Marketing & Communications

August 2018



Ja'Che Malone, a junior psychology/premed major from Ft. Meade MD, addresses an aide to Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., about funding for international poverty-reducing programs during the Student Ambassador Leadership Summit of Catholic Relief Services on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Sarah Bertrand and Denise Ssettimba also were among the 160 students from 59 other colleges and universities who  participated in the three-day summit, advocating for important social issues.


Educational theories, like pendulums, tend to swing back and forth in time as administrators and teachers struggle with the problems of educating each new generation. But some fundamentals never change, or do they?

Since its founding, Xavier has prided itself on its commitment to the liberal arts, requiring all of its students, regardless of major, to take a prescribed set of courses that were deemed fundamental to a Catholic liberal arts education. Current students and thousands of alumni will recognize this as the Core Curriculum.

The Core in its current form, as rolled out in 1980, was designed to ensure that students in majors as diverse as business and history, or music and the sciences, would all have the same basic preparation. The expectation was that students, exposed to a wide variety of disciplines, would develop a wide range of intellectual capacities that would enable them to flourish throughout their lives – and to make a difference in the lives of others.

And while the number of required hours expanded from 56 to 60 and a few of the specific courses themselves were added or dropped since that most recent tweaking of the core, for the past 37+ plus years all Xavier students needed to meet those basic requirements to graduate.

That’s all about to see a significant change.

To meet the changing needs of its students, this fall semester will see the implementation of a new Core, the end result of years of study and planning by a dedicated faculty committee. This year’s new freshman class, e.g. the Class of 2022, will be the first students to follow the new standards, although upperclassmen will have the option to adopt them or remain under the Core their class came in with.

The new Core Curriculum is the not the only area where changes have occurred, as Xavier has made a conscious effort to expand the University’s academic offerings. In just the past year the College of Arts and Sciences has added five new undergraduate programs, one additional master’s program, three minors, and a specialized certificate program.

Those new undergraduate degree programs include the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Bioinformatics, the B.S. in Data Science, the B.S. in Neuroscience, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology with a concentration in Crime and Social Justice, and the B.A. in Music degree with a concentration in Jazz Studies, while those seeking an advanced degree need look no further than the new Master of Public Health (M.P.H) in Health Equity.

Here’s a complete look at what’s new: [more]

costa rica

Several of the 16 Xavier students who experienced the XULA summer in Costa Rica program check out the local terrain in San Jose, where they spend four weeks amassing 70 hours of clinical practicum experience in hospitals and clinics and studying Spanish for healthcare professionals.


Qatar University College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH) students Arwa Taher and Rana Saleh celebrate completion of their care pharmacy rotation at Xavier with Torian Lee, Director of the XU Center for International and Intercultural Programs. During the rotation the students met with clinical pharmacy specialists from diverse practice settings, learned Louisiana’s health care system, participated in interdisciplinary practice experiences, and shadowed the clinical pharmacists in a hospital critical care setting under the supervision of Dr. Sara Al Dahir of the XU College of Pharmacy.

san diego 

XU faculty Dr. Ian Davenport and Dr. Thomas Huckaba visit with University of California- San Diego (UCSD) faculty mentor Dr. James Nieh and several Xavier Students attending the UCSD-XULA summer research program.


The 2019 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges once again lists Xavier among the 300 “best and most interesting” four-year colleges and universities. Fiske is the best-selling college guide on the market and the one that high school counselors recommend most often to students and parents. Xavier has been a fixture in the guide since its inception 35 years ago by Edward B. Fiske, former long-time education editor of the New York Times.

Fully updated and expanded every year, the Fiske Guide to Colleges is widely regarded as the most authoritative source of information for college-bound students and their parents. Through the years the publication has provided millions of parents, counselors, and college-bound students with an independent perspective on the distinctive personalities of colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.


Some 34 upperclassmen have been designated Rousseve Scholars for the 2018-19 school year.

Students selected for the University’s prestigious 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 textbook allowance.

This year’s recipients, grouped by their class, are listed below along with their majors.Seniors / P2s – Shanzay Chaudhry, biology/premed; Camilla Do, chemistry/premed; Dalia El-Desoky, biology; Cierra Frazier, pharmacy; Tommy Giang, biology/premed; Dorian Hill, biology/premed; Tyler Kelly, biology/premed; Jeanne Nguyen, biology/premed; Allison Stephens, chemistry/premed; Lauren Thornton, biology; and James Vu, biology/premed.

Juniors / P1s – Hana Alkhafaf, biology/premed; Hanna Al-Moaswes, biology/premed; Jessica Anderson, chemistry/premed; Robin Celentano, pharmacy; Deja Dennis, mass communication; Breanna Jones, biology/premed; Megan Littleton, biology/premed; Ashley Mello, biochemistry; Mary Nguyen, biology; Tatyana Smith, psychological science; Cydney Stevenson, accounting; and Yen Tran, biology/premed.

Sophomores – Altonnesha Darby, biology/premed; Suendus Farhoud, chemistry/prepharmacy; Nakia Frazier, chemistry/prepharmacy; Hajjia Mohammed, dual degree biomedical engineering; Brooke Nguyen, biology/premed; Kailyn Nguyen, chemistry/prepharmacy; Chizoba Ogbuefi, chemistry/prepharmacy; Karen Osei-Boaman, biology/premed; Sukana Raza, chemistry/prepharmacy; Jennifer Tran, chemistry/prepharmacy; and Fatima Zeini, chemistry/prepharmacy.

The scholarships are named in honor of the Rousseve family, outstanding alumni and supporters of the University.


