June 2012 Press Releases

Thursday June 28, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Researchers at MU study the effects of metabolic syndrome on skeletal muscle adaptation

Research from Drs. Arnold, Blough published in Science & Sports

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Collaboration between two Marshall University associate professors resulted in findings that were published in Science & Sports, a publication of the French Society of Sports Medicine. The research was about the effects of metabolic syndrome on skeletal muscle adaptation.

 Dr. Eric Arnold, from  Marshall's School of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Eric Blough, from the School of Pharmacy, worked together on the project.

Metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome, is one of the fastest growing health problems in the United States with more than one of every three adults suffering from the disorder, according to Arnold and Blough.

They also said that over the next two decades, the incidence of metabolic syndrome is projected to increase to epidemic levels in both the industrialized and developing worlds. Patients with metabolic syndrome typically are obese, suffer from insulin resistance and exhibit elevations in blood sugar and lipid levels.

"It's important to assemble a team of experts from various health professions and scientific disciplines, to address the complexity of type 2 diabetes," Arnold said. "That's what it is all about, working together to research and discover an optimal therapeutic strategy for this chronic disease. Collaboration is important." 

 Marshall's researchers have been using the obese Zucker rat (Leprfa) which models many of the characteristic features of metabolic syndrome seen in humans to examine how the disorder may affect the ability of their skeletal muscles to adapt to an exercise stimulus.

"Because exercise is almost always prescribed as a treatment modality for these patients, we need to understand how skeletal muscles of someone with metabolic syndrome may respond to exercise if we ever want to optimize the therapeutic treatment of this disease," Arnold said.

Their research, titled "Insulin resistance does not inhibit the ability of the mechanical overload to induce hypertrophy in the Obese Zucker Rat (Leprfa) plantaris muscle," was published in April.

Significant findings provided evidence that metabolic syndrome did not impair the ability of the rat fast twitch plantaris muscle to experience hypertrophy when exposed to muscle overload  as reflected by increases in myofibrillar protein content and increases in muscle fiber cross-sectional area.

"This finding is pretty interesting given that previous work by our group has shown the muscle adaptation in the slow twitch soleus muscle is impaired with metabolic syndrome," Blough said. "This study, along with our other work, suggests that metabolic syndrome may affect different muscle types differently. This adds a level of complexity that I don't think others have shown in the past and may have important implications in the design of exercise intervention programs." 

For more information, call Arnold at 304-696-5615 or Blough at 304-696-2708.




Photos: Drs. Eric Arnold (above) and Eric Blough (below) collaborated on a study that was published in Science & Sports.

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Thursday June 28, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

HEPC approves new contract for Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission today approved a new five-year contract for Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp during a special meeting at its offices in Charleston.

Marshall's Board of Governors, during its regular meeting June 18, approved the new contract proposal and then submitted it to the HEPC for approval, which came today.

"The leadership of President Kopp continues to transform Marshall into an institution recognized for excellence and innovation," said board chairman Verna Gibson. "We are confident his vision and plans for the coming years will continue the current momentum."

Incoming board chairman Dr. Joe Touma said Kopp realizes the importance of strong leadership in accomplishing the University's goals.

"President Kopp has attracted and retained talented and strong leadership in critical areas with a focus on enhanced student achievement while advancing new degree programs that prepare our students for careers in a rapidly changing global economy," Touma said.

Board vice-chairman John Hess, also chairman of the board's finance committee, said Kopp has made wise financial decisions since arriving at Marshall seven years ago.

"The financial health of the university has continued to improve, ruled by record freshman enrollment and strong fiscal management," he said. "We are even more excited and committed to what we can achieve under his continued leadership."

Effective July 1, Kopp's salary will increase from $275,000 a year, plus additional compensation of up to $50,000 a year from private sources, to $390,000 a year. Upon favorable completion of a formal written performance evaluation as required by the HEPC, and due in or about October 2013, Kopp's salary will increase to $430,000, effective July 1, 2014. He also would be eligible for regular salary increases as adopted by the Board of Governors for non-classified employees. On June 30, 2017, the board will grant Kopp tenure in the College of Science at the rank of professor.

"Jane and I discovered the true meaning of home here at Marshall University and in the Huntington community," Kopp said. "We are honored to have had the privilege of serving Marshall these past seven years, and look forward to many more years of dedicated work to advance the progress of our great University. At the same time, while we believe we have made significant progress in helping move the University forward, we know there is a lot more work to do and we are committed to doing it. I thank the members of the Higher Education Policy Commission, our Board of Governors, and the Marshall University community for their continued confidence and support."

Kopp was named MU's 36th president on June 15, 2005. If he remains as president for the entire length of the contract, he will become one of the longest serving presidents in Marshall history with 12 years of service. Only Stewart H. Smith at 22 years (1946-1968) and Lawrence J. Corbly at 19 years (1896-1915) served longer terms. Morris Shawkey served 12 years (1923-1935).

Under Kopp's leadership, Marshall has expanded on numerous fronts, most obviously in its physical plant, but also academically. Since 2005, MU has completed more than $200 million in capital projects, with another $114 million in ongoing or upcoming projects.

