Volume 41 No. 5
May 2010



U.S. Secretary of Education to Address 2010 Graduates

Legendary Musician to
Receive Honorary Degree

Comittee Approves
Six Faculty Promotions

Hoover Joins University
Board of Trustees

Eight Xavierites Confirm
Their Catholic Faith

Summer Sessions
at XU a Great Value

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1834 XU Student Named Kemper Scholar

Freshman Leon Vaughn, a business major from Detroit MI (Renaissance High), has been named to the Kemper Scholars Program’s Class of 2013.

Designed to prepare students for leadership and service, promotes education in the liberal arts while providing opportunities for career exploration and practical experience through internships, the prestigious program 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 nonprofit organizations in the Chicago IL area and at major for-profit corporations in the summer following their sophomore and junior years, respectively.

In Chicago, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and are placed in full-time administrative positions, where they can learn about financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and organizational administration.

1834 XU Picks McDonald for Hospital Board

Xavier has selected New Orleans banker and community leader Alden McDonald, Jr. as its representative on the board that will govern the city's new University Medical Center.

“Alden McDonald is the ideal candidate to serve on this critical and vitally important board,” stated Dr. Francis, noting his commitment to the city and his extensive experience on a multitude of other local, regional and national boards.

Founding President and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust Company, one of the five largest African-American owned financial institutions in the U.S., the New Orleans native is nationally recognized as a catalyst in the movement of minority businesses into the mainstream economy. 

1834 XU Gold Alumni
Magazine in the Mail

The Spring 2010 edition of Xavier Gold, the university’s bi-annual magazine for alumni and friends, is in the U.S. mail to all alumni with known addresses.


For those who can’t wait, it is currently also available online in pdf format HERE.

1834 Help XU Win a
$50,000 Grant

Xavierites are encouraged to vote for the University’s proposal in Home Depot’s "Retool Your School" campaign, which will provide the 11 winning HBCUs with up to $50,000 in funding towards their respective campus improvement projects.

Voting is being conducted online now through May 15 . For more details visit HERE.

You can VOTE once a day – so vote early AND often.

1834 XU Research Journal
Now Available Online

The Center for Undergraduate Research's (CUR) new issue of the University’s online undergraduate student research journal XULAneXUS is now available.

Volume 7.2, online HERE, offers peer-reviewed scholarship from a wide range of disciplines. Aarticles can be viewed online or downloaded.

For more info email Dr. Ross Louis.

1834 Penn Relays Honor
Metcalfe, XU Team

Former XU coach Ralph Metcalfe and the Xavier relay team he assembled which made history at the 1942 Penn Relays were both honored at the recent 116th running of the United States' oldest annual track and field event.

Visit HERE for the full story.

1834 NABA Gala Honors Jeffrion, XU Alum

XU Associate Vice President for Auxiliary and Support Services William Jeffrion was among those honored at a gala paying tribute to Louisiana’s First 100 African American Certified Public Accountants.

Jeffrion, who is No. 8 on the list, was joined by 14 Xavier alums, including: Antoinette Antoine '80, Wilbert Antoine Jr. '75, the late Melvin Bergeron '49, Irvin Blackburn '73, Wanda Blackburn '73, Brian Burns '78. Julie Chenier '78, Adrian Dobard '77, Curtis Moret Jr. '77, Joseph Perriatt Jr. '78, Lionel Roche '78, Kenneth Sabathia '76, Terence Sims '83, Alcide Tervalon Jr. '75.

The event was sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Harrison-Rochon CPAs Education Foundation.

On that note, the XU Division of Business is compiling a list of all XU grads from around the nation who have passed the CPA exam. If you have or know of anyone who has – please e-mail that info to Clifford Wright.




Junior biology major Tamorah Hawthorne of Arlington TX (Mansfield High) explains her poster presentation on anticancer agents to classmate Kordell Hunter of Opelousas LA (Southern Lab) during the annual campus-wide showcase of scholarly student research sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research. Junior biology/pre-med majors Joseph Gallien of Lake Charles LA (Washington-Marion High) and Lee Gibbs of Shreveport LA (Byrd High) also collaborated on the project. More than 170 students presented research.

photo by Irving Johnson III


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be the keynote speaker when Xavier holds its 83rd annual commencement May 8.  

