Volume 38 No. 06
June 07


Am Exp CEO Says Xavier
Graduates Well-Prepared

Seniors Presented
University Serivice Awards

XU Still Tops Placing African Americans into Med School

567 Scholars Make
Spring '07 Dean's List

Chicago Couple to Co-Chair
XU Annual Fund Campaign

Sister Monica to Head A&S; Retirements Announced

Alabama Physician Receives 2007 S.B.S. Justice Award

College of Pharmacy Awards Honors and Scholarships


Xavier in the News

1834 Online Community Launched for Alumni

The Office of Alumni Relations has launched the new Xavier Alumni Online Community, a password-protected website designed to provide alumni with an easy way to stay connected with their alma mater, in touch with their fellow Xavierites, and up-to-date on alumni initiatives, chapter updates and class news.  

The Alumni Online Community is a secure site, available only to registered members. To join, alumni must complete a “New User” form which allows them to choose what information they would like to share with their fellow users.

Some features of the community are: individual profile pages, an alumni directory, online event registration, reunion class notes, e-mail forwarding for life, a career directory and chapter pages. 

In an age of online networking, Xavier is offering this tool to our alumni. This community helps to improve communications and make the ties that connect Xavier alumni with each other and to the University even stronger. 

For more info visit the ALUMNI ONLINE COMMUNITY home page or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (504) 520-6782 or toll free 1-877-WE LUV XU.

1834 2007 Freshman Class Looking Stronger

Early indications are that the Fall 2007 freshman class could be 50 percent higher than a year ago.

The XU Office of Admissions reports that it received more than 3,000 new freshman applications for the fall semester – more than twice as many as last year. Even more significantly, the number of accepted applicants who have put down deposits is also about twice as high as last year at this time.

University officials are projecting a Fall freshman class of 650+ students, compared with 447 freshmen last Fall – the first "new" freshman class following Hurricane Katrina. 

1834 Katrina Walk Gives Colleges a Boost

The determination of Dr. Jillandra Carter Rovaris ’82 to do something positive to help rebuild New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina came to fruition last month when she handed out a total of $69,000 in event proceeds to nine New Orleans-area colleges and universities.

Leaders from all nine institutions were present at Tulane University’s Lavin-Bernick Center to receive ceremonial checks from Rovaris, who organized the “Katrina Walk”, a fund-raising event that drew more than 1,000 participants last summer. requested that each of the institutions use the money to initiate or add to a student emergency fund on their campuses.

Proceeds were distributed primarily based on the number of people from each institution who participated in the walk.

Xavier received the largest check ($13,000) because it had 292 participants in the walk, while the University of New Orleans and Tulane received $9,100 and $9,000, respectively. Another $37,900 was shared by Dillard, SUNO, Delgado, Loyola, LSU Health Sciences Center, and Holy Cross College.

1834 Creative Writing Winners Announced  

The Creative Writing Program of the English Department has announced the winners of this year’s Creative Writing Awards.

Two students were awarded one-year’s tuition through the Truman Capote Trust Scholarships: Leslee McElrath, a sophomore chemistry/pre-med major from Cincinnati, Ohio (Hughes Center High), and Christina Ellington, a junior English major from Atlanta, Ga. (Frederick Douglas High).

Awarded National Association of University Women Awards ($750) were: Kasey Robinson, a junior political science major from Tuskegee, Ala. (Booker T. Washington High), and Stacy Johnson, a sophomore biology/premed major from Bridgeport, Conn. (Warren Harding High).  

Earning honorable mention was Darren Wallace, a sophomore business/marketing major from Baton Rouge, La. (Baton Rouge Magnet).  

1834 Upward Bound Students Shine

Two Xavier Upward Bound students – Shadreka Jones and Cheriquita Webster – have been selected to receive Dell Scholars Awards, while two others – Arriyell Kelly and Breanne McLain– also earned scholarships.

Dr. Marie DeLarge, director of the University’s Upward Bound program, said that only 250 students nationwide are selected each year to receive the Dell awards, based on academics and need. Jones, a graduate of the New Orleans Charter School, and Webster, a McMain grad, will both receive $20,000 in scholarship monies over four years to attend college, in addition to a laptop computer and other resources.

