November 2008 News Releases

Monday November 24, 2008
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 746-2038

Food drive continues until Dec. 6

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University music students, in coordination with the College of Fine Arts, are hosting a food drive in order to help support the Cridlin Food Pantry during the coming holiday season.

The drive began Wednesday, Nov. 12 and will continue until Saturday, Dec. 6. Items collected will be taken to the pantry before Thanksgiving and again before Marshall's winter break begins.

The food drive is targeting the students and staff within the College of Fine Arts; however, donations from others will be accepted. Collection sites are located in Smith Music Hall, Smith Hall Atrium, Smith Hall Art Department, Jomie Jazz Center, the Theatre Department in Joan C. Edwards Playhouse, Memorial Student Center lobby, and Old Main.

Dr. Jeffrey Pappas, Chair of the Department of Music, came to the presidents of the music department organizations with the idea of a department-wide community service project.

Pappas stated, "Our students give so much to our university and the Huntington community through their musical talents. I just wanted all of us to be aware that we can give in other ways as wellI was not surprised at all when the presidents of each of our organizations not only took to the idea, but immediately began planning it and distributing responsibilities. I'm certainly proud that our students are aware that as citizens of a community they play a role in bettering that community."

The music department organizations - Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity; Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity; Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity; Collegiate Music Educators' National Conference (CMENC); Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI); and Jazz Education Network (JEN) - came together to organize this food drive. Many of the organizations have done individual community service projects, but this is one of the first projects on which all of the organizations have worked together, according to Pappas.

Matthew Murphy, president of CMENC, stated, "I think that this provides the music department organizations the chance to utilize the resources and leadership they have to reach out to hungry families in the Huntington area."

 "I can't tell you how timely this is," said Diana Van Horn, director of the Cridlin Food Pantry, "because the USDA commodity program, which distributes a lot of free food to the pantry, has not been able to give much in the last few months."

The Cridlin Food Pantry supports approximately 250 people per month. Each family is given enough food for three meals a day for five days.

The pantry has been in operation since 1970 and is supported by many churches. However, the demand is rising due to the increasing number of individuals coming in for help, Van Horn said.

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Monday November 24, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University students to design lounge in Corbly Hall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students in a promotion management class at Marshall University have an opportunity to hone their design and promotion skills by participating in the Corbly Lounge Project, a competition in which they design a student lounge which is tentatively scheduled to be built in the spring of 2009.

Two teams have been challenged to come up with plans for a new lounge to be located in the northeast area of the lobby in Corbly Hall on the Huntington campus. Corbly Hall currently houses the Lewis College of Business (LCOB).  The teams must factor in such real-life considerations as student comfort, budget and vendor constraints, university rules and regulations and space limitations.

The three-member teams consist of students in Dr. Deanna Mader's Promotion Management class.  The Corbly Hall lounge will be a 15-foot by nearly 12-foot space with a budget of approximately $15,000.  The teams will develop ideas for utilizing the lounge as a promotional vehicle for the Lewis College of Business, Young Professionals Committee (YPC) and the various LCOB student organizations.

The LCOB plans to use elements of the winning group's vision as a basis for the design and implementation of the actual lounge. All Marshall students, not just business majors, will be free to use the lounge. Specifications currently call for comfortable seating arrangements with tables, a television to promote sponsors of various LCOB and student groups along with announcements and information, and a Wi-Fi network. The new lounge will permit students to sit comfortably and to be able to use the Internet to do homework.

Team members are:

Team Thunder - Travis Mount, Josh Runyon and Justin Weis.
Team LCOB - Mark Facetti, Seungeob Baek and Kenny Taig.   

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 5, each team will make a 15-minute presentation to a judging panel that tentatively will be composed of MU President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp; Dr. Deanna Mader, Professor of Management and Marketing; Dr. Chong Kim, Interim Dean of the Lewis College of Business; Matthew DeMaria, an LCOB Instructional Technologist; Larry Templeton, Director of Development in the LCOB; and Matt White, YPC liaison. The presentations will take place in the fourth-floor auditorium of the Drinko Library. 

For additional information, contact Larry Templeton at 304-696-3421 or Ben Eng at 818-720-4470.

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Monday November 24, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Pennsylvania writer Tom Noyes to read from his work Dec. 3 at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Pennsylvania writer Tom Noyes will read from his work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3 in room 2W16 of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

Noyes' second story collection, Spooky Action at a Distance and Other Stories, was published in March 2008 by Dufour Editions. His first book, Behold Faith and Other Stories (Dufour, 2003), was shortlisted for Stanford University Libraries' William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and praised in the New York Times Book Review for its "macabre wit and startling confessions of frailty and delusion."

