December 2011 Press Releases

Thursday December 22, 2011
Contact: Lalena Price, Communications Coordinator,, (304) 746-1989

Business majors at Kanawha Valley CTC can now parlay their associate degrees into bachelor's degrees from Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University entered into an agreement today that allows business majors who have earned associate degrees from Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College to seamlessly transfer those credits to Marshall in pursuit of bachelor's degrees, according to Dr. Rudy Pauley, associate vice president for Outreach and Continuing Studies. 

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp and Kanawha Valley CTC President Joseph Badgley signed 2+2 Articulation Agreements today to benefit students in the fields of Accounting, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, and Marketing. The signing took place in Old Main on Marshall's Huntington campus.

President Kopp said he is "quite pleased" to provide these degree options to students from Kanawha Valley CTC.

"Certainly, this partnership is a win-win for the business programs at both institutions, but more importantly, it's a win-win for the students," Kopp said. "We warmly welcome our Kanawha Valley CTC transfer students into the Marshall University family. I encourage them all to participate fully in all that we have to offer here on the Huntington campus - from student organizations to collegiate sporting events."

According to the official agreement, the deans of both programs will continually monitor the curriculum at both institutions to ensure consistency and program quality. Students who hold an A.A.S. degree at Kanawha Valley will earn a B.B.A. from Marshall by fulfilling their final two years of coursework on the Huntington campus. Once at Marshall, transfer students are a part of the Marshall University College of Business.

President Badgley said the Business Studies faculty at Kanawha Valley CTC, especially Dean Megan Lorenz, has developed a very positive working relationship with their counterparts at Marshall University. He said both groups are dedicated to providing transfer students the opportunity to succeed and pursue their education beyond completion of the associate's degree.

"I believe this relationship with Marshall University is just the beginning for Kanawha Valley CTC students wishing to complete a bachelor's degree," Badgley said. "The response from our students when they first learned of this agreement has been overwhelming. Many of our students are first generation and lack confidence in their ability to succeed when they first begin at KVCTC. To know that upon completion of their associate degree they can attend Marshall University and complete a baccalaureate degree from a nationally accredited program is beyond what many thought possible when they first began college."

Badgley added that this agreement provides benefit to both institutions.

"Marshall University gets transfer students who are already performing at a high level and Kanawha Valley CTC students have the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree from nationally accredited programs at Marshall University," Badgley said. "I foresee this as a fruitful and beneficial partnership for both institutions and the first of what I hope will be many more to come."


Photo: Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, left, and Kanawha Valley CTC President Joseph Badgley sign 2+2 Articulation Agreements today in Dr. Kopp's office on MU's Huntington campus. Photo by Liu Yang/Marshall University.

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Thursday December 22, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Community can use Marshall Recreation Center for free Jan. 5

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Recreation Center is inviting members of the community to try the Rec Center on MU's Huntington campus for free Thursday, Jan. 5.

Everyone will be able to experience all the Rec Center has to offer. In addition to use of the facilities, demos and classes will also be open to everyone and everyone who attends a class will receive a free water bottle.

"Improving your fitness with a new group, or friends and family, is one of the best ways to stay motivated," said Heather Smith, senior assistant director of fitness at the Rec Center. "Everyone should try a new, challenging fitness activity in the new year."

It's also a great way to introduce friends to the fitness opportunities at the Rec Center, and everyone will save money. Members can get one free month of membership for each person they bring who signs up for a membership, which will also be discounted 15 percent.

The Marshall Recreation Center facilities include a climbing wall, sport courts, fitness machines and an aquatics center with a vortex pool. This and more will be available for everyone to try.

Here is the schedule of events (no pre-registration necessary):

  • Spinning: 5:30 p.m.

  • Zumba: 6:15 p.m.

  • Burn and Firm: 7 p.m.

Free personal training consultations and Jiu Jitsu will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Rec Center lobby.

The recreation center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 5.

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Tuesday December 20, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist,, 304-696-6397

Fruth Pharmacy establishes scholarship for Marshall School of Pharmacy

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Fruth Pharmacy Scholarship for Marshall University's School of Pharmacy has been established through a $15,000 gift donated by the Mason County family-owned business.  

