Volume 44 No. 09
September 2013










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Productive Summer
Leadership Institute

1834 XU Rated High for Return of Investment

Xavier was named one of the top colleges and universities in Louisiana for “return on investment.”

The list compiled by AffordableCollegesOnline ranks Xavier fifth in the state among colleges that the organization feels “balance cost with long-term earnings potential”.

The organization used data from the Carnegie Foundation, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to measure net tuition/fees costs against wages released in PayScale.com's 2013 College Earnings Report.

Heading the list was Louisiana Tech, which had a Return on Investment (ROI) score of $804,000 with a tuition of $6,574. In comparison, Xavier had a ROI score of $535,900 and a tuition of $18,700.

Xavier was the highest rated of the two private schools on the list, which included only the top 13 of the 132 state schools reviewed.

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 XU STEM Education Awarded NASA Grant

Xavier has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in support of a pilot regional collaborative project designed to enhance student attainment and success for underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) during the first two years of undergraduate education.

The New Orleans Regional Collaborative (NORC) for STEM Retention will build on existing collaborations between a diverse group of six institutions to develop a comprehensive research and education initiative that will serve as a national model to improve STEM retention. Xavier is the lead partner in the initiative, which also includes Dillard University, Loyola University, Southern University at New Orleans, Tulane University, and the University of New Orleans.

The goal of the NORC program is to increase the number of underrepresented minority freshman and sophomores actively engaged in collaborative research, to develop new partnerships with NASA centers and industry to provide industrial mentoring to students, and to increase the average graduation rate for underrepresented minority students in STEM fields. 

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 XU Awarded Grant for Tourism Promo

Xavier has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the BP Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund for the promotion of the its new Convocation Center and adjacent Annex as a multi-use building for the community activities and tourism.

Officially opened in November 2012, the $25 million facility boasts more than 93,000 square feet of space that can be reconfigured for a variety of purposes, with seating ranging from 3,500 to 4,100 depending on the event.

The Convocation Center is unique as there are no other facilities in the Mid-City area capable of hosting mid-level events, such as concerts, conventions, convocations, and sporting events. The Annex provides classroom and meeting room space.

Visit HERE for more details.

1834 Volleyball Spits Opening Weekend

Xavier’s defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) women's volleyball team has opened the season at 2-2 after splitting their season-opening weekend matches.

Next up for Coach Hannah Lawing’s squad is a four-game set at the St. Thomas TX tournament in Houston starting Aug. 30.

The Nuggets' first home match is Sept. 14 against GCAC newcomer Voorhees at 1:00 p.m. in the Convocation Center. It will be the first XU volleyball match in the Convocation Center, which opened officially last November.

Visit HERE to stay up-to-date on the season.

1834 Cross Country
Opens Season

Xavier’s seven-time defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) men’s and women’s cross country teams open the 2013 season August 30 at the Mississippi College Opener at Choctaw Trails Course in Clinton MS.

Coach Joseph Moses and his team will compete in five regular-season meets and the post season events this year. Keep up with the season HERE (men) and HERE (women).

1834 Business Honor Society Honored

The Division of Business’ Kappa Phi Chapter has been awarded a Star Chapter Award from Delta Mu Delta, the International Honor Society of Business, in recognition of “outstanding” achievements in 2013. It was one of only 18 out of 300 chapters worldwide to be so recognized.

The award will be presented at the Centennial Conference on San Antonio TX in November.

1834 Annual Rising Tide Conference Sept. 14

Rising Tide NOLA, together with The Lens, will present its 8th annual new media conference centered on the recovery and future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Sept. 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the XU University Center.

Three tracks of programming will offer a number of topics for attendees. Breakfast and lunch will be included.

Visit HERE to register or obtain more info.

right fit THE RIGHT FIT

Enthusiastic members of Xavier's new incoming Freshman class, (L-R) Teneaka White and Erica Greenwood, proudly display their new Class of 2017 baseball caps for the first time following the annual "capping" ceremony, part of the University's week-long New Student Orientation program.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Bucking a disturbing trend that had college administrators across the nation fearing a dramatic drop in freshman enrollments, Xavier is pleased to welcome a solid class of 674 first-time freshmen to campus for the new fall 2013 semester.

That number – which was not yet final at press time – represents a two percent increase over last year’s freshman total of 661 students.

Preliminary figures also show total enrollment for the fall at 3,137 – a modest drop from last year’s total of 3,178.