His work has appeared in Ascent, Colorado Review, Elixir, Eureka, Image, Laurel Review, Mid-American Review and other journals.

Noyes has taught in the creative writing programs at Indiana State University and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. Now a consulting editor for Lake Effect, he teaches at Penn State-The Behrend College in Erie, Pa.

His appearance is sponsored by the Marshall English Department and the College of Liberal Arts.  It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Art Stringer in the Marshall English Department at 304-696-2403.

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Friday November 21, 2008
Contact: Jamie LoFiego, , (304) 696-2967

Respected CNN newsman joins cast of 'Up Late' (for one show, anyway)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Award-winning journalist Joe Johns joined the cast of "Up Late" while on campus serving as Grand Marshal of Marshall University's homecoming festivities.

Johns, a 1980 Marshall alumnus, is a CNN correspondent based in the network's Washington, D.C., bureau. Before joining CNN as a congressional correspondent in 2004, he covered Capitol Hill for NBC News for more than 10 years. He reports on government accountability, waste and fraud for Anderson Cooper 360 and other programs throughout the network as well as playing a key role in the network's "America Votes 2008" coverage. With "Up Late" host Jamie LoFiego, though, he shows his funny side.

This week's doorkeeper is senior public relations major Erin Thompson of Fayetteville, W.Va. Musical guest is Brandon Mitchell, who plays his song, "Shot Down."

Ryan "Zippy" Zipperain does a man-on-the-street segment where he asks students about their New Year's resolutions.

A new feature, one the cast calls "one of the funniest bits we have done all year," is a soap opera called "The Hand You Were Given." In this episode, Margaret tells James her true feelings about him.

"Up Late" will air from 11 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 on MyZTV and on Comcast Channel 25 throughout the week. Suddenlink Communications is also airing the show on Channels 19 and 22 in its different markets. "Up Late" can be found online at

The show grew out of Marshall's 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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Tuesday November 18, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Scholarship honors former Herd kicker who died in plane crash

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Foundation, Inc., has established the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship in memory of the former Thundering Herd place kicker/punter from Lyndhurst, N.J., who died in the Nov. 14, 1970 Marshall plane crash.

Lajterman was 19 when he, along with 74 other people, died in the crash. His brother, Mo Lajterman, who began a fundraising campaign to establish the scholarship, attended Friday's annual memorial service at Marshall, along with other brothers Tito Lajterman and Abe Lajterman, and cousin Adrian Steingart.

The family presented a check for $1,000 to the Marshall Foundation to start an expendable merit scholarship under Marcelo Lajterman's name. The family's goal is to create an endowment at Marshall to honor Lajterman's memory. The fund will become endowed when a minimum of $15,000 is received. Until then, the foundation will support a yearly $1,000 merit scholarship.

While in Huntington, the family also presented a gift of a miniature statue of Marcelo Lajterman to Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp.

During what he called "a very special moment" after attending the premiere of "We Are Marshall in December 2006," Mo Lajterman said he and his family began talking about what they could do to honor their late brother's memory.

They created the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship Fund which resulted in raising enough funds through a golf outing to award two scholarships in their home state of New Jersey.

"The next thing we thought about was doing an endowment for Marshall University," Mo Lajterman said. "We (the Lajtermans and Marshall) became family. We wanted to do something more special. Marcelo would love this and his name lives on. This scholarship helps keep his name alive."

The recipient of the one-time award will be a full-time undergraduate student with a 3.0 or higher GPA and financial need, as determined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The award may also be used to cover academic expenses beyond tuition.

"We are so honored and humbled to think that this family from so far would still consider giving back to Marshall University in this scholarship manner," said Kristi Arrowood, director of special projects for the foundation. "It also shows that 'We Are Marshall' extends beyond just being an alum or current student. The entire Lajterman family is Marshall family and for generations to come, students who receive this scholarship will learn the history of Marcelo Lajterman and his contribution to the athletic program as well as Marshall University as a whole."

Persons may contribute to the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship by visiting For more information, contact Arrowood at 304-696-3505.

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

Holly Berry Festival returns to Marshall Nov. 22

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The fourth annual Holly Berry Festival returns to Huntington and the Marshall University campus in grand tradition Saturday, Nov. 22 with what organizers say will be a bigger and better event than in recent years.

