May 2008 News Releases

Friday May 30, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Band Fraternity Takes on Renovation Project

Huntington, W.Va. - Members of Marshall University's chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national band honorary fraternity, are renovating the band room in Smith Music Hall with the support of their national organization.

Ashley Gilbert, a Marshall music student who is president of the local chapter, said that the group is painting the walls and floor, as well as the cabinets that house percussion instruments. In addition, a ramp for percussion instruments will be built with the assistance of parents of some of the members.

"This is a project that is long overdue," said Marshall Director of Bands Steve Barnett. "I am so proud of these students.  Their efforts will be much appreciated by all of the faculty and students."

At the North Central District Convention of Kappa Kappa Psi this spring, the chapter applied for and won a grant of $400 given by the district called Special Project Assistance Monies (S.P.A.M.). In order to receive this grant, they presented a project description, projected budget and timeline. 

"We also had to present a skit for the officers of the district to help them decide on the winners of the grant," Gilbert said.

In conjunction with the project, the group created an inventory database of the percussion instruments that were removed and purchased wipe-off "white boards" to be installed on the closets in the front of the band room.

They expect to be finished around June 4. As funds permit, the group hopes eventually to commission a musically themed mural for the room and make other improvements.

For further information, persons may contact Gilbert at or Melanie Baldwin at

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

Site preparation begins for Alumni Center and Foundation Building

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Site preparation began Tuesday, May 27 on Marshall University's Huntington campus for construction of a new Alumni Center and Foundation Building.

Construction of the 33,220 square-foot building, to be located at the intersection of 5th Avenue and John Marshall Drive, is expected to take about 16 months, according to Rebecca McPhail Samples from the Marshall University Office of Development.

The facility, which also will house the university's Office of Development operations, is the last of three projects funded through Marshall's Bridge Campaign to begin construction. The first two were the MU softball complex (Dot Hicks Field), which opened in March, and the Engineering Laboratory, which is scheduled to open in August.

Samples said the university is still raising funds for the Bridge Campaign, and that naming opportunities are still available for all three projects.

Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation Inc., said the new Alumni Center and Foundation Building will be many things to many people.

"Most of all it will be a reflection of Marshall's past, a symbol of its present, and a doorway to the future of this great institution," Area said.

Samples said the design of the complex addresses needs critical to Marshall's continued growth. The new facility, she said, will provide a place for alumni to interact with current students, teaching them the responsibility associated with being a top-notch alumnus, while shaping the future and membership of the Marshall University Alumni Association. 

Expanded conference and meeting facilities will provide the backdrop for community activities, events and special occasions, Samples said.

"It also will provide a great location for potential employers to meet, recruit and interview our future graduates," she said.

For more information on the Bridge Campaign and the new building, call (304) 696-3292.

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Thursday May 22, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Marshall Names New VP of Multicultural Affairs

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Shari Clarke, most recently the associate vice president for student affairs at Temple University in Philadelphia, has been named vice president of multicultural affairs at Marshall University. She will begin her duties June 1.

"The search committee was impressed with Shari's commitment to diversity and with her enthusiasm and energy," said Marshall Dean of Student Affairs Steve Hensley, who chaired the committee.

At Temple, Clarke's responsibilities included the administrative oversight of the offices of career development services, counseling services, disability resources and services, international student services and academic support. She also served as a liaison to the student health services operation.

Clarke has extensive experience in higher education administration, including serving as Associate to the President for Diversity for the University of Nebraska Central Administration Offices.  In this position she was responsible for the diversity and gender equity initiatives for all four campuses comprising the University of Nebraska. Clarke also served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, where she oversaw the areas of multicultural affairs, residence life, Greek Affairs, student activities and the women's center.

She created the award-winning Dialogues In Diversity during her tenure at the University of Maine as associate dean for multicultural affairs. At Nebraska, she developed the regionally acclaimed SHE Leadership Academy for young women. 

"I encourage faculty, staff and the students equally to get excited about diversity; it touches and changes lives," Clarke said. "I am looking forward to the opportunity at Marshall."

Clarke and her husband John have two sons, Austin, 20, and Iain, 10. Clarke says she enjoys reading, antiquing, Jazzercise and basketball and describes herself as a "power shopper." Clarke served on the YWCA Board of Directors in Walla Walla, Wash. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the American Association of University Women.

Clarke earned her B.A. degree in sociology from Lane College in Jackson, Tenn.; her M.A. in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University in Ohio; and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. She also participated in the HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

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Wednesday May 21, 2008
Contact: Lalena Price, Communications Coordinator, (304) 746-1989

Marshall names Dulin dean of College of Information Technology and Engineering

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has named Dr. Betsy Dulin dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE). She will begin June 1.

