December 2012 News Releases

Tuesday December 18, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Winners announced in holiday design contest at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall University students Rachel Moyer of Proctorville, Ohio, Doug Hawley of Charleston and a group of four students in an advanced video production class received first-place honors in this year's annual holiday design contest for students, sponsored by MU President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp and his wife, Jane.
The competition included categories for a holiday card, a commemorative plate and a digital greeting.
 Moyer, a junior graphic design major in the College of Fine Arts, School of Art and Design, was the first-place winner in the card design. Hawley, also a junior in the School of Art and Design, won the plate competition.
The first-place video was designed by David Pelts of Huntington, Morgan Thompson of Lucasville, Ohio, Kaitlyn Smith of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Christina Dotson, also of Parkersburg. The video can be seen at
 Students in Brent Patterson's advanced digital media class grouped up into teams to make the holiday videos. In addition, guitar students of Dr. Julio Alves collaborated with the teams and performed the music specifically for this project. Those students were Danilo Moraes and Jonathan Thorne.
"The students in this class are new to video and animation and as such had to overcome many technical as well as conceptual challenges, but that is how learning happens, and they all did very well," Patterson said. In addition to the holiday card video, Patterson said, the students in the class created several short animations and short films.
In the card competition, Rebecca Keith of Mineral Wells, W.Va., was second and third place went to John Ross Fowler of Scott Depot, W.Va. Felicia Stephenson of Charleston received honorable mention.
 In the plate competition, Fowler was second, Emma Nilsson of Huntington was third and Kacy Manilla of Huntington received honorable mention.
Two groups totaling seven students tied for the digital greeting runner-up spot. The students are David Burner of Huntington, Enam Banaja of Barboursville, Adam Howell of Hurricane, W.Va., Katie Abbott of South Charleston, Ola El-Abed of Huntington, Joe Nelson of Barboursville and David Lovejoy of Huntington.
 Members of the third-place group in the video competition were Nilsson, Benjamin Joel Richardson of Huntington, Sam Pauley of Barboursville and Margaryta Seliverstova of Huntington.
 President and Mrs. Kopp began the card design and plate design competition in 2007 as a way of recognizing the talent of Marshall's students. The plates are given to the most generous donors while the cards go out to all the people on the mailing list. About 75 plates and about 1,000 print cards are issued each year.
Photos: (Above) From left are Byron Clercx, chair of Marshall's department of art and design; students Kacy Manilla and Rachel Moyer; MU President Stephen J. Kopp; and students John Fowler and Felicia Stephenson. Moyer took first place in the card design competition. (Middle) From left are Byron Clercx; student Emma Nilsson; President Kopp; and students Doug Hawley and John Fowler. Hawley won the plate design competition while Nilsson's group was third in the video competition.(Below) From left are Brent Patterson, professor of graphic design and new media; students Christina Dotson and Kaitlyn Smith; President Kopp; students Morgan Thompson and David Pelts; and Byron Clercx. These four students made up the winning group in the video competition.

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Tuesday December 18, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Alpha Natural Resources presents Marshall Foundation with gift of $20,000 to support engineering majors in CITE

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Monday December 17, 2012
Contact: Leah Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall University School of Pharmacy receives diversity grant from Walgreens

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -The Marshall University School of Pharmacy has received a $10,000 diversity grant from Walgreens as part of the national pharmacy chain's Diversity Donation program.  

Half of the funding will be distributed as scholarships to students of underrepresented minority groups and to a student who embraces diversity and promotes inclusion initiatives on campus.   In addition, the grant will be used to facilitate "pipeline" programs aimed at increasing the enrollment of diverse groups at the school of pharmacy.

"Walgreens has shown its dedication to ensuring the next generation of pharmacists understands the importance of being educated in a truly diverse environment," said Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy.  "Student body diversity better prepares our future health care professionals to treat people of all backgrounds."

"We are so pleased that Walgreens has selected Marshall as one of the recipients for this grant," said Dr. Shelvy L. Campbell, director of diversity programs at Marshall's School of Pharmacy. "The funding allows us to build on the diversity initiatives that are central to our mission."

Dr. Debra Harris, a pharmacy supervisor with Walgreens, presented the school with the grant in December.

"Walgreens is excited to support diversity initiatives at schools around the country," she said.  "We look forward to working with Marshall University as it develops its new program."

The scholarships will be available for the 2013-2014 academic year.


Photo: Dr. H. Glenn Anderson (second from left), associate dean of academic and curricular affairs, accepts a diversity grant packet from Dr. Debra Harris, pharmacy supervisor, Walgreens. Also pictured are Dr. Robert Stanton, assistant dean, Office of Experiential Learning (left), and  Dr. Shelvy Campbell, director of diversity (right).

Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University 

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Saturday December 15, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Marshall graduate students hooded in special ceremony in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Master's and doctoral level Marshall University students who took classes on the South Charleston campus were hooded Thursday evening in a special ceremony.

More than 160 students were eligible to be hooded during the ceremony, which was held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on the West Side of Charleston. Marshall University's Associate Vice President for Outreach and Continuing Studies, Dr. Rudy Pauley, served as the guest speaker

Within the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development: 
  • Twelve students earned master's degrees in Adult and Technical Education. They are Kristy Michele Abel, Interdisciplinary Studies; Zahra Mohammed Alqahtani, Training and Development; Jared Barker, Adult Education; Serena M. Burdette, Career and Technical Education; Julie Hagan, Adult Education; Aaron M. Hill, Interdisciplinary Studies; Melanie Hough, Career and Technical Education; Joshua Robertson, Training and Development; Joy Michele Robinson, Adult Education; Alma Rodriquez, Training and Development; Amy Saxton, Training and Development; and Mona Lisa Templeton, Career and Technical Education.
  • Thirty-three students earned master's degrees in Counseling. They are Maria Aiello, Mental Health Counseling; Marion L. Anderson, Mental Health Counseling; Tammy Lynn Angle, Mental Health Counseling; Jennifer G. Bird, School Counseling; Jennifer Brooke Bogar, Mental Health Counseling; Tyler Ross Burns, Mental Health Counseling; Erin Chaffin, School Counseling; Noelle R. Chafin, School Counseling; Carl Chinn, Mental Health Counseling, James E. Clark, II, School Counseling; Keith Cole, Mental Health Counseling; Kelly Marie Crabtree, Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; Lucy Cruickshanks, Correctional Counseling; Brittany Davis, Mental Health Counseling; Danielle Ford, Mental Health Counseling; Samantha Fox, School Counseling; Stephen Givens, Mental Health Counseling; Guidon Stephen Grundlehner, School Counseling; Scott Johnson, School Counseling; Sarah Jordan, Mental Health Counseling; Estzer Kiss, Mental Health Counseling; Andrea Koutsunis, Mental Health Counseling; Latisha June Marcum, School Counseling; Katrina Matney, Mental Health Counseling; Susan Merrill, Mental Health Counseling; Alana Reveal, Correctional Counseling; Brittany Rose, School Counseling; Holly Sanders, School Counseling; Toni Renee Sayre, School Counseling; Mary Jo Selbe, Mental Health Counseling; Amanda Shrewsbury, School Counseling; Ben H. Smith, Mental Health Counseling; and Erica D. Wilson, School Counseling.
  • Two students earned master's degrees in Early Childhood Education. They are Connie L. Bowers and Kristi M. French.
  • Thirteen students earned their master's degrees in Elementary Education. They are Samantha J. Dolson, Early Childhood Education; Donna Marie Ferguson, Math through Algebra I; Rhonda Renee France, Math through Algebra I; Briana Friend, Individual Plan of Study; Beth Graves, School Library Media; Danielle S. Lee, Middle Childhood Education; Angela Mellace, Lindsay Paxton, Individual Plan of Study; Cassandra K. Richardson, Leah Elise White, Brandi L. Wilson, Math through Algebra I; Bryan Wilson, and Marcella Charlotte Wright.
  • Twenty-six students earned a master's degree in Leadership Studies. They are Tammy Brown, Principalship; Douglas C. Cipoletti, Principalship; Kenneth E. Cooper, Leadership Specialist; Lauren Edwards, Leadership Specialist; Derek Franklin, Principalship; Travis Heavner, Principalship,; Kristy Ann Johnson, Principalship; Christina Marie Jones, Principalship; Christina Demetrice Laing, Principalship; Russell L. Lippencott, Leadership Specialist; Christina Michelle Lowers, Principalship; Kyre-Anna Minney, Principalship; Tony Minney, Principalship; Jessica Pierson, Principalship; Lindsey Quesenberry, Principalship; Britni Ramsey, Principalship; Matthew Ray Riggs, Principalship; Christy Ann Roy Principalship; Jeffery A. Sanders, Principalship; Matthew J. Shock, Principalship; Timothy Skelton, Leadership Specialist; Jennifer Spencer, Principalship; Eric D. Staats, Principalship; Jenae VanHoose, Principalship; Kristianna Venderlic, Justice Leadership; and Charles Wentz, Principalship.
  • Nine students earned master's degrees in Reading Education. They are Donna Marie Atwood, Megan B. Burdick, Shelia Jane Coleman, Katherine Davis, Christine Fletcher,  Amber Gillenwater, Peggy Huffman, Rebecca A. Spencer and Susan Velte.
  • Twelve students earned master's degrees in Secondary Education. They are Christine Bird, Teaching English as a Second Language; Teresa Jo Boggs, Instructional Processes and Strategies; Chris Coughlin, Middle Childhood Education; Ashley Dalton, School Library Media; Kristin Mae English, Online Program; Adam R. Hunt, Online Program; Madalyn Oltman, Individualized Plan of Study; Angela D. Peck, Online Program; Kristen Personius, Educational Computing; Sarah Jo Roberts, School Library Media; Amber Ullman, Individualized Plan of Study and Rhonda Wood, Individualized Plan of Study.
  • Ten students earned master's degrees in Special Education. They are Orlando Dowell, Multi-Categorical; Sarah Kingery, Autism; Autumn B. Lisle, Multi-Categorical; Karen Elmore Messinger, Multi-Categorical; Sherri Morgan, Multi-Categorical; Brandy Pickens, Pre School; Gloria Richardson, Pre School; Kelly Sandy, Multi-Categorical, Abby Stevens, Multi-Categorical; and Shirley Succurro Skaggs, Multi-Categorical.
  • Fourteen students earned master's degrees in Teaching. They are Krystal Cook, Ronald Donahoe, Robin Feldhake, Christopher J. Harris, Angela Dawn Litton, Marc D. Lowe, Tally Mainland, Robert E. McPeak, Katheryn Prussia, Susan L. Slappe, David Alan Stewart, Daniel Tench, Guy Vann and Bridget Ward.
  • Eight students earned an Education Specialist Degree. They are Jacob Bolen, Curriculum and Instruction; Elbert Davis, Curriculum and Instruction; Beth Peterson, Curriculum and Instruction; Shelly Ann Ratliff, Curriculum and Instruction; Melissa Raye Rhodes, Curriculum and Instruction; Christopher Trotter, Adult and Technical Education; Myra Beam, School Psychology; and Rachel K. Wakefield, School Psychology.
  • Seven students earned doctoral degrees. The titles of their dissertations are in italic. They are Rachael Alley, A Case Study of Athletic Training Educators' Sports Care Responsibilities, Service, and Professional Advancement in Athletic Training Education Programs; Jean Chappell, Study of Prior Learning Assessment in Degree Completion; Sarah Lee, A Descriptive Study of Response to Intervention (RTI) Implementation at the Elementary Levels in West Virginia; Carol Perry, Creating Pathways for Low-Skill Adults: Lessons for Community and Technical Colleges from a Longitudinal Study; Calisa Pierce, Best Instructional Practices in Development Education: Faculty Perceptions; Hannah Toney, The Perceived Self-Efficacy of West Virginia Public Elementary School Teachers to Teach Character Education; and Brenda Tuckwiller, Teacher Perspectives on Performance Based Student Assessment in Career and Technical Education in West Virginia Public Schools.

