Volume 42 No. 6
June 2011











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service awards
Service Awards

2011 Summas

Camille Hanks Cosby

Debra Lee
Athletic Banquet

rome trip
Rome Trip

Good to be Home
upward bound
Truly Upward Bound

1834 Student Named Schweitzer Fellow

Derrick Bradley, a second-year pharmacy student from Ringhold LA (Ringhold High School), has been awarded an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

Over the coming year he will join the 260 other members of the Schweitzer Fellows Class of 2011-12 from around the country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the unmet health needs of underserved individuals and communities.

Bradley plans to work through the Daughter of Charity to deliver programming that improves health competency, comprehension, and literacy in minority communities in New Orleans.

Upon completion of his initial year in the program, Bradley will become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life – joining a vibrant network of over 2,000 individuals who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

1834 XU Wins GCAC
All-Sports Trophy

Xavier has earned the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's All-Sports Award for 2010-2011. It's the first time that the university has won the Thomas Howell Cup after finishing in the top three the past six seasons.

The Thomas Howell Cup, named for the GCAC's longtime commissioner, is awarded annually to the school with the most points based on order of finish in various sports. Xavier, boosted by repeat championships in men's cross country, women's cross country and women's basketball, finished the year with 31 points. First-year member Edward Waters was second with 23 points, and Dillard and SUNO tied for third with 20 points apiece.

The GCAC this summer will add two members, Philander Smith and Talladega, to increase league membership to eight schools for 2011-12.

1834 XU Herald Wins
LPA Awards

The Xavier Herald student newspaper took home six awards in the Louisiana Press Association’s Student Newspaper Competition during the LPA’s annual convention. University publications from across the state competed for awards for newspapers published during 2010.

The Herald placed second in overall general editions entered, said Melinda Shelton, faculty adviser and director of student publications.

Other awards divisions and recipients included: 1st place, Staff Generated Advertisement, color: Stacey Windon; 1st place, Most Effective Use of Graphic Design on a Single Page: Cline Bailey; 2nd place, Best General News/Feature photograph: Herald staff photographers; 3rd place, Staff Generated Ad, color: Hong Nguyen; and 3rd place, Most Effective Use of Graphic Design on a Single Page: Stacey Windon.

1834 COP, Business Team Competes

Students from the College of Pharmacy and Division of Business combined forces recently to compete in the Opportunity Finance Company Venture Challenge), a prestigious national business plan competition, in Atlanta GA.

XU undergraduates teamed with second year pharmacy students in presenting a business plan to introduce a new product called PEnorphine, a new drug developed by XU pharmacy professor Dr. Tarun Mandal that is used to treat recovering heroin addicts and as a pain reliever.

Participating students were: Sondra Willis, senior, business management major, from Kenner LA (Grace King High School), LA; Bilesha Autry, senior, business marketing, Oxford, MD (Oxford High); Herstyn Jones junior business marketing, Shreveport LA (Caddo High); Andria Buckner, senior, accounting, Greenville MS (Miss. School for Math-Science); and second year pharmacy students Valencia Walker (Tara High) and DeAnn Vessel (Baton Rouge Magnet), both of Baton Rouge LA.

1834 XU in the News

2Spartan Echo McDemmond Elected
to National Board

PR Log
Pollster Lee Studies Attitudes of Black Males

Big Easy Music Awards Entertainer of the Year
- John Boutte '80

1Donaldsonville Chief
5 Questions with E&P Honoree Allison Hudson '08


lagniappe XAVIER BOUND

Pre-freshmen (from left) Celeste Coleman of Denver CO, Joshua Jordan of Nashville TN and Dominique Cook of New Orleans are welcomed to Xavier by peer dean Jacob Thomas of Nashville TN during the 2011 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


Dr. Anil Kukreja, chair of the Division of Business since 2003 and the Capital One Endowed Professor in Finance and Management, has been named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  

“We have seen the Division of Business grow and thrive under Dr. Kukreja’s exceptional leadership. The College of Arts and Science is the foundation of our liberal arts program and I am confident that Dr. Kukreja will continue to share with the college the skills and expertise he has brought to the Division,” said Dr. Loren Blanchard, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in announcing the appointment.

