545 RECEIVE DEGREES AT COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
SENIORS HONORED WITH
TOP SERVICE AWARDS
RCMI RESEARCH PROGRAMS RECIEVE $11.2 NIH GRANT
FRESHMAN SELECTED KEMPER SCHOLAR
TENNIS & TRACK TEAMS SCORE
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|| Faculty Recognized
Five faculty members were honored during the 2014 commencement for their extraordinary performance in the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship.
The winners of the 2014 Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence Awards were:
Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching: (junior faculty) Dr. Sara Al-Dahir [VIDEO] in College of Pharmacy’s Division of Clinical and Administrative Services, and (senior faculty) Dr. Lisa Schulte-Gipson [VIDEO] in the Department of Psychology.
Faculty Excellence Award in Service: (senior faculty) Dr. Maryam Foroozesh [VIDEO] in the Department of Chemistry. Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarship: (junior faculty) Dr. Syreeta Tilghman [VIDEO] in the College of Pharmacy’s Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, and (senior faculty) Dr. David Lanoue [VIDEO] in the Department of English.
Initiated in 2009, the awards include a monetary gift of $5,000, which is split evenly between the recipient and his/her academic discipline, and a medallion.
|| XU Wins GCAC
Xavier is the winner of the Thomas Howell Cup, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's all-sports award, for the fourth consecutive year.
Boosted by GCAC titles in men's and women's cross country, women's volleyball, men's basketball, women's basketball, and women's outdoor track and field, and the women's tennis' unaffiliated group championship, Xavier scored 48 points to match its highest total in 10 seasons. Edward Waters and SUNO were second and third, respectively with 39 and 29 points.
|| XU Summer Boys Basketball Camp
Xavier will host its 2nd Annual DJ Hoops Skills Academy Basketball Camp June 9-12.
Conducted by men’s head coach Dannton Jackson, the camp offers an exciting and athletic skill building experience for boys ages 7 to 16. Several NBA players will serve as guest coaches.
Visit HERE for more info.
|| 30 Inducted Into
Kappa Gamma Pi
Thirty members of the Class of 2014 have been inducted as members of Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society.
Sixteen students were accepted on the baccalaureate level, including Wyndy Bailey, Nadine Bizimana, Javon Bracy, Kaitland Brannon, Amber Cook, Kaylin McLeod, Autumn Myers, David Nguyen, Thao Nguyen, Kai Prophete, Michael Seaberry, Christian Tate, Lauree Thomas, De’Angellica Vaughn-Allen, Adia Wallace, and Amber Williams.
Another 14 students were accepted at the graduate level, including Sheila Banks, Rochelle Darville, Gina Deering, Miranda Dermady, Monique Jones, Chalyn Joshua, Jessica Lowe, Angelica Mino, Aaron McCalister, Emmaline Newman, Keisha Rogers, Jordan Sanchez, Marla Taylor, and Ashonta Wyatt.
|NEW STUDENT PREVIEW WEEKEND
|READY FOR COLLEGE:
Members of the Class of 2018 show some collective enthusiasm for the start of their respective college experience in between activities at the Lagniappe Weekend program for Fall 2014 Incoming freshmen. photo by Irving Johnson III
545 RECEIVE DEGREES AT 2014 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
Some 545 graduates received their degrees during Xavier University of Louisiana’s 87th annual commencement May 10 at the XU Convocation Center.
Award-winning actor/director/producer Blair Underwood delivered the commencement address during the ceremony and was awarded an honorary degree. Also receiving honorary degrees were retiring Tulane University President Dr. Scott Cowen and New Orleans educator/activist/community leader Sybil Haydel Morial ‘52.
Two students – Parixit Joshi, a biology/pre-med major from Metairie LA, and Dustin Foret, pharmacy student from Thibodeaux LA, headed this year’s group of 18 summa cum laude graduates with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.
Summa Cum Laude
Bachelor of Arts: Vallery Jenkins.
Bachelor of Science: Nadine Bizimana. Chigozie Dike, Brandan Dotson, Kayla Johnson, Parixit Joshi, Kyle McClue, Kaylin McLeod, Danh Nguyen, David Nguyen, and Oluwadolapo, Oyebadejo.
Doctor of Pharmacy: Gina Deering, Dustin Foret, Joshua Gauthier, Mona Khashan, Theresa Nguyen, Nicole Riley, and Phuc Tran.
Visit HERE for the complete list of 2014 graduates.
