August 2009 News Releases

Monday August 31, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

'Herdfest' to kick off 2009 season of Thundering Herd football

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - "Herdfest," the official kickoff for Marshall University's 2009 football season, will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, under the marquee of the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on 4th Avenue.

The event is hosted by 93.7 FM, The Dawg, and precedes by two days the Thundering Herd's season-opening football game. Marshall plays host to Southern Illinois at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

The flagship station for Marshall University athletics will celebrate the start of the Thundering Herd football season with a party featuring Marshall football Coach Mark Snyder, Herd cheerleaders, street vendors, inflatables for children and beach music from The Tams.

Participants also include Mayor Kim Wolfe, the Marching Thunder Pep Band, Marco and Athletic Director Mike Hamrick.

Entertainment, in addition to the pep band and The Tams, will be provided by the 14 Karat Gold Band.

The Dawg  will begin an on-site live remote at 6 p.m. with several give-away items including official Herdfest t-shirts. The 14 Karat Gold Band will perform at 7 p.m.

At 8 p.m., a caravan with Snyder, the cheerleaders, Marco, and the pep band will depart Gino's Pub at the conclusion of the coach's first call-in show of the season. At 8:20 p.m., the pep band will perform in front of the main stage on 4th Avenue. Then, each of the dignitaries will briefly address the crowd of Herd fans and family, concluding with the famous "We Are ... Marshall" cheer. The Tams, with their patented brand of high-energy music, choreography, and showmanship, will perform at 9 p.m.

" 'Herdfest' " has been in the works since early last winter. Our company working with Marshall to insure a quality event is always a pleasure," said Mike Kirtner, president of Kindred Communications, parent company of 93.7 FM, The Dawg. "Our biggest promotions always involve Marshall, and this one will not be an exception."

The official Marshall football kickoff festival is being provided at no charge to the public.

"This event is a gift from Marshall and our company to the community and those that support Marshall University," Kirtner said. "We want this to be a special night for everyone that attends."

Kindred is working with the Marshall University Department of Athletics, the Big Green Scholarship Foundation and the Marshall University Alumni Association to present the event. Sponsors include Marshall University, St. Mary's Hospital, Atomic Distributing, the Marshall University Alumni Association, Kindred Communications, the City of Huntington, and MPE Entertainment.

"Herdfest" will represent the conclusion of Kindred Communications' "Celebrate Huntington" Concert Series. The locally-owned broadcasting company, with five other signals on the air in Huntington and the Herd Insider magazine, has hosted monthly concerts since May featuring famous musical acts, beginning with The Drifters and ending with The Tams.

The City of Huntington will close 4th Avenue at 5 p.m. at both 10th Street and 9th Street for "Herdfest."

All proceeds from Herdfest will benefit the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

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Monday August 31, 2009
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

MIIR seminar series to kick off with free program by counterterrorism expert

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The role and limitations of science and technology in addressing security challenges facing the human race will be the focus of an upcoming program featuring internationally recognized counterterrorism expert Houston T. "Terry" Hawkins, senior fellow and director of Department of Defense Programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The event, which is the first in a series of public seminars to be hosted by the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR), will take place Thursday, Sept. 17, at the St. Mary's Center for Education at the corner of 5th Avenue and 29th Street in Huntington. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

A retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Hawkins has been at Los Alamos since 1988. He is a widely recognized specialist on modern terrorism - particularly terrorism involving the potential use of weapons of mass destruction - and has given invited lectures worldwide.

At Los Alamos, he has led major scientific and technical programs aimed at detecting, preventing and reversing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the use of those weapons by international terrorists.

"Col. Hawkins is the perfect guest to kick off our seminar series about the relationship among culture, technology and society," said Dr. Eric Kmiec, director of MIIR and the institute's lead research scientist. "From research on biological agents like anthrax and viruses like the flu to cyberwarfare to space exploration, he has experience on the front lines of some of the most pressing public safety issues of our time. I have heard him speak before and our audience is in for a fascinating, thought-provoking program."

Hawkins has received numerous awards and recognition for his work, including the Chief Justice Earl Warren Medallion, the Aviation Week and Space Technology 2000 Laurel Award, the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation Medal, the Legion of Merit, two Defense Superior Service medals, two Air Force Superior Service medals, an Air Force Commendation Medal and numerous other service medals.

He has earned degrees from Clemson University, the National Defense University and LaSalle Extension University School of Law.

Co-sponsors of the event include Huddleston Bolen LLP and St. Mary's Center for Education.

The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Keely Martin at or 304-696-3830.

MIIR was created through the state's "Bucks for Brains" research trust fund. The institute's goal is to become a self-sustaining enterprise through entrepreneurship and commercialization of scientific discoveries, while enhancing economic development, advancing intellectual infrastructure and increasing employment opportunities in the state and region.

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Wednesday August 26, 2009
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall faculty awarded $750,000 grant to continue program to diversify science and engineering faculty

- A group of faculty members at Marshall University has been awarded $750,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue a successful initiative to increase the number of female science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty members at the university.

Dr. Marcia A. Harrison, professor of biological sciences and the principal investigator on the grant, will use the funds to further innovative recruitment, retention and policy efforts undertaken at the university over the past three years.

The Marshall University (MU)-ADVANCE program was established in 2006 with a $1.2 million grant awarded through NSF's Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) program. The new funding will extend the program for two additional years.

Harrison's MU-ADVANCE co-investigators include Dr. Beverly C. Delidow, associate professor of biochemistry and microbiology; Dr. Patricia Y. Logan, associate professor of information technology and engineering; Dr. Elizabeth E. Murray, associate professor of integrated science and technology; and Dr. Judith A. Silver, professor of mathematics.

During the initial phase of the project, Harrison and her colleagues worked with teams of faculty, staff and administrators to analyze and review existing barriers to the success of female STEM faculty, and to develop new programs and policies to increase the representation and advancement of women.

"We are exceedingly pleased to have received this additional funding for our project," said Harrison. "The ADVANCE program nationally is quite competitive, so this extension demonstrates that NSF believes what we are doing here at Marshall is working. We now plan to turn our attention to sustaining our efforts long term by ensuring continued growth and institutionalization of the program."

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp congratulated MU-ADVANCE leaders for the recent milestone.

"On behalf of the entire Marshall University community, I salute Dr. Harrison and her co-investigators for securing this significant additional funding for MU-ADVANCE," he said. "The successes of this exemplary program in large part are due to the exceptional leadership and commitment Marcia and her colleagues have brought to this important initiative. I truly look forward to working with them to continue the momentum ADVANCE has created across our campus."

Dr. John Maher, vice president for research and executive director of the Marshall University Research Corporation, added, "Dr. Harrison and her colleagues are to be indeed commended. I've been pleased to work with them on a number of faculty development initiatives related to the MU-ADVANCE program and know firsthand how dedicated they are to this project. Their work has been truly transformative and it has been a pleasure to watch the program grow and succeed."

According to the NSF, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in almost all science and engineering fields. In fact, although 41 percent of all faculty members at Marshall are women, only 27 percent of STEM faculty members are female.

Research indicates that the lack of women's full participation in science and engineering academic careers is unrelated to their ability, interest and technical skills, but is more often a systemic consequence of the culture and organizational structure at institutions of higher education. Difficulty balancing work and family demands also plays a key role.

The national ADVANCE program supports projects, like the one at Marshall, to help institutions transform long-standing practices and academic climate that discourage women from pursuing careers in high-tech fields.

According to Harrison, the ultimate goal of the program is a change in institutional culture that will benefit all faculty members - men and women - across all disciplines and all departments. She said the strategies that work to recruit, retain and promote women in STEM academic positions also improve the situation for other underrepresented groups such as racial/ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, as well as for men who now enter the workforce with a greater interest in and expectation for work-life balance.