The festival, sponsored by the Marshall University Library Associates, takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Marshall's Memorial Student Center. More vendors, artists and crafters will be participating and more general and holiday-themed items will be for sale.

"Whether you're looking for hand-crafted jewelry or paintings, art, quilts, aprons, kitchen towel sets, scarves, prints or books, chances are excellent you'll find what you're looking for at the Holly Berry Festival," said Barbara Winters, dean of Marshall Libraries.

She says visitors to this year's festival also will be able to pick up a few pointers about woodworking or pottery from master crafters who will demonstrate both techniques during the course of the day.

Organizers say shoppers will be treated to an expanded variety of gift ideas presented by a wide variety of tri-state artisans and crafts persons.  In addition, for the first time ever, the event will include a used book and record sale. Winters said four boxes of long-play (LP) record albums will be for sale.

Special guests at this year's event include Dave Lavender, a reporter and columnist with The Herald-Dispatch, and former Herald-Dispatch editorial page editor Jim Casto, both of whom will be signing books they have written.

From 9 a.m. to noon, Lavender will sign copies of "Dave Trippin: A Day Tripper's Guide to the Appalachian Galaxy of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia," while from 10 a.m. to noon, Casto will sign his local history books, including "Marshall University," a photo history of the school.

Books about West Virginia and the Civil War and related items will be on display for sale as well.

Winters said 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the Library Associates endowment fund, which supports the ongoing development of the Marshall University Libraries book collections.

Admission is free, and free parking is available on the Marshall parking lot across 5th Avenue from the student center. Food will be available for purchase, and proceeds from the sale of food will go to Marshall's Student Nurses Association and the Libraries.

For more information, contact Winters at 304-696-2318 ( or Dr. Lynne Welch at 304-523-8327.

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

Five Criminal Justice students place second in state-wide competition

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Five Marshall University Criminal Justice students who took part in the West Virginia Criminal Justice Educators Association's recent annual conference placed second in the state-wide crime scene competition.

The students included undergraduates Michelle Cunningham, Patrick Hernandez and William "Andy" Walker, and graduate students Lauren Copley and Pallavi Samariya.

In addition, Marshall University Criminal Justice majors won two of the four awards for the student paper competition.  Copley, of Ona, W.Va., took first place in the graduate student competition and Hernandez, of Ashland, Ky., placed first in the undergraduate competition. Each received a $100 award.

"The Criminal Justice Department is pleased that once again our students have taken a lead at the state level," said Kimberly DeTardo-Bora, associate professor of Criminal Justice. "They continue to prove that our program is not about handcuffs and high-speed chases; instead, our students have the solid ability to present research and write effectively."

Five Marshall graduate students along with two undergraduates presented papers during the conference, which took place Nov. 6-7 at Fairmont State University. Graduate papers included, Copley, "Medillin v. Dretke: The United States' Judicial response to Avena and Other Mexican Nationals;" Jonathan Clemins, "Playing with Fire:  The Juvenile Weapon of Choice as Explained by Hirschi's (1969) Social Control Theory;" Krystal Mayville, "Firearms Trafficking:  A Rational Choice;" Jessica Napier, "Plagiarism Among Criminal Justice Students and the Utility of;" and Samariya, "Explaining Domestic Violence through Marxist Feminism Theory."

Undergraduate students presenting papers were Hernandez, "Techniques of Neutralization and Arson;" and Katheryne Staats, "The Transition from Barbie Dolls and Tonka Trucks to Juvenile Delinquent:  Peer Deviance as Examined by Sutherland's Differential Association Theory."  

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Wednesday November 12, 2008
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, (304) 696-3296

Broadway Workshop Students to Present Theatre Evenings

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - It's not every day that a student can take a class from a Broadway star, but  Marshall University students interested in music and theatre have been attending workshop sessions taught by actress and former Miss West Virginia Beth McVey this semester.

"I'm thrilled to get to be a part of the beginning of something at Marshall - to use the years of experience I have and work with students sharing my love of musical theatre - with inquiring young minds who want to experience the same thing," McVey said. "It's very fulfilling for me. I'm very honored to be so welcomed into the Marshall community."

Next week the workshop concludes with two performances: one Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the Cultural Center in Charleston at 7 p.m., the other Thursday, Nov. 20 at the Jomie Jazz Center on Marshall's Huntington campus at 8 p.m.

Bringing McVey to teach at Marshall is part of the Joan C. Edwards Distinguished Professors of the Arts initiative, which brings accomplished artists to campus to enhance learning opportunities.

