February 2008 News Releases

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

Margaret Randall featured presenter for Schmidlapp Distinguished Lectureship at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Margaret Randall, a writer, photographer and social activist who lived for nearly a quarter century in Latin America, will be the featured presenter for the Schmidlapp Distinguished Lectureship in Women's Studies on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

Randall will give a poetry reading at 1 p.m. Monday, March 10 in the third-floor atrium of the Drinko Library, then lecture on "Women and Resistance: Cuba and Nicaragua," at 7 p.m. that same day in the Memorial Student Center's Alumni Lounge.

The lectureship, which is free to the public, is sponsored by the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.  Marshall Women's Studies and the Women's Center also are supporting the event. Refreshments will be served at both the afternoon poetry reading and the evening lecture.

Randall's stay in Latin America included approximately nine years in Mexico, 11 years in Cuba and four in Nicaragua. Among her more than 80 titles are Cuban Women Now, Cuban Women Twenty Years Later, Sandino's Daughters, Sandino's Daughters Revisited, When I Look Into The Mirror And See You: Women, Terror & Resistance, and the recently-released Stones Witness.

As a sign of the significance of her writings, the U.S. government tried to have her deported in 1984, but failed.

For more information on Randall's visit, contact Dr. Greta Rensenbrink at (304) 696-2955.

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

Governor unveils Marshall University-themed stock car at Capitol

CHARLESTON - Nearly two weeks before it will possibly race on a grueling track in Bristol, Tenn., a Marshall University-themed stock car took a practice run on the Capitol grounds in Charleston today.

Gov. Joe Manchin, who unveiled the sleek green and white Dodge Charger emblazoned with the Marshall logo and Number 75, said majority shareholders Dana and Tonya Tomes are using the car as a vehicle to shine a positive light on their alma mater and the State of West Virginia.

"You are among the first to see - and hear - this car," Manchin said. "It's truly a nice touch that the number 75 serves as a tribute to those who perished in the Marshall plane crash of 1970."

Manchin also introduced Brett Rowe, a Barboursville native and former ARCA Lincoln Welder Truck Series national champion and 2004 Rookie of the Year. Rowe will race the Marshall car for Herd Racing, hopefully as early as March 15 in the Sharpie Mini 300 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

"A lot of people know about Marshall because of the 'We Are Marshall' movie, but I think NASCAR can bring even more exposure to the university," Rowe said. "At Herd Racing, we really are Marshall. Everyone on staff has strong ties to the school as well as the Tri-State area. It is exciting to see how much exposure we can get for both as we compete nationally."

Herd Racing LLC is a West Virginia-based NASCAR-sanctioned Nationwide Series team. The Tomes family approached university officials about using official Marshall logos on the hood of the car as well as in sponsorship materials at no cost to the school.

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp is excited about the unique opportunity to reach new audiences and tell Marshall's story.

"Once people see this car and meet the amazing team involved in Herd Racing," Kopp said. "They will naturally want to learn about Marshall. It is a great partnership for us and we appreciate all of their efforts."

Dana Tomes said Herd Racing is still working to sign more sponsors for the new team.

"I feel confident that sponsors see the great opportunity here," Tomes said. "Not only are they  supporting Marshall University but they are also helping put West Virginia in the national spotlight in one of America's most popular sports."

For more information on Herd Racing, go to http://www.herdracing.com

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

Festival Band Weekend attracts 300 W.Va. high school students

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - About 300 students from 36 high schools in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia will be on Marshall University's Huntington campus Thursday through Saturday to participate in Festival Band Weekend.

The students, who were nominated by their band directors to participate in Festival Band Weekend, will audition on Thursday evening and then be divided into three bands of about 100 students each: the John Marshall Band (Recital Hall stage), Thundering Herd Band (Band Room) and Marco's Marauders (Jomie Jazz Center Rehearsal Room). Each of the bands will rehearse at various times Friday and Saturday in preparation for a concert performance Saturday afternoon.  

Steve Barnett, Marshall's Director of Bands, said three "outstanding" guest conductors will be working with the groups. They include Dr. Dwayne Sagen, Director of Bands at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.; Dr. Richard Lemke, former Marshall University Director of Bands; and Tommy Thompson, former interim Marshall Director of Bands and longtime area band director.

The students also will be attending master classes at 4 p.m. Friday. In these classes, they will receive special instruction on their musical instruments.

The Marshall Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will perform in concert for the Festival Band participants and directors at 8 p.m. Friday in Smith Recital Hall. The concert is free to the public.

The students' concert, which also is free to the public, begins at 4 p.m. Saturday in Smith Recital Hall.

For more information, contact Barnett at (304) 696-2317.

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

Women Tech Academy brings 36 8th-grade female students from Mercer County to Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Thirty-six 8th-grade female students from schools in Mercer County, W.Va., will visit Marshall University's Huntington campus on Saturday, March 1 to take part in an activity affiliated with a program called Women Tech Academy.

Women Tech Academy was developed by Mercer County Schools, in a partnership with Bluefield State College, to encourage female students to consider technical careers, particularly engineering. The program has been in existence for four years.

The students' visit to Marshall is one of four quarterly activities planned throughout the school year as part of the academy. The students also attend a week-long academy each summer, focusing on different fields of engineering and taking a field trip to see science and engineering in action.

