July 2005 News Releases

Friday July 29, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Forum on Geohazards in Transportation set for next week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - At the invitation of Marshall University, transportation experts from the Appalachian region will gather in Charleston Aug. 3-4 at the Embassy Suites Hotel.    

The 5th annual Technical Forum on Geohazards in Transportation in the Appalachian Region will focus on the geological hazards that impede all types of travel in the region.    The Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transport Institute (RTI) and the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS) are co-sponsoring the event.    

Dr. Tony Szwilski, director of CEGAS, said industry leaders and researchers from across Appalachia are expected to attend.

"This annual forum has proven to be a successful way for everyone in the region to address the geologic issues and challenges faced by the Appalachian states relating to transportation," Szwilski said. "Marshall is once again taking a leadership role in advancing science and solving practical problems facing industry."

Researchers from West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Ohio are expected at attend.   For more information on the Geohazards forum, persons may contact Barbara Roberts (RTI) at (304) 696-7103.

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Tuesday July 26, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MU journalism dean named to first class of JMC Leadership Institute

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Corley Dennison, dean of Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, has been selected to the inaugural class of the JMC Leadership Institute, the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications (ASJMC) announced.

Dennison is one of only 13 deans and directors nationwide accepted for the 2005-07 program. The institute is the first one designed specifically for journalism/mass communication administrators.

"It's a tremendous opportunity to be able to work with other professionals in the field, to discuss issues of importance to journalism education," Dennison said. "I hope to find out what's going on in the rest of the country. A lot of people are dealing with the same issues as we are here - finances, changing technologies and changing curriculum. We'll see how we compare."

The institute, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will feature ongoing administrative programming, networking and discussion with current JMC administrators as well as a professional executive coach to work one-on-one with the participants throughout their fellowships. "It will be like taking classes," Dennison said.

The first of four "face to face" training sessions is planned during the AEJMC Convention in San Antonio from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 13 in San Antonio.

The 13 participants were named dean or director at their school after May 1, 2003. Other schools represented include Michigan State University, the University of Kansas, Arizona State University, Quinnipiac University, Florida A&M University, Western Kentucky University, Ithaca College, Middle Tennessee State University, Kansas State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dennison was named MU's dean in March 2005 after serving as interim dean for a year. He may be reached by calling (304) 696-2809.

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Tuesday July 26, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MUEEC Outreach Leadership Institute continues through Thursday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The first Marshall University Early Education Center Outreach Leadership Institute began today and continues through Thursday, July 28, at the Radisson Hotel Huntington.

The event is for early childhood leaders from the region and across a wide spectrum, including directors of childcare centers and preschools, universal pre-k supervisors, head start and the West Virginia Department of Education.

More than 70 leaders from the region have joined with the MUEEC Outreach staff to discuss current challenges in early education, such as professional development, quality, media and parent education, and to begin the dialogue of a continued effort to bring all sides of the early education field together.

The event also launches the start of the MUEEC Outreach program, a statewide and regional early education resource for professionals and parents. More information is available at www.marshall.edu/coehs/mueec, or by calling W. Clayton Burch, director of the MU Early Education Center, at (304) 696-6301.

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Wednesday July 20, 2005
Contact: Bill Bissett, Director of Public Relations, (304) 746-2038

Verizon presents $250,000 grant to June Harless Center

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Verizon West Virginia President H. Stan Cavendish and First Lady Gayle Manchin today presented major gifts totaling $500,000 to Marshall University's June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development at a ceremony at the university's Drinko Library.

The funds will enhance the provision of high school courses and professional development for rural schools in Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) I, II, III and IV, according to Dr. Stan Maynard, director of the center.

Verizon provided half of the total, or $250,000, through a grant from the State Technology Users Council (S.T.U.C.) for content development and delivery in southern West Virginia.  Maynard said the money also will provide funds for technology needs in the new June Harless Demonstration Site at Kellogg Elementary in Wayne County, expected to open in fall 2006.

"Verizon is West Virginia's leading broadband company and our support of this program will ensure that the benefits of broadband technology continue to spread throughout West Virginia," Cavendish said. "Distance learning is an excellent example of how broadband can bring education and professional development opportunities to anyone, no matter where they are."

Marshall University and State Senator Robert Plymale provided $250,000 in matching funds, which will enable the Harless Center to employ staff crucial to the development and delivery of curricular requests from West Virginia schools.  The targeted professional development needs will be standards-based mathematics, reading education, assessment, science education and assessment strategies.

