December 2005 News Releases

Tuesday December 20, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

WMUL students do well in Communicator Awards Audio Competition

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students from WMUL-FM, Marshall University's public radio station, received eight awards in The Communicator Awards 2005 Audio Competition.

The winners were named Friday, Dec. 16 in Arlington, Texas. WMUL students won three Crystal Awards of Excellence, three Awards of Distinction and two honorable mention awards. This is the eighth year for this competition to include an audio component for judging.

The Communicator Awards come from a national awards organization that recognizes outstanding work in the communications field.  Entries are judged by industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. There were 1,369 entries in The Communicator Awards 2005 Audio Competition.

The Communicator's prestigious Crystal Award of Excellence is presented to those entrants whose ability to communicate makes them the best in their field.  About 13 percent of the entries won this award.  The Crystal Award of Excellence winners are listed on The Communicator's Web site

In addition to the Award of Excellence, The Communicator Awards 2005 Audio Competition also gives The Award of Distinction and Honorable Mention Awards.  The Award of Distinction is awarded for projects that exceed industry standards in production or communication skills.  Approximately 10 percent of the entries won this award.  An Honorable Mention certificate was granted to those entries that meet the high standards of the industry.

Winners of The Communicator Awards come from radio stations, production facilities, advertising and public relations agencies, corporate communications departments, government entities, technicians, narrators, writers, and other professionals associated with the production of audio broadcasts and materials.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment to be recognized as having produced some of the best newscasts, sports programming, PSAs, promo productions and documentaries in the country," Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, professor of electronic media management in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University and faculty manager of WMUL-FM, said.

"I am proud of the honor these Awards of Excellence, Awards of Distinction and the honorable mentions awards bestow on WMUL-FM, the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Marshall University. This success demonstrates to our student staff that dedication and hard work does pay off in the end." 

The Crystal Awards of Excellence winning entry by WMUL-FM were in the following categories: 


"The 5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88" for Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004.  The students who participated in the newscast were: Jen Smith, senior, Huntington (producer); Alex Reed, senior, Virginia Beach, Va. (news anchor); Melanie Chapman, senior, Stollings, W.Va. (news anchor); Jay Plyburn, junior, Huntington (weather anchor); Matt Bradberry, senior, Huntington (sports anchor); Vince Payne, graduate student, Hansford, W.Va. (reporter); Deven Swartz, freshman, Philippi, W.Va. (reporter); Jeremy Edwards, freshman, Scott Depot, W.Va. (reporter); Kristin Houghton, senior, Inwood, W.Va.  (reporter); Troy Dunn, senior, St. Albans, W.Va. (reporter); Dave Wilson, junior, St. Mary's, W.Va. (reporter). 

Writing/Documentary Script

The script for the documentary program "To Change or Not to Change Gameday: The Pros and Cons of Weeknight College Football Games" was written by Clark Davis, a graduate student from Huntington. The script was completed Monday, May 9, 2005.


"To Change or Not to Change Gameday:  The Pros and Cons of Weeknight College Football Games," a documentary program written and produced by Clark Davis, a graduate student from Huntington.  The documentary was broadcast during "Aircheck Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005.

The Awards of Distinction winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories. 

Writing/Documentary Script

The script for the documentary program "Take Charge" was written by Kelsey Austin, a recent graduate from Culloden, W.Va. The script was completed Monday, May 9, 2005.


"Take Charge," a documentary program written and produced by Kelsey Austin, a recent graduate from Culloden, W.Va.  The documentary was broadcast during "Aircheck" Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005.

Public Service Announcement

"Listen to Your Car," an in-house public service announcement broadcast in WMUL-FM's Public Service Announcement rotation from Wednesday, April 13, 2005 through the present time, written and produced by Brandon Millman, a junior from Huntington.

The honorable mention award winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories. 

Radio Station Promotion

"Live Deejays," an in-house promotional announcement broadcast in WMUL-FM's Promotional Announcement rotation from Wednesday, April 13, 2005 through the present time, written and produced by Jen Smith, a senior from Huntington.

Sports Event

WMUL-FM's live broadcast of the 2005 Capital Classic:  Marshall University versus West Virginia University men's basketball game played at Charleston Civic Center Coliseum in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005.  The students calling the game, which was broadcast over 88.1 in Huntington, were: basketball play-by-play announcer Vince Payne, a graduate student from Hansford, W.Va.; color commentator Alex Reed, a senior from Virginia Beach, Va.; and engineer Scott Hall, a senior from Stephens City, Va.