Within the Marshall University Graduate College:

  • Six students earned master's degrees in Psychology. They are Danielle Brooks, Jena Hatmaker, Heather Julian, Krista Miller, Whitney Pressley and Kelly Tyda.

Within the College of Business Graduate School of Management:

  • Eight students earned master's degrees in Health Care Administration. They are Rebecca Browning, Rodrigo Camargo, Thaisa Camargo, Pamela Meadows, Brooke Miller, Ryanne Nichols, Gary Salyers and Chelsie Slack.
  • Three students earned master's degrees in Human Resource Management. They are Kasie Ray, Chelsie Slack and Jenna Workman.

Marshall University's Winter Commencement will take place in the Cam Henderson Center on the Huntington campus at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.


Photo: Kristen Personius receives her hood from Dr. Lisa Heaton, professor of elementary and secondary education. Students earning master's and doctoral degrees from Marshall University were hooded in a special ceremony in Charleston Dec. 13.
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Wednesday December 12, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

WMUL students collect 20 awards in four contests

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students from WMUL-FM, Marshall University's public radio station, received 20 awards in their past four contests, the station's faculty manager announced today.

Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, professor of Radio-Television Production and Management in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said the students received the following:

  • One  first-place award and one finalist award in the 2012 College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) National Student Radio Production Awards.
  • A Finalist Award in the 2012 Pinnacle National Awards Competition.
  • Four Platinum Awards, five Gold Awards and four Honorable Mention Awards in the MarCom Creative Awards 2012 Competition.
  • Four Silver Awards in the Eighth Annual International Davey Awards Competition for 2012.  

Here is a look at WMUL's award-winning entries:

CBI awards

First place

Best Radio Newcast - "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," broadcast Thursday,  Oct. 6, 2011.  Participating students were: Adam Rogers, a junior from Charleston, producer; Aaron Payne, a senior from Winfield, anchor; Leannda Carey, a graduate student from Wellsburg, anchor; Jerry Smith, a senior from Huntington, weather; and Kyle Gibson, a junior from Bluefield, sports anchor.


