Twenty people and one club will be honored at the Marshall University Alumni Association’s 76th annual Alumni Awards Banquet Saturday, April 27, in the Memorial Student Center’s Don Morris Room.
The awards banquet highlights Marshall’s 2013 Alumni Weekend, which takes place this Friday and Saturday, April 26-27. Honoring distinguished alumni, friends and students, the banquet starts at 7 p.m. Cost to attend the banquet is $75 per person or $140 per couple.
Here is a complete list of the distinguished alumni award winners for 2013, who will be honored at the banquet:
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Dr. David Wiley is an associate professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. Originally from Barboursville, he received his undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Marshall University in 1997. He earned his doctoral degree in Instructional Psychology and Technology at BYU in 2000. Wiley has been described as one of America’s most innovative thinkers on the future of learning. According to Adam Frankel, executive director of the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies, Wiley is “ … one of America’s most innovative thinkers on the future of learning. His cutting-edge work is helping America find ways of cutting costs while delivering a world-class education to all our students. Harnessing the promise of technology to drive better results is David’s trademark.”
Dr. Jan. Fox, Marshall’s senior vice president for information technology/CIO, said Wiley is considered to be the creator of the first Massive Open Online Course. “His career is dedicated to increasing access to educational opportunity for everyone around the world,” Fox said. Wiley has received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award and Fast Company rated him No. 78 in a list of the top 100 creative people for 2009. He also was named a Peery Social Entrepreneurship Fellow in the BYU Marriott School of Business in 2012.
Alumnus Community Achievement Award
Lt. Col. Kenneth L. Hale is the State Equal Employment Manager for the West Virginia National Guard in Charleston. A graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School in Charleston, he later earned credits at Marshall University, and graduated with a Regents Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia State University in Business in 1984. A father of seven and grandfather of 14, he is active in the community and is involved with youth through mentoring and coaching. He has 28 years of service as a Little League football coach and serves on many committees throughout the area. Hale has made significant contributions to the community through his membership with Omega Psi Phi fraternity, which was incorporated in 1974 through the Nu beta chapter at Marshall.
Distinguished Service Award
James P. (Jim) Summers has been director of development at Zeta Beta Tau Foundation since June 2012. The ZBT Foundation is a nonprofit corporation exclusively committed to educational and charitable purposes that assist the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. He graduated from Marshall University in 1970 and the previous fall had served as Marshall’s mascot, Marco. He moved to Atlanta 35 years ago and immediately became one of the founding members of the Marshall University Atlanta Club.
John Gilmore, president of the Atlanta club, said Summers is a huge Marshall supporter. “I have never known anyone that embodies what it means to be a Son of Marshall more than Jim,” Gilmore said. Joe Gillette, chair of the Marshall Foundation board of directors, noted Summers is the “go-to guy for anything related to Marshall. I have witnessed his tireless work to promote Marshall on an individual level as well as local in the Atlanta area and nationally,” Gillette said. Summers travels near and far, east coast to west, to watch as many Thundering Herd athletic events as possible.
Awards of Distinction
College of Education – Margaret “Susie” Pace
Margaret Pace earned a B.A. in Special Education/Elementary Education from Marshall in 1965. She taught special education in Mercer County, served as principal of Park High School for 10 years, earned two master’s degrees, earned 11 professional certifications and spent the last 10 years of her career as Director of Special Education in Mercer County. All the while, Pace and her family have been strong supporters of Marshall University.
College of Fine Arts – Michael K. Paxton
Michael K. Paxton is a sixth-generation West Virginian and Chicago-based artist with more than 35 years of dedicated work. He graduated from Marshall in 1975 with a B.A. in Art. Most recently he was awarded a fellowship by the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming for the summer of 2013 and an Illinois Arts Council Professional Development Grant, also for 2013.
College of Information Technology and Engineering – Paul A. Mattox Jr.
Paul Mattox is Commissioner of Highways and Secretary of Transportation with the West Virginia Department of Education. He earned his Master of Science degree from Marshall University. Mattox has extensive experience in designing and managing public works projects for highways, bridges, water, wastewater systems and site development. During his tenure as secretary, he has overseen the administration of more than $3 billion in construction projects across he state.
College of Liberal Arts – Charlie and Norma Carroll
Charlie and Norma Carroll are Marshall University sweethearts and great friends of the College of Liberal Arts. Charlie graduated in 1950 with a degree in business administration and Norma graduated in 1951 with a degree in business management. In 1975, Charlie established Carroll Insurance, which quickly became a large and highly successful operation. Both Charlie and Norma have been extremely supportive of Marshall, most recently turning their attention to the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy.
Graduate School for Education and Professional Development – Dr. Dixie Billheimer
Dr. Dixie Billheimer is the chief executive officer of the West Virginia Center for Professional Development. A veteran educator with more than 30 years of experience, she has dedicated her professional life to enhancing educator preparedness and student achievement in West Virginia. She holds a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Technology, as well as an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Instructional Technology from Marshall.
School of Medicine – Sen. Ron Stollings, M.D.
Sen. Ron Stollings, M.D., is a member of the Marshall University School of Medicine’s Class of 1982, and he represents the 7th senatorial district in the West Virginia State Senate. He is a professor of medicine for the West Virginia University School of Medicine and serves as field faculty for the Rural Health Education Partnership. In August, at the West Virginia Primary Care Association’s 27th annual conference in Charleston, Stollings received the inaugural Distinguished Community Health Champion award.
