November 2013 News Releases

Tuesday November 26, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 696-7153

Visiting pianist Arunesh Nadgir to perform romantic piano music Dec. 2

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Pianist Dr. Arunesh Nadgir will give  a guest artist recital at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, in the Jomie Jazz Forum on Marshall University's Huntington campus. The program includes virtuoso piano music from the Romantic era by Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt and Alexander Scriabin.

"I am looking forward to an evening of wonderful Romantic piano music," said Dr. Henning Vauth, assistant professor of piano at Marshall. "Arunesh Nadgir is praised for his passionate, sensitive and thoughtful musical style. It will be nice to enjoy an hour of relaxing music during the busy Christmas season."

Nadgir, who has concertized as soloist and chamber musician in the United States (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), South America, Europe and Asia, holds degrees from the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music. He currently serves as assistant professor of piano at Middle Tennessee State University and as president of the Middle Tennessee Music Teachers Association.

For more information, contact Vauth in the School of Music and Theatre at 304-696-3117.

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Monday November 25, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

MU public health professor hosts study abroad program in Tanzania

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Monika Sawhney, public health program director in the Marshall College of Health Professions, said she will take a group of students to Tanzania this summer for a unique study abroad opportunity.

"This is the only study abroad program related to public health care and nursing," Sawhney said. "We will offer students an opportunity to explore aspects of our world that they may never have a chance to do so otherwise."

Sawhney said students can receive undergraduate or graduate credit for coursework in public and global health, nursing and Swahili.

"The sky is the limit here at Marshall to have a well-guided study abroad trip with faculty from different disciplines who are able to provide an enriched experience," Sawhney said. "Internships and service-learning opportunities are also available through this program."

Kayla Boggs, a 21-year-old senior cell and molecular biology major from Big Bend, W.Va., traveled to Tanzania last summer and said she expects her experiences from the public health course to benefit her future career in health care.

"A study abroad experience is worthwhile no matter where one chooses to study," Boggs said. "For me, it was all about gaining a greater understanding of the hardships Tanzanians face every day, finding a greater respect for myself in overcoming the stereotypes many have about Africa and making a difference in the lives of the people I met."

While in Tanzania for five weeks, Boggs said she snorkeled in the Indian Ocean and explored the native wildlife through her adventures on a safari.

"I loved every minute of the safari and snorkeling in the Indian Ocean, but my favorite thing would have to have been meeting and forming relationships with so many unique and wonderful individuals," Boggs said. "The Tanzanians I had the pleasure of meeting were incredibly welcoming and I still keep in touch with a few of them on Facebook."

The Tanzania study abroad trip will take place June 12 - July 16, 2014. Cost of the trip is $3,975 plus airfare and the $250 application fee. Individuals interested in signing up before Jan. 20 can save $100. The final application deadline for the trip is Feb. 15. To learn more, please contact Dr. Monika Sawhney by phone at 304-696-2602 or by e-mail at


Photo: Marshall student Kayla Boggs, 21, of Big Bend, W.Va., stands with a group of native Tanzanians last summer during her study abroad trip to Africa. While in Tanzania, Boggs said she was in an ideal setting to gain valuable academic and cultural experiences which helped her achieve a broad understanding of our world.

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Friday November 22, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Dr. Chong W. Kim Endowed Scholarship honors two-time dean at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Dr. Chong W. Kim Endowed Scholarship, a fund named in honor of the former two-time dean of Marshall University's College of Business, has been established by the Marshall University Foundation Inc.

Kim, who retired last year after 35 years at Marshall, was honored Thursday evening in a ceremony at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on the Huntington campus.

Dr. Haiyang Chen, current dean of the College of business, said the college also plans to start a distinguished speaker series in honor of Kim that will feature successful alumni of the College of Business.

"We're here to honor Dr. Kim for his generosity and support of our students for more than three decades," Chen said.

Kim, a native of Korea who lived most of his youth in Seoul, South Korea, served at Marshall from 1977 to 2012. He not only taught, but served as the division head of the Management, Marketing and MIS (Management Information Systems) Division for 22 years. He was dean of the College of Business from 2003 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2012.

Kim thanked those in attendance for their help during his 3 decades of service to Marshall.

"One of the best decisions I ever made was when Bob Alexander (former dean of the College of Business) offered me a job and I accepted it," Kim told the audience, of which Alexander was a member. "Even though it has had its ups and downs and been stressful (at times), I had a very good career at Marshall, and Marshall was very good to me. I want to help future Marshall students by establishing this scholarship as a small token of my appreciation to Marshall.

"Establishment of this scholarship was very much possible due to the great help from College of Business Advisory Board members and all my friends whom I will cherish in my memory for the rest of my life."

Kim majored in English at Yonsei University, graduating in 1966 before serving as a Korean Army officer from 1966 to 1968. He then received his M.B.A. degree from Miami (Ohio) University in 1971, and his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, majoring in Organizational Behavior in Business in 1976.

He was a professor at Rider College in 1976 and 1977 before joining Marshall. Kim was elected into the Marshall College of Business Hall of Fame last year.

Kim is a Taekwondo (TKD) 9th degree black belt who taught TKD at each stop of his educational and professional career. He opened his private TKD School in Huntington, where he remains today.

The recipient of the Kim scholarship will be a full-time undergraduate student in the College of Business who is in good academic standing with a 2.5 or higher GPA. First priority will be given to minority students who are majoring in management. Second priority will be given to minority students majoring in any business field, and third priority will be given to students who are majoring in management.

The award will be renewable for up to four years (eight semesters) if the recipient maintains good academic standing of a 2.5 GPA or higher.


Photo: From left, Dr. Haiyang Chen, dean of Marshall's College of Business; Dr. Chong Kim, former dean of the College of Business for whom the Dr. Chong W. Kim Endowed Scholarship is named; Norman Mosrie, president of the Advisory Board of the College of Business at Marshall; and Lance West, vice president for development at Marshall, pose with a copy of the guidelines for the Kim scholarship. Photo by Liu Yang/Marshall University.

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Friday November 22, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Thundering Word continues to perform well in Porch Swing Invitational

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's speech and debate team has had its best competitive semester since its reformation in 2009.

Last weekend, the Thundering Word traveled to Carson Newman University in Jefferson City, Tenn., to participate in the Tennessee Porch Swing Invitational and placed third behind Western Kentucky University and the University of Alabama, two of the top teams in the nation.

"We actually held our own with them, which is something we haven't been able to do in the past," Coach Danny Ray said. "Ten members of the Thundering Word traveled to Tennessee and every one of them made it to at least one final round. This doesn't happen very often."