Academically, several new high demand majors or programs have been launched since 2005. Two of those are debuting this year. The first class of 29 students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program began classes on May 21, and the first class of up to 80 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins in August.

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Wednesday June 27, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Doctor of Pharmacy program granted Precandidate accreditation status

Status is a major step toward Marshall receiving accreditation

- Marshall University's Doctor of Pharmacy program has been granted Precandidate accreditation status by the Accreditation Council For Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Board of Directors, MU President Stephen J. Kopp announced today.

The Precandidate status is a major step toward Marshall receiving full accreditation. This status authorizes the School of Pharmacy to enroll its inaugural class, which will begin this fall. The first class is expected to total up to 80 students.

To reach its decision, the ACPE board reviewed the report of an evaluation team, documenting the findings from a comprehensive on-site evaluation.

"This achievement is a momentous one, one that is on the level approaching that of the founding of the School of Medicine," Kopp said. "It should be a source of great pride for all who care about Marshall and the future of those we serve."

The Precandidate accreditation term granted for the Doctor of Pharmacy program extends until June 30, 2013. A comprehensive on-site evaluation for consideration of advancing the Doctor of Pharmacy program from Precandidate to Candidate accreditation status will be scheduled during the academic year 2012-2013. The accreditation process consists of three steps culminating with graduation of the first class and adherence to all ACPE accreditation standards.

"The faculty and staff of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy have been working diligently to develop an outstanding curriculum and educational program," said Kevin Yingling, R.Ph., M.D., inaugural dean of the School of Pharmacy. "We are excited to begin educating this fine next generation of talented pharmacists, here at Marshall University."

Kopp said that during conversations with ACPE representatives, they made it very clear that they are not accrediting new pharmacy schools with any regularity and only the ones that meet their stringent standards earn this status.

"We have met those standards and will continue to do so," Kopp said.

Marshall's School of Pharmacy is located at the Robert W. Coon Education Building on the grounds of the Huntington VA Medical Center in Spring Valley. An ongoing $9.3 million renovation project on the building will result in a 76,000 square-foot learning, research and pharmacy practice facility. Work is on schedule for the building to open in time for the start of the fall semester.

The Marshall University Board of Governors voted unanimously in December 2009 to approve the awarding of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It is estimated that nearly 40 new high-paying faculty and staff positions will be created at the school within the first four years, and the school is expected to generate more than $150 million in regional economic impact.

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredits Doctor of Pharmacy programs offered by Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy in the United States and selected non-US sites. It is located at 135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60503, 312/644-3575; FAX 312/664-4652, website www.acpe-accredit.org.

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Tuesday June 26, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall University interdisciplinary teams to present research at national pharmacy conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Interdisciplinary teams of researchers representing four areas at Marshall University have had their abstracts accepted for the July 2012 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy's annual meeting in Kissimmee, Fla.

The teams include faculty researchers and students from Marshall's School of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems.   Their research includes the following projects:

  • "Assessment of outcomes from use of a standardized behavioral interview within the candidate recruiting process."  Researchers include Robert Stanton, Ph.D.; Kimberly Broedel-Zaugg, Ph.D.; and H. Glenn Anderson, Ph.D. - all three faculty with the School of Pharmacy.   The project reviews the validity of faculty scoring that occurs during a standard candidate interview.

  • "Reasons students choose pharmacy as a career."   The research team includes Broedel-Zaugg, and colleagues and students from Ohio Northern University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.   The goal of the research is to identify the factors that motivate students to choose pharmacy as a career and to determine if there are differences in factor choice between groups of students at different universities.

  • "Acetaminophen Reduces Lipid Accumulation and Improves Cardiac Function in Obese Zucker Rat."  The research team includes Eric Blough, Ph.D., faculty-School of Pharmacy; Paulette Wehner, M.D., faculty-School of Medicine; and Nandini Manne, a doctoral fellow in the School of Medicine.  Additional team members include Miaozong Wu, Ph.D.; Ravi Arvapalli; Cuifen Wang, Ph.D.; and Satyanarayana Paturi,D.V.M, who are all with the Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems and the Department of Biological Sciences.   The project looked at the effect of acetaminophen consumption on obesity-induced cardiac dysfunction.

  • "Protective Effect of Acetaminophen on Renal Dysfunction in Obese Zucker Rat."  Research team includes Wang, Blough, Arvapalli, Paturi, Manne and Wu.    The study's data suggests that chronic acetaminophen ingestion is associated with improved kidney structure and function in the obese Zucker rat.

The meeting is scheduled for July 14-18.

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    Friday June 22, 2012
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    WMUL students receive 14 more awards, finish year with 107

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students from WMUL-FM, Marshall University's public radio station, received five first-place awards and nine honorable mentions during the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association's 2011 broadcast journalism awards ceremony  Saturday, June 16, at the Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.

    With the addition of these 14 awards, the WMUL-FM student broadcasters surpassed 100 awards for the second consecutive year with 107 for the 2011-2012 academic year. The total includes 32 first-place awards, 37 second-place awards, two third-place awards and 36 honorable mention awards. Since 1985, WMUL-FM student broadcasters have won 1,243 awards.

