March 2012 Press Releases

Friday March 30, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

34th annual SCORES competition attracts large number of high school students from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Huntington campus will be host Saturday to high school students from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky taking part in the 34th annual Search Committee on Recognizing Excellent Students (SCORES) Academic Festival.

Beth Wolfe, director of recruiting at Marshall, said the office of recruitment has received more than 2,500 registrations for the event.

"SCORES is a great opportunity for students to challenge themselves academically and also to be exposed to the Marshall University community," Wolfe said. "We're excited to have them on campus and we hope it encourages them to think about coming to Marshall."

SCORES is an academic competition that allows high school students to compete in different areas of study that are offered at Marshall. The purpose of the event is to recognize academic excellence, create relationships with area high schools, show the importance of college attendance and recruit talented high school students.

Contests start at 9 a.m. and continue at 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. with lunch provided on campus. The awards ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. in Cam Henderson Center. Wolfe said Looking Glass, a rock band made up of Marshall students, will perform prior to the awards ceremony.

Competition is open to high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. They compete in a variety of tests, contests and performances which are evaluated by Marshall faculty and staff. Areas of competition include business, education, fine arts, liberal arts, journalism and mass communications, information technology and engineering, health professions and science. The top three winners in each contest will receive medals.

Scholarships will be given to the top seven students in the competition, with one student winning the $1,000 Robert Wheeler Scholarship and a Marshall tuition waiver for one year. The other six students will receive Marshall tuition waivers for one year. First-, second- and third-place trophies will be given for each school division. The schools in the competition will be divided into five categories and compete for trophies.

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Thursday March 29, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Physics professor lands grant to help improve spacecraft propulsion systems

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University physics professor has been awarded $200,000 to conduct research that may help improve spacecraft propulsion systems.

Dr. Thomas Wilson, an expert in condensed-matter and laser physics, received the grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

According to Wilson, an ion thruster is a form of electric propulsion used for spacecrafts that creates thrust by accelerating ions. These thrusters, although providing much less thrust than chemical rockets, are able to operate at higher efficiency and for much longer periods of time than conventional chemical rocket engines; however, the wall structures of the ion thrusters tend to erode over time.

The goal of Wilson's research is to better understand the erosion process and potentially improve the future design of these propulsion systems.

For the one-year project, he will use a source of terahertz-frequency acoustic waves he developed at Marshall to probe the defects created by erosion in the thruster wall materials. His research group will work with scientific personnel at Edwards Air Force Base in California to conduct timed exposures of thin layers of the rocket wall materials directly to plasma thruster exhaust plumes. Wilson's group will return to Huntington to analyze the samples.

"Terahertz acoustic phonon scattering can be used to measure extremely low levels of crystalline defects, and thereby reduce the diagnostic timescale from thousands of hours with current methods to perhaps minutes," Wilson said.

He said their findings may eventually make thruster testing and design less costly.

"We think we can advance our understanding of these erosion processes and perhaps lay the groundwork for selection and design of materials with improved erosion resistance," he added.

Wilson's lab at Marshall will be collaborating on the project with Dr. Iain Boyd of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan.

"We got this grant for what is referred to as a 'proof-of-principle' experiment," he said. "If we can demonstrate that our diagnostic phonon technique has merit during this project, we think we will be well positioned for major funding in the future."

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research manages the U.S. Air Force's basic research program in aerospace-related science and engineering.

For more information, contact Wilson at 304-696-2752.


Photo: Dr. Thomas Wilson, a Marshall University physics professor, has been awarded $200,000 to conduct research that may help improve spacecraft propulsion systems. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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

Award-Winning poet to appear at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Poet Kathryn Kirkpatrick will read from her work at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall University's Huntington campus..

She is the author of four collections of poems, most recently Unaccountable Weather.  She is also the editor of Border Crossings: Irish Women Writers and National Identities (University of Alabama Press, 2000). Her other poetry collections include Out of the Garden (2007); Beyond Reason (2004), winner of the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association; and The Body's Horizon (1996), recipient of the Brockman-Campbell award.

Her poems have appeared widely in such journals as Another Chicago Magazine, Appalachian Journal, Calyx, Carolina Quarterly, Cortland Review, Epoch, Ekphrasis, The Florida Review, The Hollins Critic, Kalliope, Shenandoah, The South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Sundog and other magazines. 

Also a literary scholar in Irish studies and the environmental humanities, Kirkpatrick has published essays on class trauma, ecofeminist poetics and animal studies.  She currently holds a dual appointment at Appalachian State University as a professor in the English Department and the Sustainable Development Program.

Her appearance is sponsored by the Marshall English Department, the College of Liberal Arts, and the West Virginia Humanities Council.  It is free and open to the public.

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

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Tuesday March 27, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 691-1713

Dr. Joseph Shapiro named dean of Marshall University medical school

Kidney disease researcher and medical device inventor to take helm July 1

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, a nephrologist with more than 30 years of clinical and teaching experience, has accepted the position of dean of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine effective July 1, Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp announced today.

Shapiro currently serves as associate dean for business development and chair of the department of medicine at the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Toledo, Ohio. Shapiro was chosen through a nationwide search that started last summer, Kopp said.

Shapiro succeeds Dr. Robert C. Nerhood, who has been serving as interim dean following former dean Dr. Charles H. McKown's appointment to vice president for health sciences advancement last summer.  Nerhood will continue to serve in his interim role while Shapiro makes the transition to full time at Marshall. He will be the fifth dean since the School of Medicine was established under the Teague-Cranston Act adopted by Congress in the mid-1970s. 

Kopp said he and search committee members believe Dr. Shapiro is the right match for the medical school, and for the entire region.

"The School of Medicine at Marshall University has a rich history of educating the doctors our community needs the most," Kopp said. "Dr. Shapiro has been described by references as the epitome of academic medicine. He is a dedicated researcher, a consummate clinician, an exceptional teacher and a highly capable administrator. He brings to Marshall an impressive business acumen, a tremendous wealth of research knowledge and an impressive professional and clinical experience base. More than anything else, however, we believe he embraces the ideals that distinguish our School of Medicine, and he knows the direction we must take to continue to build on the great tradition and proud heritage at Marshall.

"He and his wife, Mary, will be truly great additions to the greater Huntington community and we're eager for them to join us." 

Nerhood said he is delighted Shapiro has accepted the position.

"After my first interaction with him, I was convinced that he was the person for the job," Nerhood said. "His broad background in all aspects of medical education, medical research and clinical care have prepared him exceptionally well to lead the School of Medicine into the next decade. I think that the future of the medical school under the leadership of Dr. Shapiro will be really exciting and I am certain the students, residents, staff and faculty will be stimulated, enriched and benefit from his skills and expertise."

Shapiro described the opportunity to lead at Marshall as a delightful one.

"It is a great honor and privilege to be associated with this fabulous organization, and I firmly believe that the coming years will present great opportunity for the school to expand its purview in the areas of education, research and service as we pursue our mission to improve the health of West Virginia."

Shapiro's medical teaching career began at the University of Colorado after completing his fellowship in 1987.   He served as an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor of both medicine and radiology at the University of Colorado until 1997 when he joined the faculty at the University of Toledo College of Medicine (formerly Medical College of Ohio at Toledo).

Since 1999, he has served as chair of medicine, and in 2006, was appointed associate dean for business development at the University of Toledo.  He also is president of the University of Toledo Physicians, the university's medical practice plan.

In addition to his numerous teaching, clinical and administrative responsibilities at the University of Toledo, Shapiro has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on nearly three dozen grant-funded projects totaling more than $30 million and has been involved with the creation of three spin-off companies from that research.

Additionally, Shapiro holds the patents on 14 medical inventions.

He is the author or co-author of more than 100 original research articles, many of them focusing on his chosen specialty, nephrology, more commonly known as the branch of medical science dealing with the kidneys.

Shapiro serves as the associate editor for the Journal of the American Heart Association and is on the editorial boards of 13 other journals. He is a member of the American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, American College of Physicians, Association of Professors of Medicine and Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. He also is active in the American Heart Association, and served as vice chairman of the association's Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease Council from 2007 to 2008.

He was recognized with the Arnold P. Gold - Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Humanism in Medicine Award in 2002, and the Mercy Health Partners - Northern Region Endowed Chair of Excellence in Internal Medicine Education in 2003.

A native of Newark, N.J., Shapiro received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1980. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.  After completing a medical residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University, he trained as a fellow in renal diseases at the University of Colorado. He is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology.

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Monday March 26, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University to co-sponsor upcoming Appalachian Health Summit on neurological disorders

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University is partnering with the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Kentucky (UK) to present a one-day conference, "Appalachian Health Summit -  Neurological Disorders:  Quality of Life and Potential for Recovery," on Thursday, March 29, at the Lexington Convention Center.

According to Dr. Richard M. Niles, senior associate dean for research and graduate education at Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, a number of university researchers, including faculty, students and medical school residents, will present their work at the conference, while others will participate in the conference's scientific sessions.

