August 2008 News Releases

Saturday August 30, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Additional male cheerleaders, students to portray 'Marco' needed at MU; tryouts will be conducted Sept. 2 and 4 at Henderson

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Cheerleaders will be conducting tryouts for additional male cheerleaders and additional male and/or female students to portray "Marco" at assigned events.

All students who are interested in trying out are asked to attend practice from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Thursday, Sept. 4 in the Henderson Center main arena. The squad has a complete allotment of female cheerleaders, but still needs some male cheerleaders.

The coaching staff will evaluate all interested students and make possible selections by the end of the week. Male students interested in the cheering positions should come dressed appropriately and be prepared to learn stunting skills for their tryouts.   Students (male or female) interested in trying out for "Marco" should come with a one-minute skit that can be performed in the suit for their tryout.

The cheer positions and the mascot position do come with the possibility of earning some scholarship while a member of the program. The cheerleaders and Marco provide support to the University, the alumni office and the athletic department at all home/away football games, home volleyball matches and  home men's and women's basketball games.

Any questions concerning tryouts can be e-mailed to the Marshall cheerleading staff at

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Friday August 29, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

TV debut of Hechler documentary planned for Sept. 9 and 11 on WV PBS

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The television premiere of "Ken Hechler: In Pursuit of Justice," a two-hour documentary focusing on the career and legacy of the former West Virginia congressman and secretary of state, will take place beginning Tuesday, Sept. 9 on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The two-part, two-hour examination of the role of political office in 20th century America was created by filmmakers Russ Barbour and Chip Hitchcock, who began work on the project in July 2005. Part 1 of the documentary will be shown at 8 p.m. Sept. 9 and Part 2 will be shown at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11.

A DVD of the biopic will also be used as a "premium" for donors during the station's fall fund-raising effort. Marshall University Libraries served as fiscal agent for the film and Barbara Winters, dean of libraries, was executive producer.

Winters said the program also documents the development of Hechler's views on government and his commitment to helping individuals through public service and political office. The production traces Hechler's political philosophy and subsequent actions to the progressive movement of the 1900s, and to the model President Theodore Roosevelt presented through his efforts on behalf of impoverished and disenfranchised Americans.

Considerable insight is provided by Hechler's former colleagues, including such notable public officeholders as U.S. Senators Tom Harkin, Bob Dole and George McGovern, as well as U.S. Congressmen John Brademas and James Symington. The documentary also features labor historians, reporters and several of Hechler's former students, staffers, constituents, friends and family.

The production also makes use of archival photographs, motion pictures and sound recordings, including rarely viewed news film. The documentary employs excerpts from numerous addresses, including speeches by Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.

"Ken Hechler's life provides a great backdrop for illustrating President Theodore Roosevelt's progressive ideals in a real and practical manner," Barbour said. "The son of devout believers in progressivism, Hechler enthusiastically embraced and put into practice the governmental principles popularized by TR and his cousin, President Franklin Roosevelt. Through the extensive use of archival images, Hechler's journey through the 20th century also presents an ideal opportunity to document significant events in 20th century America, from beginning to end, in a compelling and remarkably visual manner." 

Winters said Marshall University's partnership role in the project included assisting the filmmakers in accessing materials located in the Ken Hechler collection at the Marshall Libraries.   The university also provided an intern to work with the filmmakers during the research and filming phases.

Winters said Marshall will receive all the original field tapes at the end of the project, and intends to distribute copies of the tapes containing interviews with Hechler to other archives, most notably the State of West Virginia Archives, as well as to the West Virginia Collection located at West Virginia University.

For further information about "Ken Hechler: In Pursuit of Justice," call Winters at (304) 696-2318.

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Thursday August 28, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

West Virginia Brownfields Conference is Sept. 10-11 in Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The third annual West Virginia Brownfields Conference will take place Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 10-11, at the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington.

The conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center at Marshall University, the West Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center at West Virginia University, the Land Restoration Division of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the West Virginia Development Office, and the West Virginia Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association.

The title of this year's conference is "A Path to Progress." The event includes multiple tracks on redevelopment and revitalization of brownfield properties in the state. Brownfields are properties "the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant."

Randy Huffman, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, will deliver the keynote address at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10.  Other conference speakers include Huntington Mayor David Felinton at noon Wednesday, Sept. 10 and EPA Region III Brownfields Program Administrator Susan Janowaik at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11.

A site tour of area brownfield properties and a reception are scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 9.  For agenda and conference registration information, visit the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center Web site at

For additional information, contact George Carico, program coordinator, at (304) 696-5456.  The West Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center at Marshall University is a program of the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS).

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Thursday August 28, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Vendor registration opens for 4th annual Holly Berry Festival

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Local and tri-state area artisans and crafters wishing to participate as vendors at the 4th Annual Holly Berry Festival have until Tuesday, Sept. 30, to register, Barbara Winters, dean of libraries at Marshall University, said today.

Winters said vendors interested in exhibiting their wares during the one-day festival should contact her by phone at (304) 696-2318 or by e-mail at by Sept. 30.

This year's Holly Berry Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 in the Memorial Student Center lobby on the Huntington campus. Sponsored by the Marshall Library Associates, the festival will again feature hand-made items designed and made by local and area crafters. There will also be books for sale.

While a number of festival favorite vendors from last year have indicated that they will return this year, Winters said that space is still available for first-time artisans and crafters wanting to join in on the now-traditional Huntington festival.

