May 2013 News Releases

Friday May 31, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall hosting students from eight institutions for biomedical research internships

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Twelve undergraduate students from eight institutions are spending their summer doing biomedical research in Marshall University's laboratories. The students are participating in nine-week programs sponsored by the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) and the university's Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) program.

Dr. Elsa I. Mangiarua, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, directs the WV-INBRE summer program. She said both programs give participants the opportunity to do meaningful research and much more.

"Over the summer, these students will gain valuable, hands-on experience doing graduate-level research in the labs of some of Marshall's finest scientists," she said. "We also teach them how to share their findings at a scientific meeting and to network, all of which helps them build academic competitiveness for graduate school."

Diana R. Maue, who coordinates the SRIMS program, agreed, adding, "It's exciting that we are able to provide these in-depth, mentored research opportunities for very talented undergraduates, and it's equally important that these programs promote awareness of graduate degree programs and careers in biomedical research. We are helping to develop a pipeline for training tomorrow's scientists."While at Marshall, the interns are working in state-of-the-art facilities on research projects related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, neuroscience, toxicology and environmental health, infectious diseases and bioinformatics. The students will present their research results at a symposium on July 29 at the university's Memorial Student Center
In addition to the formal research training they each receive from their Marshall faculty mentors, the interns are taking part in workshops and seminars about a variety of topics related to research and graduate education. Students in the two programs attend many of the same seminars and interact socially through a bowling outing, ice cream socials and other special events intended to help them get to know one another outside of the laboratory environment.

Students participating in the WV-INBRE summer program include:

  • Jaya Ale, University of Charleston (Dr. Eric Blough, mentor)
  • Joshua Easterling, University of Charleston (Dr. Elaine Hardman, mentor)
  • Bishnu Kafley, Berea College (Dr. Travis Salisbury and Dr. Jim Denvir, mentors)
  • Rebecca Martin, Davis and Elkins College (Dr. Piyali Dasgupta, mentor)
  • Hajer Mazagri, University of Charleston (Dr. Richard Egleton, mentor)
  • Noah Mitchell, Bluefield State College (Dr. Nalini Santanam, mentor)
  • Rishi Reddy, West Virginia State University (Dr. Larry Grover, mentor)
  • Anthony Schnelle, Wheeling Jesuit University (Dr. Monica Valentovic, mentor)
  • Linh Vu, University of Charleston (Dr. Gary Rankin, mentor)

The WV-INBRE program also sponsors summer fellowships for instructors. This year's fellowship recipients are science teacher Olivia Boskovic of Huntington High School and Dr. Sobha Goraguntula, an assistant professor of chemistry at Alderson-Broaddus College. Boskovic is working in the lab of Dr. Emine Koc. Goraguntula's mentor is Dr. Travis Salisbury.

WV-INBRE is funded through a $16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Marshall in partnership with researchers at West Virginia University received the award to help build expertise in biomedical research.

Students in this year's SRIMS program are:

  • Annesha King, University of the Virgin Islands (Dr. Emine Koc, mentor)
  •  Ashlea Hendrikson, Oakwood University (Dr. Hongwei Yu, mentor)
  • Emmanuel Rosas, University of Texas at Brownsville (Dr. Richard Egleton, mentor)

Support for the SRIMS program comes from the university's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission's Division of Science and Research.

Each student receives a stipend. Depending on the program in which they are participating, they may also receive room and board, lab fees, and reimbursement for travel to and from Marshall.

For more information about the WV-INBRE program, visit or contact Mangiarua at or 304-696-6211. For more information about the SRIMS program, visit or contact Maue at or 304-696-3365.


Photos: (Above) Ashlea Hendrikson, shown at left with her mentor Dr. Hongwei Yu, is one of 12 undergraduate students spending this summer as a biomedical research intern at Marshall University. A student at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., Hendrikson is participating in Marshall's Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) program. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University. (Below) Emmanuel "Manny" Rosas, left, and Hajer Mazagri are working this summer as biomedical research interns in the lab of Dr. Richard Egleton at Marshall University. Their internships were made possible through the university's Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) program and the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. Rosas attends the University of Texas at Brownsville. Mazagri is enrolled at the University of Charleston. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Friday May 31, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall engineering seniors achieve perfect passing rate in Fundamentals of Engineering exam

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Seniors in Marshall University's Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program, a total of 23, have all passed the Fundamentals of Engineering examination (FE) administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in April.

"This is an impressive result," said Dr. Wael Zatar, dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering. "I am proud to say that I personally have not heard of another school of Marshall's size and situation reporting such an achievement. Congratulations to the B.S.E. Class of 2013 on their success."

"Passing the FE is a huge accomplishment for anyone; it takes a ton of studying and preparing for weeks up to months and even a little meditation during the last few days before the exam," said Kristen Bobuk, a senior who will graduate in December. She is a double major in engineering and music. "But to have 100 percent of the senior class pass the exam goes beyond that. It's a true testament to the hard work and dedication we've put in for the past four years, and shows that the teachers went above and beyond to make sure not only did we learn the material the first time around, but also that we retained it for years before taking this test. It's a true job well done!"

Those who have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam are known as Engineer Interns and are eligible to sit for the Professional Engineer exam in West Virginia after four years of work experience following graduation.

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Friday May 31, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-791-1713

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine physician authors book on medical poetry

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Aaron M. McGuffin, senior associate dean for medical education at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has published a new poetry book titled Common Illness that showcases creative writings from his experiences as a physician.
McGuffin, who is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, credits his mother, an English teacher, for stoking his passion for creative writing.

"My mom inspired me to write and express my feelings in a way that isn't always synonymous with the medical profession," McGuffin said. "Writing provides a release for me and in some ways has helped me become a better doctor by improving my observation skills and developing a heightened sense of empathy."

He said he hopes his poetry provides insight into physicians' perspectives on providing patient care and will allow the reader to laugh and cry through related personal experiences.
In addition to Common Illness, McGuffin has authored several poems that have been published in medical journals.  Common Illness is available on Amazon and Kindle beginning in June. 

McGuffin is a Huntington native who graduated from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 1999.  He also completed a residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at Marshall.


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Thursday May 30, 2013
Contact: Griffin Talbott, Director of Annual Giving, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Foundation to kick off 30-day donor challenge

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Office of Development will kick off "MU Challenge: 630 by 6/30" beginning Saturday, June 1, and continuing through Thursday, June 30.

"We want 630 donors to the annual fund by June 30 in order to have a strong closing for our fiscal year," said Griffin Talbott, director of annual giving at Marshall. "It's an ambitious goal, but Marshall has the most generous alumni, friends and family. Any gift, no matter what amount, will help us reach it."

In addition, Dr. Greg Crews and Dr. Dallas Nibert, who have a family dentistry practice in Huntington, have agreed to contribute $10,000 to the annual fund when the goal of 630 donors is reached, Talbott said. Nibert is a 2003 Marshall alumnus with a B.S. in biological sciences.

"Marshall alumni in particular should watch their e-mails for the announcement of this campaign," said Christine Anderson, associate vice president for development at Marshall. "We encourage anyone to take part and be counted, whether they've attended Marshall or not."

Talbot said that in addition to e-mails to alumni, the campaign will include Web ( and social media presences.

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Thursday May 30, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

'New roadmap of world history' provided in book written by Marshall associate professor Dr. Christopher M. White

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Christopher M. White, an associate professor of Latin American history and director of graduate studies in the history department at Marshall University, has written a book that provides the reader with a new roadmap of world history, according to one reviewer.

A Global History of the Developing World is a 288-page book that will be released in both paperback and hardback Sept. 18 by Routledge.  The book has 12 chapters and is organized into four thematic units, each containing one chapter on Asia, Latin America and Africa.

According to the book description on the Routledge website, these units cover different commonly-experienced phenomena among the peoples of the developing world: imperialism, nationalism, globalization and development. 

The first three are chronological, while the last surveys and analyzes the scholarly debates over the causes of development and underdevelopment. Through these chapters White presents a wide-ranging study of the major themes in studies of the developing world, including slavery, imperialism, religion, free and fair trade, democratization and economic development.

"The book provides a comprehensive history of the developing world based on the author's profound knowledge of economic and social history over the last six centuries," said Katsushi Imai, a well-known economic development specialist from the University of Manchester in the UK. "The reader is not only provided with a new roadmap of World History but also with an alternative way of understanding key contemporary issues, such as global poverty or inequality. This book is highly recommended for students and their teachers in both social science and history."

According to the book description, A Global History of the Developing World centralizes the struggle for self-determination in an attempt to understand how the current nation-states have been formed and what their future may hold. Although concentrating on the modern era, its scope is broad: it covers geography, ancient and modern history, economics, politics and recent events.

White said it took about two years to actually write the book, but many years of research based on travel to mostly Latin America, including places such as Peru, Mexico, Cuba and Central America.

"But  also based on teaching a class for the past seven years at Marshall," he said. "I have taken lots of notes down through the years and added to my lectures and kind of built the class up into the foundation of what the book became."

The book includes detailed profiles of key figures as well as maps and illustrations.

At Marshall, White teaches courses on Latin America, the developing world and U.S. foreign relations. He also is the author of Creating a Third World: Mexico, Cuba, and the United States during the Castro Era  (New Mexico, 2007), as well as  The History of El Salvador (Greenwood, 2008).