Kelly, another McMain grad, was awarded the Alicia Keyes, Lettie Pate Whitehead and Xavier Merit Scholarships totaling $15,000; McLain, a graduate of McKinley High in Baton Rouge, La., was awarded a $1.000 Coca Cola Scholarship as well as a laptop computer.

All three students are attending summer school at Xavier as members of the Upward Bound Bridge Class of 2007.

More good news for Upward Bound ... the program has been refunded by the U.S. Department of Education for four more years at $387,475 per year.

1834 Chicago Alumni Cruise June 24

The Chicago Alumni Club is sponsoring its annual Odyssey Brunch Cruise Sunday, June 24.

All area alumni are invited to attend the event, which will highlight and celebrate XU President Norman Francis' award of the National Medal of Freedom.

Boarding will be at 11 a.m. at the Navy Pier. Cost is $85 per person. To purchase tickets or request more information, call Chakita Holmes at (708) 408-7411 or send an e-mail to chakitaholmes@yahoo.com.

1834 XU Athletes Earn Even More Honors

Xavier athletes continue to receive regional and national honors.

Dominique Bell
, a P2 pharmacy major from Jackson, Miss. (Callaway High) was selected a member of the first-team NAIA All-American team. She is the XU women's tennis player to be named All-America. Bell, 12-3 in singles and 11-5 in doubles this spring, was previously named GCAC Player of the Year for the third time and all-NAIA Region XIII.

Shaun Dumas, a sophomore business management major from New Orleans, La. (St. Augustine High) was selected the Louisiana Small College Player of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches. A point guard, he averaged 13.2 points, 6.1 assists and 3.1 steals this past season, leading the Gold Rush to a 22-10 record and a share of the GCAC regular-season title

1834 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.

1834 XU in the News

1902Washington Post
A City Gets to Its Feet, Slowly
1902Pine Bluff Commercial
Grad Nabs Hughes Honor

Student to Enter XU as Junior

1902Alexandria Towntalk
Richard Hired as LC Coach

1902NYU Network Journal
Students in a Time of Crisis

1902Opelousas Daily World
Student Given Two Awards

1902Chronicle of HE
Projected Enrollments Rise
Colleges Expect Surge
1902New Orleans Citybusiness Colleges to Pay for Security
1902The New Wave
Katrina Walk Funds Hit Home
Fema Relief


Phillip Linden Jr., S.T.D., Ph.D. (theology) is serving as a scholar-in-residence this summer at New York University under the Faculty Resource Network program. He will continue his research, “Theological Uses of the Past: Religion and Society”, during a two-month stint at the Institut de Catholique and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

Jeffery M. Ott, O.P., '88 (Chaplain) is chaplain for a retreat at the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters in Springfield, Ill., this month. He will also participate in the pilgrimage of the Associates of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to Bensalem Pa., this summer.
Robert Skinner (University Librarian) presented “Lessons from Ground Zero: New Orleans Libraries in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina” at the Texas Library Association Convention, held in San Antonio. He also participated in a panel discussion, “Disaster Strikes: Lessons Learned from a Series of Unfortunate Events.”


Xavier’s top summa cum laude graduates – (L to R) Lisa Bertucci, Symielle Gaston, Shavonda Gaudin and Anh-Van Mai – are congratulated by the keynote speaker, American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault, and XU President Norman Francis prior to the start of commencement ceremonies.

Photo by Irving Johnson III

American Express CEO Says Xavier Graduates Well-Prepared

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the American Express Company, Kenneth Chenault, told more than 500 graduates at Xavier’s 80th annual commencement that their experiences during their college years have instilled in them a defining sense of purpose that should inspire them to “aim high” as professionals.

Drawing a parallel between Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster – where his company lost eleven employees – Chenault said that those Xavier students who returned to campus following the storm demonstrated the same desire to come back and build that he saw in New York following that tragedy.

“You came back because you had so much to offer,” he said. “You came back, so you start giving back.”

Chenault said that XU students – having displayed personal perseverance and resilience in earning their degrees and having acquired a sense of service ethic and leadership from Xavier – are uniquely prepared for the future.

“Adversity and change are not the test – they are the only constant,” said Chenault. “The test is how you handle adversity; it’s how you react and respond to new realities.”

“You’ve been studying for this test since the very first day you arrived on campus —and so far, you’ve aced it,” he said. “I’m confident it’s a test you will continue to pass, with honors, as you leave here today.”