"They contacted Marshall expressing an interest in seeing our Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center and some presentations," Beth Wolfe, coordinator of STEM Outreach at Marshall, said of Mercer County Schools. "Carol McClaugherty, their director, said the response from their students was absolutely overwhelming. They are very interested, very excited about coming to Marshall."

Here is the agenda for Saturday's visit to Marshall:

11 a.m. - Students arrive at Harless Dining Hall (Ed Grose Room)
11:10 a.m. - Welcome, Beth Wolfe, Coordinator STEM Outreach
11:15 a.m. - Remarks by Dr. Sarah Denman, Provost
11:45 a.m. - Introduction of Marshall faculty and students in attendance
Noon - Lunch
12:40 p.m. - Remarks by Betsy Dulin, JD, PE, Marshall faculty
1 p.m. - Tower-building activity, Gullickson Hall
2 p.m. - Tour of Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center
2:40 p.m. - Presentation and campus tour, Recruitment and Welcome Center
4 p.m. - Students depart

In addition to encouraging the students to consider a technical career and to take higher-level math and science classes to prepare for college, the Women Tech Academy gives them the support and resources they need throughout their high school years.

"When they come to Marshall they will hopefully learn some things, get to see the campus, have some fun and be inspired," Wolfe said.

According to Wolfe, a team of girls from Women Tech Academy won the state competition for the West Point Bridge Design contest last year, and they will attempt to qualify for the state contest again this year.

For more information on Saturday's event, call Wolfe at (304) 696-6007 or e-mail her at Beth.wolfe@marshall.edu.

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Monday February 25, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University Foundation Inc. establishes scholarship in honor of Homer Hickam Sr.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Foundation Inc. is establishing the Homer Hickam Sr.-Red Helmet Scholarship for children and grandchildren of coal miners and mine rescue team members.

The scholarship honors Homer Hickam Sr., a coal miner and father of New York Times best-selling author Homer Hickam Jr. Homer Hickam Sr. was instrumental in developing the first mine rescue team units in West Virginia.

"My father knew the value of a good education," Homer Hickam Jr. said in a recent interview.  "He wasn't able to go to college but he saw to it that my brother and I had the means to go.  By creating this scholarship at Marshall University, I hope to draw attention to the higher education opportunities available to students of the coalfields."

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a West Virginia resident who is an undergraduate student and the child or grandchild of a coal miner or coal mine rescue team member.  The award is renewable for up to four years provided satisfactory academic progress is maintained.

Dr. Lynne Mayer, Associate Vice President for Development at Marshall, said, "This effort by Homer Hickam Jr. to honor his father is a wonderful and lasting tribute."

Homer Hickam Jr. is best known for his award-winning classic Rocket Boys: A Memoir that was made into the film October Sky.  Red Helmet, his latest novel, is a love story set in a contemporary West Virginia coal mining town.

Hickam, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree last year by Marshall University, says he will help promote the scholarship during his nation-wide Red Helmet tour this month and in March.   Hickam is scheduled to be in West Virginia to promote his new novel on Friday, Feb. 29 and Saturday, March 1.  Friday's schedule includes stops at Tamarack in Beckley at 1 p.m. and Hearthside Books in Bluefield at 5 p.m.  Saturday's visits will be at Empire Books in Huntington at 1 p.m. and Taylor Books in Charleston at 6 p.m.

"I'm pleased that we can honor my father and the work of mine rescue teams with this scholarship at Marshall," Hickam said. "Marshall is the university that services the Appalachian coalfields more than any other, and I am thrilled to help create this scholarship opportunity."

To contribute to the scholarship, please visit www.homerhickam.com or www.marshalluniversityfoundation.com. For more information on the scholarship, contact Tracy Straub, Donor Relations Coordinator, at straub5@marshall.edu or (304) 696-6781.

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Friday February 22, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Charleston attorney to speak during Women of Color Program

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Katherine L. "Kitty" Dooley, an attorney practicing in Charleston, W.Va., will be the keynote speaker at this year's Women of Color Program at Marshall University.

The program, which is free to the public, begins at noon Tuesday, March 4 in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall's Huntington campus. This year's theme is Women's Art and Women's Vision. Women of Color awards will be presented during the program and a reception will follow.

Dooley, who earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Marshall University in 1980 and is a 1990 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, is the principal of The Dooley Law Firm, P.L.L.C.

She is chair of the Board of Commissioners for the Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority. In 2006, she received the UniCare Community Service Award for her work with the Housing Authority.

Among her other affiliations, Dooley is a member of the Mountain State Bar Association, Inc., the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Association for Justice, the Judge John Fields American Inns of Court and the Charleston Branch of the NAACP.

She is serving her second term as a member of the Board of Governors of the West Virginia State Bar. Dooley is a board member of the Children's Home Society of West Virginia and is a member of the West Virginia University Women's Studies Visiting Committee.

The Women of Color Program activities are coordinated by Fran L. Jackson, Program Assistant II, Center for African American Students' Programs; Leah Tolliver, Director of the Women's Center; and Lisa Allen, Program Assistant I, Student Development.

Vendors and displays will be set up in the lobby of the Memorial Student Center throughout the day.

For more information, contact Fran L. Jackson at (304) 696-6705.

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Friday February 22, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall establishes scholarship in memory of Leah Hickman

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has established the Leah Hickman Memorial Scholarship in Journalism, according to Marshall University Foundation Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron Area.

