Tuesday March 3, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Students to showcase their projects tomorrow at Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Thirty-one students from Marshall University will be among more than 100 student researchers from across West Virginia who will present their discoveries tomorrow at the 12th Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol in Charleston.

The event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the rotunda of the State Capitol, is intended to showcase the importance of student research by giving policymakers and capitol visitors the opportunity to talk directly with the students who conducted the research projects, which cover topics as varied as the evolution of southeastern azaleas, big data and responding to chemical spills. The students' projects are original research and they will be sharing posters they have prepared to help illustrate their work.

"This is a fun event for our students and for the members of the state legislature," said Dr. Charles Somerville, dean of Marshall's College of Science and a member of the event's organizing committee. "Students work on these original research projects for as long as four years and this event provides them an opportunity to share their work with the senators and delegates."

The research projects Marshall students will be highlighting are in the disciplines of biology, computer sciences, mathematics, psychology, chemistry, geology/earth science and engineering.

Dr. John Maher, Marshall vice president for research, said, "The work these students are doing is on par with that done at the best universities in the country. This event provides a unique opportunity for members of the legislature to see an aspect of higher education normally hidden from public view, but that is one of the most important tools for developing students for entry into the workplace or postgraduate education."

The following is a list of the Marshall University research that will be showcased, including the students' names, disciplines and advisers:

  • Framework for an Adaptable Wireless Network of Sensors by Seth Baker, computer sciences (Adviser:  Paulus Wahjudi)
  • Differentiating Human Blood from Animal Blood With FTLIR Microspectroscopy:  A Study Using Support Vector Machine Algorithm by Kristen Campbell, biology (Adviser:  Menashi Cohenford)
  • Implementation of Radial Basis Function Methods in the Flat Limit by Samuel Cogar, mathematics (Adviser:  Scott Sarra)
  • Simplified Concentration Prediction for Rapid Response to Chemical Spills by Daniel Davis, computer sciences (Adviser:  Paulus Wahjudi)
  • Nanotherapy and immunohistochemical analysis for sepsis associated renal injury by Erin Fankhanel, biology (Adviser:  Eric Blough)
  • Characteristics of Victims of Intimate Partner Violence by Stacy Fooce, psychology (Adviser: Marc Lindberg)
  • Protein Labeling Methods to Study Temperature Effects on IGFLI Delivery to Growing Mouse Bones by Miles Gray, biology (Adviser:  Maria Serrat)
  • Maximizing Lipid Production in Chlorella Vulgarus by Aaron Holland, chemistry (Adviser:  Derrick Kolling)
  • The Application of Au Dendrimer Encapsulated Nanoparticles for Sensitive microRNA Detection by Marjorie McCoy and Philip Kirk, chemistry (Adviser:  Scott Day)
  • Portable Medical Search Application by Olivia Milam, computer sciences (Adviser:  James Day)
  • Evolution of the deciduous southeastern azaleas (Rhododendron subgenus Pentanthera section Pentanthera) by Tuesday Moats and Kathleen Kron, biology (Adviser:  Emily Gillespie)
  • Relational Attachments and the Psychological Etiology of Obesity and Bulimia Nervosa by Alexis Pandelios, psychology (Adviser:  Marc Lindberg)
  • Big Data Scale Image Search by Derrick Paris, computer sciences (Advisor:  Venkat Gudivada)
  • The Overshadowed Effect of Female Abusers by Michaela Reynolds, psychology (Adviser:  Marc Lindberg)
  • Effects of Slope and Temperature on Nitrogen Mineralization and Nitrification at Beech Fork State Park, WV, by Jacob Sarmiento and Julia Galloway, biology (Adviser:  Frank Gilliam)
  • Polymorphism: Changing Active Pharmaceuticals by Noah Searls, chemistry (Adviser:  Rosalynn Quinones)
  • Radon as a Screening Tool for Detecting Fracking Flowback Constituents in Freshwater Aquifers: A Pilot Project to Develop and Apply a Scientifically Valid and Economical Sampling Approach by Brian Simmons and William Niemann, geology/earth science (Adviser:  William Niemann)
  • Network Scout, Defending the Inside of Your Network by Aedan Somerville and Shawn Jordan, computer sciences (Adviser:  Bill Gardner)
  • Operating Room Door Traffic Monitoring and Modification System by Scott Taj, computer sciences (Adviser: James Day)
  • SAM:  An Interactive Cyber Defense Education System by Dylan Watson, Andrey Yanev and Joshua Montgomery, computer sciences (Adviser: Paulus Wahjudi)
  • Predictors of Crime in West Virginia College Students by Katelyn Weiger, psychology (Adviser: Marc Lindberg)
    Implementation of a "Sliding Window" Technique to Identify Hot Spots for Deer-Vehicle Collisions in West Virginia by Andrey Yanev, computer sciences (Adviser: Andrew Nichols)
  • Impact Response of Mine Roof Bolts Engineered with Known Defects by Brandon Moore and Evan Tolley, engineering (Adviser: Jeffrey Huffman)

