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I'm joining the Bike Easy Challenge to get more Xavier faculty and staff riding bikes in New Orleans. Riding a bike can make you happier, healthier and wealthier. That's what I call professional development!

Did you know that New Orleans ranks #7 (among cities with over a quarter-million residents) for the percentage of people who bike to work?

And yet we could certainly do better by our bike riders, our transit riders, and our pedestrians. As I've argued elsewhere, safe transport is an issue of social justice and aligned with Xavier's mission.

Plus there are awesome prizes for riding and encouraging others throughout the month of April. Find out more and register at lovetoride.net/bikeeasy

It only takes a minute. It doesn't matter if you ride every day, or if you haven't been on a bike in years. Everyone is invited!

Be sure to join the Xavier team. Last year I think I was the lone participant, but this year we've got nine people and counting. We've been duking it out with UNO for second rank in the education sector, but Tulane is looking tough to beat.

Holler at me if you need any technical assistance or have any questions.

PS: April 10th is National Bike to Work Day, and the forecast is lovely.

Note: On Christmas Eve, 2015, the New York Times published an article by Dr. George Yancy of Emory University, in the form of a letter titled "Dear White America." Earlier this year, Dr. Yancy published a book of reflections on the reactions garnered by the letter, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America, which a group of Xavier faculty and staff discussed for our 2018 Fall Faculty Book Club. In honor of Dr. Yancy's original letter, on this Christmas Eve, we offer one reader's reply.

Dear Professor Yancy,

I feel compelled to write to you, as you have written to me, in your letter, "Dear White America." We read your letter and your book, Backlash, in a book club here at the university where I work in New Orleans. I found your letter moving, and I want to thank you for your gift. I want to thank you for crystallizing issues with which I've been wrestling over the past months and years, complex issues of race and racism in America, of whiteness and white supremacy. Your book, and particularly your letter, distill some of these issues to their essence in a pointed and poignant manner. For this, I am grateful. ...continue reading "Dear Professor Yancy"

This year's theme is Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge. Xavier has events for faculty, staff and students all week. Please refer to the schedule for more information.  RSVP for Wednesday's Faculty Lecture:  knichola@xula.edu.

Open Access Week Schedule

Did you know that New Orleans ranks #7 for the percentage of people who bike to work, amongst cities with over 250,000 residents?

And yet we could certainly do better by our bike riders, our transit riders, and our pedestrians. As I've argued elsewhere, bikeped safety is an issue of social justice and aligned with Xavier's mission.

I would like to invite the Xavier community to help with a special effort to "Connect the Crescent." I've been designated as the XULA Green faculty and staff volunteer coordinator for this effort.

(Get the PDF)

In September, Xavier volunteers will work to improve connections from Uptown to the Central Business District (CBD), the Lafitte Greenway to the French Quarter, and the Algiers Ferry terminal to the French Quarter or CBD.

Family-oriented biking and walking events will also be held with numerous opportunities for sharing feedback about the network from September through December.

Volunteers are crucial to making Connect the Crescent a success and there are many ways to get involved!

For more information, and to sign up for a volunteer slot, visit ConnectTheCrescent.com

What does it mean to bring a contemplative approach to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning? That's the subject of an upcoming webinar from the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education. ...continue reading "SoTL Webinar"

Download Conversation #67

Laura Biagi
A conversation between Laura Biagi of DePaul University and Ross Louis of Xavier University of Louisiana on contemplative technology and performance.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #67: Laura Biagi on Performance and Contemplation"

Meditation Room

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development invites you to join us for a regular group meditation. We'll meet each Wednesday afternoon throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. Drop in when you can.

What to expect?

As the meditation room is located directly beneath the bell tower, we are using the bells in our meditation. They chime quarterly, so our period of silence begins at 12:30 and ends at 12:45.

But I've never done this before!

You needn't have any experience with meditating; just stop by and give it a try. There's no commitment and no pressure.

Why meditate?

Meditation has numerous well-documented benefits, including stress management, improved emotional balance, increased focus and awareness and increased responsiveness to student needs.

  • Date: August 23, 2017 - May 8, 2018 (when classes are in session)
  • Time: 12:30 - 12:45 PM
  • Location: Meditation Room, St. Katharine Drexel Chapel
  • Sponsor: CAT+FD

Photo credit: Bart Everson

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.

by Janice Florent

young lady sitting in a relaxed position with her eyes closed in a warm-water river

Taking a break is important for your overall health. Even Olympic athletes take a break from their training. Rest days are an important part of their training regimen so they can give their muscles time to recover. Without these rest days they cannot perform at their peak ability.

You deserve a break. Hopefully during our upcoming fall break you will be able to give yourself one.

In a recent blog post, Dr. Karen Nichols described something she discovered while attending a webinar called a “doorway moment.” Taking a deep breath at the doorway to get centered and focused. When we get back to the hustle and bustle of the academic year remember to take your doorway moments and take a deep breath.

Additionally, please join us for group meditation on Mondays at half past noon in the Meditation Room of St. Katharine Drexel Chapel for a “Quarter of Quiet.”

Photo credit: Like a SPA by Juan | CC BY-NC 2.0

Meditation Room

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development invites you to join us for a regular group meditation. We'll meet each Thursday afternoon throughout the summer of 2016. Drop in when you can.

What to expect?

As the meditation room is located directly beneath the bell tower, we are using the bells in our meditation. They chime quarterly, so our period of silence begins at 12:30 and ends at 12:45.

But I've never done this before!

You needn't have any experience with meditating; just stop by and give it a try. There's no commitment and no pressure.

Why meditate?

Meditation has numerous well-documented benefits, including stress management, improved emotional balance, increased focus and awareness and increased responsiveness to student needs.

  • Date: June 8-August 4, 2016
  • Time: 12:30 - 12:45 PM
  • Location: Meditation Room, St. Katharine Drexel Chapel
  • Sponsor: CAT+FD

Photo credit: Bart Everson

No registration necessary; just join us when you can.