September 2011 Press Releases

Friday September 30, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Air Robotics Airborne Vehicle Systems founder guest speaker at RTI Transportation Seminar Series event

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Jeff Imel, founder of Air Robotics Airborne Vehicle Systems, will be the guest speaker in a Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute (RTI) Transportation Seminar Series event Thursday, Oct. 6.

Imel will speak from 11 a.m. to noon in Room 276 of the Science Building on Marshall University's Huntington campus. The event is free to the public.

Air Robotics is an aerospace company that designs and manufactures blended wing body Airborne Vehicle Systems (AVS) for use in remote sensing and airborne scientific applications. It offers payload-agnostic functionality by virtue of its patent-pending Modular Payload Lifting System (MPLS).

Customers using Air Robotics Airborne Vehicle System can swap payloads in just minutes, in the field, allowing them to perform multiple missions using a single airframe.

For more information on the RTI Transportation Seminar Series, contact Bethany Williams at 304-696-5828.

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Thursday September 29, 2011
Contact: Angela Jones, , Director of Communications, 304-696-3334

Artists Series to benefit from grand opening of Soma Intimates

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The grand opening of the Soma Intimates store in Huntington will support the Marshall Artists Series with a special offer beginning Thursday, Oct. 6, and continuing through Sunday, Oct. 9.

Ten percent of all proceeds from the Soma Intimates, Chico's and White House Black Market locations in Huntington will be donated to the Marshall Artists Series in honor of its 75th anniversary. This offer is made possible by Verna K. Gibson, former CEO of the Limited, member of the Chico's FAS Board of Directors and chairwoman of the Marshall University Board of Governors.

Soma Intimates is located at 943 3rd Ave. across from Pullman Square.

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Thursday September 29, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MU seeks floats, bands for homecoming parade Oct. 13

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Student Government Association is encouraging participation in the annual homecoming parade, which takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in downtown Huntington. Prizes will be awarded to the top floats and bands.

Student groups, high school bands and local organizations are invited to participate. The theme for homecoming 2011 is "MU Through the Decades." Parade participants will begin lining up at 5 p.m. at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The parade will end at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Prizes for the top three floats and top three bands are as follows: $750 for first place; $500 for second place; and $250 for third place.

Maj. Gen.  Anthony  G. Crutchfield, commanding general of the U.S.  Army Aviation Center of Excellence in Fort Rucker, Ala., and a 1982 Marshall graduate, will be the grand marshal in the homecoming parade.

Parade participants may register online at For more information, contact the SGA at 304-696-6436 or e-mail

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Thursday September 29, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

June Harless Center to begin second year of GigaPan training

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development, part of the College of Education at Marshall University, will hold its second year of GigaPan training for local teachers Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Huntington High School.

Approximately 60 teachers from Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Nicholas and Randolph counties will be involved in the training.

A two-year GigaPan grant, which was funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, will enable local and regional students to take GigaPan panoramic images of their communities and activities and share them with peers across the world.

The GigaPan camera is a simple robotic platform for capturing very high-resolution panoramic images with a standard digital camera. These images are then downloaded onto a computer where the software stitches the pictures together to create a single navigable image.

These images can be uploaded to the free user community site (, which allows images to be shared, stored, commented on, linked and embedded in any website. When looking at the final GigaPan image, users can view the entire panoramic or zoom into the minutest detail with full resolution.

The goal of the grant is to foster a spirit of global citizenship and understanding using technology in a safe forum for young people to share thoughts and ideas about their world. 

GigaPan is a collaborative project between Carnegie Mellon University and NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, with support from Google.

For more information, contact Carrie-Meghan Quick-Blanco at or visit

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

Tonight's Recital Cancelled

Tonight's Department of Music recital, a performance by Wendell Dobbs, flute and John Ingram, piano, at 8 p.m. in Smith Recital Hall has been cancelled due to illness.  



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

Marshall speech and debate team gets season started with strong effort at Western Kentucky

Marshall speech and debate team gets season started

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's speech and debate team enjoyed a successful first tournament of the season last weekend at Western Kentucky University.

Coach Danny Ray said the Thundering Word won several awards over the two-day tournament in Bowling Green, Ky.

"This is a very prestigious tournament and this is the best we have performed this early in the season," Ray said. "This season looks very promising as we continue to grow as a team and add additional entries."

Other schools competing were Alabama, Rice, William Carrey College, Belmont, Miami, Truman State, Murray State, Central Michigan, Ohio State, John Carroll College, Lafayette College and Berea College.

Performing well for Marshall were:

Ryan Jackson, a senior Political  Science major from Huntington, who placed fifth in Poetry Interpretation and fourth in Duo Interpretation with Kris Anderson, a junior Communication Studies major from Princeton, W.Va.;

Hailey Lara, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Huntington, who placed fourth in Communication Analysis and was awarded the Top Novice competitor in Poetry Interpretation;

Devan Sample, a freshman English major from Martinsburg, W.Va., who was the Top Novice competitor in Prose Interpretation;

Mary Margaret Chaffee, a Science major from Terra Alta, W.Va., who was the Top Novice competitor in Dramatic Interpretation.

Marshall placed third overall in the combined speech and debate sweepstakes award and placed fourth in Individual Events. Ray said this finish would not have been possible without the points scored from the remaining team members who did not place in the final round. Those students competing were:

Kendrick Vonderschmitt, a senior Political Science/History major from Louisville, Ky., who competed in Debate and Individual Events;

Garrison Crews, a freshman Political Science major from Huntington, who competed in Debate and Individual Events;

Elaine Adkins, a sophomore French/Oral Communications major from Huntington; Jasmine Lewis, a sophomore Political Science major from Huntington; Lance West Jr., a junior  International Business major from Huntington; and Jackie Stalnaker, a freshman Spanish/Political Science major from Philippi, W.Va.

The Thundering Word's next tournaments are Sept. 30-Oct. 3, at Lafayette College, and Oct. 7-10 at West Chester, both in Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday September 27, 2011
Contact: Dr. Shari Clarke, Vice President for Multicultural Affairs,, 304-696-4677

Marshall University to host Native American powwow

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Office of Multicultural Affairs, in partnership with the Mekoce Shawnee Nation of West Virginia, will present a traditional Native American powwow Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8, at Buskirk Field on the Huntington campus.

"A modern powwow is a specific type of event where both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize and honor American Indian culture," said Dr. Shari Clarke, vice president for multicultural affairs at Marshall. This powwow will feature drums, native dancers, storytellers and vendors of traditional native wares and food, she said.

The powwow will be open to the community both days, beginning at 10 a.m. A grand entry of participants will start at 11 a.m. each day.

Fourth-grade students in Cabell County will attend the powwow as a field trip on Friday, Oct. 7, starting with the grand entry at 11 a.m., followed by interactive activities for the children. 

In the event of rain, the powwow will take place in the Memorial Student Center.

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Monday September 26, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation,, 304-746-1964

New high-performance computing cluster gives Marshall unprecedented research, teaching and learning tools

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Taking on some of mankind's greatest challenges and advancing cutting-edge science, research and learning all require enormous computing power.

Now, researchers, faculty and students at Marshall University have access to a new high-performance computing (HPC) cluster that will enable them to make significant advancements in fields as diverse as bioinformatics, climate research, physics, computational chemistry and engineering.

According to Dr. Jan I. Fox, Marshall's senior vice president for information technology and chief information officer, all these disciplines rely on the state-of-the-art computing tools and methods provided by the new cluster.