In addition to Marshall, 10 other universities and colleges will be represented at the event, including Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Shepherd University, University of Charleston, West Liberty University, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia State University, West Virginia University and Wheeling Jesuit University.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday March 3, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall graduate to deliver keynote speech during Reflecting Views Dinner

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Latisha Carr, a fall 2013 graduate of Marshall University with her master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, will be the keynote speaker Saturday, March 7, at an event sponsored by the American Dream Movement called the Reflecting Views Dinner.

The dinner starts at 5 p.m. at the Grande Theatre of the Pullman Plaza Hotel in downtown Huntington. It is open to American Dream Movement members, their families and members of the community, and follows an event called "Reflecting Views," which is for American Dream Movement members only.

"Reflecting Views" will focus on getting the perspectives of women on various topics regarding the importance of black male leadership, knowing the value of relationships and family, and understanding the impact that each person's behavior and views have on one another as men and women.  The event will consist of three sessions that focus on each aforementioned topic, and will take place on the third floor of the Pullman Plaza Hotel, beginning at 1 p.m. and ending about 4:15 p.m.

The dinner will be a celebration of recognizing the impact that men and women have on the lives of each other, and being able to respect the views of one another.  The American Dream Movement will be honoring MaRia Hill, director of the A.D. Lewis Community Center, and Natalie Meyers, FLEX (Foreign Language Exploratory) teacher at Huntington Middle School.  Hill will receive the "Woman of Inspiration" Award and Natalie Meyers will receive the "Woman of Dedication" Award. 

Carr will speak on the topic "You Matter," which will focus on the members understanding the need of having respect for themselves as individuals and being able to strive for success in any environment.

"In this life we have to be willing to listen and consider the views of others who can possibly help shape our lives by providing different perspectives on important matters," said Charles C. Meyers Jr., director of the American Dream Movement and a 2013 Marshall graduate. "We oftentimes do not take the time to realize how our actions affect those around us.  As men we have a responsibility of understanding that our behavior and views do not just impact our own lives.  Our 'Reflecting Views' event allows the members to gain another perspective on matters that we typically focus on receiving from the male perspective.  When we understand how our decisions and actions affect those around us, it provides additional motivation and willingness for us making the changes necessary for our overall personal development."

Charles Meyers said he has "the utmost respect" for Hill and her commitment to the Huntington community.

"She truly cares about making a positive impact on the individuals that are in her life," he said. "She is a true inspiration through her daily work and passion towards making a difference in the community."

He said Natalie Meyers is one of the most caring individuals in the community.

"She focuses on ensuring that each one of her students not only believes that he or she can succeed in her class, but can succeed in life," Meyers said. "Her dedication to her students inside the classroom and outside the classroom leaves a lasting impression on each one of them."

The American Dream Movement is run through the Huntington alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Supporting organizations include Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Huntington, First Baptist Church of Huntington and the Nu Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday March 3, 2015
Contact: Beth Caruthers, College of Arts and Media, 304-696-3296

'Midnight Sun' to open at Visual Arts Center gallery

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Artist Brooks Dierdorff will make his Marshall University debut with an exhibition titled "Midnight Sun" this week at the Visual Arts Center. 