"We're thrilled that the number of people attending the festival keeps increasing, and we're honored that the number of artists and craftspeople who keep coming back each year is increasing, too," said Dr. Lynne Welch, chair of the Festival Planning Committee. "We're looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar friendly faces at this year's festival, as well as a whole lot of new friendly faces of those celebrating here with us for the first time." 

Welch said 10 percent of the sales at the Festival will be donated to the Library Associates endowment fund, supporting development of the Marshall University Libraries book collections. Festival goers will again enjoy free admission, parking and snacks throughout the event.

For more information about the 4th Annual Holly Berry Festival, call or e-mail Winters.

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Wednesday August 27, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Summer concert series on Thursday includes Marshall pep rally

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The final event in the Heiner's Summer Concert Series at Pullman Square, which takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, will include a pep rally featuring Marshall University football Coach Mark Snyder, the MU cheerleaders, dance team and pep band.

The concert/pep rally is sponsored by 93.7 The Dawg and the Marshall University Alumni Association. Nancy Pelphrey, coordinator of alumni programs for the Alumni Association, said the pep rally is to help Thundering Herd fans get excited for the team's season-opener with Illinois State, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

"It's going to be a great evening with the concert series and the pep rally," Pelphrey said. "We're looking for a big crowd of Herd fans to gather at Pullman Square to show their spirit and support of Coach Snyder and the team. The pep rally is a great way to get the football season under way."

Events begin at 6 p.m. with a performance by John Eric Booth. The Alumni Association will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a print from the "We Are Marshall" movie signed by Red Dawson and Matthew Fox. Several other items will be included in the raffle, such as gift certificates from Max & Erma's and the Marshall Hall of Fame Caf.

A performance by Joe Lambiotte starts at 7 p.m. Beginning at 8:15 p.m., the cheerleaders and band will perform and interact with the crowd before Snyder arrives at about 8:30 p.m. Snyder will speak and draw the winning raffle ticket for the Marshall print. Individuals must be present to win the print and the other prizes.

Stephen Salyers will wrap up the concert series with a performance beginning at 9 p.m.

The Tri-State Transit Authority will run a free shuttle from Marshall's Huntington campus to Pullman Square and back throughout the evening. Passengers may board the bus at the corner of John Marshall Drive and 5th Avenue and at the corner of 18th Street and 5th Avenue.

For more information, call Pelphrey at (304) 696-3134.

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Wednesday August 27, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Dr. Eric Kmiec named Director, Lead Research Scientist of Marshall University Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Eric Kmiec, Professor of Biology at the University of Delaware and Director of Applied Genomics at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, has been named the first Director and Lead Research Scientist of the Marshall University Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR), President Stephen J. Kopp announced today. Kmiec begins his duties at Marshall in January 2009.

MIIR is a new research and development program at Marshall that will focus on biotechnology, biomanufacturing, nanotechnology and niche areas of applied molecular research. It is expected to intensify and accelerate the rate at which Marshall's research reaches the marketplace, thus benefiting the University and the state of West Virginia. Kmiec will be responsible for assembling the team of interdisciplinary research scientists who will comprise the core of the Institute.

The passage this year of a legislative initiative to create a $50 million endowment fund to be invested in research at Marshall and West Virginia University and patterned after Kentucky's highly successful "Bucks for Brains" program was a major factor in Kmiec's decision to accept the position at Marshall.

"Certainly, it is extremely attractive to know that the state and particularly President Kopp have advanced this idea, building on other programs around the country," Kmiec said. "The research endowment and the state support, particularly from the Legislature and Gov. Joe Manchin, was an important part of the decision to join the team here."

Kmiec is widely recognized as a pioneer of gene repair, a technique in which synthetic DNA molecules are used to patch or repair mutations in human chromosomes. He has trained numerous postdocs and graduate students in the field of molecular medicine.

He also has received numerous research and community service awards.  Research in his laboratory is supported through multiple grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), private research foundation and Discovery program at High Q foundation.  He owns more than 60 issued patents or patent applications and has founded several biotechnology companies. Kmiec also is managing editor of Frontiers in Bioscience, and recently joined the editorial board of the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Kopp said he is "ecstatic" that Kmiec has agreed to serve as MIIR's first director. He said he expects, under Kmiec's leadership, that a focused program of pioneering research dedicated to producing patentable scientific breakthroughs will be developed. Importantly, this program will build on existing areas of strength and provide opportunities for pioneering research collaborations with scientists already working at Marshall University.

"If you look at Dr. Kmiec's experience in applied research leading to research-based economic development, he has been very successful," Kopp said. "His area of expertise fits exactly what we need in the development of the biosciences. He is a grant-funded scientist who has the ability to build a successful team, leading to discoveries that are patentable and communicably viable. He has tremendous leadership qualities and incredible interpersonal skills."

Kmiec said that he expects to assemble a strong team of scientists at Marshall.

"We should be able to seriously impact the economic development programs in the state by creating high paying jobs, by engaging good talent around the country," he said. "A bunch of my colleagues are aware that I have taken this position and already I've gotten calls from folks that are very curious about Marshall and what's going on here. The word is spreading very rapidly. I hope to nucleate a group of people to spend a little more time looking at coming and joining our team. I think that immediately breeds more talent and stronger jobs and higher paying jobs in the state and for this institution."

At the University of Delaware, Kmiec runs a research lab that looks at some of the therapies for diseases such as Huntington's Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Muscular Dystrophy. He said years ago he became very interested in moving beyond the basic discovery side of his work and pushing it into the more applied translational side.

