November 2012 News Releases

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

Charity badges for 2013 Greenbrier Classic available soon; portion of proceeds will go to Marshall University scholarships

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Friends and fans of Marshall University and professional golf can make someone's holiday truly "green" this year by giving them the gift of a 2013 Greenbrier Classic Charity Badge.

Next year's Greenbrier Classic, a PGA TOUR FedEx Cup event at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., is scheduled July 1-7. Beginning Dec. 15, Marshall University will appear on the tournament's ticket sales website,, under the Badges for Charity icon. Marshall will receive a percentage of the proceeds purchased through the Badges for Charity program.

"The money that we receive from badges sold goes into our general scholarship fund," said Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation and Senior Vice President for Development. "It's a good way to celebrate the holiday season - give someone special the opportunity to attend the Greenbrier Classic in July while also supporting the Marshall University scholarship fund."

Profits from the badge sales, Area said, are a source of revenue for Marshall during difficult economic times.

"We want to thank the Greenbrier operation and (resort owner) Jim Justice for including Marshall University in their approved charity list," Area said. "We hope everyone marks their calendars for Dec. 15, the first day the badges can be purchased."

The following badges will be available:

Weekly Grounds Badge, $169

This badge will provide tournament admittance for the entire week. Weekly parking is included. Tickets to the 2013 Greenbrier Classic Concert Series are complimentary with the purchase of a weekly badge.Benefactor Badge, $285

This badge will provide tournament admittance for the entire week with access to special hospitality with air-conditioning, upgraded restroom facilities, flat-screen televisions to watch all the tournament action, and premium food and beverage items for purchase. Weekly parking is included. Tickets to the 2013 Greenbrier Classic Concert Series are complimentary with the purchase of a weekly Benefactor Badge.

Alumni Badge, $495

This badge will provide tournament admittance for the entire week with access to special hospitality with air-conditioning, upgraded restroom facilities, flat-screen televisions to watch all the tournament action, complimentary dry snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (Monday and Tuesday), and unlimited tailgate-style food and non-alcoholic beverages (Wednesday through  Sunday).

Special appearances will be made by Marshall University coaches and alumni athletes. Weekly parking is included. Tickets to the 2013 Greenbrier Classic Concert Series are complimentary with the purchase of a weekly Alumni Badge.

Clubhouse Badge, $5,000

This badge will provide tournament admittance for the entire week with access to The Greenbrier Clubhouse and Slammin' Sammy's with unlimited food and beverage, in addition to all benefactor and alumni hospitality venues. Weekly parking is included. Tickets to the 2013 Greenbrier Classic Concert Series are complimentary with the purchase of a weekly Clubhouse Badge.

The tournament, in its fourth year, will have a field of 156 PGA TOUR professionals competing for a $6.3 million purse.

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

Dan Hollis, recently named Carnegie Foundation West Virginia Professor of the Year, featured speaker at Commencement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University professor Dan Hollis will be the keynote speaker at the school's annual Winter Commencement Sunday, Dec. 16, at Cam Henderson Center on the Huntington campus.

Commencement begins at 2 p.m. and is for students who graduated in July or August 2012, or are tentatively scheduled to graduate in December.

Hollis, an associate professor of journalism and mass communications, and current interim assistant dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was recently selected as the 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching West Virginia Professor of the Year.

"I think having a faculty member give the winter commencement address is a great tradition Marshall has," Hollis said. "I'm happy and proud to represent my colleagues this year.

"It's probably going to be the only time I'll get to address such a large gathering of students at such an important point in their lives. I'm feeling the pressure a bit, but I hope to give the graduates a little something that motivates and honors them."

Alyssa Salyers, one of Hollis' students, is graduating and will attend commencement on Dec. 16.  She has no doubts she and the other graduates in attendance are in for a treat. She said she knew even before meeting Hollis at the Scholastic Journalism Program that she wanted to be a journalist, but after meeting him knew she had to come to Marshall "to learn to be a journalist from that man."

"Dan's energy and enthusiasm are infectious," she said. "His style of teaching interests and inspires his students."

Salyers said Hollis' most special quality is his ability to make each of the students believe that he cares about them, that he is in their corner and will do anything he can to help them learn, grow and succeed.

"He causes us to believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed," she said. "Somehow, this man manages to be the consummate professional even as he alternately teaches, exhorts, listens, advises, encourages, supports and mentors each green freshman through his or her college years. His effectiveness is evidenced by the many students who remain in touch with him throughout their lives and their careers."

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

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

At Marshall, Hollis has received the Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award and the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award.  He also has taken first place in six consecutive years, and seven of the past eight, in the News/Sports/Public Affairs category of the National Broadcasting Society and Alpha Rho Epsilon Professional Electronic Media Awards for his creative work, which can also be seen on HerdVideo, Marshall's YouTube channel.

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

West Virginia legislators tour Marshall University Forensic Science Center

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - About 25 West Virginia legislators received a tour of the Marshall University Forensic Science Center Monday, Nov. 26, to gain firsthand knowledge about its academic program and the forensic services provided to law enforcement within the state and the nation.

The delegation received a tour of the nationally accredited forensic DNA laboratories and the West Virginia State Police Digital Forensics Unit housed at the Forensic Science Center

Legislative representatives included the chairs of Subcommittee B of the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary, Sen. Herb Snyder (D-Jefferson) for the senate and Delegate Meshea Poore (D-Kanawha) for the house, and other committee members.

Snyder said forensic science, law enforcement and the judiciary are critical areas. "I was supportive of Marshall's forensic science program and services prior to the tour," he said, "but after seeing how the center operates and learning more about its activities, I am extremely supportive of the great things the Forensic Science Center is doing."

The tour was a follow-up on a presentation to Subcommittee B of the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary given by Dr. Terry W. Fenger, director of the Forensic Science Center, in June about the operation and management of the center.

Other legislators in attendance included Sen. Roman Prezioso (D-Marion), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and local legislators Sen. Evan Jenkins (D-Cabell) and Delegate Kelli Sobonya (R-Cabell).

Jenkins said Marshall's Forensic Science Center is special to him because he worked on the CODIS legislation more than a decade ago and was one of the first to get involved to get the initiative established. "Dr. Fenger put us on the world map," he said. "The challenge now is to continue support and growth and keep homes and kids safe. It deserves our full support."

Fenger said it was an honor to have the legislators visit the center and to have the opportunity to discuss the issues, importance and impact of forensic science education and casework done in the labs.

Poore said the Marshall University Forensic Science Center is nationally recognized as a model for the nation for its laboratories and how to handle forensic science data. "We felt it necessary for members not only to hear about it but actually see the good work being done and find out how the Legislature can help."

Cpl. Robert J. Boggs, a West Virginia State Police Digital Investigator stationed at the West Virginia State Police Digital Forensics Unit, said getting legislation on "sexting" passed is one of the ways the Legislature can help officers in the lab offset caseloads regarding child pornography investigations.

Last year Poore introduced sexting legislation. She said she is excited about introducing it again this year after receiving feedback that West Virginia state troopers are interested in the legislation. "I look forward to working with members of the West Virginia State Troopers Association and the Marshall University lab to get a strong piece of legislation passed regarding the sexting topic," Poore said.

Poore added West Virginia is "getting it right" through helping other states through forensic science training and analysis, and it needs to be recognized.

Sobonya sponsored the Internet Child Protection Act, House Bill 4492, which passed in 2004.  The act made it a felony for child predators to solicit children over the Internet and enabled law enforcement to charge predators before they make physical contact with children. "It was good to hear from Cpl. Boggs that the law helps law enforcement go after predators before they have contact with children," she said.

Marshall's Forensic Science Center is one of the best kept secrets in Huntington and is a model for the nation, Sobonya added.  She worked with the Forensic Science Center previously on providing training for sexual assault nurse examiners to develop continuity and uniformity in the way DNA is collected from sexual assault victims. "It is important to protect the integrity of DNA samples so they are admissible in court," she said.

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Friday November 30, 2012
Contact: Leah Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Fruth Pharmacy provides School of Pharmacy with scholarship support gift

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University School of Pharmacy announced today it has received a $10,000 gift for student scholarships from West Virginia-based Fruth Pharmacy.

