Dan Hollis is featured speaker at Commencement Dec. 16


Dan Hollis, associate professor  of Journalism and Mass Communications and assistant dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, will be the keynote speaker at Marshall’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 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.”

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.