    Among the first-place award-winning entries was the category Outstanding News Operation, won by WMUL-FM's Newscenter 88 team for the fifth time since 1985. Leannda Carey, a graduate student from Wellsburg, W.Va., was the news director for the spring semester.

    The other four first-place individual award-winning entries in the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association's 2011 broadcast journalism awards were:

    Best Enterprise Reporting

    "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.

    Best Interview

    "Campus Concern," with host Adam Cavalier, a 2011 master's degree graduate from Montgomery, who interviewed Marshall President Stephen Kopp on this campus public affairs talk program.  The program was broadcast Monday, Feb. 21, 2011.

    Best Regularly Scheduled Sportscast

    "Herd Roundup," with hosts Adam Cavalier and Aaron Payne, a senior from Winfield, broadcast Friday, April 29, 2011.

    Best Sports Play-By-Play

    Marshall versus Memphis men's basketball game at Cam Henderson Center, broadcast Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Members of the FM 88 sports team calling the game were basketball play-by-play announcer Robert Iddings, a 2011 graduate from St. Albans; color commentator Dave Traube, a graduate student from Beckley, and engineer Tyler Kes, a junior from Burnsville, Minn.

    The nine honorable-mention, award-winning entries were:

    Best Website

    WMUL-FM's website is www.marshall.edu/wmul. The 2011 webmaster for WMUL-FM Online was Tyler Kes.

    Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast

    "The 5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," broadcast Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. The students who participated in the newscast were Adam Rogers, a junior from Charleston, producer; Leannda Carey, anchor; Aaron Payne, anchor; and Jeremy Johnson, a senior from Smithsburg, Md., sports anchor.

    Best Public Service Program

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

    Best Anchor Or Anchor Team 

    "The 5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88," with news anchor Adam Cavalier, broadcast Friday, April 1, 2011.

    Best Talk Show

    "Campus Concern," with host Adam Cavalier, who interviewed Dr. Corley Dennison, dean,  about the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications on this campus public affairs talk program. The program was broadcast Friday, March 4, 2011.

    Best Host

    "A Compilation of Work," written and reported by Adam Cavalier, broadcast for the FM 88 sports team throughout 2011.


    Outstanding Sports Operation

    The FM 88 sports team; sports director for the spring semester 2011 was Robert Iddings, and sports director for the fall semester 2011 was Adam Rogers.

    Best Sportscaster

    "A Compilation of Work," written and reported by Adam Rogers, broadcast for the FM 88 sports team throughout 2011.


    Best Sports Special

    "Marshall Football 2011 Season Preview" was written and produced by hosts of the program Jeremy Johnson and Will Vance, a junior from Charleston, along with reporters James Roach, a senior from Richwood, Aaron Payne, Adam Rogers and Jarrod Clay, a junior from Barboursville.  The "Marshall Football 2011 Season Preview" was broadcast and also was made available online before the Marshall 2011 season opener at West Virginia University, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011.

    Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, professor of radio-television production and management in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall and faculty manager of WMUL-FM, said the university competed with commercial and noncommercial radio stations from throughout the state.

    "Winning the Outstanding News Operation, Best Enterprise Reporting award, Best Interview award, Best Regularly Scheduled Sportscast award, and Best Sports Play-by-Play award is an outstanding accomplishment considering that the students are competing with broadcasting professionals across West Virginia," Bailey said.

    "Overall, this commendable effort helps to build upon another successful year by the volunteer student staff of WMUL-FM in garnering recognition for Marshall University and the W. Page Pitt school of Journalism and Mass Communications from state, regional and national broadcasting organizations that evaluate the work done at campus radio stations."

    For more information, contact Bailey at 304-696-2294.


    Photos: (Above) Leannda Carey was the spring news director for WMUL's Newscenter 88 team that was the first-place winner in the category Outstanding News Operation. (Below) WMUL students display the five first-place plaques they received in the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association's 2011 broadcast journalism awards ceremony at Appalachian Power Park. Standing on the upper ledge, from left in the front row, are Jessica Patterson, Laura Hatfield, Ashley Killingsworth and Marcus Constantino. From left in the back row are Leannda Carey, Adam Rogers and Will Vance. On the lower ledge, from left are Aaron Payne, Tyler Kes and Ashleigh Hill. Photos by Dr. Chuck G. Bailey.

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    Friday June 22, 2012
    Contact: Mary Thomasson, Marshall University Forensic Science Center, 304-691-8961

    Marshall University professor is appointed to national controlled substance committee

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. J. Graham Rankin, professor of the Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program, has been named as a core committee member of the newly formed Advisory Committee for the Evaluation of Controlled Substance Analogs (ACECSA). 

    The mission of the committee is to recommend minimum standards for the evaluation of non-controlled substances being considered as analogs of controlled substances.  Its main objective is to establish a working definition of "analog" and related terms within the scope of forensic drug analysis.

