Volume 41 No. 06
June 2010


107 Honor Graduates
Accent Commencement

Seniors Presented Top
University Service Awards

Kennedy Named Dean
of College of Pharmacy

Tennis Season Ends
at National Tournament

Outstanding Faculty
Recognized for Excellence


Xavier in the News

facebook Become a fan on Facebook

1834 Students, Parents Embrace Lagniappe

A healthy contingent of close to 350 pre-freshmen and their families took advantage of the University’s Lagniappe orientation preview, an invitational weekend designed to ease the transition of new students into the college environment.

Participants had the opportunity to meet current XU students and faculty in their prospective academic departments. Advance Placement tests were administered to qualified students.

Students meeting fiscal and health clearance were also able to complete their class registration for the fall.
Accompanying parents were met with representatives from administrative areas like financial aid, student health services, and student accounts. In addition to all the business matters, campus and city tours were offered.

All first-time freshman students admitted to Xavier for the fall 2010 semester were invited to attend the orientation preview, which was required for all regional students.

Lagniappe participants were invited to stay in the residence halls on campus to get a taste of student life at Xavier.

1834 26 Earn Freshman Seminar Awards

Twenty-six students were named recipients of the first-ever Outstanding Achievement in Freshman Seminar awards.

The awards, presented by the Office of Academic Enhancement, recognize academic performance, leadership potential and commitment to the University as demonstrated in the Freshman Seminar course, which is taken by all new freshmen.  

This year’s awardees include: Khalidah Baruti, Courtni Becnel, Endia Blunt, Lien Bui, Keith Carroll, Joseph Cespedes, Nnenia Clark, Courtney Cornelious, Minesha Estell, Felice Gaddis, Allyson Graham, Gabriel Green, Denitra Harris, Christian Heyser, Raven Hollins, Nicholas Howard, Natalie Journee, Mioshiua Knox, Fredericka Lewis, Melanie Moore, Jessalyn Ngo, Michelle Ozah, Marvin Stewart, Brynne Vernon, Monique Westley and Brittany N. Williams.

1834 Business Class Scholar Graduates

Eight high school seniors have successfully completed the University’s pre-college program for students interested in pursuing careers in business.
The Business Class Scholars Program, offered by the XU Division of Business, allows high school students to get a jump on their college studies by applying to Xavier and enrolling in the three-credit hour course, Introduction to Business.

The graduates (and their high schools) include: Nadia Arce (Academy of Our Lady), Tram Bui (Thomas Jefferson), Lauren Dutrel (Fisher), Talyana Franklin (Warren Easton), Audie Jackson (Brother Martin), Brianna Jenkins (Warren Easton), Kerry Lofton (Thurgood Marshall) and Marilyn Pritchard (Warren Easton).

For more info on the program, contact Clifford Wright at cwright@xula.edu.

1834 XU Tops GCAC
Tennis Squad

Tennis standouts Anastesia Opata and Steffen Giles-Osborn were selected Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) women’s and men’s Players of the Year.

Opata, a senior mass communication major from Lawrenceville GA (Central Gwinnett High), was 21-8 in singles and 19-10 in doubles this season for the women. It’s the second straight year she has been awarded the honor.

Giles-Osborn, a sophomore business-marketing major from Atlanta GA (Westlake High), was 14-14 in singles and 13-10 in doubles for the XU men.

In addition, Alan Green was named Coach of the Year for the sixth time on the women's side and the fifth time on the men's.

1834 N.O. Jazz Round-Up June 13 Invitation

The New Orleans Alumni Chapter invites all comers to its annual Jazz Round-Up on Sunday, June 13, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the XU University Center Ballroom.

Visit HERE for details.

1834 XU in the News

2HBCU Digest
St. Augustine’s, XU Dominate 2010 HBCU Athletic Season1902Louisiana Weekly
Restore Honor to Teaching
& the Teachers Will Come
2Gulf Times
Qatar’s Katrina Fund
Comes to Aid of Thousands1902Times-Picayune
Education Secretary Urges Xavier Grads to Teach

lagniappe XAVIER BOUND

Pre-freshman Celeste Edwards of Lafayette LA (Lafayette High) and her parents, Michael and Kimberly, take in the sights and sounds of the 2010 Lagniappe Weekend. Close to 350 students and their families attended the orientation preview, an invitational two-day event designed to ease the transition of new students into the college environment.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


One hundred seven of 509 graduates received their degrees with honors from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and graduate programs during Xavier’s 83rd annual commencement.