The recipients of the renewable award will be full-time students who have completed two years of pre-pharmacy prerequisites with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have applied and enrolled in the pharmacy program.

Tracy Straub, program director of scholarships and donor relations with Marshall's development office, said that to qualify for the scholarship, potential recipients must be from Mason, Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Wayne, Roane, Jackson or Wood counties in West Virginia, or Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Lawrence, Athens, Washington or Pike counties in Ohio.

Straub said the students also must have an interest in community pharmacy.

The Marshall University School of Pharmacy will welcome its inaugural class in fall 2012 and students will be eligible to apply for the scholarship.

For more information, contact Straub at 304-696-6781.


Photo: Lynne Fruth, president and chairman of the board with Fruth Pharmacy, signs the guidelines for the new Fruth Pharmacy Scholarship for the School of Pharmacy as Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp (seated) looks on. Standing are, from left, Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation Inc., Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy, Tracy Straub, program director of scholarships and donor relations at Marshall, and Craig Kimble, Pharm.D., Director of Pharmacy for Fruth. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Tuesday December 20, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of FIne Arts,, (304) 696-3296

Marshall University president's office announces holiday art contest winners

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students from Marshall University's College of Fine Arts were honored recently for their winning entries in a design competition run through the office of Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp.

The competition was for best print holiday card, best digital holiday card and best plate showcasing important elements of Marshall University. This year's contest attracted about 75 entries for the print holiday card and about 35 entries for the plate. An entire class entered the digital card category.

Kopp said the history of the awards dates back more than five years. He and his wife, Jane, help choose the award winners each year. 

"My wife and I were exploring ways to encourage students in the fine arts, particularly in visual arts, to help us by creating a holiday card coming from the university," Kopp said. "We also started a series of engraved plates showcasing our students' work to highlight some hallmark aspects  of Marshall University."

Byron Clercx, chair of Marshall's department of art and design, praised the Kopps for their support of the arts.

"To work at a university where the president is so overtly supportive of the arts is a dream come true. He and his wife have supported the arts in a number of ways for a number of years through their personal gifts," Clercx said. "By sponsoring these three competitions and even with the artwork hanging in his office, it means that we are a visible and viable part of the campus."

Margaryta Seliverstova, a junior art and design major, was the winner of the print card competition; John Fowler, a  junior art and design major, and Morgan Thompson, a senior graphic design major, were the first-place winners for their work on the plate; and the entire graphic design and digital media class took first place for their collaborative work on the digital card.

Levi Brunbaugh received the second-place award and Thompson received third place in the print card category. Since first place was shared, there was no second-place winner in the plate category. Amanda Wheeler received third place in that category. In the digital card category, Matthew Crutchfield received the second-place award and Matthew Smith received the third-place award.

Honorable mentions went to Whitney Lyons and Kelli Simpson in the print card category and to Jeffery Pennington in the plate category.

"It makes me feel great. It's a great opportunity to get your name out there and share your work outside the university and represent Marshall," Seliverstova said.

Thompson said her WMUL 50-year anniversary design was combined with Fowler's piece on the 75th anniversary of the Artists Series to create the plate design.

"It was something I felt was overlooked," she said. "Both of the anniversaries were smaller but need to be recognized as well."

Brent Patterson, professor of graphic design and new media, teaches the class that won the digital card competition. The students used individual pieces and combined them to make a larger piece incorporating the theme of "happy holidays."

"Normally the students compete against each other, but I decided to make it a group project taking the best of each student's work and make a really strong piece," Patterson said.

Jane Kopp said this contest is a great way for her to get involved in the university and to meet the students.

"We sit down together and look at all the choices. This year we were really surprised that we had even more choices," Jane Kopp said. "I love doing this with him and meeting the students, that's the important thing for me."

"It's fun to see what students come up with each year and reaffirms in my mind that we have very talented students in our fine arts programs," President  Kopp said. He said plates are given to the most generous donors. Cards go out to all the people on the mailing list. They issue about 75 plates and about 1,000 print cards each year.  The digital card goes up on the web.

The competition is open to all students at Marshall.