    The Federal Analog Act, 21 U.S.C. 813, is a section of the United States Controlled Substances Act which allowed any chemical "substantially similar" to a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II to be treated as if it were also listed in those schedules, but only if intended for human consumption. In other words, the similar substances cited in the act are often called analogs or designer drugs. 

    "The problem is that the act does not define what 'substantially similar' means from a scientific standpoint," Rankin said.  "Frequently, federal legislation and state legislation like that in West Virginia and other states resort to listing specific compounds.  The manufacturers of products like 'Spice' or 'bath salts' substitute a similar compound which is not listed for those that are."  

    Rankin said designer drugs are "designed" to beat the United States Controlled Substances Act. "The simple definition of a designer drug is that it has the same drug activity as a controlled substance but is chemically different enough so it is not currently restricted," he added. Even though often labeled as "not for human consumption," the actual intended use is to be smoked or ingested to achieve a high.

    The development of scientific criteria for determining if a new compound is an analog will aid in the control of these potentially dangerous compounds, while permitting legitimate research for new pharmaceutical products, Rankin said.

    The committee is currently made up of 19 members representing local, state, federal, academic and private forensic laboratories.  Rankin is chair of the Subcommittee on Literature Support which seeks to bring together published scientific evidence on the effects and synthesis of these compounds.  He also serves as Recording Secretary until February when the next meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Washington, D.C.

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    Thursday June 21, 2012
    Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

    Tri-State Arts Association to open exhibition tomorrow evening

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Thirty-two artists from the Tri-State Arts Association will showcase 60 pieces of their artwork at Gallery 842 in an exhibition that will open Friday, June 22, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

    Gallery 842, located at 842 4th Ave., is a collaboration between Marshall University and the Huntington community. Gallery director John Farley said that patrons can expect to see many types of work.

    "This eclectic exhibition presents a cross-section of exciting work being made by our own Tri-state artists," Farley said. "Painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media pieces will be displayed. Providing a venue for local artists to display and sell their work has been and remains a key component of G842's mission, and is a crucial part of our ongoing efforts to elevate the profile of the arts in this region."

    For local artist J. Bird Cremeans, who helped organize the exhibition, this is an opportunity for the organization to gain some exposure and share their work with the community.

    "It is always a huge honor when the Tri-State Arts Assocation is invited to collaborate with other artists and organizations," Cremeans said. "I'm happy to see our members display their artwork in a venue that is open to the public and it really helps the club to have all this artwork seen by new eyes. We really are thankful for this opportunity."

    The show will remain in Gallery 842 until July 27. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, contact Farley by e-mail at galleries@marshall.edu.

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    Wednesday June 20, 2012
    Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

    Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine names physician as first Maier Clinical Research Professor

    Long-time dementia researcher tapped for inaugural program

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Shirley M. Neitch, professor of internal medicine and chief of geriatrics at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, has been named the inaugural Maier Clinical Research Professor.

    The professorship will support interdisciplinary translational research investigating the causes, management and treatment of dementia.

    "It is a tremendous honor to be named as the first Maier Professor," Neitch said. "I've been able to do some small research projects before, but this will allow me, with the help of many dedicated colleagues, to pursue more in-depth clinical research projects, which will have significant impact on the lives of persons with dementia."

    Neitch said the first goal is to complete a genetics study of a family whose affected members develop symptoms at a very young age, in their late 20's.   The next step, she added, will be to pursue treatment options.

    Dr. Larry D. Dial, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, applauded Neitch's efforts to find answers about a disease that affects thousands of West Virginians.

    "This selfless gift from the Maier family will ensure that critical research support is available to talented individuals like Dr. Neitch who are the forefront of defining etiology of and therapies for dementia and other debilitating brain disorders," Dial said.

    The Maier Clinical Research Professorship was named in honor of Marshall University alumnus Edward "Ed" Maier, following his retirement from General Corporation, a real estate business owned by the Maier family.

    "I'm very gratified my family chose to honor me with the establishment of an endowed professorship at the School of Medicine," Maier said.   "We are pleased to help support research which will benefit future generations of West Virginians."

    General Corporation's gift of $1 million for establishment of the professorship was matched dollar for dollar by the "Bucks for Brains" West Virginia Research Trust Fund.  The fund was established in 2008 to serve as a catalyst for economic development across the state. The trust fund program allows Marshall to double private gifts that support expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, health care and job growth.


    Photos: (Above) Dr. Larry Dial Jr., chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, presents a plaque to Dr. Shirley Neitch today after she was named the first Maier Clinical Research Professor. (Below) From left, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, Susan Maier, Dr. Shirley Neitch and Ed Maier pose for photographers during a ceremony today announcing Neitch as the first Maier Clinical Research Professor. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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

    Marshall celebrates opening of Physical Therapy program

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - On May 21, Marshall University welcomed aboard the new School of Physical Therapy's inaugural class of 29 students at the St. Mary's Center for Education.

    Today, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at that same location to celebrate the opening of the program, university officials showed the public, along with members of the Marshall Board of Governors, where those 29 students and future students will be pursuing their Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees.