She added that the programs and policies developed through the MU-ADVANCE program will be shared with other institutions in the state with hopes of enabling similar transformative change on those campuses.

In addition, she said, the MU-ADVANCE goal of increasing the number of female faculty members in science and technology fields represents broader impacts both by providing much-needed role models for West Virginia's young, female students and by providing an additional economic development stimulus.

"Our programs help female faculty members balance and integrate their teaching and service commitments, while building competitive research programs," said Harrison. "This additional research activity has the potential to increase external funding, providing the region and state with economic development advantages."

Harrison's award was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. For more information about MU-ADVANCE, contact Harrison at or visit


Photo: Working in a lab in the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center are Marshall University faculty members, from left, Dr. Elizabeth E. Murray, Dr. Marcia A. Harrison, Dr. Piyali Dasgupta, Dr. Beverly C. Delidow and Dr. Judith A. Silver. Harrison is the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant of $750,000 awarded to a group of faculty members that includes Murray, Harrison, Delidow,  Silver and Dr. Patricia Y. Logan, who is not pictured. Dasgupta, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, is a participant in the MU-ADVANCE initiative, which benefits from the grant.

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Monday August 24, 2009
Contact: Lalena Price, Communications Coordinator, 304-746-1989

Marshall University's Equestrian Team schedules tryouts last weekend in August

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- The Marshall University Equestrian Team (MUET) will have tryouts beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at Royal Winds Farm in Ona.

Team coach Bille Rae Graham says all undergraduate students - beginner, intermediate or advanced - are eligible to join the team, which focuses mainly on hunt seat style riding. Tryouts for the 2009-2010 academic year are mainly to help Graham place riders in the appropriate division, she said.

"We have something for riders at every level, so tryouts are more of a formality," Graham said. "Mostly, I think it's just important for students - those who have been riding throughout their lives as well as those who are just getting started - to know that just because they are coming to college, it doesn't mean they have to pack their helmets and riding boots away in the attic. There is an opportunity at Marshall to continue your equestrian pursuits."

Students must schedule a time to ride during the formal tryout or, if they have a scheduling conflict, they can set up another day and time. Graham may be reached at 304-208-3130,, or through the MUET Facebook page.

MUET is recognized by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, which promotes competition for riders of all skill levels that compete individually and as teams at regional, zone and national levels. The association was founded on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her financial status or riding level. Emphasis is on learning, sportsmanship and fun. Students do not have to bring their own horses to participate.

"A club like this is a great way to meet fellow students with similar interests," Graham said. "And if students don't ride hunter style riding, this is a great opportunity to learn something different and stretch themselves as riders."

To prepare for competitions, team riders are required by IHSA to take one weekly lesson with Graham and pay membership fees and team dues for the club sport. The IHSA attempts to eliminate the expense of students owning horses, so team members ride horses that are furnished by a host college and chose their mounts by drawing lots. The theory behind this structure is to equalize variables of the competition and test the true horsemanship of the contestants. Classes range from Walk/Trot for first-year students to the Open Division for the more experienced.

During the past academic year, the fledgling MUET had two members that rode to a fifth-place finish in its region, which includes Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana region. Other colleges in Zone 6 Region 2 are Midway College, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, Ohio University Southern, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Xavier University.

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Friday August 21, 2009
Contact: Bill Bissett, Chief of Staff, 304-696-6713

Marshall University projects significant increase in enrollment

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Based on initial projections before the start of the 2009 fall semester, Marshall University anticipates a significant increase in enrollment for the coming academic year.

The number of overall full-time students has increased by 3.5 percent over last year. Also, the number of new, first-time freshmen has increased by 11 percent over last year's count of 1,686, including an increase of approximately 200 new freshmen from West Virginia.

Students began moving in this morning and the first class of the fall semester begins at 8 a.m. Monday.

"We are extremely pleased that, despite tough economic times, Marshall University is seeing an increase in both our overall and freshman enrollment," President Stephen J. Kopp said. "These increases are an indication of the quality of education offered by Marshall University and the hard work by our Offices of Recruitment and Admissions, and our faculty and staff. More and more people are realizing that a degree from Marshall University will prepare them well for the future."

The number of full-time undergraduates has increased by 4 percent over last year and the number of full-time graduate students has increased by less than 1/2 percent.

"While we are very happy with these numbers, we must continue to improve our retention rates," Kopp said. "We must be committed to do everything we can to ensure that students who start at Marshall University complete their education and earn their degrees."

Additional enrollments for off-campus and off-calendar classes will be added throughout the next few months, and more detailed enrollment counts are not expected until late October.

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Wednesday August 19, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

New program designed to promote involvement and success of Marshall University commuter students

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In a cooperative effort between Student Affairs and Residence Services, Marshall University has created a program that is designed to promote the involvement and success of its commuter students.

The goal is to get commuter students - those students who travel to campus each day for classes - involved in activities that will connect them more with campus life. About 76 percent of the students who attend Marshall University commute to classes.

"Too often commuter students maintain the same friendships, the same habits, the same social contacts, and the same daily schedule they maintained in high school," said Steve Hensley, Marshall's Dean of Student Affairs. "The risk in this lifestyle is that students may miss some of the most important parts of college - expanded social contacts, including making new friends from all over the state and country, and even other countries.  Student organizations enrich the lives and careers of students, but students have to be on campus to be a part of this."

As part of Welcome Weekend, which takes place Friday, Aug. 21 through Sunday, Aug. 23 and precedes the start of fall classes on Aug. 24, a Commuter Student Reception will take place at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21 in the lobby of the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus. A Commuter Ice Cream Social is planned from 8 to 9 p.m. that same day in the Twin Towers East Dining Hall.

Commuter Welcome Weekend is the following weekend, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 28-29.

John Yaun, Director of Residence Services, said Marshall plans to offer commuter students a myriad of enjoyable and engaging experiences that will fulfill their college experience and get them more connected to activities and events on the Marshall campus.

"Commuter students are diverse in many ways, in age, ethnic identity, family status, working status, how they get to campus, the distance they commute, living arrangements and so forth," Yaun said. "In spite of all the differences, commuter students do have some common concerns: time management, balancing multiple roles, getting to campus, family obligations, and getting connected to campus life are all issues commuter students face. While many commuters face different challenges daily, they are an important part of the overall Marshall community and there are numerous opportunities to get involved and make the best of their college experience."

All commuters are invited to attend the Welcome Weekend reception and Ice Cream Social.

For more information, go to

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Wednesday August 19, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Addition of multipurpose field, alumni center/foundation hall gives different look to Marshall University's Huntington campus

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Summer time means vacation time for most Marshall University students, but that does not mean all has been quiet the past three months on the Huntington campus.

Marshall workers have been busy throughout the summer making repairs, upgrades and renovations big and small from one end of campus to the other. More than 1,100 gallons of paint have been applied indoors and out, modifications have been made to many of the restrooms in the academic buildings to make them ADA compliant, sidewalks have been repaired, roofs replaced, air conditioning systems upgraded, landscaping improved and lighting upgraded. And there's much more.   

Most noticeable to those students and faculty returning to classes on Monday, Aug. 24 is a 160-foot by 290-foot multipurpose field located near the Marshall Recreation Center just east of the First-Year Residence Halls.

The field, covered by TerraSport Turf, which is manufactured by Spectra Sports Surfaces, will be used for numerous activities, but mainly as a practice area for the Marching Thunder and a home for intramural sports.

David Stewart, director of campus recreation, said the Marshall Recreation Center will schedule activities on the field while the Marshall physical plant will maintain it.

"We want to maximize (organized) usage, but also maintain some open time where students can go out and maybe kick a football around," Stewart said. "It's going to be great for intramurals because we were down at Veterans Memorial Field House, which is 7/10th of a mile from campus."