Xavier has once again been singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2014 edition of its annual edition of "The Best 378 Colleges”.

In its profile on Xavier the guide praises the school for its academics, faculty, and providing a “thriving underlying foundation upon which students can achieve the very best for themselves.”
Students selected for the University’s Rousseve Scholars Program generally represent the top ten (or more) students in the senior, junior and sophomore classes based on their academic performance the preceding two semesters. Each recipient receives a full tuition scholarship and a book allowance. more


Ralph Johnson and Fr. Etido Jerome, S.S.J, have been named to leadership roles at Xavier as the University’s new Senior Vice President for Administration and University Chaplain, respectively.

Johnson, who holds both an M.B.A. and Certified Public Accountant certification, has more than 25 years of experience in finance, including 14 in higher education. He comes to Xavier from Alabama A&M University, where he was serving as Vice President for Business and Finance.

He replaces Calvin Tregre ‘69, who retired after more than 44 years of service at Xavier.

“We are very fortunate here at Xavier to have identified an individual with Mr. Johnson’s impressive credentials, years of experience, and wealth of expertise to serve in this key executive role,” said Francis. “The Senior Vice President for Administration is responsible for implementing major policies and procedures relating to university operational matters, and we are

ralph johnson
confident that Mr. Johnson will provide leadership and vision that will further enhance our service to Xavier faculty, students, and staff, as well as to the local community.” more


Xavier has answered the call for an education-based noteworthy institute that trains young professionals to be more effective in their civic engagement with the advent of the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute (NCFLI). 

Designed to satisfy the demand for more innovative and qualified people stepping up to address public challenges, the Institute opened in January 2013 with a year-long program designed to cultivate the leadership capacities of men and women who have already distinguished themselves in professional and civic life. In its inaugural year, NCFLI selected 25 individuals (“Fellows”) from a broad spectrum of professions ranging from a Special Education Teacher to a Chief Executive Officer. more


With the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences which went into effect this summer, leadership for each of the four new and two holdover Divisions is being taken up by newly created Division Chairs, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

The six Divisions and their respective chairs include:

  • Biological and Public Health Sciences (housing the Department of Biology and Public Health Sciences), chaired by Dr. Calvin Porter
  • Business, chaired by Dr. Joe Ricks
  • Education and Counseling, chaired by Dr. Renee Akbar
  • Humanities and Fine Arts (housing the Departments of Art, English, History, Languages, Music, Philosophy, and Theology), chaired by Dr. David Lanoue
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences (housing the Departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics), chaired by Dr. Maryam Foroozesh
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (housing the Departments of Communication Studies, Mass Communications, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Speech Pathology), chaired by Dr. Amy Bellone-Hite more
Every day our bodies are working overtime to try and eliminate the hundreds to thousands of chemicals that it comes into contact with. The body’s detoxification organs are overworked by environmental toxics, and in many cases, are losing the fight.

That’s where Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry ’94, a.k.a. “Dr. Noreen” a.k.a. “The Tox Doc” comes in.

A Toxicologist, whose specialties include environmental, space, food, and nutritional toxicology, she has made it her own personal mission to translate the language of sciencefor non-scientists in order to educate and inform the public of critical issues that affect their health and quality of life. more
dr noreen

best college cont

The New York-based company – which is best known for its test-prep and education services, books, website and other resources for students – showcases only about 15 percent of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States in its annual guide.

"Xavier University of Louisiana offers outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our choice of schools for the book,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP / Publisher and author of "The Best 378 Colleges". “We base our selections primarily on data we obtain in our annual institutional data surveys. We also take into account input we get from our staff, our 35-member National College Counselor Advisory Board, our personal visits to schools, and the wide range of feedback we get from our surveys of students attending these schools.”

For more info, visit HERE.

senior VP, chaplain cont

A member of the University’s Administrative Staff (equivalent to the President’s Cabinet), the SVPA oversees  Human Resources, Student Financial Aid, Auxiliary Enterprises, Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities Planning & Management, Technology Administration, and Internal Auditing. In addition he integrates all business and administrative functions to achieve a level of efficiency and effectiveness in support of the University's mission and goals, and advises the President on all fiscal, budgetary, and administrative matters.

In addition to his three year stint at Alabama A&M, where he served as the University’s chief financial officer, Johnson has held administrative positions as vice president for finance and business at Norfolk State University and as controller at Dillard University in New Orleans. Prior to his posts in higher education, he served in various financial positions at Entergy Services in New Orleans, Habilitative Systems in Chicago, Ill., and Allstate Insurance Company in Northbrook, Ill.