Department of Music chair Dr. Jeffrey Pappas notes that having McVey as a visiting faculty member is an exceptional opportunity for students. "Anytime we can supplement our current curriculum with another outstanding faculty member, who not only has experience in the field but is able to translate that experience to students in an academic setting, everyone at Marshall wins," Pappas said.

According to Dr. Julie Jackson, chair of the Department of Theatre, McVey's presence on campus will allow the Department of Theatre the long-sought opportunity to develop a musical theatre emphasis within the professional training program.  

"The fact that a person with Beth's Broadway credentials and extensive professional experience has chosen to make Huntington her home base is truly remarkable," Jackson said.

The students echo Jackson's sentiment regarding studying under McVey.

"She's got such great experience, which is nice," senior Acting/Directing major Emily Chapman said, "and she comes right from what we're all trying to achieve."

As for the performances, Chapman, of Winfield, said, "Expect a good time, in a fun, relaxed atmosphere with a variety of songs, monologues, duets and group performances that will be interesting."

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

Marco makeover to be revealed before homecoming game

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Fans attending Marshall University's homecoming football game Saturday, Nov. 15 with UCF at Joan C. Edwards Stadium are encouraged to be in their seats at least 15 minutes before the 4:30 p.m. kickoff for the unveiling of the updated Marco.

The university's beloved mascot has undergone a Marco makeover, thanks to a fundraising effort this fall headed by the Marshall University Alumni Association in conjunction with the MU athletic department. His new costume was crafted by Dale Morton Studios in Hurricane.

"Marshall University and the Alumni Association want to thank everyone who participated in financially supporting Marco's makeover, especially the following donors: Susan and Ed Maier; Verna and Jim Gibson; the West Virginia Coal Association; Jed Smith, Smith Company Motor Cars; Carolyn and David Haden; Clear Channel Communications; Big Sandy Superstores; Pam and Steve Ellis, Elco Inc.; and Jason Moses and Moses Auto Mall," said Tish Littlehales, director of alumni relations.

"We also want to thank everyone else who contributed to the makeover as well," she said. "We received many $5, $10 and $25 gifts. Marco is most appreciative of every gift."

For more information, contact Littlehales at 304-696-2523.

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Tuesday November 11, 2008
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, (304) 696-3296

MU Chamber Choir in Concert at Marshall

Huntington, W.Va. - The Marshall University Chamber Choir, a select 33-voice ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Castleberry, will present a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 in Smith Recital Hall on the Huntington campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

The performance will feature music that the Chamber Choir presented recently at the West Virginia Cultural Center, including selections by Monteverdi, Schubert, Distler, Whitacre, and others.

"We had a very successful concert at the cultural center and look forward to repeating the program here at Marshall," Castleberry said.

Singers in the choir are chosen each year through competitive audition and come from throughout the Marshall University community. Many of the group's members are preparing for careers in music. "For a number of students this will be their first concert in the chamber choir and we'll also be featuring several singers who are showcasing senior voice recitals - so we have both ends of the spectrum in this performance," Castleberry said.

The Chamber Choir has been featured in numerous performances at Charleston, S.C.'s Piccolo Spoleto festival, on West Virginia Public Radio, and in performances for the American Choral Directors Association. Next spring, the Chamber Choir will travel to Washington, D.C., as part of a concert tour.

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Monday November 10, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

45th annual 2008 International Festival at Marshall University kicks off International Education Week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University kicks off International Education Week Sunday, Nov. 16 with the 45th annual International Festival in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on MU's Huntington campus.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State to promote international awareness and international education skills.

The theme of this year's International festival, which takes place from 3 to 7 p.m., is "Living in a Global Society," which emphasizes the pressing need for universities in the United States to prepare their students to live and work globally.

The International Festival features exotic foods, traditional music and dance, along with displays representing more than 60 countries and cultures. All of this will be provided by Marshall University international students and international community individuals and groups.  Admission to the International Festival is free and open to the public.

Other events to take place during International Education Week include the Festival of Flags and the Study Abroad Expo.

The Annual Festival of Flags takes place throughout November in the lobby of the Memorial Student Center, the Drinko Library and other buildings throughout campus featuring a spectacular display of flags from all of the countries where Marshall University draws international students or sends students to study abroad.  This semester's festival features flags from more than 60 countries and regions of the world.  