Dierdorff has shown his work across the United States and in Canada, Germany and Italy. He said his work uses a range of media, from sculptural iterations of photographs to silver gelatin prints to video productions, but one form continues to grab his attention.

"Though I consider my artistic practice to be interdisciplinary, I have a vested interest in exploring photography's evolving role in contemporary culture," Dierdorff said.

Megan Schultz, Marshall University galleries director, said Dierdorff carefully considers each exhibition space in which he works, as well as each site's particular circumstances.

"The collection of photographs video, and sculpture that make up the exhibition, 'Midnight Sun,' becomes more akin to an installation, unique to its place," Schultz said. "Dierdorff's use of a range of materials, as well as his interest in the evolution of the context of his work depending on its site, is one of several reasons why I wanted to bring his work to the Visual Arts Center.

"His recurring themes, which center on the effects of technology on our perception of nature, feel greatly relevant to young people in this region," Schultz said.

Dierdorff will be featured at an artist talk at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in room 209 of the Visual Arts Center, which is free and open to the public. The exhibition then opens to the public with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, and will be on display in the Visual Arts Center gallery until Tuesday, April 7. The gallery, on the first floor of the Visual Arts Center at 927 3rd Ave. in Huntington, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about this exhibition or the Marshall University School of Art and Design, visit or contact Schultz by e-mail at or by phone at 304-696-4312. For more information about Dierdorff, visit

Direct Link to This Release
Monday March 2, 2015
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Scholar of African American history in West Virginia to deliver public lecture at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Joe William Trotter, a prominent scholar and native West Virginian, will speak at Marshall University Tuesday, March 10, on the topic "Coal, Class, and Color: The African American History of the Southern American Coalfields." The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. at Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on Marshall's Huntington campus.

"African Americans were involved in every aspect of West Virginia's mining history," said Dr. David Trowbridge, associate professor of history at Marshall and director of African and African American Studies.� "African Americans worked in salt mines, cleared timber, and built rail tunnels and tracks. Near the peak of the Great Migration that saw millions of African Americans leave the South, nearly 115,000 African Americans lived in West Virginia. Stories about black folk heroes such as John Henry remind us of the contribution of African Americans in building the state's infrastructure."

Trowbridge added that little is known about the black families who stayed in the region, or those who migrated to the coal fields in the early 1900s. Trotter's research does more than simply fill a historical void; it addresses questions related to race, labor and social class. Trotter's work demonstrates how mine operators attempted to derail union organizers and divide workers along lines of ethnicity and race. It explores moments when racial hatred led to great tragedy. It also provides examples of solidarity and interracial cooperation between miners.

"Above all else, Dr. Trotter's work restores West Virginia's black heritage and preserves the history of the state's black communities and institutions," Trowbridge said.

Trotter is the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He also is director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), founded in 1995. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1980.

The event is sponsored by Marshall's Office of Intercultural Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Department of History. For further information, persons may contact Trowbridge by e-mail at

Direct Link to This Release
Monday March 2, 2015
Contact: Beth Caruthers, College of Arts and Media, (304) 696-7153

Hagarty's painting featured in Utah exhibition

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The work of Ian Hagarty, Marshall University's associate professor of painting, is being featured at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, until April 10 in an exhibition titled "Pure Paint for Now People."  

Hagarty said Lydia Gravis, gallery director of the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery at Weber State, contacted him about the exhibition last year.

"I worked with both Lydia and the chair of [Weber State's] Department of Visual Art and Design, Matthew Choberka, over the preceding months to the buildup of the exhibition to identify which work of mine they wanted to curate into the show," Hagarty said. "To be included in an exhibition among some of the most prominent and up-and-coming contemporary painters in the country is exciting."

"For me, Sara Cain and Kim Dorland are some of the most interesting painters working today," Hagarty added. "Joanne Greenbaum is an artist who has been a longtime hero of mine, and she is a painter with broad international recognition. Mary Weatherford is currently a featured artist in the celebrated exhibition, 'The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World,' at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City."

