Volume 43 No. 05
May 2012












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legacy Legacy

Taking in the Arts

Festival of Scholars
Preacher Man
Doing Disney
black chorale
Xavier Recognition
Boys to Men

1834 Commencent 2012

Xerox chairman and chief executive officer Ursula Burns will deliver the commencement address at Xavier’s 85th annual graduation ceremony Saturday, May 12, at 10:00 a.m. in the Lakefront Arena.

Burns, the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company, is expected to address more than 560 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families at the commencement ceremony. She will receive an honorary degree.

Two other special guests – Fr. Cyprian Davis, O.B.B., a monk and professor of church history who has authored several works on black Catholic history, and Terence Blanchard, local jazz performer and composer – will also be awarded honorary degrees at the ceremony.

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 11), at 7:00 p.m. in the Gymnasium.

Visit HERE for more details on commencement.

1834 Tennis Teams
Qualify for Nationals

Both the No. 8 ranked Xavier men’s (17-7) and unranked women’s (7-21) tennis teams earned automatic bids to the NAIA National Championships at Mobile AL after defeating Cumberland and defending champion Martin Methodist, respectively, at the an NAIA unaffiliated group tournament. Visit HERE for details.

National tournament pairings will be announced May 8.

1834 Education Podcast

The XU Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT) announces the premiere of the third season of its award-winning podcast series: Teaching, Learning, and Everything Else, with new host Alexios Moore.

The podcast series examines how teaching intersects with a diverse range of topics. Each episode consists of a conversation with a teacher in higher education.

The first episodes of the new season are currently available online, including a conversation with Dr. Karen DeMoss of The New School about teaching, learning and under-prepared students. There's also a transitional episode in which the series' previous host, CAT Director Elizabeth Yost Hammer, interviews the new host, Alexios Moore.

“This series offers a fresh and personal approach to faculty development that will appeal to anyone who teaches at the college level, regardless of discipline or rank,” said Bart Everson, Media Artist at CAT and the series producer.

For more info and to listen to the show, visit HERE. Viewers can subscribe to the podcast (or the entire CAT blog) using the links found on the right.

1834 Xavier Yearbooks

The 2011-12 and combination 2006-07, 07-08 and 08-09 Xavierites can be picked up at the yearbook office, Xavier South 109, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Full-time students need to present a valid ID. Students picking up the combination edition also must be listed on University rolls for those years. 

The yearbook office now has the following editions available to qualified students: 2003-2005; 2005-06; fall 2006-spring 2009; 2009-10; 2010-11; and 2011-12.

For mailing requests, send an email to yearbook@xula.edu and include a postal address and telephone number, or call (504) 520-5404.

1834 McNair Scholars

Eleven students have been accepted into the University’s highly selective Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program for 2012-13.

New members from the Class of 2014 are: Davon Carter, biology, Fairfield CA (Armijo High); DeVon Pruitt, political science, Meridian MS (Meridian High); and Jade Romain, speech pathology, Los Angeles CA (St. Mary’s Academy).

New members from the Class of 2013 are: Kara Keller, mathematics, LaPlace LA (East St. John High); LaDale Jackson, English, Los Angeles CA (Palos Verde High); Meggan Simien, biology, Church Point LA (Eunice High); LaShaundra Reese, theology, Riverdale GA (Jonesboro High); Makeda Roberts, sociology, Snellville GA (South Gwinnett High); Charles Warner-Hillard, psychology, Flint MI (International High); and Karry Wright, chemistry, Jacksonville FL (Paxon High).

Teri Graham, a graduating senior in sociology from College Park GA (North Clayton High), was also selected.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is a nationally recognized, highly-selective program focused on increasing diversity within the numbers holding Ph.D's supported by the Department of Education. Chosen participants are held to stringent requirements including summer research, GRE preparation and research symposiums.

1834 Research Journal

The latest edition (Vol. 9 Issue 2) of Xavier's online undergraduate research journal, XULAneXUS, is now available online HERE.