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Marshall will host the 5th annual MU Study Abroad Expo in the lobby of the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 20 study abroad providers are expected to take part in the fair.  MU students and faculty will have the opportunity to discuss the programs directly with the providers, apply for a passport, and get assistance with immunizations.   Study abroad scholarships and other prizes will be given away at the fair.

Dr. Clark M. Egnor, Executive Director of Marshall's Center for International Programs, said the International Education Week events are the perfect opportunity for students, faculty, staff and members of the community to enjoy the international diversity and global opportunities found on the Marshall campus and in the surrounding community.

Dr. Nancy Person, Director of Marshall's Office of International Students and Scholars, said the International Festival provides an opportunity for Marshall's international students to share their cultures and customs with others, thereby utilizing Marshall's valuable international diversity to promote a global awareness in the community.

Currently, Marshall has 451 international students from 61 countries, a five percent increase over fall semester 2007.  The university also sends about 150 students each year to study abroad.  Marshall students can choose from more than 125 sites in 40 countries to study for a summer, semester or year at approximately the same cost as studying at home.

For further details about the International Festival and International Education Week activities, contact the Center for International Programs at 304-696-2465,, or visit the Marshall University Center for International Programs office in Old Main 320 on the Huntington campus.

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Monday November 10, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Music Department gets "All Jazzed Up" for Homecoming Weekend

Huntington, W. Va. - Students from Marshall University's Department of Music will present the second annual Homecoming Cabaret during Homecoming weekend. Shows are at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 in the Jomie Jazz Center on the Huntington campus, and are free and open to the public.

The program of vocal jazz ensembles and solos with a combo of seasoned jazz instrumentalists is a collaboration of Linda Dobbs, professor of voice, and Dr. Sean Parsons of Marshall's jazz studies faculty.

Under their direction singers have spent the fall semester exploring the language and nuance of jazz singing and are excited to share the fun, according to Dobbs. "Join us for our renditions of tunes made famous by Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, New York Voices, The Andrews Sisters and more," she said.

For further information, contact the Marshall University Department of Music at 304-696-3117.

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

Journalism Faculty to Look Back at 1968

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In a year with a history-making presidential election, faculty at the Marshall University School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) will reflect on another year that changed America: 1968.

"The SOJMC faculty did not want the 40th anniversary of an important year to get away without paying due respects -- in what we are calling " '1968 Revisited,' " said Dr. Corley Dennison, dean of the SOJMC.

The public is invited to the symposium, which will take place Thursday, Nov. 13 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in room 402 of the Drinko Library. A reception follows the event.

It was a year in which people clashed on all sides of issues such as free love, clenched fists at the Olympics, poverty, civil rights for black Americans, equal rights for women, an unpopular war in Vietnam and an unpopular president because of the war. The media were in the thick of it, and they were changed with America, too, said Robert Rabe, assistant professor of journalism and one of the organizers of the symposium. Journalism faculty and other researchers at the symposium will highlight the impact of such major issues from 1968 and their impact on America 40 years later.

Here is a lineup of presenters at the symposium:

  • Rabe will present issues involving the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago:  violence against journalists, news coverage of the convention and public opinion that followed the convention.
  • Dr. Christopher Swindell, a Marshall assistant professor of journalism and mass communications will discuss news coverage of the Tet Offensive, a Vietnam battle, and its implications for politics and journalism.
  • Julie Lane, a doctoral candidate in mass communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an expert on postwar political journalism, will provide a study of 1968's impact on the women's movement.
  • Cicero Fain, a Marshall assistant professor of history, will present a reaction to Tommy Smith and John Carlos, two black athletes famous for raising "Black Consciousness" during their award ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics.
  • Philip Carter, a Marshall professor of social work, a 1960s civil rights activist and athlete at Marshall and a CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) executive in 1968, will discuss the civil rights movement.
  • Burnis Morris, Marshall's Carter G. Woodson professor of journalism and mass communications, will moderate a panel and discuss the impact of the Kerner Commission Report, regarding the 1967 race riots, on the journalism profession.
  • Dennison will remind the audience of other issues that surfaced in 1968 and that many people may not remember.

For further information, persons may contact Rabe by phone at 304-696-4636 or by e-mail at, or Morris by phone at 304-638-3322 or by e-mail at

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

Convocation for December Graduates set for Saturday, Dec. 6

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will honor its December 2008 graduates with a formal academic program on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in downtown Huntington.

The Convocation for December Graduates will take place at 2 p.m. and allow those prospective graduates to be recognized before they leave campus at the end of the term. Although their degrees will not be conferred until the spring 2009 commencement, they will be wearing caps and gowns and be recognized individually during the ceremony.