    "I have to pinch myself every once in a while to make sure this lovely space is really ours to work in," said Dr. Penny Kroll, a professor and the school's chair. "I've never worked in such a well-appointed space with top of the line physical therapy equipment, audiovisual systems, classrooms and technology."

    Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said that the region has needed an accredited, entry-level physical therapy program for some time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook through 2020, employment for physical therapists is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent for the decade, 2010 to 2020. This growth is much greater than the average for all occupations.

    The increasing demand for physical therapy services is expected to emanate largely from the aging "baby boomers" segment of our population. This generation of Americans is staying physically active later in life than previous generations have. Kopp said he expects that the state-of-the-art facility that has been established at the St. Mary's Center for Education combined with Kroll's leadership and her high quality faculty will enable Marshall to rapidly move to the forefront in producing therapists for our region and elsewhere, thereby preventing a serious access issue in this important patient services area.

    "Graduating quality professionals in the physical therapy field, as we will do beginning in May 2015, will benefit the entire tri-state region and the state," Dr. Kopp said. "I am very grateful to Dr. Kroll and her colleagues who have worked so tirelessly to establish this program and earn Candidate accreditation status. I would also like to acknowledge and thank St. Mary's Medical Center President and CEO, Michael  G. Sellards, for sharing our vision for this program and facilitating the renovation of this magnificent facility. Today is another major milestone for Marshall University."

    The revamped, new home of the School of Physical Therapy, located at 2847 5th Ave. in Huntington, will house approximately 120 students (40 students admitted annually for the three-year DPT program), as well as faculty and staff. The building previously housed Sears, and later, Big Bear.

    The DPT is an entry-level, 115-credit, lock-step clinical degree program for students who wish to pursue a career as a physical therapist practitioner, and who possess a baccalaureate degree and required prerequisite coursework. 

    Kroll said clinicians in the area have been supportive of the program since its approval in 2009.

    "They are delighted to see that we are up and running," she said. "They are looking forward to us producing graduates who can go out into the community and practice. We are so short of therapists."

    The School of Physical Therapy has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, and expects to gain full accreditation in May 2015. 

    Kroll said the need for physical therapists in West Virginia is great.

    "Clinicians tell me it takes them nine months to two years to fill a position," she said. "It is just tremendously difficult to find therapists. Obviously, there are lots of employment possibilities. And the mean salary for a therapist in West Virginia is $77,660. Our graduates will have the potential to make a very nice living."

    Kroll said most of the 29 students already in the program are from the Appalachian region, with most of those from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. How did they hear about the program? "Mostly word of mouth," Kroll said.

    Beginning in mid-July, Marshall will be added to the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PT-CAS). Kroll said Marshall's name will appear when people apply to physical therapy schools. "The next group of students will be applying through that system," she said.

    One reason West Virginia needs more physical therapists is clear, Kroll said.

    "Part of the problem in West Virginia is the aging population," she said. "And that means more need for rehabilitation."

    The core faculty at the School of Physical Therapy include Dr. Eric Arnold, an associate professor; Dr. Yi-Po Chiu, an assistant professor; Dr. Neil Evans, an assistant professor; and Dr. Tamara Gravano, an assistant professor.


    Photo: Marshall University School of Physical Therapy students join with Dr. Michael Prewitt, left, Dr. Penny Kroll, center, Dr. Eric Tarr, second from right, and Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, right, in a ribbon cutting this afternoon, celebrating the opening of the school. Prewitt is dean of the College of Health Professions, Kroll is chair of the School of Physical Therapy, Tarr is president of the West Virginia Physical Therapy Association and Kopp is president of Marshall University. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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    Friday June 15, 2012
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    6th Avenue near Marshall reopens to traffic today

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The portion of 6th Avenue closed since May 23 to allow for continued construction of a new parking garage on Marshall University's Huntington campus reopens at about 6 p.m. today. 

    Sixth Avenue has been completely blocked in both lanes directly behind the new garage.

    "We want to thank the City of Huntington and everyone who normally drives in this area for their understanding and patience while the road was closed," said James E. Terry, Marshall's director of public safety. "We know it was an inconvenience and we appreciate everyone's cooperation which allowed for construction of the garage to continue."

    The garage is expected to be open in time for the start of fall classes on Aug. 27.

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    Thursday June 14, 2012
    Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-2038

    Ph.D. student to present diabetes research at conference next week

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University doctoral student will present her diabetes research next week at a conference focusing on the central nervous system.

    Aileen Marcelo, a Ph.D. candidate in the university's biomedical sciences program, will present a poster at the Barriers of the Central Nervous System Gordon Research Conference and will give a talk at the conference's student seminar. The conference and seminar will be held June 16-22 at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H.

    The conference will bring together clinical and basic scientists who are at the forefront of research into the system of regulatory interfaces between the blood and brain. This system is essential to brain function and has a major impact on the course and treatment of many neurological conditions, including stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

    Although there is considerable scientific evidence implicating diabetes as a major risk factor for many central nervous system diseases, there have been few studies investigating the effects of diabetes on this blood-brain barrier. Marcelo's research project, "The Role and Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) at the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) in a Rat Model of Diabetes," explores this connection.