Dulin, currently a professor at Marshall, is a civil engineer with a master's degree in environmental engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an attorney who received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Washington and Lee University.  She has thirteen years of academic experience as well as extensive practice as an environmental engineer and environmental attorney.

"After a competitive and thorough search process, we were pleased to find the perfect fit for our College of Information Technology and Engineering at this time in the evolution of the college," said Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, Marshall University president. "Betsy Dulin will lead us where we need to go to create a first-class engineering program for our students, our community, our state and beyond. She is the right person to propel us forward."

Prior to returning to Marshall last fall, Dulin worked in private practice with the Charleston law firm Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love LLP. In her total of nine years with Marshall, Dulin has served as an engineering faculty member, department chairperson, associate dean, and dean of CITE. During the past academic year, she taught undergraduate and graduate engineering courses while also working on projects for the Marshall University Research Corporation and the President's office.   She recently served as chair of the West Virginia Consortium on Undergraduate Research and Engineering, a collaborative initiative of the state's research universities aimed at reviewing the status of and making recommendations regarding the state's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

"I am looking forward to working with CITE's outstanding faculty and staff to continue the rapid progress of our programmatic and building initiatives," Dulin said. "It's an exciting time for the College as engineering and other academic programs continue to grow exponentially.  I'm very happy to be a part of it, and am eager to get started with my colleagues on the work that needs to be done."

This spring, Dulin was inducted as a member of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is the second woman to ever be inducted into this academy. She is a registered Professional Engineer, is licensed to practice law in West Virginia and Ohio, and is a Registered Patent Attorney.

Dulin replaces Dr. Tony Szwilski who has served as interim dean since 2006.

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Tuesday May 20, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Marshall University Students Receive Research Funds

Huntington, W.Va. Ten Marshall University undergraduate students have been selected to receive funds from West Virginia's Research Challenge Fund to advance research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They began their research projects this week.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is aimed at undergraduates who are interested in doing research, according to Dr. Michael Norton, professor of chemistry at MU.

"We want undergraduate students to know that research is not only for graduate students, but also for them," said Norton, who is director of the program.  "This is the time when they start utilizing their research skills in preparation for graduate school."

Students who will receive funds and their faculty mentors are:

  • Adam Short, Charleston, W.Va.; Biology; Genomic Comparison of Acanthamoeba Isolates from Diverse Environments; mentor, Dr. Wendy Trzyna.
  • Brian Bridgewater, Huntington, W.Va.; Integrated Science & Technology; Small Benthic Fishes of the Upper Kanawha with Substrate Characterization; mentor, Dr. Tom Jones.
  • Camilla Overup, Koege, Denmark; Psychology; Media Priming and Perception of Violent Victimization Risk; mentor, Dr. Paige Muellerleile.
  • Danielle Clark, Huntington, W.Va.; Integrated Science & Technology; Susceptibility of Amino Acids in Albumin and Hemoglobin to Nonenzymatic Attack By D-Galactose and D-Glucose; mentor, Dr. Menashi Cohenford.
  • Eric Martin, Parkersburg, W.Va.: Chemistry; Modeling Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) and Polypropylene Imine (PPI) Dendrimer Fragmentation Patterns Using Ab Inito Methods and Calculations; mentor, Dr. William Price.
  • Joshua Titlow, South Charleston, W.Va.; Biology; Designing a Virtual Postural System with Optimal Compensatory Response to Perturbation; mentor, Dr. Brian Antonsen.
  • Laura Mitchell, Rock Hill, S.C.; Biology; Role of Familiarity in Determining Group Dynamics among Crayfish; mentor, Dr. Brian Antonsen.
  • Terry Boyce, Huntington, W.Va.; Biology; Role of Pten in Oocyte Development; mentor, Dr. Guo-Zhang Zhu.
  • William Kelly, Huntington, W.Va.; Biology; Growth of Chorella for Biological Life Support System; mentor, Dr. Jagan Valluri.
  • William Peterson, Hurricane, W.Va.; Biology, Prostate Cancer and Epigenetics; mentor Dr. Philippe Georgel.

Students will receive stipends totaling $4,000 each and supplies for their research for a period of ten weeks uninterrupted by classes during the summer.  The SURE program, now in its third year, began Monday, May 19 and ends July 28.

For additional information about the SURE program, persons may visit the program Web site at or e-mail Norton at

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Thursday May 15, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Children can 'Grow With Music' this summer

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Children ages birth to 5 and their parents can participate in "Grow With Music," a developmental music program this summer. Sessions begin the week of May 26 and will continue through the week of June 23, according to Joni Pappas, director of the program, which is offered through the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Marshall University.

