January 2011 Press Releases

Monday January 31, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Civil rights activist Joan C. Browning to speak at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Joan C. Browning, a Civil Rights activist and one of the original nine Freedom Riders in Albany, Ga., in 1961, will speak at Marshall University on Thursday, Feb. 17.

Browning's talk, which is free to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Room BE 5 in the basement of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall's Huntington campus. She is speaking as part of Marshall's new program in African and African American Studies. Her talk is sponsored by the Marshall University Honors College, the Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary Society of Marshall University and the Marshall University College of Liberal Arts.

The Freedom Riders was a group of men and women that boarded buses, trains and planes and headed for the deep South in 1961 to test the 1960 Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation in all interstate public facilities.

"I believe it is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn how individuals, much like them, can stand up to an injustice and change the world in which they live," said Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Ms. Browning was a college student who answered the questions, 'If not us, who? If not now, when?' Her contributions to the civil rights movement stand as a lesson for us all."

Browning grew up on a small farm in rural South Georgia. She was one of the few Southern whites who joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Her activities led to her expulsion from the all-white Georgia State College for Women.

She moved to Atlanta where she became a leader of SNCC, listened to the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and became active in a number of civil rights causes. At Marshall, she will discuss the history of the civil rights movement through her personal experiences.

Now a free-lance writer on a mountain in West Virginia, she expresses the values that brought her to the Civil Rights Movement as a citizen and "villager" supporting quality of life initiatives, children's programs and libraries.

"In addition to being a veteran of the civil rights movement Joan Robinson is quite a historian and has extensive knowledge on African American history in West Virginia," said Dr. David J. Peavler, an assistant professor in the Department of History and director of the African and African American Studies Program. 'She has been very helpful in helping me with a new course I am teaching this semester where students at Marshall conduct original research on African American history in West Virginia."

Peavler said examples of topics that the students are researching range from the 1917 Charleston NAACP victory against the film "Birth of a Nation" to the desegregation of schools in various localities. We will be publishing all of the students' work onto a Website hosted by the Honors College," Peavler said. "The Honors College has done a great deal to make all of this happen, and I am quite thankful to Dean Mary Todd for this."

'Slave Dwellings'

Another presentation is planned in February at Marshall in celebration of African American History month, according to Maurice Cooley, director of MU's Center for African American Students' Programs.

"Slave Dwellings," an historical overview and presentation (with slides) on more than 100 slave cabins found through the southern United States, will be presented free to the public at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 by Joseph McGill, preservationist, historian, and current program officer with the Southern  Office of National Trust for Historic Preservation in Charleston, S.C. This presentation will take place in Room BE 5 as well.

"It is imperative that we continue the legacy, embraced by Carter G. Woodson, to educate our fellow Americans about the contributions of African Americans in our society and realize the importance of inviting our community to as many of these programs as possible," Cooley said.


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Monday January 31, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

SGA seeking students, faculty to participate in community gardens initiative

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Student Government Association is looking for students and faculty to get involved in a new community gardens initiative on the Huntington campus.

Student Body President Patrick Murphy said the idea of starting the gardens stemmed from conversations he had with Steve Hensley, dean of student affairs.

"We are hoping that this can be a starting point for other initiatives to improve campus positively by 'rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands dirty and creating something for the entire community to enjoy,' " Murphy said.

The garden will be located behind the Career Services building, which is located at 1681 5th Ave.

Murphy hopes the garden can improve the university aesthetically and become utilized as a resource for the cafeterias and facilities department.

Anyone wanting to reserve a section of the garden may call Murphy at 304-696-6436, e-mail him at murphy151@marshall.edu, or stop by his office in 2W28 of the Memorial Student Center.

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Friday January 28, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University's College of Health Professions to offer first Master of Science in Health Informatics in West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's College of Health Professions is offering a new interdisciplinary graduate program in Health Informatics on its Huntington campus. The degree is the first Master of Science in Health Informatics to be offered in West Virginia.

As the first truly intercollegiate program offered at Marshall, courses for the degree will come from the College of Health Professions, the College of Information Technology and Engineering, and the Lewis College of Business.

"I do not know of another program in the U.S. that uses expert instructors from three different, yet complementary, disciplines," said Dr. Charles Hossler, associate dean of the College of Health Professions. "Yet, this unique feature is what makes this program exceptional. Our graduates will have diverse perspectives related to Information Technology, which prepares our graduates in Health Informatics for real-life situations they will encounter in the marketplace." 