"This new HPC cluster makes possible scholarly innovation and discoveries that were, until recently, possible only at the most prestigious research institutions," she said. "Along with our connection to Internet2, our students and faculty now have access to computing power, data and information we could only imagine just a few years ago."

Nicknamed "BigGreen," Marshall's new cluster is made up of 23 high-end computer systems housed in the university's Drinko Library. Once they have a user account on BigGreen, researchers can access the cluster and its resources from anywhere.

For the computer-savvy, it is important to note that BigGreen features 276 central processing unit cores, 552 gigabytes of memory and more than 10 terabytes of storage.  Eight NVidia Tesla graphics processing units with 448 cores each provide support for massively parallel computation, pushing BigGreen to roughly six Teraflops or six trillion floating point operations per second of theoretical peak computing power. A variety of scientific software packages are installed and available for use on the cluster, including COMSOL Multiphysics, Mathematica and CLC Genomics WorkBench.

For most people, it is enough to understand that BigGreen is powerful enough to allow simulations of black holes and gravitational waves. It can provide data support for sequencing of DNA at unprecedented speeds, and it can make possible the design of complex underground mine ventilation systems. The cluster can also accommodate molecular modeling, disaster simulations and gait analysis in the university's Visualization Lab.

Fox added that even those disciplines not traditionally associated with bits and bytes, like the humanities, can benefit from the university's new computing power.

"For example, a 3-D scan of Michelangelo's statue 'David' contains billions of raw data points. Rendering all that data into a 3-D model would be nearly impossible on a desktop computer," she said. "Using our high-performance computing capabilities, a student or professor could run that same data and produce the model in just a fraction of the time. It will literally change the way we work and do research at Marshall University."

Dr. John M. Maher, vice president for research, said Marshall's new computing capabilities will be transformational.

"As our research enterprise continues to grow, it will become increasingly important for us to be able to recruit and retain the brightest students and most-successful faculty researchers," he said. "To compete, we need to offer top-notch facilities and laboratories. This computing cluster is one of the most powerful available at any institution in the entire region, so it truly levels the field as we work to advance research and research collaborations, win grant funding and enhance students' classroom experiences."

BigGreen was made possible in part by a National Science Foundation grant that funds "Cyberinfrastructure for Transformational Scientific Discovery in West Virginia and Arkansas (CI-TRAIN)," a partnership among eight higher education institutions in West Virginia and Arkansas.

For more information about high-performance computing at Marshall or obtaining an account on the university's HPC cluster, visit

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Monday September 26, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Career Expo to take place Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Career Services will conduct a Career Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus. The expo is open to all Marshall students, faculty and alumni.

More than 70 employers are registered to have representatives at the event. A list of employers planning to attend the Career Expo is available at

An FBI information session will be held from 11 a.m. to noon the same day in room 2W22 of the student center.

Denise Hogsett, director of Career Services, said students are encouraged to dress professionally and come prepared with multiple copies of their resumes. Hogsett said even if students are not looking for a job, attending the expo presents an excellent networking opportunity.

Pre-expo training from the "Resume Doctor,"  Mirek Bialk, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the student center lobby. Bialk, senior career adviser with Career Services, will be reviewing resumes for students during this time to get them in top shape for the expo.

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Saturday September 24, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Gillettes join Pathway of Prominence at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Longtime Marshall University supporters Joe and Pam Gillette became the latest to be honored with a plaque on the school's prestigious Pathway of Prominence in a recognition ceremony today on the Huntington campus. Donors who present gifts of $1 million or more to Marshall are honored with a plaque on the Pathway, which is located between Old Main and the Memorial Student Center.

The Gillettes' plaque is the 21st on the Pathway.

"Joe and Pam Gillette are dear friends whose commitment to Marshall is both inspiring and magnificent," said Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp. "As distinguished alumni, they are shaping a legacy through their dedication to Marshall. This enduring tribute to them commemorates that legacy and should make everyone associated with our great university proud. They are truly making a difference in so many ways."

In addition to the couple's generous financial support, Joe Gillette has served on many boards of directors at Marshall, including the Society of Yeager Scholars, the MU Alumni Association and the Marshall Foundation Inc. He currently is president of the Yeager Scholars board and first vice president of the Foundation board. He also is a past president of the Thunder Club.

"Joe and Pam have been major supporters of and contributors to Marshall for a long time," said Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation. "Their commitment to the growth of the Huntington campus and their involvement is outstanding. And, as Joe has said many times, they are planning on doing a lot more in the future. Joe has been very successful in his business as a Wendy's franchisee, and he and Pam are willing to share their wealth and experience with their alma mater."

In 2008, the Marshall University Welcome Center was renamed the Joseph M. Gillette Welcome Center in honor of Joe's late father. Joe and Pam made a financial commitment to the university which resulted in the renaming of the center. Joe said the center's new name was a way to memorialize his father.

He also established the Joseph M. Gillette Scholar Award, also named in memory of his late father, in 2006. The scholarship goes to a student selected to be a Yeager Scholar.

Other members of the Pathway of Prominence include:

The Arthur and Joan Weisberg family; Donald B. Harper; Bliss L. Charles; Timothy L. Haymaker and Sandra K. Haymaker; James E. Gibson and Verna K. Gibson; Elizabeth McDowell Lewis; Wilbur E. Myers; Daniel E. Wagoner and Virginia U. Wagoner; James F. Edwards and Joan C. Edwards; Clayton W. Dunlap and Bernice Virginia Dunlap; John Deaver Drinko and Elizabeth Gibson Drinko; James "H." Buck Harless; John Oliver Butler and Ruth Elizabeth Butler; Lyle A. Smith; Charles B. Hedrick and Mary Jo Hedrick; William E. Willis and Joyce L. Willis; F. Selby Wellman and Donna Bias Wellman; Robert L. Dardinger and Dianna L. Dardinger; the Maier Foundation, and C. Fred Shewey and Christine Shewey.

The Pathway of Prominence was unveiled on Friday, Sept. 20, 2002.


Photo: Pam and Joe Gillette, right, take a look at a copy of their Pathway of Prominence plaque unveiled this morning in a recognition ceremony at Marshall University. From left are Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp and Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the MU Foundation. The Gillettes' plaque is the 21st on the Pathway. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.
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Friday September 23, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University department participates in national 'Worldwide Day of Play'

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. - They are usually busy organizing programs and activities for college-aged students at Marshall University, but on Saturday, resident advisers with the Department of Housing and Residence Life are providing fun and entertainment for younger students.  

The event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the field on the south side of Cam Henderson Center, is part of the 8th annual "Worldwide Day of Play" sponsored by the children's cable television network, Nickelodeon.   "Nick" will stop programming and go black for three hours on Saturday to encourage children to play.

Officials with Marshall's Department of Housing and Residence Life say the local celebration will feature plenty of backyard games such as hopscotch, four square and sack races.   In addition, a jumper castle will be on site and children will have the opportunity to check out a fire truck.

"Our resident advisers saw this event as a great way to encourage kids in the community to turn off the TV, get outside for some fun activities and see Marshall's Huntington campus," said Tracy Eggleston, residence life specialist.  "Specifically, Danielle Henderson and Ally Armstrong have spearheaded the local effort and done a fantastic job."

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Marshall students and staff to collaborate with the Huntington community and do something special for the children," said John Yaun, director of Housing and Residence Life.  

Eggleston says there will be free food, giveaways and planned activities. 

Campus radio station WMUL-FM is planning to broadcast live from the event, which is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Eggleston at 304-696-6004.

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Friday September 23, 2011
Contact: Margie Phillips, Sustainability Manager, 304-696-2992

Movie 'Freedom' to be shown Oct. 3

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Sustainability Department will host a showing of the movie "Freedom" at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.