"This summit is an excellent opportunity for our faculty and students to share their work with colleagues from other institutions around the region," he said. "We have at least eight Marshall researchers who will be traveling to Lexington to present the results of their studies in a variety of areas, including cancer and chemotherapy, endometriosis, diabetes and drug development."

Niles said that although the summit is a scientific-based conference targeted at faculty and research personnel, anyone interested in improving the health status of citizens across the region is encouraged to attend the free program. He added that there will also be representatives from government agencies, private foundations and community organizations.

The summit will feature a keynote address by Dr. V. Reggie Edgerton, distinguished professor, Departments of Integrative Biology and Physiology, Neurobiology and Neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles. Other sessions will focus on therapies for stroke; chronic pain and substance abuse; new paradigms in drug delivery and development; quality of life following neurotrauma; risk-related behaviors; and research funding opportunities from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The summit is a program of the Appalachian Translational Research Network, whose mission is to enhance research collaborations among partner institutions, and to establish a platform for interaction and sharing best practices among academic institutions, healthcare providers and community organizations.

In addition to Marshall and UK, network partners include the Appalachian Regional Commission, Morehead State University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Pikeville, University of Cincinnati, and the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Marshall and UK also are partnering as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program aimed at speeding the time for laboratory discoveries to benefit patients. The funding supports scientists in Marshall's clinical research program, training fellowships and early stage clinical research trials.

For more information, visit

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Friday March 23, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall organizations conducting drive for supplies to aid Logan County

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In an effort to help Logan County, W.Va., recover from recent and devastating flooding, the Office of Community Engagement and the Student Government Association at Marshall University are conducting a drive for supplies.

Items needed include brooms, mops, shovels, paper towels, bleach, bottled water, anti-bacterial soap, laundry detergent, rubber gloves, work gloves, dishwashing detergent, buckets, hand sanitizer, disinfectants,  garbage bags, cleansers, plastic cups/plates/utensils, flashlights/batteries, scrubbing towels, dust pans, disinfectant wipes,  bathroom cleaners,  glass cleaners, scouring pads, sponges, floor cleaners, spray bottles, scrub brushes, baking soda and white vinegar.

One suggestion on how to donate is to fill a laundry basket with supplies and drop if off at the front entrance of the Memorial Student Center Wednesday and Thursday, March 28 and 29.  Enterprise Rent-A-Car has generously donated a truck to transport the supplies.  A representative from Marshall University will deliver the supplies to Logan County on Friday, March 30.

"Help us show how much Marshall and the Huntington community care about and support our neighboring counties," said Elizabeth Sheets, coordinator of the Office of Community Engagement.

For more information, contact Sheets at 304-696-2285.

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Friday March 23, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Multi-university research, education and technology transfer consortium kicks off with first meeting in Huntington

Unique partnership to focus on transportation
and economic development in three-state region

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The kickoff meeting of the Multimodal Transportation and Infrastructure Consortium (MTIC), led by the Rahall Transportation Institute at Marshall University, began today at the RTI offices.

The consortium, which comprises transportation research centers from Marshall, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Hampton University, will focus on innovations in multimodal freight and passenger transportation systems and infrastructure designed to encourage economic development.

The consortium in January 2012 received a $3.5 million competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall said the consortium will meet the demands of a tighter national budget and of a multi-state region's transportation needs.

"RTI has grown and developed successfully with a broad vision of building jobs through transportation.  This new partnership can yield further returns across a broader region and for the nation," said Rahall, top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  "A nation's economy is only as strong as its infrastructure. The research, training and tech transfer MTIC will tackle not only assist in maintaining our transportation systems in good order, but help the country meet our next generation of transportation challenges and opportunities."

Robert H. Plymale, RTI's director and CEO, said the consortium brings a national perspective to university transportation center research. "MTIC is the only one out of only a handful of transportation research centers in the nation that will be focusing on intermodal and multimodal transportation as it relates to economic development," Plymale said. "We are bringing together invaluable expertise and practical experience from these four universities to help our region and our nation determine what transportation can do to promote commerce."

Joe Crabtree, director of the University of Kentucky Transportation Center, said, "We are excited to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with our partners at Marshall University, the University of Louisville, and Hampton University to address the critical transportation issues facing our region and our nation.  It is essential that we make the best possible use of all our transportation modes in order to ensure our future safety, economic vitality, and economic competitiveness."

Dr. J. P. Mohsen, professor and chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Louisville and director of Louisville's Center for Transportation Innovation (CTI), said he is excited about being part of the new consortium.

"CTI's decade-long involvement with the University of Kentucky Transportation Center has demonstrated the synergy that is created when universities collaborate to tackle large scale transportation problems," Mohsen said. "Along with Marshall University and Hampton University, as well as UK, we at the University of Louisville are now poised to make major contributions to the regional and national issues that relate to our waterways and their economic development potential."

Today's meeting of representatives from each of the four university's transportation centers covers topics ranging from workforce development to creation of committees and reporting requirements for the grant. This is the first full meeting of the group since the grant was awarded in January, Plymale said.

More specific information about research being undertaken, goals and future meetings of MTIC will be available on the consortium's web site,, as the group progresses in the coming months. A video report on today's meeting is available for use by the media at

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

Leah Amico, three-time softball gold medalist, featured speaker at Schmidlapp Distinguished Lectureship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Leah Amico, a three-time USA Softball Olympic gold medalist, will be the featured speaker at the annual Schmidlapp Distinguished Lectureship in Women's Studies at Marshall University.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5 in Room BE5 on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall's Huntington campus. It is free to the public and refreshments will be served. 

This year's Schmidlapp Lectureship is titled "A Celebration of Title IX." Maybelle Blair, who played professional baseball in the 1940s and 1950s with the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, will be a special guest.

"These amazing women will help us to appreciate the significance of Title IX's passage 40 years ago and why it remains crucial for women's sports today," said Dr. Greta Rensenbrink, director of Women's Studies at MU.

In addition to winning three Olympic gold medals, Amico is a two-time world champion, a two-time Pan-American Games champion and a three-time national champion with the University of Arizona. She was named in 2006 to the NCAA Division I Softball 25th Anniversary Team and she holds the Women's College World Series record for batting average in a single tournament, hitting .750 (9 for 12) in 1994.

The Schmidlapp lecture is sponsored by the Charlotte M. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank Trustee. For more information, contact Rensenbrink at or 304-696-2955.

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Wednesday March 21, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A recent study conducted at Marshall University may eventually help scientists develop new treatments for prostate cancer, the most common malignancy in American men.

The study, which focused on the effects of cadmium on the prostate, was conducted by Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, an associate professor in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and an international team of colleagues from the University of L'Aquila and the National Cancer Institute in Italy, and the University of Colorado Denver and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the United States.

An extremely toxic metal found in industrial workplaces, cadmium is commonly used in electroplating and is a key component in batteries and some paints. It is also found in cigarettes and some food supplies.

According to Claudio, scientists believe the prostate may be a target for cancer caused by cadmium, although the underlying mechanisms have been unclear.

"In our study, we investigated the effects of cadmium exposure in normal and in tumor cells derived from human prostate tissue," he said. "We were able to demonstrate the molecular mechanisms cadmium uses to induce carcinogenesis in the prostate."

Claudio, who said he has spent the last 15 years conducting research to understand the crosstalk between the factors that contribute to cancer progression versus those that protect from it, says this study is important because once those molecular mechanisms are understood, new therapies can be tailored to treat prostate cancer.

He added, "The focus of work in our laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms governing malignant transformation in order to tailor novel therapeutic strategies. To effectively design novel biological drugs, a thorough understanding of the mechanism of cancer pathogenesis is required. Our study will contribute to the body of knowledge available to science and may lead to exciting new treatments for this common cancer."


The research was published today in the journal PLoS ONE. The full article, "Cadmium Induces p53-Dependent Apoptosis in Human Prostate Epithelial Cells," is available online at


The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.


For more information, contact Claudio at or 304-696-3516.


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Wednesday March 21, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Marshall jazz ensemble to appear in Wheeling Monday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Jazz Ensemble will present a concert  in Glessner Auditorium at Oglebay State Park in Wheeling at 7 p.m. Monday, March 26. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

This concert is part of the ensemble's spring tour, said Dr. Ed Bingham, professor of music and director of jazz studies at Marshall.

"The Marshall University Jazz Ensemble welcomes the opportunity to visit the Wheeling area and looks forward to performing for our 'neighbors to the North,'" Bingham said. 

Other performances during the tour include appearances at St. Clairsville High School in Ohio, the Lincoln High School Jazz Festival in Shinnston, W.Va., and Capital High School in Charleston.

The MU Jazz Ensemble has a long history of festival and concert appearances and is a central part of Marshall University's Jazz Studies program. The band has performed at the Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival, the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival, (France) the Jazz Education Network's Inaugural Conference in St. Louis, the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, the Elmhurst Jazz Festival and many others.

Marshall hosts an annual jazz festival, now in its 44th year, that showcases world-class jazz musicians and ensembles  alongside high school and collegiate performances. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans was the most recent professional highlight of the jazz festival.

For further information contact Bingham by e-mail at or by phone at 304-696-3147.