He explained translational programs as those "that take the bench to bedside approach. For many years, basic science has driven great discoveries that have impacted diagnostics, optics, wonderful types of advances in human health and agriculture and many other areas," he said.

"But, there's been a tendency to stay locked at the bench. Now, the pressure from the federal government, state government and health institutions in general is to move those discoveries toward treating human disease and human afflictions."

He said his work at Delaware hinges on developing therapies and products toward human health.

"We've been at Delaware for about 10 years and have, I think, advanced the field in conjunction with a lot of good collaborations and openings," Kmiec said.

Kmiec said he believes MIIR will grow "cautiously in a progressive manner."

"We're going to ground ourselves in very good discoveries," he said. "I think we're going to expand in a very strong way. I don't think we're going to try to recreate the world in the first year. But, I see a solid progression employing a lot of new technicians, a lot of new people impacting the economic development part of the economy and advancing the biotechnology licensing opportunities."

Kmiec received his B.A. in Microbiology from Rutgers University in 1978 and his M.S. in Microbiology from Southern Illinois University in 1980. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1984 and, after completing his postdoctoral work at the University of Rochester, held faculty positions at the University of California Davis and Thomas Jefferson University.

Kmiec is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of OrphageniX, Inc., an innovative biotechnology company focused on correcting genes that cause "orphan diseases." At Marshall, he will report to MIIR's Board of Directors, headed by Kopp, and Dr. John Maher, Vice President for Research with the Marshall University Research Corp.

"I have met and worked with a lot of people in scientific research, and he is by far the most impressive because of the array of expertise and skills he brings to Marshall University," Kopp said.

Maher described Kmiec as a world-class researcher who has had significant entrepreneurial success.

"What we are putting in place in MIIR is unique in both its structure and its focus," Maher said. "It requires an individual with unique and exceptional talents to head it. We feel Dr. Kmiec has the scientific and leadership skills to make MIIR the scientific and economic development success the president envisioned. We are grateful for the state's commitment to the Bucks for Brains program which enabled us to attract a scientific leader of his caliber to Marshall."

Kmiec and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, Tyler and Sam.

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Tuesday August 26, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall supporters urged to wear green on College Colors Day, every Friday during the school year

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University fans, students, faculty and staff often wear green in support of the Thundering Herd, particularly at athletic events.

This Friday, however, the day before MU opens the 2008 football season against Illinois State, the entire Marshall community is urged to wear green in celebration of the fourth annual National College Colors Day. 

College Colors Day, organized by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), coincides with "back to school" and the kickoff of intercollegiate athletics.

Earlier this month, Gov. Joe Manchin III proclaimed Friday, Aug. 29, as College Colors Day in West Virginia. Manchin's proclamation states in part that College Colors Day seeks to celebrate and promote the traditions and spirit of the college experience by encouraging fans, alumni and students to wear the colors of their favorite college throughout the day of Aug. 29.

Marshall is participating in College Colors Day for the third consecutive year and is continuing a tradition begun last year of encouraging faculty, staff and students to wear green every Friday during the school year.

Two College Colors Day kickoff games will be played on Thursday, Aug. 28 (N.C. State at South Carolina and Oregon State at Stanford). The College Colors Day logo will be on the field at both games, which will be televised by ESPN and ESPN 2, respectively. In addition, Rice University will host the third annual College Colors Day Classic football game against in-state rival SMU on Aug. 29.

A 30-second College Colors Day television spot will run nationally on sports and news networks this week. This includes all of the ESPN networks, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and many others.

For more information on College Colors Day, visit

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Wednesday August 20, 2008
Contact: Lalena Price, Communications Coordinator, (304) 746-1989

Marshall University Graduate College hosts open house Saturday

SOUTH CHARLESTON - Marshall University Graduate College is opening its doors this Saturday to give busy professionals an opportunity to learn about the variety of advanced degrees conveniently offered at the South Charleston campus.

Doors will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 23, in the Administration Building on campus, 100 Angus E. Peyton Dr., South Charleston.

Depending on career goals and experience, potential students can apply to a variety of programs. Faculty and staff representing the following programs will be on hand during the open house event:

BUSINESS - Master of Business Administration, Executive MBA,  Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Master of Science in Health Care Administration and the doctoral program in Management Practice in Nurse Anesthesia (DMPNA).

EDUCATION - Elementary and Secondary Education, Reading, Special Education, Counseling, School Psychology, Leadership Studies (School Administration/Leadership Specialist), Graduate Humanities program, and Doctor of Education program

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING - Engineering, Environmental Science, Information Systems, Technology Management and Safety.

Admission and financial aid experts also will be available to answer questions.


Following the open house, Marshall University's One Book author for 2008, Tim O'Brien, will be speaking to students, faculty, staff and community members from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at a small reception at the South Charleston Campus. This will be his only engagement in the Kanawha Valley.

O'Brien is the author of The Things They Carried, which was a finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He also will be the featured speaker Sunday, Aug. 24, at Marshall's Freshman Convocation in Huntington, which highlights Welcome Weekend and begins at 3 p.m. at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

O'Brien is a native of Worthington, Minn. He graduated in 1968 from Macalester College in St. Paul and served as a foot soldier in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970, after which he pursued graduate studies in government at Harvard University. He later worked as a national affairs reporter for the Washington Post and now lives in Massachusetts. His other works include: Going After Cacciato, In the Lake of the Woods, July, July, If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home, Tomcat in Love, and The Nuclear Age.