Leah Hickman was a Marshall University broadcast journalism major who died in December 2007.

The scholarship will be awarded to a Marshall University freshman, sophomore or junior who is a full-time journalism student, a West Virginia resident and in good academic standing according to standards set by the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall.

The Leah Hickman Scholarship was made possible by donations from Dress Barn Inc., the many family and friends of Leah Hickman, and Leah's friends at the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Hickman's mother, Sherry Russell, helped the Marshall University Foundation with the formation of the scholarship as a way to honor her daughter's memory. 

"Leah had chosen journalism as a major because she wanted to be in a position where she could make a change, where she could influence others for good," Russell said.

"Leah Hickman's desire to help others will live on through this scholarship that bears her name," said Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp.   "The recipients of this scholarship and their life works will be a testament to Leah's life and the generosity of the many who have expressed their support of Leah's family during this tragic and difficult time."

Dr. Corley Dennison, dean of the School of Journalism, said Leah thoroughly enjoyed her shift at WMUL-FM, Marshall's student-run radio station.

"Many of our students have been asking about an appropriate way to remember Leah," Dennison said. "We are currently working on the details of several fundraisers and the proceeds from those will be contributed to the scholarship fund named in her honor." 

To contribute to the scholarship, visit www.marshalluniversityfoundation.com  or contact Tracy Straub, Donor Relations Coordinator, at (304) 696-6781. 

The first award will be made during the School of Journalism's annual spring banquet.

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Friday February 22, 2008
Contact: Jamie LoFiego, "Up Late", (304) 696-2967

Marshall president and 'Abe Lincoln' star on 'Up Late's' presidential show

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - "Up Late," Marshall University's student-run late-night television show, goes presidential during this weekend's show.

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp talks with "Up Late" host Jamie LoFiego about his Quoits game and new buildings on campus, and even throws a few softballs in the studio hallway to warm up the next guest, Rachel Folden.

Folden is an all-American catcher from Marshall selected as the first pick in the second round at the National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft by the Chicago Bandits. She was the only Conference USA member to be selected.

The "Up Late" crew also joins a "clone" of President Abraham Lincoln as he makes rounds on campus in honor of President's Day. The musical guest is singer/songwriter Traci Stanley of Wayne, W.Va., who performs her song, "Take You Back." Rebecca Doss, a sophomore from Barboursville, serves as doorkeeper this week.

The show airs from 11 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 on MyZTV and on Comcast Channel 25 throughout the weekend.

"Up Late" grew out of the Introduction to Video Production class taught by instructors LoFiego and Eric Himes, who both work with Marshall's Instructional Television Channel 25. It is produced entirely by students and has a late-night show quality featuring interviews, skits, ridiculous stunts, guest bands and comedy.

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Thursday February 21, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Mak receives Scholar Award from Midwest District of AAHPERD

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Jennifer Y. Mak, associate professor and program coordinator in the Division of Exercise Science, Sport and Recreation at Marshall University, has been named the 2008 Midwest District Scholar of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD).

The Midwest District Scholar Program provides the means through which the Midwest District of AAHPERD recognizes an individual with an outstanding record of scholarly publications and presentations and active service to health, physical education, recreation, dance, and/or sport. Only one person per year receives this honor.

"It is a great encouragement for me to be recognized by my colleagues as a scholar," Mak said. "I will continue to work hard in developing my scholarship, teaching and professional leadership. Marshall has provided a great environment for me and I really enjoy working here. My recognition is only one example of Marshall's national prominence for excellence in the areas of high quality research, teaching and services."

Mak came to Marshall in August 2000 after receiving her doctoral degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her research and teaching focuses are marketing for sport and leisure industry and leisure behavior.

Mak has more than 35 refereed publications and more than 50 refereed or invited presentations at international, national, regional and state conferences. She has served on editorial boards for several publications, including Sport Management Education Journal and Journal of Physical Education and Recreation.

She also has received several prestigious awards, such as the Marshall University Distinguished Artists & Scholars Award and the Mabel Lee Award from the AAHPERD.

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

Marshall names Dr. David J. Pittenger dean of COLA

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. David J. Pittenger, Associate Provost at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga since 2004, has been named dean of Marshall University's College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. Frances Hensley, Marshall's Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Pittenger will assume his duties at Marshall on July 1.

"I see a lot of opportunity in the college and at the University, and I want to be a part of it," Pittenger said. "There is a strong commitment to students and eager faculty engaged in teaching, research and providing service for the community."

Don Van Horn, dean of Marshall's College of Fine Arts, headed the search committee that selected Pittenger. He said Pittenger emerged from a field of about 50 initial applicants.

"We felt that Dr. Pittenger had the strongest grasp of the kinds of issues that are challenging higher education right now and that he would be the one who could be the most effective leader for the College of Liberal Arts as we move into the future," Van Horn said.

Pittenger, a native of Akron, Ohio, received a B.A. in Psychology in 1979 from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio; an M.S. in Psychology in 1981 from Texas A&M University; and a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1989 from the University of Georgia.

Pittenger first went to UT-Chattanooga in 2000 as a professor and head of the Department of Psychology. He has extensive experience as a creative leader in a number of academic and administrative positions dating back to 1999, including department chair, department head, registrar and associate provost. He has educational and work experience at liberal arts colleges, regional comprehensive universities and research institutions.