Best Podcast - "The Conference USA Report:  Halloween Spooktacular," broadcast Friday, Oct. 28, 2011.  The students who participated were: Scott Hall, a recent graduate from Huntington, host; Adam Rogers, reporter; Jarrod Clay, a senior from Barboursville, reporter; Hunter Morrison, a sophomore from Huntington, reporter; Kyle Gibson, reporter; Joshua Rose, a junior from Olney, Md., reporter; Marcus Constantino, a junior from Bluefield, reporter; and Andrew Harrison, a sophomore from Toms River, N.J., reporter.

Pinnacle awards


Best Radio Sportscast - WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University versus East Carolina University football game played at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, West Virginia, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011.  Students calling the game were: Aaron Payne, play-by-play; Adam Rogers, color; Leannda Carey, sideline reporter; Scott Hall, engineer.

MarCom awards


Public Affairs Program - "Minding the Meters:  Huntington Municipal Parking Board," written and produced by Leannda Carey, was  broadcast during "Aircheck" Thursday, April 28, 2011.

News Package/Podcast - "Graffiti on Campus," by Josie Landgrave, a sophomore from Huntington, broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Friday, April 1, 2011, and made available online Monday, April 4, 2011.

Sports Package/Podcast - ""The Cato-Shuler Connection," written and produced by Leannda Carey, was broadcast during the pre-game show for Marshall at Ohio University football from Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, and made available online the same day.

Magazine Program - "In the Know:  Marshall This Week," with hosts Adam Rogers Aaron Payne, broadcast Friday, April 8, 2011.


Newscast - "The 5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," broadcast Friday, April 1, 2011. Participating students were: Brittany Barnes, a senior from Hurricane, producer; Leannda Carey, anchor; Adam Cavalier, a master's graduate from Montgomery, anchor; and Jarrod Clay, sports anchor.

News Feature Package/Podcast - "The Fife and Drum Corps," by Jimmy Sanders, a senior from Stroudsburg, Pa., broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, and also made available online Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. 

Sports Package/Podcast - "Coach Geth," by Aaron Payne, was broadcast during "The 5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88" Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012,  and made available online the same day.

Sports Program - "The Conference USA Report:  Halloween Spooktacular," broadcast Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. 

Sports Play-by-Play - WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University versus the University of Memphis women's basketball game played at Cam Henderson Center in Huntington Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012.  The students calling the game were: Aaron Payne, play-by-play; Adam Rogers, color, Bennett Siffrin, a junior from New Martinsville, and Peter Wilson, a senior from Charleston, engineers.

Honorable Mention

Public Service Announcement -- "West Virginia Literacy," an in-house public service announcement broadcast in WMUL-FM's Public Service Announcement rotation from Tuesday, April 12, 2011, through the present time, was written and produced by Brittany Barnes.

Sports Play-by-Play - WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University versus East Carolina University football game played at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Students calling the game were: Aaron Payne, play-by-play; Adam Rogers, color; Leannda Carey, sideline reporter; and Scott Hall, engineer

Sports Play-by-Play -- WMUL-FM's broadcast of the Marshall University versus West Virginia University football game played at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2012. Students calling the game were: Adam Rogers, play-by-play; Aaron Payne, color; Leannda Carey, sideline reporter; and Scott Hall, engineer.

Comedy Program - "Mecha Colossus, Episode 3" or "A Geographical Challenger Appears," a comedy program broadcast Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, written and produced by Morgan Shillingburg, a recent graduate from Charleston, Adam Rogers and Aaron Payne.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment to be recognized as having broadcast one of the best public affairs programs in the country concerning Huntington's Municipal Parking Board, a news wrap-up program as well as producing another long line of solid news and sports packages," Bailey said. "WMUL-FM student broadcasters were acknowledged as having written and produced a highly regarded newscast, a compelling weekly football preview program, and an exciting women's college basketball game. I am proud and grateful for the honor these MarCom Creative Platinum, Gold and Honorable Mention Awards bestow on WMUL-FM, the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and Marshall University."

Davey awards


Radio News Feature Package -- "The Fife and Drum Corps," by Jimmy Sanders, broadcast during the "5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, and also made available online Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. 

Radio Sports Package - "The Cato-Shuler Connection," written and produced by Leannda Carey, was broadcast during the pre-game show for Marshall at Ohio University football from Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.

Radio Public Service Announcement - "West Virginia Literacy," an in-house public service announcement broadcast in WMUL-FM's Public Service Announcement rotation from Tuesday, April 12, 2011, through the present time, was written and produced by Brittany Barnes, a senior from Hurricane.