Twenty-six students graduated with summa cum laude honors, while another 23 earned magna cum laude honors and 46 others earned cum laude distinction. An additional 12 students earned graduate honors.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered the keynote address, while legendary musician-producer David Bartholomew was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Two College of Pharmacy students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages – John Andry of Destrehan LA and Hong-Anh Hoang of New Orleans – headed this year’s group of summa cum laude graduates.
Also earning degrees with summa cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Jalisa Mathis.

Bachelor of Music – Danielle Edinburgh-Wilson.

Bachelor of Science – Okell Dames, April Harry, Rebekah Sadaiappen and Ayronada Smith.

Pharm.D. – Rola Abdelmuhsen, Lyla Alihamad, Nicole Comeaux, Laurent Gagnon, Nicole Gonzales, James Helou, Nicole Hery, Phil Linh Ho, Elizabeth Hoang, Haley Lee, Savrina Moragne, Linda Nguyen, Donielle Schneider, Ellie Usey, Tenesha Waits, Renee Watts, Alona Williams and Erika Wilson.

Earning their degrees with magna cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Sarah Francis.

Bachelor of Science – Nana-Aisha Adamu, Rita Aregbesola, Rachel Clark, Emily Gray, Jenna Hill, LaShanna Johnson, Anita Madison, Ugochi Obih, Minh Pham, Amber Robins and Kendrick Williams.

Pharm.D. – Andrew Fitzgerald, Kristen Gonzales, Gary Grau, Ozioma Iheagwam, Rachel Kay, Jaquada Keys, Stacy Lowery, Jessica Phan, Jill Shamburger, Nikita Taylor and Huong Vu.

Earning their degrees with cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Troy Baham, Akia Nevills, Cassandra Shepard and Val Williams.

Bachelor of Science – Syed Ahmed, Michaela Allen, Merije Chukumerije, Kha Do, Kyra Gautier, Averine Hamb, Ninma Idowu-Fearon, Kennedy Iheanacho, Jessica Isom, La’Kandice Johnson, Jarnelle Jones, Phillip Luu, Kyle Martin, Jessica Martinez, Mai Nguyen, Thien Nguyen, Julia Peters, Lynez Preyan, Hau Tram, John Tran, Brittany Warren and Amanda Williams.

Pharm.D. – Courtney Chavis, Honesty Cockrell, Ebony Cook, Jonathan Dolese, Aarielle Gentry, Geoffrey Gros, Thao Hoang, Aneela Jatala, Ashley Kirkwood, Erica Leslie, Courtney Meggs, Hoa Nguyen, Huyen Nguyen, Jimmy Phan, Whitney Ponseti, Melissa Sanchez, Shelley Schmitz, Amanda Soza, Wondwossen Teka and Dominique Tomlinson.

Receiving Graduate School degrees with honors were: (Master of Arts) Leslie Lewis, Benjamin Ploeger and QuoVadis Webster; and (Master of Arts in Teaching) Rima Bensrieti, Kyla Debarbieri, Alex DeLarge, Edie Drake, Sharonda Freeman, Darren Lewis, LeNeshia Markey, Dana Minor and Dana Tyson.


Merije Chukumerije and Aminn Thompson were named recipients of the University’s two most coveted service awards at the 2010 Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation.

Chukumerije, a biology/pre-med major from Chino CA (Colony High School) and Thompson, a business/accounting major from New Orleans (Bro. Martin 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 – Jarred Honora (the Gilbert Faustina Award)
xxxx – Edward Jenkins (the Louis Israel Award)
xxxx – Andrea Toles (the Alphonse Pierre Auguste Award)

 Victor H. Labat Service Award – John Dixon

Sister Thea Bowman Award – Amber Robins

Sister Beatrice Jeffries Student Leadership Award – Meagan Minor

William H. Mitchell Christian Leadership Award – Amanda Williams

 Walter J. Barker, Sr. Award – Brandon Brisco

St. Cecilia Music Award – Charles James and Danielle Edinburgh-Wilson

 Sister Eloise Sisson Award – Ariane Johnson


 Academy of Students of Pharmacy Service Award – Andrea Toles

 KE Pharmacy Fraternity for Women Achievement Award – Dominique Tomlinson

 Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Service Award – Lorraine Massey



Rainier Batiste '07, has been accepted into the osteopathic medicine program at William Carey College.