Duncan, appointed by then President-elect Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Inauguration Day 2009, will address more than 500 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families.xxx - more -


Louisiana-born Dave Bartholomew, the multi-talented figure behind a majority of classic New Orleans R&B of the '50s and the self-proclaimed inventor of the "Big Beat" will be awarded an honorary degree during the Commencement 2010 proceedings.xxx - more -


The University Rank and Tenure Committee and President Dr. Norman C. Francis have approved the promotions of six faculty members in five different disciplines, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Valerio DeAngelis in mathematics and Dr. Biljana Obradovic in English were promoted to the rank of professor, while Dr. Harish Ratnayaka in biology and Dr. Tim Turner in music were promoted to the rank of associate professor. Dr. Amne Borghol ‘96 and Dr. Linda Mihm, both in the College of Pharmacy’s Division of Clinical and Administrative Sciences, were promoted to the rank of clinical associate professor. xxx - more -


The University has added a new member to its governing Board of Trustees: Dr. Toni Hoover, senior vice president for pharmacy therapeutics research and development with Pfizer, Inc. xxx - more -


Kristin Ancar, a senior biology/pre-med major from New Orleans (Cabrini High), has been accepted into the Parker College of Chiropractic Medicine in Dallas TX.

Kennedy Iheanacho, a senior biology/pre-med major from Greensboro NC (Dudley High), was named District Scholar of the year at the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s 73rd annual 9th District Meeting in New Orleans. It is the second year in a row that a member of XU’s Xi Sigma chapter has received the award.

LaShanna Johnson, a senior biology/pre-med major from Gary IN (Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities), has been accepted into medical school at Loyola University-Chicago and Howard University.

Danielle Jones, a junior biology/premed major and a forward on Gold Nuggets basketball team, has been named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar for 2010 by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

Courtney Thomas, a senior psychology/pre-med major from New Orleans (Ursuline High), has been accepted into the public health programs at Johns Hopkins University and Tulane University, as well as the medical sociology program at Vanderbilt University.



Members of the RCIA Class of 2010 (front row, L-R) Ruston Henry, Gina Ricard, Nicholas Howard, Tiffany Shorter, Terinisha Coleman, Kevin Scott, Blake Clark and Queenet Ibekweh celebrate their “graduation” to full-fledged Catholics along with their respective sponsors (back row, L-R) Elvira Henry, Randolph LeDuff, Deacon Harold Vincent, Lisa McClain, Abigail Hyndman, Carolyn Thomas and Terri Torregano. (Deacon Dwight Alexander is not pictured.)

photo by Fr. Jeffrey Ott, OP


At a time when the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church is under fire worldwide and when Xavier’s own Catholic-population hovers at the 25 percent mark, it is reassuring to know that the underlying doctrine of faith still holds the appeal it always has for those looking to grow in their relationship with God.

Case in point eight individuals – seven current students and one recent graduate – who recently emerged from the XU Office of Campus Ministry’s 2009-2010 RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program as adherents of the Catholic faith.

Those receiving baptism during this year’s ceremony at St. Leo the Great were Gina Ricard, a freshman psychology major from South Orange NJ (Columbia High School), and Tiffany Shorter, a P1 pharmacy student from Montgomery AL (St. Jude High).

Previously baptized Catholics who confirmed their faith included Ruston Henry, a freshman mass communications major from New Orleans (St. Augustine High), and Kevin Scott, a P3 pharmacy major from Delran NJ (Holy Cross High).

Four others ( previously baptized in other faiths) made their confessions of Catholic faith and were confirmed, including: Blake Clark, an ’09 grad now in the Ph.D. program in social psychology at Tulane University; Terinisha Coleman, a sophomore sociology major from San Antonio TX (Highlands High); Nicholas Howard, a freshman math/science education major from Baton Rouge LA (Central High); and Queenet Ibekweh, a P1 pharmacy student from Catonsville MS.

