May 2012 Press Releases

Thursday May 31, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Study explores gene therapy 'cocktail' for feline fibrosarcoma

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A team of researchers led by a Marshall University faculty member has found that a gene therapy "cocktail" may hold the key to treating feline fibrosarcoma an aggressive type of cancer that affects thousands of cats in the U.S. each year. Current therapies for the disease are often ineffective for long-term tumor eradication.

The research was conducted by Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, associate professor in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the Departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology and Surgery at the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and colleagues from the McKown Translational Research Institute at the school of medicine, the university's Department of Biology, the Martin Veterinary Clinic in Ashland, Ky., and the University of L'Aquila in Italy.

According to Claudio, there are two types of feline fibrosarcomas. The most common type has been linked to the use of vaccines administered to prevent rabies and feline leukemia, and occurs at the site of the injection. The second type appears to occur spontaneously, without any known external cause.

The study at Marshall focused on the more rare, non-vaccination site fibrosarcomas, which have been found to be associated with genetic alterations. It seemed a natural fit for Claudio, whose research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms governing the growth of cancers to help develop new strategies for treatment.

"Gene therapy, which we study in my lab, uses genetic and cell-based technologies to treat disease," he said. "Essentially, we were able to develop a cocktail of adenoviruses carrying functional therapeutic proteins that can be used to eliminate this deadly disease."

Claudio pointed out that more studies need to be done to determine if his lab's findings could also be applicable to cases of vaccine-induced fibrosarcomas.

The research was published yesterday in the journal PLoS ONE. The full article, "Targeting a newly established spontaneous feline fibrosarcoma cell line by gene transfer," is available online at

Claudio is in Italy this week to present three invited lectures about his research. He will be speaking at the National Cancer Institute and the CEINGE Institute in Naples, and at the meeting "Fragment of history:  Seminar on the oral medicine of the past and of the future" in Sorrento.


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

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Thursday May 31, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Five from Marshall participating in Japanese Summer Camp

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will be well represented in the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Language Leaper Japanese Summer Camp Program next month in Huntington.

The free camp is designed to teach children the Japanese language and culture through fun, interactive and hands-on sessions with native speakers. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily June 18-22 at Guyandotte Elementary School. The camp is open to Cabell County elementary students entering grades 1-5 this fall.

The camp is presented by the WVDE  in partnership with Cabell County Schools. It is funded by those two organizations, as well as by grants from Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and Nippon Tungsten.

Azusa Yamada, Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) program coordinator at Marshall, and Ikuyo Kawada, a Japanese instructor at MU, will join with current Marshall students Meagan Rose Hairston and Taeko Matsumoto, and recent graduate Jasmine Calloway-Woodard at the camp.

Mami Itamochi, international education coordinator with the WVDE and a coordinator of the summer camp, said at least 50 students will take part. That was to be the maximum number, but Itamochi said 36 students are on a waiting list and they hope to be able admit some of them.

At the camp, instructors will teach culturally authentic songs, dances, games and arts.  An authentic Japanese lunch will be provided daily free of charge.

"Our goal is to expose the students to different cultures, to open their eyes to something else," Itamochi said. "They will learn the Japanese culture, language and customs."

She said in previous camps, including a Chinese camp in Morgantown, the children were quite interested in learning. "It's always nice to work with those students," she said.

Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of Marshall's College of Liberal Arts (COLA), said the camp is a very good collaboration between COLA and local schools.

"We are seeing more Japanese companies who find West Virginia to be an ideal place to do business and West Virginia companies who find business opportunities in Japan," Pittenger said. "As such, it is important that we all learn more about the Japanese people and their great history and culture."  

For further information contact Itamochi  at or Debbie Nicholson  at or 304-558-0200.

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Tuesday May 29, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Service Awards Luncheon set for May 31 at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's 28th annual Service Awards Luncheon will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in the Don Morris Room in the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus. The Employee of the Year will be named during the luncheon.

To be eligible for awards employees must have completed 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service to Marshall University by May 1, 2012.

The following is a list of university staff members who will receive awards:

For 10 Years of Service:  Angela Akers, James Booth, Diana Bradley,  Pam Early, Gary Hall, Donald Hill, Nancy Holley, Kevin Irvin, Michael King, Dawn Kirtner, Sherrie Knapp, Mary Layne, Mary Love, Donna May, Dorothy McGraw, Amad Mirzakhani, Fred Mullins, Karen Mullins, Amy Saunders, Bonnie Scott, Dave Wellman, Rich Worner and Yanzhi Wu.

For 15 Years of Service:  Terry Anderson, Sharon Booth, William Carter, Perry Chaffin, Steve Cotton, Joseph Davis, Brenda Harlow, Brad Helton, Lisa Hughes, Linda Jefferson, Dena Laton, Bindu Mannan, Leah Tolliver and John Winters.

For 20 Years of Service:  Deborah Carder-Deem, Betty Cook, Denver Cooper, Cathy Cover, Robert Easthom, Harold Hall, Katherine Hetzer, Carolyn Quinlan, Judy Rogero and James Schneider.

For 25 Years of Service:  Barry Beckett, Constance Berk, Billy Black, Patricia Carman, Charles Cook, Larry Dillon, Pierre "Pete" Divers, Lela Hardy, Stanley Harper, Sharlee Henry, Jamie Henry, Fran Jackson, Carla Lapelle, Leonard Lovely, Kelli Mayes, Michael McGuffey, Kenneth McSweeney, Melody Murphy, Charles Racer, John Richardson and Kelly Webster-Fuller.

For 30 Years of Service: Nina L. Barrett, Linda Birchfield-Modad, Sharon Gates and Jerry Stowasser.

For 35 Years of Service: David Arigan, Edward Dzierzak, Linda Holmes, Jack Shafer, Gary Stone and Judy Watters.

For 40 Years of Service:  Judith Olson.

Retirees:  Pamela Bowen, Donald Damron, Julia Dickens, Deborah Dorsey, Joe Feaganes, Sharlee Henry,  Frances Hensley, Selma Johnson, Judy Little, Bertha Lovely, Beverly McCoy, Judy Ross, James Schneider, John Stepp, Joseph Taylor and Shelia Wiley.

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Friday May 25, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall announces solar panel installation and education project at University High School

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS) and the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall are continuing their ongoing partnership with the West Virginia Division of Energy (WVDOE) Office of Coalfield Community Development with a project to install a solar panel system at University High School in Morgantown.

The venture will be the second of its type undertaken by the partners, who have been working over the past year to demonstrate renewable energy applications on former surface-mined properties. Earlier this year, they installed a similar solar panel system at Mount View High School in Welch.

Brownfields Assistance Center Project Coordinator George Carico has been assisting the WVDOE with locating sites where solar panels could be installed for demonstrating this type of renewable energy. He says University High School is located on a reclaimed surface mine site with extensive "sky-view" well situated for a solar panel array system. 