Elizabeth Rutherford, Marshall's recycling coordinator, said that a question-and-answer session will follow at which three signed copies of the DVD of the movie will be handed out to audience members.

"Freedom," which was produced by the filmmakers of the Sundance award-winner "Fuel," is about a couple who investigate alternatives to fossil fuels in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the promoters of the film, it offers an array of green solutions for transportation, such as cellulosic ethanol, plug-in hybrids and other sustainable technologies. It includes interviews with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former NATO Commander Wesley Clark, singer/songwriter Jason Mraz, author Deepak Chopra and actors Michelle Rodriguez, Amy Smart and Ed Begley Jr.

In addition to the screening of the movie, the Huntington campus also will host the Freedom Bus Oct. 3. The bus is traveling to movie theaters and colleges and universities in support of the release of the movie. Tours of the Freedom Bus, which has 18 solar panels, a biofuel engine, and on-demand green energy videos, will begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. at the bookstore loading dock at the Memorial Student Center. 

For further information on the events of Oct. 3, contact Sustainability Manager Margie Phillips by phone at 304-696-2992, or by e-mail at

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Friday September 23, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist,, 304-696-6397

Marshall University President, Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, elected chairman of West Virginia business organization

Marshall graduate and Charleston CPA will serve as vice chairman

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University President, Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, has been elected chairman of the West Virginia Roundtable, an independent, non-profit and non-partisan business organization dedicated to creating a viable business climate in the Mountain State.

Kopp, who is in his seventh year as president of Marshall University, has served as a member of the Roundtable since 2006 alongside educational, business and community leaders from around the state.

"I am honored to serve as chairman of the West Virginia Roundtable and I am excited by the vast array of opportunities before us," Kopp said.  "The public policy initiatives advanced by our organization are targeted directly at the very heart of growing West Virginia's economy and our group of very talented leaders is committed to doing just that."

"The Roundtable has a legacy of distinguished leaders serving as its chair," said Paul Arbogast, president of the West Virginia Roundtable. "Dr. Kopp's vision and focus on the important issues facing West Virginia positions him to lead us successfully.  I look forward to working with him as our new chairman."

Kopp will be joined by newly-elected vice chairman Rick Slater, a Charleston certified public accountant and managing partner of Dixon Hughes Goodman.   Slater, a Marshall University graduate, says he is eager to begin working in his new position.

"I am honored to be elected as the vice chairman of the West Virginia Roundtable and excited to work alongside Chairman Stephen Kopp," Slater said.  "The Roundtable's diverse group of West Virginia's top CEOs affords business a tremendous opportunity to utilize unparalleled talent, experience and political influence in helping to shape the future of our great state."

Kopp succeeds chairman Dana Waldo, senior vice president and general manager of Frontier Communications, West Virginia.

The West Virginia Roundtable was developed in 1984 and seeks to create opportunity and wealth for all West Virginians. 

For more information, contact Arbogast at 304-357-0850.

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Thursday September 22, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Doctoral student and professor write chapter for molecular biology publication

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University doctoral student J. Adam Hall and faculty member Dr. Philippe T. Georgel have collaborated to write a chapter for a new book focusing on RNA processing in animal and plant cells.

Their chapter describes the interaction between RNA splicing and chromatin, and appears in the book "RNA Processing," which was edited by Paula Grabowski and published in August. The book is freely available online through open access publisher InTech.

In describing their research, Hall explains that RNA, or ribonucleic acid, acts as the "middle man" of molecular biology. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the carrier of basic genetic information. A cell uses DNA to make RNA, which in turn makes proteins.

Hall says that alterations to RNA can have a significant influence on the type and/or amount of protein produced, creating crucial differences in the identity of the cell and how it functions. The study of these modifications caused by factors outside of the DNA sequence itself is known as "epigenetics."

"Factors and mechanisms involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and protein production have been linked to a variety of human diseases and developmental disorders," said Hall. "Furthering the knowledge of these epigenetic processes and the factors involved, including the information we highlighted for this publication, will be a crucial component of translating scientific advances into potential medical breakthroughs down the road."

Georgel added, "In recent years, a much better understanding of gene regulation has led to many important breakthroughs in the fields of cellular differentiation, development and disease. The specific mechanism of regulation we describe in this chapter has never been reported before in any biological system, so we think it could be an important contribution to the existing body of work."

A native of Crown City, Ohio, Hall received his bachelor's degree in molecular biology from Marshall in 2005 and started his doctoral studies in 2006. He finished his graduate coursework with a 4.0 grade point average and was awarded the Biomedical Sciences program's top award for academic performance in 2007 and research performance in 2008.  In 2009, Hall became the first Marshall student to receive the prestigious National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Pre-doctoral Fellowship, which provided two years of support totaling more than $70,000. He will complete his Ph.D. in December and plans to continue his scientific career in the field of epigenetics, with a focus on translational research.

Georgel is a professor of biological sciences and director of Marshall's Cell Differentiation and Development Center. He has been at Marshall since 2002.

The complete chapter is available at

For more information, contact Georgel at or call 304-696-3965.

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Thursday September 22, 2011
Contact: Jessica Baker, Graduate Assistant, School of Journalism and Mass Communications,

Marshall's School of Journalism and Mass Communications to host golf scramble fundraiser at Twin Silos

'J-School Golf Scramble' Sept. 30 will raise money for school's equipment needs

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) will host its 2nd annual golf scramble at the Twin Silos Golf Course in Lavalette Sept. 30. Registration begins at noon and tee-off is at 1 p.m.

The purpose of the event is to raise money for equipment needs for the school's classrooms and teaching labs, said Melanie Griffis, director of development for the SOJMC.

"The School of Journalism and Mass Communications is a very hands-on program and we try to maintain the most current equipment in our teaching environments," said Dr. Corley Dennison, SOJMC dean.

Early registration allows participants to take advantage of a $75 individual or $275 team rate through Sept. 29. Registration the day of the event is $90 for individuals or $325 for teams. The fee includes 18 holes of play, golf balls, a cookout dinner and a gift bag. The day's activities will also include raffles and a silent auction, which will include a round for two on The Greenbrier Sporting Club's private Snead course and a two-night stay at The Greenbrier.

Registration and sponsor forms are available online at

For more information on the J-School Golf Scramble, contact Jessica Baker, graduate assistant in the SOJMC, by e-mail at

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

Dr. Calvin Kent awarded designation of Assessment Administration Specialist

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Calvin Kent, Vice President for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University, was awarded the designation of Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS) at the annual meeting of the International Association of Assessors (IAAO) Sept. 20 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Kent was only the 155th person to receive this designation in the 75-year history of the international organization.  The IAAO designation " recognizes professionalism and competency in administration of a variety of functions for property tax purposes."

The designation is granted based on more than 200 hours of graded coursework and preparation of a major research project.  Kent's project concerned the property taxation of severed mineral interests in the United States. 

Kent is a Senior National Instructor for the IAAO and has conducted courses in many states besides West Virginia.  He teaches the advanced courses in property appraisal and administration with a special emphasis on mass appraisal and statistical procedures for property valuation.  IAAO has also certified him as a general property appraiser.

For the past five years Kent has been a member of the West Virginia Property Valuation and Training Commission.  The commission is responsible for the development of appraisal policy in the state as well as supervising the quality of assessing in the state's 55 counties. 

He served as vice chair of Gov. Cecil Underwood's "Tax Fairness Commission" and as a member of Gov. Joe Manchin's "Tax Modernization Project."  In the latter position, he chaired the sub-committee on Property Taxation and Local Finance.  He has served as an adviser to the West Virginia Legislature on property taxation, education, public health and municipal organization. 