Marshall's individual results were:

  • Christian Adams, a senior honors pre-med psychology major from Ona, W.Va., was second in Pentathlon (five or more events) making him the second-best speaker at the tournament. He also placed fourth in After-Dinner Speaking, fifth in Duo Interpretation with Josh Gainer, sixth in Prose Interpretation, and he was a semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Victoria Ledford, a junior honors pre-med communication studies major from Erwin, Tenn., was second in Persuasive Speaking, second  in Duo Interpretation with DeVan Sample, and fifth in Informative Speaking.
  • Logan Spence, a freshman game design major from Davie, Fla., placed fifth and was the Top Novice in Poetry Interpretation and placed sixth and was Top Novice in Informative Speaking.
  • Alyssa Hager, a freshman broadcasting major from West Hamlin, W.Va., took fifth place in Top Novice Prose Interpretation and Top Novice Persuasive Speaking.
  • DeVan Sample, an honors English & Japanese major from Martinsburg, W.Va., took second place in Duo Interpretation with Victoria Ledford.
  • Taryss Mandt, a sophomore geology major from Arlington, Va., was fourth in Prose Interpretation.
  • Josh Gainer, a senior political science major from Parkersburg, W.Va., finished in fifth place Duo Interpretation with Christian Adams.
  • Matt Osteen, a junior honors communication studies major from Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., was fifth in Rhetorical Criticism.
  • Juliet Djietror, a junior biomedical sciences major from Mt. Pleasant, Mich., was sixth in Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Garrett Walker, a junior Spanish major from Shady Spring, W.Va., was sixth in After-Dinner Speaking.

Ray said this was the fifth tournament in which Marshall has placed in the top three in the tournament, including first place at Central Missouri, second at the University of Kentucky and second at the Chief Justice, which Marshall hosted.

The following Marshall students are qualified for the NFA national tournament in April.

  • Christian Adams - Prose, Poetry and Duo interpretation, After-Dinner and Impromptu Speaking
  • Juliet Djietror - Persuasive Speaking and Prose Interpretation
  • Josh Gainer - Prose, Poetry, Dramatic and Duo Interpretation
  • Victoria Ledford - Persuasive, Informative, Impromptu Speaking, Rhetorical Criticism and Duo
  • Taryss Mandt - Informative Speaking, Prose and Poetry Interpretation
  • Matt Osteen - Lincoln Douglas Debate and Rhetorical Criticism
  • DeVan Sample - Poetry, Dramatic and Duo Interpretation
  • Garrett Walker - Extemporaneous and After-Dinner Speaking, Rhetorical Criticism
  • Joe Garton - Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Alyssa Hager - Prose and Duo Interpretation and Persuasive Speaking
  • Logan Spence - Poetry, Dramatic and Duo Interpretation and Informative Speaking
  • Spencer Stephens - Lincoln Douglas Debate and Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speaking

Ray said the Thundering Word will be joined by additional students in the spring, which will make the team even more competitive.

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Thursday November 21, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

School of Medicine dean part of international team investigating renal-artery stenting

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and a team of researchers around the world had their findings published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, the premier journal for publishing clinical studies.

The multi-center study included 947 patients with renal-artery stenosis and either high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease, who were then randomized to receive either medical therapy and stenting or medical therapy alone.   The study outcomes indicated there was no significant benefit to the population that received the stenting procedure.

Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions (CORAL), was the largest study examining renal-artery stenting which became popular in the 1990s after some small studies suggested there were benefits to the procedure.    Statistics show about 100 million Americans have hypertension and between 1 and 5 percent will develop atherosclerotic renal-artery stenosis.

"Hardening of the arteries to the kidneys is a significant public health issue," Shapiro, who is a longtime kidney disease researcher, said.  "This study was designed to determine whether stenting, with its substantial cost and potential risk, is a viable treatment option for patients with atherosclerotic renal-artery stenosis.  Our research indicated that it is not the best option for most patients, ergo, contemporary medical treatment should be our go-to treatment."

Approximately 40,000 patients per year undergo a renal-artery stent in the United States.  If the results of the CORAL trial are embraced, there will be substantial financial savings in the care of these patients.

Shapiro served as the enrollment chairman for the study.

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Thursday November 21, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University honored for creating tobacco-free campus

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University was honored recently for its efforts in creating a tobacco-free campus. A brief ceremony took place Monday, Nov. 18, in the Shawkey Room inside the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp received an award from Dr. Harry K. Tweel, medical director of the  Cabell-Huntington Health Department. The award was made on behalf of the Cabell County Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Environment, which is based out of the health department.

Amy Saunders, director of student health education programs at Marshall, said several groups including the Student Government Association, the Classified Staff Council, the Faculty Senate and the Board of Governors helped work on this policy.

"The policy is one of the first steps in changing the culture on campus regarding tobacco use," Saunders said. "Now we must begin to work on enforcing the policy and helping those that are addicted to nicotine."

Marshall has been tobacco free since July 2013.

The coalition meets the fourth Monday of every month at noon at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Light refreshments are served. For more information about this event or to attend the Cabell County Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Environment meetings, please contact Teresa Mills, regional tobacco prevention coordinator at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, at 304-523-6483, EXT 283.


Photo: Second from left, Dr. Harry K. Tweel, medical director of the Cabell-County Health Department, presents a plaque to Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp in recognition of the University developing a tobacco-free campus. Also pictured are, left, Dr. Robert Stanton, assistant dean of experiential learning with the MU School of Pharmacy, and, right, Dr. Joseph Shapiro, dean of the Marshall Medical School. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Tuesday November 19, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 696-7153

Blake Collection at Marshall receives Civil War-era items

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. and Mrs. John O'Brien, from the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, have given a group of items and books to the Rosanna Blake Collection, part of Marshall University's Special Collection department housed in the Morrow Library.

"These donations are significant and will help maintain the standing of the Blake Collection as one of the outstanding Confederate and southern collections outside of the National Archives," said Jack Dickinson, curator of the Blake collection.

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Monday November 18, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 696-7153

School of Medicine professor serves as editor for medical school curriculum e-book

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Aaron M. McGuffin, associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and a team of 48 students from 11 medical schools have created a medical curriculum e-book that was released this month online.

"Universal Notes for Medical Students 2013" is available on the Inkling store.

"We are very proud of Dr. McGuffin and his team for developing this new tool which combines old-school note-taking with 21st century technology," said Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Marshall School of Medicine. "Their efforts are commendable and will provide medical students across the country with another avenue for success."

McGuffin and colleagues initiated the project earlier this year.