Research in this issue covers the disciplines of biology, chemistry, English, pharmacy, and psychology. For more info contact Dr. Ross Louis at xulanexus@xula.edu.

1834 Rising Tide

Rising Tide is a conference on the future of New Orleans, an an annual gathering for everyone who loves the city and is working to bring a better future to all its residents.

Last year Rising Tide came to the XU campus for the first time, in partnership with Xavier's Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

This year's conference on Sept. 22 promises an even broader scope, covering such topics as the cultural economy, education, electoral politics, the NFL bounty scandal, and religion and spirituality.

For more info call Bart Everson at 520-5164.


In the vernacular of New Orleans, the term "lagniappe" connotes "something extra" that you get when you purchase an item or services. That’s the idea behind the Lagniappe New Student Summer Preview weekend for new incoming freshmen, which is scheduled for May 25-26.

It’s the fourth year for the new initiative, which underscores the University's commitment to easing the transition of high school graduates into a university environment and to better prepare them for academics at the college level.

Regional students (e.g. those from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee) are required to attend the program. Students from further away are also encouraged to participate. MORE


The University Rank and Tenure Committee and President Dr. Norman C. Francis have approved the promotions of six faculty members in three disciplines for the 2012-2013 academic year, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Kathleen Morgan in chemistry was promoted to the rank of full professor, while Ralph Adamo in English, Dr. Stassi DiMaggio in chemistry and Dr. Sarah Weaver in chemistry were all promoted to the rank of associate professor.

Dr. Kristi Rapp and Dr. Keturah Robinson were both promoted to the rank of clinical associate professor in the College of Pharmacy’s Division of Clinical and Administrative Sciences. MORE





The traditional daytime schedule of summer classes at Xavier will soon be giving way to even more and better as the university has unveiled offerings that for the first time include both evening and online/hybrid courses.

No less than 28 evening degree-credit courses – starting at 5:30 p.m. – will be available this summer, including offerings in Art, English, African American Studies, Business, Communications, Languages, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Political Science. In addition two other sections of art will start at 5:30 p.m.

Student Profile(s)


(L-R) Three biology/pre-med majors - junior Shavonne Temple of New Orleans LA, junior Maura Jones of Monroe LA, and senior Princess Carter of Philadelphia PA - have been accepted to participate in San Diego State University’s Minority Health-Disparity International Research Training (MHIRT) Program for summer 2012 in Ghana, Africa.

photo by Irving Johnson III


Three students – Princess Carter, a senior biology/premed major from Philadelphia PA (William Sayre H.S.); Maura Jones, a junior biology/premed major from Monroe LA (Ouachita H.S.); and Shavonne Temple, a junior biology/premed major from New Orleans LA (St. Mary’s Dominican H.S.) – have been accepted to participate in San Diego State University’s Minority Health-Disparity International Research Training (MHIRT) Program for summer 2012 in Ghana, Africa, at the University of Cape Coast. 

They will participate in ethno-pharmacology research studies examining the use of plants and herbs to treat diabetes and hypertension. Only six students were chosen to participate from a nationwide search. The 10-week summer program includes costs for a three-day orientation in San Diego CA, all airline fares, room and board in Ghana, lab supplies, and a stipend. 

In addition, another student – Antonio Roberts, a sophomore biology/premed major from Alexandria LA (Peabody H.S.) – was accepted to participate in the program for summer 2013.


Catholic Charities USA has presented Xavier a Centennial Medal in recognition of the University's commitment to racial equality in higher education.

“As this nation’s only historically Black Catholic University, Xavier exemplifies the critical role that access to education plays in eliminating poverty,” said Catholic Charities USA President and CEO Rev. Larry Snyder, upon presenting the award to XU President Dr. NormanC. Francis. “It is an honor to present this award to Xavier, not only in recognition of what it has contributed to our country in the past, but also for the difference in the lives of so many that it will continue to make far in the future.”