    She works in the lab of Dr. Richard Egleton, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

    Marcelo recently received one of eight Summer Thesis Research Grant Awards presented to outstanding graduate student researchers at Marshall. Each award provides $500 to cover the cost of expenses associated with thesis research. Award recipients were chosen on the basis of the quality and significance of their thesis research, the likelihood that the research will eventuate in a completed thesis and justification of the need for support. Funding for the awards was provided by the Marshall University Research Corporation.

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    Tuesday June 12, 2012
    Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

    Marshall announces 7th Annual West Virginia Brownfields Conference

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS) and the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall have announced that the 7th Annual West Virginia Brownfields Conference will be held Sept. 5-6 at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels.

    The annual statewide conference, attended by more than 150 people, is hosted by the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall, in conjunction with the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Development Office.

    The program combines educational sessions with networking opportunities for anyone involved in efforts to reuse abandoned or underutilized contaminated land. Brownfields may have potential environmental impairments but often have significant prospects for business, housing or recreational redevelopment.

    The event is intended for local and regional economic development representatives, environmental consultants, educators, land-holding companies, environmental attorneys and environmental regulators. A total of 7.5 hours of LED Continuing Education Credits is available for attendees.

    Highlights of this year's event will include a keynote address by Randy Huffman, cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as well as presentations by the Chemical Alliance Zone, TechConnect West Virginia, the West Virginia National Guard, Hatfield-McCoy Trails, Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity, the West Virginia Division of Energy's Office of Coalfield Community Development, the EPA Region III Brownfields Program and the DEP's Division of Land Restoration.

    The Brownfields Assistance Centers at Marshall and West Virginia University were created in 2005 to secure and administer federal brownfields funding and assistance programs, and to provide training and technical assistance, and grant writing, site assessment and remediation services.

    Dr. Tony Szwilski, director of CEGAS and the Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall, said, "This conference continues to attract attendance from a wide variety of organizations and entities seeking solutions to the redevelopment of their brownfield properties. By locating the conference in southeastern West Virginia for the first time, we are furthering our commitment to providing quality information, service and outreach to all areas of the state."

    Szwilski added that CEGAS is encouraging student participation in this year's conference by offering a limited number of sponsored registrations for college students and high school seniors interested in local economic development, community revitalization or the environmental aspects of redeveloping brownfields. Interested students should contact Dennis Jarvis at 304-696-3506 for more information.

    Exhibitor space and sponsorship opportunities also are available.

    For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.wvbrownfields.com.

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    Friday June 8, 2012
    Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

    Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine physicians issue reminders for preventive care

    National Men's Health Week is June 11-17

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In an effort to bring awareness to men's health issues, health care providers around the country, including physicians at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, are encouraging men to focus on the importance of early detection and wellness initiatives during National Men's Health Week June 11-17.

    "As we approach Father's Day, it's a perfect time to remind men of the importance of taking care of their bodies," said Dr. Larry D. Dial Jr., chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine. "Generally speaking, men tend to ignore their health until something goes wrong.  This national public awareness campaign helps highlight preventive health care and how men can live longer and healthier lives."

    Prevention and early detection activities include well-known screenings for cholesterol and blood pressure, but Dial says there are screenings for other health issues available as well.

    "Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulging in your abdominal aorta, the largest artery in your body," he said.  "Men between the ages of 65 and 75, currently, or previously a smoker, should talk to their doctor or nurse about being screened for the condition.   An AAA has the potential to burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and even death." 

    According to Dial, national recommendations for prostate screenings have recently changed and men should consult with their physicians for updated information.

    Additional preventive health care measures include becoming and staying physically active, eating healthfully, limiting alcohol consumption and managing stress effectively.

    Dr. William A."Skip" Nitardy, a Marshall physician who specializes in both internal medicine and pediatrics, says National Men's Health awareness week is also a great time for adolescent males to schedule an appointment for a checkup.

    "It's important for teenage boys to continue to see their physicians for annual assessments of weight, height, blood pressure and vaccinations," he said.  "But equally important, the appointment gives the physician an opportunity to discuss personal safety issues like helmet and seat belt usage and screen for alcohol consumption and other risk-taking behaviors associated with adolescents."

    National Men's Health Week is part of National Men's Health Month, an initiative passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  

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    Friday June 8, 2012
    Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, (304) 696-3296

    Jazz-MU-Tazz music camp starts June 18; closing performance is June 23

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Department of Music will host its 14th Jazz-MU-Tazz festival, a jazz camp for high school students, June 18 to 23 on the Huntington campus. The camp will culminate with a concert performance at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at Pullman Square.


    This year, in addition to MU faculty, Jazz-MU-Tazz boasts guest trumpeter Rob Parton, a highly regarded jazz performer, educator and bandleader. One of the most established jazz musicians in the Chicago area, Parton has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mel Torm, the Beach Boys, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Carrie Underwood and others.


    Students who attend Jazz-MU-Tazz participate in rehearsals, discussion forums and jam sessions. Throughout the week, they perform in big bands and combos while learning about jazz improvisation, history and theory.