Radio Comedy Program - "The Patrick and Alex Show:  The Hunger Games," written and produced by Patrick Webb, a recent graduate from Huntington; Alex Constantino, a recent graduate from Parkersburg; Kyle Hobstetter, a recent master's degree graduate from Portsmouth, Ohio; A. Jay Meadows, a senior from Madison; Brittany Barnes, Tyler Kes, a senior from Burnsville, Minn., Aaron Payne and Aaron Rogers.
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Wednesday December 12, 2012
Contact: Ryan Warner, Study Abroad Advisor, 304-696-2379

Marshall senior receives scholarship to study abroad

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Matthew Walker, a history and Japanese major at Marshall University from Charleston, W.Va., has been selected to receive a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to participate in a study abroad program during the spring 2013 academic term. He will study at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan, through Marshall's bilateral exchange program.

The Gilman scholarship program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Institute of International Education (IIE) serves as the administrator of the program, which is headquartered in IIE's Houston, Texas, office. 

Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs. 

Since the establishment of the Gilman program by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, more than 13,000 students nationwide have received this prestigious award. Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, "Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community."

Recipients of the scholarship have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies - making them better prepared to assume leadership roles in government and the private sector. According to IIE President Allan Goodman, "International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace."

A complete list of selected Gilman Scholarship recipients, including each student's home state, university and country of study, is available at
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Tuesday December 11, 2012
Contact: Leah Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall University School of Medicine researchers study Vitamin C deficiencies in patients on blood-thinning medication

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A case study published by two Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine researchers shows that patients taking warfarin, an anticoagulant medication, may inadvertently be limiting their vitamin C intake because of dietary restrictions associated with the medicine.

The clinical study by Dr. Lynne Goebel, professor of medicine, and Dr. George Yousef, a first-year resident in the Department of Internal Medicine, was accepted for publication in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and released online Dec. 2.

According to the study, patients taking the drug warfarin are often told to monitor their intake of vitamin K-containing foods since vitamin K lessens the blood thinning effects of the medication. These dietary restrictions may cause patients to inadvertently limit their intake of other nutrients, including vitamin C.

"To my knowledge, this is the only case of vitamin C deficiency in a patient taking warfarin reported in the literature," Goebel said.  "Hopefully the publication will raise awareness for this problem and lead other physicians to consider this diagnosis in their patients taking warfarin."

The case study profiled a 64-year old female patient whose clinical presentation included a rash on both upper legs that was not associated with any pain, itching or history of trauma. The patient also denied contact with any plants or new soaps or lotions. Subsequent testing revealed vitamin C deficiency.

A diet low in vitamin C can lead to a variety of health issues including bleeding gums, poor wound healing, and rashes, commonly known as scurvy.

"I hope patients will make sure they are taking in food with vitamin C, although any dietary change should be monitored by their doctor," Goebel said.  "The new recommendations for diet advice in patients taking warfarin is to take in a consistent amount of food with vitamin K rather than avoiding this food altogether."

Goebel has undertaken a larger study on vitamin deficiencies in people taking the drug warfarin to assess if the problem is more widespread.

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Friday December 7, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Winter commencement 2012 to honor nearly 1,200 MU graduates

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will honor nearly 1,200 graduates from July and August 2012, and students who are tentatively scheduled to graduate this month at the annual Winter Commencement Sunday, Dec. 16, at Cam Henderson Center on the Huntington campus. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m.

Among the 1,193 students who received or are about to receive degrees are 756 undergraduates and 433 with graduate degrees. About 400 students have indicated they plan to participate in the ceremony. They will receive congratulations from President Stephen J. Kopp and be presented with a scroll by their academic dean.

Registrar Roberta Ferguson said 191 students will graduate with honors. Twenty-four will graduate summa cum laude (3.85 to 4.0 GPA), 59 magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.84 GPA), and 99 cum laude (3.3 to 3.59 GPA).

One student receiving an associate degree will graduate with high honors, and eight associate degree recipients will graduate with honors.

Based on tentative grade point averages, three students will complete their baccalaureate degrees with perfect 4.0 GPAs. They are Kimberly Michelle Frazier of Cross Lanes, W.Va., Sarah Luliana Moawad of Winfield, W.Va., and Trevor Bartlett Stone of Huntington, W.Va.

Marshall began conducting a winter graduation ceremony in 2008 with a convocation at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. The speaker was Dr. Montserrat Miller, a professor of history. Winter commencement began in 2009 and the tradition of having an MU professor deliver the keynote address continued.

Previous commencement speakers were Dr. Simon Perry, professor of political science, in 2009; Dr. Bonita Lawrence, professor of mathematics, in 2010; and Dr. Jamie Warner, professor of political science, in 2011.