XULA, founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, prides itself on offering a unique experience that relies on its rich Catholic heritage to provide a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates academics, research and community service.

“I was surprised and honored to accept this award on behalf of Xavier,” said Francis. “We work hard to uphold the traditions of Saint Katharine Drexel in making sure our students not only get a good education, but also understand the importance of service to their communities. “

The Centennial Medal, a symbol of Catholic Charities USA's first 100 years, recognizes the valuable contributions of individuals and organizations to the reduction of poverty in the United States and the work that Catholic Charities staff and volunteers perform every day in service to the least among us.


Xavier’s business team was named a regional champion and Rookie of the Year at the SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) USA Regional Competition held in Dallas, TX.

“This competition was an enriching and thrilling experience for the students” said Prof. Mark Quinn, the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and SIFE Sam Walton Fellow at Xavier.   

Xavier is one of nearly 600 SIFE programs in the United States. Participating students use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

During this academic year, the Xavier SIFE team organized three projects in the New Orleans community, including conducting the Team Academy Business Idea Competition; helping to operate Xavier’s student business incubator; and preparing a business plan to provide clean water to residents of Liberia and lesser developed countries.

“We are especially excited about the project to provide clean water to lesser developed countries in a way that helps in their economic development” said Derek Williams, a Senior Biology Major and Sales & Marketing Minor from Benton Harbor, Michigan. His team mate Herstyn Jones, a Senior Sales & Marketing Major from Shreveport, added, “The Teen Academy Business Idea Competition allowed us to talk to local high school students about business ownership and to hear the great ideas and ambitions that younger students have.”

The culmination of the SIFE program is an annual series of competitions that provide a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. Teams compete first at the regional and national levels, then at the international level when the national champion teams from each country meet at the SIFE World Cup.

As a SIFE USA Regional Champion, the Xavier SIFE team now advances to the 2012 SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City MO May 22-24.



XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis ‘52 shares a casual moment with his daughter Christina Francis ‘89 and attorney Harry Johnson, Sr. ’77 (President/CEO of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation) at the 38th National Dialogue on Blacks in Higher Education in Washington DC, where both men were honored.

photo by Dr. Rosalind Hale '69


XU President Dr. Norman C. Francis was honored by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)  for his commitment to minority education and service to the community during the organization’s annual meeting in Washington DC.

In honoring Francis, the longest serving college president in the United States (44 years), the organization announced the creation of the AT&T-NAFEOP Francis Fellows Award, a new needs-based, exemplary achievement, student grant.

Also announced was the selection of sophomore biochemistry major Corey Arnold of Houston TX (Cypress Falls High) and freshman chemistry/pre-pharmacy major Cristal Wright of Zachary LA (Baton Rouge Magnet) as the two inaugural Francis Fellows from Xavier; XU Division of Education chair Dr. Rosalind Hale ‘69 as the University’s NOBLE Prize winner; and Harry Johnson ’77, a career attorney who served as President and CEO of the Washington DC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, as Xavier’s Distinguished Alumni.

Visit HERE for more details.

lagniappe cont

Regional students (e.g. those from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee) are required to attend the program. Students from further away are also encouraged to participate.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet current XU students and faculty in their prospective majors. Advance placement tests will be given in reading and math, while students requiring developmental courses or looking to pick up some early credit hours can scope out the city's most affordable summer tuition.
Students will receive a list of the courses in which they will be enrolled in fall 2012 and be invited to complete their registration during the Lagniappe weekend through fiscal clearance and health clearance. 

The new freshmen are encouraged to stay in the campus residence halls over the two-day affair to get a taste of student life at Xavier.

The program isn’t just for the students, however. Parents can also take advantage of the weekend to meet with representatives from administrative areas like financial aid, student health services and student accounts.