Dean Kevin Yingling, R.Ph., M.D., said the relationship with Fruth Pharmacy is fundamental to the growth of the school."We are grateful for the unwavering support from the Fruth Pharmacy family," Yingling said.  "Lynne Fruth and her team understand the importance of educating the pharmacists of tomorrow and they have become valued advisors to all of us at the Marshall School of Pharmacy."

Fruth said the company has a robust history of providing help to many students.

"Fruth Pharmacy has long partnered with Marshall to provide scholarships for Fruth employees and other deserving students," she said.  "Specifically helping the Marshall School of Pharmacy is a natural partnership for us. Fruth Pharmacy is committed to assisting in the development of the next generation of pharmacists that will be serving the rural communities of West Virginia and Ohio."

Recipients of the Fruth Pharmacy Scholarship for the School of Pharmacy  will be from Mason, Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Wayne, Roane, Jackson and Wood counties in West Virginia or Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Lawrence, Athens, Washington and Pike counties in Ohio and have an interest in community pharmacy. 

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Thursday November 29, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-746-3296

Marshall piano students take prizes in state competitions

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Two Marshall University graduate student pianists have won prizes this fall on the state level in competitions sponsored by the West Virginia Music Teachers Association.

Jiao Li, a graduate student in piano performance, is this year's state winner of the national MTNA's Young Artist Competition, and Will Murphy, also a graduate student in piano performance, received second prize in the Mountain State Competition, which is sponsored annually by the WVMTA.

Dr. Henning Vauth, assistant professor of music at Marshall, said Li will represent West Virginia in the eastern division Young Artist competition.

Li said she was very excited to win such a prestigious competition in West Virginia.

"When I was informed of the announcement, I could not believe my ears," Li said. "I studied hard with my teacher; he gave me a lot of help. I would like to thank Dr. Vauth and Marshall University for giving me this opportunity. I will keep working hard."

Murphy said at the time, he was practicing for his graduate recital, and the competition was a good way to perform a portion of his recital pieces for practice and feedback.

"This was helpful because I was able to receive comments regarding my performance of the music," Murphy said. "This is the reason I went, not for the competition, but for the feedback. Winning second prize was an added bonus. I was very happy with the outcome and I thought the judges were fair in making the decision of the winners."

Murphy said the competition was a great experience for him as a pianist.

"I am glad I competed and got the chance to see where I fit among other pianists in the state," Murphy said. "If it weren't for my professor, Dr. Henning Vauth, I probably would not have gone to the competition. He definitely saw that the potential was there and just gave me the extra push I needed." Vauth said these competitions not only helped Li and Murphy grow as pianists but showed others what talent there is at Marshall University.

"It's really quite a big deal for us and very exciting, since it hasn't happened before," Vauth said. "Teachers from across the state have heard Jiao and Will during the competitions and prize winners' recital; hopefully this will help further improve the reputation of our piano area."

Both of the competitions occurred during the West Virginia Music Teachers Association conference Oct. 11 at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

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

Marshall medical student elected to national association post

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Jay R. Bronder, a second-year medical student at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, was recently elected by his peers as a regional representative to the American Medical Association's House of Delegates (AMA-HOD). 

The AMA House of Delegates is the principal policy-making body of the American Medical Association

"I'm very excited to represent Marshall University and our region in this organization," Bronder said. "Part of my responsibility is to act as a mentor and liaison between Region 5 and the HOD to help refine resolutions coming from Region 5 students to the full house.  I'm looking forward to being part of this process."

Dr. Marie Veitia, associate dean for student affairs, congratulated Bronder on his election.

"We are very proud of Mr. Bronder," she said. "He will represent the School of Medicine very well and is certainly deserving of this position."

The AMA's House of Delegates meets twice annually and represents the views and interests of a diverse group of member physicians on a variety of issues including health, medical, and professional and governance matters.

Bronder is a native of Monroeville, Pa. 

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

Architectural, consulting firms seek input from public for Marshall's 2013 Facilities/Land Use Master Plan

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Representatives from architectural and consulting firms will conduct a campus/community open house at Marshall University on Tuesday, Dec. 4, as they seek input for MU's 2013 Facilities/Land Use Master Plan.

The topics of the open house are Introduction to Campus Master Plan and Identification of Goals and Concerns. The master plan will be presented to MU's Board of Governors by September 2013 and to the Higher Education Policy Commission by December 2013, according to Dr. Karen Kirtley, Marshall's senior vice president for administration. Marshall's most recent master plan update was approved by the Board of Governors in 2003.  

The campus/community open house takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in room BE5, located on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center on the university's Huntington campus. The public is invited to meet with the consultants and share ideas.

Conducting the open house will be the consulting firm of SmithGroup JJR from Ann Arbor, Mich., which will have representatives at Marshall Dec. 3-6.  In addition to SmithGroup JJR, the consultant team consists of Corbin Design, Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., Paulien and Associates, and The Protection Engineering Group.

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Saturday November 24, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp issues statement following the passing of Arthur Weisberg

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp issued the following statement today following the passing of Arthur Weisberg:

"I and the entire Marshall University community are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Arthur Weisberg. I consider Art a dear friend and mentor and I've been so fortunate to have known him. I have especially cherished the time we shared together. He was never short on kind words and always willing to share his advice and wisdom - just two of the noble attributes that define this remarkable man. 

"Huntington and the State of West Virginia have lost one of our greatest captains of industry and philanthropy. Art chose to make Huntington his home and throughout his lifetime here, he was committed to improving the quality of life for its current and future residents. Art and the entire Weisberg family have left an indelible imprint on this university through their support of our academic programs and willingness to give back to the community they so dearly love. 

"Jane and I and all of us at Marshall extend our love and heartfelt prayers to Joan and the entire Weisberg family."
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Tuesday November 20, 2012
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Choral Union to perform 'Midnight Mass for Christmas' Nov. 29-30

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Choral Union and the West Virginia Symphony Chorus will give two performances of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Midnight Mass for Christmas" Thursday, Nov. 29, in Huntington and Friday, Nov. 30, in Charleston, with Dr. David Castleberry conducting.

"The Midnight Mass is a charming work, based on French Noels that are woven into the choral textures of this marvelous liturgical work," Castleberry said. "It is a delightful, evocative piece that will appeal to audiences."

In addition, the choruses will perform Charles Theodore Pachelbel's "Magnificat" and organist William Murphy will play selections from Claude Balbastre's "Premier Suite de Noels."

The Huntington performance will take place at 8 p.m. at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, 413 10th St., while the Charleston performance is at 8 p.m. at Christ Church United Methodist, located at Quarrier and Morris Streets.

Admission is free and open to the public. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

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Monday November 19, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Marshall students, local players to participate in TUBACHRISTMAS Dec. 1

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University tuba and euphonium players are inviting players of those instruments in the Huntington area to join them in the local celebration of "TUBACHRISTMAS." TUBACHRISTMAS is an annual event that is being celebrated for the 39th time in more than 250 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries, according to Dr. George Palton, who teaches tuba and euphonium at Marshall and is coordinating the event.
This year's Huntington TUBACHRISTMAS will take place Saturday, Dec. 1. Registration for participants will start at 10 a.m. and rehearsal will begin at 11 a.m. at the Marshall University-Henderson Center Marching Band Complex on the Huntington campus. The performance will take place at 2 p.m. the same day at the Huntington Mall.
The ensemble will be conducted by Steve Barnett, Director of Bands at Marshall University.
TUBACHRISTMAS was created by Harvey Phillips as an annual event honoring his teacher, the late tubist William J. Bell, who was born Christmas Day, 1902. Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect to all the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. Every TUBACHRISTMAS performance features traditional Christmas carols specially arranged for the first TUBACHRISTMAS (December 22, 1974 in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza) by American composer Alec Wilder, who died on Christmas Eve in 1980.
 For further information about this event or music at Marshall University, please call 304-696-3117 or e-mail Palton at

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Friday November 16, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall recognized for efforts in promoting diversity, inclusion

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has been selected as a winner of the first 2012 INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the December 2012 issue of the magazine reported today. Marshall is one of 48 recipients featured in the issue.

