Wednesday July 30, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Graduation ceremony to be held at the Marshall University Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab July 30

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -  Three preschoolers will graduate from the Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab, also known as "The L," at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 30, in the Atrium of Smith Hall on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

After several years of working to improve their speaking and hearing abilities, these three children will graduate with something much more important than a diploma, according to program director Dr. Jodi Cottrell.

"Although we do award our graduates a diploma, they will leave here with something much more exciting: the ability to speak and hear," Cottrell said. "Many of these children have been in this program for almost their whole lives. I have one that started when she was 6 months old, one when she was 15 months and another when she was two and they are now 5, 5, and 6 respectively."

The L was the first preschool program in West Virginia providing listening and spoken language outcomes to children with hearing loss. Since 2006, it has provided services to infants, toddlers and preschoolers to achieve a listening and spoken language outcome. Cottrell said this allows them to mainstream into their schools with age-level listening and spoken language skills, which allows them to communicate with their peers.

"The parents have dedicated an enormous amount of time to bringing their children here and have spent countless hours working with them at home," Cottrell said. "We want these kids to leave here with a sense of accomplishment and the opportunity for continued success throughout their lives."

For six years, the preschool has held a graduation ceremony to celebrate these children and the work accomplished through intensive auditory-verbal education.  The preschool program is composed of four days a week with three days of classroom activities from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday.

Members of the 2014 "L" Graduating Class:

Clara Johnson, 5 years old
Parents: Amanda and E.J. Johnson
Clara started at the L when she was 15 months old. Clara began attending the preschool in January 2011 at age two and travels 53 miles to the L four days a week to learn to listen and talk as well as her twin sister.

Ella Quisenberry, 5 years old, Danville, West Virginia
Parents: Jerry and Melanie Quisenberry
Ella started coming to therapy at the L when she was six months old and started in the preschool at age two in January 2011. Her parents chose the L because it is the only program that provides listening and spoken language therapy and education in the state.

Rylee Collins, 6 years old, Greenup, Kentucky
Parent: Mary Collins
Rylee started in the Parent Infant Program (PIP) at the L in January 2011 at just two years old and then started in the preschool in May 2011 at age three. Greenup County Schools pays for her tuition and provides her transportation to be in the program four days a week.

For more information on programs offered through "The L," contact Cottrell at 304-696-3455. To learn more about services provided through the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center, visit online.


Photo: (Left to right) Ella Quisenberry, Clara Johnson and Rylee Collins have spent several years learning to speak and hear at The Luke Lee Listening, Language and Learning Lab at Marshall University. On July 30, they will graduate from the preschool program.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday July 30, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Medical students at Marshall University publish second edition of creative works

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Sir William Osler, often referred to as the father of modern medicine, is credited with calling the practice of medicine an art, not a trade.

Certainly echoing that sentiment is "Aenigma Medicorum," an annual literary and art review by medical students at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, which contains dozens of submissions about life and death as seen through the eyes of medical students and physicians.

The 56-page booklet, which was financially supported through the School of Medicine's Office of Diversity, seeks to give creative voice to health care providers through writings like poetry and short stories as well as photography.

The book's executive editor, Sarah Slocum, a fourth-year medical student, says the publication is an attempt to strengthen the medical school community by reaffirming commitment to the human experience and clinical excellence.

"As providers, we do our best to connect with our patients on several levels," Slocum said. "Our experiences creating art, whether it be visual, written or aural, allow us another opportunity to better relate with the people around us."

Submissions are made in the fall, reviewed by a student advisory board and selected for publication after assistance from faculty advisors.  Submissions for the 2015 edition may be emailed to

Complimentary printed copies of the current edition are available at the Office of Student Affairs in the Byrd Clinical Center and the Office of Medical Education on the third floor of the  Marshall University Medical Center. It may be viewed digitally at

Direct Link to This Release
Monday July 28, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Grant from Enterprise Holdings Foundation to MU Career Services to fund student internships

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Career Services recently received a $2,000 grant from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company that operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.  This grant will be used to fund four six-week student internships at local nonprofit agencies.