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 in the early evenings Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Daytime sessions may be added according to demand, according to Pappas. 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 said 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.

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 "Grow with Music," persons may visit the program's Web site at, contact Pappas by e-mailing, or call her at (304) 697-0211.

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

CITE students honored for academic excellence in Safety Technology

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two students in Marshall University's College of Information Technology (CITE) at Marshall University have received safety technology awards for the academic year 2007-2008.

Gary Forman, a senior, received the Outstanding Safety Technology Student Award, and James Hockenberry, a sophomore, received the Honorable Mention Safety Technology Student Award.

Awardees were selected by faculty based on academic excellence in the field of Safety Technology. Dr. Allan Stern, chair of CITE's Division of Applied Science and Technology, presented the awards.

"These students represent the vast interest we receive in our program," Stern said. "Their education and commitment to the profession will mean safer workplaces for their future employers and colleagues."

Forman received the award for achieving the highest GPA and demonstrating exceptional leadership among his fellow students. A retired sergeant first class, Forman served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army before attending Marshall University to study safety technology. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Safety Technology, Forman plans to work in the area of hospital safety or within the federal government.

"Safety has always been an important part of my career," Forman said. "When you can take 30 soldiers into the desert with temperatures at 150 degrees and not have any heat injuries or any other type of injuries, then you know you are safety minded.  I felt the safety profession would be a good fit for me."

Hockenberry, who graduated from Wheeling Park High School, received the honorable mention award for high academic performance and determination to perform well.

"Entering college I had trouble picking my major, and the associate dean of CITE, Elizabeth Hanrahan, mentioned the B.S. in Safety Technology program," Hockenberry said. "I took a look at the curriculum and never looked back. The Safety program was a perfect fit, because it is such a rewarding job in which you get to help people every day."

The B.S. in Safety Technology degree program is one of about eight in the country accredited by ABET (Applied Science Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Students take a variety of science courses and apply that knowledge to safety and environmental concerns found in such areas as the mining, hospital, and construction industries, as well as in industrial hygiene.  

For more information contact the College of Information Technology and Engineering at (304) 696-5453, or online at

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

John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps to perform at Colonial Williamsburg Drummer's Call

Huntington, W.Va. - Marshall University's John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps has been invited and will perform at Colonial Williamsburg's Drummer's Call Muster Saturday, May 17. Drummer's Call will feature 13 corps from the United States and Canada, including the The Army's Third United States Infantry Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps from Washington, D.C.

All participating corps will be in the Grand March at 11:45 a.m., the Grand Review (on stand) at 12:45 p.m. and the Torchlight Tattoo March at 7:45 p.m.

From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the Grand Review will be Webcast live and may be viewed by visiting

"This is a great honor to be part of such a prestigious assembly of fife and drum corps after only one year of existence," said Dr. Wendell Dobbs, professor of music at Marshall and director of the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps. "It's an excellent endorsement of the work and professionalism of our Marshall University music students."

The John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps was created as an initiative of the John Deaver Drinko Academy and the Department of Music of Marshall University. During the past year the group has performed for sporting, civic and cultural events at Marshall University as well as in Charleston, W. Va., Columbus, Ohio and as far away as Richmond, Va.

The creation of the corps was inspired by two Marshall University alumnae, Lutricia Tampa Fields and Jennifer Raczok Bailey, who now perform with the world-renowned Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps in Washington, D.C.

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

Marshall psychology department sponsors Women's Wellness Day at Pullman Square

Huntington, W. Va. - Marshall University's psychology department will sponsor Women's Wellness Day at Pullman Square in Huntington Saturday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Women attending the event will have the opportunity to receive free health education and screenings.

The event is being held in connection with National Women's Health Week, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health.

"National Women's Health Week is important because it encourages women to make their health a top priority," said Dr. Pamela Mulder, professor of psychology at Marshall "Often, women are the caregivers for their families and forget to take care of themselves. With National Women's Health Week we remind women that they too need to visit the doctor, make sure their screenings are up-to-date and just take a minute to think about their health."

Numerous community healthcare organizations will be participating. Cabell Huntington Hospital Breast Health Center will provide free osteoporosis screening, healthy breast education, and massage therapy. Dr. Linda Savory from Cabell Huntington's Women's and Family Medical Center will provide confidential screening results. Savory's office will also provide basic health screens, including blood pressure, pulse oximetry and glucose. The Marshall University Psychology Clinic will offer information about women and mental health, including postpartum depression and weight management. Prestera Center will offer information about women and addiction. CONTACT and Branches will distribute information concerning women and sexual assault and domestic violence.  The Marshall University Biomedical Sciences Department will present their latest research findings regarding nutrition and cancer.  Curves will educate women about the importance of regular, healthy exercise.  Shawn Bresnahan will be offering two Healthy Heart Cooking demonstrations at noon and 1 p.m. at LeCook Store.