"This first edition contains the majority of drugs, bugs and diseases that were determined to be important for medical students to know," McGuffin said. "There is still a great deal of pertinent basic science information to add, but we are steadily filling those gaps."

The book's initial concept was created by McGuffin and student editors Becca Hayes, Marshall University School of Medicine; John Corker, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine; Jessica Deslauriers, University of South Florida; Laura Halpin, University of Toledo; and David Savage, University of Texas at Houston. The concept team, which included others from Marshall's School of Medicine, worked to establish a website,, to recruit medical students to write topics for the e-book.

The medical students submitted material on hundreds of topics to create the primary content of the e-book, which was then reviewed by the student editors and a physician panel to ensure accuracy and consistency of the material.

The e-book is organized into 21 easy-to-navigate chapters, primarily by systems.

"We used the existing national board outlines to help organize the material since they are the most complete documents currently available that describe what medical students should know," Hayes said.

Deslauriers agreed, saying, "Universal Notes will change medical education by empowering students to customize their study materials while building upon accurate and relevant topics that address the core competencies of being a doctor."

The e-book is the first in a series of projects by Universal NotesTM aimed at revolutionizing the way medical students are educated around the world.

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Monday November 18, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Recreation Center and the Marshall University First-Year Residence Halls have partnered this holiday season to help local agencies and children in the Huntington community.

Rec the Halls with Holiday Hopes can be compared to an "Angel Tree," full of Christmas wishes made by children from local agencies such as Golden Girl, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House, A.D. Lewis Community Center, the June Montgomery Harless Children's Home and NECCO, said Michele Muth, assistant director of the Rec Center.

The wishes are hung on a tree in the lobby of the Marshall Recreation Center, as well as in the First-Year Residence Halls. Students and members of the community alike are encouraged to take a tag from the tree, purchase the gift listed on the wish, and bring the gift back with the tag that was attached to the tree. Stop by the Rec or one of the First Year-Residence Halls to make a child's wish come true! 

A wrapping party will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, to wrap the gifts for the agencies.  Donations of wrapping paper and other supplies are needed and greatly appreciated. Volunteers can stop by between classes or after the work day any amount of time can help. Volunteers will be rewarded with snacks and drinks while enjoying each other's company in a festive atmosphere.

For more information call Muth at 304-696-2943 or e-mail


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Friday November 15, 2013
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, (304) 696-7153

Morgan recognized for expertise in education technology, named inaugural Blackboard MVP

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Brian M. Morgan, chairman and associate professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology at Marshall University, has been named one of 17 inaugural Blackboard MVPs by education technology company Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard offers platforms and services to help educational, professional, corporate and government organizations extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively. Its new MVP program recognizes users who stand out as experts in the company's technologies, share their expertise, demonstrate leadership in the education technology community, and actively provide feedback to Blackboard. While MVPs will be peer-nominated in the future, this first class was selected by Blackboard.

"I am very proud to be a part of this prestigious new program," said Morgan. "E-learning and learning management systems have been a passion of mine for the past 16 years. Being a Blackboard MVP, sharing knowledge and best practices about Blackboard and distance learning in general, is truly an honor."

Jay Bhatt, Blackboard chief executive officer, said, "We are proud to recognize Blackboard MVPs for reaching beyond the borders of their institutions and organizations to share their knowledge of and best practices with our products. This program is incredibly powerful, as it provides a platform not only for users to collaborate and learn from each other, but also for our company leaders to hear directly from the people who use our solutions in the field, every day. Blackboard MVPs are truly helping improve the learning experience and address important challenges in education."

Morgan said the program will give him access to exclusive professional development opportunities and he will be invited to private product briefings and roadmap sessions with company executives. He added that MVPs will continue to share their expertise by moderating the Ask the Doctors Client Q&A forum and through their own personal blogs, Blackboard blogs, social media, virtual office hours and other avenues.

Morgan holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and a master's degree in technology management, both from Marshall. His special interests include e-learning and web application development.

For more information, visit or contact Morgan at or 304-634-6736.

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Friday November 15, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall's United Way campaign extended until Nov. 20

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. The deadline for Marshall University's United Way campaign has been extended until Wednesday, Nov. 20. 

United Way of the River Cities' goal is to change 30,000 lives in the region.  To do so, the organization needs to raise $1.2 million.

For more than 20 years, the Marshall University community has supported United Way of the River Cities in a variety of ways.  Faculty and staff contribute financially and serve on grants-review committees, as well as on the organization's four coalitions.  Students participate in forums on current issues, have provided useful tools through service learning projects and internships and provide staff support to United Way as work-study placements. 

"As one of the leaders in our community, Marshall University has been a very important part of United Way's work," said Laura Gilliam, executive director of the organization. "Thousands of people in our region have received help because of the university's support.  We count on faculty, staff and students every year to make our fundraising campaign successful. Without their support, our community wouldn't be the same."
Students interested in making a donation may go to Faculty and staff can return their completed investor pledge forms to the Marshall Recreation Center for a free day pass; to an individual's departmental office; or to Dean Michael Prewitt via campus mail at Prichard Hall 224 or by faxing 304-696-6739. Pledge forms can be downloaded at

To learn more about United Way of the River Cities, visit

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Friday November 15, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

School of Pharmacy receives diversity grant from Walgreens

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University School of Pharmacy announced today it received a $10,000 grant from Walgreens Corporation for diversity and inclusion efforts at the school.

The grant, to be disseminated as scholarships and funding for pipeline programs and other cultural initiatives, is part of Walgreens' national effort to support increasing diversity among professional student programs.

Chris Creamer, R.Ph., and Deborah Harris, Pharm D., both with Walgreens, presented the check to School of Pharmacy representatives including H. Glenn Anderson, Pharm D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

"We are so pleased to have received this funding from Walgreens for the second year," Anderson said. "Our school is actively engaged in finding ways to educate our students on understanding the health care needs of every population we serve."

As part of this grant, Walgreens requires the school to report on how the annual funds were used to support diversity initiatives throughout the year. Since 2008, the company has donated more than $1 million annually to support diversity initiatives at schools and colleges of pharmacy nationwide.

Two Marshall School of Pharmacy students, James Frazier and Priscilla Adjei-Baffour, were awarded scholarships as part of Walgreens gift last year.


Photo: H. Glenn Anderson, Marshall University School of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, accepts a check from Deborah Harris, Walgreens Corporation. Also pictured from left: Terri Moran, assistant dean of student affairs, Shelvy Campbell, director of diversity, Chris Creamer with Walgreens, Anderson, Harris, Kim Broedel-Zaugg, professor and chair, department of pharmacy practice, Robert Stanton, assistant dean of experiential learning, and Craig Kimble, director of experiential learning.