In addition to UT-Chattanooga, Pittenger has taught at Texas A&M, Blinn Junior College in Bryan, Texas, the University of Georgia and Marietta College. As an instructor, Pittenger has earned national and local awards for excellence. He has considerable experience developing departmental and general educational curricula, strategic plans and assessment and accreditation activities.

Pittenger and his wife, Denise, are the parents of two grown children. Their daughter, Rebbecca, is working on her doctorate at the University of Kentucky and their son, Alex, is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Pittenger may be reached at david-pittenger@utc.edu or (423) 425-4778.

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

Nursing program's pass rate better than state, national averages

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Nursing Program has among the highest pass rates for the National Nursing Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses in West Virginia, according to Dr. Denise Landry, chair of the School of Nursing.

In fact, with a 95 percent pass rate in state nursing programs with 20 or more students in 2007, Marshall ranks number one.

By a wide margin, Marshall students have surpassed both the state and national averages.  In 2007, West Virginia students' rate of passage was 81 percent and the national average was approximately 85 percent, according to Pamela Alderman, president of the West Virginia Board of Registered Professional Nurses.

"I am extremely proud of our graduates and our nursing program," Landry said.  "We have an exceptional group of students who make many sacrifices - money, family, time - in order to attend our program.  And we have a dedicated faculty who work to provide these students with the highest quality education possible.  Our priority has always been to ensure that our students are prepared to pass the national nursing licensure exam and to assume the demanding duties and responsibilities of the professional nurse."

Students who complete nursing programs, either associate or baccalaureate degree programs, must take the National Council Licensure Examination to receive their licenses.

The Marshall Nursing Program recently implemented a quality improvement plan that has helped the steady increase in the pass rate over the past few years, according to Landry.

"We are very proud of our strong pass rate," Dr. Shortie McKinney, dean of Marshall's College of Health Professions, said.  "Our School of Nursing has support systems in place to strengthen the pass rate on the nursing exam.  As we move to increase the number of nursing students, maintaining a high pass rate is an important factor in our continued success."

For more information, contact Landry at (304) 696-2630.


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Monday February 18, 2008
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, (304) 746-1989

Capitol press corps, Marshall Journalism grads ready to poke a little fun at state leaders during 'Third House'

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - For the 19th consecutive year, members of the Capitol press corps are teaming up with the Marshall University W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) to bring "The Third House" to the stage.

The event, the school's largest annual fundraiser, will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the West Virginia Cultural Center Auditorium. A catered reception will follow the show. Tickets are $25 and are available from the Governor's Press Office, the President of the Senate's Office, or the SOJMC.

This year's production, "Live from the Archives, Library, Gift Shop and Grill," will feature WQBE's Larry McKay portraying former state Archives and History Director Fred Armstrong combing through "Third House" archives. As he does, the press corps troupe will showcase many best-of-the-best skits and musical satire from previous years. The production typically pokes a little fun at the expense of state leaders. SOJMC Dean Corley Dennison said this year's production won't disappoint. 

"Expect to see some of your old favorites as well as clever new skits from this session," Dennison said. "Several creative people put in a lot of time to make 'Third House' a great success. We appreciate their hard work, energy and cleverness."

"Third House" is organized by the SOJMC Alumni Association. Funds will directly benefit students.

To order tickets from the school or for more information, contact sojmc@marshall.edu or call (304) 696-2360.

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Monday February 18, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Construction of residence halls continues

Construction of two new living/learning residence halls on Marshall University's Huntington campus has continued throughout the winter months.

The two buildings, which will open in time for the start of the fall 2008 semester that begins in August, are part of a $94 million public-private project. Also under construction to the east of the residence halls is a 123,000 square-foot student recreation center, which is expected to open in February 2009.

Links to the images provided by Capstone Development Corp., which with its partners jointly developed the project for the Student Recreation Center and new residence halls, can be found at http://www.marshall.edu/www/images/rec/.

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Friday February 15, 2008
Contact: Jamie LoFiego, "Up Late", (304) 696-2967

Nationally known comic Jim Short can add MU's 'Up Late' to his resume

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Nationally known stand-up comic Jim Short - the Australian with the British accent - appears this weekend on "Up Late," Marshall University's student-run, late-night television show.

Australian-born Short is based now in San Francisco and has appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "Comedy Central's Premium Blend," "NBC's Late Friday," and "A&E's Comedy on the Road." He talks comedy with "Up Late" host Jamie LoFiego.

Short won the 2004 San Francisco International Stand Up Competition and was deemed a "Talk of the Fest" performer at the 2004 Montreal International Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Short is in Huntington for performances at the Funny Bone Comedy Club through the weekend.

"Up Late's" musical guest is regionally known rapper D.O. Ceasar and doorkeeper is Ariene Wiley, a junior from Princeton, W.Va. This week the "Up Late" crew plays its game, "Ultimate Trivia Challenge," in which students across campus answer random questions. Gerry the Troll shows his softer side as cameras follow him on a Valentine's Day date.

The show will air from 11 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 on MyZTV and on Comcast Channel 25 throughout the weekend.

"Up Late" grew out of the Introduction to Video Production class taught by instructors LoFiego and Eric Himes, who both work with Marshall's Instructional Television Channel 25. It is produced entirely by students and has a late-night show quality featuring interviews, skits, ridiculous stunts, guest bands and comedy.