It was the second visit to a Xavier commencement for Chenault, who was awarded a honorary degree in 1997.

Some 521 graduates received degrees from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and the Graduate School during the ceremony, which was held at the New Orleans Arena. Twenty-eight students graduated with summa cum laude honors, while another 51 earned magna cum laude honors and 62 others earned cum laude distinction. An additional seven students earned Graduate School honors.
Four students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages headed this year’s group of summa cum laude graduates: Shovanda Gaudin of Houston, Texas, who earned both a bachelor of arts degree (BA) in English and a bachelor of science degree (BS) in biology; Symielle Gaston of Atlanta, Ga., who earned a BS in psychology; Anh-Van Mai of Marrero, La., who earned a BS degree in biology/pre-med; and Lisa Bertucci of New Orleans, who earned a doctor of pharmacy degree.

Also earning degrees with summa cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts - Marion Milton

Bachelor of Music) - Mayuri Kurihara

Bachelor of Science - Tory Caudle, Shavaun Cotton, Tony Davis, Helene Flippin, Cintasha Frazier, Kirsten Gambrell, Kristin Gates, Nedra Goldman, Sheree Guimont, Dorlyne Henry, Sophia Mai, Thuy-Huy Nhan, Uchechukwu Obih, Jaheedah Roane, Ray Scioneaux Jr., Klas Sylvander and Vincent Vu

Pharm.D. - Jeanine Cambrice, Francesca Gransberry, Thao Nguyen, Billy Tran and Shanese Williams.

Earning their degrees with magna cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts - Erica Gibson, Sika Koudou, Myesha Luster

Bachelor of Science - Mecca Abdullah, Alexandra Ajanaku, Jaime Anderson, Rachel Bellamy, Tiffany Black, Jeffrey Brown, Emmary Butler, Daphne Chambliss, Terlenda Crawford, Bonnie Dillon, Sandra Eluhu, Lakeshia Entzminger, Laketa Entzminger, Thomas Fugate II, Nichole Guillory, Holly Hardrick, Monique Harris, Porshia Haymon, Karmynah Helaire, Shakeilla Howell, Tara Hughes, Kaya Jackson, Lateef Johnson, Lateefah Lord, Ashley McPhie, Kim-Hanh Nguyen, Mikah Owen, Darlonda Reynaud, Courtney Solomon, Anza Stanley, Juliet Tran, Brittany Walker, Moses Washington, Michelle White, Marcella Willis and Ian Woods

Pharm.D. - Jami Cannon, Heidi Dufrene, Kerry Fine, Catherine Gould, Crystal Graham, Meredith Hux, Hannah Jones, Lorie Nguyen, Melissa Perez, Christina Ragas, Jade Santiago and Michael Vardano Jr.

Earning their degrees with cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts - Jeanise Galloway, Stephanie Mays, Jaime Moody, Kimberly Morgan, Sherise Ross and Emerald Skipper

Bachelor of Music - Krystal Russell

Bachelor of Science - Maryam Adeyola, Raimot Agbe, Laquinta Below, Krystina Brown, Megan Butler, Meredith Coleman, Crystal Dobbins, Cortlandt Franklin, Whitney Harrison, Mariel Hepburn, Aurelia Holland, Keenan Holmes, Michael Holmes, Jeremy Jewitt, Rose Johnson, Mario Jones, Cherele Lavack, Leron Lightfoot, Alecia McCall, Deneshia McIntosh, Crystal Moore, Candace Morris, Alexandria Moxley, Quynh Nguyen, Shamekia Nwafor, Desire Nwosu, Stephanie O’Conner, Aton Osbourne, Kandyce Pearson, Virginia Richard, Sanitra Smith, Julie Tran, Tuyet Truong, Diedria Williams and Shardae Wise

Pharm.D. - Andrea Barfield, Michelle Bodungen, Vincent Bui, Carnecia Cole, Hieu Hoang, Bobbie Jackson, Judy Le, Binh Nguyen, Jenny Nguyen, Katherine Nguyen, Thuy Nguyen, Kelly Null, Karl Sandy, Suliat Shomade, Ashly Stevens, Jenny Tran, Thanh-Tran Tran, Shenika Turner and Bui Van.