Other exhibitions on Hagarty's horizon include a solo exhibition of mixed media artwork titled "Cloud Feedback," which will be featured at gallery Sincresis in Empoli, Italy, and a group exhibition in the SG Gallery at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy. He said he also is in the planning stages for a two-person exhibition at the Angela Meleca Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, in 2016.


Photo: When the River Dredge, 38"x48", acrylic on canvas by Ian Hagarty, is on display at Weber State University.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday February 27, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Hardmans present Marshall University with substantial gift

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Ron Area describes Doug and Sue Ellen Hardman as "loyal and great friends of Marshall University."

"Not only are he and his wife generous donors, but Doug has provided outstanding leadership for our fundraising effort to equip the new Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex with specialized engineering equipment," said Area, chief executive officer of the Marshall Foundation Inc. "We are truly grateful for all he and Sue Ellen do for Marshall."

The Hardmans recently presented the Marshall  engineering program with a gift of $150,000. In addition, Doug is the volunteer chairman of the fund-raising effort to equip the Weisberg complex. He also serves as the chairman of the Marshall Engineering Advisory Board.

"The goal is to raise at least $5 million and we're more than halfway there," Area said.

Hardman is vice chairman and past president & CEO of J. H. Fletcher & Co. in Huntington. He graduated from Marshall's previous engineering program in 1970 and received his M.B.A. degree from Marshall in 1976.

"I've always supported engineering at Marshall," Hardman said. "Our company, and all the manufacturing companies in the area, needs a local avenue to augment the engineering training of their technical employees. We haven't had that for the last 30 years. Now we have an ABET-accredited engineering program with both bachelor's and master's degrees. With this new state-of-the-art facility and the associated engineering programs the Huntington area will be much more attractive to manufacturing companies that are evaluating new locations."

Interim MU President Gary White said, "We're delighted to have the gift and the continuing support of the Hardman family. He has been a very successful person in the mining equipment business and, like so many others, is willing to share his success with Marshall University. And, that's really what keeps Marshall moving forward.

"His support is really synonymous with my accepting this interim presidency position, in that we all feel a sense of obligation and dedication to the university to give something back."


Photo: Doug Hardman, left, and Marshall President Gary White chat before a recent meeting in White's Old Main office on the Huntington campus.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday February 27, 2015
Contact: Megan Archer, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall to host West Virginia Athletic Trainers' Association Conference and Sports Medicine Symposium in Flatwoods

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Department of Athletic Training will host the West Virginia Athletic Trainers' Association (WVATA) Conference and Sports Medicine Symposium March 6-7 in Flatwoods.

The conference will provide an opportunity for athletic trainers across the state to discuss the introduction of House Bill 2746 and Senate Bill No. 506, which require that athletic trainers be licensed, instead of registered, according to Marshall's program director, Dr. Joseph Beckett.

"We traveled to the Capitol on Jan. 29 to represent the WVATA and advocate for athletic training licensure for the state of West Virginia," Beckett said. "Currently, 43 out of 50 states, including all states surrounding West Virginia, have athletic training licensure. Licensure is the highest attainable credential within the health care field."

Beckett said having athletic training licensure would provide an additional level of protection to the general public.

"With state licensure, there is protection against untrained individuals referring to themselves as athletic trainers," Beckett said. "We are hoping to make licensure a reality within West Virginia and help create more jobs and revenue with the introduction of House Bill 2746 and Senate Bill No. 506."

Zach Garrett, assistant professor and clinical coordinator for the program, has served as the event coordinator for this year's WVATA conference. Garrett said there are currently seven Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) programs in the state and all will be present at next weekend's conference.

"The WVATA Conference provides a wonderful networking opportunity for all athletic training professionals within the state," Garrett said. "Not only will these students have the chance to discuss the future of their profession in regard to state licensure, but they will participate in many team-building exercises such as a Quiz Bowl competition and evidence-based practice research presentations."

Those who attend the WVATA Conference and Sports Medicine Symposium can receive seven hours of continuing education units. The conference will be held at the Days Hotel Flatwoods Conference Center in Sutton, West Virginia. For more information on the WVATA Conference, visit online. For more information on Marshall's athletic training program and its involvement in the conference, visit

Direct Link to This Release
Friday February 27, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Diversity Breakfast rescheduled for Friday, April 10, at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's annual Diversity Breakfast, postponed a week ago because of cold, snowy weather, has been rescheduled for Friday, April 10, in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.