In addition, Pullman Square merchants, including Empire Books & News, Inspired, Heels, Runway Couture, Merle Norman, Edible Arrangements, Cold Stone Creamery and Benny's Cheesesteak, will offer promotional specials during the hours of the event. In addition, Pullman Square and downtown merchants, including Inspired, Heels, Runway Couture, LeCook Store, Mug & Pia, Cold Stone Creamery, Benny's Cheesesteak, Starbuck's and Max & Erma's have provided door prizes to be given away to women participating in the wellness event.

National Women's Health Week is a nationwide initiative that calls attention to the importance of women's health. During the week, families, health organizations, businesses, communities, the government and individuals come together to raise awareness about women's health issues and educate women about simple steps they can take for a longer, healthier and happier lives. The theme for National Women's Health Week 2008 is "It's Your Time: Get Inspired. Get Healthy."  

To learn more about Women's Wellness Day at Pullman Square, please contact either Penny Koontz at (740) 354-8005 or Sallie Richards at (304) 733-4233.

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Friday May 9, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Yeager Scholars Class of 2012 selected

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University today announced the 12 newest members of its Society of Yeager Scholars, which includes five students from West Virginia.

Dr. Barry Sharpe, Executive Director of MU's John R. Hall Center for Academic Excellence, said the members of the newest class of scholars come from seven states in all. He said they were chosen after a stringent selection process that involved three levels of review: examination of their applications and two interviews - one by local interviewers near their homes and one by a panel of interviewers on the Marshall University Huntington campus.

Competition was keen, Sharpe said, with students applying from as far away as Oregon and Colorado. He said the final selection came at the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by many different people - university faculty and staff, university alumni, Society of Yeager Scholars board members and community members.

"These students are recruited by many other institutions," Sharpe said. "We are fortunate to be able to attract such talented students. "They are an impressive group with exemplary academic records and strong indicators of leadership potential."

As Yeager Scholars, they are required to maintain a rigorous course load with a 3.5 GPA and participate in campus and community activities. They also will have the opportunity to study literature, political science, or history at Oxford University in England in the summer after their sophomore year, and they will have another opportunity for study abroad in a program related to their major and/or their foreign language minor.

Sharpe said the newest group of scholars has a wide variety of academic interests, as does each year's entering scholars. During Finalist Weekend, which took place at Marshall University in early March, they talked with professors about possible majors, such as biology, chemistry, education, history, music, psychology, theater and visual arts. They will join 31 other Yeager Scholars already on campus.

Along with these students, they will participate in special interdisciplinary seminars and extracurricular activities designed to promote intellectual development and foster emerging leadership skills.

The Society of Yeager Scholars is named for West Virginia native Ret. Brigadier General Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, who piloted the first plane to break the sound barrier.

The following students were chosen as the Yeager Scholars Class of 2012:

Emily Elizabeth Beckelhimer of Milton, W.Va. She will graduate from Cabell Midland High School and is interested in a career as an epidemiologist or immunologist.

Shelby E. Brewster of Colorado Springs, Colo. Brewster will graduate from Liberty High School. She plans to major in history and theater and work as an historian or museum curator.

Timmeka L. Brice of Salisbury, Md. Brice will graduate from James M. Bennett High School. She plans to major in elementary education and pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.

Kyle Matthew Burner of Huntington, W.Va. Burner will graduate from Spring Valley High School. He plans to study biotechnology and work in the fields of biotechnology or molecular genetics.

Emily Cline of Shreve, Ohio. Cline will graduate from Triway High School. She plans to major in forensics chemistry and pursue a career as a forensics scientist.

Ian Keller Ferrell of Union Bridge, Md. Ferrell will graduate from Francis Scott Key High School. He plans to major in secondary education-social studies and pursue a career as a high school social studies teacher or college professor in history.

Jordan Patrick Hilgefort of Hebron, Ky. Hilgefort will graduate from Saint Henry District High School. He plans to major in pre-medicine (chemistry) and study medicine after college. He would like to work as a general practitioner or a pediatrician.

Samuel Kelch of Washington, W.Va. Kelch will graduate from Parkersburg South High School. He plans to major in pre-medicine (biology) and study medicine after college. He would like to pursue a career as a surgeon.

Rachel Annette Lewis of Huntington, W.Va. Lewis will graduate from Spring Valley High School. She plans to major in biology or biomedical science and pursue a career as a physical therapist.

