Xavier Magazine

Class of 2013

  • More than 7,000 applied
  • Nearly 1,200 enrolled
  • 48% are from outside Ohio
  • 7% are from Jesuit
  • high schools
  • 20% are first-generation
  • college students
  • 12% are minorities
  • Mid 50% GPA: 3.27-3.94
  • Mid 50% SAT: 1070-1270
Xavier Magazine

Bucking the Trend

They came in late August. In droves. Nearly 1,200 of them. Freshmen. And when they came, they not only bucked a trend, they ushered in a new era at Xavier.

Despite the difficulties of the economy and the decline in enrollment at many of Xavier’s competitor schools, more students chose to enroll at Xavier this year than at any other time in the University’s 178-year history. And that, say University officials, is a dramatic statement about the quality and mission of Xavier.

“That’s a strong endorsement of the academic progress and sense of community Xavier presents,” says Terry Richards, vice president for enrollment management. “It’s a validation of everything we stand for.”

This year’s class of 1,174 students is nearly 40 percent larger than last year’s class of 860 students and was chosen from among 7,152 prospective students—the largest ever to apply to Xavier. The numbers boost Xavier’s total student population this fall to 6,966.

The class, however, continues Xavier’s reputation of academic achievement. Collectively, the students’ average high school grade point average was 3.54 on a scale of 4.0—in other words, they’re A students. Nearly a quarter of them ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes, with 20 students ranked No. 1 in their class.

The students are 46 percent male and 54 percent female, continuing the trend of more women than men. A total of 13 percent are minorities and 20 percent are first-generation college students, both of which match the long-established Jesuit mission of helping lift up others. And 11 percent of the students came from Jesuit high schools, a slight increase over last year.

Perhaps the most dramatic change is where the students are from. The number of high school students in Ohio is on the decline, so a more concerted effort is underway to recruit on a larger regional and national scale. This year, 48 percent of the students are from outside of Ohio, coming to Xavier from 40 states and 12 countries. Xavier received more inquiries from students in New York, Illinois, Texas and California than from any other state except Ohio and neighboring Kentucky and Indiana.

About 90 percent of this year’s first-year students are also living on campus, pushing the number of students in the residence halls to 2,042. What that amounts to is a tight squeeze for the students, forcing University officials to push up plans that were already in place to build a new residence hall on campus. While not finalized, the new building—which is expected to gain board approval and be paid for with private funds generated by the To See Great Wonders campaign—is slated to be built between Bellarmine Circle and the new Williams College of Business building that is now under construction.

The addition of more residence hall space was already underway as part of a larger plan created by the University and approved by the Board of Trustees to boost Xavier’s overall enrollment figures each year. While higher enrollment numbers can be easily achieved by simply accepting more students, that won’t happen if it means sacrificing quality or eliminating the “small” feel of the University.

To achieve this, more faculty are being hired to ensure the student-teacher ratio remains at 12:1. More classrooms are being added so class sizes stay around 22. Some programs, such as nursing, have caps on the number of students admitted to ensure the quality doesn’t suffer. And that, like admission standards, is not changing.

Xavier Magazine

Profile: Col. Jerry Sullivan (Ret.)

Col. Jerry Sullivan (Ret.)

Bachelor of Science in communication arts, 1979
Director for intergovernmental affairs and liaison at the
Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Vienna, Va.

Service and Learning | Sullivan was in ROTC at Xavier and entered active duty in the U.S. Army after graduation. A decade later, while stationed in Germany, he earned a master’s degree in international relations from Boston University. “I always had an interest in international relations,” says Sullivan, who was able to earn the degree while in Germany. “I sampled a couple courses, and I absolutely fell in love with it.”

Divided Loyalties | Sullivan and his family moved back to Cincinnati in 1991, and two more advanced degrees followed: a master’s degree and a PhD in political science from the University of Cincinnati. “It means I’m conflicted during the Crosstown Shootout,” he says.

Lengthy Tome | His dissertation focused on the role of the U.S. Congress in foreign policy during the post-Cold War period.

Along the Way | Sullivan also learned to speak French, German and Russian, along with some Spanish, Dutch and Swedish.

Dark Day | Sullivan was teaching at the National War College, located about a mile from the Pentagon, on Sept. 11, 2001. Because of the attack on the Pentagon, Sullivan was required to stay on site for much of the day. “We could see the flames and the huge black smoke in the air” coming from the Pentagon.