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp will greet the students as their names are read and they make their way across the platform in front of the Keith-Albee stage. A photographer will take their pictures as they are presented with a representative scroll.

"So many of our December graduates are unable to return for the regular commencement," said Roberta Ferguson, Marshall's registrar. "The convocation is a chance for them, along with their families, to celebrate this major milestone in their lives."

Ferguson said in past years only 20 percent of the December graduates have returned in May for commencement. December graduates attending the convocation are still invited to take part in Marshall's 172nd commencement, scheduled May 9, 2009 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Dr. Montserrat Miller, an associate professor of history at Marshall University, will be the keynote speaker at the convocation. She was named 2007 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia.

"I feel deeply honored and privileged to be offered the opportunity to speak to the December 2008 class of Marshall graduates," Miller said. "Commencement ceremonies are vital rituals because they commemorate student achievement and allow us to reflect on the transformative power that higher education has on our lives.  President Kopp should be commended for introducing this new Convocation for December Graduates."

Miller has been a member of the Marshall History Department since 1996. She has won several awards during that time, including the Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award in 2007, the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teacher Award in 2006, and the Pickens-Queen Teaching Award in 1999.

She received a Ph.D. (1994) and M.A. (1990) in European Social History from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.A. in History (1988) and a B.A. in International Affairs (1983) from Marshall.

A reception for everyone taking part in the convocation will take place after the event at a site still to be determined.

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

Senator joins 'Up Late' this week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Guests on "Up Late" don't typically have to give Marshall University $800,000 to get a coveted spot on the show, but it's nice when they do, said Jamie LoFiego, host of the student-produced late night show.

LoFiego finally gets to talk with Sen. Bob Plymale about the State of West Virginia grant that he helped award the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications last month. The money will go to fund the conversion of its television studio from analog to digital standards so students will be learning on the most current equipment available in their field.

Also making an appearance on this week's show is Jack Houvouras, editor of the Huntington Quarterly.

The big news on the show this week is that one of the students, Will Sutherland, will be running for president in 2012. "Mind Blown" with Jonathan Slade is a new element on "Up Late." Without revealing too much, his trick involves a brown paper bag and his head.

Musical guest Traci Ann Stanley plays her new song "One Day of Heaven." Doorkeeper is Oak Hill student Miranda Rosiek.

"Up Late" will air from 11 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 on MyZTV and on Comcast Channel 25 throughout the week. Suddenlink Communications is also airing the show on Channels 19 and 22 in its different markets. "Up Late" can be found online at

The show grew out of Marshall's 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 November 6, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

CNN correspondent Joe Johns grand marshal of MU homecoming parade

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - CNN correspondent Joe Johns, a 1980 Marshall University graduate, will serve as grand marshal of Marshall's homecoming parade, Student Body President Matt James announced today.

The homecoming parade on Saturday, Nov. 15, featuring the theme "Go GreenGo Herd!" and sponsored by the Student Government Association, begins at noon downtown at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena and ends at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Johns, who was a four-year standout track and field performer while consistently earning dean's-list honors at Marshall, joined CNN as a congressional correspondent in January 2004 after covering Capitol Hill for NBC News for more than 10 years.

For CNN, he reports on government accountability, waste and fraud for Anderson Cooper 360 and other programs throughout the network. In addition to his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Marshall, Johns has a law degree from American University.

Homecoming activities begin Monday, Nov. 10 and continue through Saturday, Nov. 15. Highlights include the homecoming concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, featuring the Steve Miller Band, and the Marshall Thundering Herd's Conference USA football game with the University of Central Florida at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 at the stadium.

Here is a look at some of the other activities planned during homecoming week Nov. 10-15:

Monday, Nov. 10

Employees are asked to decorate their offices to promote homecoming 2008, using the theme, "Go Green...Go Herd!" Prizes will be awarded at the Coaches' Breakfast Friday morning.

Students can get short-sleeved t-shirts airbrushed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Memorial Student Center plaza. Also, electronic voting for Mr. and Miss Marshall begins at 10 a.m. for Marshall students.

Tuesday, Nov. 11

Voting for Mr. and Miss Marshall continues until 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 12


Students can get their t-shirts airbrushed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the student center plaza.


The naming of the homecoming court will take place in the lobby of the Memorial Student Center between noon and 1:30 p.m.


From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students will have the opportunity to enter a money machine in the student center and grab as much money as they can.