HEED is a national award honoring U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, said Marshall met or exceeded the parameters and guidelines set by a panel of judges in earning "the first ever national award for colleges, universities and school systems that exhibit outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion among the entire community of students, faculty, staff and vendors."

"We hope the HEED award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st century higher education landscape," Pearlstein said. "Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus. Our students of today are the employees of tomorrow and the future of our country. As students begin to enter the workforce and a global society, they must first be surrounded by and supported by faculty and staff that understand the differences among cultures and their needs."

Potomac Publishing, Inc., publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, evaluated applications from colleges and universities throughout the United States in order to measure their level of success in regard to diversity and inclusion. The winners, including Marshall but listed in no particular order, are published in the December issue.

"There is no ranking," said Holly Mendelson, also an INSIGHT publisher. "The needs of each school are so different. What's right for one campus may be completely different than what's right for somebody else."

Mendelson said the judges were very impressed with Marshall's efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion and the success it has had in doing so. The vision of Marshall's Division of Multicultural Affairs is, in part, "to provide leadership, support and advocacy for diverse populations, historically underrepresented individuals and groups."

"Marshall has really done an outstanding job," Mendelson said. "We had all kinds of schools apply and we really asked for a lot of information, which Shari (Clarke) provided to us. Marshall should feel good about what they are doing."

Dr. Shari Clarke is Marshall's vice president for multicultural affairs.

"This award is recognition and affirmation of a broad range of accomplishments," Clarke said. "It's nice to be recognized for what we do. We really focus on creating a climate of inclusion and diversity. We are very proud and honored to receive this award."

Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp praised Clarke and her staff for their "expert contributions to our advancement of diversity not only at Marshall, but across the Higher Education landscape."

"She is supported by passionate students, faculty and staff who share our vision for a diverse, inclusive and multicultural Marshall University community that fosters, encourages and enriches opportunities for personal and intellectual growth for all," Kopp said.

Marshall excels in many areas regarding diversity and inclusiveness, Mendelson said. She cited some examples:

"Marshall has a lot of veterans in the student population," she said. "They're doing a good job of providing students with a world of opportunity with their study abroad programs. They take care of people with disabilities and they have top-notch facilities. Marshall strives to insure that its school represents growing diversity reflective of the state."

Mendelson said Marshall also excels in the way it reaches out to the community with events such as Outstanding Black High School Students Weekend. "There's a tremendous effort there," she said. "And their Multicultural Leadership Ambassador Program is definitely something unique."

Clarke has instituted many new programs since coming to Marshall four years ago. She said she is most proud of the Multicultural Faculty in Residence Program, the faculty exchange program between Marshall and Alcorn State University, the Ivy Academy (leadership conference for 8th-12th-grade girls) and the Multicultural Leadership Ambassador Program.

"They've educated over 5,000 individuals since 2009," she said of the ambassadors.

Kopp said he appreciates and admires the efforts of Marshall University's Multicultural Ambassadors.

"They are a group of diverse young men and women who strive, on their own time, to break down stereotypes and confront bias and prejudices of all kinds," Kopp said. "They perform this calling through thoughtful communication and one-on-one interactions. They are brave. They are impressive. They are inspiring. Quite simply, they enrich our entire community."


About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today. For nearly 40 years, it has been connecting employees with institutions and businesses that embrace a workforce that is reflective of the world. INSIGHT Into Diversity successfully connects employers to the most highly qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, medical condition or history, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.


Photo: Dr. Shari Clarke, vice president of multicultural affairs at Marshall University.

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Friday November 16, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall University students produce parody video to promote science

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A group of Marshall University students has produced a parody of a popular music video as part of a national contest to promote science.

The parody, called "The Lab Song," is a take-off on the Bruno Mars music video "The Lazy Song." The students' video has only been online for a few days but it has already generated more than 1,800 views.

The group worked on the video as part of a nationwide contest called "Stand Up for Science!" sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The society is soliciting entries that creatively promote federally-funded research and its role in improving the health, quality of life or economy in local communities.

Led by junior biochemistry major Sumaiya Chaudhry, the students who produced the video represented departments and majors from across the university, including journalism, the sciences, art, music and theater.

Like the Bruno Mars video, the students' version features dancing monkeys and a catchy tune. Chaudhry said that the group of 20 or so undergraduate students did all the work on the video. She directed and filmed, wrote the lyrics, did the post-production work and even played ukulele in the song. Other members of the team produced the music, sang, acted and helped with lighting.

Chaudhry says she had wanted to do a parody video about science for a while and the contest seemed like a good opportunity to get people together and excited about the project.

"This whole process has been very gratifying to see students over various disciplines contributing to this project in a productive and creative way," she said. "It has been very challenging to get this project going, but it was totally worth it. I hope to see more interdisciplinary projects at the university because collectively we can create something bigger, better, and, hopefully, more enjoyable."

Another member of the group, junior advertising major Tyler Rice, who appears as a monkey in the video, said the students have done posters to promote their contest entry and will also be using Twitter and other social media avenues to help get the word out.

"Currently, our goal is to increase views of the video," said Rice. "There will be a public voting period in December, but we plan to deal with that closer to the voting period. Right now we just want to get the video out there and generate as many views as we can." 

The video can be seen on YouTube at For more information, contact Chaudhry at or Rice at

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Friday November 16, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Ground broken for Marshall University's new soccer complex

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Construction of a state-of-the-art soccer complex for Marshall University's men's and women's soccer teams is set to begin this week, with work to be completed by Aug. 1, 2013, in time for the start of the fall season.

To celebrate the start of construction, Marshall officials today conducted a ceremonial groundbreaking on the West Lot of Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The soccer complex will be built at 2590 5th Ave. in Huntington, the former site of the historic Veterans Memorial Field House. 

The Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex is expected to pay almost instant dividends in areas such as recruiting and training, even before the first match is played.

"This is an exciting and historic day for Marshall University athletics," said Mike Hamrick, MU's director of athletics. "Our soccer teams will now have one of the top, if not the top, facilities in the country. It's also historic because this is the first step toward continuing our facilities enhancement." 

The soccer complex is part of a $30 million project that includes a state of the art indoor practice facility, which will have an indoor track, an athletics hall of fame, an academic support center and a sports medicine translational research center. 

"The soccer complex is the first one," Hamrick said, "and then the domino effect really starts with the other projects." 

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said MU's facilities will rank among the best in Conference USA once construction is completed on the soccer complex and the indoor practice facility. The soccer complex, in particular, will benefit more than just Marshall, he said.

"The new soccer complex will serve not only Marshall's men's and women's soccer programs but our community as well," Kopp said. "The rising competitiveness of both our men's and women's soccer teams will benefit greatly from this state-of-the-art facility. It's easy to foresee the benefit of this facility with respect to future student-athlete recruitment as well as greater competitive successes on the playing surface."

Longtime men's Coach Bob Gray recalled when his teams played their home matches at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

"Then we developed Sam Hood Field from scratch (on campus) and it served its purpose for many years," said Gray, who is in his 18th year at Marshall. "Now, to have a state-of-the-art facility like we're going to have will be a tremendous boost to our program. It will help in every facet of recruiting and training that you need to have to be a top notch program."

Marshall's men's teams posted a record of 80-41-9 in 14 seasons at Sam Hood Field. The women's program began in 1998 and their overall home record during those 14 years was 47-56-12. 

The new complex will be about 12,000 square feet in size, with a 500 square-foot press box, about 1,000 seats and a 47-space parking lot. Hamrick said the facility will include coaches' offices for both programs, locker rooms, a concession area and ticket offices. 

MU women's Coach Kevin Long said the new facility will put Marshall on a level playing field with some of the country's top programs.

"It will be much more effective training on a field that matches the fields we will be playing on," Long said. "We could never do that before. Also, this is a very loud statement by the administration that soccer is a strong program and it is here to stay. The fact that we will have a state-of-the-art stadium that surpasses all the teams in our conference should translate to recruits that the administration believes in the program. This type of belief not only speaks volumes to the recruits, but also helps parents to know what a program's level of support is."