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Friday February 15, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

CSX gift supports RTI, engineering program at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - CSX Corporation today presented $20,000 to Marshall University - $10,000 each to the Nick J. Rahall, II, Appalachian Transportation Institute and Marshall's newly reinstated engineering program.

A check presentation took place in the office of MU President Stephen J. Kopp on the Huntington campus. Kopp was joined by Randy Cheetham, CSX's Regional Vice President-Public Affairs, Robert Plymale, director of the Rahall Transportation Institute, Dr. Tony Szwilski, interim dean of Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), and Sara Mullen, director of development for CITE, in the presentation.

"CSX's contributions to the Rahall Transportation Institute and the new engineering school at Marshall recognize our long-standing relationship with the University and the important role it plays in Huntington, where so many of our employees live and work," Cheetham said. "RTI's research continues to be a vital resource for the railroad industry, strengthening its ability to support the American economy.  And we look forward to the day when Marshall University School of Engineering graduates come to work for CSX."

The funds will be used to support further research at the Rahall Transportation Institute and to fund a scholarship for the engineering program.

Plymale said the support of CSX is important to RTI's success.

"We appreciate CSX's ongoing financial and technical support for our research," Plymale said. "It is an important partnership for us."

Szwilski said he, too, is grateful for CSX's latest gift.

"The CSX scholarship is a significant investment in our engineering students," Szwilski said. "In addition, CSX is helping to support the engineering program's growth and success."

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

Annual Diversity Breakfast is Feb. 22 at Marshall; Director of Equity Programs is keynote speaker

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Michelle Brown Douglas, Director of Equity Programs at Marshall University since July 2007, will be the keynote speaker at Marshall's eighth annual Diversity Breakfast on Friday, Feb. 22.

The breakfast, which is expected to attract about 300 people from the university and the community, runs from 7:30 to 8:50 a.m. in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on Marshall's Huntington campus.

The Diversity Breakfast is presented by Black United Students in collaboration with Multicultural Affairs, Office of Student Affairs, College of Liberal Arts, Office of Academic Affairs, Student Activities Programming Board and International Programs.

"In today's society, more than ever, we must recognize and embrace the importance of living in a pluralistic world," said Maurice Cooley, Director of Marshall's Center for African American Students' Programs, and Interim Vice President of Multicultural Affairs at MU. "Our own United States is becoming more culturally and racially diverse each day. Marshall University, as an academic institution that is widely diverse within our own boundaries, must take a leading role of promoting and teaching others about acceptance and inclusiveness of others in our daily lives. The annual Diversity Breakfast is a time in our community set aside to celebrate the importance of inclusiveness."

Douglas, who is a native of Pompano Beach, Fla., will be introduced by Dominique Elmore, president of Marshall's Student Government Association. The breakfast also features special music from the Marshall University Student Jazz Combo and Muslim, Jewish and Christian blessings of the food.

Douglas has earned degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.A. in History and African American Studies) and Florida State University (M.A. in History) and has been working in higher education for the past 16 years.

Before coming to Marshall, she served as Director of Student Activities and Cultural Diversity at Ashland Community and Technical College from 2005 to 2007. She was the Assistant Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at Buffalo State College from 2001 to 2005. Douglas has taught at Morehouse College, the University of West Georgia and Buffalo State College.

Douglas' charge at Marshall is to promote and ensure equitable and fair treatment in every aspect of campus life, education and employment. She and her husband, Wade, have two children - 5-year-old daughter, Aria, and 3-month-old son, Quinton. They live in Milton, W.Va.

Cost to attend the Diversity Breakfast is $11 per person, or $100 for a table of eight. Payment in advance is preferred, but not required. To pay in advance, persons may visit Marshall's Center for African American Students' Programs in Room 1w25 of the Memorial Student Center. Or, call Fran Jackson at (304) 696-6705.

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Wednesday February 13, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

2-Hour Delay for Wednesday, Feb. 13

Marshall University's Huntington campus will be on a 2-hour delay (Code B) for Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Code B means that classes and opening of offices are affected.

For further information, visit http://www.marshall.edu/ucomm/weather.html.



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Tuesday February 12, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

SURE program continues this summer; applications being accepted

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will continue to offer the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program not only this summer, but through 2010, thanks to a grant renewal from the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (WVEPSCoR) Research Challenge Fund.

The program, first conducted at Marshall in 2005, is designed specifically to enable undergraduate researchers to work at Marshall. Each student will receive a stipend of $4,000, plus funds for travel and supplies.

SURE supports undergraduate researchers over a 10-week period, and this year's program runs from May 19 through July 25. The SURE program is now accepting applications for summer 2008.  Application forms are available at the SURE Web site:   www.marshall.edu/SURE.

"Anyone who is an undergraduate in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields at any institution here in West Virginia is eligible for the SURE program," said Dr. Michael Norton, professor of chemistry and director of the SURE program at MU.

Last summer, several Marshall University students received grants for research in the STEM fields. The students were: Charles Lowe (mathematics), Christina Newsome (chemistry), Deborah Preston (biology), Derek McKinney (environmental science), Jacob Kilgore (chemistry), Megan Neal (biology), Reema Patel (biology), Mai-lan Pham (biomedical sciences), Robert Gibson (biology), Samantha Newberry (biotechnology) and Zachary Tackett (biotechnology).