    Dr. Sean Parsons, a music faculty member at Marshall, said the concert at Pullman Square will include the young musicians and MU's jazz band as well.


    "The Pullman Square audience will have the opportunity to hear many of the finest young musicians in West Virginia performing jazz and Latin standards," Parsons said. "The Jazz-MU-Tazz high school ensemble will be followed by the Marshall University 12.0 Jazz Ensemble, and both are joined by acclaimed jazz musician Rob Parton."


    For more information, contact Parsons by e-mail at parsons@marshall.edu or by phone at 304-696-6459.


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

    Marshall University receives large gift pledge for Engineering Complex

    Huntington philanthropist Art Weisberg says gift will help growth of entire region

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Huntington-based company Arthur's Enterprises has made a large gift pledge to the Marshall University Foundation, which will help build the university's new, advanced Applied Engineering Complex, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp announced today.

    The all-new academic facility will have more than 141,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory, office and special applications spaces that will have a transformative effect on the College of Information Technology and Engineering and science-related disciplines, Kopp said. Construction is expected to begin in October.

    Art Weisberg, president of Arthur's Enterprises, said he is making the significant gift because he understands how important Marshall University is to the future of Huntington and the surrounding region. "This area has tremendous potential to grow. My goal is to help it happen," Weisberg said.

    "By providing financial resources to help Marshall grow in engineering and related disciplines, it will not only help my business develop and prosper but it also assists the growth of the greater Huntington area and the entire state. I love Huntington and I know this gift will make a lasting difference."

    The Weisberg family has been very supportive of Marshall University and, with their financial assistance, has greatly contributed to the successful re-establishment of Marshall's engineering degree program, which was re-launched in 2006. Engineering is now one of the fastest-growing majors at Marshall. The modern engineering laboratory facility on 3rd Avenue, which was dedicated in August 2008, bears the Weisberg family name.

    The Applied Engineering Complex will be located between the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center on 3rd Avenue in Huntington. With approval from the Marshall University Board of Governors, the engineering complex also will bear the Weisberg family name.

    Weisberg said he continues to support Marshall because he believes in the leadership provided by President Kopp. "Dr. Kopp is a true visionary leader who delivers on his promises. I strongly endorse his bold initiatives and accomplishments," Weisberg said.

    Kopp said the Weisberg family's generosity and foresight have created dramatic changes on Marshall's campus and in the Huntington community. They have had the foresight to recognize that the region and the nation require more professionals in engineering, mathematics and the sciences to remain competitive in the global economy. Marshall University is responding by expanding its capabilities in these academic areas.   

    "Art Weisberg understands the power of true philanthropy to transform a community, a university like Marshall and the impact that has on the generations of students who come through our leading-edge programs," Kopp said. "He is a leader and we should celebrate this incredible man for what he is doing to change lives and provide opportunities for the people of our city, our state and our region."

    Verna Gibson, chairwoman of the Marshall University Board of Governors, expressed her appreciation to the Weisbergs for their continued leadership in the community and generosity to Marshall. "It is not surprising that such committed and outstanding individuals share Dr. Kopp's vision for unprecedented academic achievement and economic growth that will benefit our region and state for generations," Gibson said.

    Dr. Joseph B. Touma, a longtime Marshall supporter and benefactor, and incoming chair of the Marshall University Board of Governors, praised the Weisberg gift.

    "This remarkable gift by Art Weisberg is another act of his generosity, vision and philanthropy for our community and region," Dr. Touma said. "What the Weisbergs are doing allows Marshall University to realize their dream of excellence and building the engineering school of the future.

    "Dr. Kopp's leadership and the hard work of Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation, are to be commended because they proved to Art and Joan that they can make their dreams come true. I am deeply moved by and appreciative of my good friends Art, Joan and the Weisberg family."

    About the Applied Engineering Complex

    The Applied Engineering Complex will house six different academic components and programs:

    • College of Information Technology and Engineering including divisions of engineering, computer science, applied science and technology

    • Mechanical, Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering Research Laboratories

    • Departments of Mathematics and Computational Science

    • Computer Modeling and Digital Imaging/Simulation Resource Facility

    • Transportation Research Center

    • Marshall University Research Corporation


    About Art Weisberg and the Weisberg Family of Companies

    Art Weisberg is the founder of State Electric Supply Company, a retail-wholesale distributor of electrical and electronic supplies with showroom and warehouse facilities. State Electric has evolved and grown into one of America's top and best known electrical distributors with more than 40 locations in six states.

    A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Weisberg graduated from City College of New York with a degree in electrical engineering. He took a job with Halstead Industries to build a steel mill in New Haven, W.Va.  On completion of the job, he went in to business for himself.  He supplied small hardware and general stores from the back of his truck. 

    Under the corporate umbrella of Arthur's Enterprises, Weisberg established a specialty wire manufacturing company, Service Wire, Inc., in 1968. Service Wire offers an expanding line of products to customers around the world.

    In addition to his business success, Weisberg received the Charles D. Scott Distinguished Career Award from the American Wire Industry, and the "Citizen of the Year" award from the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. He and his wife, Joan, were named to the Marshall University College of Business Hall of Fame and, in 2008, Art and Joan were both conferred Marshall's honorary Doctor of Humane letters degree, the highest recognition provided by the university.