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Thursday May 30, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 696-7153

School of Medicine expands clinical research operations with appointment of new personnel

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine officials today announced the appointment of Dr. Todd H. Davies as the new director of research development and translation for the Marshall Clinical Research Center. He also has a faculty appointment as research clinical associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Davies, who previously served as the chief executive officer for ADS Biotechnologies in Toledo, Ohio, is responsible for developing and maintaining a plan for long-term, sustained research growth, including building a framework for accelerating the clinical trial process; developing administrative policies and procedures; working with the university's Technology Transfer Office to develop patenting and licensing strategies for the School of Medicine; and verifying compliance with state and federal guidelines.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Davies here at Marshall as we expand our footprint in the biomedical research arena," said Dr. Todd W. Gress, assistant dean, clinical research.  "He is first and foremost a scientist who understands the processes of research, but more importantly in this position, he understands the business development aspect of taking research from the bench to the bedside.  His business acumen is stellar and we couldn't be more pleased to have him on our team. "

Davies' experience ranges from serving the city of Toledo in the department of development to identifying new bioscience technologies for commercial market value through his work as business development manager for Rocket Ventures in Toledo.

"I am excited to be part of the research renaissance happening here at Marshall," Davies said.  "Every investigator has to balance maintaining the research process with their regular duties.  I am here to help develop and organize the resources to make that possible.  The people here have been wonderful and I anticipate a great working relationship."

Davies earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Wesley College in Dover, Del., and then completed his Ph.D. in medical science from the University of Toledo in 2003.  He also served in the United States Air Force.

Assisting Davies in the Marshall Clinical Research Center is Patricia "Trish" H. Sacconi, a 20-plus year employee of the School of Medicine and Marshall Health. Sacconi serves as administrator for the center. She previously held several administrative positions with Marshall, including department administrator for University Eye Surgeons.

Sacconi will graduate from Marshall University in December with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. She also holds several educational and medical certificates.

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Thursday May 30, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Recreation Center PEIA Weight Management clients to learn about healthy eating at dinner in June

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Recreation Center and Huntington's Kitchen are hosting a dinner for PEIA Weight Management Program participants from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Huntington's Kitchen, which is located at 911 Third Ave. in Huntington.

The focus is on portion control and healthy cooking options. Dietician Daniel Jarvis and Mo Khan, an exercise physiologist from the Rec Center, are organizing the event.

There currently are 48 active participants in the Rec's PEIA weight management group. The dinner allows clients to receive a cooking lesson as well as meet others in the same program to share tips and discuss challenges they face when making healthy food choices.  Participants in the program also complete workouts with personal trainers, meet one on one with a dietitian and complete fitness assessments as part of the program provided by the insurance company.

The dinner costs $4 per person and covers food, staff and supplies. The menu includes chipotle pork, corn and potato ragout, sugar snap peas and a vanilla bean custard temptation.

"This is a great hands-on learning opportunity for our program participants and we are excited to be offering it," Khan said.

For more information about the PEIA Weight Management Program at the Marshall Recreation Center, contact or, or call 304-696-3653 or 304-696-4REC.


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Wednesday May 29, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 696-7153

Marshall School of Medicine announces new academic scholarships

Clinical departments contribute to aid medical students

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Five new academic endowments that will assist medical students with educational costs have been announced at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The five gifts are all courtesy of clinical departments in the School of Medicine.  The following is a listing of the newly created endowments.

  • The Marshall Family Medicine Scholarship is an endowed scholarship created by the Department of Family Medicine, under the leadership of chair Dr. John B. Walden.  The scholarship will assist a future physician who exhibits financial need and aspires to a career in family medicine.  The recipient of the award will be a fourth-year medical student.
  • The Mahmood Heydarian, M.D. Scholarship is an endowed fund that was created by the Department of Pediatrics, under the leadership of chair Dr. Joseph E. Evans, School of Medicine Class of 1982. The scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Mahmood Heydarian, who served the department as a pediatric cardiologist and professor of pediatrics for more than 30 years, and will retire in June 2013.  The recipient will be a first-year medical student.
  • The Marshall Obstetrics and Gynecology Fourth-Year Medical Student Scholarship is an expendable scholarship created by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology's faculty and staff, under the leadership of Dr. David C. Jude, School of Medicine Class of 1988.  The recipient of the $7500 award will be a fourth-year medical student who has achieved the highest score on the National Board of Medical Examiners obstetrics and gynecology subject examination and exhibits financial need. Should the individual with the highest score not have a financial need, the scholarship will go to the student with the second-highest score who has financial need. An expendable scholarship is one that does not accrue interest and can only be awarded based upon the available balance.
  • The Marshall Surgery Scholarship is from an endowed fund created by the Department of Surgery faculty and staff, under the leadership of chair Dr. David A. Denning.   The recipient of this one-time award will be a third- or fourth-year student and have financial need.   Applications for this particular scholarship are available by contacting the assistant director of financial aid for the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
  • The Ernest M. Walker, M.D., Memorial Scholarship is an endowed fund established in memory of Dr. Ernest M. "Ernie" Walker Jr., former professor and chair of the Department of Pathology. The recipient(s) of this one-time award will be third- or fourth- year students pursuing pathology residency training and exhibiting financial need as determined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The recipient must also be in good academic standing.

For more information on the scholarships or to make a gift to the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, please contact Linda Holmes at 304-691-1711 or


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Tuesday May 28, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Japanese photo exhibition featured at Gallery 842, beginning today

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Japanese World Heritage Photo Exhibition, featuring the work of renowned Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Miyoshi, will be on display today through June 15 at Gallery 842 in Huntington.

An opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Gallery 842. Japanese food and snacks will be served, and the event is free to the public. The exhibition is funded by the Japan Foundation.

It is organized by the Japanese Program in the Department of Modern Languages in the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Art & Design in the College of Fine Arts and the Japan Outreach Coordinator, all at Marshall University.

Miyoshi has focused in recent years on taking photographs of various scenic locations in Japan, including his hometown of Yoshinogawa, as well as Mt. Fuji and Yakushima Island. His work now is part of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film's permanent collection in New York.

Azusa Hanah Yamada, Japan Outreach Initiative program coordinator at Marshall, said the exhibition promotes international and multicultural awareness and is recommended for school trips for students K-12.

Gallery 842, located at 842 Fourth Ave., is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on the exhibition, call Yamada at 304-638-8225.

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Friday May 24, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University announces next class of Yeager Scholars

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Six students, including four from West Virginia, have been chosen as the Marshall University Society of Yeager Scholars Class of 2017. They will begin their studies this fall.

The program is named for U.S. Air Force Brigadier General (Ret.) Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, who is a native of Lincoln County, W.Va. In October 1947, Yeager captured the world's attention by becoming the first supersonic pilot by breaking the sound barrier in a Bell X-1 experimental aircraft in California. The mission of the Society of Yeager Scholars is to seek out and attract to Marshall University a diverse and talented group of students with outstanding leadership potential.

After receiving the scholarship, the students must maintain a rigorous course load, as well as a 3.5 GPA, and are expected to participate in campus and community activities. They will also have the opportunity to study literature, political science or history abroad at the University of Oxford in England as well as study in a country of the scholar's chosen foreign language.

Dr. Nicki LoCascio, interim dean of the Honors College, said she looks forward to working with the incoming class.

"It's a long selection process for each Yeager class," she said. "Every year we have applications from across America and it is a difficult choice for our readers and interviewers. Each new Yeager scholar brings his or her own talents and interests to Marshall."
The following students were chosen as the Yeager Scholars Class of 2017:

  • Sara E. Brumbaugh of Kenova, W.Va. She is a graduate of Spring Valley High School and is interested in biomedical science and mathematics.


  • David Ben Jones of Huntington. He graduated from Huntington High School and intends to pursue a degree in mathematics.


  • Chandler M. Milam from Dunbar, W.Va. He graduated from South Charleston High School. At Marshall he intends to study biochemistry.

  • Mary Kate Miller of Berea, Ky. She is a recent graduate of Madison Central High School. At Marshall she will study forensic chemistry.

  • Abigail A. Pullen of Ashburn, Va. She graduated from Broad Run High School and is interested in studying humanities in the College of Liberal Arts.

  • Amanda Schwartz from Winfield, W.Va. She is a graduate of Winfield High School and aims to be an English major at Marshall.

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Friday May 24, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

West Virginia is celebrating its 150th birthday!

Be sure to visit the 150th Birthday celebration website at as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

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Friday May 24, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, 304-696-2624

Marshall dietetics program one of two accredited in West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Didactic Program in Dietetics received continuing accreditation May 3 from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

The didactic program has been offered at the undergraduate level since 1923 and currently has more than 60 students enrolled. Jana Hovland, director of the program at Marshall, said Marshall's program and West Virginia University's are the two accredited dietetics programs in West Virginia.

"With an increase in obesity rates across the region, dietitians are needed to work to prevent and manage the impact chronic disease has on our state," Hovland said. "We are the food and nutrition experts in today's society."

Accreditation also was continued for the non-degree Dietetic Internship, which enrolls 10 full-time interns annually. Dr. Kelli Williams, chair of the Department of Dietetics, said Marshall has had an accredited supervised practice program since 1993.

"In order to become a registered dietitian you must go through an accredited undergraduate program and then complete the Dietetic Internship to sit for the national exam," Williams said. "Most of our graduates stay within the Tri-state area, which is great because it allows them to serve the needs of the rural population in a localized and affordable setting."

