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XCIT 2017

We invite you to join the Xavier Contemplative Inquiry Team for the 2017-2018 school year. We meet monthly over the course of the year and provide support for each member’s personal practice, contemplative pedagogy, and related research. This year, we'll be adopting an explicit focus on STEM disciplines to examine some of the exciting scientific research in this area. The team is open to all faculty, staff and students.

Read more on our wiki, then download the call for participation and apply today.

CAT+FD is pleased to welcome Dr. Florastina Payton-Stewart for a three-year term as our new Faculty in Residence.

Payton-Stewart

Dr. Payton-Stewart is an Associate Professor in Chemistry, and is very passionate about teaching, mentoring and advising students. She has served as Associate Director for Center of Undergraduate Research and is a member of the American Chemical Society and the National Organization for the Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. She is a 2017 Keystone Fellow and recipient of the HERS Institute Leadership Academy STEM scholarship.

She will work with our new faculty, planning and implementing support throughout their first year.

In addition to supporting CAT+FD activities and initiatives, the CAT+FD Faculty in Residence has primary responsibility for enhancing and leading programming for first year faculty. Duties include: assisting in the planning and implementation of new faculty orientation; facilitating new faculty mentoring; organizing and implementing the new faculty "brown bag" series; organizing and implementing a coherent set of workshop open to all faculty but focused on new faculty; assisting in grant writing for CAT+FD initiatives related to first year faculty development; and assisting in the assessment of CAT+FD's programs related to first year faculty development.


We are also glad to announce that Mr. Jeremy Tuman is renewing his role as Faculty in Residence for Service Learning for a two-year term.

Megan Osterbur, 2017 FaCTS coordinator

We were honored and thrilled to read this account of our FaCTS summer seminar from Wiki Ed:

For the ninth year, faculty at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) have come together to experiment with new pedagogy in their classrooms. Their group, the Faculty Community of Teaching Scholars (FaCTS), is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and provides a stipend for participants to explore that year’s theme. The theme for academic year 2017–18 is “Making knowledge public using educational technology.” Dr. Megan Osterbur, who participates in Wiki Ed’s Classroom Program, helped organize this year’s group of selected applicants and saw a clear alignment with Wikipedia assignments. After all, Wikipedia serves as educational technology for student editors and is as public as knowledge gets in 2017.

Continue reading on the Wiki Education Foundation website.

encrypt

We have been taking steps to make the CAT+FD site more secure. Most recently, we started serving all our content over a secure connection. From this point on, anytime you're visiting our site (including this blog) you may see "https://" at the beginning of the web address in your browser's location field. You may even see a little padlock symbol.

This varies from browser to browser, but here's how it looks on Chrome:

Secure connection (Chrome)

This means that all the content that flows back and forth between your browser and our site is encrypted, encoded, making it harder for anyone else to snoop.

Of course (unless you're CAT+FD staff) you probably aren't exchanging any sensitive data with our site. Still, it's a good idea, with increasing concern in recent years over civil liberties in an age of ubiquitous surveillance.

It might also be the wave of the future. More and more sites are supporting encryption. Google already favors secure sites in its search results.

Some browsers make it easy for you to examine a site's digital certificate. Here's how that looks in Safari:

Certificate in Safari

This shows you that we are who we claim to be. DigiCert is a third party that verifies Xavier's identity.

Sounds pretty good, right? In fact, you may wonder why all your web transactions aren't secure. Well, it's the same reason why we don't all engage in good password behavior. We know it's good in theory, but in practice we defer and delay. Some sites you visit undoubtedly do support secure transactions — but only if you ask for it. You can encrypt as much as possible by using a browser extension like the Electronic Frontier Foundations's HTTPS Everywhere, available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Android.

Thanks to ITC for helping us to implement HTTPS.