Hot Spots | Sullivan spent a chunk of his military career as Deputy Division Chief of Political-Military Affairs for Central and South Asia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The region covers many of the most dangerous parts of the world, including Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, which prompted Sullivan to come up with the motto: “If it ends in ‘stan,’ I’m your man.” He was extensively involved in the planning of military operations in Afghanistan following 9/11.

Emphasis on Africa | Sullivan retired from the Army in 2006 and now works for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. The center promotes contacts between American and African military and civilian officials to support democracy, bolster security and counter ideological support for terrorism. It focuses on countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Immersion Learning | Sullivan is headed to Kenya soon, his first visit to the African continent, although he travels frequently to Stuttgart, Germany, where the U.S. Africa command is headquartered. His previous work took him to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and India. “You can read about a country all your life, but things don’t begin to resonate until you get on the ground and see it,” he says. “The on-the-ground experience is always worth volumes more than what you find in a book.”

Xavier Magazine

Profile: Barbara Howard

Barbara Howard
Bachelor of Arts in political science, 1976
Attorney; President of the Ohio State Bar Association

Family Work | Howard is the principal of her own law firm, which she founded in 1996. She received her JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1979 and has specialized in family law her entire career, gaining certification as a family law specialist in 1999, the first year it was offered. Her practice focuses mostly on divorce, as well as custody, paternity and juvenile law. As part of her work with the state bar association’s family law committee, she’s helped re-write Ohio’s spousal support statute.

New Era | Collaborative law is changing the way many divorces are handled. Couples who choose collaborative law agree not to go to court but instead work out agreements on issues of property, parenting and support. Psychologists, social workers and financial professionals meet with the couples to resolve problems and map out options with the hope of avoiding the cost and animosity that often accompany litigation. “Cincinnati has one of the oldest groups of collaborative law practices in the country,” Howard says. “Although it isn’t for everyone, I’m thankfully spending less time in court because we’re doing more in collaboration.”

Recession’s Impact | The legal profession has also been hit hard by the economic downturn. People are even postponing divorces because of the associated fees. “There’s significant thought, and I think there’s truth to it, that the practice of law has changed because of this downturn,” Howard says. The Ohio State Bar Association, of which Howard is now president, is holding town-hall meetings to assess the changes and provide help for members. Even so, attorneys are still helping others through the state bar association’s Save the Dream Project. More than 1,100 attorneys are providing legal assistance to people facing foreclosure.

Judicial Elections | The state bar association and the chief justice’s office are also working on the issue of how judges are chosen in Ohio. Ohio elects its judges, and for years there have been concerns that campaign contributions might influence judges once they reach the bench. The state bar association favors the appointment of judges, and efforts toward change are now focused on the state Supreme Court. “We don’t have any pre-ordained conclusions, but we’re pretty convinced that the perception that campaign contributions influence decisions is widespread, and it needs to be addressed,” Howard says.

Future Leaders | Howard is also concerned about increasing diversity and inclusion among Ohio attorneys. “The numbers [of lawyers from minority and underprivileged backgrounds] in the past decade haven’t grown at all,” she says. In response, the association and Ohio law schools launched the Law and Leadership Project in six Ohio cities in which 25-40 underserved 9th-graders were chosen to attend a five-week program that exposed them to legal careers. “It’s going to create what we hope is a feeder system of kids who have a lot of talent but have never been told they can do this, that law school is an option for them,” Howard says.

Avoiding Litigation | If her legal work wasn’t enough, Howard’s also a delegate to the American Bar Association, a member of Xavier’s board of trustees, the Cincinnati Union Bethel board of trustees, the Athenaeum of Ohio board of trustees, and the University of Cincinnati College of Law board of visitors.

Xavier Magazine

Profile: Mike Hibbard

Mike Hibbard
Master of Health Services Administration, 2008
Chief Information Officer, Mercy Health Partners

A Degree with an Edge | As an RN with an MBA degree, as well as 11 years spent caring for patients in the emergency room and in critical care, Hibbard thought he was ready to advance to the highest levels of hospital information services. But his boss at Mercy Health Partners, Yousuf Ahmad, had an MHSA from Xavier and thought the degree would help Hibbard, too. “Dr. Ahmad challenged me that to advance I needed to know the ‘business of health care,’ and the best place to accomplish this was with an MHSA from Xavier,” Hibbard says. “As expected, he was right.”