The system will consist of approximately 24 panels with a total rated output of 6 kilowatts, mounted awning-style directly onto the school's south-facing gymnasium wall. It should be installed this summer.

Carico said that like the installation in McDowell County, the Morgantown project will provide both renewable solar energy to the school and an educational component for students. The system will include real-time monitors to evaluate system performance, and the results will be incorporated into science-based classroom projects.

"There continues to be a great deal of interest in renewable energy from solar panels," he added. "There are many challenges while this technology is still evolving, with initial system cost and the rate of financial return being the largest hurdles. This system will help people understand the various aspects both good and bad of utilizing this type of energy. At University High School, the students, teachers, parents and community will be getting hands-on knowledge. We'll be educating a wide variety of people."

Dr. Tony Szwilski, CEGAS director, said this project demonstrates the assertive approach Marshall is taking to evaluate renewable energy resource potential across West Virginia. "Along with our other ongoing solar, wind and biomass initiatives with the WVDOE, the project at University High School shows we're taking a significant role in assessing energy resource potential on surface-mined lands. We're pleased to be a key player in this valuable venture."

A total of $55,000 in federal, state and county funding is being provided for the project, including $45,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, $5,000 from the Monongalia County Board of Education and $5,000 from the WVDOE. Additional educational support is being provided by the West Virginia University Department of Chemistry.


Photo: The solar panel system at University High School will be similar to this one installed earlier this year at Mount View High School in Welch. The University High School panel will be mounted awning-style directly onto the school's south-facing gymnasium wall.

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Friday May 25, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

WMUL students again do well in national contests

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students from WMUL-FM, Marshall University's public radio station, have enjoyed another banner semester in national competition this spring, receiving  67 awards in seven contests and bringing their total for the 2011-2012 academic year to 93, with one contest remaining.

Of the 93 awards, 27 are for first place, 37 for second place, two for third place and 27 for honorable mention. Results of one more contest - the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association's Statewide Awards - will be announced in June.

Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, professor of radio-television production and management in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall and faculty manager of WMUL-FM, said WMUL student broadcasters have now won 1,229 awards since 1985.

Since January, WMUL students have received:

  • 10 awards in the International AVA Awards 2011 competition in January.

  • 15 awards in the National Broadcasting Society/Alpha Epsilon Rho (NBS/AERho) 21st Annual National Student Audio/Video Scriptwriting and 49th Annual Audio/Video Production Awards competition in March.

  • One award during the National Broadcasting Society Professional Audio/Video Production competition in March.

  • Seven awards in the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Contest for Region Four in the four radio categories.

  • Student Audio competition in April.

  • 13 awards in the 18th Annual Communicator Awards 2012 Audio Competition in late April.

  • 18 awards in the Hermes Creative Awards 2012 Competition.

For a complete list of the 67 awards presented to WMUL students since January, go to

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Friday May 25, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Sam Stanley Memorial Scholarship established by MU Foundation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Foundation Inc. has established a scholarship in honor of the late Sam Stanley, who filled several positions at Marshall during a long career that ended when he retired from the Big Green Foundation in 2010. 

The endowed fund, known as the Sam Stanley Memorial Scholarship, will be awarded to a full-time student(s) in Marshall's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications with first preference going to students majoring in Radio/TV Production and Management or Sports Journalism.

Stanley was a two-time graduate of Marshall, earning a B.A. in Liberal Arts in 1965 and a master's in Journalism in 1980. He had worked, off and on, at MU since the 1970s, when he was Sports Information Director.

"We are humbled to be able to honor one of our own, and to have the response of the people, some whom I've never met, is wonderful," said Kristi Arrowood, director of Foundation Development and Strategic Programs with the MU Foundation. "Sam was always promoting Marshall. He was, to a lot of people, the face of Marshall."

Required funds were raised for the endowment, Arrowood said, thanks to a grassroots effort led by School of Journalism graduates and Thunder Club members. Word spread fast, she said, as they used Facebook, e-mails and the Thunder Club newsletter to reach potential contributor

"To date, we have 25 people who have contributed, with a significant donation from Donna and Selby Wellman, who was his Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity brother," Arrowood said. "And, Todd Marcum (a Marshall graduate and Thunder Club member) was instrumental in getting the fundraising started."

Stanley's wife, Sue, said she was a little surprised that the scholarship was established so quickly.

"But, Sam had an awful lot of friends who knew his love for Marshall," she said. "It's wonderful for him to be remembered by his Marshall friends, and to get it done this quickly and to know that he will be continually recognized."

In addition to working in Sports Information and with the Big Green, Stanley also worked with the MU Alumni Association in the 1990s, serving as assistant vice president for alumni relations. He also worked for The Herald-Dispatch and the former evening paper, the Huntington Advertiser, for many years.

For more information or to contribute to the scholarship fund, contact Arrowood by phone at 304-696-3505, or via e-mail at


Showing his pride in Marshall University, Sam Stanley proudly drove a green automobile, complete with Marshall flags.

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Friday May 25, 2012
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

MU's Summer K-12 Program still accepting students

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Students in grades 5 and up still have time to enroll in Marshall University's month-long Summer K-12 Program in Charleston. The program is designed to provide children under 18 with activity-based learning experiences in writing, reading and math, according to Dr. Joyce Meikamp, director of Clinical and Field Based Experiences at Marshall.

Students will explore "In Your Own Back Yard" and have an opportunity to become involved in hands-on activities.  The program will take place at Stonewall Jackson Middle School June 18 through July 19, running from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily.  Each student will be scheduled for an orientation session on either June 13 or June 14 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.   Assessment and counseling services will also be available. The program includes breakfast and lunch starting June 25.

The program utilizes supervised graduate students in clinical experiences leading to certification or licensure in special education, school counseling, school psychology and literacy education.   The cost for each child is $100.  Some scholarships are available on a need basis. As this is a full inclusion program, both regular and special education students are encouraged to apply.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting Meikamp by phone at 304-746-1983 or at

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Thursday May 24, 2012
Contact: Kelly Sweetman, Director, Office of Military and Veterans Affairs,, 910-381-5891

MU presents Military Child awards to children at St. Joseph Catholic

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Office of Military and Veterans Affairs presented Military Child awards to three children of active duty service members currently stationed in Huntington today at St. Joseph Catholic School. The presentation was made during the school's year-end awards ceremony.

Kelly Sweetman, director of the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at Marshall, said  she hopes today's presentation at St. Joseph was the first of many to come. She said MU plans to expand the program into other area schools next year.

