Friday December 19, 2014
Contact: Ginny Painter, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, 304-696-4621

Update regarding arrangements for President Stephen J. Kopp

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Arrangements for services for Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, who died Wednesday, Dec. 17, are being finalized.

A private family service will be held this weekend. The university asks that the family's request for privacy be honored. Arrangements are by Beard Mortuary, Huntington.

Plans are being made for a public memorial service to be held when students return the week of January 12, 2015. Those details will be released in the coming days.

Condolences may be sent via e-mail to or by mail to Office of the President, Old Main, Marshall University, Huntington, WV� 25755.

The university is setting up a memorial website at for people to see photographs, videos and highlights of President Kopp's time at Marshall University.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday December 19, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Public memorial service arrangements for Kopp announced

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University officials today announced details about the public memorial service for President Stephen J. Kopp, who died Wednesday.

The public service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at the Cam Henderson Center arena on the Huntington campus.

Condolences may be sent via e-mail to or by mail to Office of the President, Old Main, Marshall University, Huntington, WV  25755.

The university is setting up a memorial website at for people to see photographs, videos and highlights of Kopp's time at Marshall University.

A number of people have inquired about making donations to the university in Kopp's memory. A fund at the Marshall University Foundation Inc. has been created for this purpose. The Kopp family will determine how the funds will be used to benefit the university and its students. Checks should be made payable to the MU Foundation, with the donation designated on the memo line "For the Dr. Stephen J. Kopp Memorial Fund." Mail donations to the MU Foundation, Foundation Hall, 519 John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25703.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday December 18, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MU Board of Governors meets to discuss next steps

Click here to watch a video of Board of Governors Chairman Michael Sellards' comments after today's board meeting.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Board of Governors met this �afternoon to discuss the next steps in naming an interim, and eventually, a permanent successor to Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, who died Dec. 17.

Thirteen of the 16 board members were present in person and two attended by conference call.

Board Chairman Michael G. Sellards began the meeting by asking all present to observe a moment of reflection on President Kopp's legacy. He then called upon Marshall University General Counsel �F. Layton Cottrill to review the procedures that will govern the appointments.

Cottrill said he is in the process of compiling a list of possible search firms for both an interim and permanent presidential successor.

Sellards asked board members to submit to him or another member of the executive committee of the board any names to be considered for the position of interim president.

Cottrill said that presidential searches at Marshall have typically taken from 6 to 9 months. The board expects to name an interim president in the next several weeks. Until that time, Marshall cabinet members, most of whom are senior vice presidents or vice presidents, will be responsible for their individual areas.


Photo: Marshall University's Board of Governors met Thursday, Dec. 18, to establish the next steps in selecting an interim successor to Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, who died Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday December 17, 2014
Contact: Ginny Painter, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, 304-552-1287

Statement from Marshall University regarding death of President Stephen J. Kopp

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - It is with great sadness that we announce that Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp passed away this evening following a sudden illness.

He became ill at home, was transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital and was pronounced dead at approximately 9 p.m.

Michael Sellards, chairman of the university's Board of Governors, said, "We have lost one of the most dedicated and long-serving presidents in the 177-year history of Marshall University. We ask that you keep President Kopp's wife, Jane, and two children, Adam and Liz, and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

"President Kopp has a strong leadership team in place and I'm confident that together, we can continue the business of the university in a manner that would make him proud."

The University's leadership team will meet first thing tomorrow morning to review the university's continuity of operations plans.

Arrangements will be announced when available.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday December 17, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Johnson B. Walker, M.D., chosen as December Resident of the Month

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.--Johnson B. Walker, M.D., a third-year surgery resident physician with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has been selected as the December recipient of the Resident of the Month Award.  The award was announced today by Paulette S. Wehner, M.D., vice dean, graduate medical education. Walker is the second recipient of the new recognition award.