Delaney McLemore of Philomath, Ore. McLemore will graduate from Philomath High School. She plans to major in secondary education and pursue a career as a high school history teacher or college professor in women's studies.

Patricia Jane Wheaton of Fairmont, W.Va. Wheaton will graduate from Fairmont Senior High School. She plans to major in art (painting) and pursue a career in art therapy or art education.

Benjamin Dean Woodworth of Trafalgar, Ind. Woodworth will graduate from Indian Creek High School. He plans to major in biochemistry and study medicine after college. He would like to work as an orthopedic surgeon or a research scientist.

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

Marshall University commencement to be streamed live

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's 171st commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the Internet Saturday, May 10, beginning at 9 a.m.

Internet viewers may access the stream by visiting and then clicking on the icon. The ceremony, which takes place at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, also will be televised live on Channel 25 in the Comcast viewing area.

"We are pleased to provide this live feed to the Marshall University family located around the world," MU Registrar Roberta Ferguson said. "There are many people who, for various reasons, can't attend commencement.  We feel privileged to make this service available to them."

More than 2,600 students will graduate from Marshall this year.

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Tuesday May 6, 2008
Contact: Leah Edwards, Media Communications Specialist, (304) 696-6397

MU broadcast journalism student receives first Leah Hickman Memorial Scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University broadcast journalism student Griffin McElroy has been awarded the first Leah Hickman Memorial Scholarship in Journalism, according to Dr. Corley Dennison, dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Leah Hickman was a Marshall journalism student who died in December 2007.

"Griffin is a fine young student journalist and a very worthy recipient of the first Leah Hickman Memorial Scholarship," Dennison said. "The School of Journalism and Mass Communications is honored to help keep Leah's memory alive with the annual presentation of this scholarship. I also wish to recognize the student staff at WMUL-FM which raised an additional $200 for the scholarship through contributions from the distribution of the memorial blue wrist bands."

McElroy, who is on the dean's list, has worked with the Parthenon and WMUL. He is serving as an online reporter for MTV covering the presidential campaign in West Virginia. The $500 scholarship presentation to McElroy was made by Leah Hickman's mother, Sherri Russell, at the annual JMC awards ceremony in April.

Dennison said the blue wrist bands are available by calling WMUL at (304) 696-2295 or the SOJMC at (304) 696-2360. Contributions of at least $1 are being requested for the wrist bands.

Nearly two dozen scholarships were awarded during the JMC ceremony. The following list includes the name of the scholarship, followed by the recipient and the amount of each award:

  • Marvin Stone/Outstanding Contribution as a College Journalist - Kyle Dyer, $400
  • Norman and Joanne Haddad - Brian Dalek, $500
  • George Andrick/WSAZ - Adam Cavalier, $1,000
  • Cathryn Gibbs Harris Public Relations - Jessica Wintz, $1,000
  • James E. Casto - Morgan Unger, $1,000
  • Margie Crabtree Coltrane - Federica Fornaciari, $1,000
  • G. Terry Turner - Chris Adkins, $500
  • Marvin Stone - Megan Bryant, Whitney Burdette, Leannda Carey, Marlowe Hereford and Beth Wilson, $1,000 each
  • J.D. "Jack" Maurice - Kara Busse, Kacie Chambers, Erin Deegan and Angela Marie Sundstrom, $500 each
  • Manley Keith Ray - Justin Minsker, $500
  • Ezra Cochran - Tom Bragg, $500
  • Dorothy Goodman - Molly Grove, $1,000

Dyer, who is from Wayne, W.Va., served as editor of the Parthenon and raised more than $5,000 for the School of Journalism through his fundraising efforts with the J-Walk, an annual homecoming walkathon that supports the school's greatest needs.  Dyer is also on the dean's list.   The award is named for Marvin Stone, a JMC alumnus and former editor of U.S. News and World Report.

Also, in addition to receiving the Cathryn Gibbs Harris Public Relations Award, Jessica Wintz received the Ralph Turner Outstanding Performance as an Intern award.

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

Marshall University announces honorary degree recipients

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Arthur and Joan Meyer Weisberg, founders of State Electric Supply Co., Arthur's Enterprises and Service Wire Co., and West Virginia Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will receive honorary doctoral degrees from Marshall University during commencement Saturday, May 10.

The university's 171st commencement begins at 9 a.m. at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. Tomblin will deliver the keynote address.

The Weisbergs will each receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree while Tomblin will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Honorary degrees have been conferred by Marshall University to highly distinguished recipients since 1928 when Dwight Whitney Morrow and Guy Fielding Yost each received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees.