The medals presented to the students were donated by B.J. and Cindy Chadduck from


Photo: From left, Father Dean Borgmeyer joins Maj. Roy Ramey from Marshall University ROTC; St. Joseph Catholic School students Elija Brown, Kali Brown and Madison Nekvinda; and her father, Capt. Kristopher Nekvinda, for a photograph after the three students were presented with Military Child awards today by Marshall's Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Monday May 21, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Application process under way for Fall 2012 Graduate Scholarship Tuition Waivers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Applications are now being accepted through Friday, July 27,  for the Marshall University Graduate Scholarship Tuition Waiver Program for Fall 2012, according to Dr. Donna Spindel,  dean of the Graduate College. The scholarship program provides tuition assistance for a limited number of 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 Summer 2012 are NOT eligible for a waiver for Fall 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 at the close of the application period. 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 Fall 2012 term by Friday, Aug. 10, 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 Aug. 10 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

Persons with questions may call the Graduate College at 304-696-6606.

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Monday May 21, 2012
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

MU student headed for Turkey to study Turkish language

CL.S. Scholarship enables Mary Harper to study abroad for several weeks

 SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University senior has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship that will allow her to spend several weeks this summer in Turkey studying the Turkish language.

Mary Harper, a resident of South Charleston, W.Va., who is majoring in International Affairs at Marshall, will travel in June to Turkey's capital city, Ankara, where she will spend seven weeks in intensive language institutes.  The CL.S. program is part of a government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and  mastering critical foreign languages.

Harper, the daughter of Rich and Peggy Harper of South Charleston, was one of approximately 575 undergraduate and graduate students nationally who received a CL.S. scholarship to study abroad.

"She's an outstanding International Affairs major with a critical mindset and a truly international spirit," said Dr. Jason J. Morrissette, director of the International Affairs program at Marshall. "She's passionate about her studies and exceptionally dedicated to experiencing the world.  She's very deserving of this opportunity and I'm certain that her time in Turkey will contribute significantly to her future endeavors."

Harper says her interest in the Turkish language stems from  her friendship with an international student from Turkey with whom she was paired in Marshall's language program, Learning English for Academic Purposes (LEAP).


"We were paired as conversation partners and I was tutoring her in English but when I saw the effort she was putting in to learn English I decided to learn Turkish as well from her," Harper said.  Her interest was so great Harper accompanied her friend, Ezgi  Karakus,  and several other Turkish students to their home country last summer where she spent several weeks visiting sites in the Istanbul/Izmir area.


"I'm really excited about this opportunity," Harper said.  "If it weren't for this scholarship there wouldn't be a way for me to receive any formal language training in Turkish."

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Friday May 18, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Local foundation creates second scholarship for Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Huntington Clinical Foundation pledges support

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Huntington Clinical Foundation has pledged $40,000 to create a scholarship for the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. The scholarship will provide a $10,000 award for an entering first-year medical student for each of the next four years.

"This is the second scholarship created for the School of Medicine by the Huntington Clinical Foundation and we are exceedingly appreciative of their generosity," said Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs.  "Helping medical students achieve their dream of becoming a physician is a noble endeavor and we salute the Huntington Clinical Foundation for their commitment to medical education."

Dr. Ken Wolfe, a trustee with The Huntington Clinical Foundation, and Jim Morgan, secretary-treasurer, say the local private foundation supports scientific research and scholarships.

"The Huntington Clinical Foundation, which is funded by the Switzer Trust, has the mission to provide funds to help improve medical care and education in West Virginia," Wolfe said. "Helping Marshall's medical school attract the best and brightest students is an excellent example of the goal of our foundation and should pay significant dividends to our region in the future."

"The trustees are pleased to be able to fulfill the object of the foundation in providing this medical education scholarship," Morgan said.  "The efforts will benefit the entire region."

The scholarship, known as the Huntington Clinical Foundation Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Expendable Scholarship, will be awarded to an entering first-year student chosen by the School of Medicine Scholarship Committee in conjunction with the Marshall University Financial Aid Office.

The Huntington Clinical Foundation created the first expendable scholarship for medical students in 2010.  An expendable scholarship is one that does not accrue interest and can only be awarded based upon the available balance.

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

Part of 6th Avenue near Marshall to close for more than three weeks to allow for continued construction of parking garage

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Part of 6th Avenue near Marshall University will be closed from May 23 through June 15 to allow for continued construction of a new parking garage on the Huntington campus.

Sixth Avenue will be completely blocked in both lanes directly behind the new garage. "Local Traffic Only" signs will be placed on each end of the closure at Hal Greer Boulevard and at 17th Street. Residents who have off-street parking in these areas will be allowed in. No on-street parking will be allowed.

"We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate everyone's cooperation during this time," said James E. Terry, Marshall's director of public safety. "We ask that everyone plan ahead and choose an alternate route when in this area."

In addition, John Marshall Drive will be closed from the alley behind the Marshall University Foundation Hall to 6th Avenue. Elm Street will be closed from 6th Avenue to the alley located between 6th and 7th avenues. The alleys will remain open.

Pedestrian traffic will also be diverted from the area due to overhead lifting and construction materials and equipment.

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Friday May 18, 2012
Contact: Mary M. Thomasson, Public Information Officer, Marshall University Forensic Science Center,, 304-691-8961

Third annual Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence Conference to be hosted by Marshall University Forensic Science Center

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Forensic Science Center will host the third annual Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence Conference (AIDE) May 21-25  to provide training in digital forensics and evidence recovery, electronic discovery and information security.

Booth Goodwin, United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, will make opening remarks at 9 a.m. Monday, May 21. His presentation will focus on digital evidence as the "new frontier" in prosecution.

The conference will offer a wide array of training for professionals and students in the fields of law, digital forensics, law enforcement and information security. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, May 21, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day through Friday, May 25.

John Sammons, an assistant professor in Marshall's Integrated Science and Technology Department, is the director of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence. "Anyone who works with digital evidence, whether they are a lawyer, a police officer, or an information security professional, must keep pace with technology," he said. "This is our third annual conference. The needs for training and the threats are just as great, if not greater than when we started. Technology is evolving so quickly that we must take advantage of every opportunity to increase our knowledge and grow our skill sets."

Sammons said the conference offers a wide array of great speakers from the FBI, US Secret Service, Marshall University, Purdue University, several law firms, the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute, the West Virginia State Police, information security firms and many more.

Continuing education credits are available for law enforcement, attorneys and information security professionals. First responder certification will be offered on digital evidence.

Registration fees are free for current AIDE members, $50 for nonmember professionals, and $20 for students, and are due the first day of attendance.

To register for the conference or to learn more, please visit the AIDE website at

Sponsors for the event include Jackson Kelly PLLC Attorneys at Law; Spilman, Thomas & Battle, PLLC; Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC Attorneys at Law; Syngress Publishing; Marshall University Forensic Science Center; Marshall University Department of Integrated Science and Technology, and Marshall University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; 304Geeks and InfoSec Daily Podcast.

