Fall 2022 Civic Literacy Campaign

Because our democracy depends upon civic literacy, the Drinko Academy has partnered with the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy to launch a new Take the Pledge Campaign.  We are distributing U.S. Constitutions and pledge cards to our campus community.

The pledge cards ask signatories to commit to: reading the Constitution of the United States of America; being conversant with its contents; discussing it with classmates, friends, and family; and exercising the rights and  responsibilities incumbent of citizenship. To date 427 students, faculty, and staff have signed the pledge. Please join us in doing so.

To request a U.S. Constitution, contact us at drinkoacademy@marshall.edu
To Take the Pledge electronically, here
To learn more about the U.S. Constitution, visit: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution






Distinguished Drinko Fellows News

April 23, 2022

Dr. Habiba Chirchir, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Research Associate in the Human Origins Program at the National Museum of Natural History, has joined the ranks of Marshall University’s Distinguished Drinko Fellows.  She earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Nairobi in 2005, an M.A. in Anthropology from New York University in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Human Paleobiology from George Washington University in 2013.

Dr. Chirchir carries a full course load at Marshall while engaging in both regional and international teacher training initiatives to improve the quality of education for our youth.  She has published in high profile academic journals while also generating wider press buzz about the advancement of knowledge set forth in her scholarly works.  Chirchir also has a strong record of securing external funding, is adept at collaborating within and across disciplinary boundaries, and has shown selfless devotion to Marshall by taking on complicated pedagogical challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press Release
2022 Drinko Symposium photo gallery
2022 Drinko Symposium video


Marshall University mourns the passing of Distinguished Drinko Fellow, Dr. Dan K. Evans.  Dr. Dan Evans earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Murray State University in 1961, an M.S. in Botany from Southern Illinois University in 1972, and a Ph.D. in Botany from Southern Illinois University in 1976. He joined the faculty at Marshall in 1974 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. Dr. Evan’s research interests include the restoration of wetlands and riparian habitat, rare and endangered plant species, medicinal plants and the ethnobotany of Ecuador. He served for many years as Curator of the Marshall University Herbarium. Additionally, during his tenure at Marshall, he directed the Master’s Theses of 24 graduate students. Dr. Evans provided scores of significant studies for, among others, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, American Electric Power, the Ohio Power Company and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Among numerous awards and honors, Dr. Evans is a National Science Fellow and the recipient of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society’s Bartholomew Award for Service to Botany. His membership in professional organizations includes the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Society of Herbarium Curators (Past President), the Herb Research Foundation, the South American Explorers Club and the West Virginia Academy of Science. He retired from Marshall as Professor of Biological Science Emeritus.

Click here to view the Marshall University announcement
Click here to view the full obituary



Professor Sandra Reed, Marshall’s 26th Distinguished Drinko Fellow, engages in distinctive fine art activities and outreach initiatives.

Professor Sandra Reed curated two exhibitions in the Library Gallery of the Academic Center on Marshall University’s South Charleston campus during Spring 2022. These exhibitions were made possible through American Rescue Plan funds earmarked for the arts. The first, a group invitational exhibition entitled Conceptions of Flight, featured works by Marshall students and alumni and an essay by Rachael Peckham, Professor of English at Marshall. Peckham also read from original short stories related to the impact of flight in her life. The second, a solo exhibition entitled Selvage, featured 24 drawings, paintings, and prints that Reed created since relocating to West Virginia. As part of the Selvage project, Reed presented an artist talk and author Daniel O’Malley, Assistant Professor of English at Marshall, wrote “On Selvage” based on studio visits and conversations with the artist. He also read one of his original short stories.

Conceptions of Flight and Selvage were presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. The state funding provided honoraria for the exhibiting students and alumni artists, faculty authors, and the collaborating designer, alumna Savannah Julian, who developed the publications and exhibitions website, and other aspects of the programming. Additional support for Selvage was provided by the College of Arts and Media.

From May 12 to June 11, 2022, Reed was the Artist-in-Residence at the Weir Farm National Historical Park in Wilton, Connecticut, which is the only national park for art in the United States. This international program was started in 1998 and has hosted more than 200 artists from throughout the United States, Tunisia, Germany, Australia, England, India, Ireland, South Africa, and The Netherlands. During the month-long artist residency, Reed created numerous works responding to this historic site and its rocky, forested setting, which included a set of atomized acrylic ink plein air paintings and graphite drawings of rock walls and ruckles. These and other works will be exhibited in a solo exhibition, Array, at Moon Gallery at Berry College in Mount Berry, GA in October 2022. Participation in this artist residency was supported by the College of Arts and Media and financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

She was also recently named the recipient of the 2022 Mid-Prairie Alumni Fine Arts Award.

The website, for the Selvage and Conceptions of Flight exhibitions, features online galleries of the exhibited artwork, audio recordings by the artists, and press releases from both exhibitions as well as the original exhibition essays by O’Malley and Peckham.

Mid-Prairie Alumni Awards: https://www.mphawksalumni.org/Alumni-Achievement-Awards

Weir Farm National Historical Park:


Weir Farm Art Alliance (artist residency co-sponsor): https://www.weirfarmartalliance.org/

Reed named Distinguished Drinko Fellow: https://www.marshall.edu/news/2022/04/13/marshall-drinko-fellow-sandra-reed-to-present-art-exhibit-at-south-charleston-campus/



Dr. James B. Becker delivered the keynote address at the April 23rd, 2022, Drinko Symposium Dinner held at Marshall University.  Dr. Becker’s presentation was entitled: “A Glimmer of Hope: Substance Abuse Disorder in the Primary Care Setting.”  Becker was named the 25th Distinguished Drinko Fellow on March 26th, 2019.

Becker spoke about how he and his colleagues in the School of Medicine have established an Addiction Medicine Fellowship in Family Medicine program, the first in the state of West Virginia.  Dr. Becker, who is board certified in Addiction Medicine, is a strong advocate for the primary care model of treatment for people struggling with addiction issues.  The newly-established Fellowship, which was Dr. Becker’s Drinko Academy project, will train more primary care doctors to be addiction medicine specialists.  Moving forward, those specialists will be able to work with teams of physicians to disseminate information about best practices in addiction medicine, including predictors and conditions for successful recovery.

Dr. James Becker is Vice Dean for Government Affairs, Health Care Policy and External Affairs at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.  He also serves as Medical Director of the Bureau for Medical Services at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.  He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health where he maintains a family medicine practice and teaches.


11/13/2018 Left to right Back Row: Bob Alexander, Eldon Larsen, Wendell Dobbs, Ed Bingham, Robin O’Keefe, Chuck Sommerville. Left to right Front Row: Mary Beth Reynolds, Jean Edward Smith, Rachael Peckham, Montserrat Miller, Alan Gould, Jeff Powell, Maria Carmen Riddel. Not Pictured: Simon Perry, Bill Denman, Shirley Lumpkin, Ken Ambrose, Beverly Marchant, Edwina Pendarvis, Michael Little, Linda Spatig, Dan Evans, Burnis Morris, Marcia Harrison-Pitaniello

For More information on the Drinko Fellows, click here.