having fun, and, most importantly, paving the road for what’s in their immediate academic future.

But then that summer ritual is a common occurrence at Xavier, where for years junior and senior high school students have routinely opted to spend part of their summer vacations taking advantage of the University’s wide-assortment of pre-college academic enrichment offerings.

One the biggest annual draws is The BP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Institute, which is comprised of the popular Summer Science Academy (SSA) “Star” Programs – MathStar, BioStar, and ChemStar – as well as the LEAP/Summer Scholars and the new Exploring Computer Sciences at Xavier programs. By this summer’s end, nearly 350 students will have participated in one of the five programs.

Aimed at rising 8th and 9th graders, MathStar sets the table for the SSA by introducing students to their first high school level advanced math course: the often-feared Algebra I. The 84 participants in the program are divided into four groups under the wing of two group leaders (e.g. Xavier upperclassmen) and taught by experienced, highly-qualified local high school teachers.

"This is no watered-down introduction to algebra, we expect a lot from our MathStar participants” said SSA program coordinator Dr. Timothy Glaude, a faculty member in the XU Division of Education. “We make sure that our curriculum is compatible with what they’ll be getting in the actual high school Algebra I course.”

While content is taught, the overriding benefit of this early exposure to the subject matter, he said, is the opportunity for each student to develop an aptitude for problem-solving, good study habits, and a healthy work ethic that will allow them to approach algebra with confidence.

And while the program does require learning a lot of essential algebraic equations, it also includes a lot of activities that make the learning process fun and engaging. You know you’re on the right track when lunch places well behind the morning physics labs and other endeavors among the participant’s favorite program activities.

“I really enjoy the labs and the quiz bowls,” said Marlon Esteves, a ninth-grader at Curtis Middle School in Texas. “I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t know.” The other members of his lab group – Jordan White, Tyrone Trufont, and Troy Shelton, all students from St. Augustine in New Orleans, couldn’t agree more.

“It’s been really fun to be in the labs together working through the different experiments and projects,” said Shelton, echoing the sentiments of the larger group. “I’ve made a lot of new friends.”  

Anastasia LaBeaud, a Russian-born, junior pre-med major at Xavier who is serving as one of MathStar group leaders, pointed out that one of the program’s chief benefits is how it neatly ties math and science together.

“The students aren’t just memorizing a bunch of formulas, they get to experience first-hand applications to the real world,” she said.

MathStar and its fellow SSA components represent just a small part of Xavier’s overall summer time pre-collegiate overall offerings, which canvass a wide net of academic disciplines – including African American history, art, business, computer science, engineering, math, philosophy, science, and pharmacy. Others, such as SOAR I and the Excel/SuperScholar programs, are not so discipline specific, but improve general promote critical thinking/writing and quantitative reasoning skills, as well as giving students a early exposure to college and possible career choices. Still others give incoming Xavier freshman to an early exposure to research and/or earn college credits.

For more information on Xavier’s summer offerings, visit HERE.

affordability cont

To compile its list, ACO reviewed four-year, fully-accredited private institutions with average
starting salaries for graduates of more than $30,000 per year. The website also looked at mid-career salary averages as well as the overall return on investment for the degree.

Ed Cassiere (athletics) received first place for features for the third consecutive year in the NAIA's Dr. W. Jack Bell Writing Contest for his article profiling then XU women's volleyball coach Christabell Hamilton.

Dr. Norman C. Francis ’52 (President) was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans.

Dr. Pamela Franco (academic affairs, IBCS) made a presentation on a popular character in early Trinidad Carnival, “From Carnival to Independence: The Case of the Martinican”, at the Cabildo in New Orleans.

Dr. Elizabeth Yost Hammer (CAT/Psychology) was selected as Chief Reader for the College Board’s annual Advanced Placement Program (AP®), which enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while in high school.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary professor of English), chaired a panel on "Explorations in American Haiku" at the American Literature Association conference in Boston MA. He also participated in a reading of the German translation of his novel, Laughing Buddha, and represented the Haiku Society of America (as its current president) on an international panel at the German Haiku Society meeting in Ochtrup, Germany. Rounding out a busy month he gave a paper, “Animals and Shinto in the Haiku of Issa,” at the Bulgarian Haiku Union conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, read his poetry at the Sofia Poetics Festival in two public venues, and led a workshop, “Write like Issa,” at the Haiku Society of America conference in Seattle WA.