"The School of Medicine is fortunate to have Dr. Walker in a leadership position to utilize his fervor and passion for bettering the medical education training process," Wehner said. "As the chair of the Resident Advisory Committee, Dr. Walker has taken on extra responsibilities and projects to increase the quality of student, resident/fellow education and training here at Marshall. Despite his time-intensive surgical residency schedule, Dr. Walker is truly dedicated to making a difference in increasing the quality of the clinical learning environment for all of our training programs."

Walker is a 2012 graduate of the Marshall University School of Medicine and earned his Master of Science from Marshall. He holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Elon University.

"We are very proud of what Johnson has accomplished so early in his medical career," said Farid B. Mozaffari, M.D., surgery program residency director. "He's an excellent physician, keen scientist, and compassionate educator and has shown great leadership skills and work ethics that make him an exemplary resident. We are happy that Dr. Walker is being recognized for the work that he has done and are looking forward to the difference he will continue to make in our patients' lives and our community."

As part of his recognition of the December Resident of the Month, Walker will receive items including a certificate of recognition and a designated parking spot. Monthly winners will also be automatically entered into the Resident of the Year Award to be announced in May.


Photo: Johnson B. Walker, M.D., right, is congratulated by David A. Denning, M.D., chair of the department of surgery, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine after being named December's Resident of the Month.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday December 17, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Carrolls make major commitment to Marshall University for special projects and scholarships

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Charles and Norma Carroll, longtime Huntington residents and benefactors to Marshall University, have made a generous financial commitment to the Marshall University Foundation Inc. to support scholarships and other university projects close to the couple's hearts. The bequest, which is in their wills in the form of a planned gift, will bring their total contributions to Marshall to at least $1 million.

"This major commitment from the Carrolls will support 14 different programs across the university," said Dr. Ron Area, foundation CEO.

Among those programs, Area said, are eight scholarships and six endowments. The scholarships are for students in the School of Art and Design; the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; the School of Pharmacy; the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Information Technology and Engineering, and the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, including both golf and baseball.

The endowments are for Arts and Media's Global Horizons program; the Honors College; the Graduate College, the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the College of Business.

"It is an opportunity for us to give back to an institution that was so important in helping to develop our future," Charlie Carroll said. "We have had a love affair with Marshall for many, many years. We are thankful that Marshall provided us the opportunity for a college education and a degree without having to leave Huntington. It was also strongly active in helping to provide an economy that would help support my independent insurance agency that put a roof over our heads and food on our table. We appreciate the commercial influence that Marshall University has on our community."

The Carrolls are both are graduates of Marshall University and the College of Business. They met during their years as students at Marshall and later married. He pursued a career in property and the casualty insurance business, while Norma enjoyed her career as a homemaker. Charlie sold his business in 2004 and retired.

"Having grown up in Huntington, I remember all too well the many commercial and industrial businesses that were so prominent: Owens-Illinois, Inco, American Car and Foundry, C&O Railroad administrative offices and shops, Houdaille-Hershey, Banks-Miller Supply Co., Foster Thornburg, Emmons-Hawkins, etc. There are too many to name them all here," Charlie said.

"Now, all those firms are gone, except for Inco (now Special Metals). Our population was 95,000; now, our population is about 50,000. Without Marshall, I'm afraid Huntington would possibly be a ghost town, because, even though we have two outstanding health providers, they could not support Huntington, nor have the financial impact of Marshall. I wish more people understood that and thanked Marshall with more financial support because it is a great college and learning institution that is getting better and better and better every day. Without Marshall, I think that Huntington would be dead in the water."

Charlie Carroll is extremely impressed and grateful for what Marshall did with the former Stone & Thomas building downtown.

"Recently, Marshall opened the Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington. This department is a division of the College of Arts and Media that will operate in the former Stone & Thomas department store building," Charlie Carroll said. "Approximately 300 students will be involved in this center, thanks to Marshall. Who else besides Marshall could have taken on this task of building, renovating and remodeling this building at a cost of 14 million dollars?"

Over the years, the Carrolls have been loyal supporters of Marshall University, both in academics and athletics.� From 1987 through 2004, Charlie did not miss a football game, home or away. He attended the I-AA championship games and all the bowl games in which the Herd played during those 17 years. Norma missed just three games during that span.