First Lady Gayle Manchin acknowledged the outstanding partnership between Marshall University and Verizon in establishing the June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development as a regional and national model for distance learning.

<"Through projects such as this, we are building a comprehensive educational platform that will provide every West Virginia student access to a vast array of curriculum offerings and academic opportunities," Manchin said. "As our state moves forward with a new level of commitment of using our technology infrastructure to its fullest potential, Marshall University is leading the way in opening new opportunities to students in every West Virginia community. This just shows what we, working together, can accomplish - this is only the beginning."

Verizon West Virginia is part of Verizon Communications Inc., one of the world's leading providers of communications services.  Verizon has a diverse work force of 212,000 in four business units. Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband.  Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers across the United States.  Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services.  International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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Friday July 15, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Library Associates' Celebration of Books is July 29

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A noted antiquarian bookman and a local Civil War historian are joining forces to celebrate books at the Marshall University Library Associates' summer event Friday, July 29.

The Celebration of Books is from 4 to 7 p.m. in the third-floor atrium of the Drinko Library on MU's main campus in Huntington. A reception and presentations start the program.

Antiquarian bookman Jack Walsdorf  will speak of the joys of book collecting and some of his adventures in more than 30 years as a bookseller. Walsdorf travels the country with his version of Public Television's Antiques Road Show.

This will be the third time Walsdorf, author or editor of 15 books relating to the history of printing and bibliography, has visited Marshall to share his expertise. Two years ago, 123 people stood in line at the Drinko Library to discover if the book handed down from a grandparent or picked up at a yard sale was a gem.

"Everyone in the audience was riveted by Jack's knowledge of books," Barbara Winters, dean of MU Libraries, said. "Even people who came without a book to be appraised enjoyed simply watching and listening."

Appraisals will follow Walsdorf's talk, beginning at 5 p.m.

Civil War historian Jack Dickinson, confederate bibliographer of the Rosanna A. Blake Library of Confederate History, will talk about his latest publication, Civil War Paper Items.

The museum-quality book reproduces notable examples of printed material in the Blake Library, including sheet music, religious tracts, bonds and currency, patriotic items, newspapers and other periodicals (some printed on the back of wall paper), card photographs, and letters, including one written from Gen. Robert E. Lee to Gen. G. T. Beauregard in 1863.

Author of nine books about the Civil War, Dickinson is a West Virginia native and a member of the Company of Military Historians. A book signing session begins at 5 p.m.

Doors open for the Celebration of Books at 3:45 p.m. and the reception/presentations start at 4 p.m. Admission is free to members of the Library Associates and $5 for all others. Reservations, which are required, can be made by contacting Pam Ford via email at ford@marshall.edu, or by calling (304) 696-2318.

A ticket order form can be printed from the MU Library Associates' Web site at www.marshall.edu/library/libassoc/.

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Friday July 15, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University researchers present best paper at International Railway Engineering Conference in London

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University researchers have received an award for the best research paper presented at the 8th International Railway Engineering Conference conducted last month in London.

The paper, "Employing HADGPS to Survey Track and Monitor Movement at Curves," was written by Marshall engineering professors Dr. Tony Szwilski and Dr. Richard Begley, and Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute graduate associates Peter Dailey and Zhibin Sheng.

Szwilski made the presentation and accepted the award on behalf of the RTI research team. The conference was attended by representatives from 31 countries.    

"Receiving an award for the best research paper at an international conference confirms the quality of engineering research being conducted at Marshall University and the high level of teamwork of project personnel and support from the Nick J. Rahall Transportation Institute," Szwilski said.  "We have a few of the building blocks in place needed for a comprehensive research program - we can only get better!"

The paper reported the results of innovative research applying high accuracy differential global positioning systems (HADGPS) to help railway companies address current problems.  The technology application developed by the Marshall researchers is unique and is creating interest from railway companies across the U.S.

More information is available by contacting Szwilski at (304) 696-5457 or Begley at (304) 696-6660.

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

Booth Scholars Summer Program begins Sunday at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Booth Scholars Summer Program, hosted by Marshall University and designed to prepare students for higher education, takes place Sunday, July 17 through Saturday, July 30.

The students will be on Marshall's Huntington campus for the first week of the program, and in Washington, D.C., the second week.

Booth Scholars are Wayne County students who will be in the ninth through 12th grades during the 2005-06 school year. The program currently has 100 scholars.

Freshmen in the program will stay on campus for a week and take classes in public speaking, photography, theatre performance and electronic portfolio. Students in the program also receive a laptop and will participate in a laptop orientation class.

The students also will participate in recreational activities throughout the week as well as a dinner where they will learn proper dinner etiquette.