Health Informatics specialists work to optimize an individual's health through information storage, transmission and usage. Dr. Michael Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said the purpose of the Health Informatics program at Marshall University "is to educate our students who will use their expertise in improving health care of the citizens of West Virginia and the region by integrating information technology into the day-to-day care of individual patients."

Health Informatics focuses on the application of information systems and information systems management for medical research and clinical information technology support.  It includes instruction in information systems, health information systems architecture, medical knowledge structures, medical language and image processing, quantitative medical decision modeling, imaging techniques, electronic medical records, medical research systems, clinical decision support, and informatics aspects of specific research and practical problems.

In 2004, the federal government issued an executive order that all health information be maintained in electronic format within 10 years. On Aug. 22, 2006, President George Bush signed the Executive Order entitled "Promoting Quality and Efficient Health Care in Federal Government Administered or Sponsored Health Care Programs."

This executive order encourages the use of Health Informatics and will fuel growth in this field. In today's American economy of dwindling job opportunities and market pullbacks, the field of Health Informatics is adding positions with an expected growth of more than 16 percent over the next several years.  

Admissions to Health Informatics begin this fall. For applications, persons may contact the graduate college at 304-696-6606. More information is available on the College of Health Professions Web pages or by calling the college at 304-696-2620.

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Thursday January 27, 2011
Contact: Mary M. Thomasson, Marshall University Forensic Science Center,, 304-691-8961

Marshall University forensics professor receives federal grant to analyze interpretation of fire debris

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has received a $540,752 grant from the National Institute of Justice for a two-year project to study factors that affect interpretation of data by fire debris analysts and to develop a computer program to aid in interpretation.

Dr. J. Graham Rankin, a professor of forensic chemistry in the Forensic Science Graduate Program at Marshall, is conducting the study, which began January 1, 2011.

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report released in 2009 on the practice of forensic science recommended more basic research to determine the reliability of many tests - like fire debris analysis - that depend on pattern recognition. Rankin said the grant program is a positive response to the NAS report.

He said the study will help fire debris analysts in crime laboratories and private laboratories better understand how to interpret their results. Fire debris analysts work closely with fire debris investigators in local fire departments to determine whether a fire was accidental or intentional.

"Our research will aid in improving the understanding of the accuracy and reliability of the data commonly used by fire debris analysts, and we will be validating techniques," Rankin said. "This interpretation will be used to determine the presence and classification of ignitable liquid residues found in fire debris which may indicate that the fire was deliberately started."

For the study, ignitable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, charcoal lighters and other commonly used accelerants will be used to ignite a variety of wood products and carpeting found in homes.  The fire debris generated will be analyzed by two standard methods used by the forensic community.

Data produced by these methods will be distributed to fire debris analysts across the country as "blind case files" for determination about whether or not an ignitable liquid is present and to identify its classification.

Preliminary analyses performed this summer by Amanda Heeren, a second-year graduate student, indicate that the type of wood as well as the extent of charring are important factors in chromatographic patterns from the standard methods. In February, Hereen will present her work at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences national meeting in Chicago. She continues to work on the research project this academic year.

Statistical analysis of the results will be used to determine the number of "false positives" (a conclusion that an ignitable liquid is present, when none is), "false negatives" (concluding that no ignitable liquid is present when one was used) and any incorrect classification of the residue.

"Because background compound products in fire debris are frequently formed which can appear as low levels of ignitable liquids, most lab protocols require a significant amount present to 'make a call.' One factor we are investigating is the minimal amount of ignitable liquid residues needed to make a correct assignment to one of the classes of ignitable liquids as specified by the standard method used," Rankin said. "One other important factor is that the presence of an ignitable liquid does not mean it was used as an accelerant in an intentional fire. It could be incidental, like residual paint thinner in a freshly painted wall, or maybe the cause of an accidental fire, like gasoline fumes ignited by a hot water heater pilot in an enclosed garage."

A co-principal investigator on the grant is Dr. Nicholas Petraco, associate professor in the John Jay College of Law, City University of New York, in New York City. Petraco and his students will be responsible for the advanced statistical analysis of interpretation of chromatographic data and the development of the expert system. The same 'blind case files' will be used to test the expert system.