In his work at Marshall, Kent heads the Center for Business and Economic Research and the BB&T Center for the Advancement of American Capitalism, and holds the Elizabeth McDowell Lewis Distinguished Chair in Business. He has published more than 100 articles in major journals as well as seven books and major legislative reports.

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Wednesday September 21, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield returns to Marshall University to serve as grand marshal in 2011 homecoming parade

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Maj. Gen.  Anthony  G. Crutchfield, commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence in Fort Rucker, Ala., will be the grand marshal in Marshall University's homecoming parade next month. Crutchfield is a 1982 Marshall graduate.

The parade is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in downtown Huntington. It starts at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena and ends at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Marshall plays its homecoming football game Saturday, Oct. 15, taking on Rice at 3 p.m.

"We are pleased and proud to welcome General Crutchfield as our grand marshal for the 2011 homecoming parade," said Tish Littlehales, Marshall's director of alumni relations. "He is a tremendous role model for our students and alumni. Not only will he serve as grand marshal in the parade, but he also will meet and engage with students on campus. We appreciate his willingness to share his experiences with our students and alumni during this great week."

Crutchfield began his military career in 1982, graduating from Marshall as a Distinguished Military Graduate receiving a Regular Army commission. In his current position as commanding general, he is responsible for all U.S. Army helicopter, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Aviation Maintenance training.

In addition to his military education, Crutchfield has a Master of Arts degree in business from Webster University and a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Military Studies from the Army War College.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Crutchfield has been awarded the Master Aviator Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Honorable Order of Saint Michael Silver Award. He has served tours in the United States and in Germany, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Tuesday September 20, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Area poets to read new work at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Poets Carrie Oeding and Kent Shaw will read from their work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in Corbly Hall Room 105 on Marshall University's Huntington campus.  The reading marks the release of Oeding's new poetry collection Our List of Solutions.

Oeding's book won the Lester Wolfson Prize and is the premiere book of a new poetry series from Indiana University South Bend.  Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Colorado Review, Third Coast, Diagram and elsewhere. She earned her Ph.D. in creative writing and American Literature from Ohio University in 2007.  She has taught at Ohio University, the University of Houston and the North Carolina Governor's School, and currently teaches at Marshall University.

Shaw is the author of Calenture, published by University of Tampa Press in 2008.  It is a lyric meditation on his experience in the Navy. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Believer, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Missouri Review Online, Denver Quarterly and other magazines.  He holds the Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, where he taught with the Writers in the Schools program.  He currently teaches at West Virginia State University.

Their appearance is sponsored by the Marshall Visiting Writers Series with support from the English department and the College of Liberal Arts.

For more information, contact Art Stringer in the English department at 304-696-2403.

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Monday September 19, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall University to host Ohio River Basin conference next week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will host a conference next week focusing on the economic and ecological potential of water resources in the Ohio River Basin.

The conference, "Ohio River Basin:  200 Years after the Voyage of the New Orleans," will be held Sept. 26-28 on the Huntington campus and is being presented jointly by the Ohio River Basin Alliance and the Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education.

Dr. Chuck Somerville, dean of Marshall's College of Science, is a member of the conference planning committee.

"The goal of the conference is to bring together all the stakeholders to develop strategies and coordinate actions to help address the very complex water resource issues we face in the Ohio River Basin," he said. "Participants will be actively engaged in working groups to help address water availability and management, enterprise and infrastructure, environmental restoration and protection, and sustainable growth."

He added that there will also be scientific and student research presentations, as well as panel discussions focusing on mussel restoration, river navigation, climate change and the development of gas resources in the Marcellus Shale formation. A tour of a Marathon Petroleum Company tow vessel, cleaning dock and water treatment plant are also part of the program.

According to the alliance's website, the Ohio River Basin encompasses approximately 204,000 square miles. More than 27 million people live within the basin - almost 10 percent of the U.S. population - and the main stem Ohio River is a source of drinking water for more than three million people.

For more information, visit

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Monday September 19, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Volunteer Fair set for Sept. 26 at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Office of Community Engagement is hosting a Volunteer Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at the Memorial Student Center on MU's Huntington campus.

Elizabeth Appell Sheets, coordinator of the Office of Community Engagement, said the fair presents an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to stop by, speak with representatives from several community service agencies and obtain information on the variety of service projects available in Huntington.

For more information on the fair contact Sheets by phone at 304-696-2285 or by e-mail at

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Friday September 16, 2011
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications,, 304-746-1971

'A Much Curious Coop' on display on South Charleston campus

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Images of fanciful birds dressed in colorful fine clothing depicting their individuality and personalities are the basis of A Much Curious Coop, the latest art exhibit now on display in the Marshall University Library on the South Charleston campus.

The current collection features the work of Nitro resident Staci Leech-Cornell, a versatile artist and sculptor, who has had her work displayed in numerous shows and exhibitions.The Marshall exhibit will be on display through Oct.21. An opening reception for the artist will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today in the library and is free and open to the public.

Leech-Cornell's collection is the latest in a series of exhibits showcasing the work of local artists on the South Charleston campus. Mark Tobin Moore is the exhibit coordinator for the show, which is sponsored by the Marshall Graduate Humanities program.

A graduate of Marshall with a B. A. and M.A. in Fine Arts, Leech-Cornell, who is also the Community Learning Center Manager for the Clay Center, says she began drawing and sculpting birds at a low point in her life. They provided a path through that low point and into a new set of ideas and imagery for her artistic creations, she says. Her bird images continued to evolve until they took on varying personalities and characteristics that make them all different and distinctive.

"The works in A Much Curious Coop represent the new appearance my bird imagery has become," Leech-Cornell says. "I dress these birds in fine clothing, dresses or sometimes suits. I never really have the chance in my life to play 'dress up' on many occasions and I find that when I do have the opportunity it's one that I don't particularly care for, but I love dresses and I adore suits These birds allow me to play 'dress up.' "

All the works are created by drawing with pen and ink, with added folded or cut paper pieces.

"The characters are created as the drawing progresses. Any slips of the hand or blops of ink sometimes help to determine what pattern the feathers may take, the length of the beak, the age of a face, and so on," Leech-Cornell says. "The drawings are presented in family or formal portrait style mainly because those are moments in my mind that people tend to 'dress up.' This is something that would happen in A Much Curious Coop."

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Graduate Humanities program at 304-746-2022 or

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Friday September 16, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, , 304-696-3296

Gallery 842 to host improvisational music group

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Gallery 842 has become home to a university and community improvisational music effort known as General Sound Unit (GSU).

Mike Waldeck Jr., a member of the group, said he thinks having the group play in an art gallery actually provides inspiration to the group.

"Music should be played everywhere," Waldeck said. "Being around art actually helps us stay motivated [and] pushes the way we play, to play different moods or get different ideas."

"We chose the art gallery with the notion to have a different kind of venue to play in, the kind where the audience wouldn't have expectation," said Dr. Mark Zanter, professor of music theory and composition at Marshall.  "When you're at a concert, the audience has expectations. We put it in the art gallery to bring it out [and] bring it into a place where people are used to walking around and looking at art."

Robert Hege, a Marshall graduate, said the group plays improvised music, not knowing what they're going to play when they arrive at each performance.

"We don't want there to be conditions on the music; we want it to be less controlled so we're able to express more individualism among the players," Hege said. "I like this because this way everyone can contribute to the group on different levels."

Zanter said that all members are equally involved in this effort and that his position as a faculty member doesn't change that.