Receiving Graduate School degrees with honors were: (Master of Arts) Quadrell Conerly, Simone Milton and Corey Simmons; (Master of Arts in Teaching) Celeste Gunning, Jennifer Heard, Dana Lagarde and DeBorah Smith.

This year’s ceremony also saw the University bestow an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon longtime art professor and Xavier alumnus John T. Scott (’62) whose art has garnered him a national reputation as one of America’s most highly-acclaimed contemporary artists and whose teaching continued to inspire Xavier art students until his retirement.

Scott’s wife Anna accepted the award on behalf her husband, who is recuperating from double lung surgery in Texas, where his family relocated after Hurricane Katrina.

Graduating Seniors Presented University Service Awards

Crystal Moore and Michael Varnado were named recipients of the University’s two most coveted service awards at the 2007 Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation.

Moore, a business/finance major from Collinsville, Miss. (West Lauderdale High School) and Varnado, a Pharm.D major from New Orleans, La. (Jesuit High) were presented the St. Katharine Drexel Award and the Mother Agatha Ryan Award, respectively.

They topped a short list of graduating seniors receiving awards, including:

National Council, Knights of Peter Claver leadership awards:
xxxx– Theron Exum (the Gilbert Faustina Award)
xxxx– Mary Hill (the Louis Israel Award)
xxxx– Joshua Miles (the Pierre Alphonse Award)

Victor H. Labat Service Award – Dennis Steverson

Sister Thea Bowman Award – Brad Bradford

Sister Beatrice Jeffries Award - Kristen Gates

William H. Mitchell Christian Leadership Award – Nyote Oliver

Walter J. Barker, Sr. Award – Acrealle Anderson

Saint Cecilia Music Award – Krystal Russell

Sister Eloise Sisson Award – Erion Williams

Alpha Beta Omega Chapter (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority) Award – Taria Coleman

Sigma Lambda Chapter (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Award – Shekaul Henry

XU Service Awards – Mecca Abdullah, Matthew Alemu, Denisha McIntosh, Sundee Warren, Victor Jones, Kristin Willis, Rainier Batiste, Tony Davis, Nicholette Bourgious, Emma Goodman, Jessica Lowe, Nmaka Ngoddy, Amber Haynes and Jeremy DeWitt.

Click HERE to see the College of Pharmacy Awards and Scholarships.


Anh-Van Mai
Sophia Mai

Crystal Moore, a graduating business/finance major from Collinsville, Miss., and Michael Varnado, a graduating Pharm.D major from New Orleans, La., are congratulated by President Norman Francis after receiving the University’s top two honors – the St. Katharine Drexel Award and the Mother Agatha Ryan Award, respectively – during the 2007 Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation.

Photo by Irving Johnson III

XU Still Tops Placing African American Students in Med School
Xavier continues its track record of placing more minority students into medical and professional schools than any other institution.
Recognized as the ‘Hottest School for Premed” in 2005 by the Kaplan-Newsweek Guide to Colleges, Xavier has placed an average of 80 students per year into medical school over the past three years and has placed approximately 60 students per year into other science-related fields such as osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, and public health school.
Additionally, the University has been number one nationally in placing African-Americans into medical school since 1993, and continues its success despite recently coping with recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
So far this year, 69 Xavier students have already been accepted into medical, dental, and other schools for entry in the Fall of 2007. According to the Xavier Pre-med Office, the University expects to maintain its number one status in placing African-Americans into medical school and to do well in placing students into the other health professions.

567 Scholars Make Spring '07 Dean's List

A total of 567 student scholars made the Dean's Honor Roll during the spring ’07 semester, according to records released by Avis Stuard, interim registrar. 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 honor roll listing is available at HERE.

Chicago Couple to Co-Chair XU Annual Fund Campaign

Timothy Ray ‘91 and Lisa Florence Ray ’91 of Chicago, Ill., long-time supporters of their alma mater and among the newest members of the Xavier 500 major gift-giving club, have been selected co-chairs of the University’s Annual Fund campaign committee for 2007-2009.

An equity partner in the law firm of Neal, Gerber and Eisenberg, Tim specializes in all aspects of complex commercial litigation, health law and products liability litigation. His wife Lisa, who recently earned her MBA, is pharmacy
Timothy and Lisa Ray
manager at Walmart, having moved into the retail sector of the pharmaceutical industry last year after lengthy stints in clinical hospital and as a medical consultant for a major pharmaceutical company.  