The activities for the study, "Interpretation of Ignitable Liquid Residues in Fire Debris Analysis:  Effect of Competitive Adsorption, Development of an Expert System and Assessment of the False Positive/Incorrect Assignment Rate," are funded by project number 2010-DN-BX-K272 through the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Research conducted by Hereen was supported by project number 2008-DN-BX-K146 through the National Institute of Justice. 



(Above) Wood samples are charred to different levels of weight loss to study the effects of the amount of charring on recovery of possible accelerants. Photo courtesy of Marshall University Forensic Science Center.

(Below) Dr. J. Graham Rankin, a professor of forensic chemistry in the Forensic Science Graduate Program at Marshall University, analyzes gasoline in his lab. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.


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Thursday January 13, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Yingling named founding dean of Marshall University School of Pharmacy

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has named Dr. Kevin W. Yingling founding dean of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, according to Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, Ph.D.

A pharmacist and physician, Yingling has more than 20 years experience in graduate medical education. He is chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. He has been a registered pharmacist since 1981, the medical director of the medical school's Center for Pharmacologic Study since 1992 and a consultant pharmacist since 1995. He is an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology at the school of medicine.

Yingling begins his new duties immediately. He will lead the university's new pharmacy school, which was approved by the Marshall University Board of Governors in December 2009. The timeline for acceptance of the first class of pharmacy students will be determined in consultation with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the pharmacy profession's educational credentialing agency.

"This is an exceptional opportunity and I am pleased to be able to play a role in establishing the Marshall University School of Pharmacy," said Yingling. "This is my opportunity to grow something for an institution that has been a part of my life for more than 40 years, beginning when I moved to Huntington as a youngster, when my father accepted a job at the university.

"Marshall University gave me a solid foundation that has allowed me to accomplish a great deal professionally, and I look forward to helping shape the future of pharmacist training in our state and region."

Yingling received his B.S. in pharmacy from West Virginia University and his M.D. from Marshall. He completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He has served as an honorary visiting academic fellow in clinical pharmacology at the University of Southampton in Southampton, England.

He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. In October 2010, Yingling was honored with the Laureate Award from the West Virginia Chapter of the American College of Physicians, recognizing excellence in medical care, education or research.

Since 1992, Yingling has served on the board of directors of Doctors Care of Cabell County, a voluntary physician organization that provides free services to underserved patients. He has also served on faith-based medical missions to Russia, Bolivia and Haiti.

"I am delighted Dr. Yingling has agreed to serve as founding dean of our school of pharmacy," Kopp said. "His experience and commitment to interdisciplinary education and team-based practice is precisely what will be needed to successfully lead the development of this program. His long-standing association with Marshall, as well as his dedication to our institution and community, make him the perfect choice as we take this important step forward."

Kopp said the Marshall University School of Pharmacy will help to reverse the significant shortage of pharmacists in West Virginia, which ranks among the top 10 percent of states in unmet pharmacist demand. This shortage is likely to become greater as West Virginia's population ages and more pharmacists are needed as their practice role evolves in outpatient care centers, large specialty practices (oncology), nursing care facilities, and rural health clinics and care centers.

In addition to providing needed healthcare options for West Virginia and the entire Appalachian region, based on recent studies of the economic impact of higher education institutions in West Virginia, the Marshall University School of Pharmacy is expected to generate more than $150 million in regional economic impact. Additionally, Marshall's pedigree in bioscience research will present new opportunities for funding and powerful private-sector partnerships with pharmaceutical and therapeutics companies, which will add to this impact, Kopp said.


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Thursday January 13, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall tops $2.5 million in gifts and pledges for research trust fund

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University officials have announced that end-of-year gifts in December pushed the total amount raised to date for the school's Bucks for Brains Challenge campaign to $2,570,419.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $15 million in private funds by March 2013 to support Marshall's research programs. Private contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the state's West Virginia Research Trust Fund - for a total impact of up to $30 million at Marshall.

The most recent gifts and pledges to the campaign include:

  • J.H. Fletcher Faculty Summer Research Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering - $125,000

  • Chico's (in honor of Verna Gibson) for the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research - $200,000

  • Anonymous (Details about this gift will be released at a later date.) - $1 million

Private gifts combined with the state's match will bring Marshall's current total for the trust fund program to just over $5.1 million to be used for investments in research at the university.