Some 750-800 students expected to enroll in the fall.

faculty cont

Morgan, who holds a PhD in chemistry from Yale University, has taught at Xavier for 11 years, concentrating in organic chemistry, and her own capstone course, Molecular Structure and Organic Synthesis Lab. Her research interests include investigating the interrelationships between molecular structure, energy and reactivity, using a combination of experimental methods and theoretical studies. She is currently using high-precision reaction calorimetry to study the thermochemistry of simple epoxides and sugars.

Adamo, in his fifth year at XU, teaches world literature, freshman honors English and all three basic freshman courses. He is also serves editor of Xavier Review, the University’s long-running professional literary magazine. His research mostly involves contemporary and modern poetry: he has published six books of his own poetry – his latest being Waterblind: New and Selected Poems – and edited several other books of poetry. He holds a MFA from the University of Arkansas, a terminal degree in creative writing.

DiMaggio is in her second stint, having worked at Xavier as the general chemistry and organic chemistry labs coordinator from 2003-2005, and returning to a teaching position in in 2006. A PhD in chemistry (University of New Orleans), she teaches organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry), and general chemistry labs. Her research efforts are focused on the design and synthesis of targeted drug delivery systems that selectively deliver chemotherapeutics to tumor cells preferentially over healthy cells thus increasing efficiency of the drug while minimizing its side effects.

Weaver, who holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Florida, joined Xavier in 2007. The organic chemistry laboratory coordinator at XU, she teaches several organic chemistry labs and is responsible for updating all organic lab experiments and ensuring the organic labs run efficiently and safely. Her own research involves investigating the step-by-step chemical mechanism of ethylbenzene being turned into styrene over an iron-oxide catalyst. Styrene is a major commercial product that is used a starting material for many plastics and polymers.

Rapp teaches courses in pulmonary disorders, respiratory systems, self-care therapeutics, and pharmacogenomics. She also maintains an allergy and asthma clinic site at Ochsner and is the co-principle investigator of the Head Off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana project, which seeks to improve pediatric asthma management and outcomes by implementing tailored asthma education into community health centers. A 2005 XU pharmacy graduate, she has taught for six years.

Robinson has also been at Xavier for six years, primarily teaching cardiology in the COP’s Disease State Management series. She earned a Pharm.D from Xavier in 2005 and is Board Certified. Her current research interests and projects focus on medication reconciliation (the process of avoiding inadvertent inconsistencies across transitions in patient care) and cardiology, specifically heart failure.

summer sessions cont

Students will also have the option of earning college credits via nine online/hybrid courses that combine traditional, face-to-face classroom meetings with online, computer-based learning. Disciplines included are Business, Computer Science, Chemistry, Communications, Languages, and Theology – are being offered.

The courses are available to both Xavier and non-Xavier college students.

“Xavier is always looking at ways to expand the learning opportunities for our students, and in this fast-paced and technology-driven age moving into this venue is a natural extension of the quality education we have always provided,” said Dr. Kenneth Boutte Sr., the university’s associate dean of summer programs and external initiatives.

The new summer options offer many of the same benefits as the more traditional daytime courses, such as allowing students to pick up some extra degree-credit hours in a shorter period of time than it would take during a regular semester, as well providing an opportunity to tackle some of the more challenging courses in a more relaxed and concentrated setting. 
“The summer sessions allow students to concentrate on some of their more difficult courses or those subjects that they might be weak in without having to worry about three or four courses as they would during the regular school year,” he said. “Students tend to do better when they are focused on a particular area.”

What’s more, all classes are being offered for only $180 per credit hour for undergraduate courses, $190 per credit hour for graduate school level courses, and $250 per credit hour for pharmacy courses.  

This year’s summer schedule boasts two five-week sessions (Summer Session I and II) with courses offered in more than 20 different disciplines, and another eight-week session with offerings in five areas. The complete list of courses is available at http://www.xula.edu/summer.

Registration for Session I and II are May 28 and June 29, respectively. Registration for Session III is June 8. For more info contact the Registrar’s Office at 520-7583.