One Book is part of Marshall's First Year Experience, a program used nationwide by many universities to help assure that students have a successful first year and will want to remain in school. The One Book committee selected The Things They Carried from about 50 books that were suggested by faculty, staff and students as possibilities for the 2008 program.

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Tuesday August 19, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

WMUL students, faculty manager receive 11 awards

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students and the faculty manager from WMUL-FM, Marshall University's public radio station, received five awards in the Omni Intermedia Awards Spring 2008 Audio Production Competition and six in the Millennium Awards 2008 Competition, results of which were announced this summer.

MU students received one Silver Omni Award and four Bronze Omni Awards in the Omni competition. The winners were announced by Media Corp. Inc. in Lexington, Ky. Marshall students and Faculty Manager Dr. Chuck G. Bailey received two Gold Awards and four Silver Awards in the Millennium competition. Those winners were named in a letter from Snoqualmie, Wash.

The Silver Omni award-winning entry by WMUL-FM was:

Radio News

"The Pumpkin House: Trick or Treat Night," written and produced by Adam Cavalier, a senior from Montgomery, W.Va., broadcast during "5 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88."

The four Bronze Omni award-winning entries were:

Radio News

"Storytime for West Virginia," written and produced by Kimberly Burcham, a recent graduate from Huntington, broadcast during "5 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88."

Radio Public Service Announcement

"Intolerance," an in-house public service announcement, written and produced by Terry Bartley, a senior from Foster, W.Va., broadcast in Public Service Announcement rotation.

Radio Sports Play-By-Play

WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University-East Carolina football game played Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007 at Marshall. Students calling the game were play-by-play announcer Ryan Epling, a graduate student from Wayne; color commentator Brian Dalek, a senior from McMechen, W.Va.; sideline reporter Andrew Ramspacher, a sophomore from Dublin, Ohio; and engineers Scott Hall, a recent master's graduate from Stephens City, Va., and Boom Madison, a freshman from Olympia, Wash.

Radio Sports Play-By-Play

WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall-UAB football game played Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at Marshall. Students calling the game were Cavalier, who did play-by-play; Hall, who was the color commentator; sideline reporter Robert Iddings, a sophomore from St. Albans, W.Va.; and engineer Deven Swartz, a senior from Philippi, W.Va.

The Omni Intermedia Awards are owned and operated by Media Corp Inc., which exists to recognize outstanding media productions that engage, empower and enlighten. Media Corp Inc. is also dedicated to educating and training higher education students. Winners of the Omni Awards come from radio stations, production facilities, advertising and public relations agencies, government entities, technicians, narrators, writers, and other professionals associated with the production of audio broadcasts and materials.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment," Bailey said. "I am proud of the honor these Silver and Bronze Omni Intermedia Awards bestow on WMUL-FM, the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Marshall University."

The two Gold Awards in the Millennium competition were in the following categories:

Feature Package

"The Pumpkin House: Trick or Treat Night."

Sports Play-By-Play

WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University-East Carolina football game played Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007 at Marshall.

The four Silver Awards were in the following categories:

Publication/Manual Training

"WMUL-FM Promo and PSA Production Manual," written by Bailey and Cavalier, WMUL-FM Production Director. The manual was written for the student and community volunteer staff members of the campus radio station and was published in December 2007.

Public Service Announcement

"Captain Pollution," an in-house public service announcement, written and produced by Cavalier, Luke Williams, a freshman from Cross Lanes, W.Va., Leannda Carey, a freshman from Wellsburg, W.Va., and Mark Swinkels, an international student from Nieuwleoop, Holland, broadcast in Public Service Announcement rotation.


"The Quest for Healthy Breasts," written and produced by Blair Morse, a recent graduate from Shelbyville, Ky., broadcast during "Aircheck."

Sports Play-By-Play

WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University-University of Memphis men's basketball game played Saturday, Jan. 12 at Marshall. Students calling the game were Cavalier, who did play-by-play; Dalek, who was the color commentator, and engineer Justin Prince, a freshman from Kenova.

The Millennium Awards were created to honor outstanding creativity, skill, craft and talent in television/film/video/commercials, print, advertising, Web design, audio and radio. Entries are judged by industry professionals who look for companies and individuals who raise the bar of excellence. There were more than 1,200 entries in the 2008 competition.

"This is a noteworthy accomplishment for WMUL-FM to be recognized as having broadcast one of the best feature packages as well as one of the best play-by-play calls of a college football game in the country," Bailey said. "Adam Cavalier's feature package has received multiple awards and this latest gold award further validates the quality of his news reporting skills. Likewise, Marshall fans are treated to superb coverage of Thundering Herd sports by the 88 FM sports team."

For more information on WMUL's awards, contact Bailey at (304) 696-2294.

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Saturday August 16, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories dedicated

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The planned accreditation of Marshall University's engineering program moved closer to reality today with the dedication of the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories on Marshall's Huntington campus.

The $4.2 million, 16,000-square-foot facility containing the engineering laboratories, which sits across 3rd Avenue from Smith Hall, is named in honor of philanthropists Arthur and Joan Weisberg of Huntington. Signage revealing the name of the building was unveiled during today's event.

The Weisbergs also joined Marshall's Pathway of Prominence today. Donors who present gifts of $1 million or more to Marshall are honored with a plaque on the Pathway, which is located at the center of the Huntington campus between Old Main and the Memorial Student Center. The plaque was unveiled during the ceremony.