The state of West Virginia created the trust fund in 2008 to stimulate world-class research at the state's leading universities. Marshall and West Virginia University can tap into the fund to double private gifts that support specific research initiatives linked to economic development, health care and job growth.

For more information, visit www.marshall.edu/b4b or call the Marshall University Foundation at 304-696-5407 or toll free at 866-632-5386.

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Thursday January 13, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

42nd Anniversary Jazz Festival welcomes clarinetist Chris Vadala, trumpeter Vince DiMartino

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's annual Jazz Festival will feature two guest artists, clarinetist Chris Vadala and trumpeter Vince DiMartino, as well as faculty combo Bluetrane and several student jazz ensembles. The festival begins Thursday, Jan. 27, and concludes Saturday, Jan. 29, in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on Marshall's Huntington campus.

Marshall's event is one of the longest running collegiate jazz festivals in the United States, having begun in 1970, said Dr. Ed Bingham, professor of music and director of jazz studies at Marshall. Artists such as Clark Terry, Gary Burton, Stan Kenton, Eddie Daniels, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Herbie Mann and Sergio Mendes, as well as ensembles such as Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra and the DIVA Big Band have performed with Marshall's jazz ensembles.

Vadala and DiMartino were classmates at the esteemed Eastman School of Music, Bingham added, and their "reunion" promises to be a memorable experience for everyone. The guest artists will perform with the following Marshall groups:

  • Bluetrane is Marshall's faculty jazz combo, whose name pays homage to the jazz great, John Coltrane, and includes, in addition to Bingham, Marshall music faculty members Dr. Martin Saunders, Dr. Michael Stroeher, Dr. Sean Parsons, Dr. Mark Zanter and Steve Hall. They perform throughout West Virginia and the surrounding states and will be featured on the festival's Thursday and Friday evening concerts.

  • The MU Jazz Ensemble has performed at jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland; Juan les Pins, France; The Jazz Education Network Inaugural Conference; the Notre Dame Jazz Festival and many others. It travels throughout the region to perform in schools and community centers. The group will present the final concert of the festival on Saturday evening when Vadala and DiMartino join them.

"Jazz education is a major part of the festival," Bingham said. "High school and middle school jazz bands from West Virginia and the surrounding states participate in a non-competitive performance clinic. Following each ensemble's appearance on the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse stage, the guest clinicians critique the performance and offer suggestions for improvement."

Select students attending the festival participate in the Thundering Herd Jazz All-Stars. This ensemble, under the direction of Parsons, performs in the festival finale concert on Saturday evening.  The All-Stars represent the best players from the participating schools and many MU Jazz Ensemble members are alumni of the Thundering Herd All-Stars.

One of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Vadala is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on all the saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the performer's certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College and pursued postgraduate study in woodwinds at Eastman.

Vadala, a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, is director of jazz studies and saxophone professor at the university. He has held previous academic appointments at Connecticut College, Montgomery College, Hampton University, Prince George's Community College and Mount Vernon College and was visiting professor of saxophone at the Eastman School of Music in 1995 and 2001.

Highlights of the artist's  performing career include a long tenure with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet, which included performances in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, China, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, England, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Switzerland. He has performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, plus two Grammys, one Emmy, one Georgie (from the American Guild of Variety Artists) and one Golden Globe Award. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Joe Lovano and many others. In 2009, he became a regular member of the award-winning Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and has been the first-call saxophonist with National Symphony Orchestra for many years.

DiMartino is considered one of the most sought-after trumpet performers and educators. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music with bachelor's and master's degrees in 1972, he taught at the University of Kentucky until 1993. At that time, he began a new appointment as Distinguished Artist in Residence at Centre College in Danville, Ky., and became the Matton Professor of Music there in 1996, an appointment he holds to this day. At Centre he teaches trumpet, brass and jazz ensembles, as well as jazz history. He has served as the chair of the music department and is currently coordinator of the instrumental program at the college.

Equally known as a jazz artist, DiMartino has been the lead and solo trumpet in the Lionel Hampton Band, the Chuck Mangione Band, the Clark Terry Band and the Eastman Arranger's Holiday Orchestra.  He has also performed with some of this country's finest college jazz ensembles. DiMartino has been a member of the artist-faculty of the highly acclaimed Skidmore Jazz Institute since its inception in 1988, working with fellow artist-teachers Milt Hinton, Todd Coolman, Ed Shaughnessy, Frank Mantooth, Curtis Fuller, Dick Oatts and Pat LaBarbera.