For more information, contact Norton at (304) 696-6627 or e-mail norton@marshall.edu. More detailed summaries of SURE students' projects are available on the SURE Web site.

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Tuesday February 12, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Award-winning writer to appear at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Writer Kirk Nesset will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in room 2W16 of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

Nesset is the author of Paradise Road, a collection of stories just out from the University of Pittsburgh Press and winner of the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize.  Writer Ann Beattie calls Nesset's stories "endlessly surprising."

He also is the author of two forthcoming collections of poems, as well as a non-fiction study of the works of Raymond Carver.

Nesset's work has been widely published in literary journals and magazines, including Paris Review, Ploughshares, Fiction, Prairie Schooner, and The Southern Review. He also is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and several grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

He teaches at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.

His appearance is sponsored by the Marshall English Department and the College of Liberal Arts.  It is free to the public.

For more information, contact Art Springer in the English Department at (304) 696-2403.

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Monday February 11, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Children can 'Grow With Music' this semester

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Children ages birth to 5 and their parents can still participate in "Grow With Music," a developmental music program that began Feb. 4 and will continue until May 21, according to Joni Pappas, director of the program, which is offered through the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Marshall University.

Pappas says the 45-minute sessions are designed to enhance a child's cognitive, social/emotional, speech/language and physical development by using age-appropriate music activities and movement. Emphasis is made on American folk music, with which most of the parents will be familiar, and virtually all of it will be performed live.

Classes are available for babies from birth to 18 months; toddlers from 18 to 36 months; and children from 3 to 5 years of age. Parent participation is required in the classes for the baby and toddler categories and optional for the 3-5 year category. Classes take place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, with both daytime and early evening sessions available. A maximum of 10 children is accepted per class.

"Music is very motivating for children of these ages," Pappas said. "We assist them in learning through play." She noted that children with special needs are welcome.

Pappas is a board-certified neurologic music therapist specializing in early childhood intervention, special education and older adults. Her private practice has included work in numerous pre-schools, early childhood centers, special education programs, nursing homes and rehabilitative centers in Iowa, Mississippi and Indiana. She also is a music educator, having taught pre-K-12 general and choral music in Dubuque, Ia. She is currently serving as adjunct faculty for the Department of Music at Marshall.

For information on the classes that are still available, persons may contact Pappas by e-mailing pappasj@marshall.edu, or by calling her at (304) 697-0211.

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Monday February 11, 2008
Contact: Mary Beth Reynolds, Interim Director of Assessment, (304) 696-2987

Marshall asks for student feedback on national survey

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Four thousand Marshall University students will be invited to participate in a national survey in which they can rate everything from the extent to which Marshall challenges them academically to the extent to which they interact with professors.

The names of 2,000 freshmen and 2,000 seniors will be randomly selected to complete the National Survey of Student Engagement this month. They will receive notification of the online survey in the coming weeks from both the university and NSSE, according to Mary Beth Reynolds, interim director of assessment for Marshall.

"We want to know what our students think of their curricular and co-curricular experiences, their surroundings, their activities, their professors and their Marshall experience as a whole," Reynolds said. "The results of NSSE will help us to assess our strengths and weaknesses as an institution.  What we learn will help us to enhance students' experiences at Marshall so that they are given the maximum opportunity to grow intellectually, personally and socially during their time here."

The invitation to participate in the survey will be sent to students in an e-mail from NSSE. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Results will be compiled over the summer and shared with administrators and faculty before the start of the 2008-2009 academic year, Reynolds said.

The survey will examine five benchmark areas:

·        Level of academic challenge

·        Active and collaborative learning

·        Student-faculty interaction

·        Enriching educational experiences

·        Supportive campus environment

The NSSE survey is administered by Indiana University.  It gathers information from more than 1,200 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide to enhance student learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college.

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Monday February 11, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

2- Hour Delay for Tuesday, Feb. 12

Marshall University will be on a 2-hour delay (Code B) on Tuesday morning, Feb. 12.

Code B means that both classes and opening of offices will be affected.

For further information on Marshall's weather policy, visit the following link: http://www.marshall.edu/ucomm/weather.html .


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

'The Vagina Monologues' is Feb. 15-16 at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Women's Center and Women's Studies are sponsoring the annual benefit production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" on Friday, Feb. 15 and Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall's Huntington campus.

The production, presented as part of the 2008 V-Day Campaign, will take place at 8 p.m. each day in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre. "The Vagina Monologues" is part of a campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and girls.

"The Vagina Monologues" also will help raise funds for local nonprofit organizations. The proceeds from the local event will be donated to Contact Rape Crisis Center, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter and TEAM for West Virginia Children.

Admission is $12 for the public and $8 for Marshall students. For more information, contact Leah Tolliver, Marshall University Women's Center Coordinator, at (304) 696-3338.


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

MTV reality television personality Ashley McNeeley helps 'Up Late' learn to date

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Reality television personality and former Marshall University Thundering Herd football player Ashley McNeeley guest stars on this week's episode of "Up Late," MU's student-run late-night television show.