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Friday November 15, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Recreation Center to hold Black Light Boulder Bash

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall Recreation Center Outdoor Pursuits program will conduct its first-ever Black Light Boulder Bash from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The windows in the rock climbing facilities at the MRC will be blacked out, black lights will be lit and bouldering paths will be marked with neon colored tape that will glow under the lights and guide climbers.  

"The event is intended to create awareness and exposure for the Marshall Recreation Center's indoor rock climbing wall, as well as to provide existing users a fun event to be involved in," said Chad Steen, Outdoor Pursuits coordinator. "It will offer new climbers the chance to try their hand at bouldering, while providing a new perspective to traditional bouldering."

This non-competitive event will only feature bouldering, and the paths will vary in difficulty.  MRC staff will be on hand to spot during Black Light Boulder Bash.  Top-rope climbing with a belay will not be available during this event.
Admission for the event will be $15 for members of the Rec Center, and $20 for non-members.  Advanced registration will be held until 5 p.m.  Sunday, Nov. 24 and will guarantee a free event t-shirt.  Participants also may register or purchase a t-shirt for an additional $10 the night of the event. T-shirts ordered the night of the event will be available for pick-up the following week.    Snacks will be provided after climbing.  Black Light Boulder Bash is sponsored by MPE Entertainment and

Normal operation of the Outdoor Pursuits facilities will be postponed during Black Light Boulder Bash.

For more information contact Steen at 304-696-4653 or

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Thursday November 14, 2013
Contact: Mary Thomasson, Marshall University Forensic Science Center, 304-691-8961

Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program and student organization to host crime scene investigation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University forensic science graduate students and faculty will present a crime scene investigation workshop for students from Fairview High School of Ashland, Ky., and Notre Dame High School of Portsmouth, Ohio, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the crime scene house.

About 35 high school science students are expected to attend the "CSI Huntington" workshop. They will participate in lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experiments in the areas of ballistics and firearms identification, latent print development, handwriting analysis, blood pattern analysis, outdoor crime scene investigations and digital forensics. 

The workshop will be presented by Master's United Forensic Identification Association (MUFIA), a student organization comprised of forensic science graduate students in the nationally recognized two-year program. Proceeds from the workshop will go towards travel expenses for graduate students to attend the national meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences next February 17-22 in Seattle, Wash., or other forensic science conferences. Funds also may support travel for internship or job interviews. Thirty forensic science graduate students will be assisting with the workshop.

"CSI Huntington" workshops have been conducted previously as a summer camp for middle school students and as a series of evening sessions for adults and high school students.

Dr. Pam Staton, associate professor of forensic science in the graduate program, is the faculty advisor for the "CSI Huntington" workshops. Teachers who are interested in scheduling a "CSI Huntington" workshop for area middle and high school students should contact Staton for more information at 304-691-8962. Workshops also are available to other groups upon request.

The house is located at 1524 5th Ave. in Huntington.

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Thursday November 14, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine students and faculty inducted into national honor society

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Ten fourth-year medical students at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine were inducted today into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) in a ceremony at the Byrd Clinical Center Auditorium.

The society, established in 2002, is an association of individuals and medical school chapters whose members are selected as exemplars of empathy, compassion, altruism, integrity and service in working with patients, their families and others in the field of medicine.  

The students were nominated for the organization by their peers and include the following individuals:

  • Zubair A. Ansari
  • Don A. Bertolotti
  • Caroline "Carly" L. Brady
  • W. Dennis Carr
  • Lora B. Fetty
  • Rebecca "Becca" M. Hayes
  • Joshua F. Hendrix
  • Sammy Hodroge
  • Corey A. Keeton
  • Douglas C. vonAllman

Additionally, four medical residents and four faculty members were inducted into the society.   The residents are:

  • Amy M. Bair, M.D., Department of Surgery
  • Kimberly R. Becher, M.D., Department of Family and Community Health
  • Susan M. Lopata, M.D., Department of Pediatrics
  • Lauren M. Thompson, M.D., Department of Pediatrics

Faculty inductees included:

  • Sean Loudin, M.D., Department of Pediatrics
  • Adrienne M. Mays, M.D., Department of Family and Community Health
  • Charles C. McCormick, M.D., Department of Family and Community Health
  • Kathleen M. O'Hanlon, M.D., Department of Family and Community Health


Marshall's chapter of GHHS was established in 2012.

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Wednesday November 13, 2013
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, (304) 696-7153

Journalism and mass communications majors at Mountwest CTC can parlay their associate degrees into bachelor's degrees from MU

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University has entered into an agreement that allows journalism majors who have successfully earned associate degrees from Mountwest Community and Technical College to seamlessly transfer those credits to Marshall in pursuit of a bachelor's degree, according to Donald Van Horn, dean of MU's College of Arts and Media.

Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp and Mountwest President Keith J. Cotroneo today signed a 2+2 Articulation Agreement to benefit students in the fields of advertising, public relations, online journalism as well as radio/television production and management. The signing took place in Studio A in the Communications Building on Marshall's Huntington campus. Afterward, Marshall students led a tour of the journalism and mass communications facilities including Studio A, The Parthenon newsroom, the WMUL radio studio and Out Loud, a creative agency space designed for advertising and public relations majors.

Van Horn said faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Media as well as the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications are excited about the opportunity to provide these degree options to students from Mountwest.

"The agreement aligns programs at the two institutions and provides opportunities for students to further their studies, which is important as we prepare them for the global workplace," Van Horn said.

According to the official agreement, the deans of both programs will continually monitor the curriculum at both institutions to ensure consistency and program quality. Students who earn an associate degree at Mountwest will earn a bachelor's degree from Marshall by fulfilling their final two years of coursework on the Huntington campus. Once at Marshall, transfer students are a part of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism that is housed within the College of Arts and Media.

Cotroneo said this is a great opportunity for Mountwest students who have worked hard to earn their associate degree in journalism.

"Mountwest is pleased to offer this opportunity for our journalism students to pursue a bachelor's degree close to home," Cotroneo said. "Our newest partnership with Marshall University makes it easy for Mountwest graduates to continue working toward their career goals."

Janet Dooley, an associate dean in the College of Arts and Media and director of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said the agreement is a benefit to both institutions. Marshall gets high-performing students from Mountwest and those students get to earn a four-year degree from a nationally accredited program.