"This new facility is a tremendous milestone in the history of the University, and without Art and Joan, we would not be where we are today," Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said. "Their most recent gift has been one of the most important factors in our ability to move forward on the construction and development of the new engineering laboratories."

In January 2006, Marshall University's Board of Governors approved a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (BSE), to be offered in the College of Information Technology and Engineering's Division of Engineering and Computer Science. One of the most important steps in establishing a four-year, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited engineering degree is construction of new facilities.

In May 2006, the Weisbergs, owners of State Electric Supply Company in Huntington, contributed $2.5 million in support of Marshall's Division of Engineering and Computer Science. The division was renamed the Arthur and Joan Weisberg Division of Engineering and Computer Science to honor their many years of supporting Marshall.

In December 2007, the Weisbergs increased their commitment to engineering at Marshall by expanding their 2006 pledge to $5 million. According to the revised commitment, as much of the funds as needed went toward construction of the engineering laboratories, with any remaining funds going to the Weisberg division to provide support for future needs of the program. Additional funds for the project were raised through Marshall's Bridge Campaign.

Currently, the Marshall BSE offers an area of emphasis in civil engineering, and the new facility will house laboratories to support courses in material testing, soil mechanics, hydraulics, and environmental engineering. There also is room for expansion as the program adds other emphasis areas such as mechanical engineering.

The building also will have an electronic classroom, offices, a technician room, a balance room and a visualization lab, where simulated environments will be created for specialized training and research. The new facility provides essential resources for accreditation of the engineering program, which Marshall plans to seek in the 2009-2010 academic year.

Art and Joan Weisberg have demonstrated on many occasions their commitment to continuing education and to helping Marshall and the community grow together. They have been major contributors to Marshall for many years, supporting the Arthur and Joan Weisberg Chairs in Software Engineering and the Arthur and Joan Weisberg Division of Engineering and Computer Science. In recognition of their dedication, both Art and Joan Weisberg received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Marshall last spring.

"Marshall is a major asset to the community," Art Weisberg said. "Marshall is the vehicle we are going to use to keep up in the future. Huntington is a great place to start a business and raise a family. Why shouldn't Huntington succeed? Marshall helps by training people who give back to Huntington."

Art Weisberg said he believes that his success with State Electric, which began in Huntington in 1952 and has grown to 41 branches in five states, proves that the future is unlimited for Marshall and the community.

"I'm a hardware salesman," he said. "Huntington people and Marshall people have been very kind to me. Why have I come this far? Hard work, dedication and believing in ideas. I started this business with no money, no future and no inventory. But I got immersed in it. In six months, I loved it."

Joan Weisberg described the new engineering lab building as "wonderful" and important to the future of Marshall and Huntington.

"Good schools are a hallmark of a fine community," she said. "The best thing you can do is help people help themselves at a higher economic and intellectual level. (Through the engineering program) people will be getting training for intellectually challenging and beneficial jobs."

Dr.  Betsy Dulin, dean of CITE, acknowledged the impact of the Weisbergs' support of the engineering program at Marshall.

"With their unerring vision for the future of technology and their unsurpassed community spirit, Art and Joan Weisberg have been with the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE) from the beginning," Dulin said. "Their early support for our faculty and students and the naming gift for the Weisberg Division of Engineering and Computer Science were major catalysts for the development and growth of the college.  Their most recent gift enables us to pursue the next important steps of our growth, including further development of the engineering and computer laboratory components of our program in preparation for an accreditation visit next year.  We're honored and privileged to name the new facility in recognition of their generosity."

Sen. Robert Plymale, chair of the Senate Education Committee, was the lead sponsor of legislation in 2004 that led to the restart of Marshall's engineering program.

"The opening of this building is a defining moment in the engineering program at Marshall University," Plymale said. "I equate this to when I was a student here and the medical school was established, and the impact it has had on the university and community. I believe the engineering school can have that same impact."

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Thursday August 14, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Picnic, Freshman Convocation highlight Welcome Weekend activities

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students arriving soon at Marshall University for the start of the fall 2008 semester no longer need to look at artist's renderings to get a glimpse into the future of the Huntington campus.

That future, at least in part, has arrived. At the east end of campus, construction of the 161,000-square-foot First Year Residence Halls is finished. At the west end of campus is the 16,000- square-foot engineering laboratory, construction of which also was completed this summer.

The massive Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center, located just east of the new residence halls, also is taking shape. The 123,000-square-foot building will open in February 2009. And, early construction of the 38,000-square-foot Foundation and Alumni Center on 5th Avenue, which will open in fall 2009, is well under way.

Fall classes begin on Monday, Aug. 25, preceded as usual by Welcome Weekend activities, which start at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 22 when freshmen can begin moving into their rooms. Although everything is new for the freshmen, returning students can't help but notice the physical changes and the excitement that accompanies the start of another school year.

"This time of year is the most exciting to be a part of the Marshall family," said Matt James, president of Marshall's student body. "Our campus and community are filled with plenty of activities and individuals who have worked tirelessly to welcome our students.  Construction is continuing on the highly-anticipated health and recreation facility and, of course, football season is right around the corner."

Welcome Weekend is a three-day event highlighted by a family picnic from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 on Buskirk Field, and the Freshman Convocation, which begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried, will be the featured speaker at the Freshman Convocation. Other speakers include MU President Stephen J. Kopp, head football Coach Mark Snyder, and James. New Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gayle Ormiston will introduce the deans and vice presidents to the students.