Here is a look at each 2008 honorary degree recipient:

Arthur Weisberg

Weisberg is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a 1950 graduate of City College of New York with a degree in electrical engineering. He founded State Electric Supply Co., a retail/wholesale distributor of electrical and electronic supplies with showrooms and warehouse facilities, as a one-man operation in 1952 by selling light bulbs, extension cords and fuses out of the back of his truck to grocery and hardware stores.

Today, under the corporate umbrella of Arthur's Enterprises, State Electric has 41 branches in five states - West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and North Carolina. In 1968, Weisberg and his wife, Joan, established a specialty wire fabrication company called Service Wire Co. that now has customers throughout the world.

Joan Meyer Weisberg

Joan Weisberg co-owns State Electric Co. and Service Wire Co. with her husband, Art. In addition, she is owner and manager of Twelve-O-Six Virginia Inc., a real estate holding company in Huntington. She was born in Charleston, W.Va., and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University.

Together, the Weisbergs established the Arthur and Joan Meyer Weisberg Distinguished Professorship, an endowed chair in Marshall University's College of Science. They also established the Arthur and Joan Weisberg Division of Engineering and Computer Science in Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering. In 2007, they received the John Deaver Drinko Distinguished Service Award at Marshall. Both are members of the Marshall University Business Hall of Fame.

Earl Ray Tomblin

Tomblin is the longest-serving Senate president in West Virginia history. A native of Chapmanville in Logan County, he has been president of the Senate since Jan. 11, 1995, having since been reelected six times. He began his legislative career in the House of Delegates in 1974, the same year he graduated from West Virginia University. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Marshall in 1975.

Tomblin has held just about every major Senate post, including Chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee. During his legislative service, he has sponsored a number of important legislative initiatives, including the School Building Authority, the state's Rainy Day Fund, Tort Reform, Ethics Reform, Coal Mine Safety Legislation and more recently, the "Bucks for Brains" legislation to create the West Virginia Research Trust Fund.

Tomblin began his career as a public school teacher, while also developing private business interests. He is married to the former Joanne Jaeger, a distinguished Marshall alumna who serves as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

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Friday May 2, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall to graduate more than 2,600 students at 171st commencement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - More than 2,600 students will graduate from Marshall University on Saturday, May 10 when the university celebrates its 171st commencement at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m.

The total of 2,622 students receiving degrees includes 1,529 undergraduates, 946 graduates, 43 from the School of Medicine and 104 receiving associate degrees.

In all, 591 students will graduate with honors. Ninety will graduate summa cum laude (3.85 to 4.0 GPA), 177 magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.84 GPA), and 306 cum laude (3.3 to 3.59 GPA). One student receiving an associate degree will graduate with high honors, and 17 associate degree recipients will graduate with honors.

Continuing a practice that began in 2006, each Marshall graduate attending commencement will be recognized during the ceremony. Each graduate will walk to the area in front of the stage, where his or her name will be announced and he or she will receive congratulations and a scroll from the Marshall Alumni Association. Anyone who has earned a degree since July 2007 may participate in commencement.

Marshall also will recognize its graduating honor students during commencement.

Based on tentative grade point averages calculated through seven semesters, 15 students have completed or will complete their baccalaureate degrees with perfect 4.0 GPAs. Two already are assured of 4.0s, while the other 13 - all May graduates - will learn their final GPAs after commencement.

The two already assured of 4.0s are Dustin Michael Simpson of Scott Depot, W.Va., and Daniel C. Teters of Washington, W.Va.

The 13 with tentative 4.0s are Karen Elizabeth Bohne of Rochester, Mich.; Linsey Marie Cushing of Charleston, W.Va.; Holley Elizabeth Harris of Huntington; Susan Elaine Harvey of Huntington; Katelyn Marie Holliday of Paw Paw, W.Va.; Justin Michael Kearns of Wheeling, W.Va.; Allison Marie Kleiner of Wheeling, W.Va.; Joshua Aaron Lynn of Millbrook, Ala.; Kala Jean Melchiori of Huntington; Katherine Lee Mohn of Huntington; Lauren Mikaela Perry of Proctorville, Ohio; Jodi Marie Pitsenbarger of Franklin, W.Va.; and Alyssa Marie Zirille of Gallipolis, Ohio.

LeEtta Rae Brillhart of Point Pleasant, W.Va., who will receive an associate degree, has a 4.0 as well.

West Virginia Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will deliver the commencement address and receive a Doctor of Laws honorary degree. Arthur and Joan Weisberg, founders of State Electric Supply Co., Arthur's Enterprises and Service Wire Co., will receive Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degrees.