Dr. Joseph LaRochelle (pharmacy) has been appointed to the editorial board of the journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.

“In this climate of soaring higher education costs, prospective students should know that it’s quite possible to obtain a great education that lands them a well-paying job” says ACO founder Dan Schuessler. “These Catholic schools leave with the skills and education needed to earn high starting salaries in great careers.”

Felician College, a Franciscan college located in Lodi, N.J., took the top spot, with an estimated starting salary of $52,600 and a tuition of $18,237. Comparatively, Xavier's starting salary is $42,300 and tuition is $18,127.

One reason for the high starting salary may be attributed to the number of XULA students who graduate in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum, which typically pay higher than average for entry level positions.

As a matter of fact, The American Academy of Medical Colleges recognized XULA as one of the top schools that graduates the most African-American students who go on to earn their medical degrees; The National Science Foundation ranks XULA as fifth on its list in the nation in producing African American graduates who go on to receive science and engineering PhDs, first in the nation in producing African American graduates who go on to receive life sciences PhDs., and seventh in the nation in producing African-American graduates who go on to receive physical sciences PhDs; more than 45 percent of XULA students go on to graduate or professional school; XULA is one of the top producers of African Americans with Doctor of Pharmacy Degrees; and 100 percent of its education majors pass the National Teachers' Exam before graduation. 

Founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is a historically Black Catholic institution of higher learning. The University aims to prepare its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society to bring about a more just and humane society. Xavier prides itself on offering a unique experience that relies on its rich Catholic heritage to provide a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates academics, research and community service.

Because of its focus on St. Katharine’s Catholic mission and ministry, the University has instituted the St. Katharine Drexel Scholarship program that offers free tuition to any valedictorian or salutatorian graduating from any Catholic High School in the United States.

In compiling their list, AC Online analyzed and leveraged authoritative data sets from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Carnegie Classification and Payscale.com. Visit HERE to view the entire list.

arts and sciences cont

Each division will be led by a Division Chair and an Associate Division Chair, and each department will be led by a Department Head.

“The new arrangement is designed to make operations of the various academic departments more efficient and effective in terms of leadership, interdisciplinary courses and programs, personnel and resources, and budgetary considerations,” said Blanchard.

He said several factors went into the formation of the various divisions: similarity of discipline, enrollment balance, faculty balance, University mission and uniqueness of Xavier, the degree of efficiency and effectiveness gained by the reorganization, and the physical proximity of the disciplines.

Blanchard said the restructuring will not have any direct impact on the academic progress of any current students nor on their majors or advisors.

Leadership for the new Divisions will be provided by:

Biological and Public Health Sciences: Dr. Calvin Porter (chair)
Business: Dr. Joe Ricks (chair) and Dr. James Bartkus
Education and Counseling:  Dr. Renee Akbar (chair) and Dr. Doug Athey
Humanities and Fine Arts: Dr. David Lanoue (chair) and Dr. Paul Schafer
Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Dr. Maryam Foroozesh (chair) and Dr. Anderson Sunda-Meya
Social and Behavioral Sciences: Dr. Amy Bellone-Hite (chair) and Dr. Elliott Hammer.

trustees cont

Active carryovers on the governing board, who are serving either their first or second terms, include: Sister Doris Blum, S.B.S. '55, Dwight Bush Sr., Dr. Dale Mason Cochran, Bishop Curtis John Guillory S.V.D. D.D., Carla Harris, Sister Stephanie Henry S.B.S., Dr. Toni Hoover, Gladstone Jones III, James Mitchell Jr., Sister Jane Norton, S.B.S., Sonia Perez, Sister Marianne Poole S.B.S., Sister Rita Radloff  S.B.S., Mark Romig, Michael Rue (chair), Leo Sam, Jr. '52, Sister Barbara Specker S.B.S., Sister Patricia Suchalski S.B.S., Phyllis Taylor, and Janice F. Wilkins '67. XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis '52 is an ex-officio member on the Board.

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