"I'd like to see it more widespread, not only graphics and the digital arts program, but across the campus," Stephen Kopp said.  "I think it's a great way to showcase the incredible talent we have here, but also for us as a university to recognize the work that they do."


Photos: (Above) Winners of the holiday design contest received their awards from Stephen J. Kopp (third from left), president of Marshall University, and his wife, Jane (second from left).  Margaryta Seliverstova (far left), junior art and design major, was the winner of the print card. John Fowler (far right), junior art and design major, and Morgan Thompson (second from right), senior graphic design major, were the first-place winners for their work on the plate, and the entire graphic design and digital media class took first place for their collaborative work on the digital card. (Middle) The winning print card design. (Below) The winning plate design.

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Tuesday December 20, 2011
Contact: Errin Jewell, RTI Marketing and Communications Manager,, 304-696-7098

CSX presents gift of $25,000 to Marshall University's Bucks for Brains program for rail research at RTI

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Representatives from CSX Corporation today presented a gift of $25,000 to Marshall University for rail research conducted by the Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI), a National University Transportation Center based at Marshall.

The presentation took place at the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories on MU's Huntington campus.

RTI Director and CEO Robert H. "Bob" Plymale and Marshall University Foundation Vice President for Development Lance West accepted the check from CSX Executive Vice President and COO David Brown and CSX Regional Vice President of Public Affairs J. Randolph Cheetham.

"This is CSX's third donation for rail research at RTI and MU," Plymale said. "This contribution demonstrates CSX's commitment to helping RTI advance the rail industry through research initiatives that include technology testing, research and development for asset mapping and inspections; train, car and mobile worker tracking, and intelligent grade crossings."

CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports.

RTI is a leader in multimodal transportation and economic development. RTI is a National University Transportation Center recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation for transportation excellence focused on applied technology, research, education, outreach and training.


Photo: Robert H. "Bob" Plymale, center, and Lance West, right, accept a check for $25,000 from CSX Executive Vice President and COO David Brown this morning in a ceremony at the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories on Marshall University's Huntington campus. Photo from Marshall University.

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Monday December 19, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, (304) 696-3296

Marshall University student receives four national awards for his work in animation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Patrick Eason, a senior graphic design major in Marshall University's College of Fine Arts, received four Pixie Awards for work he did at his internship at Rainmaker Inc., a public relations and advertising firm located in Charleston, W.Va.

The Pixie Awards, sponsored by the American Pixel Academy, honor outstanding work in animation, effects and motion graphics.There were 750 entries from all over the United States and Canada. Rainmaker Inc. was one of only three groups who won four awards, two of which were Pixie Platinum Awards, the highest level.

"The work I did for these was the 3D animation," Eason said. "We had submitted four spots two of which involved 3D models. Those two that involved models I handled fully, from motionography to animation. In addition, I created the logo animation at the end of each of the four spots."

Nancy Geletko, creative director at Rainmaker, said she was impressed with Eason's work ethic.

"I have been in this business for 30 years and frankly, Patrick is one of the most talented young students I have ever had the chance to work with," Geletko said. "I was going another route with video and he walked into my office and asked if he could try animation, and that impressed me, so I said, 'Give it a shot.' He was working day and night."

"As a student and intern, this is a great achievement for Patrick," Geletko said.

Mary Grassell, graphic design professor at Marshall University, said while she was impressed with Eason's awards, she wasn't surprised, due to his strong graphic design skills.

"We are proud of Patrick in the graphics department," Grassell said. "He has been an excellent student."

Eason said he will be staying at Rainmaker to help better his skills, but this experience has given him even more opportunities.

"Since I've won the awards my site has garnered a huge burst of traffic and even David Carter, world renowned graphic designer, has emailed me in response to the post I made about it and offered for me to come meet him in New York," Eason said.

Geletko said Rainmaker Inc. is the only West Virginia-based firm to win a Pixie Award.


Photo: Marshall University student Patrick Eason won four Pixie Awards for work he did as an intern at Rainmaker Inc.