The International Trumpet Guild has featured DiMartino as an artist-clinician in major solo programs at their conferences, including ones at Louisiana State University, the University of Gothenburg-Sweden, the University of Colorado, the University of New Mexico, and University of Denver, as well as in London. He has served twice as the guild's president and vice president, and was a member of its board of directors for two terms. He has been soloist with many symphony orchestras, including those of Cincinnati, Buffalo, Santa Fe, North Carolina, Orlando, Baton Rouge and Rochester, N.Y. 

Tickets for the Marshall jazz festival may be purchased through the Joan C. Edwards Theatre box office by calling 304-696-ARTS (2787).  Admission charge is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Marshall students and faculty are admitted at no charge by presenting their university ID's.

Following is the complete schedule of concerts:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, Joan C. Edwards Playhouse
    High School Honors Band (to be announced)

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, Joan C. Edwards Playhouse
    Marshall Student Combos
    Chris Vadala and Vince DiMartino with Bluetrane

  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, Joan C. Edwards Playhouse
    Thundering Herd All-Stars
    MU Jazz Ensemble with Chris Vadala and Vince DiMartino

For further information, contact Bingham by phone at 304-696-3147 or by e-mail at bingham@marshall.edu.

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Wednesday January 12, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University to host State of the State broadcast on World Wide Web

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's 2011 State of the State Address will be broadcast live worldwide on the Internet, starting at 7 p.m. today, Wednesday, Jan. 12. The live webcast will be provided by Marshall University's Digital Media Services and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The State of the State Address is scheduled to take place in the House Chamber of the State Capitol in Charleston. To view the governor's address live, Internet users may visit http://www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/2011StateoftheStateAddress.aspx. The speech can be viewed using Adobe Flash player which can be found at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.

This marks the 12th consecutive year that the State of the State address has been webcast live from Charleston.


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Monday January 10, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Recreation center offers public fitness classes, demos and 'freebies' Jan. 13

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Community residents are invited to start the new year with friends, fitness and "freebies" with a no-charge visit to the Marshall Recreation Center on MU's Huntington campus Thursday, Jan. 13.

"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 recreation center.  "Everyone should try a new fitness activity in the new year."

Visitors will be able to experience all the recreation center has to offer, include a climbing wall, sport courts, fitness machines and an aquatics center with a vortex pool, all of which will be available Thursday. In addition to use of the facilities, demonstrations and classes will be open to everyone. Those who attend a class will receive a free biodegradable water bottle.

Current members of the recreation center can get one free month of membership for each person they bring Thursday who signs up for a three-month membership, which also will be discounted 15 percent.

Also, students, faculty and staff members may sign up for the Faculty/Staff Fitness Challenge and earn great prizes. Membership isn't required for the fitness challenge, which begins Jan. 17.

Here is the schedule of the recreation center's group fitness and instructional programs:

12:15 to 12:45 p.m. - C.U.T. (Cross-training Under Thirty)
5:15 to 5:45 p.m. - Express Spin
5:45 to 6:15 p.m. - Hatha Yoga
5:45 to 6:15 p.m. - Sport Circuit
6 to 7 p.m. - Spin-60
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Zumba
7:15 to 8 p.m. - Butts and Guts
7:30 to 8:15 p.m. - Spin-45
8 to 9 p.m. - Zumba

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Friday January 7, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Actor Jim Lucas keynote speaker at MLK celebration in Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Actor Jim Lucas, who is known across the nation for his stirring and dramatic recitations and interpretations depicting the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be the keynote speaker on Monday, Jan. 17, for Huntington's annual celebration of the life of the late civil rights leader. The event is presented by the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Marshall University.

Lucas, whose portrayal was called the "most authentic and exhilarating I have ever seen" by former President Bill Clinton, will present "REFLECTIONS: The Life and Times of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.," following a candlelight ceremony which begins at 6 p.m. at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church at 513 10th St. in Huntington.

In addition, there will be an exciting evening of music by local artists, poetry readings and participation by several religious leaders in the community, according to Dr. Shari Williams-Clarke, vice president of Marshall's Division of Multicultural Affairs. Among those taking part will be Rabbi Dr. David Wucher of B'nai Sholom Congregation, Rev. Livinus Uba from the Sacred Heart Parish and St. Peter Claver Church, and Dr. Majed Khader of the Muslim Association of Huntington.