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Monday March 19, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Researchers present at international scientific meetings

 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University biomedical sciences researchers are presenting their work in the fields of toxicology and cancer biology at international scientific meetings this month and in April.

Dr. Monica Valentovic, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, presented at last week's Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Her talk focused on her lab's work to evaluate ways to reduce the side effects of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs.

Mike Brown, a biomedical sciences doctoral candidate working in Valentovic's lab, also presented at the conference. He discussed his research examining ways to reduce liver damage caused by acetaminophen use.

In addition, Valentovic served as chairman of the meeting's Renal Toxicology Session

The conference is the largest toxicology meeting and exhibition in the world, with attendance of more than 7,500 scientists from academia, government and industry from around the globe.

Another biomedical sciences doctoral candidate, Johannes Fahrmann, will be presenting his research to explore the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia at next month's Experimental Biology conference in San Diego.

Fahrmann works in the lab of Dr. W. Elaine Hardman, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology.

Valentovic will also be presenting at Experimental Biology. In that talk, she will discuss her work to examine the mechanisms for reducing cancer chemotherapy adverse effects to the kidney. That research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Nearly 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing academic institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations and private corporations attend the annual Experimental Biology meeting to share information about recent developments in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, nutrition and pharmacology.

For more information, contact Valentovic at 304-696-7332 or, or Hardman at 304-696-7339 or


Photo: Dr. Monica Valentovic presented at last week's Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting in San Francisco and will also present at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego.

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Monday March 19, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Dr. Corley Dennison named associate VP for academic affairs, dean of undergraduate studies at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Corley Dennison has been named associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies at Marshall University. He will begin his new duties July 1.

Dennison has been dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications since March 2005. Dr. Gayle Ormiston, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said Dennison was chosen after a national search. He replaces Dr. Frances Hensley, who is retiring.

"I wish to thank everyone for their support during the search process," Dennison said. "Dr. Frances Hensley has done a great job in this position and I look forward to working with her during the transition and look forward to working with academic affairs, faculty and staff during the coming years."

Although the search was nationwide, Ormiston said Marshall didn't have to look far to find the most qualified candidate.

"The best candidate for the position already was a member of the Marshall community," Ormiston said. "We look forward to Dr. Dennison's contributions to the university's student success efforts."

Dennison, a native of Sutton, W.Va., has been at Marshall since 1985, teaching a full range of graduate and undergraduate journalism and mass communications courses during that time. He was assistant dean from 2003 until 2004, then served a year as interim dean.

Dennison received his B.A. in Mass Communications in 1976 from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and his master's degree in English with emphasis in Speech Communications in 1984 from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.

In 1992, Dennison earned his Ed.D. from West Virginia University in Educational Administration, with a minor in Journalism.

Dennison served as president of the Marshall University Faculty Senate from 1997 to 1999.  He was named the assistant dean of University College in 1999 and served in that position until 2003.

Recently, Dennison has been heavily involved in retention efforts at Marshall, first serving as chair of the Retention Committee in 2009, and now serving as co-chair with Hensley of the Strategic Enrollment Planning Council.

"The purpose is to promote retention," Dennison  said of the planning council. "We wanted to get the rate of freshmen to sophomores up and get the graduation rate up. It is important that once they get in school they succeed. I'm very pleased with the effort made by everybody on the council."

Among the activities implemented from the committees were Week of Welcome and Freshmen First Class-UNI 100.

Many improvements took place during Dennison's years as dean of the school of journalism. Among those were the bringing of West Virginia Public Broadcasting to campus, upgrading the TV studio to HD digital, starting a new major in sports journalism and starting a new student organization called Out Loud Creative, a student-run public relations and advertising agency.

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Monday March 19, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MU female athletes to be recognized as part of Title IX celebration

MU female athletes to be recognized as part of Title IX celebration

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, Marshall University's Women's Studies has planned a week of events April 2-7 to celebrate and recognize Marshall's female athletes.

The week begins on Monday, April 2, with a reception to honor Marshall's female athletes from 5 to 7 p.m. in the third-floor atrium of the Drinko Library on MU's Huntington campus.

On Thursday, April 5, the Schmidlapp Distinguished Lectureship in Women's Studies presents three-time Olympic gold medalist Leah O'Brien-Amico and special guest Maybelle Blair, a former All-American Girls Baseball League player. 

A panel discussion about the effects, significance and future of Title IX will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the Memorial Student Center, Room 2W37.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Kat Williams at 304-696-2959.

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Friday March 16, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy,, 304-691-1713

Marshall University School of Medicine places 100 percent of graduating seniors in national match

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Every single graduating medical student from Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has been placed in a residency program via the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), marking the first time ever 100 percent of the class has matched.

The NRMP pairs graduating seniors with graduate medical programs across the country where they will train for the next three to five years.

"For the first time in the history of the School of Medicine, 100 percent of our students have matched in their chosen medical specialties, exceeding the average of 95 percent that we've had for the last five years," said Dr. Marie Veitia, associate dean, student affairs.

In all, 64 seniors learned their residency placements at noon today when they and their counterparts nationwide opened envelopes containing their residency decisions.

Just over 67 percent of graduating seniors will enter fields defined as primary care in West Virginia - family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine/pediatrics, and pediatrics - continuing Marshall's mission of educating physicians for the nation's rural areas. Additionally, about one-third of the class will remain in West Virginia, 17 of them training at Marshall.

"We are delighted that a significant number elected to remain at Marshall while others matched in primary care and highly competitive fields of medicine such as emergency medicine, radiology, and anesthesiology at schools across the country," Veitia said. "Marshall students matched at programs at Duke, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth, Emory and three outstanding programs in California."

The California programs are University of California-Irvine, University of California-San Diego, and Loma Linda University.

Video of today's event can be viewed at A complete list of the placements is available at

For more information contact Leah Clark Payne at 304-691-1713.

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Tuesday March 13, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1989

Marshall University hosting Visiting Fulbright Scholar from Czech Republic

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University is hosting Fulbright Visiting Scholar Dr. Radim Hedl from the Czech Republic this semester.

An expert in forest ecology, Hedl is head of the Department of Vegetation Ecology at the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He is one of approximately 800 outstanding foreign faculty and professionals teaching or conducting research in the United States this year through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.

His research, which has taken him to a number of countries including Chile, Malaysia and Brunei, focuses on the diversity and dynamics of forest vegetation, the historical human impact on ecosystems and the conservation of forest ecosystems.

While at Marshall, Hedl is working in the laboratory of Dr. Frank S. Gilliam, professor of biological sciences, to study environmental factors responsible for maintaining forest understory diversity.

According to Hedl and Gilliam, this topic is critical considering the recent losses of species and ecosystem biodiversity. Their research is focusing on small-scale variation in soil resources, which is important for the composition of herb communities in hardwood forests, common both in West Virginia and the Czech Republic.

While working with Gilliam, Hedl expects to learn more about the role of nitrogen in temperate hardwood ecosystems, using two sites in West Virginia where long-term research has been conducted.

"Though we had never met personally, Dr. Hedl and I had been familiar with each other's research through the scientific literature," said Gilliam. "I was quite honored that he chose our laboratory for his Fulbright study. Certainly, our work with forest ecosystems is very similar, even complementary, but just on different continents."

Tomorrow at noon Hedl will be presenting a seminar, "Between the Czech Republic, Borneo, and West Virginia:  Research opportunities in vegetation ecology," about his past, current and collaborative work in West Virginia. The seminar, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 277 of the Science Building.

An informal pre-talk reception will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Room 350 of the Science Building.

Hedl has bachelor's and master's degrees in geobotany from Charles University in Prague, and a doctorate in forest ecology from Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic.

The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided nearly 300,000 people approximately 110,000 of them from the United States with an opportunity to study, teach or research abroad. Approximately 180,000 students, scholars and teachers from other countries have participated in the Fulbright Program since its inception. The program allows grantees to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The program operates in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

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Tuesday March 13, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Green Cleaning expert featured in Marshall University's Lunch and Learn sustainability lecture series

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An expert on green cleaning will deliver the next presentation in Marshall University's Lunch and Learn Sustainability Lecture Series Thursday, March 22, beginning at noon.

The lecture will take place at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, 519 John Marshall Dr.

Doug Chapman, vice president of development for Aetna Building Maintenance, will dispel myths behind green cleaning and discuss how businesses and individuals can be good stewards of the environment through the use of nonhazardous chemicals, proper equipment, processes, consumables, materials and recycling.

Which is truly better: hand dryers or paper towels? How is indoor air quality affected by the use of traditional vacuums vs. CRI-approved equipment? What is the proper and safe way to dispose of used floor wax stripper? Chapman will answer those questions and also address Green Seal Certification; how cleaning offices during the daytime is sustainable and saves money; how green cleaning is an integral part of environmental stewardship; how green chemicals impact productivity; and the cost benefit of green chemicals.