"GSU is dedicated to our interest, playing improvised music," Zanter said. "Creative music making comes first, and what is seen as musically important to the members is frequently a topic of discussion. As a faculty member involved in such an activity, it is hard to not be viewed as being in charge, but I always welcome and encourage members to be and act in an empowered fashion."

The group currently has six members, who are members of both the Huntington and Marshall University communities. They can be heard at 6 p.m. Thursdays at Gallery 842, which is located at  842  4th Ave.

For more information, contact Jaye Ike by phone at 304-696-3296 or by e-mail at

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Thursday September 15, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communication Specialist, 304-696-6397

Marshall University School of Pharmacy adds new research chair

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. John V. Schloss, an academic and industrial researcher with more than 30 years of combined experience, has been named founding chair of pharmaceutical science and research at the Marshall University School of Pharmacy. He also will serve as a member of the Pharmacy Executive Council.

"Marshall University School of Pharmacy is starting with an impressive infrastructure for teaching and research," Schloss said. "This will be the third time I have helped start a new pharmacy program and the Marshall program has the potential to become a leader in the area of pharmacy education and pharmaceutical research. It is an exciting time to be a part of Marshall University."

After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, located in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Schloss conducted postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Prof. W. W. Cleland at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1978 until 1981.

Following completion of his postdoctoral work, Schloss joined the research and development division of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. in Wilmington, Del., where he held positions as a principal investigator and research supervisor. While at DuPont, Schloss published nearly three dozen papers and presented at more than 60 international and national conferences.

Beginning in 1991, Schloss served as professor and chair of the department of medicinal chemistry in the University of Kansas College of Pharmacy. He maintained his affiliation with the pharmacy program in Kansas until 2005. During this time he helped develop a new pharmacy program as part of the Kuwait Health Sciences Center, while maintaining his research programs at the University of Kansas.    

In 2002, Schloss co-founded ThioPharma Inc., a biotech startup company focused on discovery-stage pharmaceuticals. While managing ThioPharma from 2002 to 2008, he served as director of chemistry at NeuroSystec, another biotech startup focused on site specific drug delivery to the inner ear, and was principal investigator on two grants funded by the National Institutes of Health. One of the grants was from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the other was from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. 

Schloss' expertise in developing a school of pharmacy was tapped again in 2008, when he joined the University of New England. As a founding faculty member and chair of the department of pharmaceutical sciences, Schloss continued his research activities while developing curriculum, recruiting faculty and teaching.

"Dr. Schloss has an extensive background in both the scholarship and discovery in pharmaceutical sciences and will provide excellent leadership for the department's development," Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the school of pharmacy, said. "He is a fantastic addition to our team and we are happy to welcome him."

Schloss has received many honors, as well as several notable research awards and grants, including a DuPont Agricultural Products Department, Research and Development Division Accomplishment Award, a Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation grant, National Institutes of Health grants, Office of Naval Research grants, US-Israel Binational Research Foundation grants and Maine Technology Institute grants. He also has provided substantial service to his profession through organizational leadership.

For more information, contact Schloss at 304-696-3094.

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Thursday September 15, 2011
Contact: Bernice Bullock, Faculty Senate,, 304-696-4376

General faculty meeting is Sept. 28; MU to introduce 46 new faculty

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The fall general faculty meeting of Marshall University's 2011-12 academic year will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre of the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on the Huntington campus.
The agenda will consist of welcoming remarks by the faculty senate chair, Dr. Cam Brammer; singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Dr. Larry Stickler; the introduction of new administrators by provost, Dr. Gayle Ormiston, and the introduction of 46 new faculty by Brammer, School of Medicine senior associate dean for clinical affairs, Dr. Joseph Werthammer, and School of Pharmacy dean, Dr. Kevin Yingling; a State of the Faculty address by Brammer; and a State of the University address by University President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp.
All faculty, staff, students and members of the public are invited to attend. After the meeting a reception to honor the new university personnel will be held in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center.
Those in new administrative positions who will be introduced are Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy; Dr. Robert Nerhood, interim dean, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; Dr. Wael Zatar, interim dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering; Andrew Gooding, director of the Regents B.A. degree program; and Patricia Proctor, founding director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy.
New faculty to be introduced are:

  • College of Education - Andrea Farenga, Michael Kallam and Linda Winter

  • College of Fine Arts - Frederick Bartolovic and Henning Vauth

  • College of Health Professions - Jessica Maynard

  • College of Information Technology & Engineering - Hyoil Han and Jonathan Thompson

  • College of Liberal Arts - Joshua Averbeck, Mallory Carpenter, Viatcheslav Gratchev and Patricia Proctor

  • College of Science - Mary Armstead, Min-Kook Kim, Elizabeth Niese, Dhana Rao, Jon Saken, Michael Schroeder and Samantha Vickers

  • Elizabeth McDowell Lewis College of Business - Frank Bosco, Won Jun Kwak, Alissa Sikula and Robert Simpson

  • Graduate School of Education & Professional Development - Tom Hisiro, Enobong Inyang and Jonathan Lent

  • Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine - James Denvir, Paul Ferguson, Andrew Freeman, Russell Fry, II, Aamir Hussain, Emine Koc, Sean Loudin, Maria Lopez Marti, Gerald Oakley III, Rosa Carrasco Sanchez, Franklin Shuler, Jackie Stines, Jr., and Ryan Stone

  • School of Pharmacy - H. Glenn Anderson, Kimberly Broedel-Zaugg, John Schloss and Robert Stanton

  • W. Page Pitt School of Journalism & Mass Communications - Sandra York

  • University Libraries - Gretchen Beach and Larry Sheret.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday September 14, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Jomie Jazz Guest Artist Series presents Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Chip McNeill

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Grammy Award winner Chip McNeill will perform at Marshall University's Jomie Jazz Forum at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, as part of the Jomie Jazz Guest Artist Series. McNeill will be accompanied by Dr. Sean Parsons (piano), Phil Bowden (bass) and Steve Hall (drums). The group will be performing jazz standards as well as original compositions.

McNeill, who has performed with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., will also be working with Marshall music students during his stay.

Parsons, who is an associate professor of music at Marshall, studied with McNeill as a doctoral student at the University of Illinois.

"At the invitation of one of my former students, Dr. Parsons, I plan to come to Marshall and to reiterate concepts, ideas, ways of making music and jazz specifically that will help the music students succeed in a career in music and jazz," McNeill said.

Parsons said that McNeill is an enthusiastic educator.

"One thing you'll notice about Chip is he takes no prisoners in his performance or his teaching," Parsons said. "It's 'go time' from the downbeat, and you better be ready to get on board because he's not going to wait for you Chip McNeill has been a big influence on my life as a musician. The time I spent in the classroom and in professional music situations with him has been instrumental in my development as an educator and performer. He is the type of artist who can share his experiences through his music, and one can't help but learn from him."

In addition to his position with the University of Illinois School of Music, McNeill is musical director and jazz tenor saxophonist for Grammy Award-winning recording artist Arturo Sandoval. He has toured with and recorded the compact discs "American" and "Hot House" with Sandoval. In 1998, "Hot House" won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz recording. McNeill won a Grammy for his performance on "Hot House," and two of his charts were nominated for Grammys from the recording.

McNeill has also performed and toured with the legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, with whom he produced, wrote and performed on several recordings, including "Live in London," "These Cats can Swing," and Ferguson's final recording, "The One and Only."

In addition to Sinatra and Davis, McNeill has performed with Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine and Wynton Marsalis. He has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, and the Noto Jazz Festival in Japan.