Another facility under construction that has changed drastically in recent months is the new Erickson Alumni Center and Marshall University Foundation Hall, located on the corner of 5th Avenue and John Marshall Drive. Construction is expected to be completed in November.

Highlights of the three-story, 33,000-square-foot facility, include:

  • an alumni lounge;
  • a large hall for meetings and social events;
  • video and telephone conferencing in the meeting rooms;
  • a Heritage Room where information about alumni and the history of Marshall University can be displayed;
  • an architectural design that emphasizes an open and inviting appearance;
  • a functional workspace for the Alumni Relations, Development and Foundation staffs.

Here is a brief look at other changes for the new academic year:

Administrative changes

Marshall filled numerous administrative positions in academics since May 1. They include:

  • Dr. Charles Somerville, dean of Marshall's College of Science, effective July 1. Before being named dean, Somerville was a professor of biological sciences at Marshall.
  • Dr. Mary Todd, founding dean of the Marshall University Honors College, effective Aug. 1. Before being named dean, she was vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Dr. Donna J. Spindel, dean of the Marshall University Graduate College, effective July 1. Before being named dean, she was interim chair of Marshall's English Department.
  • Dr. Jamie Warner, associate dean for Marshall's College of Liberal Arts, effective July 1. Before being named associate dean, she was an associate professor of political science at Marshall.
  • Dr. Chong Kim, dean of Marshall's Lewis College of Business, effective July 1. Before being named dean, Kim was interim dean of the College of Business.
  • Dr. Rudy Pauley, associate vice president for outreach and continuing studies at Marshall, effective July 1. Before being named to his new position, Pauley was interim dean of the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development.
  • Dr. Monica Brooks, assistant vice president for information technology: Online learning and libraries at Marshall University, effective July 1. Before being named assistant VP, Brooks was MUOnline director of instructional design skills and assessment.
  • Dr. David Castleberry, associate dean of Marshall's College of Fine Arts, effective July 1. Castleberry remains a professor and director of choral activities in the Marshall University Department of Music.

Emergency notification system

Marshall University announced this summer a new partnership with Everbridge for emergency notifications of faculty, staff and students via text messages, e-mail and telephone.

"With this service, we've acquired the ability to quickly communicate emergency and safety-related information through multiple channels with a single click," said Dr. Jan Fox, senior vice president for information technology/chief information officer for the university.

Persons who already signed up for emergency text messages from Marshall have been automatically transferred to the new system, according to Jon B. Cutler, chief information security officer at Marshall. In addition, new and existing students are invited to provide alternative means of contact, such as a secondary e-mail address or cell phone number, that can be added to the system.

"Our primary objective in implementing this new service is protecting the safety and health of university community members," said Bill Bissett, the university's chief of staff and senior vice president for communications. "The more easily we can communicate vital information, and the more ways we have to contact our community members, the better."

Everbridge, formerly known as 3n Global, is a leading provider of emergency notification services to colleges and universities, health care systems, government agencies and municipalities.

For more information, visit

Academic programs

Marshall University has added four new degree programs for 2009-10. They include: Early Childhood Education, BA; Medical Imaging, BS; Exercise Science, BS, and Athletic Training, BS. Anthropology is a new major under the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

New areas of emphasis this year include:

  • English major - Literature and Creative Writing;
  •  RBA program - Computer Forensics; Creative Writing Option; Game Development; Literature Option in English; Training & Development for Organizations; Web Application Development, and Women's Studies;
  • Exercise Science major - Exercise Physiology, Health and Wellness, and Strength and Conditioning;
  • Athletic Training major - Athletic Training Comprehensive; Athletic Training Pre-Physical Therapy; Athletic Training Pre-Physicians Assistant; Athletic Training Pre-Chiropractic; Athletic Training Pre-Med; Athletic Training Occupational Safety & Health, and Athletic Training Safety.

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Tuesday August 18, 2009
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Paint the Capital City Green rally sold out

CHARLESTON - The 12th annual Paint the Capital City Green pep rally is a sellout.

Thundering Herd alumni, fans and friends will stampede into the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston to celebrate Marshall University athletics Wednesday, Aug. 19. Tickets will not be available at the door.

Paint The Capital City Green, sponsored by Friends of Coal, is the nation's largest indoor pep rally for the university and features a tailgate spread with entertainment by Marco and the cheerleading squad, as well as music from members of the Marshall University Marching Thunder and performances by the Dance Team.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a formal program at 7 p.m. Marshall fans will hear from Governor Joe Manchin, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, new Athletic Director Mike Hamrick and Thundering Herd football Coach Mark Snyder as they discuss the future of Marshall University athletics.

Hamrick, former director of athletics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, was named director of athletics at MU in July replacing Bob Marcum, who retired this summer. Hamrick is a 1980 graduate of Marshall University.

The crowd also will learn who the winner is of a drawing for two tickets to the Herd's Sept. 12 football game with the Virginia Tech Hokies. The lucky ticket holder also will receive complimentary hotel accommodations.

The Paint the Capital City Green rally is sponsored by Friends of Coal and hosted by the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, the Marshall University Alumni Association, the Greater Kanawha Valley Alumni Club and the Charleston Quarterback Club.

Event proceeds benefit the Big Green Scholarship Foundation and the Marshall University Alumni Association.

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Monday August 17, 2009
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Exhibition of artwork by the late Stanley Sporny on display in Birke Art Gallery through Sept. 10

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Department of Art and Design will present an exhibition of artwork by the late Stanley Sporny, a longtime Marshall faculty member, in the Birke Art Gallery beginning today and continuing through Thursday, Sept. 10.

The opening exhibit of the fall semester, "Stanley Sporny Paintings," will feature numerous oil paintings from the artist's River series - many completed in 2008 - as well as other select artworks spanning the past 25 years. Several watercolor paintings will also be on view, some of which have never before been publicly displayed.

Sporny, who passed away unexpectedly in October 2008, was a professor with MU's College of Fine Arts for 20 years.

"To his students, Stan Sporny was more than a professor of painting," Don Van Horn, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said. "He taught them more than just art.  Stan was a philosopher and his provocative discourse helped students come to understand themselves better.  He was helping shape the entire individual and preparing the student for life and its varied challenges."

Organizing this show was particularly meaningful for Birke Art Gallery director John Farley.

"Stanley Sporny spent his life as an artist, teacher, mentor, inventor, musician, entrepreneur and a true visionary," Farley said. "As a former student, colleague and friend of Stan, it is an honor and a privilege to be involved in this exhibition." 

Sporny studied at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1964 through 1968 and earned his M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied from 1969 to 1972 while under the direction of celebrated artists Neil Welliver, Alex Katz, Alice Neel and Elaine de Kooning. The graduating representative for the University of Pennsylvania, he spent the summer of 1972 at the prestigious Skowhegan School in Maine. He then traveled on a Fulbright Grant to Sri Lanka, taught at various universities and was a veteran of more than 40 solo exhibitions with work held in many prominent galleries, private collections and museums throughout the nation.

College of Fine Arts alumnus Chris Worth described what viewers can expect to see at the Stanley Sporny Paintings exhibit as visually beautiful and personally moving. 

"In my mind this is a show about the colors of man's deepest nature," Worth said. "The work is bold in color as well as brush stroke. You can't help but be transported to the place of inspiration for Stan Sporny. In the moment that we enter into the place of the artist, he joins us, and we are witness to only the smallest part of a brilliant mind."

Farley echoed Worth's sentiments.

"It is a truly fantastic display of paintings, and particularly poignant for those of us so influenced by his teachings and outlook on art and life," Farley said. "In addition to numerous oil paintings, we are fortunate enough to have several watercolors, some of which have never before been publicly displayed. [It is] definitely not an event to be missed." 

The exhibition will culminate with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. Peter Massing, professor of printmaking at Marshall University, will lead an informal discussion of Sporny and his work.