The Things They Carried is the book chosen this year for Marshall's common reading program called One Book Marshall, which is part of MU's First Year Experience program. O'Brien's book is fiction, but is based on people he knew in the Vietnam War. Barbara Winters, dean of libraries at Marshall, said O'Brien will be "a very powerful speaker."

The freshman class will meet at the Memorial Student Center plaza at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for a group photograph, then walk west on 4th Avenue to the Keith-Albee for the convocation. The students will be led by to the convocation by the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps.

"The convocation is just like the first day of class. It's the most important time of the year when students get their game faces on and figure out what they are doing," said Steve Hensley, dean of student affairs. "The convocation is a practical and realistic beginning to the semester. The students learn what their obligations are and get started the next day."

The construction on campus this summer was not limited to the new buildings. Many repairs and renovations took place as well. Some of these include:

  • Complete renovation of the registrar's office in Old Main
  • Upgrading of the 7th floor offices in Smith Hall
  • multiple repairs to sidewalks
  • repaired benches
  • exterior lighting updates
  • installation of new projection screens in seven classrooms in the Science Building
  • new air conditioning units in Gullickson Hall classrooms 120 through 130
  • conversion of all water faucets in Harris Hall to motion activated faucets
  • installation of safety eye wash units on each floor of the Science Building
  • painting and repairs in buildings throughout campus, such as Corbly Hall, Drinko Library, Henderson Center, Smith Hall, the Science Building and Prichard Hall
  • Stripping and waxing of floors in all academic buildings
  • Renovations to the Shewey Athletic Building

Marshall also hired four administrators over the summer. They include:

  • Dr. Betsy Dulin, dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), who returned as dean effective June 1. Before being named dean, she was a professor at Marshall.
  • Dr. Shari Clark, vice president of multicultural affairs, effective June 1. Before coming to Marshall, Clark was the associate vice president for student affairs at Temple University in Philadelphia.
  • Dr. Chong Kim, interim dean of the Lewis College of Business (LCOB), effective June 13. He is head of the Management and Marketing Division of the College of Business, and previously served as interim dean of the LCOB.
  • Dr. Gayle Ormiston, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, effective Aug. 18. Ormiston was associate provost for faculty affairs and curriculum at Kent State University before coming to Marshall.

In addition, 37 new faculty have been hired at MU, according to Dr. Frances Hensley, associate vice president for academic affairs.

Marshall also is offering new undergraduate majors this fall. They are Hospitality Management (in the Family and Consumer Sciences program), Environmental Chemistry (in the Department of Chemistry) and International Business (in the Division of Finance and Economics).

New areas of emphasis, all within the Family and Consumer Sciences program, are Food Service Management, Hotel/Lodging and Culinary Arts.

Here is a look at the Welcome Weekend 2008 schedule:

Friday, Aug. 22

9 a.m. - New student move-in

Noon to 3 p.m. - Dodgeball tournament in Gullickson Hall

4:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Family picnic on Buskirk Field and the Memorial Student Center plaza. MU deans and faculty will serve ice cream. The Marshall University Marching Thunder also will perform.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Wal-Mart bus ride with Student Activities (leaving from the student center)

9 to 11 p.m. -We Are Marshall, the movie, will be shown on Buskirk Field. Those attending are encouraged to bring blankets.

Saturday Aug. 23

9 a.m. - New student move-in

9 to 11 a.m. - Continental Breakfast Social at the Memorial Student Center

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Wal-Mart bus ride with Student Activities (leaving from the student center)

1 to 4 p.m. - Target bus ride with Student Activities (leaving from the student center)

5 to 8 p.m. - Welcome Weekend Showdown on Buskirk Field and the Memorial Student Center plaza. This event is full of fun activities, free food and opportunities for students to socialize with each other. Students may:

  • Tie dye their own Marshall T-shirt
  • Participate in a cornhole competition
  • Listen to the sounds of DJ Money
  • Eat free pizza and food from Papa John's, Domino's, Pizza Hut, Pita Pit and McDonald's

5:30 to 6 p.m. - Stewarts Hot Dog Eating Contest on Memorial Student Center plaza or Buskirk Field

6 to 7 p.m. - Speed Meet on the Green. This event is intended for new students to get better acquainted with other new students and make new friends on campus.

Prizes to be given out include gas cards, Max and Erma's gift cards, Wendy's coupons, Cold Stone Creamery coupons, Applebee's gift cards and much more.

8 to 10 p.m. - "Luau," hosted by the fraternities and sororities, on the Memorial Student Center plaza and Buskirk Field. Students may enjoy the dunking booth, win door prizes and participate in X Box tournaments.

The following offices will be open on Saturday:

  • Admissions, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Registrar, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Bursar, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • I.D., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Parking, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Financial Aid, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Recruitment/Welcome Center, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Sunday,  Aug.  24

9 a.m. - New student move-in

Noon to 2 p.m. - Class walk-through. Returning Marshall students will assist in guiding new students through their class schedules (meet at Memorial Student Center plaza).

2:30 p.m. - Freshman class picture. New students will meet at the Memorial Student Center plaza for the entering 2008 class photo.

2:40 p.m. - Students will leave campus and walk west on 4th Avenue to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

3 p.m. - The President's Freshman Convocation at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

4:30 to 5 p.m. - Post-convocation reception hosted by the One Book Marshall committee. Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried, will autograph his book at the Memorial Student Center.