The Sept. 20 concert is free and open to the public. The Jomie Jazz Forum is located on 5th Avenue in Huntington, connected to the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.

For more information, contact Jaye Ike, by phone at 304-696-3296 or by e-mail at

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Wednesday September 14, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Nearly 170 students expected for first Green and White Day of year

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Nearly 170 high school students from 11 states will be on Marshall University's Huntington campus Saturday, Sept. 17, to participate in the school's first Green and White Day of the academic year.

The open-house event begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. in the Memorial Student Center lobby. Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp will welcome the students at 9:30 a.m. in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, then Beth Wolfe, director of recruitment, will speak at 9:50 a.m. on "the things that make Marshall University a unique and special place."

A question-and-answer session with a panel of faculty, staff and students follows at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., students can learn about their programs of interest in a session called College Showcase, which takes place at various campus locations. Tours of campus are scheduled from 12:45 to 2 p.m.

Registrations for Green and White Day are still being accepted online at  or by calling 304-696-3646.

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Tuesday September 13, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Palton to give recital Sept. 15

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  - Dr. George Palton, adjunct professor of tuba at Marshall University, will give a solo tuba recital, accompanied by pianist Mila Markun, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in Smith Music Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus.

Palton said he will perform a wide array of transciptions and original works for tuba, featuring works by Bozza, Faure, Penderecki, Winteregg, York and Mantia. Several of the compositions will be featured on his upcoming recording project.

Along with his duties at Marshall, Palton is active teaching in the public schools. He holds D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in tuba performance from the University of Kentucky and B.M.M.E. and B.M. degrees from Bowling Green State University. Previous teaching appointments included West Virginia State University, the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University.

Palton has won first place in several solo competitions, including the Susan Slaughter International Solo Tuba Competition (2010), the International Tuba Euphonium Conference Tuba Artist Competition (2006), the Bowling Green State University Competition in Music Performance (2002) and the National Federation of Music Clubs Orchestral Brass Solo Competition (2001), along with second places at the Susan Slaughter International Solo Brass Competition (2010), and the Potomac Festival Tuba Virtuoso Competition (2006).

He is sought after as a performer and clinician both regionally and throughout the country. He performed at the 2008 International Tuba Euphonium Conference where he premiered Azucar! by Alice Gomez. He also has given solo performances at the 2011 South-East Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference, the 2007 Mid-West Regional and North-East Regional Tuba Euphonium Conferences, and the 2006 Phi Mu Alpha National Convention.

Admission is free and open to the public. For further information about this concert or music at Marshall University, please call 304-696-3117 or email Palton at

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Monday September 12, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist, 304-696-6397

Marshall announces top scoring seniors on national assessment exam

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Last spring more than 90 Marshall University seniors voluntarily took the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), a national assessment examination that measures students' critical thinking, problem solving, analytical reasoning and written communication skills.

"We are very pleased with our students' outstanding scores," Dr. Mary Beth Reynolds, director of assessment, said.  "Congratulations to them as well as to their professors."

The following students scored the highest on the test.  They are listed alphabetically, with their hometowns, majors and colleges:

  • Angelina Browning of Nitro, W.Va., Biomedical Sciences, College of Science

  • Natalie M. Campbell of Nitro, W.Va., Psychology/English, College of Liberal Arts

  • Emma M. McCullough of Zanesville, Ohio, Communication Disorders, College of Health Professions

  • Ellen K. Moore of Knoxville, Tenn., Accounting, Lewis College of Business 

  • Kaitlin M. Reed of Whitehall, Pa., Marketing, Lewis College of Business 

  • Ashley R. Sanders of Barboursville, W.Va., International Affairs, College of Liberal Arts

  • Holyann N. Schiller of Bakersfield, Calif., English,  College of Liberal Arts 

  • William (Josh) Wassum of Spotsylvania, Va., Computer Science, College of Information Technology and Engineering

  • Mikhaela E. Young of Scott Depot, W.Va., Psychology/Humanities, College of Liberal Arts

For more information contact Reynolds at 304-696-2987.

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Saturday September 10, 2011
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Students can learn about meningitis and get vaccinated during Marshall-CHHD clinic

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University students are invited to attend a free informational session to learn more about the risks of meningitis at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Ed Grose Room of the Harless Dining Hall on MU's Huntington campus.

The "Take Your Best Shot" vaccination event will be given by the Cabell-Huntington Health Department with support from the Marshall University Student Health Education Program. According to the health department, college freshmen who live in residence halls have a heightened risk of getting meningococcal disease (meningitis), which often infects the fluid on a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. The disease can cause brain damage, hearing loss, vision loss and even death.


The health department will be offering the vaccine for free to individuals who are 18 years of age and younger. Students 19 or older will pay a fee of $109 for the vaccine. Amy Saunders, coordinator of MU's Student Health Education Program, said the vaccine is highly recommended for students living in close quarters.


"We are thankful to be working with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department to bring information about this disease and the vaccine to our students," Saunders said. "It's important for our students to be made aware that a vaccine can prevent this disease."


According to data from the CHHD, about 2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year in the United States. Anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of these people will die despite treatment with antibiotics.


During Tuesday's event there also will be refreshments, giveaways and opportunities to win gift cards to Kroger, iTunes, Wal-Mart, Target and the Marshall University Bookstore, as well as cards for free fuel.


For more information, contact Elizabeth A. Ayers, MS, Public Information Officer, Cabell-Huntington Health Department, at 304-523-6483 x258 or; or Amy Saunders, Marshall University Student Health Education, at 304-696-4103 or

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Friday September 9, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Visiting Writers Series sets fall readings

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Visiting Writers Series has announced its fall schedule of author appearances.  Noted poets and prose-writers from around the nation and West Virginia will be reading from exciting new work at various locations on the Huntington campus.

Series Coordinator Prof. Art Stringer calls this fall's calendar "our most ambitious yet."  The five events will offer a rich variety of fiction and poetry.

Poets Carrie Oeding and Kent Shaw kick off the series at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in Corbly Hall 105.  Oeding's first book, Our List of Solutions, won the Lester Wolfson Prize and is the premiere book of a new poetry series out of Indiana University South Bend. She currently teaches writing at Marshall.

Shaw is the author of Calenture, published by University of Tampa Press in 2008.  It is a lyric meditation on his experience in the Navy.  He currently teaches at West Virginia State University.

Craig Johnson will appear at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre, located inside the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. He is the author of seven novels.  The Dark Horse received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and was named one of Publisher's Weekly's best books of 2009. Junkyard Dogs and Hell is Empty were recently released by Viking.

A television series based on Johnson's protagonist, Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire, is in development with A&E. He will be on campus as part of several events sponsored by the College of Fine Arts.  He has served as a board member of the Mystery Writers of America and lives in Ucross, Wyo., population 25.

Poets Chad Davidson and Greg Fraser read together at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center.  Davidson is the author of The Last Predicta, winner of the 2008 Crab Orchard Prize in Poetry.  He co-edited with Fraser the popular textbook Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches to Writing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Fraser is the author of two books of poems, Answering the Ruins (Northwestern University Press) and Strange Piete (Texas Tech University Press).  Both teach writing at the University of West Georgia.

National Book Critics Circle Award nominee M. Glenn Taylor will read in the Shawkey Room at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. Taylor is the author of two novels, most recently The Marrowbone Marble Company.  His first novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, also published by Ecco Press, has received a wealth of critical attention and praise.  It prominently features Huntington locations in much of its action.  Taylor teaches English and fiction writing at West Virginia University.

And, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Drinko Library Atrium, An Evening with the MU Creative Writing Faculty will feature a sampling of new work.

Visiting Writers Series readings are free and open to the public.  The series is supported by the Marshall English Department, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Fine Arts, the Marshall Foundation, the law firm of Jenkins-Fenstermaker and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

For more information, contact Stringer in the English Department at 304-696-2403.

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Friday September 9, 2011
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist, 304-696-6397

Marshall University chemistry students sponsor public lecture

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Student members of Alpha Chi Sigma, a national professional chemistry society, are co-sponsoring a public lecture later this month.    

Members of the Gamma Eta chapter are partnering with the Central Ohio Valley section of the American Chemical Society to bring a husband and wife lecture team to the Huntington campus at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 19 in the Memorial Student Center's room BE5.

Dr. James L. Marshall and Virginia "Jenny" R. Marshall will present "Rediscovery of the Elements," a lecture series based on their travels to old laboratories, mines, ancient buildings and houses where they found original elemental discovery sites. Most of the sites are located in Europe. The two researchers have been active in their "Rediscovery of the Elements" project since they married in 1998.  Their research culminated in 2010 with publication of their 10 years of discovery.

Dr. James Marshall received his Ph.D. in 1967 in organic chemistry from Ohio State University and has served as a professor at the University of Texas, Denton for more than 30 years.   Jenny Marshall received her M.Ed. with a specialty in computer science in 1985 from Texas Women's University.  She taught public school for 23 years in Texas.

Light refreshments will be served prior to the lecture, which is open to the public.

For more information contact Dr. Laura McCunn, assistant professor of chemistry, at 304-696-2319.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday September 8, 2011
Contact: Beverly McCoy, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, , 304-691-1713

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation awards major grant to Marshall University's Center for Rural Health

$2.6 million to help Appalachian communities fight type 2 diabetes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has awarded $2.6 million to Marshall University's Center for Rural Health to help diabetes coalitions in 10 Appalachian communities implement effective local solutions to the widespread problem of diabetes.

The coalitions are part of Marshall's Appalachian Diabetes Control and Translation Project, which since 2000 has created 66 such coalitions in nine states through funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Patricia Doykos, director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, announced the five-year grant today at the Appalachian Regional Commission annual conference in Prestonsburg, Ky. The grant is part of the foundation's "Together on Diabetes" program, which supports efforts to develop and expand effective patient self-management programs and to draw whole communities into the fight against type 2 diabetes.

"Type 2 diabetes is one of the United States' greatest health challenges and disproportionately affects the poor, minorities and the elderly," said Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb. " 'Together on Diabetes' draws on the strengths of communities and supports public- and private-sector partners coming together to identify and implement disease management approaches that work for large segments of the population."

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp was pleased with the announcement of the grant.

"Study after study has shown that we have an alarming situation with type 2 diabetes in the areas served by the Marshall University Center for Rural Health," he said. "The awarding of this five-year grant will allow us to continue to work toward effective solutions to our region's unique challenges. We appreciate the vision, collaboration and generosity of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation in assisting us in our work to alleviate a pressing medical need."

Appalachia has a higher rate of diabetes than the nation as a whole, and the problem is especially acute in the rural Appalachian counties classified as "distressed." A recent study showed the rate of diabetes there was more than 1.6 times the national average.

"Diabetes is such a big problem in distressed Appalachian counties in part because lifestyles have changed over the last 20 years," said Richard Crespo of Marshall, who is the project coordinator. "People have become more sedentary, leading to obesity, which is a major risk factor for diabetes. Thus the solution is in the community, not the doctor's office."

The grant will provide support for coalitions in 10 distressed counties, helping them to implement evidence-based programs that promote long-term behavior change and improve the health of people who have type 2 diabetes.

The CDC and ARC will provide training, and Marshall will guide the 10 diabetes coalitions through a planning process, equip them with evidence-based programs, and provide ongoing technical assistance. Marshall also will evaluate the program, looking at the coalitions themselves, changes in their communities, and improvements in patients' diabetes health.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday September 8, 2011
Contact: Dr. Corley Dennison, , 304-696-2809

Marshall's School of Journalism and Mass Communications launches four new graduate programs

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications is offering a new Master of Arts in Journalism with a Health Care Public Relations emphasis and three new 15-hour graduate certificate programs in Digital Communications, Integrated Strategic Communications and Media Management.

Dr. Corley Dennison, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said the new programs are designed to meet the expectations of the 21st Century workforce and represent the changing face of the media.

The new Health Care Public Relations emphasis is designed to meet the growing demand for public relations campaigns for medical services and organizations, writing and tactics for health care audiences and the use of social media in health care promotions. The program will accommodate individuals with or without previous experience in the field.

Graduate certificate programs may be completed as stand-alone, 15-hour programs to expand an individual's skill set or as part of a master's degree. The courses in each program target specific areas that will help students augment their knowledge or skills, advance their careers or pursue personal enrichment. The journalism and mass communications programs focus on print media, broadcast facilities and many forms of converged media including websites, blogs and social media.

Application to the programs is completed through Marshall University's Graduate College. Further information and an online application may be found online at

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday September 7, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, , 304-746-3296

Mountain Voice Quartet cancels Sunday performance

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Mountain Voice Quartet that was scheduled to appear on Marshall University's Huntington campus Sunday, Sept. 11, in Smith Music Hall has had to cancel its performance, according to Dr. Jeffrey Pappas, director of Marshall's Department of Music. The group has not rescheduled the appearance at this time.

Direct Link to This Release

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

Constitution Week at Marshall features series of events

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will celebrate Constitution Week this year with a series of events on the Huntington campus, including the popular quoits tournament, a panel discussion on open government, a presentation from a retired trial judge who is an expert on civil rights and juvenile justice and a keynote address from MU President Stephen J. Kopp.

Constitution Week at Marshall is an annual observance to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution and the contributions of Chief Justice John Marshall, for whom the university is named. Constitution Week activities at Marshall, sponsored by the John Deaver Drinko Academy, start Monday, Sept. 12, and run periodically through Thursday, Sept. 22.

"Constitution Week was started by United States Senator Robert C. Byrd in order to draw attention to the important document that our system of government is based upon," said Dr. Alan Gould, executive director of Marshall's Drinko Academy. "Included within federal legislation that was passed in 2004 was a provision requiring educational institutions that receive federal funds to set some time aside on or near the September 17th anniversary of the document's signing to study the United States Constitution."

Registration and practice for a quoits tournament open to faculty, staff, students, fraternities and sororities takes place Sept. 12 at the west end of Buskirk Field, where the pits are located. Quoits, a game in which rings of iron are pitched at stakes much like horseshoes, was the favorite game of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Competition begins Tuesday, Sept. 13 with the finals on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The President's Invitational Quoits Media Challenge, featuring MU President Stephen J. Kopp and members of the news media, is at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 14.

"The President's Quoits Media Challenge is a lot of fun," Gould said. "They take it seriously. That was never more evident than last year when the tournament was played in a steady rain. Everybody was soaked, but they had a really good time." The team of Tim Irr and Keith Morehouse from WSAZ-3 is the defending champion.

Prior to the President's Quoits Media Challenge, at 11 a.m., a large cake celebrating John Marshall's birthday will be served on the Memorial Student Center plaza. President Kopp will cut the cake and the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps will perform.

Here is a look at other Constitution Week events planned at Marshall University:

Monday, Sept. 19

4:30 p.m. - The winner of the Judge Dan O'Hanlon Constitution Week and John Marshall Celebration Essay Competition will be announced during a ceremony in the John Marshall Dining Room in the Memorial Student Center.