RCIA is the process through which interested adults are gradually introduced to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life. Those who have never been baptized are called catechumens, while persons who have received baptism in other faiths are known as candidates. [The Catholic Church acknowledges other Christian baptisms as long as the Trinitarian formula (e.g. "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit") was used.]

A communal process, RCIA involves a number of stages punctuated by liturgical rites to aid and assist the potential convert toward the final rite, usually at the Easter Vigil at which time they will become full members. The entire process takes several months.

Although they reached a common goal, it was a different journey for each.

“It feels good to finally be confirmed,” said Henry, who was born Catholic and at the urging of his family has taken the next logical step on his spiritual journey. “I feel like I have completed a big part of my faith.”

Clark decided to accept Christ into her life as a college freshman, was baptized at Greater Antioch Baptist. But that was only the beginning of her journey.

“I (still) felt like I was missing something – I’d go to Church every Sunday and just cry and didn’t know why,” she recalled. “But I began reading about the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church, and went I attended Mass I felt better.”

“I know I have made the right decision,” she added. “I felt I had a relationship with God but something was missing, but since I have become Catholic and took the Eucharist, I feel that I found what I was looking for.”

Coleman, who was born Baptist but grew up in the Methodist Church, found herself longing for structure in her religious journey and was attracted to the customs and traditions that the Catholic Church adhered to.
“The traditions of the Church are simply amazing,” said Coleman, who starting attending RCIA meetings a year ago. “And now that I am a part of it, I feel renewed – like through my faith I can handle whatever comes my way. There is this feeling of the beginning of a journey that is so much bigger than my own existence.”

Howard, also baptized in another Christian denomination, agreed.

“I rejoice daily because I am a part of ‘the family’,” he said. “It feels good to be welcomed into a faith that shows so much hospitality. If anyone feels the Church calling them, they should definitely listen to its voice and come home.”


Summer is back in vogue at Xavier – summer classes that is!

College students tradtionally view the lazy months of summer as a time to pick up some extra degree-credit hours in a shorter period of time than it would take during a regular semester, as well as an opportunity to tackle some of the more challenging courses in their curriculum in a more relaxed and concentrated setting. 

They couldn’t be more right. What’s more, all classes are being offered at discounted summer rates: $140 per credit hour for undergraduate courses, $150 per credit hour for graduate school level courses, and $210 per credit hour for pharmacy courses.  

This year’s summer schedule boasts two five-week sessions (Summer Session I and II) and another eight-week session. The complete list of courses is available HERE.

All sessions are open to currently enrolled, new and returning students, as well as students enrolled at other universities. Registration for Session I and II are May 21 and June 25, respectively. Registration for Session III is June 4. 

For more info contact the Registrar’s Office at (504) 520-7583.


secretary cont

Duncan has called education "the most pressing issue facing America," adding that "preparing young people for success in life is not just a moral obligation of society" but also an "economic imperative."

As the U.S. Secretary of Education he has been working diligently with the new president and those involved with education on the national, regional and local level to address those issues.

Tantamount among those initiatives aimed at improving the nation’s schools which have been introduced is the Race to the Top Program.

Price-tagged at four billion dollars, it is one of the largest investments in reform in our nation's history, and rewards those schools which implement comprehensive strategies to turn around student achievement, adopt rigorous and high-quality student assessments, teacher evaluation and professional development, and make use of innovative and effective data systems to track student performance.

Prior to his national appointment, Duncan was the chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools from 2001-2008, making him the longest-serving big-city education superintendent in the country.