5 to 6:30 p.m. - Residence Services picnic on the plaza of the Marshall Commons residence halls.

The following offices will be open on Sunday:

  • Bursar, noon to 4 p.m.
  • I.D., noon to 4 p.m.
  • Parking, noon to 4 p.m.
  • Recruitment/Welcome Center, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Direct Link to This Release

    Wednesday August 13, 2008
    Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

    MU Early Education Center begins enrolling children for 2008-2009

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Early Education Center has begun registering Pre-K children (ages 3 and 4) for the 2008-2009 school year, according to Kelly Walker, who has just begun work as lead teacher for the facility. Classes begin August 25. Limited spaces are available, with preference given to four year olds as well as three year olds who qualify for Pre-K special needs services. 

    Walker is a master's-level, early-childhood-certified educator with more than 10 years of experience working with young children. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Marshall and has taught in both public Pre-K and Head Start programs since.

    "I am extremely excited to become a member of the Marshall University family again," Walker said. "I look forward to serving the children and families of the MUEEC as well."

    The MUEEC is a nationally accredited training and research facility for pre- and in-service early childhood educators, and will also be a collaborative site for the Cabell County Pre-K program for the upcoming year. It places strong emphasis on the study of children's and teachers' development of critical thinking, technology, and other 21st Century skills. The children and teachers work collaboratively in an active, play-based environment to co-construct learning.

    The MUEEC is licensed by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and maintains compliance with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal and Marshall University. 

    "Faculty and staff work hard to make the MUEEC a quality, innovative program from which children will both benefit and reap hours of enjoyment,"  said Dr. Janet Dozier, faculty advisor for the center. "We continue to work diligently to develop teaching methods, support, and resources for pre-service educators, seeking to incorporate a rich, child-centered approach to learning."

    For additional information about enrolling their children at the MUEEC, persons may contact Walker at (304) 696-3498.

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    Wednesday August 13, 2008
    Contact: Lalena Price, Communications Coordinator, (304) 746-1989

    Tickets on sale for Paint the Capital City Green pep rally

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Tickets are still available for Marshall University's Paint the Capital City Green pep rally Wednesday, Aug. 20 in Charleston.

    Advance only tickets are on sale now for $35. To order tickets, call (304) 696-7138.

    Paint the Capital City Green is the nation's largest indoor pep rally for Thundering Herd alumni, fans and friends. Festivities start at 6 p.m. at Charleston's Embassy Suites Hotel.

    Friends of Coal returns this year as the event's title sponsor. Paint the Capital City Green is hosted by the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, the Marshall University Alumni Association, the Greater Kanawha Valley Alumni Club and the Charleston Quarterback Club. Event proceeds benefit the Big Green Scholarship Foundation and the Marshall University Alumni Association.

    Marshall fans will get to meet President Stephen J. Kopp and hear from head football Coach Mark Snyder and other members of the university's coaching staff as well as key players on the team. The event begins with a pep rally and tailgate spread featuring entertainment by Marco and the cheerleading squad, as well as music from members of the Marshall University Marching Thunder. A formal program begins at 7:15 p.m.

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    Tuesday August 12, 2008
    Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

    Parthenon writers, editors win awards, scholarships

    WHEELING, W.Va. Editors and writers for The Parthenon, Marshall University's campus newspaper, picked up three first-place awards and three scholarships at the West Virginia Press Association annual convention at Oglebay Resort on Friday and Saturday.

    The Better Newspaper Contest honors the best in West Virginia journalism with awards in six divisions based on circulation, three for dailies and three for weeklies. The Parthenon competes in Division III with daily newspapers such as the Times-West Virginian in Fairmont and The Inter-Mountain in Elkins. Awards were for 2007 work, and the contest included 2,525 entries.

    "We constantly tell our students that The Parthenon is a real newsroom and that we are just as much a part of the Tri-State media market as any other outlet," said Nerissa Young, Parthenon adviser. "These awards validate that and validate the quality of work our students are doing to serve the Huntington community. This quality is why two of our students doing summer internships were offered full-time jobs on the spot."

    The Parthenon staff won first place for service to the community for its United Way series that ran in the fall. Editors and writers from the JMC 301 class collaborated to cover every agency that receives money from United Way of the River Cities.

    "The Parthenon is the only media outlet equipped to do this series," Young said. "We sent two dozen reporters into the community to talk with representatives from each agency and individuals who received services from those agencies. I commend my colleague Burnis Morris for designing the series."

    Lauren Eubank and Holly R. Rice picked up first-place awards for best coverage of legal issues and the courts and sports newswriting, respectively.

    Eubank, a senior broadcast journalism major from South Charleston, won for her story about the lawsuit involving the Warner Bros. film "We Are Marshall" and the producers of the documentary "Ashes to Glory," which tell the story of the 1970 football team plane crash.

    "Lauren did an excellent job of breaking down the components of a complicated civil lawsuit and writing a story anyone could understand," Young said. "Her story was the first to cover some aspects of the case, and she has continued to cover it even though she is not required to through a class."

    Rice, a senior broadcast journalism major from Kenova, won for her story about a local connection to the Marion Jones doping scandal that broke last fall. Jones is sitting out the Beijing Olympics.

    "Holly's story is an excellent example of enterprise reporting in finding a local angle to a national and international story," Young said. "She found out about and developed this story on her own."