According to its website, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is responsible for setting the national standards for what dietetics students are taught as well as evaluating, recognizing and publishing a list of education programs that meet these standards.

The Marshall Didactic Program in Dietetics and the Dietetic Internship will participate in an on-site visit in 2017 to continue to meet accreditation standards.

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Thursday May 23, 2013
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Faculty and students awarded 13 grants from NASA consortium

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University faculty members and students have been awarded 13 grants totaling $107,000 for aerospace-related research and educational programs.

The grants from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium support projects of scientific interest to NASA. The projects funded at Marshall range from a study to explore how obesity affects bone health to a grassroots outreach program showcasing 3-D printing technology.

The awards fall into five categories. Faculty members and students who received grants are listed below, along with the titles of their projects and the amount of each award.

Research Seed Grants to support faculty efforts to start research activities, conduct pilot experiments or demonstrate new concepts:

  • Dr. Nalini Santanam, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, "Omega 3 diet and microgravity regulates microRNA in adipocytes," $10,000
  • Dr. Nicole Winston, School of Pharmacy, "Effects of cerium oxide nanoparticles on X-ray irradiated human keratinocytes," $10,000
  • Dr. Miaozong Wu, School of Pharmacy, "Obesity-induced alteration of bone structure and function: molecular mechanisms and DMSO intervention," $10,000

NASA Graduate Research Fellowship Program for graduate students working on a thesis or dissertation:

  • Benjamin Owen, biomedical sciences program (Dr. Lawrence Grover, mentor), "Role of Kv7 channels in controlling neuronal excitability," $12,000
  • Lyndsay Rankin, biological sciences program (Dr. Anne Axel, mentor), "Using remote sensing to measure the ecological integrity of non-intact tropical dry forests of southern Madagascar," $12,000
  • Rounak Nande, biomedical sciences program (Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, mentor), "Ultrasound mediated gene delivery in immune-competent mice," $12,000
  • M. Allison Wolf, biomedical sciences program (Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, mentor), "Investigation of benzyl isothiocyanates regulation of metastatic processes in HNSCC cell lines," $12,000

NASA Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program to provide support for undergraduate students involved in a research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor:

  • Zachary Hunter, chemistry and applied mathematics major (Dr. Scott Day, mentor), "Probe Density and Capture Efficiency Dependence on Dendrimer Size," $5,000
  • Melissa Massie, biology major (Dr. Nalini Santanam, mentor), "Effect of omega 3 fat diet on obesity in antioxidant mice," $5,000
  • Brianna Mayfield, biotechnology major (Dr. Elizabeth Murray, mentor), "Cell Culture Bioassay Development for Prymnesium parvum Toxins," $4,000
  • Jenna Vance, exercise science major (Dr. Maria Serrat, mentor), "Unilateral Heating: A Novel Model to Induce Differential Extremity Growth in Mice," $5,000

College Course Development Program for projects to develop new and innovative science and engineering courses:

  • Dr. Venkat Gudivada, College of Information Technology and Engineering, "Exploring the World with Computing," $5,000

Extension and Public Outreach Program for projects to involve the public in the excitement of scientific discovery, emphasize the importance of science and engineering education, and bring the vision for space exploration to the grassroots level:

  • Tom Minnich, Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, "3-D Printing Roadshow for NASA Outreach," $5,000

The NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium includes 12 West Virginia colleges and universities and five corporate and scientific partners under the sponsorship of NASA. Members of the consortium are dedicated to enhancing the state's competitiveness in aerospace research, education and industrial activities.


Photo:  Dr. Miaozong Wu of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy received one of 14 grants recently awarded to the university's faculty members and students for aerospace-related research and educational programs. Wu and his co-investigators Dr. Henry Driscoll and Dr. Eric Blough will use the $10,000 award from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium to explore how obesity and metabolic syndrome affect bone health. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Thursday May 23, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marine Corps officers are first African Americans to earn M.A.degrees in leadership studies at Marshall while on active duty

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -  Three active duty U.S. Marine Corps officers made history this spring when they graduated from Marshall University.

Capt. John Tucker (right), Capt. Joseph Common (left) and Chief Warrant Officer Lamar Dupree became the first African American Marine Corps officers to graduate from Marshall with their Master of Arts degrees in leadership studies.

Marshall is partnering with the United States Marine Corps College of Distance Education and Training (CDET) in Quantico, Va., to provide active duty Marine Corps officers the opportunity to earn the degree.

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp and John Hemleben, Dean of Academics with the CDET, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the arrangement in October 2011.

"Seeing Marine Corps officers such as Capt. Tucker, Capt. Common and Chief Warrant Officer Dupree graduate with their master's degrees is inspiring to not only our young African American students but also young African American service members," said Kelly Sweetman-Nekvinda, director of military and veterans affairs at Marshall. "These men are accomplished in their careers and now as academics. They are excellent role models. Marshall is extremely proud to be a part of their journeys."

Sweetman-Nekvinda said Marshall currently has about 100 Marines taking part in the partnership with the College of Distance Education and Training in Quantico.

Tucker and Common attended Marshall's Donning of Kente Celebration of Achievement earlier this month at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.  The celebration is one of the most prestigious and culturally significant events in which Marshall's African and African American students can participate. Dupree was unable to attend.

Tucker, a 37-year-old native of Halifax, Va., has been in the Marine Corps nearly 20 years. He is stationed in Combat Logistics Regiment 25, and was deployed to Iraq once for eight months in 2008.

"I'm pretty ecstatic about it. It's really neat to be the first of anything," Tucker said of earning the leadership studies master's degree.

He refers to a book titled "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," by Steven Covey;  Habit #2, "Begin With the End in Mind" as a guide that can increase a person's opportunity for success by setting goals through  a mental creation followed by a physical creation, just as a building follows a blueprint.

"Knowing myself and seeking self improvement" is a Marine Corps leadership principle that has guided him to success throughout his military career. "Empower your life through making your circumstances," he said.

"I'm living my dream," Tucker said. He plans next to either become a college professor or join the nonprofit business world after his retirement from the Marine Corps. He is married with two children.

Common is from Joliet, Ill., and has been in the Marines seven years, though affiliated with the Marines for 10 years. He, like Tucker, was in Iraq for eight months in 2008. He said it is highly important to him to diversify his life and broaden his experiences.

"Don't be afraid to think outside the box," he said. "Come up with different ideas; become a well-rounded person. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; it's how you recover that matters. Recognize your failures and turn them into success. It's important for people of different backgrounds to come together."

Common is married with one child. He is stationed in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and celebrates his 30th birthday May 24.

Dupree, 40, is from Brooklyn, N.Y., and has been in the Marines for 18 years. He has been deployed to Iraq twice and to Afghanistan once. He is currently stationed in the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C. He is married with four children.

"I want to be an example and inspiration to my family and Marines," Dupree said. "I want them all to know that you should always make goals for yourself and aspire to reach them."


Photo: Capt. Joseph Common, left, and Capt. John Tucker are two of the first three African American Marines Corps officers to graduate from Marshall University with their Master of Arts degrees in leadership studies. Photo courtesy of Marshall University.

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Thursday May 23, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Visiting expert on autism to speak at Marshall May 30

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Monika Suchowierska, assistant professor at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities in Poland, will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 30, in room 2W22 of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

Suchowierska, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, is also the director of the Step-by-Step Treatment Center for preschoolers with autism in Warsaw. She will speak on the topic "Perceiving Autism as Organized Patterns of Characteristic Behaviors."

Dr. Joseph W. Wyatt, professor of psychology at Marshall, said that the behavioral treatment Suchoweirska will talk about is applied behavior analysis. Under the West Virginia autism insurance law, providers must be certified in this method.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Dr. Suchowierska back to the Marshall University campus," said Dr. Barbara Becker-Cottrill, executive director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University. "She has vast experience in the field of behavior analysis and critical practical experience from her work with preschoolers with autism in Poland. I would encourage everyone who has an interest in autism spectrum disorders to attend."

Suchowierska and Wyatt also work together in the consortium among Marshall, the Warsaw school and the University of Debrecen in Hungary that offers a transatlantic dual degree program in psychology. Wyatt is the academic adviser and coordinator for Marshall's part of the project and Suchowierska serves in a similar capacity in Poland.

Wyatt said that to date, 29 Marshall University students have studied in Poland for a semester and 23 continued their studies abroad in Hungary. Twenty-one of those students have received dual degrees in psychology from Marshall and the University of Debrecen. A similar number of European students have come to Marshall to pursue their studies.

Suchowierska's lecture is being presented by the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University, the Marshall psychology department, the U.S. Department of Education and the European Commission. It is free and open to the public and no pre-registration is required.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 22, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall Health appoints new director of pharmacy services

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Brian A. Gallagher, R.Ph., J.D., is the new director of pharmacy services with Marshall Health for the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the Marshall University School of Pharmacy. He has a joint faculty appointment in both schools.

Gallagher, a West Virginia native, most recently served as senior vice president of government affairs for the American Pharmacists Association in Washington, D.C.

"Brian will be an incredible asset to Marshall University's health sciences programs," said Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy. "His vast experience in government affairs, health care academics and pharmacy administration will aid Marshall as we move our programs forward."