In addition, Dr. Kim Vaz, an associate professor at the University of South Florida, and founder of the Florida Consortium for Women’s and Gender Studies, has been named the new Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier. - more -


Steven Morgan Jr. of Gray LA, XU’s top summa cum laude graduate, joins President Norman Francis, keynote speaker Marc Morial, and the honorary degree recipients Debra Lee, Camille Hanks Cosby and Herbert Douglas, Jr. backstage.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


523 graduates received their degrees from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and graduate programs during Xavier’s 84th annual commencement.

National Urban League President/CEO and former New Orleans mayor Marc H. Morial was keynote speaker at the event. The university also awarded honorary degrees to businesswoman and philanthropist Camille Hanks Cosby, BET President/CEO Debra L. Lee, and 1948 Olympic track medalist and businessman Herbert P. Douglas, Jr. during the ceremony.

A total of 114 graduated with honors, including 22 earning summa cum laude honors, 29 earning magna cum laude honors and another 52 earning cum laude distinction. An additional 11 students earned graduate honors. - more -


Chante Calais and Ifeanyi Onor were named recipients of the University’s two most coveted service awards at the 2011 Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation.

Calais, a biology/pre-med major from Breaux Bridge LA (Cecilia High) and Onor, a pharmacy major from Nigeria, were presented the St. Katharine Drexel Award and the Mother Agatha Ryan Award, respectively.   - more -


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

The winners of the 2011 Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence Awards were:

Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching: (junior faculty) Dr. Keturah Robinson in pharmacy and (senior faculty) Dr. Murty Akundi in physics/engineering.

Faculty Excellence Award in Service: (junior faculty) Dr. Anderson Sunda-Meya in physics/engineering and (senior faculty) Clifford Wright in business. 

Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarship: (junior faculty) Dr. Partha Bhattacharjee in biology and (senior faculty) Dr. Michael Homan in theology.  

Initiated in 2009, the Faculty Excellence Awards are designed to honor both "junior" faculty (those who have worked at the XU 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.


bhattacharjee Bhattacharjee



Freshman Adia Wallace, a philosophy major from Jackson MS (Jim Hill High School), has been named to the Kemper Scholars Program’s Class of 2013.

Designed to prepare students for leadership and service, the prestigious program promotes education in the liberal arts while providing opportunities for career exploration and practical experience through internships. It has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago since 1948.

Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships of up to $10,000 a year (based on need) as well as stipends while serving internships at major nonprofits in the Chicago IL area and at major for-profit corporations in the summer following their sophomore and junior years, respectively.


Lauren Ausama ’11, has been accepted into the master’s degree program in medical science at the Indiana University, Drexel University and Hampton University.

Trisha Lee ’11, has been accepted into the physician’s assistant program at Salus University.

Valencia Walker, a P3 pharmacy student from Baton Rouge LA (Tara High), has been awarded a pharmacy summer internship with Albertsons LLC in the Lafayette LA.

Two men’s tennis standouts, Hassan Abbas of England and Zach Taylor from Monroe LA (St. Fredrick High), were named as second-team selections on the 2011 NAIA Men’s All-American team. A third player, Steffen Giles-Osborn of Atlanta GA (Westlake High), earned honorable mention.


John Boutte ’80, has been named Big Easy Entertainer of the Year by the New Orleans’ Gambit magazine. See interview HERE.

Damien Cuffie ’08
, has been accepted into the post-baccalaureate program at the Meharry College School of Dentistry.

Dr. Carita Johnson ‘84, a staff pharmacist with Walmart, has been selected Pharmacist of the Year by the Brookhaven Mississippi Association of Chicago IL in recognition of her outstanding and consistent commitment to the community.

Ebony McKinnies ’09, has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans.

Dr. Shayla  Nesbitt '97, has earned her medical degree from Wake Forest University and will begin her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in July.

Terry Richardson II ’08, has been accepted into the physical therapy schools at USC, Alabama State University, Hampton University and Old Dominion University.

A.P. Tureaud Jr. ‘57, was awarded an honorary degree from LSU. The Baton Rouge school’s first African-American undergraduate student in 1953, he spent less than a semester on campus before a court ordered him to leave the university. He transferred to Xavier, where he earned his degree. He has spent the past 38 years as a professional educator in White Plains NY.

