Marketing & Communications

April 2018



Xavier students gather outside the University Center to show support for the National Student Walkout protesting Congressional inaction against gun violence.


Xavier will hold its sixth annual online, social media-driven fundraising event, Give. Love. Xavier Day, Tuesday, April 10, from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The event invites alumni and friends to come together for one day to show their support for the University with financial contributions.

Participants are encouraged to post about the event via social networks (such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to spread the excitement and encourage their friends and followers to give. Conversations also are encouraged by sharing the hashtag #GLXU18, connecting to the @XULAalumni website, and visiting to donate and see real-time results.

This year’s theme is “Share the Love!” Although online giving is encouraged, donations can also be made by calling (504) 520-7575 or mailing a check to Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, Box 66, New Orleans LA 70125. All gifts collected in support of Give. Love. Xavier Day will fund scholarships and other important University programs.

Last year 1,870 donors contributed a total of $382,319 on Give. Love. Xavier Day. The goal for this year’s campaign is 3,500 individual donors.

"There is strength in numbers, and we hope that all of our alumni, as well as all friends of Xavier, will help us reach our goals,” said Kimberly Reese, XU Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “Supporting this event will help Xavier University of Louisiana to continue its legacy of excellence.”

Since its inception, Give. Love. Xavier Day has raised more than $2.2 million dollars for the University.

One key element of the day-long campaign is the use of alumni captains to spur interest among fellow alumni, as well as the establishment of key Challenge Grant incentives: dollar for dollar matches that are realized when alumni and friends make their donations on Give. Love. Xavier Day. This year’s event has several matching challenge grants, which will only be realized if Xavierites and friends make gifts on April 10.

For more information about GLX Xavier Day visit or  contact Lacrecia James at (504) 520-5129.



The Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity (CURGO) will present its 15th Annual Festival of Scholars, highlighting the research and creative scholarships of undergraduate and pharmacy students, April 13-14, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. in the University Center (second floor). The event is free and open to the public.

During the event, student researchers from disciplines across the curriculum, will display their scholarship through poster and oral presentations.

Since its inception in 2004 as the Center for Undergraduate Research, CURGO has been the cornerstone of faculty-mentored student research on Xavier’s campus and has provided opportunities for undergraduate and College of Pharmacy students to gain invaluable training and experience beyond the classroom. Each year the Festival has grown in the number of student presentations, averaging over 100 presentations.



The opportunity to advance both her education and career while staying in her hometown was almost too good for Chanelle Batiste to pass up. The fact that she could concentrate on clinical work sealed the deal.

That’s how Batiste, a psychology graduate of Dillard University and the holder of a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Nicholls State University, found herself in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier (TCSPP@XULA).

“I had always planned on staying in New Orleans after I graduated,” explained Baptiste. “There is a need for mental health professionals who are dedicated to improving the current state of mental health care in the city and I want to be a part of that.”

Hosted on the Xavier campus, the doctoral program was launched in 2015 after a partnership was forged between XULA and TCSPP to educate and train the next generation of practitioners who will help to meet the mental health services needs of the city and region. The program offers 106 credit hours of rigorous training in culturally competent service provisions, while exposing students to a variety of practicum and internship training opportunities. It is open to qualified candidates from XULA, and other universities nationwide, as well as to qualified professionals already working in the field who would like to expand their training and enhance their practitioner experience.

Baptiste was a member of the inaugural class of 16 students who entered in the Fall semester of 2015 and, thus, is among the furthest advanced students in the five-year curriculum. The entire first year was spent in the classroom, which was supplemented with practicums at community clinics in years two and three. So far, Baptiste has completed two diagnostic practicums.


In the fifth year of the program, she and her classmates will complete a full-time internship. So how is it going so far?

“I would certainly recommend this program for anyone who is serious about helping to restore the mental health infrastructure of New Orleans,” said Baptiste. “I can’t say enough about the faculty here. They are deeply invested in your professional growth; in fact they work with you to tailor your coursework so you are focusing on your individual educational needs and professional goals.”

For Baptiste, graduation from the TCSPP@XULA program is not an end, but the foundation for another beginning, as she plans to pursue post-doc work once she completes the program.

“The people of this city are special and deserve quality educated professionals as a part of their care providers,” said Baptiste. “I want to go beyond providing therapy and play a role in advocating for better access, educating my community about mental illness, and dismantling the stigma associated with mental health.”

As one of the leading nonprofit institutions devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral health sciences, and with more than 20 degree programs at campuses in Chicago IL, Dallas TX (fall 2018), Washington D.C., in Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego CA, and Online, The Chicago School has long been recognized for its excellence in education and training. Although in its relative infancy, TCSPP@XULA offers the same rigorous training as the clinical doctoral programs in Los Angeles, Chicago, and D.C., while awarding graduates the highest degree for practitioners in the field and helping prepare them for professional practice as licensed psychologists.