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Thursday May 17, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications,, 304-746-1989

Marshall University offers incoming freshmen free English and Math workshops this summer

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Incoming freshmen can fast-track their college success during free summer workshops at Marshall University. The Summer Bridge Program consists of two sessions of workshops designed to give incoming students the fundamentals they need for college success. English and math classes will be taught by full-time faculty.

"The academic and career success of our students is of primary importance to us," said Dr. Gayle Ormiston, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. "Our Summer Bridge Program is one way we can ensure that we are giving our newest students the leg up they need to be prepared for the rigors of college before classes even start."

Session One will run from June 25 through July 6 (with no meeting on July 4). Session Two will run from July 23 through August 2. Classes will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday on the Huntington and South Charleston campuses and at the Mid-Ohio Valley Center in Point Pleasant. The Summer Bridge Program is free to incoming freshmen who have been admitted to Marshall for the fall of 2012, have paid their enrollment deposit and meet workshop entry guidelines.

Seating is limited and registration is required. For more information, call 304-696-3646 or e-mail

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

Marshall School of Physical Therapy reaches first accreditation milestone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -  Marshall University's new School of Physical Therapy has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245;, according to Dr. Penny Kroll, the school's director. 

Candidacy is the pre-accreditation stage of the entire accreditation process and is required prior to implementation of the professional/technical phase of the physical therapy program. The program can now move toward full accreditation in three years.

"Having achieved candidacy, the program can now matriculate the 28 students admitted to the inaugural Class of 2015," Kroll said. "We look forward to welcoming them on May 21."

The school is located at the St. Mary's Educational Center at 29th Street and 5th Avenue, Kroll added. The facility will have sufficient space to house an approximate total of 120 students (40 students admitted annually for the three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy Program), as well as faculty and staff. 

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


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Tuesday May 15, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall professor to share kidney research in China

 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University professor will be in Beijing this week to present his research at BIT's 5th World Cancer Congress and to meet with colleagues at a leading university.

Dr. Gary O. Rankin, professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, will be at the conference to give a talk about his work to study how a substance found naturally in red wine can reduce some of the harmful effects of a commonly used anti-cancer drug.

According to Rankin's study conducted in cooperation with colleague Dr. Monica A. Valentovic, resveratrol, a natural component of red wine, grapes, blueberries and peanuts, can reduce toxicity to the kidney caused by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. The work is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

"Dr. Valentovic and I are using a human kidney cell line to look into the protective effects of resveratrol," said Rankin. "We have found that the compound's powerful antioxidant properties may be important in helping to protect the kidney from cisplatin's harmful effects."

Also at the conference, Rankin will help lead a scientific session, "Cancer rehabilitation, nutrition and management of cancer related complications."

Before the meeting in Beijing, Rankin has been invited to visit the School of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, to give a seminar about his work in the field of chemical-induced injury to the kidney. He will describe how an agricultural fungicide, dimetachlone, which was developed in Japan and manufactured in China, causes kidney damage. He also will be presenting some of the work he and Valentovic have done on the protective effects of resveratrol on cisplatin toxicity.

Rankin will be accompanied on the trip by Dr. Yi Charlie Chen, an associate professor of biology at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi.

Both Rankin and Chen are lead researchers in the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence a federally funded program to help build biomedical research expertise across the state. Rankin is the principal investigator of the project and Chen is on the steering committee.

For more information, contact Rankin at 304-696-7313 or

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Monday May 14, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Harless CREATE Satellite to hold year-end celebration

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development in the College of Education at Marshall University will have a year-end celebration showcasing Harless CREATE Satellite projects Thursday, May 17.

The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.  

Featured projects include the GigaPan Outreach Project, Arts and Bots, Hear Me and Message From Me. In addition, a new WaterBot project will be introduced.

GigaPan enables students to take panoramic images of their communities and activities and share them with peers across the world. Arts and Bots is a customized robot designed to integrate technology, literature and history through the use of art supplies, circuit boards, lights, motors and sensors. Hear Me seeks to amplify kids voices using media and technology to create a world where kids are heard, acknowledged and understood, thereby giving them the power to inspire change in their lives, communities and the world.

WaterBot is a citizen scientist project that prototypes a low-cost, easy and mobile method to monitor water quality, empowering communities, educators and children to monitor their watershed systems.

The Harless CREATE Satellite grant, which was funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, provides rural Appalachian schools continuous and seamless access to technologies, educational resources and ideas generated at the CREATE Lab in Pittsburgh. In addition, it enables teachers to integrate cutting edge technology into existing curriculum. 

Schools showcasing projects are from the Marshall University Professional Development Partnership Schools and include the Early Education STEM Center; Huntington High; Kellogg, Guyandotte and Ceredo elementary schools; and Beverly Hills, Milton and Barboursville middle schools, as well as Cherry River Elementary in Nicholas County, Beverly Elementary in Randolph County and South Point High School in Ohio.

This event is free and open to the public and anyone interested is encouraged to attend.  For more information, contact Carrie-Meghan Quick at or visit

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Friday May 11, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Marshall University, Aetna invite businesses, individuals to free lunch lecture on rainwater harvesting, stormwater control

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An expert on rainwater harvesting from Green City Resources of Cincinnati, Ohio, will deliver the next presentation in Marshall University's Lunch and Learn Sustainability Lecture Series Tuesday, May 22, beginning at noon.

Rose Seeger will give the free hour-long lecture that will take place at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, 519 John Marshall Dr. Lunch is complimentary, but an RSVP is required. To register, go to


Seeger, co-owner of Green City Resources, is a vegetated roof specialist, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, and a  Building Design and Construction and American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association Accredited Professional.  She works in the commercial field on vegetated roofs, irrigation and commercial/residential rainwater harvesting systems.


Green City Resources is a Cincinnati-based stormwater management company specializing in the design, installation and maintenance of vegetated roofs, bioretention, rainwater harvesting and sustainable landscape design.


Some of the company's designs include:


  • The new American Red Cross Headquarters: bioretention, native landscape, monarch way station and green roof, which won Business Couriers "Best Design" award;

  • Brazee Street Studios: bioretention and native landscape, which won the AIA Committee on the Environment Sustainability award; and

  • Rothenberg's Rooftop Teaching Garden, the first-ever Cincinnati public school rooftop garden

Seeger also is a representative for the United States Green Building Council's Sustainable Site Committee, an adjunct professor for the Cincinnati State Horticulture Department teaching Stormwater Management and a National Center for Construction Education and Research instructor.


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.

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

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 10, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation,, 304-746-1964

Biology professor secures grant to save state's primary natural history collection

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Thanks to the work of a Marshall University biology professor, the nation's largest museum collection of mammals, amphibians and reptiles from West Virginia will be preserved for future generations.