Angelia Wade ’99, associate general counsel with the AFL-CIO in Washington DC, has been named one of the “Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40” for 2011 by the National Bar Association.

Brandon Williams ’08, has been accepted into medical school at the University of South Alabama.

Where Are They Now?


An unfinished chapter in the remarkable life of Herbert Douglas, Jr. came to most satisfactory conclusion in 2011 when the 89-year old businessman and storied Olympic champion finally received a Xavier degree 71 years after enrolling.

"It's a storybook ending for me," said Douglas, who was awarded an honorary degree during the University’s 84th annual commencement. "Can you believe it? Xavier really started my path in life. I learned academics there. I learned how to run. And I learned religion."

Douglas arrived at Xavier in the fall of 1940 after being recruited to compete for future Hall-of-Famer Ralph Metcalfe's men's track and field program. Douglas excelled – in 1941 he set a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship meet record in the outdoor long jump, and in 1942 he teamed with William Morton, Clarence Doak and
Herbert Douglas Jr.

Howard Mitchell to make Xavier the first HBCU (historically black college or university) to win a relay at the Penn Relays. The quartet won the 440-yard relay in 41.7 seconds.

But the demands of World War II forced Douglas to leave XU in 1942 after two years. He returned home to help at his father's Pittsburgh parking garage.

"My father had been blind for several years and needed help," Douglas said. "He was losing employees to the military and to war-related industries. He had a 24-hour garage, and he could not find enough reliable workers. I wanted so much to stay at Xavier, but the circumstances just wouldn't allow me."

After the war Douglas returned to college – but at his hometown University of Pittsburgh, where today he is best remembered as the only Pitt athlete to win an Olympic medal AND score a touchdown against the University of Notre Dame. He is also credited along with classmate Jimmy Joe Robinson in teaming up to break a series of racial barriers at the school – including integrating the Pitt football program.

A true student-athlete, he received both a bachelor's and master’s degree from Pitt.

Douglas went on to win the bronze medal in the long jump at the 1948 Olympics in London.

Douglas joined Schieffelin & Company (now Schieffelin & Somerset) in 1963 where he became the third African-American to reach the level of vice-president of a major North American corporation. While at the innovative wine and spirits importer, he is credited with almost single-handedly introducing the high quality, premium Hennessy Cognac and Moet & Chandon Champagne brands to a growing African American middle class.

"I have been blessed in so many ways," Douglas said.

According to the U.S. Olympic Committee, Douglas is the fourth-oldest living U.S. track and field Olympic medalist. Three other medalists from the 1948 U.S. team — sprinter Cliff Bourland and shot-putters Jim Delaney and Wilbur Thompson — are older.

The honorary degree was far from a take-him-off-the-shelf-and-dust-him-off moment for Douglas. The very next week he was back at his alma mater for a dinner he helped plan as a centennial salute to African-American athletes at Pitt. And officials at the Penn Relays want him to help plan a fundraising dinner within the next year. Douglas also plans to return to the scene of his Olympic triumph when London hosts the Olympics in 2012.

"When will he really retire? That's a good question," said Douglas' wife, Minerva. "I would say never. He's like that (Energizer) bunny. He just keeps going. He finishes one thing, and then he moves on to another. He gets involved in a lot of things."

The trip to New Orleans and Xavier was the first for Douglas since 1992, when he attended the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The night before commencement, he and the other special guests were treated to a dinner at Dooky Chase restaurant with Xavier officials.

"That's some good Creole food," Douglas said. "You know, Dooky Chase opened the year I got to Xavier, 71 years ago. I couldn't afford it then."

kukreja cont

Kukreja replaces Sr. Monica Loughlin, SBS, who will now serve as the Director of Freshman Seminar at Xavier.

Kukreja came to Xavier in 1995 as an Assistant Professor of Business and served as Interim Chair from 1997-2000. Under his leadership the Division has seen considerable growth and achievement. In 2003 he led the Division’s efforts to secure accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the renewal of that accreditation this past year. Under his direction, the Division established two units- the Sales Leadership Institute and the Entrepreneur Institute.