W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications – Todd Marcum
Todd Marcum, a native of Wayne, W.Va., is president of Access Advertising & Public Relations in Roanoke, Va. He is a 1983 graduate of Marshall University. Marcum, co-founder of the company, contributes concepts and strategies to Access clients. In addition to Access clients, Marcum advises many local nonprofit groups in advertising and marketing. Marcum was inducted into the John Marshall Society for his dedication to the university. “Todd and Access Media have assisted the MU Foundation for the past five years in producing and designing the annual reports with fabulous results,” said Kristi Arrowood, director of Foundation Development and Strategic Programs. The Foundation has won two CASE awards for the 2006-2007 and 2009-10 annual reports and many of the reports have won Addy awards in West Virginia and Virginia.
College of Science – Dr. Gary Ellis
Dr. Gary Ellis, a native of Proctorville, Ohio, received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1976 and master’s degree in chemistry in 1977, both from Marshall University. His entire professional career has been spent in the pigments industry, beginning in 1987 with BASF-Wyandotte in Huntington and continuing there when ownership of the facility was transferred to Flint Group Pigments in 2006. Ellis rose to the facility’s top technical position, its Site Technical and Quality Control manager. He currently collaborates with Marshall faculty on projects relating to the development and processing of pigments at Flint Group.
College of Business – Phyllis Arnold
Phyllis Arnold is retired state president of BB&T West Virginia and Regional President of BB&T West Virginia Central Region. A native of Parkersburg, she received an M.B.A. from Marshall University. She served four years as Commissioner of Banking in West Virginia, and in 1991 became president and CEO of One Valley Bank. She was elected to One Valley Bancorp’s board of directors in 1993 and in 1994 she was elected executive vice president of One Valley Bancorp, later becoming chief operating officer. Arnold is a member of the Marshall University Business Hall of Fame and currently serves as vice chair on MU’s board of governors.
College of Health Professions – Martha “Marty” Blenko
Marty Blenko is director of Rehabilitation Services at Cabell Huntington Hospital. She is a Huntington native, and graduated from Marshall with a master’s in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 1978. Her professional career began at the Geiger Easter Seals Speech and Hearing Clinic in Ashland, Ky. She eventually became a speech pathologist for Cabell County Schools and later began working in the medical field of speech pathology at Cabell Huntington Hospital. She is an active alumna of Marshall and maintains active membership in the West Virginia Speech-Language-Hearing Association (WVSHA).
Young Alumni Award – Jacob G. Hill
Jacob G. Hill is a December 2011 graduate of Marshall University. He is district manager with City Ice and Fuel Company in Point Pleasant, where he has worked for nearly six years. He has been the district manager for five stores throughout West Virginia for the past five years. Committed to his community, he took over the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta as chairman when he was just 20 years old. He has served on the executive committee of the Mason, Gallia and Meigs Big Green Scholarship Foundation chapter.
Dr. Carolyn B. Hunter Distinguished Faculty Service Award – Charles W. Clements, M.D.
Charles W. Clements, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Health. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served tours of duty in several locations around the world before retiring from the Army in 1993 to attend the Marshall University School of Medicine. Today, Clements’ service to the community and to the university are significant. He reaches out to provide medical care and emotional comfort to the homeless each month. And, he founded and directs the nation’s first Family Medicine Residency Track in Wilderness Medicine.
Cam Henderson Award – Zachary Hunter
Zachary Hunter excelled in the classroom while playing soccer for the Thundering Herd. While maintaining a 3.74 GPA, the senior earned numerous academic honors, including a spot on the 2012 Conference USA all-academic team, and the 2010-2011 commissioner’s honor roll. He is a chemistry and applied mathematics double major in the College of Science. Hunter is a proud fourth-generation Marshall student. His great grandparents, grandparents, two aunts and father all attended Marshall.
Nancy Pelphrey Herd Village Scholarship – Ariel Meeks and Scott David Nibert
Ariel Meeks, a Hurricane, W.Va., native, is a member of the Marshall cheerleading squad, majoring in Communication Disorders. She has been active in the community, participating in Clean Putnam County (Hurricane City Park), helping to facilitate playground equipment, and visiting hospitals and assisted living homes. She also has been a lifeguard at Waves of Fun in Hurricane.
Scott David Nibert is a music education major at Marshall, where he plays in the marching band and the pep band, is in the Marshall University Chorus and the Marshall University Orchestra, and is a member of Fairness West Virginia and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is from Point Pleasant.
Nate Ruffin Scholarship – Taylor Davis
Taylor Davis, a native of Pittsburgh, is a junior studying Communication Disorders with a minor in psychology. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and is the current chapter president of the Eta Zeta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Davis takes pride in serving her sorority and the community. A member of the dean’s list, she plans to attend graduate school after completing her undergraduate studies.
Club of the Year – Atlanta, Ga.
This is the third time the Atlanta, Ga., club has been named Club of the Year since it was founded in 1995. The club’s president is John Gilmore and he will be accepting the award on the club’s behalf. Matt Hayes, executive director of Marshall’s Alumni Association, said clubs located around the country help alumni stay connected to MU.