Download Conversation #59


Leyte WinfieldA conversation with Leyte Winfield of Spelman College on mentoring students.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. Leyte Winfield is a teacher, scholar, and mentor. She strives to expose everyone to the beauty and versatility of chemistry and to nurture the potential of women of color interested in pursuing degrees in the field. In 1997, she received a commission in the United States Army Reserve where she obtained the rank of captain and was assigned to the Army Medical Institute of Chemical Defense before resigning her commission in September of 2009. Academically, she pursued the study of chemistry with the hope of becoming a cosmetic scientist. Her aspirations led her to obtain a B.S. in Chemistry from Dillard University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of New Orleans. She is a synthetic organic chemist with experience in academic, industrial, and military laboratories. From these combined experiences she has gained expertise in the various aspects of medicinal drug design, instrumental methods, and synthetic techniques. Her current research interest is to understand the relationship of the structure of a molecule, particularly benzimidazoles, to its activity as a chemotherapeutic for cancers that disproportionately impact the African American community. Her efforts have been recognized by the American Association of Cancer Research and the Council for Undergraduate Research and have been funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. She holds six patents covering more than 500 unique small molecules. Her emerging interest in chemical education and broadening participation has produced two textbooks, several publications, and funding from the national science foundation.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #59: Leyte Winfield on Mentoring"

Download Conversation #58


Marcia ChatelainA conversation with Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University on connecting with students.

Dr. Marcia Chatelain, previously on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma's Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, researches a wide array of issues in African-American history. Dr. Chatelain writes and teaches about African-American migration, women's and girls' history, and race and food. Dr. Chatelain has served on the boards of the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma and the University of Missouri's Student Affairs division. Dr. Chatelain is a member of the British Council's Transatlantic Network 2020, a 2000 Harry S. Truman Scholar, an alumna and honoree of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, and a 2011 German Marshall Fund of the U.S. Fellow. In 2012, Dr. Chatelain was awarded an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined) and a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her second book, which examines the relationship between communities of color and fast food, has received grants from the Duke University Libraries and the Frances E. Summersell Center for the Study of the South at the University of Alabama. In 2014, Dr. Chatelain created #fergusonsyllabus to encourage educators to discuss the national crisis in Ferguson, Missouri. Dr. Chatelain hosts Office Hours: A Podcast (available on I Tunes) in which she talks to students about the things most important to them.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #58: Marcia Chatelain on Connecting with Students"

Download Conversation #57


Kim Marie Vaz, Ph.D., LPCA conversation with Kim Vaz-Deville of Xavier's College of Arts & Sciences on enhancing the core curriculum.

Kim Marie Vaz, Ph.D., LPC, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tulane University and her doctorate in educational psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Currently, she is a professor of education and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is the author of The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition published by Louisiana State University Press in 2013.

...continue reading "Conversation #57: Kim Vaz-Deville on Core Curriculum Enhancement"

Download Conversation #56


Ross LouisA conversation with Ross Louis of Xavier's Communication Studies department on service learning.

Ross Louis joined the Communication Studies program at Xavier in 2003 and teaches courses from a performance studies perspective. He is the co-founder of the Performance Studies Laboratory at Xavier University of Louisiana. Recent projects include This Other World (a site-specific performance of Richard Wright’s haiku) and “Performing Presence in the Haiku Moment” (forthcoming in Text and Performance Quarterly).

...continue reading "Conversation #56: Ross Louis on the Monument Crisis"

Download Conversation #55

Follow the ArrowA change from our ordinary conversational format, this episode features a montage of commentary recorded in the spring of 2015 under the auspices of Dr. Megan Osterbur. We asked two questions: What does sustainability means to you? What can Xavier do to be more sustainable? Answers come mainly from students and staff. The closing thought comes from Dr. Kimberly Chandler.

...continue reading "Conversation #55: Sustainability at Xavier"

Download Conversation #54

Saundra McGuire

A conversation with Saundra McGuire on teaching, learning, and teaching students to learn.

Dr. Saundra Yancy McGuire is the Director Emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining LSU, she spent eleven years at Cornell University, where she received the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. She has delivered keynote addresses or presented workshops at over 250 institutions in 43 states and eight countries. Her latest book, Teach Students How to Learn, was released in October 2015 and is now in its ninth printing. The most recent of her numerous awards is the 2017 American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in the Chemical Sciences (ACS). She also received the 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Lifetime Mentor Award and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. She is an elected Fellow of the ACS, the AAAS and the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations (CLADEA). In November 2007 the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring was presented to her in a White House Oval Office Ceremony. She received her B.S. degree, magna cum laude, from Southern, her Master’s from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, where she received the Chancellors Citation for Exceptional Professional Promise. She is married to Dr. Stephen C. McGuire, a professor of physics at Southern. They are the parents of Dr. Carla McGuire Davis and Dr. Stephanie McGuire, and the doting grandparents of Joshua, Ruth, Daniel, and Joseph Davis.

Links for this episode: