Monday April 14, 2014
Contact: GInny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Researchers to present at the World Congress on Endometriosis in Brazil

Doctoral candidate receives prestigious travel grant

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two investigators from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University will be traveling later this month to Sao Paolo to present their research at the World Congress on Endometriosis.

The congress is held every three years and brings together scientists, clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals involved in research or treatment of endometriosis a chronic, inflammatory condition that affects young women and adversely impacts their fertility and quality of life.

Dr. Nalini Santanam, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, and biomedical sciences doctoral student Kristeena Ray said they are looking forward to participating in the conference, which is being held April 30-May 3.

"Though 10 to 15 percent of young women suffer from endometriosis and almost two-thirds of these women suffer from chronic pain, the exact nature of this disease is not very well understood. My laboratory has a long-standing interest in understanding why some women get endometriosis and have pain," said Santanam. "We are very honored that our abstracts were chosen for presentation at this meeting. The most exciting part was to find out that Kristeena was selected to give an oral presentation and was one of only six investigators selected to receive the Rodolphe Maheux Travel Grant."

The Rodolphe Maheux Travel Grants are awarded by the World Endometriosis Society to help young researchers attend scientific meetings. The program is named in honor of the society's co-founder.

The balance of Ray's travel expenses are being funded by the university's Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology.

Ray said, "I was not sure if I had any chance of receiving the travel grant, since any young researcher including faculty and fellows under 40 years of age were eligible to compete. I was surprised that I was selected and am thrilled to go to Brazil to present my findings."

Ray is a third-year Ph.D. candidate. She works in Santanam's laboratory studying the epigenetics of pain in endometriosis the changes caused to DNA and genes by environment and lifestyle. Last summer, she was selected for the university's Chancellor's Scholar Program, an initiative to help ensure the academic success of underrepresented minority doctoral students.

Their research is partially funded through Marshall's partnership with the University of Kentucky and the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Awards program aimed at speeding the time for laboratory discoveries to benefit patients.

The researchers expressed their appreciation to Dr. Robert Nerhood and Dr. David Jude, the past and present chairmen of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for their support and acknowledged Sandy White and Carla Cook for coordinating the clinical study.

Santanam added, "This study would not have been possible without the collaboration and intellectual contributions of Dr. Brenda Mitchell, who is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. We express special thanks to Dr. Mitchell."

Direct Link to This Release
Monday April 14, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall Department of Communication Disorders receives continuing accreditation

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The graduate program in speech-language pathology at Marshall University's Department of Communication Disorders has been awarded continuing accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

As of February 22, 2014, the CAA voted to re-accredit the program for a period of eight years beginning Dec. 1, 2013 and continuing through Nov. 20, 2021.  The program was originally accredited in 1992.

Dr. Karen McNealy, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders, said accreditation was awarded as a result of an on-site visit from last fall and would not have been possible without the continued support of Marshall University and, specifically, the College of Health Professions.

"We are very grateful for the dedicated faculty within our department and the college administration," McNealy said. "We have been re-accredited for a full eight years which is the maximum number of years for any speech-language pathology program. This is considered a national distinction and we are quite proud of that."

McNealy said receiving continuing accreditation ensures the success of students within the Department of Communication Disorders.

"In order for students to practice in their field they must graduate from an accredited institution to obtain licensing and certification," McNealy said. "Graduates of our program are employed as speech-language pathologists across the U.S."

Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said he commends his colleagues for their commitment to this program.

"As demonstrated by the efforts to receive program accreditation, we can see continuous improvement for health professions education at Marshall University," Prewitt said.

Currently, the Department of Communication Disorders is home to the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center, the Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Program, The Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab, The Oshel Parent Education Program and the Stuttering Clinic.

For more information on the Marshall Department of Communication Disorders, please visit online.

For further information on the CAA's accreditation process, please visit online or by contacting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday April 11, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Rally for Autism set for Saturday, April 26

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Autism Training Center (WVATC), located at Marshall University, is inviting everyone to join the 13th annual Rally for Autism, which takes place Saturday, April 26, at Ritter Park in Huntington.

The event will feature the Seaton and Moira Taylor 5K Walk, sponsored by Campbell Woods PLLC; a Rally for Autism 5K run; and a Rally for Autism 25-mile bike ride. There are two types of participation, individual or team, and members of the public are invited to either create a team or join an existing one.
The event benefits the West Virginia Autism Training Center; the Autism Society River Cities Chapter, formerly known as the Huntington Area Society; and the Autism Services Center. The three agencies are all based in the Huntington area and all funds raised will stay local.

"We at the WVATC are proud to participate in the 13th Annual Rally for Autism," said Dr. Marc Ellison, interim  executive director of the center. "In addition to being a premier source of autism awareness in the state, the event always has the feel of a reunion of sorts for the Tri-State's autism community. A well-aware, well-informed community is essential for supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders as they pursue a life of quality. We invite everyone to participate in the rally and become part of this wonderful community."

Registration fees for all the events will be $20 for early registration and $25 on the day of the event.  Registration may be done online at until 6 a.m. Friday, April 15, or on site the day of the race, beginning at 7:30 a.m. All events will kick off at 8:50 a.m.

The West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall is a statewide program that offers a variety of direct training and training resources to West Virginia families and educators of children with autism. The Autism Services Center provides direct care, life-span services in residential and community settings to assist individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their full potential.  Autism Society River Cities Chapter is an all-volunteer organization providing information and support to individuals and families living with autism in the Tri-State area, including eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday April 11, 2014
Contact: Mary Thomasson, Marshall University Forensic Science Center, 304-691-8961

Forensic Science Center receives National Visionary Voice Award for Sexual Assault Outreach Initiatives

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Forensic Science Center is a recipient of the 2014 Visionary Voice Award, a national award honoring individuals and organizations throughout the country doing outstanding work to end sexual violence in their communities.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center sponsors the Visionary Voice Award in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April.� Nominees are selected by state, tribal or territory anti-sexual violence coalitions.

The award was presented April 9, 2014, to Dr. Terry W. Fenger, director of Marshall's Forensic Science Center, and Jason Chute, DNA Technical Leader, at the 14th Annual Statewide West Virginia Sexual Assault and Stalking Symposium at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, W.Va.

The West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (FRIS) nominated Marshall's Forensic Science Center for the award in recognition of its outreach projects and contributions in support of victim assistance and addressing sexual violence in West Virginia and its local communities.

Fenger said receiving the national award is an honor. "The Forensic Science Center's long partnership with the FRIS coalition has been valuable to the Huntington community as well as the state in helping victims of sexual assault in West Virginia as well as other states across the country," he said. "The training initiatives for nurses and collaborative efforts with law enforcement ultimately support serving justice for the victims of these violent crimes."

The West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services is West Virginia's state sexual assault coalition. Established in 1982 and comprised of the state's nine rape crisis centers, FRIS works with all allied professionals to strengthen services and develop intervention and prevention programs to address sexual violence, stalking and dating violence.

The Forensic Science Center began collaborating with the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services in 2003 and supported development of Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) training initiatives.� The center hosted the region's first Sexual Assault Response Training for health care workers and law enforcement.

Since May 2004, MUFSC has provided week-long adult and pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Training to more than 430 registered nurses from West Virginia and 21 states across the country. Specialized training is delivered on how to care for the complex issues of sexual assault victims such as how to recognize, collect and preserve evidence, interview victims and link them to vital community resources for follow-up.

In West Virginia, Marshall's Forensic Science Center serves as the secure storage area of sexual assault kits for victims until he or she notifies law enforcement and grants approval to initiate a criminal case.

Additionally, the center participates in the Cabell County Sexual Assault Response Team and hosts meetings. Staff members also serve on the SANE Advisory Board coordinated by FRIS.


Photo: Nancy Hoffman, state coordinator for the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, center, presents Dr. Terry W. Fenger, left, with a Visionary Voice Award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for Marshall University Forensic Science Center's support to improve services in West Virginia for sexual assault victims. Standing at right is Jason Chute, the center's DNA Technical Leader.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday April 10, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

June Harless Center to offer summer camps starting June 23

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development, part of the College of Education and Professional Development at Marshall University, is offering summer camps on Marshall's campus for students entering the 2nd through 5th grade. The theme for the camps this year is Exploring S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics).

Two weeks of camps will be offered for children.

WHO:             Children entering 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades
WHEN:           Monday, June 23 - Thursday, June 26
WHERE:        Marshall's Huntington campus, Corbly Hall 211
COST:           $150 per child

WHO:             Children entering 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades
WHEN:           Monday, July 7 - Thursday, July 10
WHERE:         Marshall's Huntington campus, Corbly Hall 211
COST:             $150 per child

Both camps will run from 9 a.m. to noon, with a snack provided.  For more information regarding summer camps, please contact Holly Moore at or 304-696-2945.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday April 10, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall physical therapy professor to lead team of experts for the National Children's Study

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Rose Rine of the Marshall University College of Health Professions has been selected to lead a team of experts in the sensory domain for the National Children's Study (NCS).

The National Children's Study, a multi-year research study, will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal of the study is to improve the health and well-being of children, according to the NCS website. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, was charged by Congress to plan and implement this study in accordance with the Children's Health Act of 2000.

Dr. Jerry Slotkin, scientific director for the South Regional Operations Center of the NCS, said the study will build a unique set of data that investigators can use to better understand the factors - known and not yet imagined - that affect children as they grow.

"We don't know enough about how the environment and other factors work together to influence the health and development of our children. The National Children's Study is improving the research process with new and innovative methods to study these components," Slotkin said. "The sheer scale and variety of data to be collected is unprecedented including urine, blood, saliva, maternal breast milk, skin and stool samples, disease exposure histories, dust, air, noise, immunization histories, dietary information, existing medical conditions, exposure to pets, and more. This is an investment in the health of America's children."

Rine, an associate professor in the Marshall School of Physical Therapy, was selected to serve on the Scientific Coordinating Committee for Health Measurement based on her expertise in the area of vestibular function and pediatrics, according to Dr. Richard Gershon, co-primary investigator for the study.

"Dr. Rine was instrumental in developing measures of vestibular function and balance for the NIH Toolbox project which was completed in 2012," Gershon said. "As a result of her success on that project and her knowledge of the field, she was nominated for her current position on the NCS. She continues to play an important role in the identification, selection and development of measurements in the area of sensory function."

Rine said her involvement with the NCS serves as confirmation her contribution to these worthwhile research efforts are appreciated and valued.

"A long-standing study of this nature can have a major impact on how we care for our children and youth from an educational standpoint, a social standpoint and in general, who they become," Rine said. "Throughout my career I've worked with the health and welfare of children and this is what I've worked toward�being asked to sit on this was truly a compliment and something I couldn't say no to."

Rine said she believes the most rewarding feeling will come many years from now.

"Who knows what we will know in ten or twenty years down the road thanks to this study," Rine said. "We will be able to look at the measure we identified and say 'Ah-ha!' - it did work and we did identify how this problem came about and maybe we can work toward making that problem go away. That's going to be amazing."

According to the NCS website, the National Children's Study will be one of the richest research efforts geared towards studying children's health and development and will form the basis of child health guidance, interventions and policy for generations to come. To learn more about the National Children's Study, visit online. To learn more about Rine and her work in the Marshall School of Physical Therapy, please visit online.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday April 10, 2014
Contact: Briana McElfish , Graduate Assistant, 304-696-3338

Marshall Women's Center to host screening and panel discussion for documentary on military sexual assault

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Women's Center, in conjunction with CONTACT Rape Crisis Center, will sponsor a screening of "The Invisible War," an investigative documentary about rape within the U.S. military. It will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in room BE-5 of the Memorial Student Center, and is free and open to the public.

The film follows several veteran survivors of military sexual assault who tell their powerfully emotional stories and their efforts to rebuild their lives and seek justice, while revealing the systemic cover-up of rapes within the military. Nominated for an Academy Award and the winner of an award at the Sundance Film Festival, this documentary has exposed a culture of widespread sexual harassment and sexual assault, and is credited for encouraging victims to come forward and for publicly forcing the military to deal more openly with the problem of sexual assault within its ranks.

Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion regarding treatment of military sexual assault and victim advocacy. Panelists will include treatment providers from the Huntington Veterans Administration, Marshall Counseling Center and CONTACT Rape Crisis Center of Huntington. Representatives from Marshall Psychology Clinic will also be available to provide information about mental health treatment.

The Women's Center is hosting this event as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Other events for the month include "Red Flag Day" on Marshall's Huntington campus on Thursday, April 24, which encourages students to identify red flags for stalking, sexual assault, and relationship violence.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday April 7, 2014
Contact: Tiffany Bajus, Communications Specialist, 304-521-7098

Career Services and Generation Huntington are suiting students for success with a men's professional clothing drive

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Generation Huntington, a committee of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, is assisting Marshall University Career Services in taking on the task of dressing male students and recent graduates for interviews, internships and new jobs.