"After reviewing Mountwest's curriculum requirements, it seems like such a logical progression to continue in journalism and mass communications to earn a bachelor's degree," Dooley said. "We're looking forward to the first cohort of students from Mountwest."

Linda Vinson, associate professor of communication at Mountwest, said it's been a privilege to collaborate with Marshall's faculty to create this opportunity for a seamless transfer from Mountwest to Marshall.

"Both Mountwest and Marshall University share a common goal to help students achieve their career aspirations of working in the exciting world of mass media," Vinson said.


Photos: (Above) Marshall University graduate student Hanna Francis talks about the Marshall broadcasting program to students from MCTC as Marshall president Stephen J. Kopp and Mountwest President Keith J. Cotroneo look on. The presidents signed a 2+2 Articulation Agreement today in Studio A on Marshall's Huntington campus that will benefit students studying journalism and mass communications. (Below) Two Mountwest Community and Technical College students get a feel for broadcasting behind the MU Report desk in Studio A.

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday November 12, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Fundraiser benefitting McCaskey Scholarship brings in $3,000

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An art fundraiser benefitting the Ambrose E. McCaskey, Jr. Memorial Scholarship for Engineering took place on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on the Huntington campus.

The artwork of the late Anne McCaskey Koppehele was on display and sold for the benefit of the scholarship in memory of her father.

Koppehele, a Marshall graduate, passed away last year. Her friends and family gathered for a memorial service in Foundation Hall, surrounded by 67 pieces of her artwork.

"Anne lived her life in three colors," said Michael Markiewicz, a personal friend of Koppehele, "life, love and laughter." Markiewicz spoke about Koppehele's generous character and her ability to find the good in everyone.

Even a year after her death, her generosity is still present, Markiewicz said, as her artwork contributes to the Ambrose E. McCaskey, Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

McCaskey was hired at Marshall in 1936 as head of the new engineering program. Eight of his pieces were on display Sunday as well.

Through the sale of several art pieces and donations, Sunday's event raised almost $3,000, with additional donations expected to come in over the coming weeks.

If you would like to make a donation, or learn more about the Marshall University Foundation, Inc., please call 304-696-6264.

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday November 12, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall to conduct GIS Day activities Nov. 20 on Huntington campus

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For the third consecutive year, Marshall University will conduct GIS Day activities on the Huntington campus. GIS Day, Wednesday, Nov. 20, provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.

Dr. Jamie Leonard, who works in the geography department at Marshall, said GIS is a computer technology for presentation and analysis of all types of science and social data referenced to the earth's surface. GIS uses an infinite variety of mapped data, aerial photographs, digital elevation models, satellite imagery, and more to solve problems and answer questions.

Among academic fields, geography (both as an earth science and a social science), environmental sciences, geology, history, archaeology, engineering, planning, political science, criminal justice, natural resources management, and demographics are but a sampling of GIS users. In fact, it has been estimated that about 80 percent of all data have a spatial component, opening limitless potential uses for GIS (, Leonard said.

The public is invited to view undergraduate, graduate, and faculty GIS posters in the Memorial Student Center room BE5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  From about 9 a.m. until about 11 a.m., high school students will be participating in GIS activities in a Corbly Hall computer lab.  At 11 a. m. in BE5, keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Wimpey of Applied Trails Research will talk about his use of GIS in the real world.

Following lunch from noon to 1 p.m., high school students will participate in a GPS (global positioning system) activity on campus. All activities will end by 2 p.m.

Anyone with questions about GIS Day at MU may call  Leonard at 304-696-4626 or contact him by e-mail at Or, contact Dr. Min Kook Kim at 304-696-3748 or by e-mail at

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Tuesday November 12, 2013
Contact: Dr. Shari Clarke, Vice President for Multicultural Affairs, 304-696-4677

Observance of Native American Heritage Month highlighted by luncheon Nov. 19

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's observance of Native American Heritage Month will be highlighted by a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, on Marshall's Huntington campus in room BE-5 of the Memorial Student Center.
The luncheon will be free to all who make reservations by Thursday, Nov. 14, said Dr. Shari Clarke, vice president of multicultural affairs at Marshall. The guest speaker will be Cork Bomberry, who is a member of the Bear Clan on the Tuscarora Reservation in New York. The program also will include Native American dance demonstrations.
Luncheon reservations may be made by calling 304-696-4677 or e-mailing Clarke at

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Monday November 11, 2013
Contact: Dr. Rachael Peckham, Associate Professor of English, 304-696-3649

Award-winning authors to read from their works Nov. 19 at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Julia Watts, author of a dozen novels, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning young-adult Novel Finding H.F., and Lila Quintero Weaver, who was named a finalist for the Small Press Expo 2012 Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent, will be the featured guests in the next A. E. Stringer Visiting Writer Series at Marshall University.

The readings are scheduled at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Smith Hall 154 on the Huntington campus. The A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series received support for this event from The College of Liberal Arts, the Honors College, the Center for African-American Students and Sexuality Studies.

Watts' latest young adult novel, Secret City, is set in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during the Manhattan Project. Watts has received grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and her fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, including The American Voice, Brain/Child, The Journal of Kentucky Studies and Now and Then.

She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Spalding University and an M.A. in English from the University of Louisville. A native of southeastern Kentucky, she serves as a mentor in Murray State University's low-residency M.F.A. program and teaches at South College in Knoxville, Tenn.

A Meet and Greet reception in honor of Watts, hosted by Sexuality Studies, will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Drinko Atrium, also Tuesday, Nov. 19. Light refreshments will be served.

Weaver was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1955. At age five, she immigrated to the U.S. with her family and spent her school years in a small Alabama town where she absorbed the material that makes up her illustrated memoir titled Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Weaver was named a finalist for the 2012 Cybils Award in the Graphic Novels category.

The Children's Literature & Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association awarded Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White with a Notable Books for a Global Society designation.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday November 11, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Cyber Safety Summit returns to Marshall University Tuesday, Dec. 3

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will host its second annual, free cyber safety summit beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, according to John Sammons, assistant professor of Integrated Science and Technology and director of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence.

The summit will be held in the St. Mary's Medical Center for Education from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is targeted toward adults, college students and younger students ages 12-14.

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

The event is sponsored by the Department of Integrated Science & Technology, the FBI, St. Mary's Medical Center and the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence.

To reserve a seat, e-mail by Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Direct Link to This Release

Thursday November 7, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall professor's research to be published for her work with text messaging as innovative teaching tool

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Kay Swartzwelder of the Marshall University College of Health Professions has had her manuscript, "Examining the Effect of Texting on Students' Perception of Learning," accepted for publication in Nursing Education Perspectives.