School of Medicine Dean Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro said Gallagher's knowledge of the medical and pharmacy industries allows Marshall to expand in new areas.

"As Marshall begins to build on a collaborative system within its health sciences programs, individuals with diverse skills will be required to help design and create our initiatives," Shapiro said. "Brian Gallagher has the expertise we need and we are thrilled to have him as part of our team."

In addition to his position with American Pharmacists Association, Gallagher has held a wide variety of posts, including vice president for regulatory compliance for Rite Aid, vice president of risk management and governance for NDCHealth, general counsel for TechRx, director of pharmacy regulatory affairs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and general counsel for WVU Hospitals.

Gallagher served for eight years in the West Virginia House of Delegates, where he was chairman of both the Banking and Insurance and Legislative Rule Making Review Committees. He authored a wide variety of statutes, including the Pharmacy Practice Act.

"Brian's responsibilities with Marshall Health will evolve as our health care system continues to change under the Affordable Care Act,"  said Beth Hammers, executive director of Marshall Health. "His background in the legislature, law and pharmacy gives him a unique perspective that is highly beneficial to our organization."

"I am delighted to join the Marshall Health team and to be a part of the exciting initiatives they have in the works to improve the health of my fellow West Virginians," Gallagher said. "I am really happy to be back home in the Mountain State."

Gallagher graduated from West Virginia University in 1981 with a B.S. in pharmacy and received his law degree from Wake Forest University in 1984. He is admitted to the West Virginia, Georgia and Pennsylvania bars and is licensed to practice pharmacy in West Virginia.

Gallagher began his duties with Marshall Health March 29.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 22, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 696-7153

BB&T continues support for capitalism center at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University today received the sixth installment in a series of gifts from BB&T supporting the BB&T Center for the Advancement of American Capitalism at the university's College of Business.

David L. Helmer, Senior Vice President and Regional Corporate Banking Manager for BB&T, presented the latest check for $100,000 to Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp and Dr. Ronald Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation.

"We are grateful to BB&T for their ongoing support," Kopp said.

Marshall's Center for the Advancement of American Capitalism sponsors a lecture series and upper-division course in capitalism for business students, among other activities.


Photo: David L. Helmer, Senior Vice President and Regional Corporate Banking Manager for BB&T, third from left, presents a check for $100,000 to Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp in support of the BB&T Center for the Advancement of American Capitalism at MU's College of Business. Also representing BB&T, from the left, are John Berry and Spencer Murphy, and from the right are Lance West and Dr. Ronald Area of the Marshall University Foundation. The presentation took place today in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center on MU's Huntington campus. Photo by Tyler Kes/Marshall University

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 16, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall University Professional Education Unit Receives Accreditation

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Professional Education Unit has received continuing accreditation for both the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

"This is truly something to celebrate," said Dr. Teresa Eagle, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development. "This accreditation decision means that we are achieving the goals we have set for ourselves. I thank Dr. Ron Childress, who chaired the accreditation team, and the rest of the professional education faculty and staff for their untiring efforts on behalf of students and teachers."

Dr. Robert Bookwalter, dean of the College of Education, echoed Eagle's comments.

"We are proud to have earned continuing accreditation from NCATE for our teacher preparation programs," he said. "Meeting the new, more rigorous standards confirms that Marshall University is preparing great teachers for the public schools and is committed to excellence and continuous improvement in our degree programs.  I am grateful for the contributions of our faculty and staff, as well as our partner schools and local school districts, to our successful accreditation report."

The Professional Education Unit at Marshall includes the College of Education, based primarily on the Huntington campus, and the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development, which is headquartered on the South Charleston campus. Together, the faculty of the two units graduate approximately 300 preservice and inservice educators per year.

"This was truly a team effort and a significant achievement for Marshall's  Professional Education Unit," Childress said. He is professor of elementary/secondary education and leadership studies in the Graduate School of Education and Professional Development. "Clearly, this would not have happened without the commitment and contributions from faculty, staff, students and all of our external stakeholders. We should be well positioned as we look forward to our next accreditation visit in 2018."

Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) have consolidated and are now transitioning into the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

More information about Marshall's education programs may be found online at and

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 16, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, (304) 696-7153

Marshall graduate student will present research at Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers' Association Symposium

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University graduate student will travel to South Carolina this weekend to present her research at the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers' Association Symposium in Greenville, S.C.

Brandi L. Anders, 23, of Tuckasegee, N.C., conducted a case study on complications with post-surgical athletes caused from materials used during or after surgery. Her research, titled "Skin Condition Secondary to Elbow Dislocation in a Collegiate Diver," details a case of dermatitis, which was caused by a bad reaction to a specific brand of tape after an elbow dislocation surgery. Anders said she found there is a small allergic reaction incidence rate associated with this brand of tape.

"The incidence rate is approximately three percent of the population," Anders said. "Since the athlete was a diver, she was in contact with pool water, which contains harsh chemicals used to kill potential pathogens and neutralize contaminants, among these chlorine and bromine. The repeated exposure to the chemicals may have absorbed into her skin and contributed to the reaction with [the tape]."     

Anders is a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the Marshall men's and women's cross country and swimming and diving teams. Since the fall of 2012, she has worked closely with these athletes to help them achieve full competitive potential.                                

"Since becoming a certified athletic trainer, I have found the best feeling is when the athlete returns to play," Anders said. "You see your hard work, time and effort being rewarded."

Dr. Suzanne Konz, assistant professor of biomechanics in the College of Health Professions, said Anders is as devoted to her education as she is to her athletes.

"I know she feels it is important to be active within the profession," Konz said. "This tells us that the graduate students are not only dedicated to the sports they are assigned to as athletic trainers, but that academics are still important."

Konz, a graduate advisor within the School of Kinesiology, said Anders presented research several times at the undergraduate level and knows the value of informing those in the profession about complications athletes could face and how to treat them successfully.

"Brandi's research will allow others from the Mid-Atlantic region to see what our students are doing," Konz said. "This will also let undergraduate students know that Marshall University is a possibility to further their education at the master's level."

Direct Link to This Release

Monday May 13, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, 304-696-2624

Graduate health informatics program at Marshall is one of three accredited in U.S.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -Marshall University's Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) degree program was awarded national accreditation April 19  from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.

It is one of three nationally accredited programs in the United States, joining the University of Illinois at Chicago and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore. It is also the only accredited, graduate-level program in health informatics within the state of West Virginia.

Bruce Felder, manager of human resources at Cabell Huntington Hospital, said the MSHI program at Marshall is shedding light on how technology and one's ability to become self-sufficient can spill over into the gigantic, multi-faceted industry of health care.

"In today's age, we can buy, sell, exchange money, goods and services without leaving home," Felder said. "In the future, visiting your doctor, making appointments and viewing your medical records will be common practice, all from a mobile device. MSHI students will be the infrastructure, bridge and crossroad between technology and health care information."

Dr. Girmay Berhie, program director for the Department of Health Informatics at Marshall, said the accreditation process took more than two years to complete and would not have been possible without the unique collaboration among faculty in the College of Health Professions, the College of Business and the College of Information Technology and Engineering.

"We have such a supportive relationship among these three colleges here at Marshall," Berhie said. "It's a unique model we've used to develop a program of this nature, which combines the skills and resources from each department. The program would not be possible without this partnership."

Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said receiving accreditation sets the MSHI program among the elite programs for health informatics in the country.

"The standards of our program exceed what is required by the national accrediting agency," Prewitt said. "We are a premier destination for health professions programs in the tri-state. Our graduates will be very marketable in the health informatics community."

The MSHI program received 10-year accreditation and will participate in a designated on-site visit in one year in order to continue to meet accreditation requirements.


Direct Link to This Release

Monday May 13, 2013
Contact: Dr. Michael Norton, Professor of Chemistry, 304-281-8523

SURE program selects 13 undergraduates for research fellowships

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Thirteen undergraduate students have been selected to receive the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Fellowship at Marshall University for 2013.

SURE is aimed at undergraduates who are interested in performing research, according to Dr. Michael Norton, professor of chemistry and director of the program. Norton said SURE will fund thirteen research projects that have been selected for support by the SURE proposal evaluation committee.

"We want students to know how strongly Marshall supports undergraduate research," Norton said. "This is the time when these young minds start utilizing their research skills in preparation for graduate school."

The program has been conducted at Marshall since 2005, and is funded through the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund, administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Division of Science and Research.  