SENIORS HONORED WITH TOP
UNIVERSITY SERVICE AWARDS
Javon Bracy and Raven Jackson were named recipients of Xavier’s two most coveted senior service awards at the 2014 Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation.
Bracy, an English major from New Orleans (De La Salle High), was presented the St. Katharine Drexel Award; while Jackson, a pharmacy student from Palmetto LA (North Central High), was presented the Mother Agatha Ryan Award.
They topped a list of graduating seniors receiving awards at the Baccalaureate ceremony and the College of Pharmacy banquet, including:
General University Awards and Honors:
The Victor H. Labat Award – Tameka Christmas
The National Knights of Peter Claver Awards – (the Gilbert Faustina Award) Michael Seaberry, (the Louis Israel Award) Yves-Yvette Young, and (the Alphonse Pierre Auguste Award) Jeremy Oatis
The Sister Thea Bowman Award – Amber Williams
The Sister Beatrice Jeffries Student Life Leadership and Service Award – Jeanece Kelly
The William H. Mitchell Christian Leadership Award – De’Angela Smith
The Walter J. Barker, Sr. Award – Jade Young
Music Awards – (the St. Cecilia Award) Llolowen Robinson, and (the Sister Elise Sisson Award) Sandi Lewanika.
Pharmacy Awards – (Outstanding Leadership) Porscha Showers, (Academic Excellence) Dustin Foret, (Lilly Achievement) Joshua Gauthier, (Excellence in Research) Lynez Preyan, and (Excellence in Patient Care Communication) Nicole Riley.
RCMI RESEARCH PROGRAMS
RECEIVE $11.2 MILLION NIH GRANT
Xavier has received a five-year, $11.2 million renewal of a Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of its expanding research capabilities.
Tameka Hicks, a junior business sales and marketing major from Jackson TN (Madison High), will have her book, Said I Wouldn't Tell It, But I Just Can’t Keep It to Myself, published this summer by Christian Love Books. She hopes the book – an account of her life’s journey of faith – will show other young men and women how real and loving God is even in the mist of the personal storms and darkness.
Linus Igbokwe, a senior biology/premed major from Lawrenceville GA (Collins Hill High), has been accepted into the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutger’s University.
Jamere Maxwell, a senior chemistry major from Baton Rouge LA (McKinley High), has been accepted into the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin.
Charles Waller, a senior psychology major from Taylorsville MS (Bassfield High) has been accepted into the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP). He will enroll at the Washington DC campus.
Tiffany Bates ’01 has earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Sam Houston State University.
Jared Brossett ’04 has been elected to the New Orleans City Council for District D.
Varion Laurent ’01, a local New Orleans’ artist best known for his rich, colorful portrayals of the cultural fabric of the city, was commissioned to create the official poster for the 2014 French Quarter Festival poster. His subject was celebrated local musician Dr. John.
Jarvis Lewis ’13, has been elected to St. Charles Parish (Louisiana) Council for at-large Division B. He is the first African American since Reconstruction to hold a seat in the St. Charles legislature.
The new five-year grant will enable Xavier to build upon the dramatic upgrading of its infrastructure and the significant growth of its biomedical research capacities – especially in the area of cancer and health disparities – that have occurred since it received its inaugural RCMI grant in 2009.
"This award not only portends the continued enhancement of Xavier's research capacity for the future, but also acknowledges the great work and success of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) faculty who have, over the last five years, been supported by and worked on RCMI projects,” said Dr. Gene D’Amour, Senior Vice President for Resource Development. “And, as a result, many of our students have been able to obtain the critical research experiences they needed to get into graduate or medical schools."
During that period the University has been able to increase the number and quality of cancer researchers on the faculty; to provide those researchers with release time, professional development opportunities, and mentoring opportunities; to enlarge its laboratories areas dedicated to research; to provide state-of-the-art instrumentation in the labs, and to fund pilot research projects.
With the new funding, Xavier will work to strengthen internal and external collaborations and partnerships, particularly those that promote health disparities and translational research; to enhance critical core laboratory services; to increase Xavier’s pool of competitive and productive cancer and health disparities researchers who participate in the “translational research pipeline”; to establish a new pilot project program for cancer/health disparities research; and to provide targeted administrative services in support of RCMI investigators.
FRESHMAN SELECTED AS KEMPER SCHOLAR
Tyler Despenza, a freshman English major from New Orleans (Ben Franklin High), has been selected for the incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program.