For more information, contact Jaye Ike, Special Projects Coordinator for the College of Fine Arts, by phone at 304-696-3296 or by e-mail at

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Monday August 17, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Students from Cabell Midland, Huntington High participate in J. Churchill Hodges Summer Scholars Program at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two soon-to-be Marshall University students from Huntington High School and Cabell Midland High School participated this summer in the J. Churchill Hodges Summer Scholars Program on Marshall's Huntington campus.

During the two-week program the students, Suzann Al-Qawasmi from Huntington High and Evan Madden from Cabell Midland, worked in MU laboratories with Marshall professors Dr. Michael Norton and Dr. Liz Murray. They studied DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (Ribonucleic acid) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) while learning about the Atomic Force Microscope.

At the end of the two weeks, Al-Qawasmi and Madden did a presentation of their work for Dr. Chuck Somerville, dean of the College of Science, and Churchill Hodges, for whom the program is named.

Hodges and his wife, Mary, are long-standing major contributors to Marshall University. Churchill Hodges established the Hodges Summer Program five years ago for Cabell County High School seniors who will be attending Marshall in the fall.

The program is designed to generate excitement for research science, and encourage students to study physics, chemistry and biology.  Each year, students from Huntington High and Cabell Midland come to the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center for two weeks.

Cabell County high school seniors interested in attending the J. Churchill Hodges Summer Scholars program next year may contact their high school counselors, science teachers, or Dr. Norton (at 304-696-6627) in the Marshall Chemistry Department.


Photo: The J. Churchill Hodges Summer Scholars Program was conducted this summer on Marshall University's Huntington campus. Evan Madden from Cabell Midland High School and Suzann Al-Qawasmi from Huntington High School were this year's participants. Standing in the photo are Madden, left, Al-Qawasmi, middle, and Marshall University professor Dr. Michael Norton. Seated are Dawn Nicholas, a Chemistry graduate student, left, and Marshall professor Dr. Liz Murray, right. Drs. Norton and Murray worked with Madden and Al-Qawasmi during the program, and it was Nicholas' research that the students were contributing to/collaborating in during the DNA nanotechnology component of their program.

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Friday August 14, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Kopp unveils conceptual drawings of proposed Applied Engineering Complex

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp today unveiled conceptual drawings of the university's proposed 140,000-square-foot Applied Engineering Complex during a news conference in his Old Main office on the Huntington campus.

A week ago, the Higher Education Policy Commission approved $25 million in funding toward planning and construction of the facility, which will be located on the north side of 3rd Avenue between the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Building and the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories. 

It is expected that the new facility will house several departments, including Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE); the departments of Mathematics and Computational Sciences; a Modeling and Digital Imaging Resource Facility; the new West Virginia High School S.T.E.M. Academy (Grades 9-12); Marshall University Research Corp. (MURC) offices, and engineering and bioengineering research laboratories.

Among those attending today's event were Dr. Betsy Dulin, Dean of CITE; MURC Executive Director and Vice President for Research Dr. John Maher; Dr. Rosalyn Templeton, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services; Dr. Stan Maynard, Executive Director of the June Harless Center and Associate Dean for the College of Education and Human Services, and Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation Inc. and Senior Vice President for Development.

Also on hand was Steve Burton, Business Manager with the Tri-State Buildings and Construction Trades Council. 

"This project is very, very exciting," Kopp said. "It is the culmination of a lot of planning and it represents the collective vision of many people coming together. The impact will not only be statewide, but regional and national as well. It would not be at the stage it is now without everyone working to make it a reality."

Kopp thanked numerous people for their support of the project, including Higher Education Policy Commission Chairman David Hendrickson, members of the HEPC Board, Chancellor Brian Noland and Kay Goodwin, Secretary of Education and the Arts. He also said Gov. Joe Manchin and the West Virginia Legislature, led by President Earl Ray Tomblin and Speaker Rick Thompson, "have been phenomenal." Kopp added that Senate Education Chairman Bob Plymale has been a champion of engineering for a long time.

Kopp praised Marshall's Board of Governors for embracing the idea of the Applied Engineering Complex. 

"The seeds of this project have been planted and are beginning to show signs of life," Kopp said. "There is a lot of excitement out there."

Kopp said the funding comes from a bond sale approved earlier this year. The funds still must be approved by Gov. Manchin.

Photo: President Stephen J. Kopp uses one of the conceptual drawings of Marshall University's proposed Applied Engineering Complex to explain the location and purpose of the building.

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Friday August 14, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

WMUL claims 11 awards in Millennium competition

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students and the faculty manager from WMUL-FM, Marshall University's public radio station, received one Gold Award, seven Silver Awards and three Bronze Awards in The Millennium Awards 2009 competition.  All of WMUL-FM's entries were named winners in this professional competition.

The Gold Award-winning entry by WMUL-FM was in the category:


"Backdoor Curve," written and produced by Ryan Epling, a graduate student from Wayne, was broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88" Thursday, April 3, 2009.

The Silver Award-winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the categories:


"The WMUL-FM Traffic Manual," written by Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, WMUL-FM's faculty manager, Whitney Thomas, WMUL-FM Traffic Director, who is a senior from Wheeling, and Michael Stanley, WMUL-FM Operations Manager, who is a senior from West Hamlin.  The manual was written for the student and community volunteer staff members charged with producing the campus radio station's daily programming logs.


"The 5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," broadcast Friday, April 3, 2009. The students who participated in the newscast were Robert Iddings, senior, St. Albans (producer and sports anchor); Adam Cavalier, a recent graduate, Montgomery (news anchor); and Whitney Thomas, senior, Wheeling (news anchor).


"Big Dips for 50 Years," written and produced by Adam Cavalier, that was broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Thursday, July 17, 2008.


"Failing Infrastructure:  Saving Huntington's Sewage System," written and produced by Adam Cavalier. The documentary was broadcast during "Aircheck" Thursday, May 7, 2009.


"Herd Roundup," with hosts Adam Cavalier and Andrew Ramspacher, a senior from Dublin, Ohio, broadcast Friday, Nov. 7, 2008.


WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University versus the University of Memphis football game played at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008.  The students calling the football game broadcast over FM 88.1 were play-by-play announcer Adam Cavalier, color commentator Ryan Epling, sideline reporter Leannda Carey, a junior from Wellsburg, and engineer Deven Swartz, a senior from Philippi.


WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University versus the University of Houston football game played at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008.  The students calling the football game broadcast over FM 88.1 were play-by-play announcer Ryan Epling, color commentator Adam Cavalier, sideline reporter Deven Swartz and engineer Tony Viola, a sophomore from Follansbee.

The Bronze Award winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the categories:


"Whitewater Release," written and produced by Adam Cavalier, that was broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008.


"Be Hope to Her," written and produced by Leannda Carey, that was broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Friday, April 24, 2009.


"Holocaust Survivor - Irene Zisblatt," written and produced by Leannda Carey, that was broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009.

"This is a noteworthy accomplishment for WMUL-FM to be recognized as having broadcast one of the best sports packages in the country," said Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, professor of radio-television production and management in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University and faculty manager of WMUL-FM. "Ryan Epling has received multiple awards for his sports reporting and this latest gold award further validates the quality of his sports reporting skills.  Likewise, Marshall fans are treated to superb coverage of Thundering Herd sports by the FM 88 Sports Team.

"Also, it is gratifying to have WMUL-FM staff members identified for writing a beneficial manual for the station's volunteer broadcasters, for producing a quality newscast, a highly regarded documentary concerning Huntington's sewage system, and some intriguing news and feature packages.  I am proud for the honor these Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards bestow on WMUL-FM, the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Marshall University."