Aetna Building Maintenance and Marshall University have teamed up to launch a monthly lecture series to address sustainability topics to benefit organizations in the region. Topics will include energy management and conservation, green cleaning, lighting retrofits, recycling, alternative energy, water harvesting, storm water management, and LEED certification. All lectures in the series are free and open to local and tri-state businesses and organizations, but pre-registration is required. To register, go to

Typically, more than 40 area businesses are represented at the luncheon.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday March 12, 2012
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Wolfe Lecture Cancelled


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -The Harry and Betty Wolfe Lecture, featuring speaker Jessica Jackley and scheduled for tonight, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Foundation Hall, has been cancelled, according to Dr. Mary Todd, dean of Marshall University's Honors College.

 "We are hopeful that this event can be rescheduled in April," Todd said.

Direct Link to This Release

Friday March 9, 2012
Contact: Leannda Carey, , 304-696-6640

Public Relations Campaign Club to host Bob Evans Family Fun Night for River Valley Child Development Services

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Marshall University's Public Relations Campaign Club will host a Bob Evans Family Fun Night to benefit River Valley Child Development Services Tuesday, March 13.

Fifteen percent of the proceeds for any meal purchased at Bob Evans on Third Avenue in Huntington between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. will be given to RVCDS to benefit its new Tuition Investment Program Support (TIPS) scholarship foundation.

To be eligible to donate, customers must bring in a flier provided by the PRCC when purchasing meals. 

RVCDS envisions a society in which all children and their families have access to a full spectrum of educational, social and developmental programs, regardless of their cultural, societal and economic backgrounds, or their physical, mental or emotional differences. To make this society a reality, RVCDS does its best to provide affordable tuition to all children and provide scholarship programs for families with low income.

RVCDS serves more than 8,500 people a year with more than 140 employees.  Nearly 75 percent of staff members have earned college degrees. 

The Public Relations Campaign Club is a group of students from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University working to improve our skills as public relations professionals. As such, we work as a professional agency to aid real organizations in promoting themselves and fundraising.

The family fun night is just one of a series of events the Public Relations Campaigns Club will host this spring to benefit RVCDS.

A copy of the flier is available at

For more information regarding RVCDS, visit

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Friday March 9, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Self-identified feminists to discuss religion and feminism

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A discussion of religion and feminism, featuring a panel of five self-identified feminists, will take place Tuesday, March 13, at Marshall University.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in the atrium on the third floor of the Drinko Library on Marshall's Huntington campus. It is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Women's Center and Women's Studies.

Participants include religious leaders and the faithful from diverse faiths, who will speak about their relationships with faith and feminism.  The panelists are Liz Deal, Jean Eglinton, Rajia Hassib, Natalie Larson and Jean Sutton. Among the faiths represented by the panelists are Catholic, Muslim, Mormon and Presbyterian.

Leah Tolliver, director of the Women's Center, said the panelists will discuss their faith and feminism based on their own personal experiences.

"While all identify as feminists, each woman will likely define feminism according to its relevance in her life," Tolliver said. "It will definitely be an interesting discussion." 

Tolliver may be reached at


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Friday March 9, 2012
Contact: Jamie LoFiego, "Up Late," , 304-696-2967

Larry King appears on Marshall University student late-night show

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Legendary television and radio personality Larry King took a turn in the guest chair during a taping of "Up Late," Marshall University's student-produced late-night variety show.

King was interviewed by host Jamie LoFiego, who is also one of the instructors of Marshall's Introduction to Video Production class, which produces the late-night variety show. LoFiego said he was humbled to have the award-winning journalist on the show.

"It was an absolute honor to have the legend, Larry King, on the show for me to interview him," LoFiego said. "But, I feel that it was even more powerful for Mr. King to see the students produce this show since he's been in broadcasting for 50 years.

"Our students produced the show with the same level of professionalism that he's seen his entire career," LoFiego said.

The studio, located in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was abuzz during the taping of the Larry King episode, LoFiego said.

Zach Morris, sophomore public relations major from Charlton Heights, W.Va., said: "I honestly can't believe I was sitting in the presence of Larry King. To someone involved in the field of journalism it was so much more than just Larry King. He's an icon, someone to aspire to be like professionally, and seeing him at Marshall University was extremely gratifying."

Meg Johnson, a senior from St. Joe High School, said, "I was amazed to be in the studio watching Jamie LoFiego interview Larry King. It was as if we were in New York City or Los Angeles on a nationally produced set. He was interviewing a big name guest, the audience responded extremely well, and the crew worked so well for everything to come together."

Also this week, "Up Late" features musical guest Big Daddy and the Mudcats from Summersville, W.Va.; an upstart cast member who voices his opinion about the show's lack of comedy; and unexpected fan mail from down South.

This episode of "Up Late" will air at 11 p.m. Saturday on MyZ-TV and on Comcast Channel 25 throughout the week. Suddenlink Communications is also airing the show on Channels 19 and 22 in its different markets. "Up Late" can be found online at

The show grew out of Marshall's Introduction to Video Production class taught by instructors LoFiego and Eric Himes, who both work with Marshall's Instructional Television Channel 25. It is produced entirely by students and has a late-night show quality featuring interviews, skits, ridiculous stunts, guest bands and comedy.


Photo: Host Jamie LoFiego, left, talks with legendary radio and television personality Larry King last week during the taping of "Up Late." Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.  


Direct Link to This Release

Friday March 9, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall to honor degree candidates with two ceremonies; Countdown to Commencement set for March 13-14

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will honor its May 2012 degree candidates with two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The first ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. and honor associate and bachelor's degree candidates. Master's and doctoral degree candidates will be honored in a ceremony at 2 p.m.

"We are very pleased that this format will allow recognition of graduates while reducing the length of the ceremony, therefore making the event more comfortable for graduates and guests," said MU Registrar Roberta Ferguson.

To assist in preparation for the 175th commencement exercises, Countdown to Commencement is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13-14, in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.

Countdown to Commencement is designed to assist graduates in communicating with campus administrative offices in a central location.

The following services will be available at Countdown to Commencement:

Registrar's Office - Students can verify graduation status, name format, and address for mailing diploma; confirm commencement participation; receive commencement instructions; pick up honor cords and tassels (if graduating with academic honors); and have an opportunity to ask any questions related to commencement.

Marshall University Bookstore - Students can be measured for and purchase their caps and gowns, as well as purchase tassels, diploma frames, class rings, graduation announcements and much more. They also can order personalized graduation announcements at this time.

Jostens - Students can purchase their Marshall University Class of 2011 rings. All rings are on sale and priced as low as $159 for women and $179 for men.

Classic Photography - Cap and Gown portraits will be taken. There is no sitting fee, no obligation to purchase and free proofs will be available within 24 hours of the sitting. 

Framing Success - Diploma frames will be available for purchase.

Graduate College - A graduate admission counselor will be available to discuss graduate programs and assist with the admission process.

Career Services - Students are encouraged to let the Career Center know their post-graduation plans so it can help them along their career paths. Students may stop by the Career Services table to register for JOBTRAX (online job search assistance). Information and support will be available on job-related questions, resume assistance, interview skills and much more.

Office of the Bursar - Students may talk with staff about anything concerning their student accounts, holds, account balances and loan counseling interviews. For loan counseling, students will need to bring their student IDs and the addresses and phone numbers of two references.

Financial Aid - Students may pick up information about federal student loan consolidation programs.

Campus ID Office - Issues regarding students' HigherOne accounts or Points accounts may be resolved.

Center for African American Students' Programs - Students may enroll and prepare for the April 26th Donning of Kente Celebration of Achievement. They also will be provided with academic advising for graduate school and post-graduate employment.

Center for International Programs - Graduating study abroad students and international students will be able to purchase international flag sashes. Also, information about work, teaching and study opportunities abroad will be distributed.

Alumni Relations - Students can learn about the benefits of a Marshall University Alumni Association membership.

For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar at 304-696-6410.

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Thursday March 8, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Marshall ceramics student to display work at national conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Jason Kiley, a Marshall University Department of Art and Design graduate student, will have work displayed in three different exhibitions at the 2012 conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) March 28 through 31 in Seattle, Wash.

Kiley, who is in his second year of graduate studies with an emphasis on ceramics and sculpture, will have work in the NCECA 2012 National Student Juried Exhibition, where he was among the 39 of 500 chosen. His work will also be seen in Cups and Coffee, a juried international cup show, and Informal Exchange Implied, an exhibition taking place at the Center for the Ceramic Arts.

The NCECA is a large ceramics conference that is held in a different city every year. 

"Thousands of ceramic artists attend each year to see presentations, exhibitions, and each other," Kiley said.  "It is a great time to see new work and make connections in the ceramics world, but most of all it is good to see all your 'clay friends' all in the same city."

Kiley said this is the first year his work will be on display at the conference but he enjoys going to the all exhibitions for another important reason.

"So many people I have met in ceramics are spread across the United States and the world, and most try real hard to make it to this conference each year," Kiley said. "So when I am able to attend it is kind of like a reunion as well as a professional conference."

In addition to being a graduate student, Kiley also is Marshall's ceramic studio technician.


Photo:  "My Feminine Side," a piece by Marshall University graduate student Jason Kiley, will be shown in the National Student Juried Exhibition at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday March 8, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University to host public meeting on soccer field project

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will host a public meeting on Monday, March 19, regarding its plans to build a soccer field on the current site of the Veterans Memorial Field House located at 5th Avenue and 26th Street in Huntington.