Students will receive stipends totaling $4,000 each for their research for a period of ten weeks uninterrupted by classes during the summer. The SURE program, now in its ninth year, will begin Monday, May 20, and end Aug. 2. The awardees and their hometowns, majors, projects, and research mentors are listed below:

  • Tanner Bakhshi; Ironton, Ohio: Molecular Biology; A Foundation for DNA Structures; Dr. Michael Norton
  • Heath Blankenship; Huntington; Biology; Epigenetic Role of MLL2 in Spermatogenesis; Dr. Guo-Zhang  Zhu
  • Hannah Bott; St. Albans, W.Va.; Chemistry; Probing a Complex Dissociation Energy Surface with Experimental and Theoretical Methods; Dr. William Price
  • Amber Campbell; Woodstock, Va.; Biology; Effects of phthalates on stem cells; Dr. Nadja Spitzer
  •  Arrin Carter; Biology; Wytheville, Va.; Biological Engineering of a Neural Migratory Stream; Dr. Elmer Price
  • Sumaiya Chaudhry; Huntington; Biochemistry; Detecting Forces in a Reference Frame; Dr. Sasha Zill
  • Erin Fankhanel; Huntington; Biology; Nano-therapy for sepsis induced lung injury; Dr. Eric Blough
  • Lindsey Harper; Belington, W.Va.; Psychology; Birth Practices Meta-Analysis; Dr. Paige Muellerleile
  • Nguyet Le; International student from Vietnam; Chemistry; Combinatorial Approach to Studying Metal; Dr. Timothy Corrigan
  • Brianna Mayfield; Weirton, W.Va.; Biotechnology; Cell Culture Bioassay Development for Prymnesium parvum Toxins; Dr. Elizabeth Murray
  • Cody Stover; Point Pleasant, W.Va.; Chemistry; Bioavailability of Capsaicin in Small Cell Lung Cancer; Dr. Piyali Dasgupta
  • Brian Warner; Ironton, Ohio; Chemistry; Thermal Decomposition of Propionaldehyde; Dr. Laura McCunn
  • Christian Warner; Ironton, Ohio; Chemistry; Synthesis and Characterization of DNA/Dendron; Dr. Scott Day

The SURE program also has a Web page with more information including last year's awardees and their projects. Visit

Norton can be contacted by e-mail at

Direct Link to This Release

Monday May 13, 2013
Contact: Leah Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 696-7153

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine picks up national award for family medicine

Marshall only medical school in state chosen for recognition

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has received a Family Medicine "Top Ten" award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) for being one of the nation's top schools in the percentage of graduates entering family medicine residencies.

Based on a three-year average ending in October 2012, AAFP reports 18.5 percent of Marshall medical school graduates have chosen family medicine residencies. The average places the school as number five in the country and the only medical school in West Virginia in the Top Ten.  

"Educating primary care doctors remains our top priority," said Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the School of Medicine. "As the Affordable Care Act is implemented across the country, many more primary care doctors will be needed to provide care for the millions of patients entering the health care system. I am pleased our School of Medicine is doing its part to educate doctors on the front lines of medicine in this country."

Dr. John Walden, chair of the Department of Family Medicine, says Marshall's contribution to growing the nation's ranks of primary care physicians and more specifically, family medicine doctors, shows the school is doing its part to address the shortage of primary care physicians in the country.

"As of 2012, our Department of Family Medicine has placed residency graduates in 31 different communities throughout West Virginia," Walden said.  "Not only are we encouraging our medical students to choose family medicine as is evidenced by this award, we are then training family medicine residents who choose to stay in West Virginia and meet the health care needs of our state."

Since 1992, Marshall has been honored 19 times by the AAFP for its high percentage of medical students choosing family medicine residencies.
Dr. W. Mitchel Shaver, residency director for Marshall's Department of Family Medicine, accepted the award during a ceremony May 3 at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference in Baltimore.


Photo: Dr. W. Mitchel Shaver (left) accepts an award for the number of graduates who enter family practice residencies from Jeff Cain, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Photo credit: American Academy of Family Physicians.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 9, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Shutdown week at Marshall Recreation Center is May 13-17

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Recreation Center will be closed Monday, May 13, through Friday, May 17, in observance of its fifth annual shutdown week.  The facility will reopen Saturday, May 18. 
Members of the recreation center staff will be busy during shutdown week. They will have various tasks such as wiping down fitness and exercise equipment (cardio machines, jump ropes, physio balls, yoga mats and dumbbells).  There also will be some painting, window washing, resurfacing of the fitness studio floors, remodeling of the second-floor fitness desk, carpet repair and replacement, lighting fixture repairs, cleaning of the rock wall holds, and much more.

Staff members also will be de-scuffing the racquetball court walls and buffing the gym court floors. The locker room/restroom areas will be cleaned and disinfected. Staff will also be repairing the locker locks and replacing batteries.

Keith Hernstrom, assistant director of facilities and operations, expects each of the staff members to work as a team to systematically knock out the duties assigned to them.

No part of the facility goes untouched during shutdown week, and each year there are areas that get a little more special attention than others. Rec center staff can assure that a great deal will be accomplished throughout the week.

The Rec would like to thank all members and guests for their patience and understanding during this short time. They look forward to reopening their doors..

For more information contact Michele Muth, assistant director of marketing and membership, at, or call 304-696-2943.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 9, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, (304) 696-7153

Physical therapy students reflect on first year after receiving white coats

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Twenty-seven students emerged as future physical therapists when slipping into their white coats during the first-ever Marshall University School of Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony last Friday.

Dr. Tamara Gravano, assistant professor and director of clinical education for the school, said the White Coat Ceremony marks a student's transition from student to clinical intern, as he or she strives forward to earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy.

"It is a rite of passage, which represents a milestone on the journey toward a career in healthcare professions, and this class has certainly earned it," Gravano said. "The next two years will be even more challenging as they are expected to expand and apply this knowledge and make clinical decisions of their own - and stand behind them."

Zachary Fisher, 23, of Huntington, said he is more than ready for the academic challenges he will face during the next two years of clinical rotation.

"This is really exciting because we've done so much work hoping to reach our goal of becoming physical therapists," Fisher said. "With this white coat, it's like they're saying 'Welcome to the world of physical therapy'."

Fisher compared his first year at the school of physical therapy to climbing a mountain.

"We learn something new every day, growing into better professionals each step of the way," Fisher said. "It's kind of like reaching the top of a mountain. I can't believe we really did it."

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated on Aug. 20, 1993, at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and has since been adopted by many professional and medical schools, both nationally and internationally.

Joe Trout, 28, of Marion, Va., said as an older student in the program, receiving his white coat fulfilled a long-awaited life dream.

"To know we have one year under our belts and two more to go just goes to show how determination and hard work can really pay off," Trout said. "I went into this profession to improve the quality of life for individuals and get them back to independence so they can enjoy life to the fullest. I can't wait to get started this fall."

Both Fisher and Trout agreed it is the great professors in the School of Physical Therapy that made everything possible.

"Dr. Penny Kroll came to Marshall and got this physical therapy program started," Fisher said. "We appreciate the experience she has brought to the table and feel so privileged to have her here."

In August 2010, Kroll was hired to develop the new doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program at Marshall, which achieved candidacy for accreditation and admitted its inaugural DPT degree class in May 2012.

"Our long-term goals for the program are to gain full accreditation in May 2015," Kroll said. "There is no doubt in my mind this will happen. We will continue to admit 40 competitive students each year and graduate highly qualified therapists to serve the rehabilitation needs of the community."


Photos: (Above) Ashton Weiss smiles as she receives her white coat from the chair of the School of Physical Therapy, Dr. Penny Kroll, during last Friday's White Coat Ceremony. (Below) Twenty-seven students received their white coats on May 3, 2013, marking their transformation from student to clinical intern. These students will be the first class to graduate from the Marshall University School of Physical Therapy in May 2015. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 8, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, 304-696-2624

Marshall professor will travel to Greece for her work with the Global Burden of Disease

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Monika Sawhney of the Marshall University College of Health Professions will travel to Greece to attend the "Global Burden of Disease" workshop held May 7-17.  According to their website, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation organized this technical workshop to train interested researchers and policymakers in the data, methods, findings and implications of Global Burden of Disease Study of 2010.

Sawhney, program director for the Marshall public health program, has an extensive background in the coordination and implementation of programs that strengthen the public health sector around the world.

"I've worked with the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control to coordinate and manage the polio and measles immunization campaign in Ethiopia," Sawhney said. "With the Clinton Global Initiative University, I was able to collaborate with a nonprofit organization to start the diarrhea management center in India."

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, the most comprehensive effort to date, measures epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. For more than two decades, it has measured the impact of hundreds of diseases, injuries and risk factors in 187 countries around the world. Given her knowledge and experience working with the GBD in several foreign countries, Dr. Sawhney hopes to make her research applicable in the state of West Virginia in regard to childhood obesity and diabetes.

"Since setting up the new public health program at Marshall, I am very aware of West Virginia's rate of chronic disease," Sawhney said. "This opportunity to travel and share information with scholars from across the world allows me to learn more about controlling our burden of disease."

Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said Sawhney's trip to Greece will give an opportunity for the Marshall academic community to exchange research and ideas with other disciplines.

"I am excited Dr. Sawhney has been selected to attend this global burden of disease workshop, which is designed to provide the most comprehensive information on population health," Prewitt said. "This will create a strong foundation for strategic decision making, collaboration, and, ultimately, better health outcomes for people of West Virginia."

Throughout the course of her career, Dr. Sawhney has attended more than 20 conferences and given presentations about the public health sector in countries across the world such as Austria, China, Kenya and more. The "Global Burden of Disease" workshop will take place at the Elysium Resort in Rhodes, Greece. For more information on the workshop, please visit


Photo: Working in Ethiopia with the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Monika Sawhney coordinated and managed the measles immunization campaign, which helped the ministry strengthen their health system by focusing on design and implementation of training programs for their staff.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 8, 2013
Contact: Mallory Jarrell, Marshall University Communications,, (304) 696-7153

Commencement information available on new Marshall website

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University students and their families looking for information on this year's 176th commencement ceremonies are encouraged to visit the new Marshall University commencement website at

Commencement ceremonies will take place Saturday, May 11, at 9 a.m. for undergraduate candidates and 2 p.m. for graduate and doctoral candidates, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The website includes information about parking and seating, and instructions for the graduates. Commencement speaker information and the order form for a DVD of the ceremony also are available. There also is a link for live streaming of the ceremony for those who are not able to attend.