"We look forward to this exciting affair as we continue to recognize the importance of diversity and the richness of inclusiveness at Marshall University and around the entire globe," said Maurice Cooley, associate vice president of intercultural affairs at Marshall.

Dr. Eduardo Pino, associate professor of pediatrics at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and the medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital, will be the keynote speaker.

The theme for the event, which will run from 7:30 to 8:50 a.m., is "We are the World." Marshall's Diversity Breakfast was started in 2001 with the intent of promoting campus harmony and unity.

Special music will be performed during the breakfast by the Marshall University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Martin Saunders of the department of music. Saunders is associate professor of trumpet and jazz studies at Marshall.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday February 26, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Presidential search process kicks off next week

Search firm to visit campus to solicit input regarding next president

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Representatives of presidential search firm AGB Search will be on Marshall University's Huntington campus March 2-4 to meet with constituencies across the university.

During their visit, consultants Jim Lanier and Dr. Arnold Speert are scheduled to meet with representatives of the faculty, students, staff, alumni, board of governors and community to gather input about what traits and characteristics the next Marshall president should possess.

The information and feedback will be provided to the university's search committee and developed into a profile of desired presidential attributes to be used to invite applications and nominations for the position.

An open forum for faculty will be held at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Shawkey Dining Room, Memorial Student Center. Students, staff and other interested parties also are invited to attend and share their views with the consultants.

A website at has been set up to make information available as the search proceeds. The site features an online feedback form for people to provide input.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday February 26, 2015
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall University School of Medicine announces new administrative chair of radiation oncology

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Sanjeev S. Sharma, M.D., a 1993 graduate of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and board-certified radiation oncologist, has been named administrative chairman of the newly formed department of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the school, announced today.

"Dr. Sharma is a perfect match for this position," Shapiro said.  "He understands the mission of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and he understands the importance of providing outstanding medical education in all areas to our students.  Dr. Sharma is a dynamic, forward-thinking addition to our team as we work to expand medical education and corresponding cancer research and treatments. "

Sharma was born in Ireland, but spent most of his youth in Huntington and graduated from Huntington High School in 1986.   He enrolled in Marshall University, completing the prerequisites for medical school in just three years before beginning medical school in 1993. After completing a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Kentucky, Sharma went through additional education including Cyberknife� clinical training at Oklahoma City, Okla., and Cyberknife� technical training in California.

"I'm very happy to return to my alma mater and become part of the education team," Sharma said.  "Short-term academic goals include laying the groundwork to begin a fellowship in radiation oncology in the subspecialties of stereotactic radiosurgery and gynecologic oncology.  An additional goal is to recruit physicians for the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center to be able to expand our services to the surrounding communities."

In addition to his clinical practice, Sharma has authored several research publications including a recent article on lung cancers that appeared in the Journal of Radiation Oncology, an international interdisciplinary journal that publishes original research, clinical investigations, review articles, editorial comments and other scientific articles relating to radiation oncology.    He also is principal investigator on several clinical trials underway involving prostate and lung cancers.

Sharma will continue seeing patients at his current practice, Premier Radiation Oncology Inc., at St. Mary's Medical Center.  He officially joins the School of Medicine Monday, March 2. 

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday February 26, 2015
Contact: Beth Caruthers, College of Arts and Media, 304-696-3296

New food bank executive director visits staging site for Empty Bowls

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Facing Hunger Foodbank Executive Director Cynthia Kirkhart visited Marshall University's Art Warehouse Tuesday, Feb. 24, for a behind-the-scenes view of the food bank's largest fundraiser of the year, Empty Bowls.

Kirkhart spoke about the impact of the class of 10 students tasked with producing a chunk of this year's bowl count.

"Your efforts and the range of money that we have brought in with Empty Bowls has been anywhere from $13,000 to almost $20,000," Kirkhart said. "You really are the best source of money that I've come across, and I've worked with nonprofits for 30 years."