Students in Dr. Judith Miranti’s (Division of Education) Freshmen Seminar class (front row) and graduate students in Xavier’s Clinical Mental Health program (back row) reach out into the neighboring Gert Town community to help plant vegetable gardens at Philip Memorial United Baptist Church and the Greater King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church.

photo courtesy Dr. Judith Miranti



Brandy Davis, a senior sociology major from Springfield LA (Springfield High) has been accepted into the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Public Health in health policy and systems management.

Shanette Harris
, a P3 pharmacy student from Natchez MS (Natchez High), has been elected Miss Pharmacy 2012-13.

Johmyrin Johnson, a P1 pharmacy student from New Orleans LA (Jesuit High), has been awarded a CO-OP/intern position with Covidien at the global healthcare products company’s Hazelwood MO location.

Herstyn Jones, a senior business/sales & marketing major from Shreveport LA (Caddo Parish Magnet), will intern this summer with the 3M Company in their Renewable Energy Products Division, Industrial & Transportation Market Center.

Yaesha Joseph, a senior speech pathology major from Schriever LA (H.L. Bourgeois High), has been accepted into the graduate program in speech pathology at Lamar University.

Jamaan Kenner, a senior guard on the Gold Rush basketball team, was one of five NAIA men's basketball student-athletes selected to receive a $2,000 Pattison Champions of Character Scholarship for the 2011-12 season. The biology/pre-med major from LaPlace LA (East St. John H.S.) was also named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete for the second consecutive season.

Deshanna McDonald, a senior speech pathology major from New Orleans (Warren Easton High), has been accepted into the graduate program in speech pathology at Lamar University.

Nikki Odofin, a junior psychology/premed major from Derrider LA (Romulus High-Romulus MI), has been elected Miss Xavier 2012-13.

Gina Ricard, a junior business/management major from Washington DC (Columbia High) School, has accepted a full-time summer internship as a sales and marketing intern with the Smithsonian Institution (Folkways Recordings).

Joy Sorells, a senior speech pathology major from Jacksonville FL (Paxon High), has been accepted into the graduate program in speech pathology at Hampton University.

Ariana Stone, a senior sociology major from Kent WA (Auburn Mountainview High), has joined the 2012 Teach for America corps. She will teach grades 4-8 in San Antonio TX.

Terreca Taylor, a P2 pharmacy student from Zachary LA (Zachary High), has been elected president of the College of Pharmacy for 2012-13.

Victoria Thompson, a freshman business/management major from Chicago IL (Whitney Young Magnet), has accepted an internship with the Northwestern University CHITREC (Chicago Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center).

Avinaashi Torry, a senior business/finance major from Baton Rouge LA (Redemptorist High), has accepted a position as a foreign English teacher with AEON Corporation in Japan.

Ashley Trusell, a senior chemistry/premed major from Jackson MS (Murrah High), has been elected Student Government Association (SGA) president for 2012-13.

Whitney White, a junior business/sales & marketing major from Springfield LA (Springfield High), will intern this summer with the 3M Company in their Commercial Graphics Division/Display and Graphics Market Center in Chicago IL.

Derek Williams, a senior biology major with a business/sales & marketing minor from Benton Harbor MI (Benton Harbor High), has accepted a position with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas as a sales/account management associate.

Two graduating seniors – English major Kristine Mbadugha of New Orleans (Louise S. McGeehee High) and political science major Cierra Williams of New Orleans (Warren Easton High) – participated in the Texas Legislative Internship Program during the spring 2012 semester. Both completed their course work in December, enabling them to join Senator Rodney Ellis' team at this year's legislative session in Houston TX.

OperaCréole, which features junior music performance major Crystal Morris of Hazulhurst MS (Jim Hill High) and XU faculty Dr. Wilfred Delphin ‘71, gave performances at Illinois State University and at Illinois Wesleyan University. OperaCréole can also be heard in XU alum John Boutté's ‘80 recently released "All About Everything" CD.