Marshall's teams played their home matches on the road this fall, mostly on local high school fields. Gray is looking forward to the convenience and familiarity that comes with having a home stadium.

"Just the fact that our offices and locker rooms and conference room will all be housed in the same building is exciting," Gray said. "It will give us a more professional approach about training and preparing for our matches. And the state-of-the-art field turf helps us in that, when we have inclement weather, we won't have to worry about tearing the field up."

Hamrick and both coaches are excited about what the stadium will mean to the community. It will be used to help develop youth programs, high school matches will be played there, local club teams will play there, and tournaments such as the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships, which return to the Tri-State in 2015, will play many of their matches there. That tournament was played locally in 2009 and 2010, and had an economic impact of around $12 million each year.

Gray acknowledged that he already is seeing the benefits of having a new facility in the near future.

"We had a very good recruiting class this year and it's helped us schedule wise," Gray said. "We're going to have a great number of home games next year. There's been a snowball effect with all of our programs and it started with the Rec Center. Marshall is on the rise and a lot of good things are happening with the athletic department."

The total cost of the new soccer complex will be about $8 million, according to Hamrick. That includes $673,409 for demolition of the field house.

The design firm for the project is AECOM Technical Services of Kansas City, Mo., and the construction firm is MIRC Construction Services of Hurricane, W.Va.


Photo: Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, center, leads a large group in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the university's new soccer complex this afternoon outside Joan C. Edwards Stadium. To Kopp's right is Mike Hamrick, Marshall's Director of Athletics, and to Kopp's left is Chad Pennington, co-chair of Marshall's Vision Campaign. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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

Dan Hollis, associate professor of journalism at Marshall, selected by Carnegie Foundation as W.Va. Professor of the Year

He calls award a 'great honor,' a bonus for doing something he loves

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  - Dan Hollis, an associate professor of journalism and mass communications at Marshall University, has been selected as the 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching West Virginia Professor of the Year. Hollis was selected from nearly 300 top professors in the United States.

The selection was announced today during an awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Hollis, who in addition to teaching is serving as interim assistant dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was on hand to receive his award.

"Obviously, it's a great honor," Hollis said. "I love teaching, being in the classroom and interacting with students. It's my life. Anytime you get recognized for doing something you love, it's a bonus."

The recipient of the Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award at Marshall University is annually nominated for the Carnegie award. Hollis received the 2011 Reynolds award. 

Three other Marshall professors have won the Carnegie award: Dr. Karen Mitchell, a mathematics professor, in 1995; Dr. John McKernan, an English professor, in 2000; and Dr. Steven Mewaldt, a psychology professor, in 2003.

Dr. Gayle Ormiston, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Marshall, said Hollis winning the award was no surprise to him.

"Dan is very popular in the classroom, and it's obvious he connects well with his students," Ormiston said. "He is enthusiastic, fun and engaging. Dan once said the first day of school each semester is like Christmas morning to him. Most of all, he is an outstanding professor. We congratulate Dan on winning this very prestigious award."

Paul Gessler is a reporter at WBFF-TV in Baltimore, Md., and a former student of Hollis.  He wrote a letter of support for Hollis during the selection process.

"His energy and sense of humor can hold a lecture hall clamoring for more," Gessler said in the letter. "Often times during class, passing students would peer into Hollis' class, inevitably to answer their internal dialogue, 'Who is that guy, and why is he walking on chairs?' His name is Dan Hollis. And, no one's quite sure why he does that."

Gessler said that while Hollis' classes are enjoyable, he is "no easy out."

"You have to work hard for your grade," Gessler said. "If a student doesn't meet expectations on an assignment, I've seen him assign a new, tougher project for the student as a chance to climb out of a hole. Second chances need to be earned from him."

Gessler said that regardless of whether a student is celebrating or heartbroken, Hollis is there for them.

"We have fun, but the students know I care and care a lot," Hollis said. "There are many great teachers at Marshall, many in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications alone. For whatever reason, someone singled me out, but the honor is in representing all my colleagues."

In addition to the Reynolds award, Hollis received the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001. He also has taken first place in six consecutive years, and seven of the past eight, in the News/Sports/Public Affairs category of the National Broadcasting Society and Alpha Rho Epsilon Professional Electronic Media Awards for his creative work which can also be seen on HerdVideo, Marshall's YouTube channel.

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

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

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. TIAA-CREF, one of America's leading financial services organizations and higher education's premier retirement system, became the principal sponsor for the awards ceremony in 2000. Additional support for the program is received from a number of higher education associations, including Phi Beta Kappa, which sponsors an evening congressional reception.

This year, a state Professor of the Year was recognized in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third and final panel, which selected four national winners. CASE and Carnegie select state winners from top entries resulting from the judging process. Hollis was selected from faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London, Singapore and Mexico City, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas.


Photos: Dan Hollis, an associate professor of journalism and mass communications at Marshall University, has been selected as the 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching West Virginia Professor of the Year.


Video of Dan Hollis teaching at Marshall is available at

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Thursday November 15, 2012
Contact: Matt Turner, Chief of Staff, (304) 696-6713

Marshall and INTO University Partnerships agreement will bring students from across the world to Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. - Marshall University and INTO University Partnerships today finalized a long-term agreement that is expected to build the institution's global profile and increase international student enrollment at the university.

Marshall and INTO have been developing the partnership for the past two years to build on Marshall's growing international reputation and to bring greater awareness of global cultures to West Virginia's college students and communities.

INTO is a private company that forms innovative joint venture partnerships with leading universities to expand opportunities for higher education, ensuring student success and transforming lives. Students benefit from university-designed programs, university-led teaching, and supportive university environments while enjoying full access to university campus facilities, resources and services. Since 2006, the company has successfully launched partnerships with 17 universities in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia.

"Today we celebrate the start of an innovative program that truly will internationalize Marshall University and our greater Huntington community," said Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, president of Marshall. "Our plan is very progressive and, in many ways, pioneering, because of its potential global influence on our students, our university and our state.

"We are very excited about the outstanding learning and growth experiences we can offer the many international students who will choose to come to West Virginia each year and enroll at Marshall. Perhaps as significant are the diverse learning and cultural enrichment opportunities their involvement at Marshall will create for the thousands of Marshall University students from across our state and nation. This initiative literally will create a multicultural, global village on our Huntington campus."

Marshall becomes the fourth U.S. university to sign on with INTO, following Oregon State University, the University of South Florida and Colorado State University.

Marshall currently has an international population of about 400 students from 60 countries. The Center for International Programs was established in 1993 and provides a variety of international programs and support services, including study abroad, cooperative international research, community outreach, the English as a Second Language Institute and immigration assistance for students and employees. The university's annual International Festival is one of the most popular university-sponsored events, drawing thousands of students and members of the community. 

>INTO will use its extensive global recruitment network across 75 countries to help enroll 200+ additional students in the INTO Marshall program from key international markets. The first intake of INTO Marshall students will be August 2013. This added international student enrollment will diversify the student body at Marshall while helping to sustain the university's growth and advance the institution's ambitious goals for comprehensive internationalization. INTO University Partnerships is a member of the American International Recruitment Council, which requires its members to adhere to stringent quality assurance practices for recruitment.

"We are delighted to welcome Marshall to our growing network of leading universities. Marshall offers a small-town, family-like experience that has proven very welcoming to international students. We will build on the strengths of Marshall's existing programs and increase access for international students who want to pursue their higher education goals at Marshall," said Andrew Colin, chairman of INTO University Partnerships. "We have experienced exceptional student performance at our three existing U.S. partner universities, and we look forward to INTO Marshall enjoying similar successes in the coming years."

INTO Marshall will ensure the success of international students by delivering innovative academic preparation programs and personalized support services in a completely renovated, on-campus international study center. Pathway programs combine academic coursework and English language training to help international students adapt to an American university environment and prepare for future success as a degree-seeking student at the university. Marshall University instructors will teach all Pathway programs.

Marshall Provost Dr. Gayle Ormiston said the portfolio of academic Pathway programs has been designed to help accelerate student success as INTO Marshall students adjust to the rigors of the U.S. university environment.