The meeting will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Shawkey Dining Room, Memorial Student Center, One John Marshall Dr., Huntington.


The purpose of the meeting is to explain the project, describe the opportunities and advantages the new Veterans Memorial Soccer Field will provide for student athletes and the Huntington community, and elicit public comments.


The university is working in cooperation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which is reviewing the project under the provisions of Chapter 29, Article 1, Section 8 of the West Virginia Code. The meeting is intended to provide an opportunity for members of the public to participate in the review process.


Interested parties who wish to speak must sign up no later than five minutes before the meeting is to begin. For those unable to attend in person, written comments may be submitted no later than March 19 to the following address:


Marshall University
Attention:  F. Layton Cottrill Jr., Senior VP for Executive Affairs and General Counsel
One John Marshall Dr.
Old Main, Suite 216
Huntington, WV  25755-1060


For information about the review process, visit

Direct Link to This Release

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

Campbell named Director of Diversity for Marshall Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Shelvy L. Campbell has been named Director of Diversity for the Marshall University Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy.  She assumed her duties March 1.

Campbell is responsible for developing diversity and equity programs for the schools of medicine and pharmacy ensuring a quality and inclusive educational experience for all students, faculty and staff.

"Dr. Campbell brings much experience and knowledge that will greatly enhance our efforts in diversity education," said Dr. Darshana Shah, associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development. "Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious and it's great to have her on our team."

A veteran of higher education administration, Campbell has served in human resources and admissions positions at both West Virginia State University and Marshall University for the past 18 years.    Campbell worked for Marshall at its South Charleston campus for more than a decade as the Graduate Records and Admissions Supervisor. She most recently was the Civil Rights and Equity Compliance Administrator at West Virginia State University's Gus R. Douglass Institute, a position she had held since 2008.

"I am excited for the opportunity to return to Marshall University and to be a part of the School of Medicine/School of Pharmacy team," Campbell said.  "My goal, in collaboration with all academic and administrative units, is to provide leadership in supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where diverse perspectives are respected and modeled."

"Additionally, I am committed to increasing the diversity of students, faculty, and staff and most importantly, to continually engage in self-reflection to better understand how to exemplify our diversity commitment."

Dr. Robert C. Nerhood, interim dean of the School of Medicine, said, "We are excited to have Dr. Campbell on board with us. Her experience in the areas of diversity and inclusion development is extensive and will help guide the SOM to a new level of cultural diversity."

Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy, said, "Dr. Campbell is an excellent addition to our staff and I am eager to begin working with her as we build a School of Pharmacy based on an interdisciplinary, team-based academic community that includes students and faculty from many different backgrounds."

Campbell has presented on such topics as "Writing a Compliant Affirmative Action Plan" and "Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity."  She has participated in dozens of professional and community activities including the 2011 West Virginia Minority Health Advocacy Group, the City of Dunbar Recreational Commission and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from West Virginia State University, a master's degree in industrial and employee relations from Marshall University, an education specialist degree from Marshall as well as a doctorate in higher education leadership from Capella University.

For more information contact  Dr. Shelvy Campbell at 304-691-1607.

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Thursday March 8, 2012
Contact: Dr. Keith Beard, Director, Psychology Clinic,, 304-696-2781

Support group for college-age students with difficulty communicating with their parents starts this month

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Psychology Clinic is sponsoring a support group for college-age individuals who have difficulty communicating with their parents beginning this month. While the group members do not need to be currently enrolled in college, they should still be in that age range.

"Our relationships with our parents are the first relationships we have with others," said Dr. Keith Beard, professor of psychology and director of the clinic. "These interactions are often the foundation for how we interact with other people."

The group will focus on coping with the negative emotions associated with poor parent relationships, problem-solving troublesome interactions with parents and improving relationships with others that have suffered because of the stress often associated with a poor relationship with one's parents, Beard said.

"This is a great opportunity for college-age people who have just begun to experience problems with their parents," said Jennifer Lucas, who will be one of the co-therapists. "Difficulties with parents often arise when people are becoming independent and parents have difficulty knowing how much to 'hold on and let go.' Likewise, the group will be useful for those who have historically had trouble communicating with their parents. These relationships don't have to continue to be bad or, at the very least, the person can learn how to more effectively interact with his or her parents."

Jennie Mancuso, the other co-therapist for the group, noted that the group will allow students to connect with others who have experienced similar problems. "The group will aid them in improving their relationships with their parents and getting past the hurt that is often held onto," she said.

The group will run on Mondays for eight weeks beginning in mid-March. For further information, persons may call the Marshall University Psychology Clinic at 304-696-2772, option 1.

Direct Link to This Release

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

Thundering Word repeats as state champion

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Thundering Word Speech and Debate team set a new state record in total points scored, repeating as state champion at the 2012 West Virginia Intercollegiate Forensic Association State Championship with a cumulative score of 741 points.

WVU-Parkersburg was second with 115. Other schools competing were Alderson-Broaddus College, Ohio Valley University, Shepherd University and West Liberty University. The tournament took place Feb. 24-25 at WVU-Parkersburg.

"The students and graduate assistant coaches had done a tremendous job preparing for the state competition," Thundering Word Coach Danny Ray said. "We entered a total of 49 individual slots and placed 44 of them in the final rounds of competition. The team was hungry for success and the amount of hard work they did is a tribute to our university! I have never been more proud."

The team was first in overall sweepstakes, first in individual event sweepstakes and first in debate sweepstakes.

Ray said this year's state championship was made possible because of the incredible support provided to the Thundering Word by graduate teaching assistants.

"Cassie Craft, a graduate of Marian College; Miranda Morgan, a graduate of Bradley University; Nik Payne, a graduate of Bradley University, and Evan Zuverink, a graduate of Michigan State University, have all brought expertise from their nationally successful programs to Marshall," Ray said. "Without their dedication, the Thundering Word would not be able to achieve this level of success this soon, since the program was revitalized in 2010."

Also the support of the department of Communication Studies, under the leadership of Dr. Camilla Brammer, chair, Dr. David Pittenger, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and President Stephen Kopp are directly responsible for the success of the team, Ray said. "Without the leadership and support of our administration, faculty and staff, our team would not be able to achieve the type of success experienced this weekend."

2012 WVIFA State Championship
Marshall results

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Ryan Jackson, quarterfinalist; Kendrick Vonderschmitt and Jackie Stalnaker, semifinalists

Debate Speaker Award: 1. Kendrick Vonderschmitt; 4. Ryan Jackson; 6. Jackie Stalnaker

Pentath (students entered in 5 or more events): 1. Ryan Jackson, 100 points; 2. Kendrick Vonderschmitt, 89 points; 3. Hailey Lara, 87 points; 4. Victoria Ledford, 75 points; 5. Jackie Stalnaker, 67 points.6. Mary Chaffee, 53 points.

Prose Interpretation: 1. Hailey Lara, straight 1s in preliminary rounds and straight 1s in finals; 2. Victoria Ledford; 3. Ryan Jackson; 5. Devan Sample

Extemporaneous Speaking: 1. Ryan Jackson; 2. Kendrick Vonderschmitt; 4. Sabrina Tabassum

5. Hailey Lara

Dramatic Interpretation: 1. Ryan Jackson; 2. Josh Gainer; 3.Victoria Ledford; 6. Mary Chaffee

After-Dinner Speaking: 1. Christian Adams; 2. Victoria Ledford; 4. Mary Chaffee; 5. Jacqueline Stalnaker

Persuasive Speaking; 1. Hailey Lara; 3. Kendrick Vonderschmitt; 4. Sabrina Tabassum

Impromptu Speaking: 1. Kendrick Vonderschmitt; 2. Jacqueline Stalnaker; 3. Mary Chaffee

Poetry Interpretation: 1. Ryan Jackson; 2. Devan Sample; 3. Jacqueline Stalnaker; 5. Mary Chaffee

Programmed Oral Interpretation: 1. Ryan Jackson; 2. Hailey Lara; 3. Devan Sample; 4. Kendrick Vonderschmitt; 5. Josh Gainer

Rhetorical Criticism: 1. Hailey Lara; 2. Victoria Ledford; 3. Kendrick Vonderschmitt; 4. Jacqueline Stalnaker

Dramatic Duo: 1. Victoria Ledford and Josh Gainer; 2. Hailey Lara and Christian Adams; 3. Ryan Jackson and Devan Sample; 4. Hailey Lara and Ryan Jackson

Informative Speaking: 1. Ryan Jackson; 2. Christian Adams; 3. Mary Chaffee; 4. Jacqueline Stalnaker; 6. Kendrick Vonderschmitt

Ryan Jackson, a senior political science major from Huntington, was the best speaker in the state competition. Along with his quarter-final and fourth-best speaker award in debate and his first  place in Pentath, he was the state champion in Extemporaneous Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Programmed Oral Interpretation and Informative Speaking. He also finished second in Prose Interpretation, third in Dramatic Duo with Devan Sample and fourth in Dramatic Duo with Hailey Lara.