This year's speaker is Dan Hollis, an associate professor of journalism who recently was named the 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching West Virginia Professor of the Year.

Hollis received the 2011 Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award at Marshall, and received the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001. In addition, he has taken first place in six consecutive years, and seven of the past eight, in the News/Sports/Public Affairs category of the National Broadcasting Society and Alpha Rho Epsilon Professional Electronic Media Awards.

Hollis joined Marshall in the fall of 1999. He was born in southwestern Indiana and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Indiana in 1983. During college and after graduation, he worked at WFIE-TV in Evansville, Ind., as an award-winning photographer, producer and reporter. In 1989, he became a freelance videographer, often shooting recruiting videos for major colleges and universities.

In 1996, Hollis decided to return to school to pursue his true love: teaching. He received his master's degree in communications from the University of Kentucky in 1997 and taught there two years before joining Marshall.

DVDs Available

Marshall University will produce a DVD of the winter commencement ceremony that can be purchased for $20. Orders may be submitted using the DVD order form on the registrar's office website ( Orders also will be accepted Dec. 16 at Henderson Center. The Marshall University Alumni Association will process the DVD orders.


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

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Friday December 7, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications,, 304-746-1989

Marshall University Executive MBA students hooded in special ceremony

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Seventeen professional students in Marshall University's Executive Master of Business Administration class were honored this week during a special hooding ceremony at the Charleston Marriott.

Timothy R. Duke, president and CEO of Steel of West Virginia, Inc., delivered the keynote address. Duke has more than 39 years of progressive management experience and has been employed at Steel of West Virginia, Inc., since 1987.VThe company is a multi-plant steel manufacturer with sales of approximately $365 million and is the largest wholly owned subsidiary of Steel Dynamics Inc., which has $8 billion in sales. Duke is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and received his Master of Business Administration from Duquesne University. He serves on a number of boards, including the Marshall University College of Business.

The students were formally hooded with their academic regalia during the ceremony by Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp with assistance from College of Business Associate Dean Margie McInerney.

"This ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of our professional business students in a formal, professional setting befitting the hard work and dedication that went into earning their Executive MBA degrees," said Dr. Uday Tate, director of the Executive MBA program. "They have studied together for more than 60 Saturdays on the South Charleston campus. We are proud of these professionals, we appreciate the sacrifices they made to advance their education and careers, and we expect great things from them."

The cohort has successfully completed all the requirements of the Executive MBA program in 16 months including a recent international residency in Santiago, Chile. Duane Jackson, a customer service manager with AT&T in Huntington, was pleased with the recent trip to Chile.

"The Marshall University international trip was the highlight of the MBA program. The class time and visits to the Chilean companies gave me a quality insight into how business transactions are accomplished outside the U.S.," Jackson said. "The Chilean tour was an excellent way of bringing together principles taught in the program and showing applications in the real world."

Richard Hardy, chief financial officer at First Sentry Bank in Huntington, agreed.

"It was an exciting and informative trip that allowed us to experience and learn about international trade and business while also providing time to enjoy the culture of Chile," Hardy said. "The trip was a lesson that will serve us well should we venture overseas for business or pleasure in the future."

The Marshall University Executive MBA cohort, Class of 2012, includes: Jami Barker of Elkview, Kevin Chattin of Ona, Dallas Enoch of Charleston, Nathan Godby of Huntington, Richard Hardy of Huntington, Duane Jackson of Huntington, Arash Kayfan, M.D., of Chesapeake, Ohio, James Kirk of Huntington, Tara Martinez of Charleston, Dustin Noble of Huntington, Christopher Orndorff of Barboursville, William Pritt of Hurricane, Brian Rodgers of Ronceverte, Nathan Rose of Charleston, Jason Swann of Williamson, Andrew Varney of Huntington and Wesley Sears of Point Pleasant.


Photo: The Marshall University Executive MBA cohort, Class of 2012, after their hooding ceremony at the Charleston Marriott Dec. 2.

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Thursday December 6, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Thundering Word finishes third in Ohio State tournament

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Thundering Word speech and debate team placed third in a field of 28 colleges and universities Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Ohio State Holiday Frolic Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. It was Marshall's final tournament of the fall season.

"This is the best performance the young Thundering Word has had at a regional tournament in the five years I have been coaching," said the team's coach, Danny Ray. "Practically every ballot placed us in the top three in the round that scores points. Several squads that placed below us had 40 or more entries compared to Marshall's 25."

Western Kentucky was the overall champion and North Central College of Chicago was second. Marshall outscored several squads with much larger entries, including Ball State University, Carson-Newman College, Lafayette College, Ohio State University, University of Akron, Illinois State University, Miami University, Marion University, Wayne State University and the Universities of Cincinnati, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and the Pacific. Every student from Marshall scored points in the preliminary rounds which helped propel the team into third place.