"Our nonprofit agencies in the Huntington area can provide valuable work experiences for our students who are interested in the nonprofit sector.  Unfortunately, these agencies do not always have funding to provide a paid internship.  This grant will allow four Marshall students to have a six-week paid internship in the nonprofit sector," said Debby Stoler, assistant director for development and outreach in Marshall's Career Services Center.

According to Stoler, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has provided and continues to provide internship and entry level employment opportunities to Marshall students.

"Enterprise has a top-notch program.  They offer an exciting and progressive career path for those students and graduates who are passionate about a career in sales and management," Stoler said.

Career Services' goal is to have everything in place and be ready to offer these internships in the fall semester.  The internships will be posted to Marshall JobTrax, and students will be able to apply through their JobTrax account.

For more information, contact MU Career Services at 304-696-2370 or


Photo: Debby Stoler, second from right, assistant director for development and outreach in Marshall's Career Services Center, accepts a $2,000 check from Raymond Washington with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Looking on are, from left, Nikki Gray, also with Enterprise, and Denise Hogsett, director of Marshall's Career Services Center.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday July 28, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall faculty member receives NASA research award

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Kumika Toma of the Marshall University College of Health Professions has received a research award to study sex and age differences in skeletal muscle responses to weakness and recovery.� As part of a NASA-funded project in space biology and medicine, Toma's study is aimed at better understanding how microgravity will impact crew members on extended missions.�

Toma, program director for the undergraduate exercise science program in the college's School of Kinesiology, said the study will use rats to examine the long-term exposure to microgravity.

"Seemingly, there are sex and age differences among the degree of muscle weakness and also the degree of recovery," Toma said. "This study uses rats whose hind limbs will be suspended for a week so that they don't use hind limbs. After one week of hind limb suspension, they will be back to their normal activity (recovery). Since the diameter of skeletal muscle is correlated to the muscle strength, I'll be able to see the muscle size differences among sex and age. If there are differences, then, we can develop age- and sex-specific tactics to minimize loss and maximize recovery."

Toma said decreased skeletal muscle size, or what is known as atrophy, due to space flight is well known and research has been conducted to investigate the degrees of atrophy and recovery.

"The principle of skeletal muscle is 'use it or lose it,' " Toma said. "In the environment of microgravity, muscle hardly works because there is no resistance. The skeletal muscle of astronauts is weak and since NASA estimates about nine months of space flight, significant muscle atrophy occurs among Type I muscle fiber and other adverse health effects are a major concern. Given the range of expertise required for a Mars mission, it is anticipated that crew members may be diverse in age and sex. However, there is no systematic study investigating the age and sex differences of skeletal muscle atrophy and recovery."

Dr. William Pewen, associate dean of research for the college, noted, "Future extended missions will require crews with greater breadth and depth of expertise and experience, so we must ensure their ability to perform successfully. At the same time, Dr. Toma's work will add to our knowledge on the loss of function which so many experience when illness or disability restricts activity - a critical problem right here on the ground."

Toma said because microgravity is the example of extreme disuse, the results from this study will be applicable to anyone who is sedentary or bedridden. She will finish collecting data by March 2015 and after months of data analysis, she will have the initial research report completed by September 2015. Toma said she plans to apply for another grant to extend her research project into the following year.

For more information on Toma's microgravity research, contact her at or 304-696-2651. For more information on other research initiatives taking place in the College of Health Professions, visit online or online.


Photo: Dr. Kumika Toma has conducted her microgravity research with the microscope featured in this photo. This microscope was used by the late Dr. Gary Dudley, who started a muscle study for NASA 20 years ago at Marshall University in the basement of Gullickson Hall.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday July 23, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Brian Bracey named associate vice president for development at MU

HUNTINGTON, WV - Brian Bracey, who enjoyed a successful career in pharmaceutical sales and marketing, has been named an associate vice president for development with the Marshall University Foundation Inc., Dr. Ron Area, the foundation's CEO, announced today.

Area said he is excited about the addition of Bracey to Marshall's development staff.

"Brian brings a wealth of experiences in sales and marketing to the foundation," Area said. "He is bright, smart and a relationship-builder. Brian will help the foundation and the university go to the next level of private support."
The Marshall University Foundation's newest major gift officer has lived in Huntington for just nine years, but it wasn't long after his arrival from the southern part of the country that he and his family developed a love for the community and Marshall University."I have a great pride for this community and Marshall is in the center of this community," said Bracey, who assumed his duties at MU July 1. "I see the balance between the operations of the city and the university. They co-exist together and are strengthened by one another. I do believe one wouldn't be here without the other."Bracey, his wife, Angie, and their children, Michael, now 23, and Megan, now 20, arrived in Huntington after moving from Atlanta nine years ago in a job-related move.At Marshall, Bracey describes himself as "a broker between people's desires and affinity for this university and matching them with the needs and direction and the vision of this campus." In other words, he helps raise funds for the university to support its growth.

Angie Bracey works for the City of Huntington as an executive to mayor Steve Williams. Because, Brian Bracey said, of his wife's persistence, he earned his master of business administration (MBA) from Marshall in December of 2009, which earned him the credentials needed for his current position at the foundation.

"It was a bucket list goal for me," Bracey said. "I had come up with every excuse not to do it. Marshall had an open house, advertising their executive MBA program, and my wife saw it in the paper. She cut it out of the paper and said, 'You need to go to this.' " I walked in to the open house and there was an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time. It was (Marshall professor) Uday Tate, who had taught where I went to undergraduate college - at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, Louisiana. "I thought, 'what are the odds?' Marshall University opened the door for me to do it. It was the right time. As my wife said, 'It was meant to be.' I had no more excuses." So, Bracey pursued and received his MBA.Bracey earned his bachelor of science in business management from Nicholls State in 1995. He has held multiple leadership positions throughout his career and has received numerous awards, recognitions and certifications.
Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday July 22, 2014
Contact: Lalena Price, University Communications, 304-746-1989

Tickets, sponsorships available for Paint the Capital City Green

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Individual tickets and corporate sponsorships are now available for Marshall University's Paint the Capital City Green pep rally in Charleston Thursday, Aug. 21, at the Embassy Suites hotel.

To order tickets or become a sponsor, call 304-696-7138 or e-mail Individual tickets are $60 and will not be sold at the door. Ticket sales close Friday, Aug. 15.

Paint the Capital City Green is the nation's largest indoor pep rally for the Thundering Herd. Fans will enjoy a tailgate spread, entertainment by mascot Marco, the cheerleading squad, dance team and members of the Marshall University Marching Thunder. Special guests, including head football Coach Doc Holliday and his senior players, will speak about the future of Marshall University football.

Ticket holders will be entered into a drawing to win hotel accommodations and free admission to an away game.

The 17th annual event, presented by Friends of Coal and sponsored in part by Huntington Bank, is hosted by the Big Green Scholarship Foundation and the Marshall University Alumni Association.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday July 21, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Donna Underwood creates two scholarships to honor her late husband

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Donna Underwood has two main goals in life. They are to provide students with opportunities that she didn't have after graduating from high school, while - at the same time - honoring her late husband, John.

Underwood recently met both of those objectives by funding a pair of scholarships at Marshall University. The new scholarships, established by the Marshall University Foundation, Inc., are an endowment called the John and Donna Underwood Endowment for the Yeager Scholars Program, and an expendable scholarship called the John and Donna Underwood Scholarship for the School of Pharmacy.

"I wasn't privileged to be able to go to college after I graduated from high school," said Donna, who was raised on a working farm near Lafayette, Ind. Yet, she was able to work her way up in the business world with just a high school diploma.

Donna was co-owner of Dunhill of Huntington, a professional employment agency, and she is a retired Lexis-Nexis statistical process control production supervisor. She also is a past board member of the Chillicothe (Ohio) Country Club, and a past board member and secretary of the Adams County (Ohio) American Cancer Society. Her past and present hobbies include golf, bridge, showing and training horses, and gardening, and she is an avid fan of Thundering Herd athletics.

Realizing that many young people - most for financial reasons - are unable to attend college, she established the two scholarships not only to give students opportunities equal to what she had, but to exceed what she was able to do ... much like parents would want for their children.

She said that her parents never went to college and, since their needs were pretty much met by the farm, college was never mentioned when she was living at home.

"Three kids later, working, struggling to make ends meet, there was never enough money, time or energy to think about college," she said.

"My husband, John, had his master's degree.  His friends would ask me where I went to college.  It was hurtful to say that I had never attended a university. That is what motivates me to fund these scholarships and also honor John in doing so."

John Underwood graduated from Marshall in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in business. He later obtained his master's degrees in both business and sports administration from Ohio University. He served on many boards in support of Marshall University, including the Real Estate Foundation Board of the Marshall University Foundation, Inc. He was a native of Huntington.

"For a university to be progressive and entice students to want to attend, it has to be 'State of the Art,' " Underwood said. "This is the reason that John and I had been so supportive of Marshall University and in supporting the growth of new buildings and future planning.  Now that John is gone, I plan to keep his memory alive in keeping the support alive."

Underwood said her husband always wanted to leave some legacy behind as he knew his time on earth was going to be very short.

"After speaking several times with Ford Price, our minister at Central United Methodist Church in the west end of Huntington, a plan came together," she said. Thus, John Underwood created a sports camp at the church.

"The sports camp was basically to give the west end kids a free, week-long, structured, and disciplined event to give them perhaps a different way of thinking," Donna Underwood said. "Some, not all, come from very impoverished living conditions and they would never be able to attend a sports camp.  The camp provides several different avenues of sports and Christian morals.  It is taught by volunteers and volunteer coaches from the community."

She said that free breakfast and lunch is provided to all participants.

"After they complete the week of activities, the street is blocked off, games, speakers, music, awards, and a free cook-out are provided for the whole community," she said. "Without the support of other churches and our church family, along with the community and Marshall University allowing us to use some of their athletic fields, this would never been accomplished.  I have to give thanks to all those other folks who step up to help make this successful."

Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall Foundation, described Donna Underwood as "one of the most caring and giving people I know. She has a passion for making other people's lives better. Donna and John lived by the belief, 'To whom much is given, much is expected.' "

Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of Marshall's school of Pharmacy, said, "Through my interactions with Donna Underwood, in addition to her kind and gracious spirit, she demonstrates that she understands the value of each person and loves to encourage people to be their best. She knows the value of individual potential, the 'make a difference' character of a person.  She exemplifies this in her occupational endeavors and in her charitable endeavors across our campus.  Their scholarships (Donna's and John's) are yet one more example of her generous nature and eagerness to directly 'make a difference' for those who will do the same for others."

Dr. Ronald Bieniek, dean of Marshall's Honors College, reiterated the impact of these gifts, saying, "Donna Underwood's generosity increases Marshall's ability to provide financial assistance and experiential opportunities to deserving students who can run full throttle with such scholarship support.  I am grateful for her caring investment in our students and their potential."

Donna and John Underwood have supported many other programs at Marshall, including:

  • The Vision Campaign - the Underwood Sports Medicine Research Center Endowment
  • The Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center
  • The Marshall University Foundation Hall
  • Athletics, including the Thunder Club

They also are members of the President's Circle, for which they qualified by giving at least $100,000 to MU, and the Old Main Society, for those who have remembered Marshall University in their will, trust, or through other planned gifts.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday July 21, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Marshall medical students provide treatment to more than a thousand Hondurans during international mission

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A team of Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine students, faculty physicians, a medical resident and other health care workers from the tri-state community traveled to Honduras earlier this month for an international mission that resulted in medical care for nearly 1,060 patients.

One of the students described the experience as a seminal event in his life. The Marshall team provided health care to men, women and children including general physicals, medication dispensing, Pap smears and dental care.

"It is an amazing experience to see your classmates make the leap from student to practitioner, and to watch the second-year students get their first exposure to operating a clinic," said John M. Davitt, a fourth-year medical student and co-organizer of the trip.  "The level of compassion, teamwork, and enthusiasm that everyone displayed throughout the week was truly inspiring, and was responsible for making this such a successful brigade."

Aaron M. Dom, a fourth-year student who also served as co-organizer, said the team traveled daily six hours round trip to a remote community where they provided health care to hundreds every day.

"I'm very impressed and proud of our team's work. What surprised me most was how much our group gained from this trip. We went to Honduras with a purpose of providing care to the people without health care access, but I think we actually ended up with an even more rewarding experience than the patients," he said.