Kendrick Vonderschmitt, a senior political science and history major and John Marshall Scholar,  was a semifinalist and best debate speaker in Lincoln Douglas Debate. In addition to his second-place finish in the Pentath award, he was the state champion in Impromptu Speaking. He also finished second in Extemporaneous Speaking, third in Persuasive Speaking, fourth in Programmed Oral Interpretation, third in Rhetorical Criticism and sixth in Informative Speaking.

Hailey Lara, a junior communication studies major and Honors College student from Huntington, was the third-best speaker in the state. Not only did she place third in Pentath, she was the state champion in Rhetorical Criticism, Persuasive Speaking and Prose Interpretation where Lara was awarded a first-place ballot from all seven of her judges, which is not an easy accomplishment. She also placed second and third  in Dramatic Duo with Christian Adams and Ryan Jackson, respectively. She placed fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking and second in Programmed Oral Interpretation. Hailey's win in the persuasion contest has qualified her for the 14th Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest.

Victoria Ledford, a freshman chemistry major from Braxton, W.Va., was the fourth-best speaker in the state. She won the state championship in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with Josh Gainer. She was also awarded second  in Prose Interpretation, third in Dramatic Interpretation, second in After Dinner Speaking and second in Rhetorical Criticism.


Jacqueline Stalnaker, a freshman spanish/political science major from Philippi, W.Va., was the fifth-best speaker in the state. She won fifth in After Dinner Speaking, second in Impromptu Speaking, third in Poetry Interpretation, fourth in Rhetorical Criticism and fourth in Informative Speaking.


Mary Margaret Chaffee, a freshman International Affairs major from Terra Alta, W.Va., was the sixth-best speaker in the state. She was awarded sixth in Dramatic Interpretation, fourth  in After Dinner Speaking, third in Impromptu Speaking, fifth in Poetry Interpretation and third in Informative Speaking.

Devan Sample, a freshman English major from Martinsburg, W.Va., won several awards. He was fifth in Prose Interpretation, second in Poetry Interpretation, third in Programmed Oral Interpretation and third in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with Ryan Jackson.

Christian Adams, a sophomore Biomedical Sciences major from Ona, W.Va., was the state champion in After Dinner Speaking. He also placed second in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with Hailey Lara and second in Informative Speaking.

Josh Gainer, a sophomore political science major from Parkersburg, W.Va., was the state champion in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with Victoria Ledford. He placed second in Dramatic Interpretation and fifth in Programmed Oral Interpretation.

Sabrina Tabassum, an international student from Bangladesh and a pre-pharmacy biomedical sciences major, was fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking and fourth in Persuasive Speaking.

Phillip Hose, a freshman computer science major from Martinsburg, W.Va., also competed for the first time with the Thundering Word.

Next for the Thundering Word are national competitions. The first is March 15-19 in Overland Park, Kan., for the Pi Kappa Delta comprehensive tournament. The NFA (National Forensic Association) National tournament is April 18-23 at Ohio University and the Interstate Oratorical Society's 147th national competition is April 27-29 at Emerson College in Boston, Mass.


Photo: Thundering Word team members include, from left, Jacqueline Stalnaker; Victoria Ledford; Hailey Lara; Christian Adams; Devan Sample; Ryan Jackson; Phillip Hose; Kendrick Vonderschmitt; Mary Chaffee, Sabrina Tabassum and Josh Gainer.

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday March 6, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, (304) 696-3296

Violauta Duo, Linda Dobbs to give recital March 14

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  - The Violauta Duo, which includes flutist Dr. Wendell Dobbs and guitarist Dr. Julio Alves, will be joined by soprano Linda Dobbs for a faculty recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall University's Huntington campus. The program is free and open to the public.

The duo will perform several works by themselves, beginning with Mauro Giuliani's Gran Duetto Concertante. Giuliani was a renowned guitarist and concert artist in the early 19th century, based in Vienna and traveling all over Europe. He is credited with developing much of modern guitar technique. Wendell Dobbs will perform this work on an antique flute made in Paris in 1852. The duo will also perform Lowell Liebermann's Sonata, a work of lush romanticism and virtuosity.

Later in the program Linda Dobbs will perform with Alves Four French Folksongs by Mátyás Seiber, a Hungarian composer who, like Bartok and Kodaly, collected folksongs from middle Europe. Works by Molino and de Falla will round out the program.

The trio of musicians will close the program with Camille Saint-Saëns' Invisible Flute Song, composed to the poetry of Victor Hugo. It was presented at the wedding of Paul Taffanel, considered the father of modern flute playing.

Direct Link to This Release

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

Huntington Campus on 2-Hour Delay, Code A, Monday, March 5


Marshall University's Huntington campus will be on a two-hour delay, Code A, Monday, March 5. Code A affects the opening of classes only.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday March 5, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

StartUp WV Manufacturing program announces first class of entrepreneur awardees

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Offering the tools and technical assistance to take an entrepreneur's idea from concept to prototype with the goal of creating jobs for West Virginians, the StartUp WV Manufacturing program today announced its first class of seven awardees during an event at Marshall University's Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) on the university's South Charleston campus.


West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette, along with representatives of RCBI and TechConnect West Virginia - who have partnered to jointly operate the program -made the announcement.


Firms selected in this first class include Craft-Totes by Bell in Dunbar; MarTek in Big Chimney; Extreme Endeavors in Philippi; Carbon Fibers in Barboursville; HCS Technologies in Morgantown; and Wallace Metal Works and Floor Cam, both in Charleston.


"StartUp West Virginia Manufacturing will aid startup ventures and small manufacturers in the use of high-technology manufacturing tools and processes to create new manufacturing jobs and to commercialize products," Burdette said. "For those entrepreneurs and startup firms selected to participate, the program will help them find the expertise they need to turn ideas for new products or processes into reality."


Charlotte Weber, director and CEO of RCBI, said, "Under the program, awardees will utilize RCBI's advanced manufacturing technology center, its experienced staff and wide range of state-of-the-art equipment. Specifically, we will be able to assist awardees in the concept-to-reality portion through our recently announced Design Works labs, which will help jumpstart the idea, turn it into a prototype and then move it forward to the production phase."


Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect West Virginia, said, "This program was created to assist with product development, the most challenging phase of the business development process. Through StartUp WV Manufacturing, we will help entrepreneurs and startup firms create their products and through that, jobs and economic opportunity for West Virginia."


The program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and funding from the State of West Virginia.


The StartUp WV Manufacturing program will continue to consider applications on a rolling basis, and both businesses and individual entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply. For more information about the program or for an application, visit or, or call 800-469-RCBI (7224).


Direct Link to This Release

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

Application process under way for Summer 2012 Graduate Scholarship Tuition Waivers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Applications are now being accepted through Friday, April 6,  for the Marshall University Graduate Scholarship Tuition Waiver Program for Summer 2012, according to Dr. Donna Spindel,  dean of the Graduate College. The scholarship program provides tuition assistance for Marshall University graduate students and Marshall University full-time faculty and staff employees.

Applicants must be currently admitted and enrolled in a graduate degree-granting or certificate program at Marshall University.

The awarding of waivers is competitive and is made on the basis of academic achievement and promise, Spindel said. Students who received a Graduate Scholarship Tuition Waiver for Spring 2012 are NOT eligible for a waiver for Summer 2012. Student waivers have a maximum value of $750 to cover the cost of up to three credit hours for graduate coursework. Faculty/staff employee benefit waivers are available to all full-time faculty/staff employees of Marshall University and cover the complete cost of up to three credit hours for graduate coursework (with the exception of required fees). The waiver does not cover online courses.

Applicants who are awarded waivers will be notified by email. Waivers are posted to student accounts within 10 business days of approval and registration. Award recipients are responsible for any amount not covered by the waiver. Balances must be paid by the tuition/fee due date noted on the Bursar website at

Award recipients must be registered for graduate courses for the Summer 2012 term by Tuesday, May 1, in order to receive a waiver.  Spindel said applicants are encouraged to register for classes at the same time they submit a waiver application. Waivers for students who are not registered by May 1 will be assigned to other qualified applicants.

Applications are available in the Graduate College office (Old Main 113) on the Huntington campus, through a student's academic department office on the South Charleston campus, or online at

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Monday March 5, 2012
Contact: Lauren Kemp, Marshall University sociology major,, 412-735-9492

Students working on capstone project promote local foods event

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -  Marshall University students working on their senior capstone project are reaching out to local food producers within a 100-mile radius of Huntington who are willing to sell staple foods, including meat, poultry, fresh fruit and vegetables, and baking products.

Lauren Kemp of Pittsburgh, Pa., Christa Galvin of Red Bank, N.J. and Kelly Cox of Huntington are all seniors majoring in sociology. They are inviting local food producers to attend a dinner event focused on addressing barriers faced by small-scale producers. The dinner, sponsored by The River Cities Local Food Council, will feature keynote speaker Anthony Flaccavento of the Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies Academy.

Heritage Farm Museum and Village will host the free dinner at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 19. Local producers interested in attending this event may register online at or call Gail Patton at 304-412-3171 to register by phone.