Students who traveled to Columbus were:

Christian Adams, honors student and junior Psychology/Biomedical Sciences major from Ona, W.Va., placed fourth in Poetry Interpretation and third in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with Victoria Ledford. Adams also competed in Prose Interpretation.

Josh Gainer, a junior Political Science major from Parkersburg, W.Va., was the tournament champion in Novice Poetry Interpretation. He also placed third in Novice Prose and fifth in Novice Dramatic Interpretation.

Victoria Ledford, honors student and junior Chemistry/Pre-med major from Braxton, W.Va., was fifth in Individual Sweepstakes. This is a special honor for students who compete in all genres. They must have at least one event in oral interpretation of literature, one event in limited preparation and one event in public address. Ledford also placed third in Dramatic Duo with Adams. She also scored points in Persuasion, Impromptu, Informative and Rhetorical Criticism.

Taryss Mandt, a University College student from Arlington, Va., and former national champion in Oral Interpretation at the National Catholic High School Forensic Tournament, placed third in Novice Dramatic Interpretation. Mandt also competed in Informative Speaking and Programmed Oral Interpretation.

Eric Newfeld, a junior transfer student from Barboursville, W.Va., was the tournament champion in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking and scored points in Impromptu Speaking.

Matthew Osteen, an honors student and a sophomore Biochemistry major from Jefferson, W.Va., was second in Novice Extemp. He also competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Rhetorical Criticism and Impromptu Speaking.

Garrett Walker, a sophomore Sociology/Anthropology major from Greensboro, N.C., was second in Novice Impromptu Speaking and scored points in Extemp and Informative Speaking.

Juliet Djietror, a freshman International Student/Pre-medical sciences major originally from Ghana, placed fourth in Novice Prose Interpretation. Djietror, the daughter of Geography professor Dr. Godwin Djietror, also competed in Persuasion.

Competing in her first tournament was honors student Marjorie McCoy, a freshman Chemistry major from Beckley, W.Va., who reached the finals in both Novice Prose and Novice Persuasion.

Marshall has qualified 19 slots for next spring's national tournament. They are:

  • Christian Adams - Prose, Poetry and Duo.
  • Victoria Ledford - Rhetorical Criticism, Persuasion, Poetry and Duo.
  • Joshua Gainer - Prose, Poetry and Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Taryss Mandt - Informative and Dramatic Interpretation
  • Eric Newfeld - Extemp and Impromptu.
  • Matt Osteen - Lincoln Douglas Debate and Extemp
  • Garrett Walker - Impromptu
  • Juliet Djietror - Prose
  • Erin Jorden - Poetry

Marshall's team will travel to Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., and Webster University in St. Louis in January.

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Wednesday December 5, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Visiting Writers Series plans reception, faculty reading for Dec. 12

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series and Marshall University's English department will present a reception and faculty reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Drinko Library atrium on the Huntington campus.

Wine and cheese will be served during the reception and Marshall's faculty of creative writers will read from their work, according to Dr. Rachael Peckham in the English department.

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Monday December 3, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Visiting guitarist to perform at Marshall Dec. 7

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Erisvaldo Borges, a Brazilian guitar player and teacher, will be visiting Marshall University's Huntington campus to perform for students, faculty and members of the community. The performance is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in the Smith Recital Hall.

Dr. Julio Alves, associate professor of guitar at Marshall, said he looks for someone who can make a positive contribution to the academic experience when looking for a visiting artist. 

"I focus on bringing guests who are not only talented performers, but who also like to share their artistry and are excited to work with our students," Alves said. "Such is the case of Mr. Borges. He is both an experienced teacher and an excellent performer."

Borges has performed in major cities in Brazil and in five other Latin American countries: Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. Some of his performances have been broadcast by radio stations and national television stations. He also recorded several CDs during the period from 1996 to 2008.  He is the author of about 400 compositions and wrote the melody of the anthem of Teresina, the capital of the state of Piaui in Brazil.

Borges has taught guitar at the Centro Federal de Educaoao Tecnolugica do Piauo and at the Universidade Federal do Piauo. He has participated as teacher in several guitar and music festivals in Brazil. Between 2009 and 2010 he was the Executive Superintendent of the Fundaoao Cultural Monsenhor Chaves in Teresina. He currently serves as chair of guitar at the Instituto Federal de Educaoao, Cincia e Tecnologia do Piauo in Teresina.

"The audience will be able to see not only a real display of technical virtuosity on the guitar, but also experience an evening of lyrical and relaxing music by one of Brazil's top guitar performers of nowadays," Alves said. "Another interesting feature of the performance is the fact that Mr. Borges will play some of his own compositions during the concert."

For further information, persons may call Marshall's Department of Music at 304-696-3117.