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Tuesday December 13, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Galardi named Director of Major Gifts for MU Society of Yeager Scholars

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Robert N. Galardi, Director of Development since 2002 with the West Virginia University Extension Service, has been named Director of Major Gifts for the Society of Yeager Scholars at Marshall University.

"This is a career opportunity," Galardi, a Pittsburgh native and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, said. "It allows me to continue doing what I love to do - raise money in an academic environment to help West Virginia kids go to school."

The Society of Yeager Scholars is a program that provides a scholarship for students that includes tuition and fees, room and board, a stipend for books and supplies, a study abroad experience and the use of a personal computer. The four-year scholarship is awarded as long as the student maintains a 3.5 GPA and an honors course load. The program is named for U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, who is a native of Hamlin, W.Va.

Galardi has set his goals high at Marshall. "We have two years until the 20th anniversary of the Yeager Society," he said. "This milestone presents the opportunity to raise sufficient private funds to restore the number of Yeager Scholars to its original number of 20 annual recipients. That's something I'll be presenting to our board."

Galardi has many accomplishments throughout his 26 year fundraising career. In recent years he:

  • Developed, trained volunteers, and implemented a $7 million capital campaign for the Johnstown (Pa.) Area Heritage Association;
  • Successfully cultivated, solicited and closed two $1 million gifts: one for the Johnstown Area Heritage Association's capital campaign, the second for West Virginia University;
  • Closed the largest private gift received by WVU-Jackson's Mill.  It was a $200,000 donation for the WVU-Jackson's Mill "Save Our Pool" capital campaign;
  • Raised more than $3 million in major gifts at WVU Extension Service.  This amount put WVU Extension Service over its "Building Greatness Capital Campaign" goal of $2.5 million.  The goal was achieved nine months before the campaign deadline.  The final amount raised for the Extension Service's "Building Greatness Capital Campaign" topped $3.1 million;
  • Working with the board of directors and staff, developed and implemented an innovative major gifts campaign strategy at the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, resulting in the three largest major private gifts in the history of the Association;
  • Began and completed a $465,000 "Save Our Pool Campaign," and a $210,000 "Northern Panhandle Cottage Renovation Campaign" at Jackson's Mill.

 "Supporters of the Yeager program who choose to take a close look are always impressed with the caliber of students we attract," Glen Kerkian, Marshall Foundation Inc. President and CEO, said. "With the innovative Board that is currently in place and a seasoned fundraiser like Bob Galardi, our expectations for increased private dollars for Yeager are heightened."

Recent honors for Galardi include the "2005 Outstanding Individual Employee Excellence Award" for successfully completing  three privately funded capital campaigns for WVU Extension Service, and the "2004 West Virginia 4-H All Star Award of Appreciation" for successfully completing the "Save Our Pool Campaign" at WVU Jackson's Mill.

Galardi earned a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the father of two children - Jack, 21, who plans to attend the Marshall University Graduate College, and Diane, 19, who is a freshman at Boston University.

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Monday December 12, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MU, community collect toys for local organizations during open house

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University and the Huntington community teamed up Sunday to help make Christmas special for local boys and girls during an open house at the home of MU President and Mrs. Stephen J. Kopp.

Guests at the three-hour event brought unwrapped gifts that will be delivered today to the Boys and Girls Club in Guyandotte and Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Tri-State. Four large containers overflowed with toys by the end of the open house.

A similar toy collection has been conducted in past years by the Marshall University Alumni Association.

"This year, because our open house and the event proposed by the Alumni Association were planned just a few days apart, we decided to combine them," President Kopp said. "The response by the community was overwhelming. Marshall University is honored to have joined with this caring community in helping these two outstanding organizations."

Jane Kopp and Lance West, vice president for alumni development and co-director of the Campaign for National Prominence, will deliver the toys this afternoon. They are expected to visit Big Brothers-Big Sisters at 501 5th Ave. in Huntington at about 3:10 p.m., and the Boys and Girls Club in Guyandotte at about 3:30 p.m.

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Friday December 9, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall's Pickled Pepper Players entertain hundreds of children during 10-day, 2,400-mile 'Gulf Coast Relief Tour'

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Pickled Pepper Players, a touring children's theatre company sponsored by the MU Department of Theatre, traveled to the Gulf Coast recently to do its part in lifting the spirits of children displaced by this year's hurricanes.

On its "Gulf Coast Relief Tour" Nov. 25-Dec. 4, the group gave 24 performances of children's theatre plays for young audiences at 13 locations for 15 different community groups in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The trip took 10 days and covered 2,400 miles.