Dr. Suzanne G. Strait has been awarded a $373,256 grant from the National Science Foundation to re-curate and modernize the West Virginia Biological Survey Museum, which is housed in the university's College of Science. Her colleague Dr. Thomas K. Pauley, also a professor of biology, is co-investigator on the grant.

The museum is located in the Science Building and comprises more than 21,000 specimens amassed over 70 years. According to Strait, nearly every species described in West Virginia is part of the collection, including many of those listed as federally endangered or at risk.

Strait says that over the next two years, the grant will allow researchers to buy new cabinets, containers and freezers for storing and preserving the specimens.

"This natural history collection from West Virginia is larger than that of any other museum in the country, and it is truly a unique resource to be developed for training the next generation of biologists who will study Appalachia's animals," said Strait. "It is in urgent need of new equipment and curation to ensure its survival, so we were quite pleased to get this award."

She added that the grant also will help build a new facility for storage of tissue collections for genomic studies, digitize all archival data and develop an electronic database. The database will be placed online to make it available to researchers worldwide.

"In addition to re-housing the specimens, we'll be scanning all the field notebooks, maps and slides in the museum," she said. "One of the things that makes our collection remarkable is that we have, in some cases, 40 years worth of natural history records from the same mountain in West Virginia. That's extraordinarily rare, so getting all these records digitized and available online will really put us on the map."

Strait said the College of Science has agreed to replace the facility's heating and cooling system as part of the renovation, providing better temperature and humidity controls for the storage area.

Additional plans include showcasing some exhibits in the hallways of the Science Building so the museum will be more visible, and developing outreach activities for elementary and secondary schools.

"Hardly anybody knows we have this important collection at Marshall, so a large part of what we want to do during this renovation is get the word out that the museum is here and available for researchers to use," she said.

Students will begin working next week to move the collection out of the museum so the renovations can begin.

Strait has been teaching human anatomy at Marshall since 1993. In addition, she has taught systematics, mammalogy, museum curation and UNI 101. She previously completed another project, also funded through NSF, to develop an interactive 3-D image library of fossil specimens. That museum is available online at

Pauley, who teaches ornithology and herpetology, has conducted herpetological studies in West Virginia since the 1960s. He and his graduate students maintain the museum's amphibian and reptile collection.

He plans to retire next year, another reason Strait said the renovation project is urgent.

She added, "Although Dr. Pauley is retiring, we're fortunate that he'll be staying on as emeritus to continue researching and curating the collection. It is imperative we get all the information about the collection that is in his brain into a format that will be accessible by future researchers. It's going to be a busy year."

For more information, contact Strait at (304) 696-2425 or

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Thursday May 10, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Marshall University honors outstanding student leaders

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Office of Student Affairs honored several outstanding student leaders recently during its annual Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony.

Steve Hensley is Marshall's dean of students. He said the university has been recognizing its young leaders in this ceremony for 20 years.

"Our college years are often when we see the first embers of leadership beginning to burn bright in people," Hensley said. "They become passionate and empowered and they learn they can make a difference - not only here in the Marshall University community but also the world beyond. Whether it's rallying for the university to become more environmentally sustainable or making a difference in the lives of our students living on campus as a resident adviser, there are a multitude of ways our students exhibit leadership. We are extremely proud of the way they step up."

Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, president of Marshall University, presented the Outstanding Leader Award to Kayla Johnson, a senior from Gallipolis, Ohio, who majored in French education, English education and English literature. The distinction goes to a student who has brought honor and prestige to Marshall University through selfless acts of leadership.

Johnson came to Marshall in the fall of 2008 as John Marshall Scholar. She carried a 4.0 grade point average while her leadership involvement included stints in the Student Government Association, French Club, Honor Student Association, Residence Hall Association, Cabell County Young Democrats, College of Education Advisory Board, Forensics Union and the Thundering Word Speech and Debate Team, through which she earned 11 individual championship titles and more than 80 individual forensics awards in competition.

Notably, Johnson spent time in France as a Fulbright Scholar in the Franco-American Teachers-in-Training Program.

Other outstanding leadership awards winners include:

  • The Outstanding Service to Marshall University Award recognizes a student who has shown strong leadership through innovation, motivation, initiative and perseverance. This year's recipient is Ashley Clark, a senior from Ona, W.Va., who majored in political science, international affairs and Spanish. Clark founded the Marshall University chapter of the student organization, Amnesty International and also was selected as finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, making her the first Marshall student in 35 years to earn that distinction.

    \The Dean's Award honors the person who has made significant contributions to enhance the student experience at Marshall University. This year's recipient is Amanda Branch, a senior biomedical sciences major from Mineral Wells, W.Va. Branch is a John Marshall scholar, PROMISE recipient, member of the Honors College, and has made the Dean's List every semester. Her activities include student government, Student Activities Planning Board and Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. Branch also served as president of the Marshall Maniacs.

    The Joe Stone Award for Leadership in Student Government Association, named in honor of a professor who served as adviser to SGA for more than 30 years, recognizes the individual who has worked to advance the efforts of SGA. This year's recipient is Paul Williams, a senior management major from Butler, N.J. Williams has served as president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a senator in SGA, president of the Order of Omega and as treasurer of the Marshall Maniacs. He was the campaign manager and chief of staff for Marshall's student body president and was integral in a variety of campus-wide initiatives including fundraising for Logan County flood victims, establishing a local food pantry and peer mentoring.

    The Senior Leadership Award recognizes the involvement and accomplishments of outstanding senior leaders who have not only demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the quality of life on Marshall's campus, but have also shown outstanding potential for future achievement. This year's recipient is Lauren Kemp, a senior sociology major from Pittsburgh, Pa. She has been committed to sustainability issues at the university and beyond since her freshman year having served on the Greening Marshall Committee, in the bike loan program and in the Community Service work study program. Kemp won the Sierra Student Coalition award in 2009, served as president of MU's Student Environmental Action Coalition, promoted recycling on campus and was instrumental in the campaign for a Green Student Fee, which brought about a Sustainability Department at MU.

    The Outstanding Greek Man and Woman awards go to members of the Greek-letter community who have demonstrated exemplary leadership both within sorority and fraternity life and among the greater university community.

    • Derek Ramsey, a junior biology major from Lewisburg, W.Va., was honored this year. He is a member of the SGA representing the College of Science and has served as president of Alpha Sigma Phi, the university's Chapter of Excellence winner. He has maintained a 3.9 grade point average and completed nearly 200 hours of community service in the past two years.

    • Whitley Mayo, a senior forensic chemistry major from Gallipolis, Ohio, also was honored. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is the immediate past chapter president. She is also the president of the National Pan Hellenic Council, a member of the Society of Black Scholars, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity, Order of Omega, and president of Black United Students. Mayo also was recently honored with the Women of Color Student Award, as well as the Greek Week Most Valuable Player Award.