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Monday December 3, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Herd fans invited to reception before Marshall-West Virginia men's game

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Friends and fans of Marshall University are invited to gather in the South Hall of the Charleston Civic Center Wednesday, Dec. 5, for a reception that will precede the annual Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic men's basketball game between Marshall and West Virginia University.

The Marshall University Alumni Association is hosting the reception, which is sponsored by Pepsi and runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The first 175 people to arrive will receive a free 175th anniversary Kelly green T-shirt.

"Every Thundering Herd fan attending the game is encouraged to attend the reception," said Nancy Pelphrey, coordinator of alumni programs. "We love packing the South Hall wall-to-wall with fans wearing Kelly green as we prepare to take on WVU. This is always one of our most well-attended and fun events of the year and this year will be no different."

Pelphrey said the T-shirt giveaway is part of Marshall University 175th anniversary celebration, which has been ongoing for the past year.

"The reception and the T-shirt giveaway will bring to a fitting conclusion the celebration of our 175 years as a university," Pelphrey said. "Hopefully we can celebrate with victories Tuesday over WVU in the women's game and Wednesday in the men's game."

The MU and WVU women square off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the civic center. The public is invited to a free reception sponsored by the Big Green that starts at 6 p.m. in Parlor A at the civic center. Complimentary appetizers and hors d'oeuvres will be served, and Coach Matt Daniel is expected to stop by.

Wednesday's reception, which is free to the public, features complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, and a DJ providing music. The MU pep band and cheerleaders will stop by, as will Thundering Herd mascot Marco and the dance team.

Representatives from 14 campus organizations will take part in the reception, setting up displays and sharing information with visitors. Those planning displays are:

The College of Health Professions, the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development, Outreach and Continuing Studies, Career Services, the College of Business, the Marshall University Research Corporation, Planned Giving/Office of Development, the Office of Recruitment, the School of Medicine, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts, Information Technology, the College of Information Technology and Engineering, and the School of Pharmacy.

For more information on Wednesday's reception, call Pelphrey at 304-696-3134.

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Monday December 3, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Chemistry professor secures grant to involve students in petroleum research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University professor has secured a three-year, $65,000 grant to do petroleum research with the assistance of undergraduate students.

The funding, which was awarded by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund through a competitive process, will begin in 2013.

According to Dr. Laura McCunn, assistant chemistry professor, she and seven undergraduate students will use the funds to study how several specific molecules decompose when they are heated in the absence of oxygen.

McCunn says the results of their research will help shed light on biofuels and the mechanisms for combustion of conventional fossil fuels like petroleum. She and the students are particularly interested in exploring the decomposition of aldehydes, which occur as byproducts in biofuels and can be emitted from biodiesel engines.

"Our results will contribute to a model for the breakdown of fuels at high temperatures or for combustion of fuel mixtures that are not fully oxygenated," she said. "It's significant in the petroleum field because this model could help predict the pollutants or soot that could be generated from particular fuel mixtures."

To conduct the experiments, McCunn and the students will use an instrument they constructed in her laboratory. The hyperthermal nozzle they built will allow the research team to cause the thermal breakdown of sample molecules in an oxygen-free environment. The products of the process will be condensed and trapped for analysis using a special spectrometer.

McCunn says her lab is already using the process to study one aldehyde, but the grant will allow them to extend their experiments to include two more.

The grant program funding the project is aimed specifically at involving undergraduates in advanced research activities in preparation for graduate school or employment.

McCunn said, "Research is a really important part of the students' education. They will learn things in my lab that can't be taught in a traditional classroom. The hands-on laboratory work teaches them problem-solving skills, perseverance and how to work independently."

She said another important skill the students will learn from the project is how to explain their research to various audiences.

"I'll be taking them to scientific meetings where they'll have the chance to present their work," she said. "It's important to be able to explain your research and your findings, because that's a big part of being a scientist."

She added that the students will also be participating in events like the annual Undergraduate Research Day at the West Virginia State Capitol, giving them the chance to talk about their work with non-scientists.

"Undergraduate Research Day is particularly exciting because the people in our state legislature get a chance to see how engaged our students are and what types of real-world research they are doing at Marshall. It's also a chance for the students to practice explaining to the general public what their research means," she added.

McCunn said undergraduate research programs like the one funded through this grant have enhanced the Department of Chemistry at Marshall.

"Because of research opportunities like this, the quality of our students is just getting better and better. We are better as a whole because of undergraduate research," she said.


Photo: Dr. Laura McCunn, assistant chemistry professor, has been awarded a grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund to do research with the assistance of seven undergraduate students. Their work will contribute to a model to help predict the pollutants or soot that might be generated from particular fuel mixtures. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.
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