Frederick Bartolovic, Marshall assistant professor of ceramics, described how unique the opportunity was to his students. 

"One of the great things about this class is what you can begin to see through the process," Bartolovic said. "It gives students the opportunity to see how they, as artists, can make an impact on the community, and I think that's something that's very challenging within art education and within academia in general. In this class, that experience is much more direct than in another studio class."

Kaitlin Blatt, sophomore ceramics major, said she was inspired by Kirkhart's visit and learning more about the how the proceeds from Empty Bowls help feed people. 

"I knew with Empty Bowls I'd have an impact, but I didn't realize just how great it would be," Blatt said. "That lit the fire, and I'm just ready to do all the bowls I can."

"$1 will provide the foundation for seven meals. Twenty-thousand dollars (an amount raised at a single Empty Bowls event) can mean 140,000 meals just from Empty Bowls in one year," Kirkhart said. "That's an impact that few of us get to enjoy."

Huntington's 12th annual Empty Bowls is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at First Presbyterian Church. For more information about Empty Bowls, visit For more information about Facing Hunger Foodbank, visit


Photo:  Cynthia Kirkhart, executive director of the Facing Hunger Foodbank, looks through bowls being prepared for the April 17 Empty Bowls event, which will benefit the food bank.

About Empty Bowls: Marshall University's take on the national initiative, Huntington's version of Empty Bowls marries art with community and goodwill. Year-round, students, area potters and other art enthusiasts make and donate bowls for the cause. With the purchase of a handmade bowl on the day of the event, patrons are offered a modest lunch meant to emulate what one would receive at a soup kitchen: a small portion of soup, bread and a drink. All proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Facing Hunger Foodbank, the hub for a food network in parts of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Empty Bowls would not be possible without the mentioned entities and others, including B'nai Sholom Congregation, Keramos Potters' Guild and Christian Associates.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday February 26, 2015
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Psychology Clinic to offer transgender support group beginning in March

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Psychology Clinic will be conducting a support group focusing on transgender-related issues beginning in March. The group sessions will be conducted by Alyssa Frye, M.A., and Whitney Myers, B.A.

Plans call for the sessions to be held on Mondays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exact start date will be set after consulting potential participants.

"The group is currently being formed and available slots in the group are limited," said Dr. Keith Beard, professor of psychology and director of the Psy.D. program. The group is available to Marshall University students and staff, as well as members of the community who identify as transgender.

"It is vitally important to assist in providing support to individuals who identify as transgender, as there are limited resources or support networks available in the area," Frye said. "We know attending support groups and relating to others can be very beneficial, so we wanted to offer a safe place for individuals to openly discuss any issues they face."

Beard added, "We've run this group in the past with great success. There is definitely a need and we are very pleased to be able to provide the service. I'm also very pleased that we have clinic staff who are willing to and interested in providing services to a community that is often ignored."

"We hope that the group will help provide a sense of safety and support to group members," Myers said. "We will discuss a wide variety of common issues, as well as provide an open forum to address the unique concerns of the members. No matter where you are in your journey of transition (or non-transition), we welcome you."

Organizers said that the group will be a safe and supportive group environment to discuss a variety of issues with others in similar situations, such as getting comfortable discussing their gender identity with others, discrimination, transitioning, advocating for oneself, family/relationship issues and other topics of interests to participants.

Those interested in participating should e-mail Frye at or Myers at or call the MU Psychology Clinic at 304-696-2772.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday February 26, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Chief legal advisor honored at Civil Rights Day Awards Luncheon in Charleston

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - F. Layton Cottrill Jr., Esq., senior vice president for executive affairs and general counsel at Marshall University, was honored today by the West Virginia Human Rights Commission.

Cottrill is one of 24 people honored at the Governor's 12th annual Civil Rights Day Awards Luncheon at the Beni Kedem Shrine Temple in Charleston.

Cottrill, who has served as the chief legal advisor for Marshall University since 1989, was recognized at the ceremony by Karen Bowling, cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, as "a professional, caring communicator who has created a foundation of equality for the university."