Other activities planned that day to celebrate the life and contributions of the late civil rights leader include city beautification projects in Huntington at Northcott Court Apartments and the A.D. Lewis Community Center. Volunteers, both students and community members, are encouraged to turn out from 10:30 a.m. until noon according to Clarke. Volunteers will be doing a variety of jobs at both locations.

"At Northcott we'll be cleaning the playground, planting mulch, working in the laundry area and doing general cleaning," Clarke said. "Then at noon we're providing 70 brown bag lunches for the youth who live in that complex. We'll be doing cleaning as well at the A.D. Lewis Center. I urge people to come and join us as we want to pay tribute to Dr. King's legacy by giving back to the community."

Northcott Court Apartments are located at 30 Northcott Court in Huntington and the Lewis Center is at 1450 A.D. Lewis Ave. in Huntington.

Clarke says this is the third year that community projects have been undertaken to honor King and they've been extremely successful.

"We're excited to be responding to Dr. King's spirit of service to others," she said. "He was very multi-dimensional in his thinking and I noticed there has been this trend of observing his birthday by getting people involved to do what they can for their communities. So every year we've been able to do something that involves both students and community members to help others."

And, she added, "The community has been extremely supportive of these activities in the spirit of Dr. King."

In his one-man show, Lucas, who bears an uncanny resemblance to King, chronicles the civil rights movement through the eyes of King. A student of his teaching, Lucas is an advocate of his philosophy of non-violence in civil action to effect social change. Like King, Lucas participated in demonstrations and protests to achieve integration in his home town of Lake Providence, La.

In August 1983, he attended the 20th anniversary of the March on Washington which Lucas said inspired him to learn and later deliver King's famous speeches, including "I Have a Dream" and "I've Been to the Mountaintop."

Lucas has performed at more than 100 colleges and universities and has taken his program to Germany, South Korea and Japan. He has numerous movie and television credits, including parts on "The West Wing," "24," "The District" and "The Wire." Currently he is starring in the critically acclaimed play, "The Meeting," a drama about the life and philosophy of King and the late Malcolm X.

For additional information about any of the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration activities, phone Marshall University's Office of Multicultural Affairs at 304-696-4677.


Photo: Actor Jim Lucas will participate in Huntington's observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 17.

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Thursday January 6, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, , 304-696-3296

Marshall alumnus to give piano recital

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Yuri McCoy, an alumnus of Marshall University's Department of Music, will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Dr. Leslie Petteys, professor of piano at Marshall, invited McCoy to perform selections from his master's recital. He received his Master of Music degree in the fall of 2010 from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and is currently the Organ Scholar at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu.

"It is not an automatic thing that those who have gone off and gotten master's degrees return here and present their programs, but Yuri has family, friends and colleagues here," Petteys said. "I like to invite our pianists back so the current students can see what their studio mates have achieved  often I have the returning grad student talk with my current students."

McCoy received his B.F.A. degree magna cum laude from Marshall in 2008. While pursuing the degree, he also played violin with both the Huntington Symphony and the Marshall University Orchestra and held several organ posts in and around Huntington, most recently at St. John's Episcopal Church. As an undergraduate, he was the winner of the Concert of Soloists Competition and the Belle and Lynum Jackson Competition at Marshall, as well as the West Virginia Music Teachers Association Mountain State Collegiate Piano Competition.

In addition to Petteys, McCoy has studied under Harriet Tucker and Al Zabel in Huntington and with Dr. Thomas Yee and Dr. Jonathan Korth at the University of Hawai'i. In 2008, he was the only pianist from the University of Hawai'i selected to perform in a master class given by the legendary pianist Leon Fleisher.

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Thursday January 6, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Essay competition celebrates Constitution; first-prize winner to receive $1,500

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University undergraduate students have the opportunity to win up to $1,500 in prize money by participating in the Dan O'Hanlon - John Marshall Constitution Week Essay Competition.

The purpose of the contest is to reward students' scholarship, honor the importance of the United States Constitution, and honor the work of both Dan O'Hanlon, former local circuit court judge, andChief Justice John Marshall,  for whom Marshall University is named.

Students have until Sept. 1 to submit their entries. The first-prize winner receives $1,500 while second place pays $750. The topic of this year's competition is "How Shall the Constitution be Interpreted?"