"Our faculty have worked with INTO to design a specific curriculum that will help international students fit well into the culture of Marshall University," Ormiston said. "Our partnership with INTO will enhance Marshall's established international student programs and provide a richer international experience for all of our students, faculty, and staff and indeed the entire community and state."

Photos: (Above) Andrew Colin, left, chairman of INTO University Partnerships, and Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp sign an agreement today that is expected to build the institution's global profile and increase international student enrollment at the university. The signing took place on Marshall's Huntington campus at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center. (Middle) Andrew Colin, left, chairman of INTO University Partnerships, and Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp shake hands after signing an agreement today that is expected to build the institution's global profile and increase international student enrollment at the university. (Below) More than 20 countries are represented by the visitors to Marshall University's Huntington campus Nov. 15. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.


About INTO University Partnerships INTO University Partnerships specializes in large-scale transformational partnerships that support and drive leading universities' internationalization goals. Within our university-led partnerships, INTO expands opportunities for international students to pursue higher education, investing in the resources, systems and processes to deliver a first-class student experience. Students benefit from university-designed and -delivered programs, highly supportive learning environments and state-of-the-art learning and living spaces while enjoying full access to their host university's campus facilities, resources and services. Since 2006, INTO has launched joint venture partnerships to internationalize 17 campuses in the U.K., the U.S. and Asia. More information can be found at

About Marshall University

Marshall University, founded in 1837 and located in Huntington, W.Va., is the state's  oldest public institution of higher education. The university was named in honor of John Marshall, the longest-serving Chief Justice of the United States, who also is regarded as the definer of the U.S. Constitution. Marshall offers 74 undergraduate majors and 52 graduate and professional degrees and has an enrollment of 14,000 students. Marshall University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its Thundering Herd athletic teams compete in 15 NCAA Division 1 intercollegiate sports.

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Wednesday November 14, 2012
Contact: Leah Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Nobel laureate visits Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Dr. Günter Blobel receives honorary degree from Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Günter Blobel, M.D., Ph.D., who received the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery that proteins have built-in signals that direct their movement in cells, visited the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University today and met with faculty, staff and students. 

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp presented Blobel with an honorary doctoral degree in science from the school. 

For decades, Blobel, a cellular and molecular biologist, has studied the protein distribution system within cells. His studies showed that the movement and position of proteins within a cell depend on specific signals which direct them to proper cell destinations.   Ultimately, the protein-signaling mechanisms discovered by Blobel were discovered to be universal, found in yeast, plant, animal and human cells.

His work has shed light on diseases such as cystic fibrosis and kidney stones, which have been linked to errors in the signal and transport systems.

In awarding Blobel with an honorary degree, President Kopp praised the researcher for his life-long curiosity and commitment to the life sciences.

"Dr. Blobel is the epitome of a great research scientist and humanitarian, one who has dedicated his entire career to unlocking the mysteries of human disease and benefiting humankind," Kopp said.  "He is among the most respected researchers in the world and it is with pleasure and great pride that we bestow upon him our highest honor, this honorary doctoral degree."

Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the School of Medicine, said Blobel's visit serves to both ignite passion and encourage young researchers to pursue their scientific goals.

"It is inspiring for us to meet with a scientist like Dr. Blobel, someone who has truly reached a scientific pinnacle," he said. "I am absolutely delighted that he has found the time in his busy schedule to visit us at Marshall, and I am grateful to Dr. Nader Abraham, our new vice-dean for research, for arranging this incredible visit."

Blobel, who has received many distinguished awards during his career, said he is pleased to receive the honorary degree from Marshall.

"I am humbled and totally surprised to receive this honorary degree from Marshall University," he said.  "Marshall is a distinguished university and I am so pleased receive this honor."

Blobel's research continues as he now works to understand the signals between a cell's nucleus and cytoplasm.   Experts say the keys to unlocking these type communications will eventually help explain how diseases like cancer occur.

Blobel received his M.D. from the University of Tübingen in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1967 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he worked with Van R. Potter in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. He did postdoctoral work at The Rockefeller University in the laboratory of George E. Palade and has been at the university since.   Blobel was named the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor in 1992 and also serves as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Born in a small town in eastern Germany (now Poland) in 1936, Blobel and his family fled the country during World War II.   On their way to the west, they passed through the city of Dresden, which only days later was destroyed in an air bombing.   Blobel's oldest sister was killed some weeks later in an air attack on a train in which she was traveling. 

In memory of his sister and in an effort to help rebuild the city of Dresden, Blobel founded Friends of Dresden, Inc., a charitable organization, with the goal to raise funds in the United States to help rebuild the many beautiful structures in Dresden that were destroyed in World War II.

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Tuesday November 13, 2012
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

Marshall geography professor invited by Oxford University to share thoughts with Atlas of the World publication

Dr. Joshua Hagen comments on geography of Europe and Syria, and concept of 'Homeland' 

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Joshua Hagen, professor of geography at Marshall University, has been invited by Oxford University's Atlas of the World to share his thoughts on the relationship between geography and current events for their publication, Place of the Year 2012.   Atlas is the only world atlas which is updated annually, guaranteeing that users will find the most current geographic information.

Hagen, who is co-author of Borders:  A Very Short Introduction, commented for the publication on the geography of Europe and Syria as well as the concept of "Homeland."

Hagen noted that Europe's ongoing fiscal crisis has served to aggravate pre-existing regional and national divisions and in the process has added an array of political, cultural and linguistic challenges to the dire economic situation which is ravaging most of Europe.   He explained  that Spain, for example, has fallen on grim economic times as unemployment has climbed to 25 percent and the Spanish government has had to bail out banks and several regional governments, including Catalonia, Spain's largest regional economy.

"Catalans have maintained a strong regional identity, including their own language, despite recurring efforts by Spanish governments to centralize authority and suppress regionalism," Hagen wrote.  He added that although recent decades have seen improved relations between Catalonia and the Spanish government, including recognition of the Catalan language and a significant degree of autonomy, anger, and resentment from the recent economic depression have still spilled over into culture and politics causing long-standing antagonisms to flare up again.

The continuing economic crisis has also worsened similar cultural-linguistic disputes in Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to Hagen, and on a broader scale the fiscal crisis has revived long-standing stereotypes of Germans versus Greeks and Europe's Nordic countries versus the Mediterranean. 

"Depending on one's perspective, Germany and Europe's North are portrayed as responsible, hard-working and frugal or stingy, bossy and arrogant.  Conversely, Mediterranean Europe is viewed as lazy, corrupt and hapless or victimized, swindled and resilient," he wrote. 

In discussing Syria, Hagen noted that Syria's current government is dominated by Alawites, a religious minority that comprises only about 12 percent of the total population but is a majority in the country's Mediterranean coast region.

"The forces rebelling against the Syrian government are mainly drawn from the country's dominant Sunni Arab populations," he explained.  "It is impossible to predict the exact course of future events, but Syria's demographic and physical geography make it very unlikely that the government will succeed in re-establishing undisputed control over the country."

Hagen pointed out that the geography of Syria will likely be changed irreversibly, as ethnic-linguistic-religious groups sort themselves out into relatively similar enclaves and significant numbers of minority groups leave the country altogether. 

He stressed that, although there have been predictions of a borderless world and an end of geography, mounting calls for economic protectionism and rising anti-immigrant sentiment would signal a rising tide of nationalism and national territoriality.  In closing, Hagen noted that  "Growing fears of insecurity, scarcity, and powerlessness are likely to fuel increased pressures to define and defend national homelands." 

In addition, some main points of Borders: A Very Short Introduction, were discussed in a recent online article of The New Yorker. The author of the New Yorker article, Adam Gopnik, summarized some of the points Hagen made on page 3 of a 5-page online article titled "Faces, Places, Spaces. The Renaissance of Geographic History" in the section, "A Critic At Large." Gopnik wrote, in part:

"Another version of space history is available these days, though. This might be called the cartographic turn, and is characterized by the argument that, while geography matters, it is visible only through the maps that we make of it. Where borders fall is as much a matter of how things are seen as how they really are. We can know the shape of the planet only through maps maps in the ordinary glove-compartment sense, maps in a broader metaphoric one and those maps are made by minds attuned to the relations of power. All nations are shaped by belligerence and slaughter. Their borders are a fretwork of scars; they are the history of violence made legible on earth. A new field of "border studies" has grown up around this insight, with its own journals and its own institutions: there's a much respected Journal of Borderlands Studies, and there are institutes of border studies at several European universities. The newly published "Borders: A Very Short Introduction" (Oxford), by Alexander C. Diener and Joshua Hagen, makes an excellent and, well, very short introduction to the subject."