The Millennium Awards were created to honor outstanding creativity, skill, craft and talent in television/film/video/commercials, print, advertising, Web design, audio and radio.  Entries are judged by industry professionals who look for companies and individuals who raise the bar of excellence. There were 987 entries in the Millennium Awards 2009 competition. 

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday August 13, 2009
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Visiting composer to present new works Aug. 31

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Renowned composer, flutist and pianist Byron Petty will present "Casual Notes," a program of recent compositions including several world premieres, at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31 in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

"A concert of music by a visiting composer lets you experience in a special way another's musical thoughts," said Dr. Wendell Dobbs, professor of music at Marshall, who is the organizer of and a performer on the concert. "And what's special about these inner thoughts is they're all hot off the press."

Petty will be accompanied by guest artists from sister institutions and Marshall music faculty. Hornist Wallace Easter from Virginia Tech and classical guitarist Robert Trent from Radford University will accompany Petty and his wife, Dr. Shuko Watanabe, to Marshall to perform on the concert. Flutist Wendell Dobbs, soprano Linda Dobbs, hornist Stephen Lawson and pianist Pam Johnson from the Marshall music faculty will join them.  In addition, two of Wendell Dobbs' fifers from the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps, Callie Huff and Laura Simpson, will join him in performing "River Crossing," a four movement piece written especially for the Corps. "Casual Notes," a new flute duet for which the concert is named, will be premiered by Petty and Wendell Dobbs.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Petty was trained as a flutist, studying with longtime principal of the Baltimore Symphony Britton Johnson. After graduation, Petty toured throughout the eastern U.S. and Japan with Watanabe, his classmate and wife. Currently, Petty and his wife both teach at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.
Petty's experiments as a composer, which began at Peabody, continued to grow until now composition occupies most of his time. The Virginia Music Teachers Association, K. & W. Group Inc., Olin Conservation Inc., the Department of Geology of Virginia Polytechnical Institute, and the Toho Koto Society of Washington, D.C., have commissioned new works by him. Recent compositional performances and premieres include "Before It Happens" for clarinet and orchestra, performed by the Sweet Briar College Chamber Orchestra; "From the Helm" for flute and piano, by the Ardo Duo at the New Horizons Concerts of New Music, Radford University;  "Ach! How to be!" for voice, violin, and clarinet, by the Ardo Consort at Washington and Lee University; "Rokudan" for koto and orchestra, with the DC Youth Orchestra and the Washington Toho Koto Society at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C., and at the University of Maryland; "Gestures from the Bridge" for orchestra, performed by the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke, Va.; and "Moon Shadows" for small orchestra, by the Elon University Orchestra in Elon, N.C.

"Byron's music spans the emotional gamut," Wendell Dobbs added. "At times it's dark and rhythmically angular, and then, all of a sudden, jocular, light-hearted and witty."

Petty also will talk about his music at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, also in Smith Recital Hall. Both events are free and open to the public. Contact the Marshall University Department of Music at 304-696-3117 for more information.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday August 12, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Scholarships enable two MU students to study in Japan for a year

Huntington, W.Va. - Two Marshall University students have been awarded Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) scholarships that will enable them to spend the 2009-2010 academic year studying at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata City, Osaka in Japan.

The students are Alison Tackett, a junior from Ashland, Ky., and Alex Wemm, a senior from Glenville, W.Va. The JASSO funds total about $8,800 per person, per year, and will be used for room and board expenses.

"I am extremely excited for and proud of the opportunity Alison and Alex have been given to study in Japan," said Dr. David Pittenger, dean of Marshall's College of Liberal Arts. "Opportunities like these can set the occasion for great things in Alison's and Alex's personal and professional lives. Their willingness to study abroad for a year represents the spirit of inquiry and dedication to self improvement all of us at Marshall University and the College of Liberal Arts wish to instill in our students."

Marshall currently offers exchange programs with Kansai Gaidai, Tokyo Denki and Chukyo University as well as six universities through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). Nine Marshall University students will be studying in Japan for the 2009-2010 school year.

"It is quite an honor for Alison and Alex to receive the JASSO scholarships," said Kylie Gallagher, executive study abroad advisor at Marshall University. "These two individuals have worked extremely hard to get themselves abroad. It has not been an easy road, but they never gave up. It is great to see all of their hard effort being rewarded in this way. Funding for study abroad opportunities is always one of the biggest challenges for our students, so it is wonderful when our students are able to receive scholarships like the JASSO. I think it will give our other students hope to receive more of these prestigious scholarships in the future."

Tackett is a Japanese major and graphic design minor at Marshall. Wemm, who is majoring in both history and Japanese, is interested in Japanese popular culture, history and society.

"This scholarship was an incredible blessing," Tackett said. "God always takes care of me. I hope that with what I learn in Japan I will be able to help bridge some cultural barriers by interpreting and translating."

She said she believes it is very important for anyone who has the opportunity to experience a different culture to do so.

"It is the best way to gain a new, and sometimes better, perspective of the world around you," Tackett said.

Dr. Natsuki Anderson, an assistant professor and coordinator of the Japanese program at Marshall, said she was very pleased to learn that Tackett and Wemm received the JASSO scholarships.

Anderson said Tackett transferred to Marshall University to major in Japanese and takes her study very seriously.

"I believe Alison's consistent effort to keep up her good work has paid off," Anderson said. "This is great news for students who give up applying for study abroad because of financial problems. I am sure that both of them can now concentrate on studying and not have to worry about finances while they are at Kansai Gaidai. Omedeto! (Congratulations)."

Dr. Clark Egnor, executive director of Marshall University's Center for International Programs, said the Japanese government sponsored scholarships will help to further boost the success of Marshall's Japanese language program and its efforts to send more students to study abroad in Japan.

The additional scholarships were made possible when the Japanese government implemented a new budgetary plan in which a large amount of JASSO money was included for fiscal year 2009-2010.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday August 12, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

RecFest '09, 'Late Night at the Rec,' new features of Welcome Weekend

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Welcome Weekend at Marshall University, an annual three-day event for new students and their families that precedes the start of fall classes, will feature new events this year at the newest facility on the Huntington campus - the Marshall Recreation Center.

Welcome Weekend 2009 is Friday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 23, and classes start at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24.

Students and their families, along with Marshall University faculty and staff, are invited to "Late Nite at the Rec" from 8:30 p.m. until midnight Friday, Aug. 21. Among the features of the event are a "Dive-In Movie" in the pool area of the recreation center, Wally Ball and a rock-climbing wall contest.
That will be followed on Saturday, Aug. 22 by RecFest '09, a six-hour (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) event showcasing vendors and groups from throughout the Tri-State Area who will set up informational booths and displays on the center's four gym floors.

"RecFest is going to be awesome, a lot of fun," said Sharon Stanton, associate director of campus recreation at Marshall. "We want to overwhelm them with information about Marshall University and Huntington. We'll have all kinds of campus groups and organizations, along with off-campus vendors such as restaurants, banks and cell phone companies. The biggest thing about RecFest is information."

David Stewart, director of campus recreation, said the goal of RecFest is to provide a forum for students to interact with people from the campus and the community. "It's kind of like a one-stop information session about the Marshall community," Stewart said. "Our theme is 'Fun, Fitness, Friendship - Forever,' and RecFest certainly fits into those categories, especially the fun part."

As usual, a family picnic for all new students and their families and the annual Freshman Convocation highlight Welcome Weekend activities. The picnic starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday on Buskirk Field. The convocation starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in downtown Huntington.

Thirty minutes prior to the convocation, the new students will meet for a group picture at the memorial fountain on the student center plaza. After the picture, they will walk west on 4th Avenue to the Keith-Albee to attend the convocation.

Student body president Sean Hornbuckle will be the master of ceremonies at the convocation. Other speakers include MU President Stephen J. Kopp, head football coach Mark Snyder and provost Dr. Gayle Ormiston, who will introduce deans and vice presidents.