While discussing ways Generation Huntington and Career Services could partner to best benefit the students of Marshall University, the need for men's professional clothing was brought up, said Tiffany Bajus, Generation Huntington Vice-Chair. 

"We approached Career Services director Denise Hogsett about a month ago to come up with some ideas for ways our members could become more involved with their programs and initiatives to assist Marshall students and graduates," Bajus said.

Career Services has a great relationship with Dress for Success but, unfortunately, there isn't a program like it for our male students, Hogsett said.

"Denise told me she had been struggling with the need for a while," Bajus said. "They just didn't have the space or resources to devote to such a project and were really excited at the possibility of working together to meet this need."

As a result, Generation Huntington is organizing a Men's Professional Clothing Drive from April 1 through 18. Community members are encouraged to drop off business casual and professional clothing and shoes to the Huntington Regional Chamber Office, Marshall University Alumni Association, Brand Yourself at the Shops at Heritage Station or the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box Office.

"If we can provide an opportunity to one student or other community member needing that extra boost, we've accomplished our goal," said Chris Wallace, Generation Huntington Chair and Owner of Brand Yourself.  

At the end of the month, Generation Huntington members will collect and organize all of the donations to prepare them for pickup. Suited for Success events are scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. May 7-8 at Brand Yourself located at Heritage Station in downtown Huntington. 

During these events, male students and community members in need of professional attire for interviews, internships and starting positions may purchase gently used clothing for a small fee. 

"Our members will be available to assist guests in finding the right style and fit for their needs. Everything will be priced under $5," Wallace said.

Marshall Career Services staff members will also be available at the events to assist students with interview preparation and more.

Drop-off locations:

Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce
1108 3rd Ave., Suite 300, Huntington
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

Brand Yourself
210 11th Street, Shop 7, Huntington
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday
9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday

Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box Office
One Civic Center Plaza, Huntington
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

Marshall University Erickson Alumni Center
519 John Marshall Dr.
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

Direct Link to This Release
Saturday April 5, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Harrison-Pitaniello named 20th Drinko Fellow; President Kopp honored for support of the Drinko Academy

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Marcia Harrison-Pitaniello, a professor in Marshall University's department of biological sciences, has been selected as the 2014-2015 Distinguished John Deaver Drinko Academy Fellow, according to Dr. Alan Gould, executive director of the academy.

Gould announced Harrison-Pitaniello's selection as the latest - and 20th overall - fellow during the annual Drinko Symposium Saturday night in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theater, inside the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on the Huntington campus. He also honored Marshall� President Stephen J. Kopp by naming him a Distinguished John Deaver� Drinko Fellow, and presenting him with a medallion and a plaque.

"Since his appointment to the presidency in July 2005, he has personally participated in a number of our programs and productions and only on rare occasions missed any of our activities," Gould said of Kopp. "Among his many contributions to the Academy, I would include among the best and most popular his portrayal of our founder, John Laidley, in a special tribute to John Marshall. He not only served as narrator of our production, but also contributed to the narrative development.

"Also, in 2005, during his first year here, I talked to Dr. Kopp about creating Constitution Week on campus. He seized upon it immediately and told me I had his full support - I didn't realize at the time what that truly meant. President Kopp became and has remained a major contributor to this celebration."

Appointed annually, the Drinko Fellow receives a generous stipend, a reduced teaching load, and other financial and clerical support for two academic years to undertake research projects and other scholarly pursuits.

"I am deeply honored to be selected as a fellow," Harrison-Pitaniello said. "I plan on using the opportunity to focus on developing curriculum and outreach projects in plant biology."

Gould said selecting Harrison-Pitaniello to be the newest fellow was an easy and logical choice to make.

"She's one of the most outstanding and distinguished teachers and researchers and members of our academic community,'' Gould said. "She's truly a remarkable person. She's also known for her contributions to students. In addition to her scholarly activities and research, she's particularly interested in enhancing undergraduate research and education opportunities for undergraduate students."

Harrison-Pitaniello joined the Marshall faculty in 1986 as an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences. She currently is a professor who researches plant hormone physiology with a particular interest in enhancing undergraduate research and educational outreach in plant sciences.

Gould said she has mentored more than 35 student researchers at Marshall and currently oversees a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant which mentors undergraduate students in year-long mathematical biology research projects.� In 2012, she became a BEN (BioSciEduNet) Scholar, sponsored by the National Science Digital Library.� BEN Scholars are given support to promote the use of digital libraries and inquiry-based learning in biology lecture and laboratory courses.

Harrison-Pitaniello will present the results of her work to the university community at the Drinko Symposium next spring during Marshall's annual Celebration of Academics. Dr. Jeffrey Powell, the 2013-2014 Drinko Fellow, presented the results of his work Saturday night during the Symposium.

As a BEN Scholar, Harrison-Pitaniello published an education article about imaging plant growth along with developing educational videos. She also oversees Marshall's WV NASA Space Grant Consortium, awarding student scholarships, travel grants, and faculty research enhancement grants.

With continued interested in NASA-supported research, she served on the Education Committee, and is a current member of the Board of Governors for the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology.� In addition, she was the Principal Investigator of an NSF-funded MU-ADVANCE Program, an innovative networking effort between female STEM faculty working with administrative partners to develop university-level best practices for recruitment, new faculty orientation, and faculty retention.

She is the current president of the MU Chapter of Sigma Xi, Public Relations Officer for the MU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, and Communications Director for the West Virginia Academy of Science.� She was also the director of the WV State Science and Engineering Fair from 2000 through 2007.� Her honors include the Marshall Women of Color Award, MU Distinguished Service Award, and Dr. Carolyn Hunter Distinguished Faculty Service Award.�

Direct Link to This Release
Saturday April 5, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall donors, recipients honored at brunch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University donors and current recipients of privately funded scholarships were honored today at the Scholarship Honor Brunch in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.

The event, sponsored by the Marshall University Foundation Inc., was attended by a record crowd of more than 400 people. Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp spoke on "The Impact of Scholarships," and Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the MU Foundation Inc., served as master of ceremonies.

Other speakers included students Joycelyn Morton, a sophomore from Bluefield, W.Va., and Ellen Castro, a freshman from Huntington.

"Because of them, I am able to afford the necessities I need to succeed at Marshall University," a grateful Morton said, referring to the donors. She said her education at Marshall will assist her in her dreams of "going to medical school and becoming a medical examiner."

Kopp said today's event was "a celebration of the importance of our scholarship donors to the future of Marshall University and our students."

"When you look at the relationship and the correlation between the students who attend Marshall and are assisted through scholarship support and the completion of their college education and earning their degree, it is a direct correlation. Scholarship support is often the difference between being able to attend college here at Marshall, and earn your degree, or not. We certainly can't thank our scholarship donors enough for what they're doing for the futures of our students and graduates. They are the future of West Virginia, and they're the future of America. Investing in their success is an investment in all of our futures."

Area said of the brunch, "This is the best response we've ever received from students and donors. This just proves the importance of scholarships to the Marshall campus and the impact that they continue to have."

He said that over the past five years, Marshall has had a significant increase in the number of scholarships that have been available to students.

"And, with the cost of a college education sometimes increasing so quickly, these scholarships are invaluable to these students and the future of our Marshall students," Area said. "That's why we are grateful for the participation of our alumni and friends in becoming donors, and we are totally indebted to the people who are making a difference in the lives of our students."


Photo: Students who have received privately funded scholarships at Marshall University, along with their parents, pose for a picture around the Memorial Fountain before today's Honor Brunch.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday April 3, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Herd to battle the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State in October 11 Homecoming game

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University officials today announced that the Thundering Herd football team's Oct. 11, 2014, matchup with the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders will be Marshall's Homecoming game. That Saturday's game kickoff time will be announced later.

"The Raiders pulled a sly one last fall and upset our Thundering Herd on their home turf in Murfreesboro, which turned out to be our only conference loss of the year," said Matt Hayes, director of the Marshall Alumni Association. "Now, it's our turn to welcome them to Huntington with a Cato air show. October is an absolutely beautiful time to be in the hills of Huntington with perfect football weather and gorgeous fall color. We hope Marshall alumni and fans and our friends at MTSU will join us for a weekend of warm hospitality and a lot of special events we're already planning. It's gonna be great."

Homecoming week plans will be shared at Marshall's Facebook page,, and the MU Homecoming website, Tickets and Herd football information are available at the official Marshall Athletics site,

Direct Link to This Release
Monday March 31, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Journalism professor takes home national convention award for 10th time

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For the eighth year in a row and the 10th time in the past 11 years, Marshall University associate professor Dan Hollis received the first-place award in the Video News category during the Professional Electronic Media Awards and Exhibition. The recognition was at the National Broadcasting Society's national convention, which took place March 11-16 in Los Angeles.

Hollis received the award for his work as executive producer for "Birthday Vase," a behind-the-scenes look at Blenko Glass' creation of a special vase commemorating West Virginia's 150th birthday. He also presented a video about a Huntington Whiffle ball league.

"Obviously winning such recognition for the 10th time is an honor," Hollis said. "I hope it shows a record of sustained excellence, but I create these videos because I love telling stories."

Hollis said he uses the award-winning videos to demonstrate important concepts he wants to illustrate to his students.

"The real satisfaction is doing quality work that you can be proud of whether it's in or outside the classroom," Hollis said. "To win awards and receive recognition by others in your field is a bonus."

Hollis teaches in Marshall's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and is adviser to the student chapter of the National Broadcasting Society (NBS).

The videos, along with other Hollis creative television features, can be seen at For more information, contact Hollis at 304-696-2730.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday March 31, 2014
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, (304) 696-7153

Honors College student receives Goldwater Scholarship honorable mention

Sugar Grove native to study deep sea vents through NSF-funded program this summer

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Honors College student Tuesday B. Moats has received an honorable mention in the 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship competition.

The Goldwater Scholarship is the nation's premier undergraduate award designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

A native of Sugar Grove, Moats is a junior double majoring in microbiology and in ecology, evolution and behavioral biology. She also is pursuing a minor in mathematics. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctorate in microbiology or ecology, with the goal of conducting research and teaching at the university level.

For the past year, Moats has been doing research focused on the metabolic theory of ecology using freshwater mussels and conducted in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Kovatch, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Marshall. She has accepted an offer to participate this summer in a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Oregon State University, where she will be working on a project to study the diversity of deep sea vents. 

Honors College Dean Dr. Ronald Bieniek congratulated Moats, saying, "We are extremely pleased for Tuesday to be recognized at the national level by the Goldwater Foundation trustees for her scholarship and research. She is a truly outstanding student and her achievements reflect favorably on her, the Honors College and the entire Marshall campus. I look forward to watching her scientific career continue to develop and have no doubt she will be involved in helping to solve some of the difficult challenges our global society faces.

"We understand that engaging in undergraduate research is increasingly important for Marshall students to be competitive for graduate school, as well as for national and international scholarships and fellowships. I am proud that Marshall is able to provide nationally competitive research experiences to our undergraduates, as evidenced by Tuesday's success.  I am also very pleased with the voluntary efforts of the campus Goldwater Review Committee to help our students hone their applications."

Moats said, "It is very encouraging for me to receive national recognition and it affirms that I have chosen the right field. I have been able to find the right career choice through my experiences at Marshall and in the Honors College. I am very excited for the opportunity I've been given this summer at Oregon State, and I hope to bring some of my experiences back with me to Marshall."

Moats has served as president of the Marshall University Biology Club and is a member of the Honors College Student Association, the National Society for Collegiate Scholars and the Outdoor Adventure Club. She has been recognized in "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities."

Besides being a Learning Assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences, where she tutors students in the introductory biology courses, she also is a volunteer with the Adopt-A-Highway Program and has worked on the university's annual "Brain Expo" program for elementary school children.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday March 31, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Thundering Word finishes as one of nation's top teams

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Thundering Word, Marshall University's speech and debate team, competed recently in the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, the largest comprehensive tournament in the nation and the largest ever hosted by Pi Kappa Delta.

With 80 schools and 2,000 entries, it was "the most competitive tournament as well," said Danny Ray, coach of the Thundering Word. The tournament took place at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Ray said MU placed fourth in Individual Events Team Sweepstakes behind No. 1 William Carey University, second-place Wiley College and No. 3 Ball State University; and fourth in combined Speech and Debate Team Sweepstakes, trailing only first-place Wiley College, second-place William Carey University and third-place Southwest Baptist University.

Marshall took 10th place in Team Debate Sweepstakes. Overall, MU had 23 quarterfinalists, 3 semifinalists and seven finalists in Individual Events.

MU's Victoria Ledford finished as the 10th-best speaker in Pentathlon out of more than 600 competitors and the national champion-best speaker in IPDA debate, and Joe Garton was the national champion in Junior Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

"This is the best Marshall has performed nationally and we're looking forward to our future," Ray said.

Marshall travels to Eastern Michigan University for the National Forensic Association's national tournament in April.

Here are Marshall's results from the tournament at IUPUI:

  • After Dinner Speaking - Matt Osteen and Garrett Walker, semifinalists
  • Communication Analysis - Matt Osteen, quarterfinalist
  • Dramatic Interpretation - Devan Sample, Award of Excellence; Marji McCoy, quarterfinalist and Josh Gainer, semifinalist
  • Dramatic Duo Interpretation - Victoria Ledford and Devan Sample, quarterfinalists
  • Extemporaneous Speaking - Matt Osteen, quarterfinalist
  • Impromptu Speaking - Christian Adams, Award of Excellence; Garrett Walker and Victoria Ledford, quarterfinalists
  • Improvisation Pairs - Taryss Mandt and Juliet Djietror, second place
  • Informative Speaking - Victoria Ledford, third place; Garrett Walker, sixth place; Taryss Mandt, quarterfinalist; and Alyssa Hager, Award of Excellence
  • Persuasive Speaking - Marji McCoy, semifinalist; Juliet Djietror, second place; and Alyssa Hager, fourth place
  • Poetry Interpretation - Devan Sample, semifinalist
  • Prose Interpretation - Christian Adams, Taryss Mand and Josh Gainer, quarterfinalists; and Alyssa Hager, semifinalist
  • Student Congress - Joshua Gainer, Marji McCoy and Juliet Djietror as Outstanding Presiding Officers and  Joshua Gainer, Marji McCoy,  Juliet Djietror, Devan Sample and Logan Spence as Outstanding Legislators
  • Top Honor Scholarship - Victoria Ledford, fourth place; Christian Adams, sixth place
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate - Matt Osteen, quarterfinalist
  • JV Lincoln-Douglas Debate - Joe Garton, first place; Kai Stewart, semifinalist
  • JV Lincoln-Douglas Debate Speaker - Kai Stewart, second place; Joe Garton, third place
  • IPDA Debate - Victoria Ledford, quarterfinalist
  • IPDA Debate Speaker - Victoria Ledford, first place
  • Pentathlon - Victoria Ledford, 10th place


Photo: Members of the Thundering Word show off their trophies after a strong performance in the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday March 28, 2014
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Research Day winners announced

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The 26th annual Research Day at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine wrapped up earlier this week with awards presented to eight students and medical residents.

The two-day event showcases the work of medical students, graduate students, residents and postdoctoral fellows, and includes both poster and oral presentation competitions. This year's entries included projects that focused on heart disease, children and physical activity, lung and other cancers, drug abuse during pregnancy, and many other areas of biomedical and clinical research.

The winners were:

Poster Presentations

Basic Science Category

  • Caroline A. Hunter - Mitochondrial Elongation Factor Tu:  Translational Regulation by Phosphorylation (Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology)

Clinical Case Study Category (Student)

  • Jill Goodwin - Posterior Tibial Tendon Dislocation:  A Case Report (Department of Orthopaedics)

Clinical Case Study Category (Resident)

  • M. Adeel Mahmood - An Atypical Presentation of Adrenal Insufficiency in Pregnancy as Recurrent Abdominal Pain (Department of Internal Medicine)

Clinical Science Category (Student)

  • Laura G. Wilson - Withdrawing into Society: Characteristics of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on Final Day of Admission (Department of Pediatrics)

Clinical Science Category (Resident)

  • Heidi Michael - Retrospective analysis of patients entering the Maternal Addiction and Recovery Center (MARC) program evaluating pregnancy and neonatal outcomes (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology)

Oral Presentations

Basic Science Category

  • M. Allison Wolf - Benzyl Isothiocyanate Sensitizes Hnscc Cells To Cisplatin, And Inhibits Hnscc Cell Migration And Invasion (Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology)

Clinical Science Category (Student)

  • Rebecca M. Hayes - Effect of Brief Physical Activity Program on Physical Fitness of Elementary School Students (Department of Internal Medicine)

Clinical Science Category (Resident)

  • Jodi Pitsenbarger - Total Postnatal Opiate Exposure Using Two Different Weaning Methods in Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (Department of Pediatrics)

Dr. Richard M. Niles, vice dean for biomedical sciences at the school of medicine, congratulated all the winners, saying, "We had more than 80 presentations this year and the competition was outstanding. It is quite exciting to see all the fascinating research being done at our medical school and to know these students will be making a real difference in the lives and health of those who live in our communities."

For more information about Research Day, contact the Office of Continuing Medical Education at 304-691-1770.

Direct Link to This Release