The TCSPP@XULA is currently accepting applications for its next class. For more information on the program call (800) 721-8072 or visit the TCSPP website HERE.

Xavier vocal music major Kristina Hicks (second from left) is seen with acclaimed Jazz artist Terrence Blanchard after her solo performance at the National Forum of the Glimmerglass Festival entitled Breaking Glass:  Hyperlinking Opera and Issues, which was streamed live from the Music Building Recital Hall. Blanchard’s new Jazz opera “Champion” was recently presented by the New Orleans Opera Association.

Officers of the Louisiana Eta chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta – (L-R) Sarah Bertrand, Hailey Phillips, Esarrah Hopkins, Savannah Samuel, D'Lauren Falk, and Joy Jackson – welcomed 55 new students into the Health Pre-professional Honor Society at this year’s induction ceremony.


In between classes or during study breaks, Xavier students can now learn Hands-Only CPR in about five minutes via an interactive kiosk presented by the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease. The training kiosk is located in the first floor of the University Center.

Every year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital in the U.S. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Estimates are that only 46 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR before professional help arrives.

The kiosk has a touch screen with a video that provides a brief introduction and overview of Hands-Only CPR, followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice manikin, or a rubber torso, the kiosk gives feedback about the depth and rate of compressions and proper hand placement – factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.  The entire training takes about five minutes. The instruction is also available in Spanish, and closed captioning in both English and Spanish.

The kiosk at the university marks the first Hands-Only CPR training kiosk to be placed in Louisiana. [more]



  • Ahmed Arasah, a senior biology/premed major from Grand Prairie TX (Cedar High), has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship from the American Heart Association for his entry in the organization’s “Take Me Home” video docuseries campaign. In addition he will serve as an EmPOWERED to Serve ambassador and participate in 2018 social media campaigns.

  • Mikayla Bates, a junior business major from Baton Rouge (Southern Lab) and a member of the Gold Nugget basketball team, was named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete in Division I women's basketball. She qualified for the NAIA honor by having a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and reaching junior academic status. The NAIA cited 143 for the award.

  • Amenze Omoruyi, a junior psychology/premed major from Riverdale GA (Elite Scholars High), has been accepted into the summer STARS program at the Harvard University Medical School’s Brigham Women’s Hospital.

  • Three students – Deja Dennis, a sophomore mass communication major from Peoria IL (Peoria High School); Kiara Houston, a freshman neuroscience major from Chicago IL (Chicago-Arts High); and Tresaundra Roberson, a freshman psychology/premed major from New Orleans (Lusher High) – have  been awarded $13,333 scholarships to study creative writing during the 2018-19 academic year through a grant funded by the Truman Capote Foundation Trust. The monetary awards are designed to encourage talented writers to develop their writing skills at Xavier, the first HBCU to offer a creative writing minor. The scholarship winners were selected via a competitive process with Randolph Thomas, an award-winning professor at LSU, poet, and short fiction writer, serving as judge.

  • Three students representing the Counseling & Wellness Center – Jameshaulyn Fernandez, a junior elementary education major from Plaquemine LA (Plaquemine High); SyndeDion Lampkin, a junior psychology major from Chicago IL (Brooks High); and freshman Alajuwan Joseph, a freshman chemistry/pre-pharmacy major from Reserve LA (East St. John High) – won first place for their audio PSA, "Changing the Culture -Sexual Assault Awareness," for Behavioral Health Awareness Day, sponsored by the HBCU Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

  • Four Gold Rush student-athletes earned Gulf Coast Athletic Conference honors for the 2017-18 season. Joseph Williams, a senior business major from Memphis TN (Lausanne Collegiate School) was named Defensive Player of the Year; Rayshawn Mart, a freshman chemistry/pre-pharmacy major from Houma LA (H.L. Bourgeois High) was named Freshman of the Year; Jalen David, a senior business major from Mount Vernon NY (Mount Vernon High) was named first team All-GCAC; and Virgil Davison, a junior sociology major from Memphis TN (Hillcrest High), was named to the second team.

  • Two Gold Nugget student-athletes received end-of-season honors from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Mikayla Bates, a junior business major from Baton Rouge (Southern Lab) was named to the All-Defensive team, while Essence Wells, a sophomore business major from Irving TX (MacArthur High) was named second team All-GCAC.