Eliminating Errors | About 98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors that include giving the wrong drug, the wrong dose or administering a drug the wrong way. Hibbard’s division oversees efforts to combat such errors with tools like AdminRx, which assigns bar codes to all patients and prescription medicine. “You scan the patient and scan the drug, and it looks to see if this is the right patient, the right medicine, the right dose, the right time and the right route,” he says. “Systems like this help us to avoid any potential errors. There may be a good reason for administering the drug, but it at least asks you to stop and make sure that everything’s correct, and that helps reduce errors.”

Techy Tools | Other tools include MercyMD Advantage, which allows doctors to call up test and lab results from anywhere via their Blackberry. “A physician with a very complex case who’s on vacation or home late at night can look at results and call their colleagues to decide on treatment plans. It protects the work-life balance of that physician, which is huge.”
Reducing Costs | Hibbard also sees technology as a way to reduce redundant medical tests, which would cut down on health-care costs. “If we could drive out redundancy in testing, that could result in serious savings,” he says. “Focusing more on proper procedure is a difficult discussion to have, but it’s worth having.”

Bridging the Divide | From his earliest nursing days, Hibbard had an affinity for technology and worked in nursing telemetry, overseeing the machines that monitor vital signs and other patient benchmarks. One day a supervisor in information systems remarked, “We have enough technical folks but not enough clinical folks. Have you ever thought of joining us?” The divide between technical and clinical continues today, and it’s something Hibbard works hard to bridge. “It’s very easy from an IT perspective to think that we’re in manufacturing or something, especially when the technical people are often in a different building. But none of this is about IT. It’s truly about patient care, and if we’re not doing that, we shouldn’t even be in the business.”

Techy Tours | To drive home the point, new IT employees take “Healthcare 101” tours of the hospital wards to see firsthand the work they’ll be supporting. And each of the nine Clinical Informatics staffers has a home hospital, where they spend about two days a week making rounds and checking in with physicians and nurses. Others in the 100-person department Hibbard oversees work on business office systems, hospital registration, billing, wireless networks and other systems needed to keep the hospital up and running. “We’ve got to keep everyone centered on the patients,” Hibbard says, “even in these days of tight capital, which force us to be more creative, because that’s why we’re in these positions.”

Xavier Magazine

Profile: Jane Swaim

Jane Swaim
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Edgecliff College, 1980
Senior vice president and chief nursing officer,
St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Early Calling | Growing up on a farm with seven siblings, Swaim always felt a pull toward nursing. “I knew I wanted to be a nurse at a very young age, probably age 5 or so, because I was strongly influenced by an aunt who was a nurse,” she says. “I was always playing with a nurse’s kit and taking people’s blood pressure.” She became a hospital clerk in her teens and never looked back.

Well-Schooled | After receiving a degree from High Point Memorial School of Medicine in North Carolina, Swaim moved to Cincinnati and started her decades-long career in nursing. She’s worked as a staff nurse, charge nurse, a supervisor, an administrator and an associate dean at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing and Health, at Bethesda and University hospitals as well as St. Elizabeth. She’s worked in the emergency department, the operating room, medical-surgical, critical care and recovery. She also received a master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives.

E.R. Affinity | Through her varied experiences, the emergency department remains a favorite. “I loved the fast pace. I loved working with very action-oriented people. I liked the instant gratification of getting people to the right place. It kept me on my toes.”
Magnet Designation | In 2006, the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center awarded magnet designation to St. Elizabeth’s hospitals in Northern Kentucky. Magnet status is given to hospitals where nurses are satisfied and valued members of the staff, where nursing turnover is low and nurses deliver excellent patient outcomes. Only 3 to 4 percent of hospitals nationwide are classified as magnet hospitals.

Sources of Pride | The achievement is a source of pride for Swaim. “It’s a lot about involving your staff in decision-making,” she says. “It’s about professional development and advancement of the staff, outcomes, the relationship between physicians and nurses.” In addition, the Advisory Board in 2002 named St. Elizabeth one of five “destination hospitals for nursing” nationwide based on its outstanding work environment for nurses.

Staying in Touch | Even as a top administrator, Swaim still makes rounds to meet with patients and their families and gather feedback on how better to serve them.

Mission and Business | Caring for patients in today’s business environment has changed from the past. “In nursing, our role is always to make things better,” Swaim says. “I think that’s the challenge and the fun of health care, but it’s also the hard part, the tension between the healing and the business end. You look at your resources and figure out what you can do with what you have. Sometimes you have to do things on a shoestring, but you involve people, and you make it work.”