His M.B.A. is from Tulane University. He also holds a B.S. in accounting from Bradley University, and several certifications in management from Harvard University, Hampton University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jerome, who recently earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington D.C, previously served as a Diaconate pastoral intern at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Los Angeles CA.

Prior to that post he had served as a campus minister associate intern at Howard University, and as a pastoral intern at St. Luke Catholic Church and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, all three in Washington D.C.

In addition to his S.T.L., Jerome also holds a Masters of Divinity (M. Div), a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), and a Bachelor of Art in Philosophy.

As Chaplain he is responsible for providing for the sacramental life of the University community and fostering the spiritual development of administrators, faculty, staff, and students of every faith tradition/religion.

NCF institute cont

Facilitated by leadership expert and long-time Harvard Kennedy School faculty member Marty Linsky, co-founder of the global leadership consultancy Cambridge Leadership Associates, the Fellows are developing innovative strategies targeted towards consequential civic engagement and purposeful social responsibility with the objective of making tangible progress on the most intractable issues facing their communities.

“I am honored to collaborate with Dr. Francis, the longest-sitting University President and the Dean of American University Presidents, as we actualize a program uniquely suited to catapult young professionals to the next level of leadership,” observed Linsky.

“We are looking for men and women who have already evidenced skill, professional success and community engagement, but who are frustrated by the lack of progress, who want to close the gap between their aspirations for their community and the current reality,” said Linsky. “NCFLI is for people passionate about making progress on the toughest issues facing their community. This initiative is not about networking and individual achievement. We are working on enhancing the skills, adding the tools, and building the courage for smart risk-taking that is essential for exercising leadership on the toughest challenges in civic life.” 

In partnership with Xavier University and inspired by the life and career of Dr. Francis, NCFLI’s core principles are non-partisan and directed toward advancing leadership that encompass cultural intelligence, spiritual enlightenment, and a steadfast moral compass. NCFLI is committed to developing a new generation of leaders and enhancing their capacity and their willingness to become socially active, economically empowered, globally-engaged, policy-educated leaders.

For more information about the program, visit www.ncfli.org.

A&S leadership cont

Porter, who also chairs the Biology Department, has taught at Xavier since 2002, including courses in General Biology, Biodiversity, Anatomy and Physiology, Evolution, Zoology, and Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from Texas Tech University. His professional interests include evolution, vertebrate zoology, molecular systematics, natural history, and field biology.

Ricks, the J.P. Morgan Chase Professor of Sales and Marketing, has been at Xavier 17 years. During that time he has taught various aspects of marketing, sales, and business management and analysis. He is currently involved in several initiatives for the division, including new programs in business pre-law, engineering management, and MBA. One of the inaugural Fellows for the new Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute, he holds a Ph.D. in business from LSU.

Akbar, recipient of the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in 2009 for teaching, has been at Xavier since 2003. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Curriculum & Instruction (such as Classroom Organization and Management, Multicultural Education, Child Psychology, Elementary Curriculum and Elementary Math Strategies), in addition to graduate courses in Educational


Leadership (including Management of Personnel and Finance, Collaborative Leadership and Curriculum Progression). Her primary research agenda centers on the design and implementation of non-Western teaching and learning structures as a means of advancing educational equity. She holds a Ph.D. in Foundations in Education from Florida State University.

Lanoue is chair of the Department of English and the RosaMary Foundation's Endowed Professor of English. At Xavier since 1981, he is a translator of Japanese haiku, a teacher of English and world literature, and a writer of haiku and "haiku novels." He is the current president of the Haiku Society of America. His books include a translation (Cup-of-Tea Poems: Selected Haiku of Kobayashi Issa), criticism (Pure Land Haiku: The Art of Priest Issa), and a series of novels: Haiku Guy, Laughing Buddha, Haiku Wars, Frog Poet, and Dewdrop World (2013). Some of these books have appeared in French, German, Spanish, Bulgarian, Serbian and Japanese editions. He maintains The Haiku of Kobayashi Issa website, for which he has translated and annotated 10,000 of Issa’s haiku.