"They're the perfect example of loyal fans and generous donors," Area said.


Photos: (Above) From left, Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation, MU President Stephen J. Kopp, Norma Carroll and her husband, Charles Carroll, sign the scholarship and endowment agreements the couple will fund during a ceremony last week at the Marshall Foundation Hall. (Below) From left, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp; Charles Carroll; Charles' wife, Norma, MU Foundation CEO Dr. Ron Area and Don Van Horn, dean of the College of Arts and Media, display an oversized check for $1 million, payable from the Carrolls to the Marshall Foundation. Area said the gift from the couple will support 14 programs throughout the university. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday December 16, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Woodward writes 'truly holistic account of U.S.'s role on battlefields of Europe'

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The American Army and the First World War, the most recent book written by Dr. David R. Woodward, Emeritus Professor of History at Marshall University, is the latest addition to Cambridge University Press' Armies of the Great War series.

The series is published in honor of the war's centenary. And, this volume by Woodward, his second book since retiring in 2006, has been described as the first truly holistic account of the U.S.'s role on the battlefields of Europe in 1917-1918 because of its examination of social, political and economic factors.

Written for both history buffs and academics, this volume also approaches American participation from a global perspective and delves into the personal experiences of the soldiers themselves.

Through firsthand accounts from their diaries, letters and memoirs, Woodward depicts the doughboys' first encounters with regimented military life and their experience both behind and in the trenches of the world's first truly modern war.

Here is an example of an excerpt taken from a letter written by Private Henry L. Henderson, Company K, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division:

"Digging trenches at that time seemed to be a total loss because the temperature was 16 below zero and the ground was frozen so hard that you could spend hours trying to drive an iron stake into it ... it was so cold that they established a system where by each man would work for fifteen minutes then stand by the fire for the same length of time, you couldn't stand it any longer and even then some ears, toes or fingers were frozen."

Woodward was a professor of Modern European and Russian history and his work focused on World War I and its diplomatic and military relations. He retired in 2006 after spending 41 years in the classroom, 36 of them at Marshall.

The other book written by Woodward since he retired is his World War I Almanac, a detailed, day-by-day chronology of the events and people involved in World War I, as part of Facts on File's Almanacs of American Wars series. It was published in 2009.

The American Army and the First World War is a 481-page paperback and is available at Empire Books in downtown Huntington and through Woodward said it costs $29.99 at Empire and $26.99, plus shipping costs, if ordered through Amazon.

"This reflects about three years of work," Woodward said. "I spent a lot of time on it and I enjoyed doing it. It's really the culmination of my work on the First World War. Of course, I've been working in that area for around 35 years."

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday December 10, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall School of Pharmacy receives grant money from Walgreens for diversity initiatives

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. The Marshall University School of Pharmacy has received a $10,000 grant from Walgreens to support diversity outreach and inclusion initiatives.

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.

Receiving Walgreens scholarships this academic year are the following students, listed with their class ranks and hometowns:

James W. Frazier, P-3, Louisville, Ky.
Yanick N. Hicks, P-2, Marietta, Ga.
Minh Thu T. Tran, P-1, Jacksonville, Fla.

"These students are exemplary in their commitment to diversity on campus," said Shelvy L. Campbell, Ph.D., assistant dean for diversity. "They have been important partners in our mission to create an inclusive environment at the School of Pharmacy that is welcoming and nurturing to all students, particularly those from underrepresented minority groups in pharmacy."

As part of the 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.


Photo:  Kevin W. Yingling, R. Ph., M.D., dean of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, and Shelvy L. Campbell, Ph.D., assistant dean for diversity, receive a gift from Walgreens presented by (center) Deborah Harris, Pharm.D., with Walgreens.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday December 8, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Sawhney presents international research on child health and mortality at 142nd annual APHA conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Monika Sawhney of the Marshall University College of Health Professions gave two oral presentations on her international research on child health and mortality in Kenya and health system efficiency in India during the 142nd American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans last month.