Swartzwelder, an assistant professor in the college's School of Nursing, said the purpose of her research was to examine the effects of utilizing text messaging as an instructional tool in an online learning environment.

"Each student learns differently and the techniques used in the past won't be effective forever - we have to change how we are teaching our students in order to reach them," Swartzwelder said. "With my research, I learned students felt more engaged in the course and enjoyed learning much more when using text messaging."

Dr. Nancy Elkins, also an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, said she was influenced by Swartzwelder's research findings and decided to use text messaging in her own classroom with Poll Everywhere, which is a free student response system. Instructors can prepare a list of questions for assessment purposes and students can text or use the Web to answer.

"This generation uses their phones every day and takes them everywhere they go," Elkins said. "I'm very open to using new technology to reach every student and when I heard about Professor Swartzwelder's research, it seemed like a great idea to stimulate interaction and group participation."

Swartzwelder and Elkins are not the only two professors in the Marshall School of Nursing using texts to teach. Dr. Jeanne Widener, associate professor in the school, said she chose to utilize text messaging in her medical-surgical nursing course because she believes the standard lecture is not keeping the attention of students in the classroom.

"I've found that several students slept through all or part of the class, even though it was only 60 minutes of lecture beyond the announcements and discussion of assignments," Widener said. "I strongly believe that texting in the classroom is a good option for the current students. The fact it is free has made it easy for me to use it guilt free. Informally, the students have stated they seem to feel the interaction and immediate feedback does make them think more and several distant-site students have thanked me for using this approach because they can now participate in classroom activities."

Swartzwelder said she is thrilled to be published in Nursing Education Perspectives and hopes her research generates awareness about the changing educational environment.

"As educators, we always need to explore new ways to help students become excited about lifelong learning," Swartzwelder said. "In the future, I hope to expand my research and explore specifics about the different needs and ways to engage Appalachian students in our region."

According to its website, Nursing Education Perspectivess, the research journal of the National League for Nursing, is a peer-reviewed, bimonthly journal. It provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding teaching and learning, curricula, technology, the recruitment and retention of students and other issues important to nursing education.  To learn more about Swartzwelder's research, please contact her at


Direct Link to This Release

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

MU students to host turkey bowling to raise money for River Valley Child Development Services

Students have the opportunity to bowl using frozen turkeys

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Public Relations Club is hosting a fundraiser on Buskirk Field on the Huntington campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov.  20.

This is the first of many fundraisers planned to help raise money for River Valley Child Development Services (RVCDS). Half the proceeds will go to RVCDS and the rest will go toward the club's Trivia Night fundraiser in March, which benefits RVCDS as well.

WMUL-FM, the Marshall University college radio station, will provide the entertainment and Adam Rogers will serve as master of ceremonies for the turkey bowling event.

Laura Hatfield, media relations team member, said this is a good way for students to contribute to the community while relieving stress. "We chose turkey bowling because it's right around Thanksgiving and it's new and exciting," Hatfield said. "It's also a good way to blow off steam or relax before finals week."

For more information, call Hatfield, the event coordinator, at 304-696-6624.

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Thursday November 7, 2013
Contact: Angela Holley, Director, Heart of Appalachia Talent Search Program, 304-696-2201

Marshall University organizations sponsor collection drive for Barboursville veterans home

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -The Heart of Appalachia Talent Search Program, ROTC  and the  Military and Veterans Affairs office at Marshall University are working together to collect donations for residents of the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville. 

Items will be collected on the Huntington campus from Friday, Nov. 8 through Friday, Dec. 6. Donation boxes are located in the Memorial Student Center, Smith Hall, Corbly Hall and the Marshall Recreation Center.

The following items are requested for donation:

Shaving Lotion/Gel    
Soap/Body Wash
Board Games

Additional information about this project can be found on the Marshall website at

Direct Link to This Release

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

Huntington attorney John Proctor to speak at Nov. 14 memorial service

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Huntington attorney John Proctor, whose parents were among the 75 victims of the 1970 Marshall University plane crash, will be the featured speaker in this year's annual memorial service honoring all who died in the tragedy.

The service, conducted by Marshall's Student Government Association, starts at noon Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Memorial Student Center plaza on the Huntington campus. The public is invited to attend.

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

Proctor, who was 5 years old when the plane crashed, was the youngest of five sons and daughters of H.D. "Pete" Proctor and his wife, Courtney Josephine Proctor, both of whom died in the crash. The other surviving children were John's sister Courtney, who was 6; his sister Patricia, who was 8; his brother, Jim, who was 17, and his sister Kim, who was 19.

"I don't remember a whole lot about it," Proctor said of the crash. "Not until I was about eight years old when other kids talked about it did I even realize it. The first distinctive memories I have are from the third grade on. The brain is a wonderful thing. I'm not sure if I was too young or what."

Proctor said he is uncertain what he will talk about in his speech on Nov. 14.

"I'm really not sure, honestly," Proctor said.

He said he is thankful to have grown up under the guidance of many people.

"In a way, I'm blessed," Proctor said. "I was raised by my family and my friends, and my parents' friends and people who loved them."

H.D. "Pete" Proctor graduated from Marshall University and received his medical degree from the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. A Navy veteran of World War II, he was one of the team's physicians. He was 43 years old when he died.

E. J. Hassan, president of Marshall's student body, spoke of the importance of the ceremony 43 years after the crash.

"The Memorial Ceremony is the pinnacle of our university in terms of honoring our history as well as remembering the lives that were taken from our university community in 1970," Hassan said. "It is an absolute honor for me personally to help in the planning of this ceremony, and it is my hope that we can bring as many students as possible so that not only can they take part in remembrance, but so that we can educate them on the rich history that makes Marshall University the community and family that it is today."

In addition to Proctor and Hassan, other speakers invited to take part in the memorial service include Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp and Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick.

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

For those who can't attend, the service will be streamed live at The Marshall football team will be watching from Tulsa, Okla., where it will play the University of Tulsa at 7:30 p.m. later that day.

At 6:30 p.m., the SGA will conduct the first Memorial Service Site Visit. Anyone interested in boarding a bus that will take them to the crash site near Tri-State Airport may do so at that time.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday November 6, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 696-7153

School of Medicine grads gather for 30th reunion at school's alumni weekend

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine celebrates this weekend with its annual alumni homecoming weekend.

Classes being honored at this weekend's events include the class of 1983, which is marking its 30th reunion, and the class of 1988, which celebrates its 25th.   In addition, the classes of 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008 are marking anniversaries.