Thursday, Nov. 13


Office decoration judging will begin at 1 p.m.


From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students can play games such as NCAA Challenge, Rock Band, Mario Kart and cornhole on the student center plaza. 

Friday, Nov. 14
Green & White Day

The first official Marshall University Alumni Association event of homecoming weekend is the Coaches' Breakfast at the Erickson Alumni Center from 6 to 10 a.m. This live radio broadcast lets those present as well as radio listeners get to know some of Marshall's coaches. The DAWG 93.7 FM will start broadcasting at 6 a.m.; the coaches will join in throughout the broadcast. The winner of the office decorating contest will be announced.

The Pi Kappa Alphas of the '50s will have their traditional biennial reunion with a dinner-dance at 6 p.m. at the Palms Room, 314 9th St. (second floor).

The homecoming concert featuring the Steve Miller Band starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Big Sandy Superstore arena in downtown Huntington. The concert is sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Student Activities Programming Board. A pre-concert reception, featuring hors d'oeuvres and a wine and beer cash bar, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hall of Fame Caf. Cost for the reception is $10 per person.  

Saturday, Nov. 15

The MU Alumni Association's Lunch Under the Tent will take place at the corner of 5th Avenue and 20th Street. The tailgate begins at 1 p.m. and tickets are $10 per person. Call 304-696-2901 for reservations.

The College of Health Professions is having an "elegant tailgate" from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center Shawkey Dining Room. Guests are invited to watch the homecoming parade from the student center balcony, visit with faculty and other alumni, share memories and look around campus at all the changes that have occurred since they graduated. The tailgate is the kickoff of the 10-year celebration of the COHP as a college.

The Step Show, sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, will take place after the game at 8 p.m. in the Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium in Huntington City Hall. Tickets are $15. Call 304-696-2283.

The Pi Kappa Alpha post-game BBQ party will take place at the Palms Room, 314 9th St. (second floor).

Alumni Association and homecoming sponsors include: West Virginia Delegate Doug Reynolds, Bank of America, Marshall University Bookstore, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Pepsi Bottling Group, West Virginia Steel and Marshall's Student Activities Programming Board.

"We have an exciting homecoming planned," said Tish Littlehales, director of alumni relations at Marshall. "We're looking forward to having alumni and friends back to campus to enjoy homecoming 2008 festivities where there truly will be something for everyone."

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

Victims of 1970 Marshall plane crash to be honored in memorial service

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The 75 victims of the 1970 Marshall University plane crash will be remembered in the annual memorial service conducted in their honor at noon Friday, Nov. 14 on the Huntington campus.

The service, which is presented by Marshall's Student Government Association, takes place on the Memorial Student Center plaza on the 38th anniversary of the crash. The victims included Marshall football players, coaches, staff and supporters, along with a flight crew of five.

"Our annual memorial service is a reflection of the sympathy and grief that we continue to feel as a Marshall University community 38 years after the tragedy," said Matt James, president of Marshall's student body. "The service is an example of how important the memories of those lost are to us, and we feel that their story must always to be told to every incoming student and staff member to our campus.  November 14, 1970 is a date that ties all of us together and we must never forget." 

CNN correspondent Joe Johns, a 1980 Marshall University graduate, will be the keynote speaker. During his years at Marshall in the late 1970s, Johns was a standout student-athlete, excelling in the shot put and discus while consistently earning dean's list honors in the classroom.

Johns also will serve as grand marshal in the Marshall homecoming parade, which starts at noon on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Other speakers at the memorial service include Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, Marshall head football Coach Mark Snyder, former Provost Dr. Sarah Denman, Marshall Alumni Association President Nancy Campbell and student body Vice President Sean Hornbuckle. James will deliver welcome and closing remarks.

The service will conclude with the traditional placing of the memorial wreath at the Memorial Fountain. The fountain will be silenced after the laying of the wreath, and remain silent until next spring.

The crash on Saturday, Nov. 14, 1970 occurred at about 7:47 p.m. when a DC-9 jetliner, returning Marshall home from its football game at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., clipped some treetops just short of Tri-State Airport and went down.

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

Raffle of movie memorabilia at Jim's Steak & Spaghetti House supports Marshall University Foundation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Jim's Steak & Spaghetti House in Huntington is sponsoring a raffle to raise money for the Marshall University Foundation, Inc.

The "We Are Marshall" movie memorabilia raffle began today (Wednesday, Nov. 5) and will continue until 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 when the winner of the items will be announced. Raffle tickets, which cost $5 each or $20 for five, are available at Jim's, which is located at 920 5th Ave.