Here is a list of commencement-related events next week:

Wednesday, May 7

10 a.m., student-athlete graduation brunch, Big Green Room, Joan C. Edwards Stadium

Thursday, May 8

4:15 p.m., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Awards Ceremony, Harless Auditorium, MU Medical Center

7 p.m., College of Health Professions' Nursing recognition ceremony, Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center

Friday, May 9

11 a.m., LEAP Program graduation, Memorial Student Center, Alumni Lounge

1 p.m., ROTC commissioning ceremony, Memorial Student Center, Alumni Lounge

3 p.m., International students graduation picnic, Buskirk Field

5 p.m., Society of Yeager Scholars Medallion Ceremony, Dinko Library, third-floor atrium

6 p.m., Mid-Ohio Valley Center nursing recognition, MOVC

7 p.m., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Investiture, Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, followed by reception in Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room.

Saturday, May 10

9 a.m., 171st commencement, Big Sandy Superstore Arena

1 p.m., College of Liberal Arts graduation ceremony, Big Sandy Superstore Arena

1 p.m., Forensic Science reception and open house, Forensic Science Center

1 p.m., College of Health Professions graduation ceremony, Big Sandy Superstore Grand Ballroom

1 p.m., CITE graduation ceremony, Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, followed by reception, Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room.

1 p.m., College of Education and Human Services graduation ceremony, Henderson Center arena.

1 p.m., College of Science graduation ceremony, Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center

Immediately following Marshall commencement, College of Fine Arts post-graduation brunch, The Palms, 314 9th St. Plaza.

1:30 p.m., Lewis College of Business graduation ceremony, Christ Temple Church

1:30 p.m., School of Journalism graduation ceremony, Smith Recital Hall, followed by reception, Smith Hall atrium.

The main commencement ceremony will be streamed live at and it will be televised live on Marshall's Instructional Television Channel 25.


NOTE: The graduation numbers are for Marshall University only, and do not include the Marshall Community and Technical College.

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Friday May 2, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Reds game among features of Great American ThunderFest in Cincinnati; MU president to throw out first pitch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Alumni Association, the MU Alumni Club of Cincinnati and the Big Green Scholarship Foundation are sponsoring the 2008 Great American ThunderFest and the Big Green Coaches Tour Weekend Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 in Cincinnati.

Several events involving the Marshall community will take place over the two days, including a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves at 3:55 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at Great American Ballpark. Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp will throw out the first pitch at the game.

A pre-game reception will take place at the ballpark with guests from MU and the Reds' organization. The ThunderTones, a Huntington vocal ensemble, will perform during the seventh-inning stretch.

Several price levels are available for the weekend, ranging from $29.99 per person for a package that includes a ticket to the game, a ThunderFest T-shirt, a Reds Hall of Fame pass and early admission to the Herd FanZone area, to $799.99 for a complete weekend package for four that covers all events Saturday and Sunday. Details of the different packages are available online at Tickets also may be purchased at that Web site.

The weekend will continue on Sunday, June 1 with the Big Green Coaches Tour and a golf scramble at the Legendary Run Golf Course in Cincinnati. A reception and dinner will follow the golf scramble at the course.

Marshall coaches and former MU athletes will be participating in the golf scramble and the dinner. Among them are Mike Bartrum, former Thundering Herd football player and NFL long snapper, and former Marshall basketball player Mark Dorris. Participants will receive an update on Herd athletic programs from Marshall coaches.

"With the ThunderFest accompanying the 2008 Big Green Coaches Tour event on Sunday, we are bringing together a number of things Marshall alumni and Herd fans love and enjoy - Cincinnati Reds baseball, golf, great food and most of all the Marshall University Thundering Herd," said John Chafin, MU Cincinnati Club secretary and a former Marshall baseball player. "We have put together a weekend that has something for every Marshall University fan and we expect a large turnout."

Individuals may also purchase a baseball bat autographed by Marty Brennaman, the Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Reds. The bat features the saying "and this one belongs to the Herd!" and the Marshall logo. The Great American ThunderFest offers hotel and shuttle services for the event. Participants can purchase discounted Reds Hall of Fame tickets, and also may purchase T-Shirts for the event.

For more information, contact Chafin at (513) 404-8484 or by e-mail at

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

Winners of Maier Latin, writing awards announced at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Winners of the Maier Awards, sponsored annually by the Maier Foundation, Inc., were announced Monday, April 28 in the Memorial Student Center's Alumni Lounge on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

Outstanding high school students and Marshall students in both Latin and writing competitions were recognized during an awards ceremony.

The Maier Latin awards were established by William J. Maier, Jr., father of Maier Foundation President Ed Maier, to repay in some way the special attention his high school Latin teacher at Huntington High School showed him.