As co-chairs of the Annual Fund, the Rays are charged with helping the University to expand its fundraising efforts among alumni in both participation and total contributions. They also hope to motivate more alumni to make donations to their alma mater at the major gift level.

“Xavier has meant so much to us in terms of both our personal lives and our professional careers,” said Lisa. “We are excited to be in a position to help Xavier maintain its position as one of the nation’s premiere educational institutions.”

In the years since their graduation from Xavier, Tim and Lisa have contributed both their time and financial resources to their alma mater, both directly and through active participation in the Chicago Alumni Club.

The Rays made a major commitment to the University’s top gift-giving program – the Alumni Leadership Initiative (a.k.a., the Xavier 500) – in 2006, pledging at least $10,000 over the next five years. In doing so, they joined the ranks of some 226 alumni and friends who have taken membership in that exclusive club.

They were already considering increasing their annual donation when Hurricane Katrina lowered the boom on the University, which made the decision to step up to the plate that much easier.

Vincent, Richard, Murphy to Retire; Sister Monica to Head A&S

President Norman Francis has announced the retirement of two long-time administrative staff members and one long-time faculty member, all of which will take effect this summer.

Retiring are Dr. Harold Vincent, the current Dean of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Alvin Richard ’55, the current dean of the Graduate School; and business professor Robert Murphy, Jr.

Francis also announced that assistant dean Sister Monica Loughlin, S.B.S. ’69, the current associate dean of Arts and Sciences, will assume the position of dean effective Aug. 1. In addition, Dr. Andrea Edwards has been named associate dean, also effective on that date. No replacement has been named for Richard, who retires at the end of this month.

Vincent has been at Xavier for 41 years, the first 31 of those years teaching in the Physics Department, where he rose in academic rank from Instructor to Professor. He also served as coordinator of the pre-engineering program and chair of the physics. He was named Dean of the Arts and Sciences in 1996.

Richard has served as dean of the Graduate School since 1995, having returned to his alma mater after nearly 20 years at Dartmouth College, where he served in a variety of roles, including director of equal opportunity and affirmative action, dean and associate dean. From 1965 to 1976 he served at Xavier in a series of administrative positions: dean of student services, dean of admissions/financial aid and dean of men.

Murphy, a popular and dedicated member of the business department faculty, taught at Xavier for more than 26 years.

Sister Monica is no stranger to her new position, having previously served as dean of Arts and Sciences from 1991-1995 in addition to her latest one-year stint as associate dean. She has a long history of service at Xavier punctuated by leadership roles with the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. In previous assignments at the University – starting in 1974 – she has taught medical technology and biology. She left New Orleans to become a member of the SBS leadership team in 1980-85 and then president from 1995-2005, during which time she served four terms on Xavier’s Board of Trustees.    

Edwards has been at XU since 1999 as a professor in computer sciences, specializing in such academic areas as data structures, artificial intelligence, graphics and robotics.

Alabama Physician Receives 2007 S.B.S. Justice Award

Dr. Regina Benjamin ‘79, was named recipient of the 2007 Saint Katharine Drexel Justice Award by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in recognition of her medical practice among the poor of her Gulf Coast community and her courage and determination in rebuilding her clinic, twice destroyed by hurricanes and once by fire.

Benjamin, opened her family medicine residency in Bayou La Batre, a small shrimping village along the Alabama Gulf Coast, shortly after her graduation from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
She spent several years moonlighting in emergency rooms and nursing homes to keep her practice open. After receiving an MBA from Tulane University she again used her own funds to convert her office into the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou LaBatre, Ala. Because most of the area residents live below the poverty level, many patients are treated free.

The clinic was first destroyed by Hurricane George in 1998, but Benjamin rebuilt it further inland. However, Hurricane Katrina's 25-foot surge in 2005 hit the entire town including the clinic. She saw patients at a shelter until she got a FEMA trailer. After months of rebuilding and labor-intensive cleanup efforts by volunteers, the clinic was set to reopen on Jan.  2, 2006, but on New Year's Eve a fire burned it to the ground. She is once again rebuilding.
Dr. Regina Benjamin
Benjamin is the first African-American woman and the first person under age 40 to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She was later elected President of the Medical Association State of Alabama, making her the first African American woman president of a state medical society in the U.S.  She continues to serve as a founding board member of the Catholic Health East (CHE) and is a member of the board of Catholic Health Association of the United States.

