Friday, November 30, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Dan Hollis, recently named Carnegie Foundation West Virginia Professor of the Year, featured speaker at Commencement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University professor Dan Hollis will be the keynote speaker at the school’s annual Winter Commencement Sunday, Dec. 16, at Cam Henderson Center on the Huntington campus.

Commencement begins at 2 p.m. and is for students who graduated in July or August 2012, or are tentatively scheduled to graduate in December.

Hollis, an associate professor of journalism and mass communications, and current interim assistant dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was recently selected as the 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching West Virginia Professor of the Year.

“I think having a faculty member give the winter commencement address is a great tradition Marshall has,” Hollis said. “I’m happy and proud to represent my colleagues this year.

“It’s probably going to be the only time I’ll get to address such a large gathering of students at such an important point in their lives. I’m feeling the pressure a bit, but I hope to give the graduates a little something that motivates and honors them.”

Alyssa Salyers, one of Hollis’ students, is graduating and will attend commencement on Dec. 16.  She has no doubts she and the other graduates in attendance are in for a treat. She said she knew even before meeting Hollis at the Scholastic Journalism Program that she wanted to be a journalist, but after meeting him knew she had to come to Marshall “to learn to be a journalist from that man.”

“Dan’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious,” she said. “His style of teaching interests and inspires his students.”

Salyers said Hollis’ most special quality is his ability to make each of the students believe that he cares about them, that he is in their corner and will do anything he can to help them learn, grow and succeed.

“He causes us to believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed,” she said. “Somehow, this man manages to be the consummate professional even as he alternately teaches, exhorts, listens, advises, encourages, supports and mentors each green freshman through his or her college years. His effectiveness is evidenced by the many students who remain in touch with him throughout their lives and their careers.”

Hollis has been at Marshall since the fall of 1999. He was born in southwestern Indiana and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Indiana in 1983. During college and after graduation, he worked at WFIE-TV in Evansville, Ind., as an award-winning photographer, producer and reporter. In 1989, he became a freelance videographer, often shooting recruiting videos for major colleges and universities.

In 1996, Hollis decided to return to school to pursue his true love: teaching. He received his master’s degree in communications from the University of Kentucky in 1997 and taught there two years before joining Marshall.

At Marshall, Hollis has received the Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award and the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award.  He also has taken first place in six consecutive years, and seven of the past eight, in the News/Sports/Public Affairs category of the National Broadcasting Society and Alpha Rho Epsilon Professional Electronic Media Awards for his creative work, which can also be seen on HerdVideo, Marshall's YouTube channel.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197