Dr. R. Mark Hatfield, class of 1983, has been named the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus by the School of Medicine Alumni Association and will be recognized during the annual homecoming banquet Friday night at the Memorial Student Center, Room BE5.

He will serve as the guest speaker for the 17th annual Albert Esposito, M.D. Memorial Lecture, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Harless Auditorium, Marshall University Medical Center.  Hatfield's presentation, "Doc, They Stuck This Medicine In My Eye: Intravitreal Injections for Retinal Diseases 2013," is open to the public.

Saturday's events also include a  "There's No Place Like Home . . ." tailgate located between the MU Recreation Center and the Sorrell Building on 20th Street across from the West Lot of the Edwards Football Stadium.  The tailgate begins at 10 a.m. and is followed by the Marshall versus University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) football game, which kicks off at noon.

The weekend's events coincide with the 27th Annual Jos I. Ricard, M.D. Family Medicine & Sports Medicine Conference, where physicians may receive continuing medical education credits.

More information is available from the School of Medicine at 304-691-1711.

Direct Link to This Release

Wednesday November 6, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Jazz Ensemble to salute U.S. veterans Monday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University School of Music and Theatre will present "A Salute to Veterans!" by the Jazz Ensemble I at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus.

The concert will highlight great veterans of our nation's past and present, said Dr. Martin Saunders, director of jazz studies at Marshall, who is the director of the group. Selections will include popular tunes by the great jazz bandleaders and jazz icons from the 1940s through the 1960s, including Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra and others.

Admission is free and open to the public. For further information, call the School of Music and Theatre at 304-696-3117.

Direct Link to This Release

Tuesday November 5, 2013
Contact: Ginny Painter, Director of Communications, Marshall University Research Corporation, (304) 746-1964

Dr. Zijian Xie named director of Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Zijian Xie, whose laboratory is internationally recognized for its groundbreaking work to understand the behavior of cellular pathways and their relationship to cancer, renal disease and cardiac failure, has been named the director of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research.

Photo of Dr. Zijian Xie

Xie comes to Marshall from the faculty of the University of Toledo's College of Medicine, where he was a professor of physiology, pharmacology and medicine, and served as the co-director of the M.D./Ph.D. program. He was chosen to lead MIIR through a national search.

"I am thrilled Dr. Xie has agreed to take on this vitally important leadership role at MIIR," said Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp. "He is a brilliant scientist with a track record of patented discoveries and successful research collaborations with clinical scientists, including those at our own Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. He has demonstrated the rare ability to bring together interdisciplinary teams and resources to address compelling research questions, while blending them with his considerable interpersonal skills to produce high-level results. These attributes make him the ideal person to take our institute to the next level."

MIIR was established five years ago as Marshall University's key vehicle to advancing regional economic development through entrepreneurship and commercialization of scientific discoveries. Scientists at the institute are developing a focused program of biotechnology research dedicated to producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new businesses based on those discoveries.

In addition to conducting his own active research program at MIIR, Xie will be responsible for adding to the team of interdisciplinary researchers who comprise the core of the institute and for fostering collaborations with other scientists at Marshall.

"I was attracted to Marshall by MIIR's business orientation," said Xie. "I've been doing research for a long time and President Kopp's vision for the institute is compelling:  How do we really promote research from our labs and translate it into something tangible that will help people down the road? By all working together, I think we can build this institute and integrate research programs at Marshall into a much larger enterprise that will help improve human health, promote international exchange and stimulate economic development in the region."

A molecular biologist/pharmacologist, Xie has focused his research for nearly 30 years on an enzyme commonly referred to as the "sodium-potassium pump" because it controls the levels of potassium and sodium entering and exiting cells. This pumping process is vital to transporting essential nutrients like glucose and amino acids into cells and maintaining the electrical charge within cells, which is particularly important in controlling normal functions in nerves and muscles, as well as in the kidney and heart.

Xie's research shows that in addition to its critical pumping function, which was discovered by scientists in the 1950s, this "pump" plays a second, distinct role by directing a variety of cellular processes in the heart, kidneys and other tissues. Through their studies to learn more about the molecular mechanisms by which this cellular signaling occurs, Xie and his colleagues are working to develop new treatments for cancer, heart and kidney disease.

Xie holds international patents and patent applications on seven medical inventions resulting from his research. He has served as principal investigator, project leader or co-investigator on National Institutes of Health-funded projects totaling more than $10 million, and has established active international collaborations with total funding of more than $1 million. He has been involved with the creation of two spin-off companies from his research.

Marshall's Vice President for Research Dr. John M. Maher has been serving as MIIR's interim director since the institute's founding director Dr. Eric Kmiec left in August 2011. Maher said he is pleased at Xie's selection.

"Dr. Xie will be a wonderful addition to the Marshall research community," said Maher. "He embraces the entrepreneurial focus of MIIR. He brings to the institute significant external funding for his own research and understands the institute's commercial and economic development goals.

"In addition, his existing research partnerships with scientists at our medical school and elsewhere are testament to his commitment to conducting collaborative translational research, where laboratory discoveries are quickly moved to clinical trials and then to treatments for patients."

Maher added that there is a nice synergy between Xie's work and the research already in progress at MIIR.

"The research group at MIIR has been exploring the biomedical applications of nanofiber scaffolds. Their work has implications in the development of techniques to treat conditions like heart attacks, and for tendon repair and skin grafts, so there is a natural fit there, too," he said. "I look forward to watching the institute grow and prosper under his leadership."

Research in Xie's laboratory is currently supported through funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Youbo Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles published in scientific journals, has authored a number of book chapters and has been invited to give numerous presentations as part of national and international conferences, symposia, seminars and visiting professorships. He serves as a regular member of NIH study sections and has chaired and co-organized several international symposia.

Xie earned a bachelor's degree from the Nanjing College of Pharmacy in Nanjing, China, in 1982. He went on to complete a master's degree in toxicology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing in 1984 and a doctorate in pharmacology at the Medical College of Ohio (now University of Toledo) in 1990. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Medical College of Ohio from 1990-91 and joined the institution's faculty in 1991 as an instructor of pharmacology and therapeutics. He advanced steadily, becoming a research assistant professor in 1992, an assistant professor in 1996 and an associate professor in 2000. He was named full professor with tenure in 2005.

While at Toledo, he mentored dozens of graduate and post-doctoral students and assistant professors. More than 10 of his trainees have established independent laboratories in the U.S. and abroad.

Xie, who begins his new duties at MIIR this week, will have a joint appointment with Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.