"The implementation of a local food hub will help to reduce costs for farmers to bring products to market and create new business opportunities in the tri-state area," Kemp said. "We are seeking out producers that are interested in beginning a consumer cooperative style local food market, where only local products would be for sale. The market would be open up to 6 days per week and at more convenient hours than a regular farmers market. Producers would drop off their supplies but not have to vend to individual customers,  broadening their reach."

Kemp said that Flaccavento has been a certified organic produce farmer from Abington, Va., for the past 15 years, during which time he founded and directed Appalachian Sustainable Development. Flaccavento is also the author of "Healthy Food Systems: A Tool Kit for building Value Chains."

The event will begin with an informal meet and greet during which producers will be encouraged to express concerns or ask questions regarding local food systems.  A dinner prepared entirely from locally sourced food will follow. 

If you are interested in selling local food products, or for more information on the dinner event, contact Kelly Cox by e-mail at, or Gail Patton by phone at 304-412-3171.

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

Kiva co-founder, Jessica Jackley, speaks at Marshall next Monday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva - the revolutionary microlending  website - will be the featured speaker at the Harry and Betty Wolfe Lecture Monday, March 12, at Marshall University.

Jackley will speak on "Love, Money and Work: Social Entrepreneurship as a Career" at 7:30 p.m. at the Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on MU's Huntington campus. The event, sponsored by the Honors College and the College of Business, is free to the public. The Wolfe Lecture is serving for the first time as a convocation for students in the Honors College's new Second-Year Seminar in Leadership, Ethics and Civic Engagement.

Kiva, which lets users lend as little as $25 to poor entrepreneurs around the world, was launched in 2005 and now channels $2 million every week to entrepreneurs in the world's poorest communities. Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. It is primarily funded through the support of lenders making optional donations. It also raises funds through grants, corporate sponsors and foundations.

Jackley also is co-founder and chief executive of ProFounder, a platform providing new ways for small business entrepreneurs in the U.S. to access start-up capital through crowdfunding and community involvement.

Jackley is currently a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford's Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, has taught Global Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at USC, and lectures frequently at other universities around the country.

"She is an inspiring, young entrepreneur who offers a strong message and model of service and leadership," said Dr. Mary Todd, dean of Marshall's Honors College. "We are delighted to provide a forum for such a creative and energetic speaker."

Jackley is the recipient of the 2012 Symons Innovator Award, which recognizes the importance of women's participation in technology innovation and business. She received USA Networks' Character approved award in 2010.

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Friday March 2, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy,, 304-691-1713

Marshall University School of Medicine names Dr. Larry D. Dial to administrative post

 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After serving for seven months as interim chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, Dr. Larry D. Dial has been named chair of the department. He assumed his duties Feb. 29.

In making the announcement, interim dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Nerhood, applauded Dial's commitment to the school and the community.

"Dr. Dial brings tremendous experience, exuberance and excellence to this position and I'm confident the department of medicine will flourish under his direction," Nerhood said.  "He is not only a caring and competent physician, he is a great teacher for our students and residents and we are thrilled he has accepted the position."

Dial is a Huntington native who graduated from Marshall University in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.  Following his graduation from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 1999 as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (medical honorary), he completed a residency in internal medicine at Marshall and has since served the school in a variety of academic, clinical and administrative posts.

"My approach and drive towards administration is not to be confined to an office, however to be a provider who is willing to collaborate, navigate and direct the education and health care of those we serve," Dial said.  "I expect to continue to develop primary care services within the department, while refining and maintaining the pillars of subspecialty care established within the region."

In addition to his clinical duties at the School of Medicine, Dial has been active with the Ebenezer Medical Outreach Center since 2005 and with St. Mary's Medical Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 2002.

He's been honored with several teaching awards including Outstanding Teaching Attending Physician of the Year and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Humanism in Medicine Award.

Dial has been serving as interim chair since July 1, 2011, when he replaced Dr. Kevin Yingling who was tapped to lead Marshall's School of Pharmacy as founding dean.

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Friday March 2, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Distinguished biographer, Jean Edward Smith, to sign books on Marshall's campus Monday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's College of Liberal Arts will host a presentation and book signing by award-winning author Jean Edward Smith - a writer critics call "America's most distinguished biographer" and "America's greatest living biographer" - Monday, March 5.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center on MU's Huntington campus.

Smith, Marshall University's former John Marshall Professor of Political Science and the author of 12 books, will discuss his new biography, Eisenhower in War and Peace. Copies of his book will be available for sale and Smith also will be signing books.

In Eisenhower in War and Peace, Smith charts Eisenhower's rise from Abilene, to West Point, the peacetime Army, the maddening apprenticeship under Douglas MacArthur, his role as supreme commander in World War II, his dealings with Roosevelt, Churchill and de Gaulle, and his surprising achievements during the five years he spent as president of Columbia University. These impressive moments, along with many others, are brought to life in this biography.

The editors of Publisher's Weekly offer high praise for Eisenhower in War and Peace noting that "…Smith portrays a genuinely admirable Eisenhower: smart, congenial, unpretentious, and no ideologue. Despite competing biographies from Ambrose, Perret, and D'Este, this is the best."

Political columnist George F. Will has called Smith "today's foremost biographer of formidable figures in American history." He says of his latest work, "Dwight Eisenhower, who was more cunning than he allowed his adversaries to know, understood the advantage of being underestimated. Jean Edward Smith refutes this durable misunderstanding. Smith, America's greatest living biographer, demonstrates why, now more than ever, Americans should like Ike."  

Henry F. Graff, professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, also praised Smith's work.

"Jean Smith, indubitably America's most distinguished biographer, has now produced the classic life of Dwight Eisenhower. Ike, who rose from an anti-military and non-elite background, resides in the ranks of the greatest war heroes of history, not to speak of his place as a leader of post-Second World War peace.  Here he comes alive on every page - the beneficiary of the exhausting fresh research this handsomely written book is based upon. When the General died, Mamie, his lifelong wife, allowed that she never fully knew her famous husband.  No reader of Smith's work will render the same complaint." 

Smith's FDR was the winner of the 2008 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians. Smith's books include John Marshall: Definer of a Nation, Grant (a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist), and Lucius D. Clay: An American Life. Smith wrote biographies of Grant, Roosevelt and Eisenhower while he served as the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University for 12 years, following a 35-year career at the University of Toronto. A disciplined writer, he came to the office seven days a week, wrote in longhand, and did not use a computer or e-mail.

The much-lauded author is also the recipient of the 2010 Literary Merit Award of the West Virginia Library Association.

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Friday March 2, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Marshall University presents Young People's Concert

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's orchestra will participate in the 51st  Young People's Concert for all Cabell County fifth graders at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington. The concert is a collaboration among the university, the Music Division of the Woman's Club of Huntington and the Cabell County Board of Education.


The concert will be repeated that evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Recital Hall on Marshall University's Huntington campus. The evening performance is free and open to the public.


The Young People's Concert provides a unique opportunity for children and families to experience an orchestra concert, said Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, professor of music at Marshall and director of the orchestra.


"For most of these children it's the first time they've attended an orchestra program," Smith said, "and perhaps their first contact with classical music, and we want it to be a fun and positive experience."


Lindsay DiFatta, the concertmaster of Marshall's orchestra, will have an important part in the performances. "I am student teaching at Ona Elementary, and just finished up a unit with the fifth graders on the instrument families," she said. "I am hoping that when they get to see the orchestra, they will be able to make a lot of connections to what we talked about in class regarding the instrument families of the orchestra."


Each year, the Woman's Club sponsors a competition in January to choose a high school soloist for the concert. This year the soloist will be Claire Wayne of Clay County, who will be performing the slow movement of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the orchestra. 


"The bassoon is a really interesting instrument, both visually and in terms of the way it sounds, and I think the children will be fascinated," Smith said.


"I'm sure other university orchestras play youth concerts, but the partnership we have with the Woman's Club of Huntington and the Cabell County School Board, a partnership that has lasted 50 years, is indeed unique," Smith said, "and the Keith-Albee as the venue makes the experience even more special."


For more information please contact Jaye Ike at Marshall's College of Fine Arts by e-mail at or by phone at 304-696-3296.

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Thursday March 1, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall University to celebrate 175 years of education at State Capitol on Tuesday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - As the oldest public institution of higher learning in West Virginia, Marshall University is celebrating 175 years of education in 2012. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the university's faculty, staff, students and alumni will head to the State Capitol to mark the milestone.

Members of the Marshall community will greet visitors and interact with lawmakers in the Upper Rotunda from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The institution's namesake John Marshall, as portrayed by theater professor Jack Cirillo, also will be on hand. Visitors will be treated to historical displays as well as information about the university's 12 colleges featuring 159 majors and 105 degrees.

Resolutions will be read in the House of Delegates and the Senate declaring Feb. 28 to be "Marshall University Day," and the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps will play in the Senate chamber at approximately 10:45 a.m. Marshall students will be introduced in both chambers at approximately 11 a.m., and at noon, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp will make a special presentation to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in the Governor's Reception Room.