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Friday December 16, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, (304) 746-1964

Marshall faculty and students visit U.S. Army aviation center to learn how military is using information technology


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A delegation from Marshall University's Integrated Science and Technology Department is visiting the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence in Fort Rucker, Ala., this week to learn how the military is using computer modeling, simulation and digital forensics to enhance training.

The visit was undertaken at the invitation of Marshall alumnus Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, the center's commanding general.

Brian M. Morgan, an associate professor, is leading the group. He says they are meeting with key Army personnel and attending presentations to learn how Marshall can further enhance its information technology (IT) programs and collaborations with the military.

Morgan, who coordinates the university's Computer and Information Technology (CIT) major, said, "We will bring what we are learning here back to campus to enhance our curriculum and help students in the computer and IT fields understand how their educations can lead them to military or civilian jobs in computer modeling and simulation.

"We also are forming relationships with the Army and the Department of Defense that we hope will lead to collaborative projects in the future. 

In addition to Morgan, Marshall representatives on the trip include Assistant Professor John E. Sammons and students Bradley Roeher, a junior CIT major from Logan, and Jonathan Sisson, a senior CIT major from Huntington.

Crutchfield began his military career in 1982, graduating from Marshall as a Distinguished Military Graduate and receiving a Regular Army commission. In his current position at Fort Rucker, he is responsible for all U.S. Army helicopter, unmanned aerial systems and aviation maintenance training. The headquarters for Army aviation, Fort Rucker is the largest helicopter training installation in the world.

For more information, contact Morgan at or (304) 696-6469.


Photo:  Marshall University representatives visit Fort Rucker, Ala., to learn how the military is using information technology. From left are student Jonathan Sisson of Huntington, Assistant Professor John E. Sammons, Marshall University alumnus Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, Associate Professor Brian M. Morgan and student Bradley Roeher of Logan.

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Tuesday December 13, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist, (304) 696-6397

Marshall University Board of Governors approves school color change

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. The Marshall University Board of Governors during its meeting today adopted a resolution to change the university's official green color to PANTONE Matching System (PMS) 356, referred by Thundering Herd fans as Kelly green.

The resolution was adopted unanimously and is effective January 1, 2012.

Marshall University athletics has historically used Kelly green, even when the university switched to the darker green color (PMS 357) in 2001. The university test-marketed the Kelly green color earlier this year. Marshall athletics and administration officials said it was overwhelmingly positively received by fans and alumni, which led to the decision to return to Kelly green as the university's official color.

Marshall University officials say there will be minimal cost change implications, as campus items, such as letterhead and business cards will be replaced with the logotype in Kelly green only as the existing darker green items run out.  

In other action, the board approved a resolution to select Kansas City-based architecture company, AECOM, as the firm for the planning and design of four athletic facilities: indoor practice facility and track; academic support center; sports medicine translational research center; and soccer stadium complex.

"This is a great company that has designed dozens of sports-related facilities across the nation," said Mike Hamrick, director of athletics. "These are four, very unique, diverse, yet connected facilities and we think AECOM will do an excellent job."

The board of governors welcomed a new member today as well.

Wyatt Scaggs, a 1982 Marshall University graduate and Logan business owner, was appointed to the Marshall University Board of Governors by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin earlier this fall. The Hon. Menis Ketchum, Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, swore in Scaggs during the board's meeting today. Ketchum formerly was a member of the Marshall University Board of Governors.

"I am looking forward to serving with the folks at Marshall University," Scaggs said. "It's a fine institution and one I am privileged to be associated with."

Scaggs replaces former member Brig. Gen. H.F. Mooney, who served as a board member from 2004 through November 2011.


Photo: Wyatt Scaggs has joined the Marshall University Board of Governors. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Monday December 12, 2011
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall University's Huntington campus to observe holiday hours

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Selected departments, offices and facilities on Marshall University's Huntington campus will be open at various times during the holiday break, which takes place from Friday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 2.

The holiday hours are listed in the online chart.

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Wednesday December 7, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Translational Genomic Research Institute dedicated at Marshall

Facility named in honor of former medical school dean
Charles H. McKown, M.D.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The new Charles H. McKown, M.D., Translational Genomic Research Institute at Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine was dedicated in a ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 6.