College of Pharmacy Awards and Scholarships

The College of Pharmacy presented its annual Honors, Awards and Scholarships in connection with commencement exercises. They are listed below:

Honors and Awards

AphA-ASP  Mortar and Pestle Professionalism Award – Lesleigh Wallace

Facts & Comparisons Award of Excellence in Clinical Communication – Michael Varnado

Highest Scholastic Standing in Pharmacy Practice and Ethical Conduct – Lisa Bertucci

Lilly Achievement Award – Shanese Williams

Merck & Co. Award – Lisa Bertucci, Billy Tran and Shanese Williams

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award – Thao Nguyen

Roche Pharmacy Communications Award – Jade Santiago

Glaxo Smith Kline Patient Care Award – Christina Victor

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Outstanding Student Award – Catherine Gould

CoP Award for Excellence – Lisa Bertucci

Academy of Students of Pharmacy Service Award – Sharmia Thomas

Rho Chi Recognition Certificate – Rola Abdelmuhsen, Lyla Alihamad, John Andry, Nicole Comeaux, Nicole Gonzales, Phi Linh Ho, Elizabeth Hoang, HongAnh Hoang, Donielle Schneider, Sabrina Segura, Ellie Trosclair, Renee Watts and Alona Williams.

Albert Lauve Hospital Pharmacy Award – Nisha Thomas

Kappa Epsilon Pharmacy Fraternity for Women (Alpha Nu Chapter) Achievement Award – Lesleigh Wallace

Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity (Delta Eta Chapter) Service Award – Asheia Wynne

Special Pharmacy Faculty Awards – Katura Thomas and Jack Iskander

Student National Pharmaceutical Association Award – Inga King

College of Pharmacy Scholarships

Walgreen Company Scholarship – Kerry Andus, Jeffrey Bullock, Inga King, Andria Phifer and Candace Sampson

Henry Cade Memorial Scholarship Award – Jaquada Keys and Wondwossen Teka

Rite-Aid Corporation Scholarship – Travis Batiste, Jamie Crawley, Julie Nguyen, Sharon Peters and Ayesha Wafeeg

Albertson’s Pharmacy Scholarship Award – Chelsea Hicks and Stacy Young

CVS Scholarships – Heidi Becnel, Tara Davis, Danielle Richardson, Thanh-Nga Tran and Janay Woodard

Wal-Mart Pharmacy Scholarship – Farrell Fort, Katura Thomas and Meng Tsai

Donzell Floyd Scholarship – Crystal Calloway and Farrell Fort

Warren Welters Scholarship – Lauchland Roberts

Marcellus Grace Scholarship – Kenesha Pace and Patrice Woods-Sanchez

Dr. Hazel Merritt Memorial Scholarship – Aarielle Gentry

Merck Scholarship – Shawestlyn Sledge

Kroger Scholarship – Christopher Lacour

K-Mart Scholarship – Sarah Bourgeois

General Peay Scholarship – Melanie Rachal

Lucille Dejoie Tureaud Memorial Pharmacy Scholarship – Crystal Calloway

Faculty and Staff Recognition Award – Roshondra Lee

Alma Richards Endowed Scholarship – Benedine Nneji

Monica Barquet Memorial Endowed Scholarship – Megan Minor

James Holt Endowed Scholarship – Kelly Moran

Victor Castellon Endowed Scholarship – Jon Malveaux and Nathaniel Thomas

COP Academic Achievement Scholarships – Nicole Gonzales, Grace Thacker and Katura Thomas


Four students – Jai Hayes, a senior English major from Culver, Ind. (Culver High); and three communications majors: senior Joy Johnson of Plano, Texas (Plano East), junior Whitney Lanum of Wheaton, Md. (Good Counsel), and junior Michael Sanders of Destrehan, La. (Destrehan) – were selected to participate in the American Pavilion Student Filmaker Program at the Cannes International Film Festival. The students worked at the American Pavilion, participated in workshops and seminars, and intermingled with professionals from all aspects of the film industry.