About MIIR

Since its founding in 2008, MIIR has grown to include three researchers in addition to the new director, Dr. Zijian Xie.

Scientific activity at the institute has resulted in grants from federal, commercial and private sources, and four patents/patent applications/invention disclosures. Collaborations with private industry have resulted in sponsored projects with global pharmaceutical company Pfizer and major diagnostics company IDT. In addition, MIIR scientists are collaborating with other researchers at Marshall, including those working in the Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems and at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The business plan for MIIR calls for the institute to be a self-sustaining enterprise supported by grants and a $36 million endowment created from public and private sources. An economic impact study by Marshall's Center for Business and Economic Research estimated that once the endowment is fully funded, MIIR will create thousands of new jobs and generate millions of dollars in tax revenues over 20 years.

The endowment, which currently stands at $6 million, has been funded through both private donations and matching state funds made possible by the "Bucks for Brains" West Virginia Research Trust Fund. Fundraising efforts to increase the endowment are ongoing.

At its current level, the MIIR endowment provides continuing support for two endowed scientists, one of whom Dr. Jingwei Xie (no relation) has been working at the institute since January 2011. Dr. Zijian Xie is the second endowed scientist.

For more information about MIIR, visit

Direct Link to This Release

Monday November 4, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall Chamber Choir to perform Sunday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. David Castleberry, will present a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10,  in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The centerpiece of Sunday's program is Benjamin Britten's "Hymn to Saint Cecilia," Castleberry said. Britten was born on St. Cecilia's Day (Nov. 22) and Cecilia is the patron saint of music.

"This year the music world celebrates Benjamin Britten's 100th anniversary year," Castleberry said. "We are pleased to honor the composer's memory with a presentation of one of his finest works. This ten-minute piece was very special to Britten and is a jewel among his many fine creations." 

The concert also features works by Hans Leo Hassler, Claudio Monteverdi, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann and Samuel Barber.

The Chamber Choir is a select, thirty-four-voice choir, drawn from students across the university. The choir has distinguished itself through performance tours and recordings, including a concert tour a year ago to France that included performance at Paris's famed Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Smith Recital Hall is located at the corner of Hal Greer Boulevard and Third Avenue.

Direct Link to This Release

Monday November 4, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall to welcome Bulgarian guest artist for piano recital Nov. 6

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Bulgarian pianist Dr. Daniela Mineva will present a guest artist recital at Marshall University Wednesday, Nov. 6. The performance will take place at 8 p.m. in the Jomie Jazz Forum on Marshall's Huntington campus.

Mineva is an associate professor of piano at Humboldt State University in California. Hailed by critics as a "vibrant and expressive performer who could steal the show in every concert" (New York Times) and an "energetic and lively pianist who displays power and delicacy in nuanced sensitivity along with virtuoso technique" (The Baltimore Sun), Mineva's unique approach to standard repertory, combined with the performance and dedication of works by living composers has taken her career across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

"It is a tremendous pleasure for us to host Dr. Mineva," said Dr. Henning Vauth, assistant professor of piano at Marshall. "She is a strong advocate for contemporary music and the second half of her program is entirely devoted to works by composers active in the late 20th and early 21st century. Her jovial and personable character, combined with flawless pianistic technique and intense musical expression, allows her to present new music in an exciting, adventurous way that is enjoyable for musicians and non-musicians alike. The intimate and modern atmosphere of the Jomie Forum, where the audience sits in armchairs close to the artist, promises an exciting and special avant-garde experience."

Vauth added that there also will be some classical highlights on the program. He will be performing two Hungarian dances by Brahms for piano four hands with Mineva.

The program is free and open to the public. For further information, contact the School of Music and Theatre at 304-696-3117.

Direct Link to This Release

Friday November 1, 2013
Contact: Dr. David Trowbridge, Associate Professor of History, (304) 696-7153

Author of 'Right to Ride' to speak at Marshall Nov. 12

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Blair L. M. Kelley, an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University, will discuss her award-winning book, Right to Ride, on Marshall University's Huntington campus. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in room BE-5 of the Memorial Student Center.

"Dr. Kelley is a fantastic speaker and her work should interest many in our community," said Dr. David Trowbridge, associate professor of history and director of African and African American studies at Marshall.

Right to Ride is about early civil rights activism and boycotts of segregated streetcars during the early 1900s. Between 1900 and 1907, citizens of 25 Southern cities protested segregation on streetcars. The book received the 2010 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians.

Kelley's scholarly work focuses on the history of African American resistance to segregation, and she teaches courses on African American history, civil rights, oral history and the history of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Direct Link to This Release

Friday November 1, 2013
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall School of Pharmacy professor publishes pediatric research

Additional published research include studies on pharmacy education and practices

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Dr. Chris Gillette, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, administration and research with the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, is a member of several research teams that recently published papers on pediatric asthma management.

Gillette's research was published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, Clinical Pediatrics,  Journal of Asthma and Pediatric Pulmonology, all  peer-reviewed journals.

His study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice looked at how often children and parents of children with asthma who report problems with asthma medications asked about those medications during a routine medical visit. 

"We found that about one in three parents who reported a problem with their child's medications asked questions and one in 10 children asked questions during their doctor's visit," Gillette said. "The conclusion of the paper is that pharmacists should encourage parents and children to report problems they may be having in using their medications."

The study published in Clinical Pediatrics focused on the frequency with which providers discussed written asthma action plans with children and their caregivers.  The study in the Journal of Asthma reviewed how often medical providers discussed peak flow meter use with children and their caregivers, and the research in Pediatric Pulmonology looked at how often medical providers discussed the side effects of asthma medications with children and their caregivers.
The collaborative projects involved researchers from the University of North Carolina's medical and pharmacy schools as well as San Diego State University, Husson University and Indiana University, among others. Additional recent research publications by School of Pharmacy faculty members include:

  • Dr. H. Glenn Anderson, Jr.,  associate dean for academic and curricular affairs, "A Standardized Patient Counseling Rubric for a Pharmaceutical Care and Communications Course," American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.
  • Dr. Hasan Koc, assistant professor and director of pharmacometrics and pharmacoanalysis,  along with Dr. Emine C. Koc, assistant professor of biochemistry and microbiology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine,  authored a chapter in the book, "Translation in Mitochondria and Other Organelles."
  • Dr. Angel Kimble, clinical assistant professor, department of pharmacy practice, administration and research, "Pharmacist interventions throughout care transitions: a review of current practices," International Current Pharmaceutical Journal.

The Marshall University School of Pharmacy admitted its first class of students in 2012.

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