Xavier Magazine

Campaign Notebook

Gilligan Scholars | The Institute for Politics and Public Life established an endowed student scholarship in honor of former Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan. The scholarships, which are intended for those interested in public service, are initially being awarded to existing Xavier students with the intent to later expand them to high school seniors as well. The first scholarships are being awarded for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Gov. Gilligan is leading a selection committee to delineate the specific requirements for Gilligan Scholars. These are to include a commitment to public service and written submission articulating the student’s public vision and goals.

This endowment additionally funds a guest lecturer program, bringing renowned national instructors to the Xavier campus. Gov. Gilligan taught English at Xavier after leaving public office. His grandfather was the first basketball coach at Xavier and his father was the first lay person on the board of trustees. To learn more or to contribute to the endowment, go

Nursing Grants | Xavier University received the largest federal grant in its 180-year history this summer, an award of almost $1.5 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designated for the School of Nursing. The grant was awarded through HRSA’s Nurse Education, Practice and Retention (NEPR) program, which addresses the nursing shortage by funding projects that strengthen and enhance the capacity for educating and retaining nurses.

The grant is being used to fund a three-year project to provide master’s-level education and continuing education credits to nurses working in rural areas through the use of high-definition video conferencing. This high-tech method enables nurses at rural sites to participate in real-time courses with nursing students and faculty on Xavier’s campus, thus strengthening the nursing workforce throughout the state and improving nurse retention and quality of patient care.

Up to seven rural health care organizations are scheduled to be part of the video-conferencing project, with at least 20 students each year from organizations and surrounding areas taking part beginning this fall. Nurses participating in the program earn a Master of Science in Nursing and are trained in the new emerging health care role of clinical nurse leader.

Also, two continuing education events are being offered through distance learning each year to nurses in rural areas as part of the grant.
The grant from HRSA, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, came just ahead of two other grants received by the School of Nursing, both from the Ohio Board of Nursing for nearly $400,000.

One of the state grants enables the school to increase its capacity to prepare pre-licensure nursing students, including traditional undergraduates and students in the MIDAS program, which awards Master of Science in Nursing degrees to students with bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines. This grant helps Xavier address the dramatic growth in its nursing programs by creating additional practicum sites through partnerships with two hospitals—TriHealth and Shriners Hospital for Children—and a nursing home—Victoria Retirement Community.

The second grant increases Xavier’s enrollment capacity to prepare graduate level nurses to serve as nurse educators. To direct more nurses into faculty careers, Xavier’s project partners with Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science and the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and Health to create a pipeline of continuing education from an associate degree program to Xavier’s master’s program to a doctoral program.

Xavier Magazine

Big Dividends

The first decade of the 21st century began with the opening of the Cintas and Gallagher Student centers, and it will end with the unveiling of another set of new and highly anticipated resources. When Phase I of the James E. Hoff, S.J., Academic Quad is completed next August, Xavier University will welcome to campus 170,000 square feet of new and dynamic academic space.

The featured components of the Hoff Academic Quad are the Conaton Learning Commons and new Williams College of Business. Together, these will bring dramatic change to campus and unprecedented learning resources to current and future students. These resources include technological infrastructure, new classrooms, new individual and group learning spaces, and new instructional resources far beyond those available at Xavier today. By combining these resources with greater and more integrated services for students, the University will be in an ideal position to attract, retain and graduate more students than ever before.
“No other college or university in the nation will provide students with a more effective learning environment than the one we’re creating here at Xavier,” says University President Michael J. Graham, S.J.

Much of the credit for this learning environment goes to alumni and friends and their financial support of To See Great Wonders: The Campaign for Xavier. Through September, the campaign has generated more than $185 million toward the goal of $200 million. These funds have enabled Xavier to build the Hoff Academic Quad without compromising the financial integrity of the institution, and to move confidently ahead with plans to replace the aging Alter Hall with a new classroom building and to construct a new residence hall.

These funds have also earned Xavier—and those at the University primarily responsible for philanthropic fundraising—a national award.

Xavier has won a 2009 WealthEngine Award for Educational Fundraising from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE. This award recognizes superior fundraising programs across the country and is part of CASE’s Circle of Excellence program, which honors exemplary advancement initiatives and activities. Xavier is one of only 40 schools nationwide to receive this award. Other winners include highly regarded institutions such as Columbia, Yale, Michigan, UCLA, Villanova, North Carolina and Johns Hopkins.