The facility was named in honor of McKown, who served as the school's dean for more than 22 years before becoming Marshall's vice president for health sciences advancement this summer.

The Marshall University Board of Governors cited McKown's "extraordinary service to the University" in approving the facility's naming.

Dr. Robert C. Nerhood, interim dean of the medical school, said McKown's contributions to the medical school were many.

"His uncanny ability to almost instantaneously perceive convoluted relationships and unintended consequences of simple or complex actions has ideally suited him to be an eminently successful dean of a community-based medical school in West Virginia," he said. "I am not at all sure that this talent can again be found."

Nerhood said the genomic research facility is an outgrowth of McKown's vision and advocacy.

"Dr. McKown foresaw the importance of the new field of translational research in the area of cancer care," and then worked with philanthropist Joan Edwards and U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd to turn that vision into reality, he said.

In addition to Nerhood, speakers at the dedication ceremony included Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp; Dr. Richard Niles, senior associate dean for research and graduate education at the medical school, and professor and chair of the university's Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology; Edward Seiler, director of the Huntington VA Medical Center; and McKown.

Videotaped greetings were given by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall II. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was represented by Jacqueline Proctor, his director of communications.

A reception and tours of the facility followed the dedication ceremony.

The Charles H. McKown, M.D., Translational Genomic Research Institute is located on the top floor of the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center. Completed this summer, it includes more than 10,000 square feet of research space and has advanced scientific equipment including a "next-generation" genetic sequencer. Several university researchers already are working at the institute.

In addition to naming the facility after McKown, the medical school has established a scholarship in his honor.


Photos: (Above) Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, left, looks on as Charles H. McKown speaks during Tuesday's dedication ceremony. (Below) From left, Dr. Robert Nerhood, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, Dr. Richard Niles, Edward Seiler and Jacqueline Proctor applaud as Charles H. McKown prepares to speak during Tuesday's dedication ceremony. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Tuesday December 6, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist,, 304-696-6397

MU Foundation issues reminder for holiday season charitable contributions

Year-end contributions may help defray tax liabilities in 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Foundation Inc. planned giving officers are reminding individuals that Dec. 31 is the deadline to make charitable contributions for tax year 2011.

"While April 15 is the deadline to file your tax return for the previous year, now is the time to help lessen your tax burden by making charitable contributions," Ed Zimmerman, director of planned giving with the Marshall University Foundation, said.  "There are numerous ways to give to Marshall University which in turn helps students with the cost of their education and generates funding for capital expansion."

Zimmerman says he and associate director of planned giving Beverly Crabtree are available to meet with individuals and their tax advisors to determine the most effective giving methods for the donor.

"Anyone can make a gift to Marshall University.  The most common contribution is a cash donation, but securities, retirement plans, real estate, life insurance and even certain types of individual retirement accounts (IRA) may be used as vehicles for contributions, "Zimmerman said.  "Contributing to a charitable organization by December 31 allows taxpayers to generate income tax deductions that could reduce their tax bill."

Charitable use of IRAs is limited to individuals 70 years old through laws currently in place.   Zimmerman says Congress has renewed special incentives that allow gifts to charities designated as 501-C3 organizations through Dec. 31, but it's not known if Congress will continue the program in the future. To qualify, the charitable gifts must be made directly from the IRA to the organization.

Crabtree and Zimmerman say donors may direct their gifts to specific areas such as engineering or journalism or give to the university's most pressing needs.

"Additionally the holiday season is also a wonderful time to memorialize a loved one through the establishment of a scholarship," Crabtree said.   "Every dollar generated through the foundation helps students attend Marshall, provides funds for capital growth and improvement, and enhances curriculum."

For more information on year-end charitable giving, contact Zimmerman at 304-696-3739 or Crabtree at 304-696-6511.

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Monday December 5, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Area high school students conduct award-winning research at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two area high school students working in the lab of Dr. Simon Collier at Marshall University are receiving national recognition for their research.

The students, Nathan N. Wang and Jared M. Galloway, are seniors at Fairland High School in Proctorville, Ohio. They have been working in Collier's lab since summer 2010 with Marshall graduate student David Neff on a project to explore the function of a rubber-like protein, resilin, in insect flight.

