Xavier University of Louisiana Alumni Participants Shine in Online Panel About Leadership and Advocacy

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Contact Info: rreyes@xula.edu

By Regi Reyes

Recent alumni of Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA)  and the XULA BUILD Project Pathways program were featured in a panel discussion on WeAreHBCUs: Know Your Tribe, on June 30, 2020.

WeAreHBCUs is a non-profit organization that is “dedicated to celebrating HBCU students and alumni through amplifying their voices.” The organization works to “increase the visibility of HBCU excellence, create a space for Black thought leadership, and build community across all HBCUs.”

The event featured alumni panelists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from across the country. During the panel discussion, the XULA graduates discussed health and wellness, leadership, and advocacy.

XULA Alumnus Myles Bartholomew

Myles Bartholomew, a 2020 graduate of XULA BUILD Project Pathways who majored in biology, was one of the featured speakers. Bartholomew was joined on the panel, but in different breakout sessions, by fellow XULA BUILD alumnus Bryan Redmond and Xavier alumna Ericka Scott.

Bartholomew spoke as a member of the “Know Your Fight: Paths to Advocacy” breakout session. As the president of the Student Government Association at Xavier during his senior year, he offered great insight into leadership advocacy for social justice.

While at Xavier, Bartholomew participated in research under his mentor, Harris McFerrin, Ph.D. McFerrin’s lab is currently investigating the “Effects of SHP-1 Signaling on Macrophage Function and Overall Survival During Sepsis.” Thanks to Bartholomew’s hard work, he was accepted to all four graduate programs he applied for at New York University, Brown University, Dartmouth, and Northwestern University.

He will be attending Brown University in the fall to pursue his doctorate through Brown’s molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry Ph.D. program.

And, a fun fact is that Bartholomew’s sister also graduated from Xavier, in the class of 2019! 

Alumnus Bryan Redmond, a XULA BUILD Project Pathways scholar who graduated in 2018, was also a featured participant in the virtual event. Along with Xavier alumna Ericka Scott, he participated in the "Know Your Health: Black Health & Wellness" breakout session.

XULA Alumnuns Bryan Redmond, virtual panel speaker

Redmond, a Memphis native, graduated from Xavier with his B.S. in psychology. Now, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry. Scott also attends the University of Rochester and is interested in pathology and OB-GYN practices. She currently serves as the president of the Student National Medical Association Chapter at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry.

At the University of Rochester, Redmond is participating in clinical neuro-ophthalmologic research focused on optimizing visual recovery techniques in cerebrovascular accident patients, which will hopefully lead to helping stroke patients recover their vision.

More recently, Redmond also participated in the Black in Neuro sponsored virtual panel “Grad Journey: Making the Most of Your Degree Experience” on July 29, 2020. The panel was held in recognition of #BlackinNeuroWeek.

While he was a XULA BUILD Project Pathways scholar, Redmond performed research under his mentor, Stassi DiMaggio, Ph.D. For Redmond, mentorship is an integral part of the journey. 

“When you get to the finish line, don’t forget who pushed you at the start,” Redmond said in response to inquiries about mentorship.

When exploring the subject of social justice, Redmond called for action from medical professionals and future STEM students.

“Now is the perfect time to change the status quo. Your lab coat won’t protect you… no one knows that you are a doctor when you are pulled over or walking the streets,” Redmond said, citing the need for activism such as “White coats for Black lives” to  bring meaningful change.

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