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Tuesday November 13, 2012
Contact: Michele Muth, Marshall Recreation Center Assistant Director, 304-696-2943

Marshall Recreation Center and First Year Residence Halls partner to bring holiday joy to Tri-State

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Recreation Center and the Marshall University First Year Residence halls are partnering this holiday season to help local agencies and children in the Huntington Community with a program called "Rec the Halls with Holiday Hopes."

Wish lists are being collected from local agencies such as Golden Girls, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House, A.D. Lewis Community Center and NECCO. The wishes will be hung on a tree in the lobby of the Marshall Recreation Center and in the First Year Residence Hall South dorm. People may stop by the Recreation Center or Residence Hall starting Wednesday, Nov. 14, to collect a wish to fulfill. 

A wrapping party will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, to wrap the gifts for the agencies. Volunteers will be rewarded with snacks and drinks, while enjoying each other's company in a festive atmosphere.

The person collecting the wish is asked to purchase the item listed and either drop it off at the Rec Center before Dec. 13 or bring it to the wrapping party.

For more information call Marshall Recreation Center Assistant Director Michele Muth at 304-696-2943 or e-mail her at

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Tuesday November 13, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall University School of Pharmacy community gathers supplies for Hurricane Sandy victims

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. - Boxes of items containing basic supplies were shipped Friday from collection points at the Marshall University School of Pharmacy to needy Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey.

The effort to collect items including diapers, baby wipes, bedding, children's underwear, formula, bottles and cleaning supplies was initiated by Janet Wolcott, Pharm.D., a clinical professor at the school and a New Jersey native.

"I wanted to do something for the people of the Jersey Shore, mainly because I'm from the area and have many friends and family affected by the storm," she said. "The students graciously jumped on the bandwagon and started collecting things. A few also made contacts with people they know to see if others were interested in donating items.  We shipped very large boxes on Friday just chock full of supplies."

Wolcott said the students have also contacted area pharmacies asking them to join the effort, which will continue for several more weeks. She said she and a few students will be driving to New Jersey in the coming weeks to drop off more collected supplies.   Area residents who would like to donate items may contact Wolcott at 304-696-7337.

This is the second community volunteer project pharmacy students have initiated recently.  In October, in recognition of pharmacy awareness month, students visited with patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center offering books and magazines. Wolcott said community engagement events like the visitation schedule and disaster collection effort are consistent with the school's mission to better the lives of local, state, regional and national residents.

The Marshall University School of Pharmacy opened its inaugural program in August with 80 students from more than a dozen states.

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

University receives $721,000 gift for mechanical engineering professorship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has received a $721,000 bequest from the estate of Huntington businessman J. Robert "Bob" Fletcher to fund the engineering professorship bearing his name. The donation is expected to be matched through the state's "Bucks for Brains" West Virginia Research Trust Fund for a total benefit to the university of more than $1.4 million.

The J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering will support an endowed faculty position in mechanical engineering at Marshall. The Fletcher family established the endowment in 2010 with a gift of $125,000, which was matched by the trust fund at that time.

Fletcher, who died in May 2009, moved to Huntington in 1947 with the family business. Along with his father and brother, he designed underground roof support systems for coal and limestone mines and built a manufacturing plant in Huntington. Today, J.H. Fletcher & Co. is one of the world's premier manufacturers of underground roof support systems.

Fletcher's daughter, Sally Fletcher Duncan, said, "My parents Bob and Kae Fletcher always felt that an education was of the utmost importance for a young person to achieve success in life. We hope this bequest will help many deserving Marshall students graduate from college and become successful and contributing members of our society."

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp praised the Fletcher family for their dedication to the university and the community.

"This gift will continue the tradition of J. H. Fletcher & Co.'s leadership in supporting engineering at Marshall University and will carry on Bob Fletcher's legacy as a leader in catalyzing economic development in this region," Kopp said. "Marshall University owes a debt of gratitude to the Fletchers for their generosity and foresight in establishing this endowed professorship."

The state Legislature created the West Virginia Research Trust Fund in 2008 with an initial appropriation of $15 million for Marshall. The university can tap into this fund to double private gifts that support specific research initiatives linked to economic development, health care and job growth.

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Monday November 12, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

June Harless Center holds Arts and Bots training in Mingo County

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Twelve elementary and middle school science and art teachers from Mingo County took part in training Nov. 5 for Arts and Bots, a program that integrates technology, robotics and art. 

Schools represented included Burch Elementary, Gilbert Middle, Matewan Middle, Williamson Middle, Burch Middle and Mingo Central High School. The training, presented by the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, part of the College of Education at Marshall University, was funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. 

The Arts and Bots project uses familiar arts and crafts supplies, circuit boards, lights, motors and sensors.  Students design, build and program robots that tell stories of literary and historical characters and events while promoting technological literacy and informal learning.

Arts and Bots is one of several projects implemented by the Harless CREATE Satellite, a branch of Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab at the June Harless Center.  The satellite provides robotics and technology initiatives to West Virginia schools including Marshall University Professional Development Schools. 

Due to its success Arts and Bots, originally designed to encourage middle school girls' interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics, was expanded to include both genders and a larger age range.  The Harless CREATE Satellite enables educators and rural communities in West Virginia a real-time portal to the flow of cutting-edge technologies and programs being developed at the lab in Pittsburgh.

The vision of the CREATE Lab is to catalyze local and global community change by technologically empowering people to creatively explore, learn, share and directly improve our ecology.  This initiative aligns with the mission of the Harless Center to provide leadership in education initiatives for West Virginia educators and students. 

For more information, contact Dr. Stan Maynard at or visit and

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

University Chorus to sing 'The Fountain' by Evan Mack at memorial service Nov. 14

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's University Chorus will be performing a special piece written specifically for Marshall at the 2012 memorial service for victims of the 1970 plane crash. Performing with the chorus will be Dr. Evan Mack, who composed the work.

Mack, a composer, pianist and member of the faculties of Skidmore College and the College of St. Rose, was an artist-in-residence at Marshall in 2009, giving master classes and concerts.

" 'The Fountain' " is a work that Evan Mack composed for the students of Marshall University," said Robert Wray, director of the University Chorus. "It was premiered by the Marshall University Chorus in the spring of 2012."

The memorial service, an annual observance to honor the 75 persons who lost their lives in the 1970 plane crash, will take place this year at noon Wednesday, Nov. 14, on the Memorial Student Center plaza on Marshall's Huntington campus.

Mack says he found inspiration for the piece in a poem written by 19th Century poet James Russell Lowell, also called "The Fountain."

"Musically it was quite freeing to set the text where the music symbolizes the continuing of life, flowing into each generation," Mack said. "This made it a perfect fit to connect the piece to the Marshall community, rather than just the fountain. The piece is meant to connect students past and present, just like the water circulated through the fountain. This ceremony gives a special connection to students of all generations, something that most colleges and universities can't claim." 

"I was asked to write a new piece, as both the University Chorus and the Chamber Choir were doing a joint concert featuring my music in spring 2012," Mack said. "Having worked with the choirs before, I knew how well they could sing. It took a long time to find the right text; then I found the poem by James Russell Lowell."

Along with premiering "The Fountain," the University Chorus has also premiered Mack's "Langston Hughes' Dream of Freedom," and two of Mack's other pieces. The Chamber Choir premiered his piece "Of Fire and Form."

Mack said his hope for the piece is that it would be something special for the students to premiere a work that was written for them, and that he hopes future choirs can sing this work and feel connected.

In addition to performing with the chorus, Mack will be meeting with students and rehearsing with them while he is at Marshall.

"I am honored that my piece will be sung at this year's ceremony," Mack said. "I am even more excited that I will be playing piano with the chorus at the memorial." 