Research in Collier's lab focuses on the genetic control of the basic developmental processes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. According to Collier, Drosophila has been studied for more than 100 years because the organism has many genes and genetic pathways similar to humans. An associate professor of biology at Marshall, Collier is considered a pioneer in the field.

Neff, who is overseeing the students' research, said, "This is an important project because not only has it increased our understanding of insect flight, is also has potential implications for the design of biotechnological devices and possibly tissue implants, which could employ molecularly engineered protein sheets."

Wang and Galloway were nationally recognized for their research in October, when they were named semifinalists in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The highest science honor awarded to American high school students, the award is sponsored by the Siemens Foundation. Their project was one of only three from Ohio to reach the national semifinals.

Earlier this year, their project earned them superior ratings at the Fairland Schools Local Science Fair, the Ohio Academy of Science District 14 Science Day and the Ohio Academy of Science State Science Day, where they were recognized with the Sigma Xi Interdisciplinary Research Award presented by the Ohio State University chapter of the scientific research society.

Collier said, "Nathan and Jared are indeed outstanding young students with very bright futures ahead of them. They are doing exemplary research in our lab and I'm looking forward to watching where their academic careers take them. "

The research was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation and the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

For more information, contact Collier at 304-696-6111 or


Photo: From left, graduate student David Neff, faculty member Simon Collier, and Fairland High School students Nathan Wang and Jared Galloway are shown in Collier's lab. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Friday December 2, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Winter Commencement set for Dec. 10; nearly 1,250 students to be honored

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's 2011 Winter Commencement, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 10, will honor nearly 1,250 students who graduated in July or August 2011, or are tentatively scheduled to graduate this month. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at Cam Henderson Center on the Huntington campus.

Among the 1,247 students, who received or are about to receive degrees, are 754 undergraduates and 493 with graduate degrees. About 400 students have indicated they plan to participate in the ceremony. They will be recognized individually, walking to the area in front of the stage where their names will be announced and they will receive congratulations and a scroll from the Marshall Alumni Association.

Registrar Roberta Ferguson said 174 students will graduate with honors. Fifteen will graduate summa cum laude (3.85 to 4.0 GPA), 43 magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.84 GPA), and 101 cum laude (3.3 to 3.59 GPA).

Two students receiving associate degrees will graduate with high honors, and 13 associate degree recipients will graduate with honors.

Based on tentative grade point averages, two students will complete their baccalaureate degrees with perfect 4.0 GPAs. They are Brittany Lin Ledbetter of Cross Lanes, W.Va., and Morgan Alexandra Lewis of Wayne.

Dr. Jamie Warner, a professor of political science at Marshall and MU's Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2010-2011, will deliver the keynote speech.

The Hedrick Award she received last spring recognizes a full-time faculty member who has a minimum of seven years teaching experience at Marshall and has a record of outstanding classroom teaching, scholarship, research and creative activities.

Warner has been at Marshall since 2002, when she was hired as an assistant professor of political science. In 2004, she was awarded both the Pickens-Queen and College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Awards. Before coming to Marshall, she was a visiting assistant professor of political science at the University of the South (Sewanee) from 2001 to 2002. She received her B.A. from Millersville University in 1991, her M.A. from Penn State University in 1995 and her Ph.D. in political science with a minor in women's studies from Penn State in 2001. 

DVDs available

Marshall University will produce a DVD of the Winter Commencement ceremony for purchase. Orders may be submitted using the DVD order form on the Registrar's Office website ( Orders also will be accepted Dec. 10 at Henderson Center. The Marshall University Alumni Association will process the DVD orders.


Free parking for commencement will be available in the garage across 3rd Avenue from Cam Henderson Center, or on any university parking lot. The garage and the Joan C. Edwards Stadium West Lot provide the most convenient parking.


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Friday December 2, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Aquatic ecotoxicologist joins Marshall University as Eminent Scholar

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Mindy Yeager Armstead has joined the faculty of Marshall University's College of Science through the state's Eminent Scholars Recruitment and Enhancement initiative.