The Honduras mission has become an annual event for Marshall medical students interested in global health care and is the outgrowth of an initiative to memorialize a Marshall School of Medicine graduate killed in the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

An endowed fund honoring Paul W. Ambrose, MUSOM Class of 1995, significantly underwrites the annual mission trip.  Ambrose's parents, Dr. Kenneth and Sharon Ambrose, also have personally supported the international medical trips and Sharon Ambrose, a retired nurse, has traveled with the team on several occasions, including this year.

Donations of medical supplies and medications from Marshall Health, the Marshall University School of Pharmacy and the school of medicine's annual Mission M-Possible 5K also helped support the trip.


Photo: A team of Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine students, faculty physicians, a medical resident and other health care workers from the tri-state community are shown in Honduras where they provided health care to more than 1,000 men, women and children during an international mission earlier this month.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday July 18, 2014
Contact: Mary M. Thomasson, Public Information Officer, Marshall University Forensic Science Center, 304-691-8961

Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program again ranks number one in the nation on national assessment test scores

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program once again ranked number one in the country for its students receiving the highest overall test scores on the Forensic Science Assessment Test, a qualifying test offered each year by the American Board of Criminalistics. This is the fifth time the program achieved the number one ranking in eight years since its students began taking the test in 2007.

Of the top 26 highest test scores ranked, six were students from the Marshall Forensic Science Graduate Program. Marshall's students captured the number one and number two rankings for highest overall test results among 202 students from 16 other forensic science programs that participated in the test.

Of the 202 students who took the test, the individual rankings of Marshall's students were 1,2,4,7, 9 and 26.

Marshall's Forensic Science Graduate Program ranked number one for overall rankings in the disciplines of Controlled Substances, Trace Analysis, Toxicology, Latent Prints and Firearms. The program ranked number two in Forensic Biology and Fire Debris and number three in Questioned Documents.

Dr. Terry W. Fenger, director of the program, said the test is useful for assessing the program's strengths and demonstrating to prospective students and the general public its ability to meet national standards.

"The results demonstrate not only the quality of the program and its students, but the dedication of its full-time faculty and the many adjunct faculty members," he said. "The program greatly benefits from the input of law enforcement and criminal justice system professionals here locally and across the state."

Dr. Pamela Staton, program coordinator, said the test scores are evidence of the high quality education the program provides.

"The quality of an academic program can be measured by a program's achievement of national accreditation as well as how well its students perform on national board examinations," she said. "The Forensic Science Program at Marshall University has achieved both of these honorable distinctions. This translates to high quality forensic science services for law enforcement, the legal profession, and the public as graduates of this program become forensic scientists in the field."

Marshall's Forensic Science Graduate Program is FEPAC-accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

The students who participated in the examination that was administered in spring 2014 are now graduates of the nationally recognized Forensic Science Program. The test is offered to students in their last semester of an academic forensic science program. While seeking their first job, recent college graduates may use their test results to demonstrate their knowledge across a broad range of forensic science disciplines.

The American Board of Criminalistics offers a wide array of testing and certification services that focus on the forensic sciences.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday July 18, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-696-2624

Marshall Speech and Hearing Center holds 'Tiny Talkers' programs for children with speech disorders

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Four-year-old Harry Shivel was born with hyperlexia, which gave him the ability to read words far above what would be expected of a child his age. But although he can read the words, he experiences difficulty with understanding what the words mean.

According to researchers, children with hyperlexia have a significantly higher word decoding ability than their reading comprehension levels and some have trouble understanding speech.

Harry's mother, Holly Shivel, said her son's condition made it difficult for him to communicate his ideas about what he reads. When Shivel heard about the Tiny Talkers Book Club held at the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center (MUSHC), she hoped they could help.

"I wanted him to get socialized and this seemed like a perfect opportunity during the summer months to improve his social skills," Shivel said. "We wanted to have Harry come last year, but the Book Club filled up so quickly. I made a point to get him enrolled this year because I want him to make new friends and communicate his ideas about the books he reads with ease."