John Boutte ’80
, had his effervescent "Treme Song" selected as the opening-credits music for the New Orleans-set HBO drama Treme. In addition, the series' fourth episode took its title from a song co-written with Paul Sanchez, "At the Foot of Canal Street." He performed the song live in the episode.

Heather Brightharp '08
, has been accepted into the master of science program at Hampton University.

Cedric Grant ’74,
has been named deputy mayor of facilities, infrastructure and community development for the City of New Orleans by newly-inaugurated Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He previously served as the CAO of Ascension Parish LA and, prior to that, as deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Rhaoul A. Guillaume Sr. ’71, president of GOTECH, Inc., a consulting engineering firm headquartered in Baton Rouge LA, has been elected chairman of the Louisiana Professional Engineers and Land Surveying Board.

Patrick Hardy '95
, is serving as CEO of the Sigma Beta Leadership Charter School in Rockford IL, an all-boys school that will serve primarily at-risk 6th to 12th graders, which anticipates opening this fall.

Joshua Hill '09
, has been accepted into medical school at Texas A&M University, Meharry College and Texas Tech University.

Jessica Isom '10
, has been accepted into medical school at the University of North Carolina.

Cheryl L. Keyes ‘79
, an associate professor of ethnomusicology at UCLA, has received the Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award from the African-American Arts Institute of Indiana University in Bloomington.

Amber Koon '10, has been accepted into the master's programs in biomedical science at West Chester University, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Ashley McNeil '09, has been accepted into the Ohio University of Osteopathic Medicine.

Thien Nguyen '10
, has been accepted into the LSU School of Dentistry.

Steve Prince ‘91, an art educator at Hampton High School in Hampton VA, has been named the city’s 2010 “Teacher of the Year”.

Cynthia Shelton '76, was among the 237 lay persons presented Order of St. Louis IX Medallions by Archbishop Gregory Aymond in recognition of their devotion to the work of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Ashley Tanner '09, has been accepted into the master's program in public health at the University of Memphis.

Janet Trinh '10
, has been accepted into the Ohio College of Podiatry.

Dr. Christy Valentine ’96, founder of the Valentine Medical Center in New Orleans, has been appointed to the parish's Hospital Service District.

Otis Washington ’61, educator and architect of St. Augustine High School’s powerhouse football teams of the 1970’s, was honored at the Catholic New Orleans' prep school's special “Knight of Celebration” event.

E. Hoang
H. Hoang

 Special Pharmacy Faculty Awards – Andrea Toles

– Glaxo Smith Kline Patient Care Award – Meagan McSweeney

 Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Outstanding Student Award – John Andry

 Facts & Comparisons Award – Nicole Hery

 Albert Lauve Hospital Pharmacy Award – Geoffrey Gros

 Highest Scholastic Standing (Practice and Ethical Conduct) – Nicole Gonsalez

 Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award – Alona Williams

 Merck & Co. Award – John Andry, Haley Lee and Renee Watts Freeman

 COP Award for Excellence in Research – Michael Lievers

 Lilly Achievement Award – Tenesha Wait

 COP Award for Excellence – John Andry and Hong-Anh Hoang 


It was a great ride, but it all come to an end when both tennis teams ran into perennial powerhouses at the NAIA national champions in Mobile AL.

The men's team, which captured its second consecutive Gulf Coast Conference men's title and finished the regular season ranked 16th in the nation, defeated Tennessee Wesleyan in the opening round of the national tournament. But they ran into a brick wall against top-ranked Fresno Pacific in following round (losing 5-1).

The women's team, which had earned its fifth straight GCAC title and was ranked 19th nationally, breezed through their tournament opener against Indiana Wesleyan well. But they then ran afoul of six-time defending NAIA women’s champion, dropping a 5-0 decision.


Dr. Syed Ahmed (physics) and Dr. Andrea Edwards (computer science) co-organized a computational science and high performance computing series mini-workshop on data mining which attracted faculty from five universities to the XU campus. See HERE for photo.

Dr. Amy Bellone-Hite (sociology) co-authored a research paper, "Unequal Return: The Uneven Resettlements of New Orleans' UptownNeighborhoods," which was published in the journal Organization Environment.

Dr. Thomas Bonner Jr. (Emeritus) had his published research on Kate Chopin and her translations from the French of Guy de Maupassant cited in the (London) Times Literary Supplement.