    Editors earned second place in the newspaper design category for their Halloween Day issue. Senior print journalism major Kristin Steele from Wayne and May print journalism graduate Melissa Newman from Shepherdstown earned second place for best editorial page.

    Parthenon writers Leann Dickens, Casey D. Rowe and Sarina LoPresti received honorable mention for their news package about the Emmons fire. Dickens is a May public relations graduate from Orgas. Rowe is a senior public relations major from Ceredo. LoPresti is a senior print journalism major from Poughquag, N.Y.

    Young picked up a third-place award for columnist in Division I, which includes the Charleston, Huntington and Beckley newspapers. She writes "The Back Porch," a Saturday column for The (Beckley, W.Va.) Register-Herald. Young is just one of 23 Marshall journalism alumni who won more than 60 awards at the convention.

    Summer executive editor Tom Bragg, former managing editor Kristin Steele and former staff writer Morgan Unger received three of the press association foundation's five $1,000 memorial scholarships.

    Bragg, a senior print journalism major from Cross Lanes, received the scholarship in memory of Cecil B. Highland Jr., president of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

    Steele received the scholarship in memory of Phil Fourney, publisher of the Ravenswood News and past president of the state press association.

    Unger, a junior print journalism major from Berkeley Springs, received the scholarship in memory of Roy G. Owens, owner and publisher of the St. Marys Oracle.

    George Wallace, vice president of the foundation and publisher of the Brooke County Review, said the selection committee had a difficult time choosing five students from among the 44 outstanding applications.

    Young said, "I've worked closely with each of these students. They are among our best. I was not surprised that the foundation chose them."

    Scholarships were handed out at Friday's luncheon and the newspaper awards were handed out at Saturday evening's banquet.


    Direct Link to This Release

    Friday August 8, 2008
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    Marshall's Society of Yeager Scholars program receives $15,000 grant from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A grant of $15,000 from the Board of Trustees of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will help support Marshall University's Society of Yeager Scholars.

    "This gift, as stipulated in our proposal, will be deposited into the Society of Yeager Scholars Endowment for the Society of Yeager Scholars program at Marshall," said Bob Galardi, Director of Major Gifts for the Society of Yeager Scholars. "The grant will assist us in our efforts to compete with the rising costs of our Yeager Scholars' studies at Marshall."

    The donation is a first-time gift from the California-based Hilton Foundation, which was established in 1944 by hotel entrepreneur Conrad N. Hilton. Offices are located in Los Angeles, Calif., and Reno, Nev.

    "The grant demonstrates the importance of securing the new funding sources needed to grow our program in the 21st Century," Galardi said.

    For more information or to contribute to the Society of Yeager Scholars, contact Galardi at (304) 696-3336 or e-mail him at

    Direct Link to This Release

    Thursday August 7, 2008
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    Three Marshall BOG members reappointed for four years

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin has reappointed three members of Marshall University's Board of Governors to four-year terms.

    Those reappointed to terms ending June 30, 2012 include Letitia Neese Chafin of Williamson, W.Va., John G. Hess of Barboursville and Verna K. Gibson of Sarasota, Fla.

    Chafin is an attorney with the H. Truman Chafin Law Firm, PLLC, in Williamson, W.Va.

    Hess, a certified public accountant, is a partner with the Certified Public Accounting firm of Hess, Stewart & Campbell, PLLC, which has offices in Huntington and Beckley.

    Gibson is nationally known for her career and leadership in the retail fashion clothing industry. She was the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

    Direct Link to This Release

    Friday August 1, 2008
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    Marshall University assistant professor receives Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Award

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Laura R. McCunn, an assistant professor in Marshall University's Department of Chemistry, has been named one of eight recipients of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Award. The unrestricted five-year grant provides $30,000 to begin her research program.

    McCunn, a native of northeast Ohio, was hired at Marshall last spring and will begin teaching at MU this fall. She is one of only five faculty from a public institution in the past five years to receive the start-up award, according to Dr. Michael Castellani, professor and chair of Marshall's Department of Chemistry.

    "It's really a great thing to help get her started," Castellani said.

    McCunn, a physical chemist, received her B.S. degree in biochemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. She also received a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University.

    Her research interests include the structure, stability and other properties of radicals, which are reactive chemical species created during combustion. McCunn is building a matrix-isolation instrument to measure the vibrational spectra of the radicals.  The apparatus will also be used to learn about the photochemistry of halogenated hydrocarbons, such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons).

    "We're extremely pleased that Laura received this award," Castellani said. "The money will allow her to hire undergraduate students to study in her research lab and so increase the educational opportunities for our students.  This program is very competitive and the award also raises the stature of both our department and the College of Science nationally."

    Dr. Wayne Elmore, interim dean of Marshall's College of Science, said he is "very pleased" that McCunn has been awarded this prestigious award.

    "Her addition to the Chemistry Department improves an already excellent academic and research intensive program," Elmore said. "I am sure she will have a long and productive career at Marshall University."

    McCunn said she is "thrilled" to receive the award.

    "It is great for my research program and the department, and especially the students who will be able to work with me," she said. "I knew my application would be competitive, but it is a very difficult award to get."

    The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation supports the scholarly activity of new faculty in chemistry at primarily undergraduate institutions with the award to help initiate their independent research programs.

    The Faculty Start-up Awards Program is open to academic institutions in the states, districts and territories of the United States that grant a bachelor's or master's degree, but not a doctoral degree, in the chemical sciences, including biochemistry, materials chemistry and chemical engineering.

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