Dr. Marcus Ballard (music) and his Duo Fujin were  the featured performers at this year's Mars Hill New Music Festival at Mars Hill College in North Carolina, performing two recitals and offering a woodwind master class. Their program includes a performance of "Catharine Cole's Correspondence", composed by Dr. Dan Shore (music).

Joseph K. Byrd (VP for Student Services) was a panelist on "The Role of American Males in Addressing the Needs of the African American Family", held at Tulane University during "Greek Week."

Dr. Timothy Glaude '84 (Director, Summer Science Academy) presented information on Xavier’s Summer Science Academy at the College Bound Grand Finale Program, held at the University of California-Irvine. Six students from the College Bound Program will attend SOAR1 this summer.

Dr. Vaneshette Henderson has been named assistant dean in the XU College of Arts and Sciences, where she will provide leadership to all aspects of the Student Academic Success Office. She previously served as an education improvement specialist in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT).

Dr. Deidre Labat (biology), who is retiring after 35 years of service at Xavier, has been awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in recognition of her outstanding record of teaching, research and service to the University.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English) celebrated the publication of his new novel, Frog Poet, with a public reading and book signing at the Maple Leaf Bar.

Dr. Joseph LaRochelle (pharmacy) co-authored a paper, “The Pharmacy Practitioner’s Guide to Publishing”, which itself was published in the April 2012 issue of Hospital Pharmacy Journal.

Dennis Sigur ’97 and Kenneth Kirk (Information Technology Center) made a presentation on “Tracking Attendance Electronically – 5 Years Strong” and “The Data Exchange” at the Blackboard Transaction Conference in Phoenix AZ.

Where Are They Now? Alum Named NABJ Journalism Educator of the Year
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has selected Allissa Richardson ‘02, an assistant professor of communication studies and coordinator of the journalism program at Morgan State University, as Journalism Educator of the Year at its winter meeting.

Richardson will join other top honorees in New Orleans during NABJ's 37th Annual Convention and Career Fair, the largest annual gathering of minority journalists in the country.

Richardson is an award-winning journalist who empowers her students to tell stories and speak truth to power using new media. Most recently, the Knight Foundation's Institute for Interactive Journalism awarded her a $25,000 grant to create a cutting-edge mobile journalism (MOJO) lab at the university. All MOJO students are learning to report using only Apple iPhones and iPads. Richardson has also authored two ebooks: "Facebook for College Professors" and "Twitter for College Professors."

Allissa Richardson

"Professor Richardson is cutting-edge in her approach, and she challenges her students to embrace new technologies in their reporting, while still teaching them the traditional principles of our profession. Together, those are the skills that will help her students to be newsroom leaders," NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr. said. "Professor Richardson exemplifies the very best in journalism education and we are proud to honor her as one of our own."

Richardson has appeared on NPR twice to discuss her project. She also created a traveling iPod storytelling workshop series for Slavery by Another Name, a PBS documentary film that aired nationally in February. Richardson toured the country to offer professional-development workshops to educators, teaching them how to use the sounds and sights from the film to make multimedia slideshows using only the iPod. Additionally, Richardson has taught her unique brand of iPod journalism to students in nearly a dozen cities in Africa. In June 2011, she traveled to South Africa to teach 10 HIV-positive girls how to report using the iPod. Later that year, she was invited to train 40 Muslim girls in Morocco these valuable skills.

Richardson's work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, the Examiner newspaper, and on Baltimoresun.com. She earned the Weinstein-Luby Outstanding Young Journalist Award in 2002, and the Freedom Forum's Chips Quinn Scholars award that same year.

In addition to her BS in biology from Xavier, Richardson holds a MS degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.

If you have any comments about TMAX or have some info you would like to submit, please direct an e-mail to rtucker@xula.edu
© 2012 Xavier University of Louisiana. All rights reserved