She was chosen for the honor by the Foundation based on her excellent academic standing, her commitment to the liberal arts, and her expressed interest in exploring careers in organizational leadership and management in business or the non-profit sector.
Students named Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships up to $10,000 based on need during their sophomore, junior, and senior years of college.
“Kemper Scholars represent the best undergraduates from a group of sixteen exemplary liberal arts colleges around the country,” said Dr. Ryan LaHurd, President and Executive Director of the James S. Kemper Foundation. “They are selected because they are committed to their studies and service in their communities and because they have exhibited leadership and well-rounded, ethical character.”
|Program participants also receive stipends to cover the costs of their work as interns in major non-profit organizations in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year, during which the scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they can learn about such things as financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and non-profit administration. During the Chicago summer, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and participate in a weekly seminar while having opportunities to explore the cultural, historical, and entertainment aspects of the city.
Xavier is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the 16 school partnership.
TENNIS & TRACK TEAMS SCORE
Xavier’s nationally-ranked tennis programs have produced five 2014 All-Americans. And the young track and field program added yet another two.
The Rush, who finished 13-12 and reached the quarterfinals of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship, placed two first-teamers on the men’s All-American squad – Kyle Montrel and Nikita Soifer.
The Nuggets, who posted a 17-7 record and reached the NAIA women’s national semifinals, topped that with three All-Americans: Kourtney Howell and Nour Abbes on the first team and Brion Flowers on the second team.
Montrel, a sophomore education major from Atlanta GA (SW Atlanta Christian Academy), was 16-10 in singles and 19-7 in doubles this season, while Soifer, a junior computer science major from Israel, was 15-10 in singles and 22-7 in doubles.
Howell, a senior mathematics major from Cypress TX (Cypress Woods High), is XU’s first three-time All-American. She was 15-9 in singles and 23-9 in doubles this season. Abbes, a freshman deciding major from Tunisia, was 17-0 in singles and 16-2 in doubles; while Flowers, a sophomore biology/premed major from Lafayette LA (St. Thomas More High), was 10-13 in singles and 23-8 in doubles.
At the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores AL, Devinn Rolland, a P1 pharmacy student from Harvey LA (Cabrini High) long-jumped 18 feet, 7 inches to earn All-America honors for the second time in three years. Competing in her third event of the day, she placed fourth out of 24 jumpers.
Angelica Alexander, a senior biology/premed major from Shreveport LA (Byrd High), became Xavier's second All-American of the NAIA outdoor meet when she placed fifth in the high jump, tying her own school record of 1.68 meters of 5 feet, 6 inches.
|Rachael Mitchell ’03, a public health doctoral student at Loma Linda University, has been chosen to serve on the U.S. delegation to the World Health Assembly in Switzerland.
Makeda Roberts ’13 has been accepted into the master’s degree program in public health at Georgia State University, Tulane University, George Washington University, and the University of South Florida, as well as the master’s degree program in education at Widener University.
Dr. Dinithia Sampson ’03 has received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a concentration in medicinal chemistry from Florida A&M University.
Lenise Williams ’00, is in private law practice in Atlanta GA, specializing in domestic and personal injury law, in addition to providing legal services and seminars for aspiring and new small business owners.
Larry Calvin (Director, Human Resources), who serves as a Deacon with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, has been awarded a 2014 President’s Volunteer Service Award by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Dr. Gary Caro (business) had his study on BSC football revenues highlighted in the Salt Lake City Tribune. He was also featured as an expert on WalletHub.com’s “Best Cities to Work in for a Small Business.”
Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English), the current President of the Haiku Society of America, presented a paper, "Issa and Animal Rights," at the Haiku Holiday conference in Chapel Hill NC.
Dr. Silas Lee (sociology) testified before the Lawyer's Committee on Civil Rights from Washington DC on the impact of restrictive voting laws on civic engagement. He also, provided testimony supporting an increase of the minimum wage from a social and economic perspective before the Labor Committee at the Louisiana State legislature. He was also cited on a CNN story analyzing the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Louisiana.
Dr. Biljana Obradovic (English) has published a REVIEW of Zvonko Karanovic's collection of poems entitled Kavezi, for the May/August 2014 issue of World Literature Today.
Two long-standing faculty members – Dr. Joseph LeFevre (philosophy) and Dr. Joe Melcher (speech pathology) – have been named Professor Emeritus. Both are distinguished scholars and teachers who have provided leadership and selfless service in support of Xavier’s mission during their long tenures. They will be missed.
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