In Chicago he united education reformers, teachers, principals and business stake holders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening over 100 new schools, expanding after-school

Schedule of Events

83rd Annual Commencement
Saturday, May 08, Kiefer Lakefront Arena, 10:00 a.m.
  Senior Roll Call
Monday, May 03, 9:00 a.m., University Gymnasium

College of Pharmacy Honors and Awards Program
Thursday, May 06, 7:00 p.m., University Center Ballroom

Baccalaureate Mass
& Awards Convocation
Friday, May 07, 7:00 p.m., University Gymnasium

Official DVDs / Photos

and summer learning programs, closing down under performing schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives.

During his tenure an all-time high of sixty-seven percent of the district's elementary school students met or exceeded state reading standards, and seventy-one percent met or exceeded the state's math standards. Chicago Public High School students posted gains on the ACT at three times the national rate.

He has also led the non-profit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative, which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children. He was part of a team that later started a new public elementary school built around a financial literacy curriculum, the Ariel Community Academy, which today ranks among the top elementary schools in Chicago.

He holds a degree from Harvard University, where he was co-captain of the basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American.

legendary cont

Most famous for having discovered and produced Fats Domino, with whom he collaborated through the Fifties and beyond, Bartholomew is one of the most significant musical figures ever to emerge from the fertile New Orleans scene. He has more than 4,000 songs in his enormous music catalog, which have been covered by such legends as Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, Count Basie and countless others.

A recipient of the Rhythm and Blues Pioneer Award in 1996, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998 and, most recently, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

committee cont

DeAngelis is in his 12th year at Xavier. A PhD in Mathematics from the University of Washington, his teaching load includes developmental math, pre-calculus, calculus, finite math, linear algebra and differential equations. He is currently conducting research in the area of combinatorics, as well as serving as director of a three-year project (funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents) to redesign the first-year math courses at the University.

Obradovic has been a member of the English faculty since 1997, focusing on creative writing, poetry, world literature and composition. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. She is currently putting together two new bilingual collections of her own poems which will be published later this year in Serbia, in addition to translating a book of poems by Patrizia de Rachewiltz (Ezra Pounds’ granddaughter) from English into Serbian.

Five students served Substance Abuse Workforce Experience internships with local agencies, including [listed with major and project sites]: Marquis Bridges, a senior political science major from Los Angeles CA (George Washington Prep), Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana; Vernon Dunn, a senior psychology from Kenner LA (Country Day), Responsibility House Residential Treatment; Lisa Randall, a graduate student in counseling from New Orleans, Odyssey House; Ariana Stone, a junior sociology from Redmond WA (Auburn Mountainview), Jeff Parish Human Services Authority; and Latasha Tinson, a junior psychology major from Harvey LA (West Jefferson), Responsibility House. The students, mentored by faculty under an HBCU Mini Grant spearheaded by the XU Counseling Center, shared their observations on dealing with substance abuse issues at the local community level before the ACT Student Symposium.


Katrina Byrd ’08, has been accepted into medical school at Meharry College.

Kevin Drummond ’09, has been accepted into the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and the Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica, West Indies.

Ebony Juakali ’08, has been accepted into medical school at LSU-New Orleans.

Dionna Mathews ’06, has been accepted into the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Howard Rodgers ’04, has been named a financial advisor with Morgan Keegan and Company Inc. in New Orleans, serving both Louisiana and Texas.

Lindsay Ross ’09, has been accepted into Meharry Medical College.

Jacqueline Toussaint-Barker ’88, is serving as chief of the electronics exploration branch of the sensors directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, where she is charged with discovering, developing and integrating affordable sensor and countermeasure technologies.”


Dr. Anne Barron (professor emeritus) conducted a live interview with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright Edward Albee during the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival in New Orleans before a standing-room only crowd at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (emeritus) presented the paper "Kate Chopin's Louisiana Writing as Travel Literature" at the Biennial Conference of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature in New Orleans.

Joseph Byrd (vice president, Student Services) received The Distinguished Service / Outstanding District Director's Award at the Southwestern Regional Convention of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., held in Tulsa OK. He is serving his second term as the state district director.

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (AfAm Studies/English) chaired a panel discussion on "Louisiana Insiders and Outsiders" at The Society for the Study of Southern Literature.