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

Poets Carpathios, Good to read from their work Nov. 14

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- Poets Neil Carpathios and Crystal Good will read from their work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Birke Art Gallery at Marshall University. Their appearance is part of the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series.

Carpathios is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Playground of Flesh, At the Axis of Imponderables, and Beyond the Bones. He also writes for the column "Let's Talk Poetry" in The Portsmouth Daily Times, devoted to showcasing work by local poets in the Southern Ohio region. The recipient of fellowships and grants from the Ohio Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, Carpathios teaches and is Coordinator of Creative Writing at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.


Good is a part of the "Affrilachian" (African-American-Appalachian) poetry movement and the author of the collection Valley Girl. Her poems explore themes in quantum physics, Appalachian culture, gender equality and mountaintop removal. Good is the founding member of OneKanawha, a diversity and anti-racism advocacy group. In 2005, she was honored by Gov. Joe Manchin as a West Virginia Innovative Artist. Currently, she serves as the Director of Brand Experience at Mythology LLC.

The reading is free and open to the public, and a book-signing will follow.


For more information, contact Dr. Rachael Peckham in the department of English at 304-696-3649.

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Wednesday November 7, 2012
Contact: Haven Campbell, Marshall University Career Services, 304-696-2370

Marshall University to host fall career webinar series

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. - Marshall University Career Services will host a career webinar series for students with important information on how to prepare themselves for life after college. The series features eight career authors and experts who share their knowledge on interviewing, life planning, job search, networking and much more.

"We want to provide as much information as possible to help our students develop the professional skills they need to be successful," said Debby Stoler, assistant director of development and outreach in Career Services. "This series of one-hour seminars is given by experts and experienced professionals and covers a variety of topics that can give students the tools they need to be competitive as they step into the world."

The webinars will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. every Wednesday starting today and running through Dec. 12 at the Career Services office. For detailed information on each webinar visit the Career Services webpage and click on "Events." Students can also register online to watch them from home at

About TalentMarks

TalentMarks provides students, graduates and alumni access to information they will need to build successful careers. By offering career coaching, lifestyle coaching and career courses they hope to push students to be the best they can be. Founded in 2009, the company is continually growing to build relationships and provide excellent, affordable career coaching to anyone who needs it. More information is available at

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

Cyber safety summit rescheduled for Nov. 28 at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's free cyber safety summit, originally scheduled for Oct. 30 but postponed because of weather conditions that day, has been rescheduled to Nov. 28 beginning at 10 a.m., according to John Sammons, assistant professor of Integrated Science and Technology and director of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence.

The summit will take place in the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is for adults, college students and younger students aged 12-14.

During the sessions, participants can learn how to prevent cyber bullying, keep themselves and their families safe online, handle the dangers of social media, keep their information and computers safe and identify scams. In addition, they can find out how and why criminals target them and more.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Integrated Science & Technology, the FBI, and the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence.

To reserve a seat, e-mail

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

Marshall Theatre to present 'The Arabian Nights' starting Nov. 7

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Theatre Alliance will present Mary Zimmerman's award-winning adaptation of "The Arabian Nights" in a two-week run beginning tomorrow.

Performances begin Wednesday, Nov.7, and continue through Saturday, Nov. 10, this week. Next week, they will start Thursday, Nov. 15, and go through Saturday, Nov. 17. All shows begin at 8 p.m. in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre on the Huntington campus.

Nicole Perrone, assistant professor of theatre at Marshall, said a play such as "The Arabian Nights" provides an invaluable learning opportunity for the students.

"In an educational theatre setting, we're always looking for shows that will provide the right kinds of challenges for our students," Perrone said. "This show relies on the strength of the ensemble most of the 17-member company remains onstage throughout the performance.  Each actor sings, dances, plays a musical instrument and performs many roles."

Perrone also mentioned the importance of costume and stage design for helping the audience believe they have left Huntington behind and, in this instance, traveled to Bagdad. Nicole Peckens designed costumes for "The Arabian Nights" as part of her senior capstone project, and Emily Pritchard composed all original melodies, accompaniment and underscoring, Perrone said.

Perrone said she looks forward to seeing the combination of costumes, music and acting on opening night. She also said parents should be aware the production may not be appropriate for young children, as Zimmerman made a point of choosing the funniest and saddest, yet most erotic, of the "Thousand and One Nights" stories.

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

Sharing GIS technology with community purpose of GIS Day 2012 at MU

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will celebrate GIS Day 2012, an international, annual, one-day event designed to share with and showcase Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology for the local community, on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

GIS Day 2012 activities at Marshall are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and are sponsored by the geography department, integrated science and technology department, and the Rahall Transportation Institute.  Activities will take place in room BE5 on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center and in Corbly Hall on the Huntington campus. They will include undergraduate and graduate research posters, a keynote speech from Ranger Frank Sellers from the National Park Service, and activities for students from Spring Valley and Chesapeake high schools. Those students will participate in Google Earth, ArcGIS and GPS contests.

Dr. James M. Leonard, a geography professor and director of the Geography Department GIS Lab at Marshall, said about 40 high school students are expected to attend, and about 20 Marshall students will submit posters.

"And, we expect perhaps an additional 35 Marshall students will show up to view the posters and attend the talk by Ranger Sellers," Leonard said.

Leonard said Sellers, a ranger at New River Gorge National River, is expected to talk about Chief Justice John Marshall's 1812 expedition through the Allegheny Mountains to find a canal route between Richmond, Va., and the Ohio River.  Marshall traveled the New and Greenbrier rivers on this expedition.

The GIS Day events will begin in BE5, where undergraduate and graduate posters will be on display throughout the day.  After an introduction in BE5, the high school students will move to Corbly Hall 332 for two contests - ArcMap and Google Earth.

At 11 a.m., Sellers will present his work in BE5, with lunch following from noon  to 1 p.m.  That's when the GPS contest starts in BE5, although high school students will be walking around campus looking for items as part of the contest.  The wrap-up will be around 2 p.m. in BE5.

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Monday November 5, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Chamber Choir to present fall concert Sunday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. David Castleberry, will present its fall concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus.

The performance will feature works by Mozart, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Villa-Lobos and others, Castleberry said.

The Chamber Choir is a select 40-voice ensemble whose recent accomplishments include a 10-day tour of France last spring, during which they performed at Paris's famed Cathedral of Notre Dame and received standing ovations throughout a tour that included additional concerts in Sarlat, Domme, and Nice. A CD compilation from the performance tour will be released later this fall.

Castleberry said membership includes many students preparing for careers in music, but is open to students all across the campus by audition.

"The choir upholds a high standard of excellence each year because of the students who commit themselves to reach as high as they possibly can," Castleberry said. "When you hear them sing, their qualities of focus, dedication and joy in making music are obvious."

Sunday's concert will last approximately one hour. It is free and open to the public. 

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

Marshall, St. Joe join Marines in 2012 Toys for Tots regional campaign

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University and St. Joseph Catholic Grade School are teaming with the United States Marine Corp Reserves in supporting a drive to collect toys for needy children in the 2012 Toys for Tots regional campaign.

This afternoon at St. Joe, about 80 students in grades K-2 joined Sgt. Victor Arroyo, coordinator of the campaign, and Kelly Sweetman, director of military affairs at Marshall, in a countdown that officially got the campaign under way. It will run through Dec. 7, with distribution to follow. The campaign covers 20 counties - 14 in West Virginia, three in Ohio and three in Kentucky.

Toys for Tots collects new toys to give to children, ages toddler to early teens, who otherwise would do without during the holidays.

Our goal is 4,000 kids and 15,000 toys," Arroyo said. "That way each kid receives three toys."

This is the third consecutive year in which Marshall has teamed with Toys for Tots and St. Joseph in the Toys for Tots campaign. Today, the Marines presented each of the St. Joe students participating in the kickoff with a cup, pencil, ruler and commemorative coin for their hard work the past two holiday seasons.

"It has become something we all look forward to doing each year. This is about community pulling together," Sweetman said of St. Joe's participation in the campaign. "The St. Joe kids do a tremendous job each year collecting toys and handing them out."