  • Three students – Kyelajuan Bolding, a senior psychology major from Reserve LA (East St. John High); Taytum Dun, a freshman psychology major from Mobile AL (Murphy High); and Cyuan Lutzenberger, a junior political science from Eupora MS (Europa High) – and Shirley Labbe (Counseling) participated in the HBCU Lonnie E. Mitchell Behavioral Health Summit in Charlotte NC.


  • Ashanti Anderson ’16, has been named winner of the Tennessee Williams Festival Poetry Contest. Her award includes a cash prize, publication in Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine, and a reading at this year's Tennessee Williams Festival. She is currently writing in the MFA program at the University of California-Riverside.

  • Kevin Choice ’98, a classically-trained pianist and composer turned popular hip-hop musician blending jazz, R&B, and soul, successfully premiered his original piano concerto with the Oakland Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also an educator with the Oakland School of Creative Arts.

  • Dr. Patrice Dupart ’00 has been named Vice President of Pharmacy & Apothecary-in-Chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she will be responsible for Pharmacy services, focusing on medication safety, maintenance of the formulary, and development and execution of medication use policies. She previously served as Senior Director of Pharmacy Services at Inova Fairfax Medical Center in Washington DC.

  • Royce Duplessis '04 has been elected Louisiana State Representative for the 93rd District. He previously served as Special COnsul to the Louisiana Supreme Court, focusing on state and local criminal justice reform policy.  

  • Dexter Graves ’11, who will graduate in May from Drexel University College of Medicine and serve his residency in Emergency Medicine at The University of Chicago, was featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article, “To Address Shortage of Black Doctors, Drexel Medical Students Create Mentoring Network.” View it HERE.

  • Ellen Hazeur ’86 has been elected Civil District Court Judge for Division A in New Orleans. Previously she served as First City Court Clerk and prior to that on the New Orleans City Council.

  • Dr. John Jackson ’94, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation, has been named to the Board of Directors of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization focused exclusively promoting equity and achievement in high schools across New England.

  • Maura Jones ’14, a fourth-year medical student at LSU School of Medicine, was featured on, an internet peer blog designed to inspire the next generation of health care professionals. She was recently matched with University of California-San Francisco’s obstetrics and gynecology residency program.

  • Paige Jones ’17, a first-year medical student at University of Arkansas’ School for Medical Sciences, was featured on, an internet peer blog designed to inspire the next generation of health care professionals.

  • Dr. Clevis Parker, Sr. ’95 has been named Chief Medical Officer of Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas NV. In his new role, he will oversee the overall effectiveness, leadership, strategic direction, structure and management of the medical components of hospice and palliative care. Previously he was the Medical Director at Hospice of Yuma in Arizona.


  • Dr. Jose Bautista (Business) has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Catholic Foundation Board, Archdiocese of New Orleans. He also presented a paper, "Influence in Valence Political Systems," at the Public Choice Society Meetings, held in Charleston SC.

  • Dr. Ronald Dorris '72 (African American & Diaspora Studies/English) presented a paper, "The Jazz Age: VOICE & Black Internationalism," at the National Association of African American Studies in Dallas TX. 

  • Dr. Biljana Obradovic (English) organized a panel, “Xavier University of Louisiana Creative Writing Minor 20th Anniversary Reading,” for the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) annual 51st conference, held in Tampa FL. Creative writing readings were made by Obradovic, Kristina Robinson ’09 (English), former XU professor Patrice Melnick, and Kayla Rodney ’13.

  • Cliff Wright (Business) and Margaret Diaz-Fugetta (Business) made a presentation on the new tax law at the Academy of Business Research conference.Dr. Kelli Johnson has been named Department Chair of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier. Prior to joining The Chicago School, Johnson served as an assistant professor and the Director of Clinical Training at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.Dr. Kelli Johnson has been named Department Chair of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier. Prior to joining The Chicago School, Johnson served as an assistant professor and the Director of Clinical Training at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.


  • Dr. Kelli Johnson has been named Department Chair of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Xavier (TCSPP@XULA). Prior to joining TCSPP, she served as an assistant professor and the Director of Clinical Training at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.


Veronica Harrison ’86 was named the Atlanta Alumni Chapter’s “Alumnus of the Year” during its St. Katharine Drexel Jazz Brunch. On hand for the presentation were XU President Reynold Verret and National Alumni President James Paschal ‘57. The Rev. Jeffrey Ott, O.P. ’88 was also honored at the event, which raised $23,000 in support of Xavier.


April 14 (Greenbelt MD) - The DMV Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball
April 22 (Dallas-Ft. Worth) - Fascinators & Fedoras Scholarly Jazz Brunch
April 25 (New Orleans) - Let's Do Lunch III
May 19 (Detroit) - The Inaugural Scholarship Jazz Brunch


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