Dr. Nicole P. Greene (English/AfAm Studies) has published Volume 29.2 of Xavier Review.  It includes essays, fiction, and poetry, as well as book reviews by Dr. Thomas Bonner (professor emeritus), Dr. Donna Gould, S.B.S. (English/AfAm Studies), and Dr. Bonnie Noonan (English/AfAm Studies). For copies call (504) 520-5158.

Dr. Silas Lee (sociology) was an analyst for MSNBC with David Schuster regarding the political motives of persons involved in the attempt to compromise the telephones at U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's office. He also presented his public opinion poll on the feasibility of building a full-service hospital in New Orleans East at the "The State of Health in the East" hearing.

Fr. Jeffrey Ott, O.P. ‘88 (campus ministry) will be leaving the University this summer to become the new pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Atlanta GA. He served as campus chaplain since 2003.

Dr. Dan Shore's (music) latest opera, "An  Embarrassing Position,” will premiere at the New England Conservatory in Boston MA May 3. The opera, based on a sketch by Kate Chopin and set in 1890's New Orleans, takes its musical inspiration from 19th-century Creole composers.

Ratnayaka, who holds a Ph.D. in plant biology from City University of New York, teaches biodiversity, plants and society, and general biology courses. At XU since 2003, his current research focuses on understanding photosynthetic adjustments of crop plants, and how such adjustments are related to nutritional and medicinal qualities of food.

Turner, who serves as music chair and director of bands, teaches symphonic band and jazz ensemble. He has been at XU for the last six years, in addition to a previous stint during 1987-92. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Memphis, and is currently working on an anthology of contemporary compositions for the marching band.

Borghol has been a member of the pharmacy faculty since 2000, with her teaching focusing on disease state management (hypertension and hyperlipidemia) and drug induced diseases. She also maintains an internal medicine practice at Ochsner Medical Center, where she conducts her clinical clerkship course for fourth-year pharmacy students. A registered pharmacist, she completed an American Society of Hospital Pharmacists general pharmacy practice residency at Ochsner. Her research interests are focused on the assessment of student learning and teaching.
Mihm, who received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Oklahoma, has been at Xavier since 2005. She teaches pharmacokinetics and disease state management mainly in the area of infectious diseases with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. She is currently developing a survey to assess the use of the pneumonia vaccine in the HIV populations.

hoover cont

At the Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical giant, Hoover oversees the research and development centers in Groton and New London CT, the major hub of drug discovery, metabolism and development, animal health and drug safety evaluation, and the location where many of the discoveries and innovations that drive the Pfizer pipeline are made.x

During her career at Pfizer she has held various positions of increasing responsibility and scope within the drug development process, including director of clinical operations, vice president of global project management, and most recently, vice president and development site head at Pfizer Global Research & Development – Ann Arbor (MI) Laboratories.  

Hoover, who grew up in New Orleans, holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University.

Active carryovers on the 20-member board include Sister Doris Blum S.B.S. ’55, Dr. Dale Mason Cochran, Sister Elizabeth Collins S.B.S., James Garner, Carla Harris, Sister Juliana Haynes S.B.S., the Rev. Monsignor Paul Lenz, Michael Lynton, Sister Amedee Maxwell S.B.S., Sister Rita Radloff S.B.S., Mark Romig (assistant secretary), Michael Rue, Paula Saizan '69, Leo Sam Jr. ’52, Sister Patricia Suchalski S.B.S. (vice chair), Sister Eileen Sullivan S.B.S. (secretary), David Voelker, Janice Frielot Wilkins ’67 and Mary Keller Zervigon (chair).

1834 Xavier in the News

2Diversity Careers
Aerospace Still Strong
- J. Toussaint-Barker '88
Chief Judge to Retire
- Joan Bernard Armstrong '63
Dry Bones Tell N.O. Stories
- Dr. Michael Homan
Xavier Students Plan
Barrier Isle Project
2Louisiana Weekly
High school and
College Partnerships
Artist Paints Old Homes
- Terrance Osborne '00

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