Sawhney, director of the college's undergraduate public health program, said in most parts of the world, factors are improving with regard to child health, but this is not the case in many developing countries such as Kenya.

"While most countries experienced a decline in child mortality, Kenya experienced a rise in child mortality during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and one of my presentations reviewed the determinants for rise in child mortality in Kenya," Sawhney said. "Some of our findings indicate they are macro-level factors such as high prevalence of HIV, quality of childcare and health care providers and access to health care responsible for poor performance of child health indicators in Kenya."

Sawhney said this is a situation in certain countries, but a very timely topic now due to the Ebola outbreak.

"Officials are working to address health disasters like the 2014 Ebola epidemic and findings from this research can highlight immediate needs and focus on basic health care (child and maternal care) concerns for years to come," Sawhney said. "My research with the efficiency of health care systems was conducted in India, but is very applicable to other countries, especially the U.S., when one considers our country's economic hardships and changing populations with regard to efficient use of available resources. We need to continue to look at the bigger picture and focus on how we can improve our country's health care environment as a whole."

Sawhney presented her international research, "Determinants of the Recent Rise in Childhood Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Kenya" and "Efficiency of health care system and child health: Evidence from BIMARU states in India," Nov. 17-18.

For more information on Sawhney's research, contact her at For more information on the college's undergraduate public health program, visit

Direct Link to This Release
Friday December 5, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall School of Medicine receives scholarship gift from local family

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A new scholarship at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has been established through a gift from David A. Fox III and Laura J. Fox of Huntington.

The scholarship, known as the Fox Family Scholarship, has been created for a first-year medical student who is a resident of Cabell County, and is renewable for three additional years pending normal academic progress.

The scholarship recipient will be selected by the Scholarship Committee of the School of Medicine in cooperation with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

"On behalf of Dean Joseph Shapiro and the faculty, staff and students, I'm so pleased to announce this new scholarship," said Linda L. Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs.  "David and Laurie wanted to honor their entire family with this kind gesture.   In doing so, they have also contributed to the education of a future physician, which helps us all."

The scholarship was finalized in September and the first recipient is first-year medical student Forest H. Lefevre. Lefevre and fellow student Christopher Bird, who received the Tweel Scholarship in June, were recognized at a luncheon last month where they met their benefactors.


Photo: From left to right, Larry Tweel, Christopher Bird, Forest Lefevre, Laurie and David Fox. Bird received the Larry and Cheryl Tweel Scholarship and Lefevre received the Fox Family Scholarship.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday December 2, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Chemistry Department faculty raises over $50,000 for the Marshall Foundation; earns membership in the John Marshall Society

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Over the past five years, faculty members from the Marshall University Department of Chemistry have donated more than $50,000 to the Marshall University Foundation Inc., earning the department membership in the university's John Marshall Society.

The John Marshall Society provides recognition to individuals, corporations and foundations that make significant gifts to the growth and development of Marshall University.

The foundation recently hosted a luncheon at which the faculty members received a certificate naming them as members of the prestigious society. Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, Foundation CEO Ron Area and Vice President for Research John Maher attended the luncheon to congratulate the society's newest members.

"This is the first time members of one of our academic departments have donated the income they have raised in this case from lab manuals they wrote back to the university," said Area. "They've given well over $50,000, which has been put into a fund that supports students in the chemistry department. It's just fabulous that they understand what philanthropy is all about and are willing to give back."

About 12 years ago, faculty members in the department wrote two lab manuals for their freshman chemistry classes and agreed to collectively donate the proceeds to support their majors. Over the years, well over half of the department's faculty have written labs or helped manage the manuals, said Dr. Michael Castellani, department chairman.

To date, the money raised has contributed to endowments for two undergraduate scholarships and three summer undergraduate research fellowships (SURF). Students work in the department's research labs as part of both awards.