The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that the sacred remains of Xavier Foundress Saint Katharine Drexel will be transferred from the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Motherhouse and Shrine in Bensalem PA to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia this summer. The new location for St. Katharine’s tomb will open to the public in September 2018 following the completion of the newly constructed Cathedral tomb. [ more


The Business Achievers Summer Class of 2018, flanked by Division Chair Dr. Joe Ricks and Professor Clifford Wright – (L-R) Donovan Carraby, Talitha Degree, Thanh-Truc "Katrina" Nguyen, and Frederick Quinn – celebrate successful completion of the program.


Colonel (ret.) Karen Lloyd, Director of the Library of Congress and the Veterans History Project, and a cousin of Xavier foundress St. Katharine Drexel, was treated to a brief campus tour and a personal visit with XU President Dr. Reynold Verret. She was escorted by Dr. Marcus Cox, XU Director of the Center for Continuing Studies and Distance Education, which hosted the Montford Point Marines: Veterans History Workshop earlier this year.


XU VP of Institutional Advancement Gia Soublet shares a moment with Fr. Jeffrey Ott and New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Fernand Cherie during the opening session of the Archbishop James Patterson Lyke Conference, held in the University Chapel. Celebrating over a decade of cultivating, celebrating and commissioning leadership to develop powerful and effective Black Catholic worship, this year's conference was chaired by XU College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Kathleen Kennedy. 


Long-time Vice President for Student Services Joseph Byrd receives a big “thank you” for his years of service to Xavier from President Emeritus Dr. Norman Francis and Dr. Ron Durnford during a retirement party held in his honor at the Convocation Center.



  • Allana Barefield, a senior mass communication major from Lynn MA (Lynn English High), was one of eight recipients named winners of a $25,000 Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Homecoming Scholars Award for 2018-19. Having recently completed a summer Sports Journalism Institute internship as general assignment reporter for the sports desk at The Tampa Bay Times, she is already an accomplished journalist, having previously served internships with The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The New Orleans Advocate, The Louisville Courier Journal, and WDSU-TV in New Orleans. Read MORE.

  • Kaeirez Coleman, a senior biology major and McNair Scholar from Mendenhall MS (Mendenhall High) who is attending the University of Southern California (USC) this summer, is featured in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy’s Summer 2018 issue of inMotion magazine. View it HERE (flip to page 21).

  • Edward Wiggins, a junior history major from Clinton MS (Clinton High), is interning with the Foundation for the Mid-South in Jackson MS, profiling the performance of school districts in the region, noting trends and common factors in order to make recommendations for the foundation’s advocacy efforts.


  • Jasmine Haydel ’15 has been accepted into the Wright State University School of Medicine.

  • Dr. Jessica Baham ‘18, a pharmacy intern at the University Medical Center in New Orleans, is featured in an Employee Spotlight for her former employer and benefactor, Liberty Bank and Trust.

  • Dr. Lauren Outlaw ‘02, an obstetrics/gynecology specialist at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church VA, was featured in the Community Coalition for Haiti’s “Health Heroes” fund-raising campaign, cited for her efforts to put together a 30-member team of doctors/residents which provided medical services on the island. Dr. Victor Njoku ’04, a vascular surgery specialist with Peachtree Vascular Associates in Atlanta GA, was also a member of the team. View it HERE.

  • Janae Pierre ’13, an award-winning reporter and talk show host at WBHM-FM radio in Birmingham AL, was featured in a Birmingham Times article, “Talk Show Host Jane Pierre Gets to do What She Loves at WBHM.” See it HERE.


  • Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Emeritus) with his wife Judith spoke on their edition of William Spratling's and William Faulkner's 1926 book, Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles, at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie LA.

  • Jazmane Brown (Enrollment Management) has joined the University staff as Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions. She previously served as the Senior Enrollment Advisor for EnrollmentFuel, a private student search and consulting company, and held various related positions at Queens University of Charlotte, the University of Miami, Emory University, and The George Washington University.

  • Ed Cassiere (Athletics) has been awarded yet another first-place award from the (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-Sports Information Directors Association (NAIA-SIDA), this one for the XULA athletics website,

  • Dyneisha Jackson (Athletics) has joined University staff as Assistant Director of Recreation & Club Sports. She previously served as a student supervisor and graduate assistant at the University of Louisiana at Monroe Department of Recreational Services.

  • Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville (Associate Dean, A&S) held a book launch for her newly published anthology, Walking Raddy: The Baby Dolls of New Orleans.

  • Five faculty – Dr. Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir, Dr. Steven Salm, Dr. Michael Homan, Dr. James Dunson, and Dr. Paul Schafer – participated in a national project this summer which explored how philosophy and history faculty members at HBCUs can improve the work of scholarly societies, and how the scholarly societies can improve access to the resources, professional, and academic networks they provide.

  • Two University Police Department officers – Brian Hills and Takisha Walton – successfully completed the LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Basic P.O.S.T. program, earning their state certifications as sworn law enforcement officers.


Thursday, Aug. 02 – HBCU SW La Alumni Alliance Freshman Send-off

Saturday, Aug. 04 – Atlanta Family Cookout

Sunday, Aug. 08 – Orlando Alumni Reception

Saturday, Aug. 25 – DFW Alumni "Family and Friends Picnic in the Park"

Friday, Sept. 14 – Atlanta Alumni Friendraiser & Mixer [ TICKETS ]

Friday, Nov. 16 – 40 Under 40 Awards Presentation [Nominations Deadline is Aug. 03]


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