In a letter announcing the award, CASE President John Lippincott said this of Xavier: “Your institution has not only demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and best practice in its fundraising efforts, it has contributed to the betterment of educational advancement worldwide.”

The award is based on the analysis of three years of fundraising data. “This prestigious honor reflects the leadership of our president, the hard work of our staff and the generosity and passion of our alumni and donors, who continue to strongly support Xavier’s 178-year-old mission of developing men and women for others,” says Gary Massa, Xavier’s Vice President for University Relations. “Thanks to all these supporters, our fundraising success will allow Xavier to revolutionize the student learning experience and dramatically enhance the campus environment.”
The ability to significantly enhance the University through fundraising success is a relatively recent phenomenon at Xavier. To wit:

• One third of all funds raised in Xavier history have been raised in the last five years.
• One half of all funds raised in Xavier history have been raised in the last 10 years.
• Contributions to the Annual Fund have doubled in the last 10 years.
• Membership in The 1831 Society (those who donate $1,000 or more each year) has doubled in the last five years.
• Membership in the Father Finn Society (those who have made planned gifts to the University) has also doubled in the last five years.
• Finally, athletic fundraising has grown from $10,000 to more than $1 million annually since 2002.

This success has put the University on solid financial ground and in a position to better weather the economic troubles on Wall Street and Main Street.
“We’re very fortunate and grateful to be in a strong position financially,” says Massa. “That said, our endowment is much smaller than that of many competitor schools, which limits the amount of financial aid and scholarships we can offer prospective students. Schools like Dayton and Miami can offer more student aid than Xavier can, which causes some worthy students to go elsewhere.

“We’re working hard to eliminate this shortfall. Growing the endowment takes time, and it will be the focus of our next campaign. Based on our success over the past decade, I’m confident that we have the staff and focus to get there.”
The responsibility for fundraising at Xavier involves many individuals across campus but is housed in the Division of University Relations, which includes staff to:

• Meet individually with those alumni and friends who have the financial wherewithal to make gifts of $25,000 or more.
• Appeal broadly to those able to make gifts on an annual basis.
• Connect and engage alumni and friends for the purposes of maintaining and/or enhancing their relationship with Xavier.
• Communicate to alumni and friends about institutional efforts, initiatives and opportunities.
• Document all vital interactions and transactions.

The efforts of these staff members, and those across the University, were further recognized and complimented in August, when U.S. News & World Report released its annual college rankings. Once again, Xavier was prominently positioned in several categories listing the top master’s-level universities in the Midwest:

• Overall, Xavier ranks among the top 10 colleges and universities for the 15th consecutive year, placing No. 3 this year.
• Xavier ranks No. 1 for the best graduation rate and No. 1 for the best rate of retention for freshman students for the seventh consecutive   year.
• Xavier ranks No. 2 in the category of Up and Coming Schools and No. 6 for Best Undergraduate Teaching.
• Finally, Xavier ranks No. 2 for the highest percentage of alumni to donate annually.

“All these rankings are very gratifying and support the fact that we’re clearly succeeding in serving the needs of our students,” says Massa. “Naturally, the alumni giving percentage is very important to me. It’s also very important to the success of our university and will be for generations to come.”

Xavier Magazine

New View

Basketball fans are getting an assist on reliving great plays, retrieving game stats and improving their overall game day entertainment. How?

A new $2 million scoreboard slated for 2011. What’s even better is it’s free. Well, maybe.

Xavier’s athletics marketing partner, Texas-based Learfield Sports, is footing the bill for virtually the entire cost of the scoreboard. Beginning next year, it begins making a string of capital improvement payments toward the final cost. All Xavier has to do is pick up any costs during the bid process—if there are any—that exceed the agreed-upon rate. What that means for Musketeer fans is a clearer view of that Jordan Crawford dunk.

Xavier Magazine

Fast Finish

Xavier’s track and field team blazed past 15 school records during the Atlantic 10 Conference outdoor track and field championships—the most ever in one meet—and then sent three performers to NCAA Championships regional competition.

  • Caitlin Thomas qualified with a 10:44.72 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
  • Senior Luke Beuerlein became the first Xavier male to go to regionals with a 9:04.68 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
  • And junior April Phillips became Xavier’s first-ever A-10 Champion with a shot put of 47 feet, 4 ½ inches. The put also made Phillips the only Xavier athlete to qualify for NCAA competition in two sports. She’s also on the women’s basketball team.