McNeeley talks with host Jamie LoFiego about his recent fame, the MTV show "A Shot At Love," and his newest venture, "That's Amore," which begins airing March 5 on MTV. The cast and crew of "Up Late" also play a dating game with McNeeley with comical results. Will Sutherland, a senior from Shepherdstown, W.Va., shares his audition tape for his shot at reality television fame. Musical guest Mark Haas, a senior from Huntington, plays keyboard.

The show will air from 11 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 on MyZTV and on Comcast Channel 25 throughout the weekend.

"Up Late" grew out of the Introduction to Video Production class taught by instructors Lofiego and Eric Himes, who both work with Marshall's Instructional Television Channel 25. It is produced entirely by students and has a late-night show quality featuring interviews, skits, ridiculous stunts, guest bands and comedy.

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

Hot Shot Business Competition for Kids is Feb. 16 at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - High school and middle school students are invited to compete for certificates and prizes from local sponsors and entrepreneurs while learning about starting a business during the Hot Shot Business Competition for Kids Saturday, Feb. 16 at Marshall University's Huntington campus.

Hot Shot Business, a computer simulation game created by Disney© and the Kauffman Foundation©, shows young people what it is like to start a business. The format for the competition is fast-paced and fun and provides the opportunity to learn by doing.  Winners of each session will be determined by the largest profit earned.  Participants will learn how to spot business opportunities, deal with ethical dilemmas, get organized, make decisions and become savvy money managers.  

A workshop for parents and guardians will be offered while the students are taking part in the competition. It will provide information on local support services for entrepreneurs, how a hobby can be turned into a business, opportunities for government contracting, and continuing education opportunities.

Speakers, funding for prize packages, and volunteer support for the event is being provided by the following state and local sponsors: A Vision Shared; Advantage Valley Entrepreneurial Support Network and Entrepreneurial League System; BB&T; Community Trust Bank; Guaranty Bank and Trust; Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce; Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Committee; Jeslyn Performing Arts Center; Marshall Community and Technical College's Small Business Development Center; Marshall University Information Technology; Marshall University's Lewis College of Business; Marshall University's Office of Recruitment; Marshall University Technology Transfer Office; Opening Soon, Inc.; West Virginia State Community and Technical College; Regional Contracting Assistance Center, Inc. of Charleston, W.Va., and Yellow Brick Road.

Students may register for the Hot Shot Business Competition for Kids by calling Kathleen Thornton at Marshall University Community and Technical College's Small Business Development Center at (304) 399-1042. Deadline to register is 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Although there is no charge for the competition, a maximum of 80 participants will be accepted for each of the two sessions.

Here is the schedule for the day:

Morning session (middle school students)

9:30 a.m., registration (first-floor lobby of Corbly Hall, corner of 5th Avenue and Hal Greer Boulevard)
10 a.m., competition begins (one hour); workshop for parents/guardians
11:15 a.m., refreshments
11:30 a.m., speaker (winner is announced)

Afternoon session (high school students)

Noon, registration (first-floor lobby of Corbly Hall, corner of 5th Avenue and Hal Greer Boulevard)
12:30 p.m., competition begins (one hour); workshop for parents/guardians
1:45 p.m., refreshments
2 p.m., speaker (winner is announced)

Participants may practice for the competition by logging on to www.hotshotbusiness.com and creating an account.  Participants must bring their account usernames and passwords with them to the competition.

For more information, contact Amy Anastasia, Assistant Director of Marshall University's Technology Transfer Office, at (304) 696-4365


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

Book Marks '08 exhibition brings engaging, accessible contemporary art form to Marshall University's Birke Art Gallery

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Book Marks '08, an exhibition featuring established and emerging artists in the field of contemporary book arts, opened Monday, Feb. 11 at the Birke Art Gallery on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

The exhibition also showcases rare and limited-edition traditional books from Marshall's Morrow Library along with a private collection. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6-8 p.m. Monday.

The exhibition's featured artist is Miriam Schaer from Brooklyn, N.Y. Schaer creates witty sculptural books that push the boundaries of the book, pulling viewers into their narratives with unexpected textures and forms. Schaer will present a public lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 in Smith Hall room 154 adjacent to the Birke Art Gallery. Both the lecture and the exhibition are free to the public.

Other contemporary book artists exhibiting in Book Marks '08 are Andrea Deszo, Jim Bailey, Doug Beube, Carrie Lingscheit, Rebecca Gilbert and Maddy Rosenberg. Marshall are faculty members Peter Massing and Byron Clercx also are exhibiting book works.

The terms "book arts" and "artist's books" are used more or less interchangeably in the contemporary visual art world. Artist's books are original or limited-edition works of art that are realized in book form. Book artists often interpret the book form loosely, and they may employ a variety of "book" formats, such as scrolls, accordion fold-outs or even individual works on paper contained in a box.

For most people, artist's books are more unfamiliar than traditional art media like painting and sculpture, but the art form is an especially engaging and accessible one. Artist's books are often interactive, and the viewer is encouraged to touch, handle and "read" the artwork.

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Wednesday February 6, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Troy Brown Fantasy Football Camp to take place April 4-5 at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington and former Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Mike Bartrum will share coaching duties with New England Patriots receiver Troy Brown in the 2008 Troy Brown Fantasy Football Camp April 4-5 at Marshall University.