Also giving brief remarks will be Dr. Simon Perry, a professor of political science and member of Marshall's faculty for 47 years; Dr. Katarina Schray, an English professor and the Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award winner for 2008-09; Dr. Bonita Lawrence, a professor of mathematics at Marshall University and MU's Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2008-09; and Dr. Nicholas Kelling, a new professor in Marshall's psychology department.

Shelby Brewster, an MU sophomore, Yeager Scholar and member of the One Book Marshall committee, will talk briefly about "My Sister's Keeper," the book selected for this year's common reading program. One Book is part of MU's First Year Experience program.

Here is the schedule for Welcome Weekend 2009:

Friday, Aug. 21

  • Residence Hall Check-In: Halls will open at 9 a.m. For residence hall students with a meal plan, Harless Dining Hall will be open for brunch and dinner on Saturday, Aug. 22, and open for brunch on Sunday, Aug. 23.
  • Immunization Clinic: Marshall Recreation Center, noon to 5 p.m.
    Commuter Student Reception:  Memorial Student Center lobby, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Family Picnic:  Buskirk Field adjacent to Memorial Student Center plaza, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  All new students and their families are invited to attend.
  • Late Nite @ the Rec.:  Marshall Recreation Center, 8:30 p.m. to midnight.  This event will include the Climbing Wall, Wally Ball and a Dive-In Movie (movie selection TBA).

Saturday, Aug. 22

  • RecFest '09: Marshall Recreation Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will include vendors, games and other competitions with food, drinks, and prizes.
  • Bus Transportation to Local Retail Locations
  • Tennis Party: University Tennis Courts, 4:15 p.m.
  • Welcome Weekend Tailgate:  Memorial Student Center plaza (rain location MSC lobby), 8 to 10 p.m. This event includes food, drinks, a live DJ, cornhole and prizes.

Sunday, Aug. 23

  • Class Schedule Walk-Through:  Meet at Memorial Student Center plaza at 1 p.m.
  • President's Freshman Convocation:  Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, 3 p.m. Students will meet for a group picture at the Memorial Student Center plaza at 2:30 p.m. and then walk together to the Keith-Albee.
  • Residence Hall Picnic: Harless Dining Hall Courtyard, 5:30 p.m.

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday August 11, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Shanghai teachers learn about American education

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Nineteen teachers from Shanghai High School in China are spending two weeks on Marshall University's Huntington campus participating in a Professional Education Development and an American Culture program.

The teachers are living in Twin Towers, participating in seminars that focus on the U.S. Education system and American culture, sampling some of the summer school classes and participating in professional seminars designed for them. They also are visiting other educational institutions as well as visiting many types of cultural attractions.

The teachers teach in the international division of Shanghai High School, which enrolls 4,000 students from all over the world.   They teach various subjects, from Chemistry and Physics to History, Art and Physical Education. All of the classes in the international division of Shanghai High are taught in English.

Most of the participants are in their late 20s, and all but two are female.

"They are a very articulate, intelligent and personable group of young professionals," said Dr. Will Edwards, retired executive director with Marshall's Center for International Programs and coordinator and trainer of the summer program for Chinese visiting teachers.

The visiting teachers have taken part in a variety of activities, including visits to the Marshall University Child Development Academy, Piedmont Elementary School in Charleston, which is one of the few year-round schools in West Virginia, and South Charleston High School, which has the only International Baccalaureate program in the state. While in Charleston, they also met Gov. Joe Manchin and talked with him about their program.

Edwards said the teachers, who arrived at Marshall on Friday, July 31, will leave Friday, Aug. 14. They plan then to visit other parts of the country, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Shanghai High School is one of the most prestigious public high schools in China.  It is the only high school in Shanghai where students can take the SAT and TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) and the school was the first International Baccalaureate (IB) high school in Shanghai.  The majority of students from Shanghai High's international division pursue their university education upon graduation.  More information is available by visiting the English version of its Web site at

"Shanghai High School is our largest placement for our Teach in China program," said QingQing Zhao, director of China Projects at Marshall. "We normally send about 50 teachers to China each year, so about half go to this school."

Marshall University sends about 25 English teachers to the school every year through its Appalachians Abroad Teach in China program ( MU's teachers spend one or more years teaching at the school, so the total number of teachers Marshall has at the school is about 40, which represents more than half of all the English teachers employed by this high school.

"Because of the large number of teachers we send to this school and because Marshall University has had this relationship for more than ten years, the Center for International Programs was asked to create this special training program for Shanghai High School's teachers during the summer," said Dr. Clark Egnor, executive director of Marshall's Center for International Programs.

For more information, contact Edwards at 304-638-3886.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday August 10, 2009
Contact: Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series, 304-696-3334

Highlights of the 74th Season of the Marshall Artists Series

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Artists Series turns 74 years old this season. Over the course of those 74 years, the Marshall Artists Series has been a gateway to the world of cultural entertainment in the Tri-State and at Marshall University.


"The Marshall Artists Series 2009/2010 season will broaden your view of our world and through art: whether it be an opera, a foreign film, Broadway musical or a fascinating presentation of rarely seen corners of our planet, you will be transported and transformed emotionally, intellectually and spiritually," says Penny Watkins, Executive Director for the Marshall Artists Series. "The Marshall Artists Series season endeavors to take you on many diverse journeys, journeys that invite you to explore the vast array of human experiences and emotions.  These journeys offer the opportunity for laughter and humor, pathos and understanding, as well as run the gamut of personal growth to universal exploration."

The following events will be featured on this season's Baxter Series:

Chesapeake Energy proudly presents the son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau, marine explorer, filmmaker, environmental advocate and educator - as he brings his deep sea journey - The Great Ocean Adventure - to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 7 p.m. In this multimedia "great ocean adventure" Cousteau will share his stories, photographs and videos from over 40 years of studying the world under the sea. Patrons of all ages will experience delight and awe as he fills the theater with ocean life, inspiring our audience to protect this precious resource.

Ring-a ding-ding in the holiday season as The Rat Pack is Back! - Here For The Holidays comes to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 8 p.m.  The swingin', free-wheelin' and festive sounds of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and Joey Bishop will certainly get you in the mood for the holiday season! The Rat Pack is Back features uncanny vocal recreations, unbridled humor, and a hot, live orchestra featuring the original rat pack arrangements that will send the audience back to the coolest time in history.

Celebrate the first lady of television in An Evening with Lucille Ball: "Thank You for Asking" directed by Lucie Arnaz on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 8 p.m. at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. This touching, funny and uplifting play is written and performed by actress and renowned impressionist, Suzanne LaRousch, in association with Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill. The evening recreates the comic genius and the magic behind the "Queen of Comedy". Lucy guides us through a lifetime of personal memories inspiring her timeless sketches on "I Love Lucy, her 30-year television career and never-before heard personal recollections about her tempestuous and complicated marriage to Cuban bandleader turned impresario, Desi Arnaz. 


St. Mary's Medical Center and HIMG present Mozart's Masterpiece Don Giovanni, with 30 piece orchestra,  on Monday, March 15, 2010 at 8 p.m. Hailed by many as the greatest of all operas, Don Giovanni is based on the true-life escapades of Don Juan of Seville, and aristocratic lothario who lived during the 1600s.  The full-scale production features beautiful sets and costumes and a cast of soloists who are excellent actors as well as first class singers.  Don Giovanni is performed in original Italian with English supertitles. 


The following events will be featured on this season's Mount Series:

Homecoming will be hilarious as MU's Alumni Office and Student Activities Programming Board team up with the Marshall Artists Series to bring Comedy Central's Mike Birbiglia to the Veterans Memorial Field House on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 8 p.m., just in time for homecoming. Birbiglia achieved cult status with the release of his Comedy Central CD "Two Drink Mike," and the accompanying "Medium Man on Campus" college tour. He just finished a successful run off Broadway with his show "Sleepwalk with Me."  Mike is a talk show regular, the star of two Comedy Central Presents specials and broadcasts to millions on the nationally-syndicated "Bob & Tom Radio Show."