In honor of commencement, Marshall students and alumni are also encouraged to share their favorite Marshall memory.  They can use #mugrad13 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share their memories or send a congratulatory message to the class of 2013.

For more information about commencement and the website, contact Mallory Jarrell at 304-696-3490 or by e-mail at

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 8, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Service Awards Luncheon honors staff members for years of service

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's 29th annual Service Awards Luncheon will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.  In addition to the service awards, the Employee of the Year will be named at this time.

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

For 10 years of service:  Shyla Abraham, Christopher Albright, Amber Bentley, John Bowen, Frank "Butch" Brodtrick, Terry Campbell, Elizabeth Coffey, Maurice Cooley, Catherine Donchatz, Kathy Hale, Lisa Henry, George Hewitt, Tammy Johnson, Sybil Lockard, John Maxwell, Beverly McKinney*, Timothy McSweeney, Sarah Murray, Jeffrey O'Malley, Jyotsna Patel, Teresa Runyon, Larry Smith, Javey Vance and Monique Williams

For 15 years of service:  Beatrice Banford, Jon Cutler, Billy Howard, Virginia Nelson, Linda Newman, Linda Owens, Bonnie Prisk, Stephen Robinson, Mary Smith, Regena Terry, and Penny Watkins.

For 20 years of service:  Carol Bailey, Michael Clay, Virgil Crockett, Andrew Earles, Michael Farley, Jack Ferrell, Billy Johnson, Michael Justice, David Lambert, Ronald May, Lonny Muncy, Cheri Musgrave, Rebecca Pack, Margie Phillips, Jo Raines, Dorothy Rinehardt, Janice Runyon, Susan Tams, Deandre Turner, Sandra Varney, Lisa Williamson and Selah Wilson.

For 25 years of service:  Jeanne Adkins, Michael Adkins, Doris Atkinson, Janice Colegrove, Joyce Harrah, Virginia Holderby, Damon Holley, Edwin Holley, Verlin Hughes, Yetta Meadows, Sherry Osburn, Nancy Pelphrey, Tara Runyon, Carol Stinson, James Terry, Nina Thompson, Cora Westmoreland and Cathy Zhea.

For 30 years of service: David Bailey, Cassandra Chappelle, Roberta Ferguson, Frances Mooney, Trula Stanley, Patsy Stephenson, Mark Ward and Connie Zirkle.

For 35 years of service: Vickie Crager, Tony Crislip, Arlene Ferguson, Lester Merle Fleming*, Karen Greybill, Kent Hayes, Estil Hurn, Jeffrey Long, Lynne Mayer, Arnold Miller, Deborah Watson and Charles Young.

For 40 years of service:  Sue Bell, Stephen Hensley, Randy Price, Joseph Vance and Joe Wortham.

For 45 years of service:  Deborah Hicks.

Retirees to date: Eleanore Beckett, Bernice Davidson, Paul Dempsey, Peggy Egnatoff, David Fenney, Lester Merle Fleming*, Sue Ellen Hollandsworth, Nancy Holley, Terry Kates, William Lewis, Mary Anna Love, Lynne Mayer, Karen Midkiff, Rudy Pauley, Charles Racer, Judy Ross, Barbara Simpkins, Donna Spindel, Gary Stone  and Charles Young.


*Awarded posthumously.

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday May 7, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Spindel to give address at graduate student commencement ceremony

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Donna J. Spindel, dean of Marshall University's Graduate College, will give the commencement address at the graduate student ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Spindel has been a member of the faculty at Marshall for 37 years, beginning as an assistant professor of history in 1976, then moving up to associate professor in 1981 and to full professor in 1987. In addition to teaching, she has been active in the administration of the university, including service as the director of the honors program, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, director of the online instruction program, chair of the department of history, interim chair of the department of English and interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts prior to becoming dean of the graduate college in 2009.

A specialist in early American history, Spindel wrote Crime and Society in North Carolina, published by the Louisiana State University Press in 1989. In addition to that book, she has published a number of articles in journals such as the North Carolina Historical Review, Journal of Southern History, Journal of American Studies, American Journal of Legal History and West Virginia History.

Originally from New York City, Spindel received her bachelor's degree with distinction from Mount Holyoke College and master's and doctoral degrees from Duke University.

With the activities of May 11, Marshall University continues the practice of dividing the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies. The undergraduate ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 11, also at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday May 6, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

5k running class kickoff event scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Marshall Recreation Center

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Crossing the finish line of a 5k race is all about taking the first step, and the Marshall Recreation Center is making that step easier with a 5-week training class.

Experts will work with people at their own pace to prepare them for their first 5k or even shave time off their current personal best. The Rec will be holding a kickoff event prior to the beginning of the class and invites those interested to attend May 9.  It will be an informative time to learn more about the upcoming 5k class and the proper techniques of running.

The kickoff event will start at 7 p.m. Guest speakers will give nutrition and fitness tips, as well as advice on the right shoes to wear while running, stretching exercises and ways to lower participants' 5k times. The event will take place in Studio A on the second floor. There will be light refreshments and time to speak with the instructor of the class. There also will be a time to learn proper stretches to do before and after running, so those attending are asked to wear workout clothes.

As an initiative to get more people active and to give them the experience of running their first 5k or improving an existing 5k time, Tristateracer is covering the cost of the 5k class and the 5k for up to 50 participants who qualify.

"We want to help motivate people to take the first step by offering to pay for this class; all they have to do is finish the class and their first 5k," said Pat Riley of Tristateracer.

Those who have never participated in the West Virginia 5k Championship or who have never run a 5k before will qualify to have their registration fee for the 5k class at the recreation center and the cost of the WV 5k Championship reimbursed.  They will initially pay either the $29 member fee or the $35 non-member fee for the class up front and also cover the $20 cost of the 5k. Upon completion of the WV 5k Championship, they will be fully reimbursed.

Two sessions of the class will start this month. They will begin on May 21 and May 23. The classes will last for five weeks up until the West Virginia 5k Championship at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 22.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the Extra Mile 5k class, no matter how much running experience they have. Anyone with questions may contact Michele Muth at or at 304-696-2943.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday May 6, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine marks annual commencement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Seventy-five medical students will receive their Doctor of Medicine degrees Friday, May 10, in the Investiture Ceremony of Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.  Admission is by invitation. 

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp, Ph.D., who is among the speakers, will confer the students' degrees.

This year's Investiture speaker is Gloria A.  Wilder, M.D., MPH, a nationally-recognized pediatrician, public speaker and expert on poverty and social justice.   She has served as chair of Mobile Health Programs for the Children's Health Project of D.C. at Georgetown University and the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.   Additionally, Wilder is president and chief executive officer of CORE HEALTH, a health care access solutions company dedicated to assisting underserved communities.

Wilder has received numerous awards for her work including the National Caring Award, given for exceptional generosity and commitment to service, and the Physician Humanitarian of the Year Award by George Washington University.

The ceremony, which is being streamed live at, will also include recognition of graduates of Marshall's Biomedical Sciences program and the announcement of the School of Medicine Alumni Association's Honorary Alumnus for 2013.

In addition to this ceremony, there will be a senior awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Harless Auditorium of the MU Medical Center.


Photo: Dr. Gloria A. Wilder, a nationally recognized pediatrician, public speaker and expert on poverty and social justice, will speak at the investiture ceremony for Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Friday, May 10.

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Monday May 6, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, (304) 696-7153

MU Speech and Hearing Center offers free screenings to celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center will offer free speech, language and hearing screenings on Wednesday, May 15, to celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month.

Since 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has celebrated Better Hearing and Speech Month each May to raise public awareness of speech and language disorders that affect 14 million Americans.

Pam Holland, director of clinical education in the Marshall department of communication disorders, said speech and language disorders can take many forms and can limit academic achievement, social adjustment and career advancement.

"Fortunately, most people with speech and language problems can be helped and even if the problem cannot be eliminated, we can teach people strategies to help them cope," Holland said. "People may not fully regain their capacity to speak and understand, but a speech-language pathologist can help them live more independently."

Holland said many people do not realize speech-language pathologists are the professionals who treat all types of speech, language and related disorders such as feeding and swallowing. Speech-language pathologists work in schools, private practice, hospitals, clinics and other health and education settings.

"These individuals hold at least a master's degree and are certified by the ASHA," Holland said. "In West Virginia, they also are licensed by the state."

The Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center will be offering several free services in May.  Anyone interested in participating in one of the screenings or events may contact the speech and hearing center at 304-696-3641.

Wednesday, May 15
By appointment only - Call 304-696-3641
Speech, language and hearing screenings for Marshall faculty members, staff and their families as well as the families in the Tri-state will be offered.
Contacts: Pam Holland, Karen McNealy

Tuesday, May 21
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Seminar for parents and coaches related to concussion prevention and treatment will be
Contacts: Bev Miller, Nicole Campbell

Tuesday, May 28
1- 3:30 p.m.
A seminar on bullying prevention and intervention in Communication Sciences and Disorders for parents and professionals will be offered.
Contacts: Craig Coleman, Emma Searls

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the national professional, scientific and credentialing association for more than 145,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language and hearing scientists. To learn more about this organization, please visit

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Friday May 3, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Thundering Word places 10th in Division 1, 22nd in nation in NFA tournament

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Thundering Word, competing as the smallest entry in the largest division, received a team sweepstakes award for the first time in 28 years in the National Forensic Association (NFA) National Tournament conducted last weekend on Marshall's Huntington campus.