"Beginning in 2005, we used the proceeds from the lab manuals to leverage alumni donations," Castellani said. "In that year, we wrote to alumni, pledging to fully support a student working in our labs in exchange for their donations to an endowment. After funding three SURF fellowships, we started a scholarship program for our majors.

"Since then," he said, "we were added to the West Virginia Research Trust Fund program ("Bucks for Brains"), which provided a dollar-for-dollar match to the SURF fund for a few years and generated another $100,000."

Castellani estimated the sum of the department's endowments now to be at $325,000, all of it raised in partnership with their alumni.

"Original research, as part of the undergraduate curriculum and directly mentored by a faculty member, is one of the most important learning tools available to students. Because of this, we believe it is our responsibility to help as many students as possible participate and this is one way we can do that," Castellani said.


Photo: Dr. Bill Price, an associate professor in Marshall University's Department of Chemistry, displays a certificate honoring the department's faculty as a member of the John Marshall Society. The Marshall University Foundation Inc. recently hosted a luncheon at which the faculty received the certificate naming it as a member of the prestigious society. Pictured are, from left to right, Dr. Scott Day (blue shirt), Professor Philip Alexander, Dr. Leslie Frost, Dr. Laura McCunn (green sweater), Dr. Kenneth O'Connor, Dr. Michael Castellani, Dr. Lawrence Schmitz, Price, Dr. John Hubbard, Dr. Bin Wang, Dr. John Rakus, Dr. Derrick Kolling, Dr. Rosalynn Quinones and Dr. Michael Norton. Missing from the photo is Dr. Robert Morgan. Photo by Jessica Rakus.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday December 2, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-696-7153

Marshall School of Medicine researcher receives grant to continue musculoskeletal research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Maria A. Serrat, Ph.D, assistant professor in the department of anatomy and pathology at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and a team of multidisciplinary researchers from several institutions have received federal grant funds totaling $383,000 to continue research into the effects of temperature on bone elongation.

Serrat says the three-year award from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is an extension of work initially funded from a bridge grant from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

"We hope our results will facilitate the design of heat-based, drug-targeting approaches to enhance bone length using noninvasive techniques such as warm temperature applications," Serrat said. "This work is significant because it has the potential to produce transformative findings that link heat, bone lengthening and vascular access to the growing skeleton which could lead to better clinical therapies for children in particular."

Serrat's team of collaborators include Marshall graduate and medical students as well as faculty researchers from Cornell University, Mayo Clinic, the University of Kentucky and Ohio University.

"We are in the basic science stage of research and over the course of the three-year funding period hope to collect enough data to support a larger scale translational medicine project leading to a potential clinical trial with help from our collaborators at Mayo Clinic," Serrat said.

"Dr. Serrat is accomplishing great work in her laboratory which has the potential to have a tremendous clinical impact in the future," said Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Marshall School of Medicine. "Marshall is continuing to build its research footprint and investigators like Maria Serrat are an integral part of our success."

Serrat graduated from Miami University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She then earned her master's degree in anthropology from Kent State University and followed with a doctorate in biological anthropology from Kent State University in 2007. She joined the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 2009.


Photo: Maria A. Serrat, Ph.D., (middle), is part of a group that received federal grant funds totaling $383,000 to continue musculoskeletal research. With her are Holly Tamski (left), a student in Marshall's Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences,  and Gabriella Ion, Ph.D., a research instructor in Serrat's lab. Photo by Rick Lee.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday November 18, 2014
Contact: John Winfrey, Assistant Professor of Physics, 304-696-2755

Marshall to help bring Science Olympiad to West Virginia for students in grades 6-12

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's College of Science is helping bring a new opportunity to science students in grades 6 through 12 this academic year.

The Science Olympiad, which organizers say is the "nation's most exciting K-12 science competition," will take place in West Virginia for the first time Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, on Marshall University's Huntington campus. Winners of the West Virginia competition will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the national tournament in May.