Foroozesh, the chair of the Department of Chemistry and the Margaret W. Kelly Endowed Professor in Chemistry, is in her 19th year at Xavier. She is also Program Director for NIH-funded Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program, NSF-funded Innovation through Institutional Integration (I-Cubed) Program, and DoD-funded Drug Discovery Program for Combined Breast Cancer Therapy. Her research group currently consists of one postdoctoral fellow, one master-level research associate, one technician, and five undergraduate research students. To date, she has mentored 75 undergraduate research students. She holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Tulane University.

Bellone-Hite, chair of the Sociology Department and the Times Picayune/Samuel Newhouse Professor of Sociology, holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. Since coming to Xavier in 2004, her teaching has been concentrated in global and comparative sociology, inequality and gender. She is currently studying how Katrina inspired demographic change in New Orleans' labor markets and working with two colleagues on a new edition of an edited volume, The Globalization and Development Reader.

Dr. Noreen cont

Dr. Noreen, who holds a Master’s of Science degree in Biology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Texas Southern University (TSU), has more than 15 years of professional experience in toxicology. She has worked for the Federal government since 2004 and previously worked in the petrochemical industry. Dr. Noreen is also a professional toxicology consultant for the medical, legal, construction, residential and educational sectors.
A much sought-after international public speaker on topics relating to environmental and space toxicology, nutritional and food toxicity, as well as leadership, Dr. Noreen said her most memorable international engagements included Dubai, UAE and Beijing, China. In the midst of speaking, in 2012, she penned a book, “Talking Toxicology: Recognizing, Understanding and Reducing Toxic Exposures.” The book fills the gap in public knowledge of what the field of toxicology encompasses.

“I found that people who attended my lectures and seminars wanted something tangible to take home with them,” she said. “Although there are many publications on Toxicology targeted towards professionals in the field, there was nothing available for the lay person that explained not only the subject of toxicology, but how it affects our everyday lives. The book provides easy to implement tools and tips that people can use to reduce their chemical exposures.”

Talking Toxicology has been well-received since its release in 2012, and she is pleased to note that several physicians have not only recommended it to their patients, but also learned more about the subject matter as well.

To make things even easier for the layman, earlier this year she followed up her book with the launch of her own line of supplements specifically formulated to provide the essential micronutrients required to support the body’s myriad of biochemical processes.

“While it would be ideal if we all consumed the essential micronutrients – vitamins, amino acids, and phytonutrients – to protect our bodies from this routine onslaught, the plain fact is that most of our diets are deficient,” said Khan-Mayberry. “The natural food supplements I have formulated is a proprietary blend that uses natural ingredients that have been vetted by research and proven to be beneficial.”

Both items are available at her website, www.DoctorNoreen.com.

Dr. Noreen is routinely featured on television and radio including CBS, ABC and Fox as the go-to expert for a wide variety of issues related to Toxicology. She also serves as an editorial member of The Journal of Clinical Toxicology and The International Journal of Disaster Advances. Dr. Noreen was the first female to ever serve as a NASA Space Toxicologist and was the lead author of the first chapter ever published on the specialty of Space Toxicology in the international textbook General and Applied Toxicology.
Over the years her activities have earned her some special awards and recognitions, including the 2013 Trailblazer Award for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), the 2012 Award of Excellence from the Council of Inspector Generals on Integrity and Efficiency, and the 2010 Technology Rising Star Award.

Dr. Noreen is a proud wife and mother. Recently, she was one of five alumni featured in TSU’s 85th Anniversary “Legends and Leaders” billboard Campaign, and she was also highlighted in TSU’s Ebony Magazine advertisement.

Alumni / FacultyStaff / Trustees


Dr. Elaine Parker Adams '61 has published a book, The Reverend Peter W. Clark: Sweet Preacher and Steadfast Reformer, the biography of her great-grandfather, who was a black pioneer in the development and growth of Methodism in Louisiana.

Clifford Barthe’ ’81 has been named the new head men’s basketball coach at Delgado Community College in New Orleans. He previously served as director of basketball operations at Tulane University, and before that was coach at St. Augustine High School for 23 years.

Dr. Regina Benjamin ’79, who recently stepped down as U.S. Surgeon General after four years in the post, was named 13th among the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives” in the September issue of Modern Healthcare magazine. 

The late Hal Brown ’69 was honored by the New Orleans City Council in August 2013 for his contributions to various community/educational programs and development projects in New Orleans.

Eric Blue ’01 has joined the law firm Adams and Reese as an Associate in the New Orleans office, where he will specialize in corporate practice.

Shandrell Briscoe '09 has earned a Master of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of New Orleans.