A high school graduate at the age of 16, the elder Maier received an award then given by West Virginia University which named him the top Latin student in the state. The elder Maier credited the extra devotion to Latin and Latin students by his teacher as having helped him secure a scholarship to Harvard College.

The William J. Maier Writing Awards were established in 1973 by William J. Maier, Jr., in honor of his father. These awards, for excellence in writing, are presented annually to students enrolled in English classes at Marshall. Ranging from $100 to $500, the awards recognize and reward good and distinctive writing.

Also, Marshall's Department of Classics sponsors the Maier Latin Scholarship which is underwritten by the Maier Foundation. This $2,000 scholarship is intended to support the work of a student presently pursuing a Latin major at Marshall and who is enrolled in advanced Latin classes.

Here are the winners of this year's Latin and writing awards.

Maier Latin Sight-Translation Contest Winners

Latin I

First place: Stephanie Rice, Covenant School. Teacher - Lois Merritt

Second place: Samara Pollock, Linsly School. Teacher - Nicoletta Villa-Sella

Latin II

            First place: Jayan Nair, Home-Schooled. Teacher - Lois Merritt

            Second place: Joseph Tyler Williams, George Washington High School. Teacher - Ruth Diller

Latin III

            First place: Natalie Tupta, Charleston Catholic High School. Teacher - Robin Snyder

Latin IV

            First place: Ceilidh McIntire, Robert C. Byrd High School. Teacher - Judy Dolan

Maier High School Latin Cup Award Winners

            First place: Jared M. Jones, George Washington High School. Teacher - Ruth Diller

            Second place: Stephanie Werning, Charleston Catholic High School. Teacher - Robin Snyder

            Third place: Kayla D. Chappelle, Huntington High School. Teacher - Amy McElroy

Maier Latin Scholarship Recipient

            Mark Kalen Lee Ballard, New Martinsville, W.Va., junior, Marshall University

Maier Writing Award Winners 2007-2008

First-year Research

            First place: Walter Goff, "Strengthening Economies: A Proposal Regarding the US-Mexico Border Issue (Professor Jennifer Cavender)

            Second place: Amanda Saguansin, "Homeschooling: Attacking the Myth About Socialization" (Professor Jennifer Cavender)

            Third place: Maggie Stonestreet, "The Government's Role in American's Obesity Epidemic" (Professor Jennifer Cavender)

First-year Non-Research

            First place: Syreeta Njoka, "The Undetected Truth of the Tale of Alamo" (Professor Angell Stone)

Undergraduate Fiction

            First place: Travis Forshee, "The Last Days of Melanie Speranza" (Professor Anthony Viola

            Second place: Erika Tharp, "A Pair of Pale Blue House Slippers" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

            Third place: Rebecca Childers, "Following Rudolph's Nose" (Professor Anthony Viola)

            Honorable mention: Amanda Koncelik, "Oreo Cookies" (Professor Chris Green)

Upper Division Non-Fiction Prose

            First place: (tie) Miriam Reasons, "Chaucer's 'Clerk's Tale' and Petrarch's 'Story of Griselda' " (Professor Kateryna Schray); and, Rebecca Fox-Gieg, "New Historicism and the Demonization of the Jews in Chaucer's 'The Prioress's Tale' " (Professor Kateryna Schray)

Graduate Non-Fiction Prose

            First place: Ryan Sarver, "The Mind of a Killer: A Psychological Exploration of Rorschach, Watchmen's Noir Detective" (Professor Mary Moore)

            Second place: Allison Massey, "The Faoade of Power: Exclusionary Factors of Discourse in Ann Pancake's 'Strange as this Weather Has Been' " (Professor Chris Green)

            Third place: Cooper Childers, "Bridge of Ivory, Bridge of Horn" (Professor Mary Moore)

            Honorable mention: Kelly Broce, "A Familiar Schizophrenia: Personalities That Shape" (Professor Anthony Viola)

Undergraduate Poetry

            First place: (tie) Chelsea Elmore, "Office Space" (Professor A.E. Stringer); and, Grant Vandervort, "Trying to Stand" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

            Second place: Kaydee Diemler, "Let Your Tongue Dance" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

            Third place: Amanda Stephens, "L is not for Love" (Professor Anthony Viola)

Graduate Poetry

            First place: Sara Blevins, "A Woman Walking in the Desert" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

            Second place: Nicole Lawrence, "Spin Cycle" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

            Third place: Sarah Grubb, "Lost and Found" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

            Honorable mention: Joshua Mattern, "Because the Moon will Go Down" (Professor A.E. Stringer)

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