  • The Honor College Outstanding Service Award is presented to three seniors who have provided exemplary service to the Honors College during their undergraduate careers. The award went to John Hurley, a senior biomedical sciences major from Portsmouth, Ohio, Amy Moses, a senior health care management major with a minor in Spanish from Parkersburg, W.Va., and Kelli Myers, a junior health care management major from Kitts Hill, Ohio.

  • The John Marshall Emerging Leaders Institute honor goes to students who have developed skills and competencies essential for effective leaders with an emphasis in four areas: leadership, scholarship, service and character. Recipients include Laura Good, a senior biomedical sciences major from Charleston, W.Va.; Jerrod Justice, a senior biomedical sciences major from Mineral Wells, W.Va.; and Kyle Mushet, a senior nursing major from Wellsburg, W.Va.

  • The Leader in Diversity Contributions Award recognizes a student who exemplifies the ideal of campus diversity. This year's recipient is Ammar Haffar, a senior biomedical sciences major from Scott Depot, W.Va.

  • The Resident Adviser of the Year Award goes to advisers who exemplify leadership in the area of Housing and Residence Life and have gone above and beyond in their support and dedication of students. Recipients include Danielle Henderson of Twin Towers West and Ryan Kerns of First Year South.

  • The Graduate Leadership Award recognizes graduate students who are involved on campus and have exceeded in demonstrating balancing work, school and life. This year's recipient is Jacob Hensel, a graduate student in sports administration from Wheeling, W.Va., who serves as graduate assistant in the Athletic Department.

  • The Freshman Leadership Award recognizes a first-year student who has taken the initiative to get involved in student organizations while adjusting to new surroundings and has shown potential as a leader and potential for future contributions to campus life. This year's recipient is Lauryn Corey, a freshman advertising major from Ashland, Ky.


Photo: Marshall University's Office of Student Affairs and Student Government Association honored several outstanding student leaders and student organizations recently during its annual Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony.


Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 10, 2012
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Exceptional student organizations honored at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Student Government Association honored several outstanding student organizations and their members recently during the annual Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony.

The awards were presented by Student Body President Ray Harrell Jr.

  • The Student Club/Organization of the Year distinction recognizes a club or organization that has continually made significant contributions to its own membership, the student body, and the Marshall University community through programming, educational opportunities, and/or service projects. This year's recipient is the Japan Club, one of the largest and most active organizations at MU. Beginning in May of 2011, the club coordinated many fundraising events after the devastating earthquake in Japan and raised more than $10,000 to donate to the Japan Red Cross Society. The club sponsored many events this year, including a welcome picnic, performances and showcases of Japanese culture at the International Festival, a Japanese bake sale and a viewing of a documentary detailing the earthquake in Japan.

  • The Most Outstanding New Student Organization award is given to a newly formed organization in recognition of outstanding contributions to the campus and student body. This organization will have addressed a need or community issue that had not previously been supported. This year's recipient is the Pre-Veterinary Club. Members have hosted a shelter drive to give proceeds to local animal shelters, volunteered at these shelters and local animal hospitals and are planning a future educational events. Most notably, the organization represented Marshall University for the first time at the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association's National Symposium.

  • The Outstanding RSO Service Award honors the club or organization that has made sustained contributions to Marshall University and the city of Huntington in the area of community service. This year's recipient is Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, Beta Delta chapter. In total, the brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi dedicated 1,053 hours of their time to community service efforts this year. Notable projects and partnerships include: Links for LiveStrong, Rocking for a Cure, Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. Also, they volunteered with the Contact Rape Crisis Center, the Ronald McDonald House and Cabell Huntington Hospital. They raised $1,500 for American Cancer Society during a Greek Week competition. In addition, Alpha Sigma Phi was recently named the Chapter of Excellence at Marshall University.

  • The President of the Year Award is given to a president of a recognized student organization who demonstrates exemplary leadership and has a positive influence on, not only the membership of his/her club or organization, but the campus as a whole. This year's recipient is Ryan Hatfield of Pi Kappa Phi, Zeta Pi chapter. Hatfield is a senior history major from Huntington. He served as president of the Pi Kappa Phi chapter during its founding and national chartering. He is also the treasurer of The Order of Omega and is involved in a myriad of other leadership organizations.

  • The Outstanding New Member award goes to a new student member who has contributed outstanding ideas and service to that organization and has had a positive influence on the group. This individual will have a demonstrated dedication to organizing activities and has actively worked to improve Marshall University and the greater Huntington community. This year's recipient is Elisha Hassan, a Huntington freshman and Student Government Association senator. Hassan co-authored election rules, established a "Senate Apprenticeship" program on campus to encourage first semester freshmen to get involved with SGA, joined the Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society, served as secretary on the Freshman Council, was initiated into Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, founded the Student Advocates for Legislative Advancement and carried a 4.0 grade point average.

  • The Community Service Club of the Year Award is given to a student organization whose mission is based on the tenet of community service. Continually, this club selflessly gives time and energy to service projects throughout the academic year. This year's recipient is the Gamma Beta Phi Society, which participated, organized, or contributed to more than 55 philanthropic events including "Read Aloud West Virginia"; a variety of charitable 5k runs and walks; a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day; collecting hats, scarves and bandanas for Heavenly Hats; and donating school supplies to the Golden Girl group home.

  • The Most Improved Club/Organization Award goes to the student organization that has shown significant improvement and increased contributions to the Marshall community by membership growth, programs or contributions to the student body. This year's recipient is Delta Zeta Sorority, Delta Upsilon chapter. Its fall pledge class consisted of 29 women, the largest pledge class of all the sororities. It improved its cumulative grade point average. The sisters of Delta Zeta won Greek Week and Greek Sing and raised nearly $7,500 to benefit Relay for Life.


Photo: Marshall University's Office of Student Affairs and Student Government Association honored several outstanding student leaders and student organizations recently during its annual Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony.







Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 9, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Eleven undergraduate researchers awarded stipends for summer studies

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Eleven undergraduate students at Marshall University have been selected to receive the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Fellowship which provides each student with a $4,000 stipend and supplies for their research.

Marshall University has participated in the SURE program since 2005. The program is funded through the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund, and is administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Division of Science and Research. SURE participants conduct their research during a 10-week time period which this year will begin May 14 and conclude July 27.

"We want students to know how strongly Marshall supports undergraduate research," said Dr. Mike Norton, chemistry professor and director of the SURE program. "This is the time when these young minds start utilizing their research skills in preparation for graduate school."

The following students have been awarded SURE Fellowships for summer 2012. They are listed with their hometown, class ranking, field of study, project title and research faculty mentor.