Ronald Brown II ’05
was named Chief Resident at the University of Florida where he recently completed his own residency and received the Resident of the Year award. He plans to specialize in gastroenterology.

Danielle Burrell ’97 has been named by the New Orleans Kids Partnership as the zone coordinator for its new “GRoW Zone” project serving children and families in the Gentilly area. GRoW (Great Resources Whereyat) is a neighborhood-based network of free and low-cost services.

Kathleen Francis ’82 is president of Oasis Sports Ventures LLC, a new start-up marketing and development company specializing in providing quality amateur sports programs and competitions for youth, young adults and families that encourages physical activity, social engagement and achievement. The first property was the 2012 National Family Tennis Championships. Previously she served as managing director of marketing and development for the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) initiatives to grow tennis participation and frequency of play, nationally.

Susan Isaacs ‘09 has joined WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, as a traffic reporter. She previously served as the traffic reporter at Fox affiliate WVUE. Her move to WDSU coincides with an upgrade to the traffic systems at the NBC affiliate.

Dr. Kim LeDuff ‘96 has been named the Associate Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and International Affairs at the University of West Florida where she will have overarching responsibility for promoting and fostering a climate of diversity and inclusive excellence throughout all aspects of the university community. She previously served as acting director of the School of Mass Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Davetta Cooke Lee ‘02,executive director of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, was named “Young Lawyer of the Year” by the Mississippi College School of Law.

Crystal Moore ‘07 has earned her MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business and is now serving an internship with the White House Domestic Policy Council on the Education. While still at Duke, she also captained a team that won the Executive Leadership Council Business Case Competition.

Dr. Ronyelle Bertrand Richard ‘99 has been named Special Assistant to the Chancellor at Southern University in Baton Rouge LA. She previously served as Coordinator for the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal at Howard University.

Dr. Brittney Richardson ’09 is serving her residency in family medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where she received her medical degree in May.

Stephen Rochon, RADM, USCG (Retired) ’84, served as a consultant for the movie Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the true story of a White House butler who served under eight U.S. Presidents, including during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Rochon served as former Director of the Executive Residence and Chief Usher of the White House from 2007-2011.

Elijah Williams ’05, who works in Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston TX, has been elected national treasurer of the National Urban League Young Professionals for 2013-2015.


Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) had short fiction, "A Good Friday," published in The Morris Gazette. He also served as an adviser on an historical novel from Knox Robinson Publishing (London, England).

Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American & Diaspora Studies and English) had an article, "Flambeau: Orality as Reflexive Flame of New Orleans," in Captured by the City: Perspectives in Urban Culture Studies, which ispublished by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Bart Everson (CAT) has been named a finalist for Louisiana's 2013 Cox Conserves Heroes program, which recognizes volunteers who are creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces. His nonprofit is Friends of Lafitte Corridor. You can vote for him HERE.

Dr. Nicole Greene (Kellogg Professor of English) read a paper “Longworth v. Yelverton; Somerville and Ross, An Irish Cousin 1889, 1903; and Implications for Irish Gothic” at the Conference of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and she was invited to chair a panel on the Irish Big House at the American Conference for Irish Studies in Chicago IL.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English), gave a paper, "Stories Behind the Haiku: Cultural Memory in Issa," at the Haiku North America conference in Long Beach CA.

Dr. Joseph LaRochelle (pharmacy) has been elected national "Chair-Elect" of the Pediatrics Practice and Research Network (PRN) of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP).

Dr. Judith Miranti (education) has been appointed to the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The 28-member panel is intended to develop and present a plan for environmental education to the governor, the Legislature and the public.

Dr. Susan Fitch Spillman (languages) had her original play, Compère Lapin Voyageur, published by Éditions Tintamarre, the only exclusively French-language publishing house in the U.S. The play recounts the adventures of the beloved figure from West African folklore as he and his friends travel to the New World, where they become part of the cultural heritage of Louisiana and the Antilles.

Two political science faculty – Dr. Megan Osterbur and Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore – were among 12 Fellows from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions invited to participate in the inaugural Summer Faculty Workshop in Policy Research and Analysis hosted by the Pardee Rand Graduate School in Santa Monica CA.


Dwight Bush, Sr., president of D.L. Bush and Associates, a financial advisory and business consulting firm in Washington DC, has been nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. The nomination must be confirmed by the US Senate.

Carla Harris,
Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management, Managing Director, and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, has been appointed chairperson of the National Women’s Business Council by U.S. President Barack Obama.

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