Brown, Pennington and Bartrum coached in last year's inaugural fantasy camp, which is a fundraiser for Marshall's Child Development Academy. The 2008 camp will include time with coaches, team practices, a draft and a flag-football game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

The event is of special interest to Brown, a member of three Super Bowl champion New England teams, because of his connection to the area. He played football for the Thundering Herd in the 1991 and 1992 seasons, and still lives in Huntington with his wife, Kim, and their two sons.

"My family has a very strong and special connection with Huntington and Marshall University," Brown said. "When Kim and I chose to raise our children in Huntington, they enrolled at the Child Development Academy at Marshall University and the academy became a major positive force in their early development."

The cost of the camp is $1,000 and participants must be at least 23 years old. All of the money raised goes to the academy. For more information or to register for the Troy Brown Fantasy Football Camp, log on to www.troybrownfantasyfootball.com.

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Tuesday February 5, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Piano recital to feature former Marshall faculty member

Dr. Harsha Abeyaratne, who once served on the Marshall University music faculty, will return to present a recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 in the Smith Recital Hall on the Huntington campus.

As a solo and collaborative pianist, he has performed in halls, churches, colleges, and universities in locations as far-ranging as Chicago; New York; Jacksonville, Fla.; Ashland, Ore.; Charleston, W. Va.; Cambridge, Ohio; and Huntington, Ind. His teachers have included Mary Billimoria, Ann Schaffert Miller, and Robert Palmer.

He has two undergraduate degrees from Lewis and Clark College and both master's and doctoral degrees from Ball State University. He joined the department of music at Muskingum College in 2003 as an assistant professor of music and currently resides in Zanesville, Ohio.

The recital is free and open to the public. For further information, persons may call the Marshall Department of Music at (304) 696-3117.

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Tuesday February 5, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Activities planned in conjunction with American Heart Month

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - As part of February's American Heart Month activities, the Marshall University College of Health Professions, along with the offices of Student Health Education and Student Services, is hosting a series of activities to increase awareness of the importance of heart health.

The events are being planned for the students, faculty and staff at Marshall as well as for the Huntington community.

One of those activities will be a nearly mile-long Go Red Heart Health Walk around Marshall's Huntington campus on Wednesday, Feb. 27.   

"It only takes about 30 minutes of activity each day to improve heart health," said Marilyn Fox, program manager of the College of Health Professions.  "The walk through the Marshall campus can be the first step in improving heart health.

Several of the events will focus on healthier eating through food selection and preparation.  There will even be tips on how to maintain a heart healthy diet on a budget and when eating out.

Marshall students can participate in tours of the Twin Towers and Harless Dining Hall on  Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.  Dietetics students will meet with them and explain how to make good heart healthy choices when eating in the cafeterias.

As part of the Fitness Challenge, lunch seminars are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb.13, 20, and 27, in room 402 of the Drinko Library.  These lunch bag seminars are designed to provide numerous pointers on attaining and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Other events open to faculty, staff and the community include:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 12, Heart Healthy Meal Preparation, 6 p.m., Corbly Hall 103.  A $10 charge will cover materials including a donation to the American Heart Association.  Space is limited so interested persons should contact Fox at (304) 696-2620 or at foxm@marshall.edu to reserve a space.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20, Go Red Wellness Fair, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Memorial Student Center.  Everyone is invited to stop by and learn more about improving heart health.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, Go Red Heart Walk, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Participants will meet at the Memorial Student Center before beginning the walk around the campus.


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Monday February 4, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Chesapeake Energy announces scholarship support to Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Chesapeake Energy Corporation today announced the donation of $150,000 in scholarships to Marshall University. The funds will support student education in business and engineering. 

The five-year program, which was announced at Marshall Day at the Capitol, highlights Chesapeake's commitment to creating private-public partnerships to support education. While $75,000 will go directly to Marshall University, the remaining $75,000 will be directed to a nonprofit organization, the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation (ALEF), for students studying civil engineering at Marshall.

"This donation is a unique opportunity for three organizations to work together for a common goal: to create a stronger workforce with a commitment to leadership and community," Dr. Stephen J.  Kopp, president of Marshall University, said. "Chesapeake Energy's investment affirms their confidence in Marshall University and is greatly appreciated."

Over the next five years, the $150,000 in scholarship support will fund at least three scholarships in the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE) and the Lewis College of Business annually.

"This partnership allows Chesapeake Energy to invest in West Virginia's future," Scott Rotruck, Vice President of Corporate Development, said. "Marshall is shaping leaders, and we are pleased to help them pursue that mission."

ALEF is a nonprofit organization funded by foundations and companies. It supports and enables young men and women from Appalachia to pursue higher education through scholarship and leadership curriculum. The program includes an emphasis toward the preparation required to be the leaders of the next decade.  The concept of operations for ALEF is to partner with established academic institutions across Appalachia to provide the technical skills necessary as the basis for credible leadership.

"The generous support provided by Chesapeake Energy is paramount to achieving our goals and developing the next greatest generation of West Virginia leaders," Pamela Scaggs, ALEF's resource development director, said.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation is the largest independent producer and third-largest overall producer of natural gas in the United States.  Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on exploratory and developmental drilling and corporate and property acquisitions in the Mid-Continent, Fort Worth Barnett Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Permian Basin, Delaware Basin, South Texas, Texas Gulf Coast, Ark-La-Tex and Appalachian Basin regions of the United States.

For more information, please visit www.chk.com or www.marshall.edu.

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