Tuesday, Sept. 20

2 p.m. - Judge Gordon A. Martin Jr. will be speaking about his book "Count Them One by One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote" in the Memorial Student Center Shawkey Room. Martin is a retired Massachusetts trial judge and former first assistant U.S. attorney, former special assistant to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and co-author of a civil rights case book.

Martin filed the first major voting rights case in Mississippi for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, and "Count Them One by One" is based on that case. 

Wednesday, Sept. 21

2:30 p.m. - A panel discussion titled "Openness: From the routine business of state and local government to national security issues," will take place in Room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center. Ed Dawson, editor and publisher of The Herald-Dispatch, will moderate the discussion.

Panelists include:

  • Tod Boettner, founding executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

  • David Herzog, a veteran investigative reporter, data journalist and educator who has reported for The Providence Journal, The Baltimore Sun and The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.

  • Joseph Thornton, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety

  • Thomas Kirk, director of the Intelligence/Fusion Center as part of Homeland Security in West Virginia

"It's going to be a great program," Gould said. "We have people (on the panel) who have great credentials and perhaps different opinions. It's all about the public's right to know and what are the limitations. How open should a state government be? It's a great opportunity for people to come out and talk about these vital issues."

Thursday, Sept. 22

12:30 p.m. - The Robert C. Byrd Forum on Civic Responsibility in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre. The guest speaker will be Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp.

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

Marshall University professor edits new collection of essays

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter, a professor of humanities and anthropology and director of the graduate humanities program at Marshall University, is the co-editor of a new collection of essays, "Explorations in Cultural Anthropology," that reviews current anthropological themes such as language, kinship, gender and belief systems.   The essays are written by anthropologists, journalists and scholars in other disciplines.

Lassiter's partner on the project is Dr. Colleen Boyd, an associate professor of anthropology at Ball State University.

"This was an exciting book to work on, especially because Dr. Boyd and I have discussed, researched and taught about many of these issues for years," Lassiter said. "Several of the essays are classic anthropological essays, but most are contemporary writings that students will enjoy reading."

Lassiter says the idea for the book was an outgrowth of one of his previous books, "Invitation to Anthropology," which Boyd uses in her anthropology courses at Ball State.

"Dr. Lassiter is one of our most prolific faculty," noted Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "We are proud that he is a member of our college for the depth of insight he brings to his courses."

The book's publisher is AltaMira Press and the book is available for purchase at

For more information contact  Lassiter at 304-746-1923.

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Thursday September 1, 2011
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Technology Transfer Office to present intellectual property seminar, introduce online invention disclosure system

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Technology Transfer Office (TTO) will present a free seminar from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in Room 402 of the Drinko Library on Marshall's campus in Huntington.

The program will begin with an overview of the main areas of intellectual property law (patent, trademark and copyright) and will continue with a focus specifically on patent protection in a university setting. The program will cover not only the statutory requirements for obtaining a patent, but also will include discussions about university ownership of inventions; the differences between a patent application and a technical publication; the differences between inventorship and authorship; issues to consider to preserve patent rights in an academic setting; and determining if an invention is ready for patenting.

The session will be led by attorney Terry Wright of the firm Stites & Harbison PLLC in Louisville, Ky. He is one of 16 registered patent attorneys at the firm and is a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Service Group. His practice focuses on patent‐related aspects of intellectual property, including patent drafting, patent prosecution, and counseling clients about infringement, validity and patentability.

Wright has a background in life sciences and experience with academic research in the areas of cardiovascular biology, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology and biotechnology. He counsels companies and university technology transfer/licensing offices regarding strategies for protecting patent‐based intellectual property.

Wright's presentation will be followed by an introduction of the TTO's new online invention disclosure system and a brief review of the technology transfer process at Marshall University, led by Amy Melton, TTO assistant director.

The program is free but reservations are requested. Send reservations to For more information, contact Melton at 304-696-4365.

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Thursday September 1, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall to test MU Alert emergency messaging system

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -Marshall University communications officials will conduct a test of the MU Alert emergency messaging system at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Marshall community members who are subscribed to MU Alert are asked to be sure that they have received the message that morning. If a message has not been received by noon, a subscriber should review and update his or her contact information in the myMU/MU Alert Web interface. If this contact information was already correct, but a message was still not received, then he or she should send an e-mail to with details on which contact method (text, e-mail, voice) did not work as expected.

"This test is part of our plan to test the system at least once per semester," said Jim Terry, director of public safety for the university. "As always, our primary concern is protecting the safety and health of university community members."

The most recent test of the system occurred Jan. 20.

The MU Alert system, which is operated by Marshall in partnership with third-party vendor Everbridge, allows Marshall students, faculty and staff to provide several methods for the university to use when making emergency contacts. Most common are text messages, cell phone calls and e-mail. Those in the active Marshall community (faculty, staff and students) who would like to subscribe or update their information for this test are asked to visit the myMU page at, log in, click on the MU Alert red triangle and complete their subscription or update by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6. Others external to the campuses or centers (i.e. news media, alumni, campus neighbors) should watch other outlets, such as the Marshall website, Twitter, Facebook, etc., for relevant news releases.

Everbridge is a leading provider of emergency notification services to colleges and universities, health care systems, government agencies and municipalities.

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Thursday September 1, 2011
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, , 304-696-3296

MU music faculty member to present paper in UK

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Vicki Pierce Stroeher, associate professor of music at Marshall University, was invited to present her paper, " 'Without any tune': The Role of the Discursive Shift in Britten's Interpretation of Poetry" at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom at the "Literary Britten" Conference.

She will be reading the paper Saturday, Sept. 3.

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was a 20th century English composer of the operas Peter Grimes, Billy Budd, and the Turn of the Screw, as well as a number of other vocal and instrumental works. Stroeher said she is particularly interested in his songs and song cycles, and so most of her research over the years has focused on these and the intersection between poetry and music. This particular paper explores Britten's musical language and how he uses that language to interpret poetry. The paper will be published as part of a new book series.

"I first fell in love with Britten's works in college and have been researching Britten since my earliest days in graduate school," Stroeher said. "Being invited to present at this conference dedicated to his work is both an honor and a confirmation of my research efforts. I am humbled by it, but also excited about the opportunity to share my work with other Britten scholars."

Stroeher received her Ph.D. in musicology in 1994 from the University of North Texas. Her dissertation was titled "Form and Meaning in Benjamin Britten's Sonnet Cycles."  She received a bachelor's degree in music history and a bachelor's in music education from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, in 1981, and pursued additional studies at Indiana University and Goldsmith's College, University of London.

Additionally, Stroeher will be in residence at the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh, England, for the month of September, working on transcribing and editing a volume of correspondence between Britten and his recital partner Peter Pears, with two colleagues from the Britten-Pears Library, Lucy Walker and Jude Brimmer.

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Thursday September 1, 2011
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall's Week of Service begins Sunday, Sept. 11

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Week of Service, a time when students do volunteer work on campus and in the community, begins on Sunday, Sept. 11, according to Elizabeth Sheets, coordinator of MU's Office of Community Engagement.

Marshall's week of service, called United We Serve, begins on the day that has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

"We're encouraging our students to give back to the community," Sheets said. "With the national commitment to serve, we've decided to participate as well."

Sheets said students may take on projects on their own, call her at 304-696-2285 if they need ideas, or e-mail for ideas and suggestions.

"We would like for people to contact my office and let us know how individuals and organizations plan to participate," Sheets said. "Then, those who actually go out into the community should contact my office and let me know what they've done."

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