"The essay contest is a part of the institution's dedication to celebrating the Constitution of the United States of America," said Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of Marshall's College of Liberal Arts. "We hope the contest will inspire students to learn more about the Constitution and its importance in our contemporary political affairs."

Contest entries may take many forms including standard essay, dialog, diary entries, plays, etc. Students are encouraged to discuss their essays with faculty in the Political Science Department, whose information may be found at http://www.marshall.edu/polsci/faculty.asp. Entries should be submitted to Mitzi Meade, Department of Political Science, Marshall University, One John Marshall Dr., Huntington, WV 25755.

The contest is the third since the competition began in June 2009. The first winner was Aaron N. Preece, a then-freshman history major from Huntington, in 2009. The 2010 winner was Josh Cottle, a senior political science major.

This year's winner will be announced on Sept. 16 as part of Constitution Week, a time when the university recognizes the ratification of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and the many accomplishments of John Marshall, who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 until his death in 1835.

For more information on the contest, contact Pittenger at 304-696-2731.

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Tuesday January 4, 2011
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

'Time for Music' registering for spring; advance discount ends Jan. 10

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - Parents who want to take advantage of the advance discount for "Time For Music," a popular program for babies and children up to age 5, have until Jan. 10 to register, according to Joni Pappas, director of the program. It is offered through the Speech and Hearing Clinic on Marshall University's Huntington campus and sessions begin the week of Jan. 24.

Classes are available for babies from birth to 18 months; toddlers from 18 to 36 months; 3-year olds, and 4-and 5-year olds.  In the baby category, a "baby-and-sibling" registration is available so that parents may register two children at a combined rate.

Parent participation is required for the classes, which take place in the daytime and early evenings Mondays through Wednesdays. A maximum of nine children is accepted per class and children with special needs are welcome.

"As an elementary school teacher, I know how important music is for a young child and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity for Hayden to get involved with music," said parent-participant Brie Grimmett. "I am glad I followed my instincts! This class has been wonderful for her Joni is awesome with the kids as well!  She makes sure that she spends a little time with each of the children throughout the class. It is so much fun to watch my 1-year-old clap and dance to the beat of her favorite shows and songs now."

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

" I am amazed at what my son has learned in just an hour a week with Miss Joni," said Kelly Walker, another parent-participant. " He has come to love musical instruments, finger plays and connecting with other children his age."

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

For information on "Time For Music," persons may visit the program's website at www.marshall.edu/commdis/music, contact Pappas by e-mailing pappasj@marshall.edu, or call her at 304-697-0211.

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Monday January 3, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of FIne Arts, , 304-696-3296

Annual student exhibition begins Jan. 10

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. The 25th Annual Student Juried Exhibition, featuring artwork created by undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Art and Design, will be displayed in the Birke Art Gallery on Marshall University's Huntington campus. The exhibition opens on Monday, Jan. 10, and runs through Friday, Feb. 4.

A reception and award ceremony will take place Tuesday, Jan. 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. 

In a juried exhibition, art is submitted and pieces to be exhibited are chosen by jurors, said John Farley, Marshall University graduate and director of the Birke Art Gallery. He emphasized the eclectic nature of the show.

"In a great juried exhibition there is a little something to suit everyone's personal aesthetic," Farley said. "It is a place one can visit for recognizable, palatable staples; however, the viewer may also encounter something a little less familiar and, in this way, begin to broaden one's own visual sensibilities."

Jurors for the 2011 exhibition were Jeff Barnes, president of the Barnes Agency, a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm based in Hurricane, W.Va.; and Jenine Culligan, the senior curator at the Huntington Museum of Art.

"It is an honor for me to serve as juror of this year's Annual Student Juried Exhibition," Barnes said. "Both the Birke Art Gallery and the Marshall University Department of Art and Design have an outstanding reputation and I enjoyed very much the process of reviewing and evaluating outstanding artistic examples of student work."

Prior to establishing the Barnes Agency, Barnes worked in an executive marketing capacity in several regional health care systems. 

With more than 25 years of experience working in museums, Culligan has organized exhibitions and worked with art from all time periods, a variety of styles and from many countries. Her specialty is American art, from the late 19th century up to contemporary.

"Every year we select two arts professionals with different, complementary areas of expertise from within the Tri-state area to jury the competition," Farley said.

The Birke Art Gallery is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m.

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