Marshall finished 10th in the President's Division 1 and 22nd overall out of 83 teams. To compete in Division 1, a school had to enter 27-40 slots. Marshall entered 27, making it the smallest entry in the largest division.

"For us to finish 10th in Division 1 and 22nd in the nation, I'm very, very proud and we're very pleased," said Marshall Coach Danny Ray.

Bradley University finished first overall, followed by Western Kentucky University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Ray said Marshall received positive reviews as host of the tournament.

"People said it was the best nationals they've ever attended," Ray said. "They were asking when we would be willing to host again. It went very, very smoothly and they loved our campus."

Students competing for Marshall were:

  • Matt Osteen, a sophomore pre-med chemistry major from Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
  • Joshua Gainer, a junior political science major from Parkersburg, W.Va.
  • Christian Adams, a junior pre-med psychology Honors student from Culloden, W.Va.
  • Victoria Ledford, a sophomore pre-med chemistry Honors student from Burnsville, W.Va.
  • Marji McCoy, a sophomore pre-med chemistry major from Beckley, W.Va.
  • Juliet Djietror, a sophomore biomedical science major from Ghana
  • Garrett Walker, a sophomore Spanish major from Shady Spring, W.Va.
  • Erin Jorden, a freshman history education major from Wheeling, W.Va.
  • Taryss Mandt, a freshman University College student from Arlington, Va.

The team will return intact for the 2013-2014 season.

"Our hopes are high for future success," Ray said.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 2, 2013
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

Faculty members land $400,000 in grants to support professional development for teachers

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Faculty members in Marshall University's Graduate School of Education and Professional Development have received five grants totaling $409,447 to support professional development for teachers.

The grants were received through the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Program (Title II). The initiative is part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which emphasizes teacher quality as a factor in improving student achievement. The Title II program focuses on preparing, training and recruiting high-quality teachers and principals and requires states to develop plans to ensure all teachers teaching core academic subjects are highly qualified.

The projects funded at Marshall include:

  • Using the Next Generation CSOs to improve the Achievement for Secondary Students in Clay County - $94,490 (Dr. Yvonne Skoretz, assistant professor)
    This project is the second of a two-part summer institute with follow-up activities. Participants will be introduced to new instructional strategies designed to reinforce and extend content knowledge and strategies learned in the first session to increase college success and career readiness for high school graduates.
  • Writing in the Common Core:  Capacity, Commitment, Collaboration - $61,400 (Dr. Barbara O'Byrne, professor and literacy education program director)
    This project targets high school and middle school English and social studies teachers in Kanawha County. The intensive, research-based professional development will prepare participants to develop, deliver and evaluate writing instruction to support state standards.
  • Improving Mathematics Instruction in the Standards-Based Classroom (Grades K-2) in Cooperation with Mingo County Public Schools - $87,356 (Dr. Lisa Heaton, professor and elementary and secondary education program director)
    This project is designed to provide professional development in mathematics for 30 Mingo County elementary educators. Program activities will reinforce the use of standards-based instruction and assessment to support the new math standards, and provide books and materials to support content learning and skills development.
  • Standards-Based Learning in the Science Classroom (Grades 3-6) in Cooperation with Mingo County Schools - $87,356 (Dr. Lisa Heaton, professor and elementary and secondary education program director)
    This project will provide professional development in science for 30 elementary teachers.  The focus on standards-based instruction will use inquiry and problem-based learning through hands-on experiences to demonstrate the integration and application of scientific literacy in everyday life.
  • Using Next Generation CSOs to improve Middle and High School Students' Achievement in Roane County - $78,845 (Dr. Elizabeth Campbell, assistant professor)
    This project will provide professional development for 25 Roane County teachers in English, language arts and mathematics. Participants will use Next Generation CSOs strategies and skills to help with the implementation of the new state standards geared towards increasing college success and career readiness for high school graduates.

The grant funds are administered through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

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Thursday May 2, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Assistant to the Dean, College of Health Professions, 304-696-2624

Marshall faculty member to present her research on windmill pitch mechanics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Suzanne Konz of the Marshall University College of Health Professions will give an oral presentation detailing her research on the mechanics of the windmill pitch in softball at the 60th annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) conference Friday, May 31.

Konz, an athletic trainer for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, said she conducted her study on roughly 30 athletes in game settings by filming their pitches and then analyzing the mechanical changes of each throw over the course of a game situation.

"We found a definite difference in angles, whether it's within an athlete's hips, knees or elbows," Konz said. "From a strength and conditioning perspective, we realized the overhead throwing position really affects the release. If strength and flexibility issues exist, we know the athlete will benefit from strengthening and flexibility at the overhead positon to increase their release velocity."

Konz, an assistant professor of biomechanics within the Marshall School of Kinesiology, said the reality of sports for any collegiate athlete is dealing with the daily wear and tear on the body.

"We ultimately hope to help an athlete's post-collegiate quality of life by bringing in a better standard of strength conditioning, preventive components or larger pitching staffs to the team," Konz said. "This research will allow pitching coaches to know what to look for in an athlete's mechanics that may indicate fatigue."

Dr. Gary McIlvain, chair of kinesiology and associate dean for the college, said Konz is a great asset to the school and her skills in biomechanical analysis are needed by athletes at every level.

"Dr. Konz is one of few women to be sought out by the NFL, as well as USA track and field and collegiate athletics, for her expertise," McIlvain said. "She has been the cornerstone of the new biomechanics major in the School of Kinesiology and we look forward to many more accomplishments."

According to the ACSM website, attendees from more than 70 disciplines come together from around the world to share new clinical techniques, scientific advancements and cutting-edge research in sports medicine, exercise science, physical activity and public health.  Dan Henkel, senior director of communication and advocacy for ACSM, said thousands of abstracts are submitted from all over the world by scientists, clinicians and others hoping to present their research at the ACSM annual meeting.

"The number tends to increase each year; more than 3,200 abstracts were submitted in 2012," Henkel said.  "The program committee reviews them all and selects those deemed to be of particular merit or interest. This should indicate something of the selectivity and high standards reflected in the presentations chosen for the meeting."

Konz said she was pleased to be given an opportunity to present her research and speak to audiences with very different backgrounds.

"I'll be presenting to a large, diverse group of professionals who will hopefully begin to think about things from a different perspective," Konz said. "At the end of the conference, I want an exercise psychologist, an MD, or an athletic trainer to be able to take my message, see the value and use it in their professional lives."

The conference will take place in Indianapolis from May 28 to June 1. For more information, visit

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday May 2, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

More than 1,500 to graduate from Marshall May 11

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - More than 1,500 students will graduate from Marshall University Saturday, May 11, in a pair of commencement ceremonies at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Marshall will conduct two commencements for the second consecutive year. The 9 a.m. ceremony is for undergraduates, and a 2 p.m. ceremony the same day is for graduate students.

MU Registrar Roberta Ferguson said the decision to split commencement into two events last year was a popular one and both ceremonies went smoothly.

"We received excellent feedback from last year and the overwhelming opinion was good," Ferguson said. "Two shorter ceremonies rather than one very long one makes it easier on the graduates and their families and friends. With this format we can still honor each graduate individually without taking too long."

Among the 1,507 students receiving degrees are 986 undergraduates, 439  graduate students and 72 from the School of Medicine. The commencement ceremony is for tentative May 2013 graduates only. Ferguson said she expects about 650 undergraduates and 175 graduate students to take part in their respective ceremonies.

Ferguson said 516 students will graduate with honors. One hundred fifty-nine will graduate summa cum laude (3.85 to 4.0 GPA), 139 magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.84 GPA), and 208 cum laude (3.3 to  3.59). Ten students receiving associate degrees will graduate with honors.

Marshall will continue a practice that began in 2006 of recognizing individually each graduate who attends commencement. Each graduate will walk to the area in front of the stage, where his or her name will be announced and he or she will receive congratulations and a representative scroll from the Marshall Alumni Association.

During the morning ceremony, Marshall will recognize its graduating honor students. Based on tentative grade point averages, 16 students will complete their baccalaureate degrees with perfect GPAs.

Those 16 students are:

  • Megan Renee Bryant of Huntington, BSN in Nursing
  • Lesley S. Cruickshank of Charleston, BA in International Affairs and Spanish
  • Anthony R. Deskins of Huntington, BBA in Economics and Finance
  • Julia Rose Freitag of Huntington,  BBA in Marketing
  • Mary Louise Harper of South Charleston, BA in International Affairs
  • Catherine Brooke Higgins of Montgomery, West Virginia, BS in Chemistry
  • Amanda M. Honeycutt of Chapmanville, West Virginia, BS in Biological Science
  • Laura J. Keffer of South Point, Ohio, BA in History
  • Sarah Alice Lively of Beckley, BS in Biological Science
  • Richard Isaac McKown III of Ravenswood, West Virginia, BS in Cellular/Molecular Biology
  • Matthew Ryan Mundell of Huntington, BS in Computer and Information Technology
  • Joan Anna-Margaret Perrine of Poca, West Virginia, BSN in Nursing
  • Aaron Nicholas Preece of Huntington, BA in History
  • Shaina Danielle Taylor of Petersburg, West Virginia, BA in English and Science
  • Matthew David Thompson of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, BS in Biochemistry
  • Yasmine Zeid of Huntington, BS in Biochemistry.