Counties included in the campaign are Wayne, Lincoln, Logan, Cabell, Putnam, Kanawha, Mason, Jackson, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Clay, Braxton and Boone in West Virginia; Gallia, Lawrence and Meigs in Ohio; and Boyd, Greenup and Lawrence in Kentucky.

Huntington-area drop-off locations include:

  • Huntington, WV Housing Authority Family Resource Center, 2920 Marcum Terrace, Marvin Gray Family Center Gym
  • Medicap Pharmacy, 4352 5th St. Rd., Huntington
  • Sun Tan City, 2957 5th Ave., Huntington
  • Sun Tan City, 360 Diederich Blvd., Ashland, Ky.
  • Marshall University Memorial Student Center, One John Marshall Dr., Huntington  (beginning Wednesday, Nov. 7)

Arroyo, who was the assistant coordinator last year, will run this year's campaign out of the Teays Valley reserve unit. Photo: Cpt. Steven Dodson, left, listens as Sgt. Victor Arroyo, coordinator of the Toys for Tots campaign, talks with St. Joe students about the campaign. Photo by Liu Yang/Marshall University. 

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

College of Fine Arts to collect items for Cabell County school pantries

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's College of Fine Arts will host "Pack the Backpack," an event to collect items for Cabell County school pantries, Tuesday, Nov. 13, on the university's Huntington campus.

Jaye Ike, special projects coordinator for the College of Fine Arts, said students from the college's Student Leadership Council have organized this initiative in an effort to help stock the school pantries. The students will collect items like nonperishable food, toiletries, bedding and more from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center.

Theresa Rapp, career specialist at Huntington High School, said that donations are greatly appreciated.

"I want to assure you that every single donation, regardless of the size, is certainly needed and appreciated by the students at Huntington High School," Rapp said.

"Every day I encounter a student in need of food or personal care items such as shampoo, deodorant or soap.  I am very grateful that the MU students are extending their support to the community at Huntington High. What a blessing!"

For members of the council, this is an effort to give back to the community that surrounds the campus.

"We believe as the College of Fine Arts Student Leadership Council that giving back to the community is not only a necessity, but that it builds and fosters a spirit among COFA students that cannot be accomplished in any other way," Bradlee Jordan, theatre student and SLC president, said. "When we heard that some schools are trying to ramp up their pantries before Thanksgiving break so they can send items with students who will otherwise go without, we were pleased to be part of the solution."

SLC member and music student Shey Dillon agrees.

"As artists, musicians and students, we feel it is very important to give back to the community that supports us and this wonderful university," Dillon said. "No one is more in need or deserving of this gesture than the many children of Cabell County who go without so many basic necessities. We hope that we can set an example that others will follow."

Martha Evans, principal at Guyandotte Elementary, said she tries diligently to remind her students of the historical bond that they have with Marshall University and that this event is another example of that bond.

"By an act of the Assembly of Virginia in 1809, what is now Guyandotte was established as the county seat of Cabell County," Evans said. "The founding fathers of this community built a school and when their sons had completed the standard education offered there, they wanted more for their sons, so they established 'Hometown Academy,' which eventually became Marshall Academy, the forerunner of Marshall University.  Therefore, Guyandotte exists at the very heart of Marshall University and we continue to respect that heritage."

"I want our students to realize that connection," she said. "I want them to know that if college is the path they want to follow - they can. We want them to connect with Marshall, and eventually attend. My goal is for them to know that they can pursue a college education." 

For more information, contact Ike by phone at 304-633-9251 or by e-mail at

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

Mo Lajterman, brother of crash victim, to speak at memorial service

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Mo Lajterman lives in New Jersey and visits Marshall University maybe once every couple of years. Yet, he and all of the Lajtermans, including Mo's brothers, Tito and Abe, have a long-distance relationship with Marshall that Mo describes with one word - family.

Mo Lajterman and his brothers will return to Marshall on Wednesday, Nov. 14, for the annual memorial service celebrating the lives of the 75 victims of the 1970 Marshall plane crash, including the Lajtermans' brother, Marcelo.

The service starts at noon on the Memorial Student Center plaza on the Huntington campus. The public is invited to attend the event, which is conducted by the Student Government Association.

This year's visit will be different for Mo Lajterman. He won't be in the memorial service audience; rather, he'll be on the stage as the featured speaker.

"It was very shocking when I got the call from (Athletic Director) Mike Hamrick; I never expected it," Lajterman said. "I'm very honored and very emotional about it, but I had to take a couple of days to think about it. But now, I'm looking forward to it."

Lajterman and his brothers have made the nine-hour drive from New Jersey to Huntington a few times in recent years. They usually spend much of their time on the road talking about Marcelo.

"I'm a very emotional person," said Mo, who was 17 when the plane went down. "I'm not a professional speaker. I try to speak from the heart. It was such a tragic accident and it still feels like it was yesterday. We still cry over it. But these trips to Huntington help. We feel really close to our brother when we make these trips."

The trips didn't happen for many years after the crash. In fact, Mo came to Huntington for the first time - by himself - in 2000 for the premiere of the documentary, "Ashes to Glory."

"I didn't know a soul," he said. "Now, we feel like Marshall's our home."

Marcelo Lajterman was 19 years old when he died in the crash. He was a kicker for the Thundering Herd in 1970. Although it has been 42 years since the crash, the Lajterman family makes sure that Marcelo's name lives on through the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Marshall University Foundation, Inc., announced establishment of the scholarship in 2008. In 2010, members of the Lajterman family presented the foundation with a check for $23,000 to endow the scholarship. Marcelo wore number 23 on his Herd jersey.

The crash on Saturday, Nov. 14, 1970, occurred at about 7:47 p.m. when a DC-9 jetliner, returning Marshall home from its football game at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., clipped some treetops just short of Tri-State Airport and went down. Victims included 36 Marshall football players, nine coaches and administrators, 25 fans and the crew of five.

"The Student Government Association is esteemed to have the privilege of organizing the annual Memorial Ceremony again this year," said Student Body President Ray Harrell Jr. "My chief of staff and the planning committee have done an excellent job with this year's program and we are hopeful that it will serve to honor the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families. I hope that members of the Marshall and Huntington communities will take an hour out of their day to join us for this special event."

In addition to Lajterman and Harrell, others who will speak in the memorial service include Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick, Football Coach Doc Holliday and a representative from the Marshall Alumni Association.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito have been invited to attend and speak.

The service will conclude with the placing of the memorial wreath at the Memorial Fountain. The fountain will be silenced after the laying of the wreath and remain silent until next spring.


Photo: The photo of Marcelo Lajterman, one of the victims of the Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash, was taken from Marshall's 1970 football media guide. His brother, Mo Lajterman, will speak at the 2012 memorial service for victims of the crash.

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

Marshall University classes resume today in Beckley

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University classes will proceed as normal today and tonight at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beckley. Marshall had canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday at the center because of severe weather.

Marshall offers courses at its main campus in Huntington, and branch campuses in South Charleston, Point Pleasant, Teays Valley and Beckley.




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Thursday November 1, 2012
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall grad student takes first place in Charleston Toastmasters contest

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Marshall University graduate student Irfan Khan took first place at the Mountain Division Table Topics speech contest,  a Toastmasters International-sanctioned event, Oct. 27 in Charleston. Khan has now qualified to compete in the District 40 contest in Cincinnati Nov. 3. At the district level, Toastmasters from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky compete for the title Best Speaker. 

"Table Topics is about developing your ability to organize your thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic," said Monica Horter, vice president for public relations of the Huntington Centennial Toastmasters Club, at which Irfan practices his public speaking. "At a meeting, Table Topics usually begins after the prepared speech presentations. The Toastmaster of the meeting will introduce the Topicsmaster, who will walk to the lectern and assume control of the meeting. The Topicsmaster will give a brief description of the purpose of Table Topics and mention if the topics will carry a theme. The Topicsmaster will state the question or topic briefly and then call on a respondent. Each speaker receives a different topic or question and participants are called on at random." 

The Huntington Centennial club is open to the public and welcomes visitors, Horter said. The next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Central Christian Church at 1202 5th Ave. For more information, persons may call Horter at 304-542-6721 or e-mail

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