    Photos: (Above) Art Weisberg; (Below) Architect's rendering of the Applied Engineering Complex.

    Direct Link to This Release

    Monday June 4, 2012
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    Gilman Scholarships enable three MU students to study abroad

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Three Marshall University students have received a 2012 Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this fall. Two of the students will be studying in Japan and one will be studying in Korea.

    The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a very limited, federally funded scholarship for study abroad. It provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduates with financial need, including students from diverse backgrounds and students going to non-traditional study abroad destinations.

    The Marshall students receiving the scholarships are Justin Roach, a junior from Coal Grove, Ohio; Evan Donnelly, a senior from Worthington, Ky.; and James Kiger, a senior from Wheeling, W.Va.

    "We are really excited to see three of our students receive the Federal Gilman Award," said Ryan Warner, study abroad advisor at Marshall. "All three of our students who received this award greatly deserve this scholarship and will put the money towards the cost of their semester abroad."

    Roach studies in the College of Liberal Arts and is majoring in Japanese. He received the Gilman Award of $5,000. Roach will be studying one academic year (2012-2013) in Osaka, Japan, at Kansai Gaidai University through Marshall's partner exchange program.

    Donnelly is an applied mathematics major and a psychology minor, and also studies Japanese. He received the Gilman Award of $8,000 and will be studying one academic year (2012-2013) in Tokyo, Japan, at Toyo University through Marshall's International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).

    Kiger is a double major in music and Japanese. He received the Gilman Award of $5,000. Kiger will be studying one academic year (2012-2013) in Daegu, South Korea, at Kyungpook National University though Marshall's partner exchange program. 

    Warner  said the students will be required to do a service project upon their return to Marshall that correlates with their time studying abroad. He also said Roach, Donnelly and Kiger are the only students from West Virginia to have received the 2012 Gilman Scholarships.

    "The state of West Virginia is considered an 'un-represented' area of the United States for Study Abroad and it is wonderful to see students not only from the state, but from Marshall University, receive this award," Warner said. "This past fall we hosted the Gilman Workshop here at Marshall and many schools from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia attended the workshop.

    "I truly believe this put our students and Marshall University in the spotlight for the Gilman Scholarship Program created by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. and the U.S. Department of State. Students must be receiving the Federal Pell Grant to be eligible for the scholarship."

    Direct Link to This Release

    Monday June 4, 2012
    Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

    Marshall University medical student selected for position with national medical association

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Alexandra E. Norcott , a rising fourth-year student at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, has been selected to serve a one-year term as a student ambassador with the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation.

    "My participation with the AMA Foundation will allow me to better understand the funding side of community service programs," Norcott said. "Thus far, my participation has been solely on the development and executive side of community service, so this position will allow me a different focus."

    Norcott will be traveling the country over the next year educating physicians about the goals of the AMA Foundation and how their charitable gifts can help support free clinics, scholarship grants and other service-oriented projects.

    The Vienna, Va., native is considering a career in either internal medicine or obstetrics/gynecology.  Dr. Marie Veitia, associate dean for student affairs, says Norcott's selection to the national panel is impressive.

    "Since she began medical school in 2009, Ms. Norcott has shown a great deal of dedication to the mission of the AMA at a local, state and national level," Veitia said.   "She has tremendous promise as a leader and I look forward to learning more about what she will accomplish in her new role."

    The AMA Foundation works to maximize the philanthropic impact of the medical community by uniting and organizing physicians across the country for various projects. Norcott will attend her first national meeting as an ambassador later this summer.

    Direct Link to This Release

    Friday June 1, 2012
    Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

    LoCascio named interim dean of Marshall's Honors College

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Nicki LoCascio, associate dean of the Honors College at Marshall University, has been named interim dean of the College, Provost Gayle Ormiston announced today.

    LoCascio replaces Dr. Mary Todd, founding dean of the Honors College, who has accepted the position of Executive Director of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest scholarly honor society. A nationwide search for a permanent dean will begin this fall.

    "I'm looking forward to the challenges of continuing Dr. Todd's good work," LoCascio said. "The Honors College has raised our profile and I don't want to see the momentum lost."

    LoCascio has worked closely with Todd the past three years.

    "Dr. Todd served as founding dean of the Honors College, and in doing so established the institutional structure for the College, and developed the guidelines for the future of the College," Ormiston said. "I look forward to Dr. LoCascio continuing the development begun by Dr. Todd. We are very fortunate to have her available to us to serve in this very important role."

    LoCascio agreed that Todd did an excellent job of "pulling the Honors College together."

    "She's incredible. I've seen the effort she has put into it," LoCascio said.

    As associate dean in the College, LoCascio's role currently consists of advising students, program administration and program assessment.

    She is a member of The American Association of Immunologists, the Society for College Science Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association. At Marshall, she teaches Principles of Biology and Honors Seminars.

    LoCascio earned a B.S. in history and biology from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in immunogenetics from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

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