Sophomores and juniors in the program also will be on campus throughout the week for the summer program. Sophomores will participate in orientation for graphing calculators, which they will receive. Juniors will participate in ACT preparation classes.

While in Washington, D.C., the scholars will visit the White House and tour the nation's capitol with U.S. Congressman Nick J. Rahall, II.

The students also will visit many other museums and historical landmarks throughout Washington, D.C. They also will visit Georgetown University and George Washington University.

The Booth Scholars Program is designed to assist academically promising youth in a selected region of Appalachia in their preparation for entrance into and success in higher education. The program began in 2001 at Pikeville (Ky.) College. Students from Wayne County, one from Kentucky and one from Virginia, participated.

To qualify for the program, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and have scored above average on the WESTEST.

For more information, persons may contact Brenda Napier at (304) 696-5205 or by e-mail at napier19@marshall.edu.

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

Bragin resigns as dean of Marshall's College of Science

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Joseph Bragin, dean of Marshall University's College of Science, has resigned that position effective with the fall 2005 semester, he announced today. Bragin, who has been dean since August 2001, will return to the faculty and work on special assignments.

 "I and the entire Marshall community thank Dr. Bragin for his service as dean," Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said.

 A search for a new dean will begin soon, according to Dr. Sarah N. Denman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

 "Dr. Bragin can look back with pride to his time as dean of the College of Science," Denman said. "He made a number of strategic appointments, increased support for scholarships and faculty development, and increased major gifts to the college and alumni support.

"Dr. Bragin expanded and strengthened the College's academic programs in many key areas, including biotechnology, and reached out to the community through establishment of programs such as the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) Summer Institute. Dr. Bragin has championed improvement in student services, particularly advisement and retention programs, and has been a leader in increasing student and faculty diversity and multicultural activities.

"What's more, he assisted in the planning for Marshall's new Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center and the Biotechnology Development Center, so his work will serve the university far into the future."

During the next year, Bragin said, he will assist the college in the further development of student recruitment and retention programs that were begun during his term as dean. He also expects to work to improve student services in the college and to expand the college's outreach to underrepresented student groups.

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Monday July 11, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

College Summit to conduct workshops at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - College Summit, a national comprehensive nonprofit program to improve the college-going rate, will conduct workshops Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17 on Marshall University's Huntington campus for 40 students from six high schools in Kanawha and Wayne counties.

High schools represented include Riverside, South Charleston and St. Albans from Kanawha County, and Wayne, Tolsia and Spring Valley from Wayne County.

"We are proud to be partnering with West Virginia colleges and universities to help students bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary education," said Randy Shillingburg, director of development for College Summit West Virginia. "At our workshops, students complete an on-line college application, receive quality one-on-one college counseling and write a personal statement they can use for scholarships or as an entrance essay for college."

Shillingburg said rising high school seniors who participate in College Summit workshops undergo a transformation from not knowing what it takes to get to college in terms of the college selection, application and financial aid processes, to students who are prepared for college and actually are ahead of other students in their classes.  

College Summit, which is based in Washington, D.C., has grown rapidly in West Virginia, from a program serving two teachers and 10 students in 2001 to a program serving about 1,800 students from 21 schools in 10 counties this year.  In addition to the workshop at Marshall, sessions are also scheduled this summer at West Virginia University, West Virginia State University, Concord University, Bluefield State College, Fairmont State University, and the University of Charleston.

Shillingburg said the entire college transition process can be overwhelming for students, especially if they're first-generation college students.  "College Summit has achieved remarkable results nationwide, dramatically improving the college-going rate for students who attend our workshops," he explained.

"College Summit has been able to take college transition from the horse and buggy era to the 21st century by providing teachers and counselors with tools that allow them to help students transition to college more efficiently and effectively," said Shillingburg. "Teachers and counselors who attend the workshops utilize the College Summit Navigator, a step-by-step curriculum guide to help other seniors navigate the transition process.

"In addition, College Summit has developed on-line tools that enable students to save their senior portfolios while providing teachers and counselors with the ability to track students through the entire process."

More information about this initiative can be found on its Web site, www.collegesummit.org, or by calling College Summit West Virginia at (304) 346-1981.

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Friday July 8, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Dean's list, graduates available on Marshall Web site

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University students who made the dean's list for the Spring 2005 semester, and MU graduates from July 2004 to May 2005, are available on the MU Web site for use by the media.

To make the dean's list, students must have a 3.3 or above grade point average for a minimum of 12 hours. Marshall has 2,215 dean's list students included on the Web site. Students who requested their names not be published are excluded from the list on the Web.