Don't miss Broadway's smash hit Avenue Q on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 8 p.m., at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Winner of Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book at the 2004 Tony Awards, Avenue Q is a hilarious show full of heart and hummable tunes about trying to make it in NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account.  Called "one of the funniest shows you're ever likely to see," Avenue Q features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story in a smart, risqu and downright entertaining way.  Recommended for ages 13 and up. Sponsored in part by The Law Office of Doug Reynolds, American Babbitt Bearing, Pritchard Electric, and Chapman Printing Company.

 Cabell Huntington Hospital proudly presents Cats in its first appearance at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Monday, February 8, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Cats is the longest running show in Broadway's history and features 20 of Andrew Lloyd Webber's timeless melodies including the hit "Memory."  There's no better way to introduce your family to the wonders of live theatre than with the magic, the mystery and the memory of Cats!

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "a showpiece extravaganza," Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance arrives on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm to bring a mesmerizing blend of traditional and modern Celtic music and dance to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. The story is based upon mythical Irish folklore as Don Dorcha - Lord of Darkness, challenges the ethereal Lord of Light - The Lord of the Dance.  Battle lines are drawn, passions ignite and a love story is fueled by the dramatic leaps and turns of dancers' bodies against a backdrop of Celtic rhythm. Described by The New York Post as "fascinating and entertaining!

The Fall and Spring International Film Festival:

The Fall International Film Festival will take place November 6 - 8, 2009, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.  Featured films include: Food, Inc.  (USA), The Song of Sparrows (Iran), Rudo Y Cursi (Mexico), Waltz With Bashir (Israel), The Country Teacher (Czech Republic), and Summer Hours (France). 


The Spring International Film Festival will take place March 5 -7, 2010, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Featured films include: Departures (Japan), Lemon Tree (Israel), Flow: For the Love Of Water (USA), Lake Tahoe (Mexico), The Girl From Monaco (France), and Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country (Belgium)


Avett Brothers Special - On Sale Now:

The red hot non-traditional bluegrass band, The Avett Brothers, make a tour stop at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 8 p.m. Brothers Seth and Scott, along with Bob Crawford, combine old-time country, bluegrass, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, honky-tonk and ragtime to produce a sound described by the Washington Post as "post civil-war modern rock." The Avett Brothers were recently signed to Columbia Records and released their fifth album with acclaimed producer Rick Rubin at the helm.


Season Ticketing Information

The Marshall Artists Series 2009-2010 Season is proudly sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.


  • Superticket: Baxter, Mount, + choice between Avett Brothers & Films - $435, $385, $350 & $315
  • Baxter Series: 4 events - $265, $215, $195 & $175

  • Direct Link to This Release

Monday August 10, 2009
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall's student newspaper competes well in state press association contest

SNOWSHOE, W.Va. - Editors, writers and photographers from The Parthenon picked up awards from the West Virginia Press Association at its annual convention Saturday, Aug. 8 at Snowshoe Resort.

Judges awarded first-place honors to May graduates Brian Dalek and Katlyn Goots.

Dalek, spring executive editor and print major from McMechen, W.Va., took top honors in the editorial page category. The award emphasizes local content selection that serves the community, design and writing.

Goots, a public relations major and former reporter from Vienna, W.Va., earned first place in the lifestyle feature writing category for "Signs," her profile story about Marshall Community and Technical College sign language program director Leigh-Ann Brewer.

"Brian was a workhorse during his tenure in the journalism school," said Nerissa Young, Parthenon adviser. "His name stands for excellence. Katlyn was a strong reporter who covered the community and technical college beat well. I enjoyed reading her story about Brewer." 

Staff photographers earned second- and third-place honors. 

Taylor Kuykendall, Audrey Hamoy, Patrick Stanley and Beth Roberts received second place in the photo essay category with the "We Are Marshall" homecoming spread that ran on the Life page.

>Kuykendall is an August graduate print major from Moorefield, W.Va., who has had his photos published in The Herald-Dispatch, Charleston Daily Mail and Food Network magazine. He also earned second place in the news photography category for his photo of a bullet leaving the muzzle of an ROTC cadet's rifle.
Hamoy is a senior English and classics major from Leonardsville, N.Y. She has an associate degree in photography and is a former photo editor for The Parthenon.

Stanley is an August public relations graduate from Ona, W.Va. He worked as a staff photographer for University Communications and as photo editor for The Parthenon.
Roberts is a May public relations graduate from Rainelle, W.Va. She is a former executive editor and Life editor. She designed the page.

Myriah Hisam won third place in sports photography for her photo of Marshall tight end Cody Slate in midair at Marshall's football game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Hisam is a senior broadcast journalism major from Friendly, W.Va. She shoots video and stills for the university football team. 

"One of many advantages of being The Parthenon adviser is working alongside journalists whose work I admire. I can honestly say that I'm a fan of every student who was honored by the press association this year," Young said.

The Parthenon staff earned second place in the service to the community category for the United Way series. Editors, reporters and photographers worked half the semester to profile and present every agency that receives money from The United Way of the River Cities.

The Parthenon competes in Division III for newspapers with fewer than 15,000 circulation. Division III newspapers include The Times-West Virginian in Fairmont, The Inter-Mountain in Elkins and The Daily Athenaeum at West Virginia University, among others.

The association also announced winners of the West Virginia Press Foundation scholarships. Two of the four $1,000 scholarships went to Marshall students Morgan Unger and Mary Wilson. Unger is a senior from Berkeley Springs majoring in print journalism. Wilson is a junior from Gassaway majoring in print journalism. 

Young won first place for columnists in Division I, which includes The Charleston Daily Mail, The Herald-Dispatch and The Register-Herald. Young has been writing "The Back Porch" column for The Register-Herald for 16 years.

Advertising designers also picked up awards for The Parthenon. Tammy Muffley received second place in the best single ad of 33 inches or more category for the "Live Like You Mean It" ads for The Village apartments.  Jenna Hicks and Jesse Smith received second place in the best theme pages-retail category for "Congrats Grads." All are advertising employees at The Herald-Dispatch.

The Parthenon competes in Division II in the advertising contest for medium and small dailies.

The West Virginia Press Association was chartered in 1869 as a nonprofit trade association representing the state's daily and weekly newspapers. News and advertising members from the Arkansas Press Association judged the entries.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday August 10, 2009
Contact: Bill Bissett, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President for Communications, (304) 696-6713

President Stephen J. Kopp's statement regarding the announcement of $25 million for an Applied Engineering Complex

"On behalf of Marshall University, I thank the West Virginia Legislature led by President Earl Ray Tomblin and Speaker Rick Thompson, along with the members of our Cabell-Wayne delegation, including Senate Education Chairman, Bob Plymale, for their continuing support of Marshall University. Last Friday, the Higher Education Policy Commission approved $25 milllion in funding toward the planning and construction of our new Applied Engineering Complex. It is expected that this new facility will house Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), the departments of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, a Modeling and Digital Imaging Resource Facility, the new West Virginia High School S.T.E.M. Academy (Grades 9-12), and engineering and bioengineering research laboratories. HEPC Chairman David Hendrickson and the members of the HEPC Board, as well as Chancellor Brian Noland and Secretary of Education and the Arts Kay Goodwin, were instrumental in moving approval of this project for funding consideration by Governor Joe Manchin. The Marshall University Board of Governors also has played a key role in advancing this project as well as the overall enrichment of Marshall University through their continuing support and dedication. Although these funds must still be approved by Governor Joe Manchin, this kind of collaborative spirit and effort is crucial to the future success not only of Marshall University, but also the State of West Virginia and our region."