The cast included Marshall student actors Krista Carter of Elkins, W.Va.; Jennifer Edens of Petersburg, W.Va.; Samantha Elkins of Barboursville, W.Va.; Shay Hannon of Ironton, Ohio; Elissa Horrell of Scott Depot, W.Va.; Karah Markins of Lavalette, W.Va., and Adam Stephens of Charleston, W.Va. Accompanying the students were MU theater professor Mike Murphy and his wife, Karla.

"The cast really gave up their 'dead' week (the week before final exams) to go down and do this," Murphy said. "I can guarantee you that each one came back with much more than they ever thought they would. They learned a lot about themselves, the human spirit, and the resiliency of the people on the Gulf Coast. They saw a whole lot of devastation and communities coming together to rebuild."

The idea for the trip came to Murphy when he was attending a board meeting of the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Charlotte, N.C., a week after Hurricane Katrina hit the coast. Shannon Robert, an associate professor of theatre at William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Miss., suggested benefit performances as fund raisers.

"Through our children's program here (the Pickled Pepper Players), we thought we could take our shows as benefit performances to the Gulf Coast," Murphy said. "The goal from the very beginning was to not be an additional burden on the communities. We wanted to go to whatever community we thought we could benefit."

Murphy said the group was "completely self contained," living in a recreational vehicle the entire time. They brought their own food, water and generator. Karla Murphy drove in a separate vehicle.

The performances staged by the Pickled Pepper Players during the trip were Molly and Her Marvelous Mind and Professor Pocus, both described as character building shows. They had done the same performances at Marshall in late October to raise money for the trip. Molly and Her Marvelous Mind was produced with permission from the Department of Theatre at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and both plays were directed by Bess Park-Reynolds.

Karla Murphy gave special performances of The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed The Fly to children too young to read. In Slidell, La., she had an audience of about 50 children at the Rainbow Child Care Center.

"The cast was wonderful from day one," Murphy said. "They all said, 'Yeah, let's do it.' They were behind it every inch of the way. You couldn't have asked for better representatives from Marshall University."

The Pickled Pepper Players performed in places such as the Gull Point Recreation Center in Pensacola, Fla.; Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala.; Lillie Burnie School and Hope Drive Center in Hattiesburg, Miss.; Townly Center in Laurel, Miss., and Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Bogalusa, La.

Audience sizes and reaction varied at the different venues. Carter stayed in touch each day via email with Lang Reynolds, chair of Marshall's Theatre Department. One note from Carter read, in part:

"Our second and final show for the day was at Oseola McCarty Youth Center (in Hattiesburg, Miss.) and it was scheduled for 5:15. When we arrived, the nearly 40 kids welcomed us with open arms. They had so much energy and were so excited to see us. We set up quickly and went right into Professor Pocus. The children were an absolutely fabulous audience. They laughed during the whole show, clapped when we sang, and participated with smiles on their faces the entire time. Once again, it really helped us to get into it, and remember why we are out here in the first place. They gathered around us after the show, asked a million questions, and tried desperately to help us pack up our stuff. They were all very sweet."

While the children's smiles, hugs and words of thanks thrilled the student actors and the Murphys, seeing the devastation that remains some three months after the hurricanes was heartbreaking, Carter said.

"The damage was still severe. We saw things that broke our hearts," she said. "But it was really amazing to see those kids smile and to hear them talk about what happened, to hear them ask us, 'Do you know what happened?' They were so happy to see us, it made us feel really good. The church pastors thanked us so much and it helped us remember why we went down there."

More information is available by calling Murphy at (304) 696-2517, Reynolds at (304) 696-2546 or Carter at (304) 617-5561.

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Wednesday December 7, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall jazz groups to be featured at Christmas dance Dec. 10

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's 12 O'Clock Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Junta will be featured at a Christmas dance at 8 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center on MU's Huntington campus.

The event, which is sponsored by the university's chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education and the Jazz Studies program, is open to the public. General admission tickets are $10 for individuals and $18 per couple. With a valid ID, an MU student may purchase tickets for $8 each or $12 per couple.  Refreshments and food will be provided.  

Proceeds will help fund an upcoming student trip to the annual IAJE Convention in New York City.

For ticket information, persons may contact Holly Linn, Chapter Historian, by phone at (304) 633-8734 or by e-mail at

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Monday December 5, 2005
Contact: Megan Barbour, Communications Director, Student Government Association, (304) 696-6412

Marshall's second annual Luminary Service is Tuesday, Dec. 6

Marshall's second annual Luminary Service is Tuesday, Dec. 6

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's second annual Luminary Service takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 on the Memorial Student Center plaza.

The service, sponsored by the American Cancer Society and conducted with the help of various Marshall students, is a way to honor and remember loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Candle-lit bags bearing the names of loved ones who have battled cancer will be displayed at the event. Those who attend may purchase the bags at the service for $5, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Additional donations are welcomed.