Most items to be raffled were used in "We Are Marshall." They include one football jersey, one basketball jersey and two game tickets (Marshall vs. Morehead State). Also included in the raffle is a DVD of the movie autographed by actor Arlen Escarpeta, who played quarterback Reggie Oliver in the movie.

Jim's General Manager Jimmie Carder said the items are being raffled as a package deal. One person will win all of the items.

"Over the years we've had fun doing raffles or giveaways, with the proceeds going to charities such as the Ronald McDonald House," Carder said. "When we were presented with the idea of doing this raffle, we jumped on it. We have fun doing these things."

Kristi Arrowood, Director of Special Projects for the foundation, said she is thrilled to have Jim's hosting the raffle.

"Knowing the history of Jim's Steak & Spaghetti House and the ties it has with our Marshall family, the raffle is a perfect fit," Arrowood said. "Timing for the raffle couldn't be better, with Marshall's homecoming next week guaranteed to draw a large crowd back to Huntington and, of course, Jim's.

"When pre-filming started for the 'We Are Marshall' movie, the crew spent one entire day in the restaurant, taking photographs and talking to Jimmie and the staff in order to capture the essences of Jim's for the design of Boone's Restaurant in the film."

Arrowood said the Foundation is always pleased when it can partner with locally owned businesses in support of Marshall University.

"We look forward to great participation in the raffle," Arrowood said.

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Tuesday November 4, 2008
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, (304) 696-3296

Marshall music faculty to perform 'L'Histoire du Soldat' Nov. 9

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University music faculty members will perform "L'Histoire du Soldat" ("The Soldier's Tale") by Igor Stravinsky at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9 in the Smith Recital Hall on the Huntington campus.

The piece, a 1918 theatrical work to be read, played, or danced, is the folk tale of a soldier who is going home from the war and trades his fiddle for a book that predicts the economy. The story is told by three characters: the soldier (played by Dr. Larry Stickler), the devil (played by Dr. David Castleberry) and the narrator (Dr. Jeffrey Pappas).

Prior to the performance, Dr. Vicki Stroeher, who teaches music history at Marshall, will speak about Stravinsky and "L'Histoire du Soldat."

"Igor Stravinsky is one of the most interesting composers of the early 20th century, both in terms of his works and his life story," Stroeher said. " 'L'Histoire du Soldat' dates from that time during World War I when composers were having difficulties finding enough musicians to perform their large-scale works. Stravinsky answered that problem with a chamber work - which is the perfect medium to showcase Marshall music faculty.  The story is captivating for all audiences, and the music, written in the 'caf style' of Paris, is universally appealing."

Dr. W. Edwin Bingham, professor of music, will conduct the performance, which will also include Marshall faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, violin; Dr. Ann Marie Bingham, clarinet; Kay Lawson, bassoon; Martin Saunders, trumpet; Dr. Michael Stroeher, trombone; and James Steven Hall, percussion. They will be joined by Marshall alumnus Jason McNeel, contrabass.

For more information about this performance, contact Vicki Stroeher by phone at 304-696-6437 or by e-mail at

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Tuesday November 4, 2008
Contact: Tim Ward, Marshall University St. Jude Up 'Til Dawn, 304-654-6397

Marshall University's Up 'Til Dawn to host 'Write for Life' for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Up 'Til Dawn student organization will host "Write for Life" to raise money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"Write for Life" is a letter-writing campaign designed to raise money for the life-saving work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as well as increase the participants' own awareness. All materials, including envelopes and letters, will be provided by Up 'Til Dawn with students only responsible for bringing mailing addresses.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 in Marco's in the basement of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall's Huntington campus. Food will also be provided throughout the day for those participating.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world.

Families without insurance are never asked to pay. In addition, no family ever pays for treatment not covered by insurance. For more information, call 1-800-822-644 or visit

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Monday November 3, 2008
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Manchin appoints Touma to MU Board of Governors

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III announced today that Huntington physician Joseph Touma has been appointed to the Marshall University Board of Governors, effective Nov. 1, 2008. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Touma served as the Chair of the Marshall University Foundation Board of Directors.

"Dr. Joe Touma has demonstrated visionary leadership during his service with our Foundation, and I am certain that he will bring that same ability to his appointment with the Marshall University Board of Governors," said Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp. "He is an accomplished physician and business leader, and I look forward to working with him in this new capacity."

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