James C. Smith, president and CEO of Thomson Reuters and a 1981 MU graduate, will deliver the keynote speech in the morning ceremony. Dr. Donna Spindel, dean of the Marshall Graduate College, will speak in the afternoon ceremony.

Here is a list of upcoming commencement-related events:

May 2

5 p.m., Donning of the Kente, Celebration of Achievement, Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center

May 3

1 p.m., White Coat Ceremony and Presentation Day, School of Physical Therapy

1 p.m., End-of-the -year BBQ, Center for African American Students, Memorial Student Center plaza

4 p.m., College Program for Students with Asperger Syndrome (CPSAS) graduation reception, Old Main 315

4:30 p.m., Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Student Affairs, Memorial Student Center, John Marshall Dining Room

7 p.m., Drinko Honors Convocation, Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center

May 5

1 p.m., WMUL end-of-the-year picnic, Marco's, followed by annual softball game between WMUL and The Parthenon at 4 p.m., Dot Hicks Field

May 8

7 p.m., Fraternity and sorority life graduation celebration, Memorial Student Center plaza

May 9

6 p.m., Mid-Ohio Valley Center nursing recognition ceremony for BSN graduates, at MOVC campus

6 p.m., College of Education ceremony for master's and bachelor's degree recipients, Memorial Student Center, Don Morris Room

7 p.m., Graduate School of Education and Professional Development hooding ceremony, Emmanuel Baptist Church

May 10

11 a.m., LEAP Intensive English Program graduation ceremony, Memorial Student Center, Shawkey Dining Room

1 p.m., Forsensic Science Center open house, 1401 Forensic Science Dr.

2 p.m., Political Science hooding ceremony, Shawkey Dining Room

4 p.m., Clinical Lab Sciences and Dietetics Department recognition ceremony, Memorial Student Center, BE 5

4:30 p.m., H.E.L.P. Program graduation ceremony, Myers Hall, Heiner's Study Room

5 p.m., Yeager Medallion Ceremony, Drinko Library, third-floor atrium

6 p.m., W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications spring banquet, Marshall University Foundation Hall

7 p.m., School of Medicine Investiture, Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center

7 p.m., College of Health Professions nursing recognition ceremony, Christ Temple Church, 2400 Johnstown Rd.

7 p.m., College of Health Professions, St. Mary's Medical Center School of Nursing, School of Respiratory Care and School of Medical Imaging, Recognition and Pinning Ceremony, Highlawn Baptist Church

May 11

9 a.m., Marshall University's 176th commencement ceremony for undergraduates, Big Sandy Superstore Arena

Immediately following morning commencement, College of Information Technology and Engineering graduation reception, Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories

Immediately following morning commencement, College of Fine Arts post-graduation brunch, The Palms

2 p.m., Marshall University's commencement for graduate students, Big Sandy Superstore Arena

4 p.m., Forensic Science graduation reception, Memorial Student Center, BE 5

4:30 p.m., College of Science hooding ceremony, Smith Hall 154

Commencement notes

  • Each commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the Web. The link will be available on the MU website at
  • Marshall University will produce a DVD of the commencement ceremonies for purchase at $20 per copy. Orders may be submitted using the order form on the registrar's office website ( In addition, orders will be accepted at the arena May 11. The MU Alumni Association will process the DVD orders.
  •  Marshall will provide shuttle buses to transport graduates and guests to the arena. Graduates and guests are encouraged to park on university lots at the 6th Avenue Parking Facility, the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, Joan C. Edwards Stadium or across from Smith Hall (Lot F). Shuttle service will begin at 7:45 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremony and at noon for the 2 p.m. ceremony. After commencement, buses will transport passengers back to campus.
  • Legacy Photographics will take photographs of the graduates, then send proof information to graduates using e-mail addresses a few days after the ceremony. Purchase of photographs is optional.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 1, 2013
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, (304) 696-7153

Nominations being accepted through June 1 for 'Spirit of the Coalfields' Miners' Celebration awards

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Nominations are being accepted for "Because of You" awards to honor people who have made significant contributions to West Virginia's coal mining enterprise and the state's mining heritage.

Awards in nearly a dozen categories will be presented at a gala dinner and awards ceremony planned as part of this year's "Spirit of the Coalfields" Miners' Celebration to be held Oct. 3 at Tamarack in Beckley.

According to event organizers, representatives of the state's mining industry and community leaders will gather at the event to recognize miners, engineers, safety and environmental professionals and community members. Nominations for the awards are being accepted through June 1.

"Many of our engineering graduates find employment in West Virginia's mining industry, which depends upon thousands of individuals in a number of different roles," said Dr. Tony Szwilski, chairman of the event planning committee and director of Marshall University's Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences. "Every person who works in the industry whether they are a safety engineer, miner, environmental professional or equipment supplier contributes to each ton of coal produced, as do countless community leaders and mining families.

"It is because of every one of them that the mining industry is successful. This event is intended to honor and recognize the contributions of everyone involved. Last year's celebration was a rousing success and we look forward to this year's program being even bigger and better."

According to Szwilski, "Because of You" awards will be presented in the following categories:  Equipment/Technology Innovation, Safety Champion, Women in Mining, Community Investment, Environmental Champion, Engineering, Community Involvement and Educator of the Year. In addition, the Homer Hickam Collier and Spirit of the Coalfields awards will be presented.
Representatives of the Coal Heritage Highway Authority/National Coal Heritage Area will be on hand to present several of that organization's top awards, including the Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievements in Coal Heritage Preservation, the Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Coal Heritage Marketing Award and the Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award.

The "Spirit of the Coalfields" Miners' Celebration gala dinner and awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Szwilski added that the program also will feature exhibits and presentations focusing on a variety of aspects of the mining industry, beginning at 11 a.m.

To nominate someone for the "Because of You" awards or for more information about the Miners' Celebration, contact Teresa Buckland at 304-696-3568 or

For more information about the Coal Heritage Highway Authority/National Coal Heritage Area awards, call 304-465-3720 or e-mail

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

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 1, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Statement from Dr. Joseph B. Touma, Chair, Marshall University Board of Governors

May 1, 2013

To the Marshall University Community:

"On behalf of the vast majority of the Marshall University Board of Governors, I wish to express the board's overwhelming support for President Stephen J. Kopp.

"Dr. Kopp has succeeded in achieving the goals set by the Board of Governors for Marshall University and he has exceeded the board's performance expectations in numerous areas. The board also believes that he is the right person to keep our great university moving in the right direction.

"An atmosphere that fosters constructive dialogue will help us find solutions to the challenges we face, particularly those identified in recent days. We expect better communication and collegiality from all constituent groups and consider this an opportunity to establish common ground on which we can address the financial and other obstacles that lie ahead.
"Our shared goal is to do what is best for our students. We can only achieve this by working together openly in a renewed and genuine spirit of cooperation."
Dr. Joseph B. Touma

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 1, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Statement from the President

May 1, 2013

"I am pleased to have the overwhelming support of the Board of Governors and trust that, working together with faculty, staff and students, we will continue down our proven path of success.

"During the past few weeks, I have received an outpouring of affirmations and expressions of support from across the entire university community and our extended family of Marshall Sons and Daughters. It has been very gratifying and encouraging and I personally thank those who have taken the time to express themselves.

"I respect the views of the faculty who have shared their opinion in this fashion; however, the budget challenges we set out to address remain and I do not see additional public funding on the horizon. We have much work to do in the coming days and months to ensure Marshall continues its progress with even more limited public resources.

"I am extremely proud to lead this great institution and I want everyone to know that, while we have tremendous challenges ahead, they present an opportunity to find even more ways for us to work together."

Stephen J. Kopp, Ph.D.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday May 1, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Distinguished MU alumnus to speak at Honors Convocation; nearly 160 students to be recognized for academic achievement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Matthew M. Powers, a former Yeager Scholar at Marshall University, will be the featured speaker Friday, May 3, at the annual Elizabeth Gibson Drinko Honors Convocation.

The convocation, part of Marshall's 19th annual Celebration of Academics, starts at 7 p.m. in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on the Huntington campus and is free to the public. Nearly 160 students will be recognized for academic achievement by their colleges and departments. The convocation will be followed by a public reception.

The event is named for the late Elizabeth Gibson Drinko, who was a longstanding supporter of academic programs at Marshall.

Powers' visit continues a tradition of having an alumna/alumnus return to speak to the students. He graduated with honors from Marshall in May 2000 with a degree in economics.

Powers graduated from Fairland High School before attending Marshall. Currently, he is working towards an LLM in International Law at The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School with the U.S. Army in Charlottesville, Va.

Powers completed his initial Marine Corps training in 2002. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2005. The Marine Corps then allowed him to attend the University of Minnesota School of Law, from where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in May 2008.

Beginning in October 2008, Powers began serving as a prosecutor and was then deployed for a third time to Afghanistan as an Operational Law Attorney.

He resumed his role as a prosecutor after returning from Afghanistan in April 2010 and soon became a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Marine Corps in the eastern district of North Carolina.

Powers' personal decorations include the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star and the Presidential Unit Citation.


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