Many students and their parents have requested that Marshall make the dean's list and the list of graduates available to publications that cover their hometowns.

Each student's name, hometown, county and state are included in the dean's list, which is accessible at www.marshall.edu/ucomm/DeansList/deanslist.html. The list of graduates, accessible at www.marshall.edu/ucomm/Graduates/graduates.html, includes name, hometown, county, state and degree.


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Friday July 8, 2005
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall host to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Marshall University is serving as host to a workshop providing training for sexual assault nurse examiners from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15 at the MU Forensic Science Center.

Linda Ledray, PhD, RN, FAAN, SANE-A, a nationally recognized expert in sexual assault nurse examiner training, is conducting the workshop. Dr. Ledray developed a nursing-focused service-delivery model that provides responsive treatment for sexual assault survivors.  She has taught nationally and internationally on sexual assault issues and has authored the book, "Recovering from Rape."

The course offers a unique opportunity to registered nurses to become sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) by receiving specialized training in the complete assessment, evaluation and treatment of the adult sexual assault survivor.    Participants are trained how to recognize, collect and preserve evidence, interview victims and link them to vital community resources for follow-up.

Other topics include the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), victim perspective/advocacy role, psychological impact, profiling the rapist, role of law enforcement, DNA, drug facilitated sexual assault, assessing physical trauma, and court testimony.

Upon completion of the course, a post-training clinical requirement must be completed according to the nurse's scope of practice and guidelines of the training course. 

The event is being sponsored by the Marshall University Forensic Science Center (through NIJ Cooperative Agreement #2001-RC-CX-K002) and the WV Foundation for Rape Information and Services, Inc. (through Violence Against Women Office, Office of OJP Grant No. 2002-VF-GX-0005 and 2003-SW-BX-0058, and the Division of Criminal Justice Services Drug and Violent Crime Control Grant #03-DC-32). 

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

Marshall Foundation announces title changes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Foundation Inc. board of directors has unanimously voted to elevate the titles of Glen Kerkian and Monica Hatfield.

Kerkian's title has changed from executive director to president and chief executive officer of the Foundation. Hatfield, formerly the president, is now chairman of the board.

"The change of title more appropriately aligns and more accurately reflects the scope of Glen Kerkian's responsibilities to the Foundation," Hatfield said. Kerkian also is senior vice president for development at Marshall University. 

The vote to change the titles of Kerkian and Hatfield took place last weekend during the board's quarterly meeting.

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

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine reaccredited until 2011

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Accreditation for Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has been continued until 2011, President Stephen J. Kopp announced today.

Marshall was notified this week of the positive decision by the accrediting agency, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The decision followed a limited survey visit to the school in March.

"Full accreditation affirms that the School of Medicine meets or exceeds the high standards set forth by the medical profession for medical education," Kopp said. "This milestone speaks volumes about the high caliber of our faculty and staff, who are among the best in the country, and the quality of the educational experiences they provide to our students. With new facilities and expansion on the horizon, the prospects for the future are very promising."

Dr. Charles H. McKown Jr., dean of the medical school, said teamwork on the part of the school's faculty and staff was responsible for the positive outcome.

"Our faculty, especially through the Curriculum Committee, and the leadership in academic and student affairs worked diligently to prepare for the site visit, and their efforts clearly led to the LCME's favorable action," McKown said.

"Those efforts have made our medical education curriculum the best it's ever been," he added. "Our new challenge - and it's a pleasant one - will be to adapt our curriculum and adjust instruction schedules as we begin in the next two years to occupy two new buildings that will greatly enhance the education of our medical students."

The new buildings are the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center, which is currently under construction on Third Avenue, and the Clinical Education and Outreach Center at the old Fairfield Stadium site.

The Byrd Center is expected to be finished by August 2006. Construction on the Clinical Education and Outreach Center began on June 1, and the anticipated completion date is January 2007.

Accreditation by LCME assures that Marshall meets the same high standards as the other 123 accredited medical schools throughout the nation, McKown said. Marshall will not have to be surveyed again for accreditation until 2011.

"The commitment that Marshall University's School of Medicine has to excellence - excellence in medical education and excellence in patient care - is evident in all that it does and is at the heart of the growing national reputation it has earned," Kopp said. 

The School of Medicine was established in 1977. Last year, the school graduated its 1,000th doctor.

A video news release on the accreditation is available on the Web at http://windowsmedia.marshall.edu/ucomm/SOMAccreditationStory.wmv.

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