A nationally respected aquatic ecotoxicologist with 15 years experience in the commercial sector, Armstead will lead an interdisciplinary team of Marshall scientists focused on research and economic development activities associated with the region's water and energy resources.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Armstead join our faculty," said Dr. Charles Somerville, dean of the College of Science. "Her reputation and experience make her the perfect choice to develop our targeted research cluster in freshwater resources."

Armstead said, "I'm excited to be at Marshall and look forward to leading a research program that will address some of the most pressing environmental issues in West Virginia and the Appalachian region. Water and energy present tremendous challenges and opportunities for research.  I look forward to working with the team at Marshall."

Prior to joining Marshall, Armstead was a senior scientist at the consulting firm Potesta & Associates Inc. in Charleston, where she led projects to determine water quality standards, assess aquatic community health, and develop strategies to improve or protect stream ecosystems.  Her current research interests include the golden algae Prymnesium parvum, selenium, total dissolved solids and the development of site-specific water quality criteria.

The state funded the $10 million Eminent Scholars initiative to help attract nationally recognized researchers to Marshall and West Virginia University. The goal of the program is to build university research programs, ultimately leading to business spin-offs, new patents and high-tech jobs at all skill and education levels.

"The Eminent Scholars program has made it possible for us to hire some of the best scientists in their fields, focused on some of the most important issues facing our society," said Dr. John Maher, Marshall vice president for research. "Dr. Armstead is the most recent of those hires at Marshall and I look forward to watching as she builds this research program."

Before joining Potesta in 1997, Armstead was employed at TERRADON Corporation in Poca. From 1994 to 1996, she was a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Biology at Virginia Tech, where she helped develop a watershed scale restoration plan for a stream damaged by acid mine drainage discharge. 

She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Wheeling Jesuit University and at Marshall, has been co-investigator on grants from the American Electric Power Service Corporation, and has co-authored numerous publications and technical reports. She is certified as a Licensed Remediation Specialist by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Armstead has a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Charleston, a master's degree in aquatic ecology from Marshall, and a doctoral degree in biology with an emphasis in aquatic ecotoxicology from Virginia Tech.


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Friday December 2, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall, Marines team up to help kids in Toys for Tots campaign

St. Joseph Catholic Grade School participating as well

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For the second consecutive year, Marshall University is teaming with the United States Marine Corps Reserves in supporting a drive to collect toys for needy children in the 2011 Toys for Tots regional campaign.

Toys for Tots collects new toys to give to children, ages toddler to early teen, who otherwise would be without during the holidays. St. Joseph Catholic Grade School in Huntington is participating in the annual drive as well.

"It has been great to have St. Joseph on board and working with us," said Kelly Sweetman, director of military affairs at Marshall. "We were able to take the Marines into the school and have the children meet them and learn about a different kind of mission. The children get to see our military in a different light. They learn that the Marines help in our community here at home; it's not just all about war."

The campaign collects toys for children in 14 West Virginia counties and four counties in Ohio. Collection boxes have been placed in the Memorial Student Center on Marshall's Huntington campus, where they will remain throughout the campaign, which runs through Saturday, Dec. 17. Marshall's student group, VETS4VETS, and the Marines will be distributing the toys after the campaign ends.

"I am pleased to be able to have the children working with veterans and current military for the good of the community," said Andrew Wendt, president of VETS4VETS, referring to St. Joseph's participation. "West Virginia has a long military history and a high number of veterans. This project pulls us all together for the greater good and we become one group with a purpose."

St. Joseph principal Carol Templeton said it has been "a privilege and pleasure for St. Joseph Catholic Grade School to participate in the annual Toys for Tots campaign.

"This program has given an opportunity for our students to see the military in a different way," she said.

New, unwrapped toys, valued at no more than $30 each, are being collected. People may still sign up to receive toys by visiting

For more information, persons may e-mail Sweetman at


Photo: Sgt. Victor Arroyo, assistant coordinator of the Toys for Tots campaign, poses with first-grade students from St. Joseph Catholic Grade School and some of the toys the school has collected. The students are, from left, Riley Ibanez, Madison Nekvinda, Sinclair McKinney and Rama Rayyan. Photo by Liu Yang/Marshall University.

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