As Marshall's chief legal advisor, Cottrill directs all litigation in which the university is involved, including providing in-court representation. Primary responsibilities are in the areas of human resources, intercollegiate athletics and economic development and outreach. He also represents Marshall before the West Virginia Legislature, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and additional state and federal entities. He also provides legal advice and counsel to the president and other university officials.

Since 1994, he has served as senior vice president for executive affairs, with responsibilities for the offices of human resources, equity programs, public safety and facilities planning.

Before he joined Marshall, from 1987-1989, Cottrill was general counsel to the West Virginia Board of Regents (now the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission), the governing board for the state system of higher education.

Cottrill served two stints (1976-1979 and 1986-1987) in the West Virginia attorney general's office, representing the state's higher education governing board and its 16 public colleges and universities, as well as various state agencies and officials.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, he worked in private practice and served as city attorney for the towns of Poca and Nitro. From 1977 to 1986, Cottrill was general counsel for various West Virginia Senate and House committees related to banking, judiciary, industry and labor, roads and transportation, and government.

Cottrill graduated cum laude from West Virginia University in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He was a member of both the economics and business national honorary societies.

In 1975, he earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree, also from WVU, where he was a member of the Student Bar Association and the Law Students' Civil Rights Research Council. He is a member of the West Virginia Bar Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

A native of Poca, he is married to Dr. Barbara Becker-Cottrill. They live in Huntington.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday February 23, 2015
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 691-1713

Collaborative education helps Marshall health care students prepare for future

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. More than 300 Marshall University students, including ones from the School of  Medicine, School of Pharmacy and the College of Health Professions,  are gathering over the next several weeks for a series of interprofessional education sessions designed to teach health care students collaborative team skills for providing high-quality patient care.

This is the third year for the program, which encourages students from different disciplines to learn team-building skills in the delivery of health care.   The concept of interprofessional education or common learning has gained traction over the past few years as a way to break down the traditional "silos" associated with higher education and to provide higher quality patient care.

"Having students from these different disciplines come together and work in a climate of shared values only strengthens our future health care givers," said Amy M. Smith, assistant dean for medical education at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.  "They embrace diversity and individual differences by understanding each other's roles and responsibilities toward patient care. This is truly the way health care in the 21st century is designed to work."

Dr. Michael Prewitt, dean of the MU College of Health Professions, said innovative approaches to team-based medicine allow for greater understanding of global health workforce challenges.

"For the past three years, we have been proud to partner with the schools of medicine and pharmacy to bring interprofessional collaboration opportunities to our students while increasing available resources and improving the delivery of patient care," Prewitt said.

The objectives for the interprofessional classes were derived from the interprofessional education collaborative which has representatives from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Dental Education Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Association of Schools of Public Health.

"The planning group took the objectives set forth from the interprofessional education collaborative and designed these events," said Brittany Riley, Pharm. D., BCPS, assistant professor, Marshall University School of Pharmacy. "The faculty involved models the importance of these objectives by working together as a group to plan these activities. It is our hope that the students understand why these objectives are important for them to master as future health care professionals."

MU interprofessional education is a series of three events with the first event designed as a group introduction to the health care team and reviewing patient care cases.  The second independent team-based session allows the students to meet as a group and discuss the inequities of health care by watching and discussing a video, book or articles.  The third event allows the students to come together as the health care team and discuss their findings and recommendations in a simulated scenario with a standardized patient.


Photos: (Above) Students from the Marshall University College of Health Professions, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall University School of Pharmacy gather at the St. Mary's Center for Education for the first interprofessional education session on Tuesday, Feb. 3. (Below) Students from the MU College of Health Professions, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall University School of Pharmacy meet in a small group to discuss a medical case.

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Monday February 23, 2015
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Fall dean's list available on Marshall website

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The names of Marshall University students who made the dean's list for the Fall 2014 semester are available on the Marshall website for use by the media.

To make the dean's list, students must have a 3.3 or above grade point average for a minimum of 12 hours. Marshall has 2,811 students included on the website. Students who requested their names not be published are excluded from the list.

Many students and their parents have requested that Marshall make the dean's list available to publications that cover their hometowns.

Each student's name, hometown, county (for West Virginia) and state are included on the dean's list, which is accessible at

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