The event is organized by the MU Alumni Association.

In addition to a flurry of green and white, visitors can expect giveaways, including the alumni association's signature popcorn in commemorative containers and soft drinks. Marco, the mascot of the Thundering Herd, also will be in attendance. Visitors can speak with representatives from a variety of programs from athletics and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine to research and journalism, according to Nancy Pelphrey, coordinator of alumni programs.

"Marshall Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity for our state leaders and other visitors to see what we do on a daily basis and what we have to offer on our campuses in Huntington, South Charleston and Point Pleasant," Pelphrey said. "The 'We are… Marshall' spirit is never more evident than at our State Capitol on Marshall University Day, and with 2012 marking 175 years, visitors can expect to see some very special touches to the event."

For more information, contact the alumni association at (304) 696-2901.


About Marshall University

Marshall was founded in 1837 as an academy to educate local children. Named after John Marshall, chief justice of the United States from 1801-35, the academy was elevated to a college by the Virginia General Assembly in 1858. In 1961, the West Virginia Legislature awarded university status to the institution.

Today, Marshall University is one of the region's most dynamic universities, serving students from 47 states and more than 60 countries. Marshall offers undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs, and competes in Division I intercollegiate sports in Conference USA. Located in Huntington, West Virginia, Marshall is known for its beautiful campus, dedicated professors, small class size, successful graduates and great value.


Photos: (Above) As part of Marshall University Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 28, the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps will perform at approximately 10:45 a.m. in the Senate chamber. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University. (Below) Marshall students are shown here in 1870 on the steps of what is now known as Old Main. Photo courtesy of Marshall University.

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

Women of Color program set for March 6 at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Women of Color program will take place at noon Tuesday, March 6, on the Huntington campus.

Author/journalist Daisy Hernandez will be the keynote speaker for the program, which features the theme, "Be the Change," and will be presented in Room BE-5 on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center. Women of Color awards will be presented and a luncheon buffet will follow.

Hernandez is co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women on Today's Feminism and former editor of ColorLines, a news magazine on race and politics. In her writings for a range of publications, such as the National Catholic Reporter, the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, she always expressed a feminism that emphasizes race and immigration and broadens the movement beyond its early incarnation.                           

The Women of Color program activities are coordinated by Fran L. Jackson, Program Assistant II, Center for African American Students' Programs; Leah Tolliver, Director, Women's Center; Lisa Allen, Administrative Assistant, Multicultural Affairs, and Kesha Glover, Assistant Director of Residence Services.

The program is free to the public. Vendors and displays will be set up in the lobby of the Memorial Student Center throughout the day.

For more information, contact Fran L. Jackson at 304-696-6705.

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Thursday March 1, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Gallery 842 to open Juried Exhibition Friday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Gallery 842, operated by the Marshall University Department of Art and Design in collaboration with the local community, will host its Second Annual Juried Exhibition, opening at 6 p.m. Friday, March 2, with refreshments and art from the Huntington community and beyond.

A juried exhibition is a type of exhibition where artwork is submitted and a juror or panel of jurors decide which pieces will be in the exhibition, John Farley, director of Marshall University galleries, explained.

"In the case of this particular one, the competition was open to art students as well as artists in the community, region and beyond," Farley said.

The jurying panel was composed of faculty and staff from the Department of Art and Design and one outside juror, Brad Boston from the Education Department at the Huntington Museum of Art.

Approximately 40 artists are represented in the show, including students in Marshall University's art department as well as numerous entries from across the region. One artist is a grad student at the University of Missouri, for example.

"These kinds of exhibits are always exciting, for myself as well as visitors, because it is inevitably a diverse cross-section of contemporary art," Farley said. "The competition was open to artists working in any medium, student or professional, so the exhibit will be eclectic. There will be something for everyone."

For Andra Levy, a sculpture student at Marshall, it was an honor to have her work accepted into the Gallery 842 Juried Exhibition.

"I'm always honored when my work is chosen to be in a juried show," Levy said. "For an artist, it's confirmation that you're making something that people like. Having work in Gallery 842 gives us a great opportunity to share our artwork with the Huntington community."

Levy's marble sculpture of a woman's torso is deliberately untitled.

"She doesn't have a title because I didn't want her to have a name, nor be a specific woman," Levy said. "She could be any woman. The torso is based on me. Because I'm a little overweight, sometimes I feel people look down on me, or don't talk with me. That's part of the inspiration behind her. I feel that women are beautiful for who they are - not their looks. That's why she doesn't have a head - and she's slightly distorted."

Farley noted that juried competitions - or any public display of work - are a great way for an artist to gauge the quality and development of their work against that of their peers.

"As an artist, it's a chance to see what others are making, where you fit in - or not, network, gain exposure, polish your presentation skills, learn from others and think about what you are making in a broader context," Farley said. "This specific competition can be of particular benefit to students, in the sense that they are pitting themselves and their work against artists who may have far more experience, education, and so on. It is a worthwhile challenge, and an opportunity to grow, learn and hone their craft."

Admission to Gallery 842 is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Jaye Ike, by e-mail at or by phone at 304-696-3296.

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Thursday March 1, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Marshall to host two guest saxophone programs this month

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Department of Music will present two programs of saxophone music this month, on Friday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 6.

Dr. Michael Ibrahim, saxophone, and Dr. Peter Amstutz, piano, will present a program titled "American Works for Saxophone and Piano" at 8 p.m. Friday, March 2 in Smith Music Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus.

"Dr. Ibrahim's playing displays the highest standards of the saxophone community and the program he has chosen to present gives an excellent perspective of the best compositions for the instrument," said Dr. Ed Bingham, Marshall University professor of music, who teaches saxophone.

Ibrahim, a member of the music faculty at West Virginia University, enjoys an active career of solo, chamber and orchestral work in both contemporary and traditional realms. Noted for his "sheer virtuosity and musical intensity" (Calgary Herald), he has performed throughout North America, France, Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Holland. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Bowling Green State University, the Université Européenne de Saxophone in France, the University of Calgary, and the University of Regina. He recently received the Outstanding Teaching Award for the School of Music. In addition to WVU, he has taught at Columbia University, the University of Calgary, and Mount Royal College. He recently published the book New Aesthetics in Contemporary Saxophone Music. He is a Conn-Selmer and Vandoren Artist and performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and Vandoren products.

Amstutz is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at West Virginia University. A prizewinner in the Maryland International Piano Competition and medalist in the Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, Amstutz has performed throughout Europe and the United States. In recent years, he has also made frequent tours of Asia, presenting recitals and master classes in major cities of Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Peoples Republic of China. Examples of critical acclaim for performances by Peter Amstutz come from, among many others, The New York Times ("Sweetly singing tone…") and the Denver Post ("Crisp, crystalline touch…a joyous performance"). A student at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Amstutz earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees as a student of Leon Fleisher and his Bachelor of Music degree with Walter Hautzig. As a Fulbright Scholar, he also studied in Austria for two years with Dieter Weber and Noel Flores at the Vienna Academy of Music.

A saxophone quartet and sextet from Morehead State University will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in the Jomie Jazz Forum on Marshall's Huntington campus.

"I am excited to have a guest student saxophone ensemble perform at Marshall," Bingham said. "Our students will have an opportunity to hear an excellent ensemble that will perform music in a wide variety of styles. Saxophonists are a collegial group, as a rule, and we all benefit from hearing each other perform. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy this chamber music recital from our 'close neighbors' in Morehead."

Ambrym Quartet was formed in August 2011 by four sophomore music students at Morehead State University:  Kyle Malone (music performance), Tyler Donathan (jazz studies), David Jump and Isaac Blevins (music education).  The quartet has won the  Kentucky Music Teachers Association Chamber Music Competition and was the Kentucky representative to compete in the Music Teachers National Association Southern Division Competition in Clinton, Miss., in January. 

Dr. Masahito Sugihara, who will perform in the sextet, is the assistant professor of saxophone at Morehead State University. He earned the Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University as a student of Dr. Frederick L. Hemke. Sugihara has appeared as recitalist and clinician in Japan, Canada, Norway, and United States.  He is a member of the Anaphora Ensemble, Chicago Reed Quartet and Northshore Saxophone Trio and has performed in the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Dal Niente, Grant Park Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra  and New York City Ballet. Sugihara is a Rico Artist and performs on Rico Reserve Classic Alto Reeds and Rico Reserve Soprano Reeds.

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

Former Hillary Clinton campaign manager to speak at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Patti Solis Doyle, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, will speak at Marshall University next week as part of Women's History Month 2012.

Marshall is celebrating Women's History Month with 14 scheduled events that began Feb. 24 and continue through the week of April 2-6.

Doyle will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in Room BE5 in the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus. Her lecture is titled, "The Power of a Woman Leading the Way."

Doyle was the first Hispanic woman to lead a presidential campaign.  She has been honored by Hispanic Magazine with the "2007 Latinas of Excellence Award," and was named one of America's 100 most influential Hispanics by the Hispanic Business Magazine.

The event, sponsored by the Marshall University Women's Center, is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Leah Tolliver at the Women's Center (

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