Three sophomore music majors – Charles James of New Orleans (St. Augustine High), Ariane Johnson of New Orleans (McMain) and Naazir Muhammad of Emeryville, Calif. (Emery) – have been named recipients of American Federation of Musicians Music Performance Fund Scholarships worth $500.


Dawn Adams ’00, has joined the Peace Corps and will serve as a community volunteer for two years in Mongolia. She previously worked with the Cartoon Network.

Elease M. Bradford ’87
, was featured in a New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper article about the services being offered to help residents recover from Hurricane Katrina at the St. Paul's Homecoming Center in the hard-hit Lakeview area of the city.

Dr. Yasmin Brown ’03, has received her degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and will be practicing in the Hampton Roads-Tidewater area of Virginia.

Dr. Michelle Easton ’93, assistant dean for professional and student affairs at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, has been selected as a Faculty Fellow for her distinguished service to the University, her fellow faculty and students.

Shavonda Gaudin 07, has been accepted into the master’s program in English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Benjamin Jackson ’97, has been promoted to Financial and Reporting Manager at Beiersdorf, Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn. He also recently graduated from Ellis College of NYIT with an MBA and specialization in Accounting and Information Systems.

Dr. John H. Jackson ‘94, has been named the new president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. He joins the Foundation after seven years in leadership positions at the NAACP.

Victor Jones ’07, has been accepted into Harvard University where he will be studying English Education.

Desarae Bonds Pryor ’00, received her Doctorate of Optometry from The University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry in May.

Derek Robinson ’98, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Howard University Medical Alumni Association. He has also recently received his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Klyne Smith ’89, has been named Director of IPTV, Program and Customer Management with Alcatel-Lucent in Dallas, Texas. Previously employed at Harrah's Entertainment as the Director of Diversity Administration, he has also been accepted into the Ph.D. program in engineering management at Southern Methodist University.

Corey Stayton ’94, was recognized as a “Man of the Year” by the Morehouse College Maroon Tiger for his teaching excellence.

Candice Stewart ’06, has earned a spot on the NFL's Houston Texan cheerleaders squad for the '08 season. The former Miss Louisiana 2005 was previously a member of the New Orleans Saintsations cheerleaders.

Milistine Delaney Tatum '89 has been named program manager for Edgewood Homes Community support services in Akron, Ohio.

Simeon Udunka ’00, has been accepted into dental school at Meharry Medical College. He was also recently awarded a CDC/ATSDR Public Health Research Protection Award for his current involvement in pesticide research.

Amber C. Williamson ’05, has been accepted into the master’s degree program in applied computer science at Kennesaw State University and is serving an internship with Delta Technology.


Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (English) had an essay ""The Millennial Students in a Time of Crisis" in the on-line journal Network: A Journal of Faculty Development (Spring 2007), published by New York University's Faculty Resource Network. He also spoke on the status of faculty at XU in the aftermath of Katrina at the Louisiana Conference of the AAUP, held in New Orleans.

Marion Bracy (vice president, facilities planning management) has been named recipient of the 2007 Pacesetter Award by the APPA, the association serving educational facilities professionals.  

Dr. Violet Harrington Bryan (English) gave a speech, “Empathy and Ethics: Teaching at a New Orleans HBCU after Katrina,” at the Diversity Luncheon of the 38th Annual Conference of the College English Association, held in New Orleans.   She accepted a $1,000 gift from the CEA to the XU English Department. Shelia Collins’96, a member of the English faculty at the University of Arkansas, served as program committee member for the conference.

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American Studies/English) had a poem, "St. Philip Blues," published in the anthology The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South by the University of Georgia Press.

Dr. DeReef F. Jamison (African American Studies) had an article,"Amos Wilson's Liberation Psychology," published in the spring issue of The Griot.

Katheryn Krotzer Laborde
(English) presented her essay "Roads Taken" at the Popular Culture/American Culture Associations Joint Conference in Boston, Mass. She was also a part of a panel on Southern Culture that featured contributors to CrossRoads: A Journal of Southern Culture.

Dr. Treva A. Lee, '84, '88
(Office of Planning and Institutional Research) has been selected as an AIR Fellow for the upcoming Summer Institute on First-Year Assessment to be held this month in Savannah, Georgia. This event is sponsored by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and the Association for Institutional Research.

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