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday August 5, 2009
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Gene regulation specialist joins Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Joan E. Wilson has been named senior scientist at the Marshall University Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR). An expert in gene regulation, Wilson is the second scientist to join the institute created through the state's new "Bucks for Brains" research trust fund.

Wilson most recently was a researcher at System Biosciences LLC (SBI), a high-tech company based in Mountain View, Calif. At SBI, she managed a fast-growing product portfolio that contributed 40 percent of the company's total sales revenue. Prior to that, she was a senior applications scientist and product manager with Panomics (now Affymetrix) and a research fellow at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics.

The goal of MIIR is to develop a focused program of pioneering research dedicated to producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new high-tech businesses based on those discoveries. The institute will build on existing areas of research strength and provide opportunities for pioneering research collaborations with scientists already working at Marshall University. Wilson's group at MIIR will focus on identifying non-coding RNA disease biomarkers and developing non-coding RNA-based tools for gene regulation and genome manipulation.

"I am tremendously excited about Joan Wilson and what she brings to MIIR," said Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp. "When we envisioned this institute, she is exactly what we had in mind - a brilliant scientist with a history of commercializing research. The focus of 'Bucks for Brains' is economic development and she will be a major contributor to MIIR's efforts in that regard."

Dr. Eric Kmiec, director of MIIR and the institute's lead research scientist, added, "I could not be more pleased that Dr. Wilson has joined our institute. She is exactly the kind of person I want to attract to this organization - someone with both an academic and biotechnology corporate background, who has taken basic discoveries and made them successful in the marketplace. She represents an impressive work ethic and discipline and we all look forward to working with her."

Wilson has a bachelor's degree in biology from the College of William and Mary. She went on to complete a doctorate in biological sciences at Stanford University, supported by a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship. Her thesis work, in the lab of Dr. Paul Macdonald, focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying specification of the embryonic body pattern in the model genetic organism Drosophila. Her post-doctoral work, with Dr. Peter Sarnow, also at Stanford, characterized a novel mechanism of initiation of protein synthesis in a polio-like virus, and was supported by a Jane Coffin Childs Fellowship.

"MIIR's mission - to advance local and regional economic development through biotechnology entrepreneurship - presents a unique opportunity, and the university, community and state government support for this endeavor are compelling," said Wilson. "My academic and corporate experience and interest in technology-focused science align perfectly with the institute's objectives. My research focus, on developing non-coding RNA-based tools and technologies, not only offers exciting synergies with Dr. Kmiec's group but also provides a platform for productive collaborations within the Marshall University research community as well as external corporate partnerships."

Wilson several years ago took time off from her science career to pursue another passion - bicycle racing. As a member of the United States National Cycling Team from 2000-03, she competed nationally and internationally, including such prestigious events as the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia.

The $50 million "Bucks for Brains" trust fund was created last year to match state dollars with private donations to encourage university research and leverage private giving, ultimately leading to business spin-offs, new patents and job creation. 


Photo: Dr. Joan E. Wilson works in a laboratory in the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center at Marshall University.

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Wednesday August 5, 2009
Contact: Beverly McCoy, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine,, 304-691-1713

MU ceremony a rite of passage for diverse class of entering medical students

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- An entering class of aspiring doctors marked by an especially wide range of prior experience will take the first step toward their new careers Thursday (Aug. 6) in the White Coat Ceremony of Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The event, which is open by invitation to students' families and friends, will be at 7 p.m. in Marshall's Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.

"At the White Coat Ceremony, students receive their first white coats, a symbol of the profession of medicine that allows to us emphasize the significance of compassion as well as scientific excellence in the care of their future patients," said Dr. Marie Veitia, associate dean for student affairs. "Students find it very meaningful, and it helps them - and their families - understand why such a difficult task lies before them

Students' white coats - plus $100 in gift cards to use for textbooks - are gifts from alumni, faculty and friends of the medical school. Students also receive gifts of stethoscopes from Drs. Joseph and Omayma Touma. "It is our way to give back to the medical profession," said Dr. Joseph Touma. "In return, we hope someday they will do something meaningful for the future generations."

Incoming students include:

  • One who served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique.
  • One who served on a native American reservation through the Teach America program.
  • A former conservation biologist who worked at Yellowstone National Park through the AmeriCorps program.
  • A former teacher who taught English as a foreign language in Japan.
  • Two homeschooled students (not connected at all) who graduated from college at 18; one double-majored in biomedical engineering and math, has gone on to work in a research lab and has published research; the other double-majored in biochemistry and music and went on to get a master's degree in music (specializing in violin). One of the women was selected to the prestigious honorary society Phi Beta Kappa, the other to its engineering counterpart, Tau Beta Pi. The women are just 19 and 20 years old.
  • A Chinese-born painter who donates the proceeds of his sales to benefit children affected by the Sichuan earthquake.
  • A student who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a front-line medic.


Media note: Although this is an invitation-only event, we hope you will be able to join us!



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Tuesday August 4, 2009
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Marshall University South Charleston campus sponsors blood drive Aug. 11

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Responding to a critical shortage of blood supplies in the region, the American Red Cross and Marshall University Graduate College have teamed up to sponsor a blood drive Tuesday, Aug. 11.

The blood drive will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the South Charleston campus of Marshall University, 100 Angus E. Peyton Drive, just off the Kanawha Turnpike. The public is encouraged to participate. Parking is free.

Individuals age 17 or older, who weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health, can donate blood. Now, in West Virginia, teens 16 years old may donate blood with parental permission.  Most donors are eligible to give blood every 56 days.


Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged. To schedule a convenient time, please contact Kathy Zimmerman at Marshall University at 304-746-1992 or People with specific eligibility questions should contact the American Red Cross Nursing Collections office at 800-542-5663.

Summertime is a challenging time to maintain sufficient blood supplies for the 100-county region serviced by the Greater Alleghenies Region of the Red Cross. Vacations, school closings and corporate closings have reduced the number of blood drives in the area. According to Red Cross statistics, every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion.


Currently, the Red Cross has minimal supplies of Rh negative blood types on hand, with supplies of type O negative, known as the universal blood type, at about two-day levels, according to the Red Cross.


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Monday August 3, 2009
Contact: Jaye Ike,, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Smith succeeds Castleberry as Choral Union conductor

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For the past 19 years, Dr. David Castleberry has led the Marshall University Choral Union in performances of major choral works, ranging from Handel's Messiah to Mozart's Requiem to Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. For 18 of those 19 years, he has been assisted at the piano by Mark Smith, whom many in the Tri-State community know through his work with Huntington Outdoor Theater and many other musical productions in the area.

This fall, with Castleberry's move to the position of associate dean of the College of Fine Arts, Smith will move to the conductor's podium of the Choral Union.

"I look forward to conducting the Choral Union this year," Smith said. "After 22 years as accompanist for the choir, I'm very excited to step in as conductor. Many thanks to Dr. Castleberry and Dr. Pappas [music department chair] for this opportunity."

Castleberry will remain active in the choral program as director of choral activities and conductor of the MU Chamber Choir.

The Choral Union has been a fixture in the musical life of the region for many years and provides an opportunity for students and community members alike to present great musical works in concert. New singers are welcome each semester. Rehearsals take place each Monday evening and concerts are scheduled near the end of each fall and spring semester.

"I am very proud of the Choral Union's achievements and the opportunities the ensemble provides for participants and listeners," Castleberry said. "Since Mark has assisted for so many years at the piano, I am delighted that he will have the chance to lead the group this year. I know he will do a terrific job."

Rehearsals for the fall semester begin Monday, Aug. 24, in Smith Music Hall, Room 150, on the Huntington campus. Music will feature Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols and other seasonal selections. For further information, call Smith at Trinity Episcopal Church, 304-529-6084, ext 15.

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