  • Samantha Adkins of Huntington; senior; psychology; Physiological Characteristics of Academic Success in College Students; Dr. Massimo Bardi

  • Caleb Calvary of Columbus, Ohio; junior; chemistry; Synthesis and Characterization of an Ionic Charge-Transfer Salt; Dr. Michael Castellani

  • Arrin Carter of Rocky Gap, Va.; sophomore; chemistry; Development of a Biological Matrix for Neural Stem Cell Guidance and Differentiation; Dr. Elmer Price

  • James Collins of Fort Gay; senior; chemistry; Evaluation of the Effect of Carnosine on Cytochrome C Glycation and Analysis of Cytochrome C Glycation Sites by Mass Spectrometry; Dr. Leslie Frost

  • Courtney Hatten of Wayne; senior; chemistry; Thermal Decomposition of Aldehydes to Yield Pyrolysis Products; Dr. Laura McCunn

  • Abigail Hayes of Wheeling; senior; biomedical science; Functional Neuroanatomy and Behavior in the Central Nervous System of Crayfish; Dr. Brian Antonsen

  • Catherine Higgins of Montgomery; senior; chemistry; Development of a Method to Manipulate Movement of Actin Bundles Within a Hybrid Microfluidic Device; Dr. Scott Day

  • Deborah Moore of Huntington; senior; microbiology; Analysis of Isolated Stains in Varying Environments with Electrophoretic Karyotyping and Transcription Survey; Dr. Wendy Trzyna

  • Robert Mwangi of Nakuru, Kenya; senior; integrated science and technology; Detection of e-DNA of Asian Carp; Dr. Elizabeth Murray

  • Anthony Stephenson of Ironton, Ohio; senior; biochemistry; Effect of Glycerol Availability on the Production of Triacylglycerols in Chlorella vulgaris; Dr. Derrick Kolling

  • Chunji Yin of Yanji, China; senior; molecular and cellular biology; Kiss1 mRNA levels in mPOA and ARC of the Female Rat Brain; Drs. Simon Collier and David Mallory

For more information visit, or contact Norton at 304-696-6627 or

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday May 8, 2012
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

New 'SmartRoom' in Corbly to be named for Dixon Hughes Goodman accounting firm


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has received a gift of $150,000 from the certified public accounting firm of Dixon Hughes Goodman, designated toward renovation of room 106 of Corbly Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus. The announcement was made today by Rick Slater, managing partner of the firm.

"Our students today can expect the very latest in technology when they make the move to Marshall University from high school," said Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp. "We are committed to advancing powerful learning experiences for our students both within and outside the classroom. We're deeply thankful to Rick Slater, Dixon Hughes Goodman, and our other loyal alumni, who see the need for infrastructure investment on our campuses and help make these cutting-edge tools available to both students and faculty. Ultimately, our students are the greatest beneficiaries of these investments and the capabilities they provide."

"Our goal is to make this the most technologically advanced room in the College of Business," Slater said in making the announcement. "By starting this project, we hope to make this room a model for even more SmartRooms in Corbly."

The room, which will be known as the Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP SmartRoom, will feature a 24-inch, multi-touch Smart Podium Display from Smart Technologies; dual 80-inch LED flat-panel displays; and high-density wireless services. In addition, the room will be furnished with new seating and tables with capacity for 58 students, as well as updated lighting controllable by zones.

Slater said his firm's continuing investment in Marshall University reflects the firm's desire to ensure that the university is able to attract top talent in the fields of accounting and business.


Photo: Rick Slater (second from right), managing partner of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, presents a symbolic oversize check to Marshall University representatives Lance West, vice president for development (left); Matt Turner, chief of staff; and Dr. Chong W. Kim, dean of the College of Business. At right is Norman Mosrie, CPA with Dixon Hughes Goodman and president of the Marshall College of Business advisory board. Photo by Rick Haye.

Direct Link to This Release

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

Lose the Training Wheels Camp at Huntington High teaches individuals with disabilities to ride two-wheel bicycles

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For the second consecutive year, Marshall University's School of Kinesiology is hosting a Lose the Training Wheels Camp July 16-20 at Huntington High School. The program teaches participants with disabilities how to independently ride a two-wheel bicycle.

Lose the Training Wheels is a national organization that works with local organizations to host camps in individual communities. Staff members travel the country conducting the camps, and have an average success rate of more than 80 percent. Participants attend one 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days.

Dr. Gregg Twietmeyer, assistant professor of kinesiology at Marshall, said the benefit is two-fold: one, participants can learn the joys of riding a bike, which can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence; and two, Marshall students, who volunteer as spotters for the riders, get to see firsthand the important role of physical activity and play in human well-being and culture.

"We're really hoping to expand enrollment this year by getting more campers from Kentucky and Ohio, as well as from Charleston, West Virginia," Twietmeyer said.

To be eligible to register for the camp, participants must be at least 8 years old and have a diagnosed disability. They must have a minimum inseam of 20 inches, weigh less than 220 pounds and be able to walk without assistive devices. Teens and adults may participate as well.

Registration fee is $100 and some scholarships are available. For more information on registration or volunteering, visit

For more information on the camp, call Twietmeyer at 304-696-2938 or Dr. Jarod Schenewark, assistant professor of kinesiology, at 304-696-2937.

Individuals interested in helping to defray the costs of the camp through financial donations may contact Rick Robinson, director of development with the Marshall University College of Health Professions, at 304-696-7081.

Direct Link to This Release

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

June Harless Center to offer summer camps

June Harless Center to offer summer camps

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, part of the College of Education at Marshall University, is offering summer camps on the Huntington campus for students entering pre-K through 5th grade.   The theme for the camps this year is Exploring S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics).

Four weeks of camps will be offered for students.


WHO:             Students entering 2nd and 3rd grades

WHEN:           Monday, June 4 - Thursday, June 7

WHERE:        Marshall's Huntington campus

COST:             $150 per child



WHO:             Students entering 4th and 5th grades

WHEN:           Monday, June 11 - Thursday, June 14

WHERE:        Marshall's Huntington campus

COST:             $150 per child



WHO:             5-year-olds entering kindergarten and 5-6 year-olds entering 1st grade

WHEN:           Monday, July 23 - Thursday, July 26

WHERE:        MUEE STEM Center, Corbly Hall 118

COST:             $80 per child



WHO:             3*-and-4-year-olds entering pre-K and 4-and-5-year-olds returning to pre-K

WHEN:           Monday, July 30 -Thursday, Aug. 2

WHERE:        MUEE STEM Center, Corbly Hall 118

COST:             $80 per child

* Child must be 4 by Jan. 1, 2013


All camps will run from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday, and lunch will be provided.  For more information regarding summer camps, contact Holly Moore at or 304-696-2945.  Or, visit to obtain enrollment information.

Direct Link to This Release

Friday May 4, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Researcher presents at scientific conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Philippe Georgel, a professor of biological sciences at Marshall University, recently traveled to San Antonio to present his research at the 20th International Analytical Ultracentrifugation Conference.