Teams will compete in a series of 23 challenges, including those in life and social sciences; earth and space science, physical science and chemistry; technology and engineering; and scientific inquiry. Topics include entomology, fossils, crime science, bridge building and experimental design. A complete list is available online at

Dr. John Winfrey, assistant professor of physics at Marshall who is coordinating the West Virginia event, said that in most cases, individual schools will form teams of 15 students for the competition. However, in the case of more rural locations, a team of students may represent several schools. There are also opportunities for home-schooled students.

Teams may register until Jan. 30, 2015, with registration fees due no later than Feb. 6. Cost per school team is $250, with $60 going to the national organization. Additional teams from the same school are $150. If a potential registrant is unable to pay the fees, some financial assistance may be available by contacting Helen Bonham in the College of Science office at 304-696-4672. Further information on registration and other specifics is available online at

"We are very pleased to bring the Science Olympiad program to West Virginia," Winfrey said. "We think our state's students will benefit immensely from this competition."

Last academic year, 7,000 teams competed in the competition nationwide.

For further information, visit the Science Olympiad website at, or contact Winfrey by e-mail at or by phone at 304-696-2755.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday May 14, 2014
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Senior Vice President's office renamed as Jacobs-Jones begins position

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University office of the Senior Vice President for Administration is now known as the office of the Senior Vice President for Operations. This change comes as Brandi Jacobs-Jones takes over this senior vice president role.

Jacobs-Jones officially began her duties at the university May 12 while taking on the responsibilities of the office of the Senior Vice President for Administration. She believes that the new name for the office more clearly explains the office responsibilities.

"The renaming of the division from administration to operations better describes the mission and objectives pursued by our remarkable staff," Jacobs-Jones said.

It is the responsibility of the office to oversee the daily operations of many university services and departments. These services and departments include:

-  Physical Plant
-  Housing and Residence Life
-  Campus ID Card Office
-  Printing Services
-  Mail Services
-  Environmental Health and Safety
-  Purchasing
-  Food Services

"This rebranding will not diminish the high level of service that the students, alumni, faculty, staff and community have become accustomed to receiving by the institution," Jacobs-Jones said.

For more information contact the office of the Senior Vice President for Operations at (304) 696-2487 or by e-mail at

Direct Link to This Release
Monday April 14, 2014
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

Marshall's Debra Hart reappointed to West Virginia Advisory Committee

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Debra Hart, Director of Equity Programs at Marshall University, has been appointed to the West Virginia Advisory Committee by the U.S. Commission on Human Rights.

This is her second term on the advisory board as she was appointed for a previous two-year term in 1996.

The U.S. Commission is an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency with the mission to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws.  This mission is pursued by studying alleged deprivations of voting rights and alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin in the administration of justice, Hart explained.

"It's exciting to return to this advisory committee, select a project and lead a working group by researching critically important civil rights issues in the State of West Virginia," Hart said.

The West Virginia committee has formed three working groups to review issues affecting local communities and citizens of the state.   Prior to deciding on a project, the committee will conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation and research the analysis of these issues.   The committee will also vote to invite experts representing a broad cross-section of views, including government officials, advocacy group representatives and other subject matter experts.

The project proceedings, including statements submitted for the record as studies and reports by third parties, are summarized in the State Advisory Committee report.  The report includes a thorough background of the issues, a summary of the experts' presentation and the observations and conclusion of the WVSAC.

Before coming to Marshall, Hart had a long and distinguished career working with equal opportunity and civil rights for more than 26 years.   She served as Director of West Virginia's Equal Employment Opportunity Office during Gov. Cecil H. Underwood's administration and worked closely with the West Virginia Legislature, serving on several committees including equal pay for women.

West Virginia is part of the U.S. Commission's Eastern Regional Office which includes 13 eastern states and the District of Columbia, Hart explained, with the country divided into districts which encompass all the states.

"I'm enthusiastic as a member of the Commission to engage in the opportunity to play a vital role in advancing civil rights through objective and comprehensive investigations, research and analysis on issues that we feel are of significant concern to the Federal government and the public," Hart said.
Jacobs-Jones named senior vice president for operations

Direct Link to This Release