“Kukreja’s tenure at Xavier has been characterized by consummate professionalism and collegiality,” said Blanchard. Kukreja helped establish Business Week at Xavier, designed to share with prospective students highlights from the Division’s four programs in accounting, finance, management, and sales and marketing.  He helped guide the Business Advisory Council which consists of several prominent corporate and community leaders who help to shape the focus and professional network for the business programs.

He earned a Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; an MBA from the College of Commerce and Business Administration in Udaipur, India; and a bachelor of science from the University of Jodhpur (India). His specialization is Operations Management and he has published articles in In Management Science, Computers and Operations Research, and Performance Improvement. In 2005 he received the Visionary Leader Award offered by the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office.

Xavier also welcomes Dr. Kim Vaz, a native New Orleanian, as the new Associate Dean. Vaz has served more than 20 years at the University of South Florida, most recently as an associate professor in the College of Education. She also was a faculty member of the Tampa Bay Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies and former chair of the department of women’s studies at USF.

“Dr. Vaz will be a welcomed addition to the Xavier family,” said Blanchard. “The administrative experience and research background she will bring to this position will nicely complement many of the initiatives and efforts currently underway in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Vaz holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tulane University.

Vaz will replace Dr. Jonathan Rotondo-McCord , who is returning to teaching in the History Department after  serving for two years as Associate Dean. 

Dr. Kukreja begins his appointment on June 15 while Dr. Vaz  starts on July 1.

commencement cont

Steve Morgan Jr., a biology/pre-med major from Gray LA (H.L. Bourgeois High) headed this year’s group of summa cum laude graduates with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.


Dr. Kenneth Boutte ’76  (Associate Dean, Summer Programs and External Initiatives) served as a consultant on a panel to President Obama's President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in Washington DC. PCAST is preparing a report to the President to include STEM undergraduate education.

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American Studies/English) has written the Introduction to Dumile Feni:  The Story of a Great Artist, authored by Prince Mbusi Dube and published in South Africa.

Dr. Brenda Edgerton-Webster
(communications) earned first place honors for her program, “Current Events via the ‘College-to-High School News Exchange’ & Drill Session,” in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) Scholastic Journalism Division’s 2011 Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism competition. She will discuss the winning program as part of an invited panel at the AEJMC Convention in St. Louis MO. She was also selected as a participant in this summer’s 2011 Scripps Howard Leadership Academy.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton '85 '98 (pharmacy) has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Xavier University Preparatory School. She is an alumnus of the school and graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1980.

Alan Green (athletics) was named Coach of the Year on the All-Louisiana men's tennis team selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. He led the Gold Rush to a 13-9 record, a third consecutive berth in the NAIA National Championship, and the program's first top-10 national ranking.

Dr. Oliver Hennessey
(English) has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend to work towards the completion of a book manuscript on the topic of W. B. Yeats and the Irish nationalist appropriation of William Shakespeare.

Dr. Silas Lee (Ernest N. Morial Endowed Assistant Professor of Sociology) conducted research on the perceptions of African American males with regards to their life,  love and relationships with African American females for the new book, Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama, written by Sophia Nelson.

Mark Quinn (business), the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and director of the XU Entrepreneurship Institute, was a guest on WGSO radio’s "Entrepreneur Happy Hour," discussing business initiatives at Xavier.

Also earning degrees with summa cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Jillana Cavalier, Hong Nguyen and Raphaela Romero.

Bachelor of Science – Alycia Boutte, Lauren Cooper, Russell Fertitta Jr., Danielle Foster, Joannie Ivory, Danielle Jones, Trisha Le, Joseph Lee, Marylynn Nguyen, Kristen Walker and Sondra Willis.

Pharm.D. – Ashley Casey, Christopher Gillard, Kelly Hebert, Chinwe Ike, Thuy Nguyen, Ifeanyi Onor and Malloy Waguespack.

Earning their degrees with magna cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Monika Arceneaux and Joshua Davis

Bachelor of Science – Chante Calais, Thy Ho-Pham, Kordell Hunter, Tasha Johnson, Steven Le, Angela Nguyen, Paulyna-Quyen Nguyen, Tran Nguyen, DaJonitta Richmond, Nailah Smith, Dominique Sowell, Daphanie Taylor, Duyen-Anh Tran, Hanh-My Tran, Joann Tran and Kelsey Williams

Pharm.D. – Nazima Alvi, Elizabeth Barthelemy, Chesere Cancienne, Kim-Hue Dinh, Jasie Gautreaux, Jocelyn Hooks, Kamille Miles, Theresa Scardina, Jessica Tate, Marian Tesvich and Nina Vo.