The biennial conference is focused on research done using a specific laboratory technique to characterize the size, shape and interactions of molecules and macromolecules in solutions. Analytical ultracentrifugation is widely used in molecular biology, biochemistry and polymer science.

Georgel studies the effects of chromatin the combination of DNA and proteins that make up the contents of the nucleus of a cell on nuclear functions. His conference presentation focused on his use of a new method called Quantitative Agarose Gel Electrophoresis, or QAGE. QAGE allows for analysis of structure and composition of nucleo-protein complexes, and is complementary to the use of analytical ultracentrifugation.

The research Georgel presented was a collaborative effort among his group at Marshall; Dr. James Denvir, associate professor of biochemistry and microbiology at the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; and Dr. Stuart Lindsay and Dr. Qiang Fu from Arizona State University.

Georgel has already been invited back to present at the 2014 conference, which will be held in Japan.

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


Photo: Dr. Philippe Georgel recently traveled to San Antonio to present his research at the 20th International Analytical Ultracentrifugation Conference. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

Direct Link to This Release

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

Students recognized at international scientific meeting

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two Marshall University students received special recognition for their research at this year's international Experimental Biology conference held April 21-25 in San Diego.


M. Allison Wolf, a biomedical sciences doctoral candidate from Parkersburg, received first place in her group in a poster competition held as part of the conference's Diet and Cancer mini-symposium. The mini-symposium was funded by the American Society of Nutrition.


Wolf's presentation focused on her research on the anticancer effects of isothiocyanates a natural compound extracted from cruciferous vegetables on head and neck cancer. Her work shows the compound both inhibits head and neck metastasis and greatly increases sensitivity to chemotherapy in therapy-resistant head and neck cancers. Wolf works in the lab of Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, an associate professor in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology and Surgery at the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.


Wolfe said she gained a great deal from the experience of attending the program and presenting her work.


"I really enjoyed this conference, particularly the Nutrition and Cancer Research Interest group, because it allowed me to be surrounded by people in my field," she said. "Discussing my research with others also interested in or working on isothiocyanates gave me some promising future directions to pursue."


In addition, Aaron M. Dom, a first-year medical school student from Wellersburg, Pa., was invited to do a special oral "blitz" presentation about his research on how a synthetic drug called MG624 can prevent new blood vessel growth in small cell lung cancer and could potentially serve as a therapy for the disease. Dom was invited to present by the Blood Vessel Club of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP). ASIP held its annual meeting in conjunction with the Experimental Biology conference. The club sponsors the short oral presentations to present exciting new vascular biology research and to give audience members an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions about the research.


Dom, who is the president of the medical school's Class of 2015, did the research in the lab of Dr. Piyali Dasgupta, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacol­ogy, Physiology and Toxicology.


He said of the experience, "Our lab is honored that I was selected to present at this special session, and we were excited to share some of the work that we are doing here at the medical school. Experiences like these in both helping with this research and in presenting at and attending a conference of this size have helped me gain a greater appreciation for research in medicine." 


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.




Photo: Biomedical sciences doctoral candidate M. Allison Wolf works in the new translational genomic research institute at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Wolf recently won first place in a research poster competition at the international Experimental Biology conference. (Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.)

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 2, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Nomination deadline approaches for Miners' Celebration 'Because of You' awards

October event to salute those who contribute to state's mining ecosystem

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The nomination deadline is fast approaching for awards to honor those who contribute to the state's coal mining enterprise.

"Because of You" awards in more than a dozen categories will be presented as part of the 2012 Miners' Celebration to be held Oct. 4-5 at Tamarack in Beckley.

According to conference organizers, representatives of the state's mining industry will gather at the event to recognize miners, engineers, safety and environmental professionals, community leaders, manufacturers, suppliers and educators for their contributions to the mining industry in West Virginia. Nominations for the awards are being accepted through June 1.

"West Virginia's mining industry depends upon thousands of individuals in many different roles," said Dr. Tony Szwilski, chairman of the conference planning committee and director of Marshall University's Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences. "Every one of these people whether they are miners, safety engineers, environmental professionals, equipment suppliers, community leaders or teachers contributes to each ton of coal produced.

"It is because of them the mining industry is successful. This event is intended to honor and recognize the contributions of everyone involved in what we call our state's mining 'ecosystem.'"

Szwilski said the program will kick off with registration and a reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. At the reception, the Coal Heritage Highway Authority/National Coal Heritage Area will present several awards including the Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievements in Coal Heritage Preservation, the Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Coal Heritage Marketing Award and the Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award.

On Friday, Oct. 5, the program will continue with the "Because of You" awards and a full day of presentations focusing on all aspects of the mining industry.

The Miners' Celebration is a cooperative project of the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences at Marshall University; the National Coal Heritage Area; United Mine Workers of America; the West Virginia Coal Association; and the West Virginia Division of Energy, Office of Coalfield Community Development.

The cost of the conference is $100. Registration is open through Sept. 21.

To nominate someone for the "Because of You" awards or to register for the conference, visit

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday May 1, 2012
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall University Graduate College announces thesis grant recipients

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Eight Marshall University graduate students will receive Summer Thesis Research Grant Awards this year, according to Dr. Donna Spindel, dean of the graduate college.

Each award provides $500 to cover the cost of expenses associated with thesis research. Award recipients were chosen on the basis of the quality and significance of the thesis research, the likelihood that the research will eventuate in a completed thesis and justification of the need for support. Funding for these awards is provided by the Marshall University Research Corporation.

Here are the students' names, departments, research topics and faculty advisers:

  • Timothy James Brust, Biological Sciences, Seasonal Dietary Variations of the Queen Snake, Dr. Thomas Pauley, adviser.
  • Christina Byrd, Biological Sciences, Ontogenetic state of a juvenile polycotylid plesiosaur (Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria) and its implications for plesiosaur growth and reproduction, Dr. F. Robin O'Keefe, adviser.


  • Josh Corrie, Biological Sciences, Functional Morphology of Elongated Vertebrae in Basilosaurus to Interpret Aquatic Locomotion Patterns, Dr. F. Robin O'Keefe, adviser.


  • Mark DeBlois, Biological Sciences, Plesiosaur Flipper Hydrodynamics and Ecomorphology, Dr. F. Robin O'Keefe, adviser.


  • Amy Fiedler, Biological Sciences, Movement and Habitat Use in the Eastern Snapping Turtle, Dr. Thomas Pauley, adviser.


  • Aileen Marcelo, Biomedical Sciences, The Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Diabetes, Dr. Richard Egleton, adviser.


  • Abby Sinclair, Biological Sciences, The Use and Effects of Road-rut Pools Among Amphibians, Dr. Thomas Pauley, adviser.


  • Heather Sprouse, Sociology, Social Dissent and Spirituality: Creating New Cultural Narrative through Intentional Social Support, Dr. Kristi Fondren, adviser.


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