(L-R) P3 pharmacy students Jo-Ann Giraud of Raleigh NC, Frank Anin of Dumfries VA and Gurpreet Kaur of Natalbany LA congratulate Dr. Kathleen Kennedy on her appointment as dean of the Xavier College of Pharmacy. She had been serving as interim dean since August 2009.

Photo by Irving Johnson III



Dr. Kathleen Kennedy has been named the new Dean of the College of Pharmacy, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Kennedy has served as Interim Dean of Pharmacy since August 2009 and was Associate Dean for more than seven years prior to that.  Her appointment as Dean is effective immediately.

“Dr. Kennedy has brought to Xavier a strong record of professionalism and scholarship,” said Blanchard in announcing the selection. “She is an administrative and intellectual leader who will help to steer the College of Pharmacy to new heights and maintain Xavier’s exceptional role in the health professions.”

Kennedy served as the founding director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education at Xavier. She is the recipient of the Malcolm Ellington Professor of Health Disparities Research Endowed Professorship, and provides leadership in the development of the research infrastructure necessary to support health disparities research, education and training. She has been appointed to several local and state committees including the Louisiana Region I Healthcare Consortium, the LA Campaign for Tobacco Free Living Steering Committee and the Louisiana Diabetes Initiative Council. 

Kennedy holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California- San Francisco and completed an American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists accredited residency in Pharmacy Practice at the University of California Hospitals and Clinics in 1979. She completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2004, and the Leadership Fellows Program with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 2006.

Xavier’s College of Pharmacy, one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, is among the nation’s top three producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients. The 169 members of the Class of 2010 graduated earlier this month.

Expansion of the college is currently underway, with the new Qatar Pavilion expected to be ready for partial occupancy in early fall.

Dr. Cecile Brookover (planning and institutional research) has joined the office as Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment. A faculty member in psychology since 2000, she has performed numerous program evaluations for federal and state grants, and served on the development committee for XU's QEP initiative.

Dr. Norman Francis '52 (president) received his 40th honorary doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Bard College on the 150th of the New York school.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton '85, '98
(pharmacy) attended the second HBCU Faculty Workshop sponsored by Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center in Atlanta GA. 

Randall Schexnayder ’80
(pharmacy) and wife Eva were among the 237 lay persons presented Order of St. Louis IX Medallions by Archbishop Gregory Aymond in recognition of their devotion to the work of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.


Five faculty members – (from left) Dr. Bonnie Noonan in English, Dr. Gary Donaldson in history. Dr. Farrah Gafford in sociology, Dr. Michael Adams in chemistry and Dr. Kun (Karen) Zhang in computer science – were presented 2010 Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence Awards during commencement exercises in recognition of their extraordinary performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Five faculty members were honored during commencement for their extraordinary performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service.

The winners of the 2010 Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence Awards were:

In recognition of exhibiting the highest qualities of instruction and pedagogy, the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching – (junior faculty) Dr. Farrah Gafford in sociology and (senior faculty) Dr. Bonnie Noonan in English).

In recognition of a consistent record of service to various institutional efforts and for exemplifying a spirit of volunteerism, the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in Service – (senior faculty) Dr. Michael Adams in chemistry. 

In recognition of scholarship and research that distinguish the University and for substantial contributions to their respective disciplines, the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarship – (junior faculty) Dr. Kun (Karen) Zhang in computer science and (senior faculty) Dr. Gary Donaldson in history.

Initiated in 2009, the Faculty Excellence Awards are designed to honor both "junior" faculty (those who have worked at the University for seven years or less) and "senior" faculty members (more than seven years of service.) The awards of $5,000 each will be split evenly between the award recipient and his/her academic area.

The winners were also presented specially designed medallions minted to convey this distinctive honor. The medal was created by Art Department faculty member Ron Bechet.

Dennis Sigur ’97 and Ken Kirk (ITC) made a presentation on “Campus-Wide Initiative for Tracking Attendance” at the Blackboard Transaction Conference.

Michele Woods (library) had a grant proposal for the “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” traveling exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She attended a workshop in Philadelphia PA and will serve as project director when XU hosts the exhibition later this year.

Two retiring, long-time faculty members – Dr. Malcolm Breda '56 (music) and Dr. John Sevenair (chemistry) – have been awarded the title "Professor Emeritus" by the University in recognition of their exemplary teaching, research and service at Xavier.

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

About Xavier - Contact Us - Site Map
© 2010 Xavier University of Louisiana. All rights reserved