Earning their degrees with cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Meliki Addison, Kristin Fletcher and Shantel Ragland

Bachelor of Science – Leland Abrams, Nnanna Alozie, Meighan Anderson, Sanchia Anderson, Jenese Antoine, Bilesha Autry, Shontrell Bailey, Ashley Coleman, LaTaura Davis, Thuy Doan, Ashley Fulton, Joseph Gallien, Adrienne Glover, Sierra Hall, Victoria Hoang, Terrika Jones, Jaspreet Kaur, Daniel Le, Julian McKnight, Whitney Miller, Andrew Minias, Jennifer Msigwa, Teekay Nguyen, Tiffany Nguyen, Jennifer Olofindayo, Xavier Readus, Jared Romance, Devin Sasser, Ashley Simon, Janae Thompson, Marleesa Thompson, Erin Vincent, Christina Vo, Ashley Walker, Ashley Williams, Carita Winn and Mansoor Zaheer.

Pharm.D. – Tanya Breaux, Bruce Burkenstock Jr., Liliana Cosenza, Kristel Maes, Dat Nguyen, Travis Ortiz, Lisa Pritchard, Linda Tran, Phung Tran, Anh Vu, Savannah Washington and Jennifer Wills.

Receiving Graduate School degrees with honors were: (Master of Arts) Nicole Smith; and (Master of Arts in Teaching) Nicole Belt, Zaheerah El-Amin, Tiffany Elston, Sara Howe, Edmond Jarrell Jr., Shavon Magee, Steven Nelson, Trung Nguyen, Sophia Scott-Shezbie and Trenton Vincent Sr.

honors and awards cont

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

General University Awards and Honors

– National Council, Knights of Peter Claver leadership awards: Jared Romance (the Gilbert Faustina Award), Lauren Cooper (the Louis Israel Award), and Meighan Anderson (the Alphonse Pierre Auguste Award)
– Sister Thea Bowman Award – Tasha Johnson
– Sister Beatrice Jeffries Student Leadership Award – Devin Sasser
– William H. Mitchell Christian Leadership Award – Raphaela Romero
– Walter J. Barker, Sr. Award – Danielle Foster
– St. Cecilia Music Award – Brian Murray
– University Service Keys: Margaret Alabi, Meighan Anderson, Sanchia Anderson, Monika Arceneaux, Kevin Barnes, Jilliana Cavalier, Lauren Cooper, Joseph Gallien, Lee Gibbs, Kordell Hunter, Tasha Johnson, Terrika Jones, Nixia Jordan, India Keys, Charles Mason, Steve Morgan, Jared Romance, Devin Sasser, Daphne Taylor and William Taylor.

College of Pharmacy Awards and Honors

– Academy of Students of Pharmacy Service Award – Savannah Washington
– Rho Chi Recognition – Tessa Bridges, Dustin Foret, Joshua Gauthier and Theresa Nguyen
– KE Pharmacy Fraternity for Women Achievement Award – Alexandria Goins
– Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Service Award – Eboni Evans
– Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Award – Alexandria Goins
– Mary Munson Runge Activity Award – Alexandria Goins
– Special Pharmacy Faculty Award – Thao Nguyen
– SNPhA Award – Tammara Allen
– ASHP/SSHP Award – Maxwell Haslauer and Mia Incaprera
– Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Award – Mallory Waguespack
– Facts & Comparisons Award – Christopher Gillard
–  Albert Lauve Hospital Pharmacy Award – Ifeanyi Onor
– Highest Scholastic Standing (Practice and Ethical Conduct) – Ifeanyi Onor
– Mylan Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Pharmacy Award – Liliana Cosenza
– Merck & Co. Award – Kelly Hebert, Ashley Lenfant, Thuy Nguyen and Marian Tesvich
– COP Award for Excellence in Research – Kyla Leon
– Lilly Achievement Award – Ifeanyo Onor
– COP Award for Excellence – Ifeanyi Onor
– COP Award for Leadership – Charles Mason

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

© 2011 Xavier University of Louisiana. All rights reserved