For more information, persons may contact Becky Fisher at (304) 523-7989.

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Friday December 2, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Parents establish memorial scholarship fund for Misty Dawn Endicott

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A memorial scholarship fund has been established by the Marshall University Foundation, Inc. to celebrate the life of Wayne County native Misty Dawn Endicott, who fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse before her untimely death last April at age 32.

A graduate of Ceredo-Kenova High School who attended Marshall, Endicott worked tirelessly to realize her cherished goal of becoming a nurse.  Her family says that even after receiving a scholarship to attend nursing school she continued to take advantage of every opportunity to achieve her dreams and after graduation continued learning and polishing her skills.

Each new scholarship recipient will be a sophomore in the College of Health Professions who has been accepted into the Bachelor of Science Nursing program, has demonstrated financial need and has a 2.5 or better grade point average. Priority will be given to graduates of Spring Valley High School in Wayne County, then to graduates of any Wayne County high school, and then to any West Virginia high school graduates.

The award is for tuition/fees and books and may be renewed for up to three years - six semesters - as long as conditions of the scholarship continue to be met.

Misty Endicott's parents, Jan and Virginia Endicott, established the scholarship. They say they want recipients to know that Endicott walked in their shoes and to never give up on their dreams. The Endicotts are encouraging recipients "to live by Misty's motto, when the world tells you that it is impossible to achieve your dreams, do it and prove them wrong."

The fund will become endowed once a minimum of $10,000 is received.  To contribute to the fund or for additional information about the scholarship, persons may contact Jean Augustine in the Marshall University Development Office at (304) 696-6214 or by e-mail at

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Thursday December 1, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall professor part of U.S. delegation that attended inaugural ISO meeting on nanotechnology in London

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Ashok Vaseashta, a Marshall University College of Science professor, attended the inaugural meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 229, which focuses on nanotechnology, Nov. 9-11 in London.

Nanotechnology is the creation and utilization of reduced dimensional materials, structures, devices and systems with novel properties and functions that are achieved through the control of matter, atom-by-atom, molecule-by-molecule, at or below the micromolecular level.

Vaseashta said nanotechnology is a multi-disciplinary research endeavor demonstrating great potential across many traditional fields of application.

"Development of international standards will have an important function in facilitating the beneficial use of nanotechnology and in helping achieve its full potential, the transition to commercialization, and public acceptance of nanotechnology-based products," he said.

Vaseashta participated in the London meeting as a member of an impressive U.S. delegation that included representatives of industry, government, academia and the legal profession. According to the committee's scope, ISO/TC 229 will produce standards for classification, terminology and nomenclature, basic metrology, calibration and certification, and environmental issues related to nanotechnology.

It also will develop standardized test methods that will focus on physical, chemical, structural and biological properties of materials or devices whose performance is critically dependent on one or more dimensions of less than 100 nanometers.

The British Standards Institute (BSI)  served as host of the inaugural meeting, which was attended by 22 national delegations from throughout the world, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. The BSI will serve as the chair and secretariat of the new committee of standards.

The U.S. delegation secured a unique position on a key formative task force on health, safety and the environment. "This opportunity will provide the U.S. with a key role in the development of standards," Vaseashta said.

The American delegation represents the American National Standards Institute or ANSI. "The combination of excellent leadership, active participation by a broad base of nanotechnology experts, and ANSI's collective expertise ensured that the U.S. was able to successfully assume the international leadership role set as a goal at the onset of this activity just earlier this year," ANSI president and CEO Mark W. Hurwitz said.

Vaseashta is a leading advocate of nanotechnology and often is invited for lectures and seminars across the globe. Earlier this semester he was invited by the students of the universities in Lithuania to give an invited talk on "Nanostructured Materials Based Devices and Sensors" at their annual International Summer School conference in Palanga, Lithuania.

He also was invited to present a talk at the First International Workshop on Semiconductor Nanocrystals held in Budapest, Hungary. Both meetings were organized under the European Union's Framework Program (FP6) for Research and Technological Development.

Vaseashta serves as a liaison for Eastern European students for Marshall's Center for International Programs.

"Since coming to Marshall, Dr. Vaseashta has launched numerous international collaborations and secured grants and funding for various research projects," Dr. Clark Egnor, director of the Center for International Programs, said. "Since he often involves his undergraduate and graduate students in his international research collaborations, Dr. Vaseashta is making significant contributions to our international efforts by ensuring that Marshall graduates are prepared to live and work in a global environment."

For more information, persons may contact Vaseashta at

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