In order to help children like Harry, the Speech and Hearing Center created two programs to facilitate speech therapy through the use of books and other activities. The Tiny Talkers Book Club was established in 2013 and focuses on emergent literacy for 4- to 5-year-olds. The Tiny Talkers Language Class was created this summer for 2-to-3-year-olds and their parents to improve their communication skills through activities like reading, singing, playing and art. Jen Baker, speech language pathologist in the MUSHC, said programs like these provide a solid foundation for youth in regard to language and literacy.

"Harry's hyperlexia is so amazing because while we are trying to teach the other kids how to identify and blend sounds, he already knows how to do that. It's his story comprehension and communicating his ideas that need improvement," Baker said. "Kids with speech and language delays are at risk for having challenges with literacy. We saw a great need for a program like this, which would help strengthen a child's language skills in a group setting to decrease the chances of literacy problems in the future."

Baker said the program holds parent seminars once a month to provide strategies for families to continue teaching their children at home.

"We want to build a solid foundation for our clients," Baker said. "While working with these children, we are also able to provide great training opportunities for our graduate students within Marshall's College of Health Professions."

The final session of the Tiny Talkers Book Club will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, and the final session of the Tiny Talkers Language Class will take place from 9:45 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 31, in the MUSHC located on Marshall's Huntington campus in Smith Hall. For more information about this program, please contact Jen Baker at For more information on the services provided by the MUSHC, visit online.


Photos: (Above) Harry Shivel was born with hyperlexia, which means he could read before learning to talk. Harry is able to practice his reading comprehension during the Tiny Talkers Book Club held each summer at the Marshall Speech and Hearing Center. (Center) Marshall graduate student and clinician Samantha Tarker reads to children during the Tiny Talkers Language Class, which encourages communication through activities like art, reading, singing and eating snacks. (Below) Jennifer Baker works with Charlie Dodrill, age 3, in the Tiny Talkers Language Class, which structures each activity to the individual child and his or her needs.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday July 17, 2014
Contact: Beth Caruthers, College of Arts and Media, 304-696-3296

Dalton named Marshall University Director of Athletic Bands

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Beginning this fall, Dr. Adam Dalton will assume the lead role in the Marching Thunder.

Formerly a high school and elementary school band teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, the new Director of Athletic Bands said he is excited and anxious to be teaching at the university level.

"It kind of just hits me," Dalton said. "I think, 'You're director of athletic bands at a university right now.' That's a big deal!"

Marshall University School of Music and Theatre Director Dr. Richard Kravchak said Dalton's wide range of experience, including working with the Million Dollar Band at the University of Alabama, to serving as one of the color guard captain heads with the renowned drum corps Madison Scouts, made him a great fit for the position.

"Professor Dalton will honor the beloved traditions of the Marching Thunder while bringing a contemporary excitement and energy to our performances," Kravchak said. "We can't wait for football season to start!"

A native of Virginia, Dalton earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He went on to receive a Master of Arts in Music Education and a Doctor of Musical Arts in instrumental conducting from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Dalton performed in every ensemble he could during his undergraduate studies, including the Marching Royal Dukes and the Wind Ensemble. While at the University of Alabama, he performed with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps for three years, earning two world championships and a gold medal in individual and ensemble. He has also marched in various independent winter guards, consistently making the finals at Winter Guard International. His color guard teaching experience includes the world champion Phantom Regiment and the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as numerous winter guards around the southeast such as CrownGUARD and the University of Alabama Alta Marea.

For more information about Marshall University's Marching Thunder, please visit

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday July 15, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Production to begin on life-size fiberglass bison

HUNTINGTON, W.VA. - A six-foot tall by eight-foot long fiberglass bison has been delivered to Marshall University's art warehouse where it will spend the next two months going through a transformation by Brianna Jarvis, winner of a public art competition called New Connections.

Jarvis, a sophomore graphic design major, said she would use the $2,500 prize money toward her room and board at Marshall University.

"I'm a strong believer in education being the key to success, and paying for college can be quite the financial struggle sometimes," Jarvis said. "I haven't had to take out any loans so far, and I'd like to keep it that way."

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Paul Davis, executive director of the Tri-State Transit Authority, and College of Arts and Media Dean Donald Van Horn judged the public art competition, which is funded by Pullman Square and represents the new connections that the Visual Arts Center will make to the future and community.

"This is a great opportunity to unite our students with our community and a downtown business partner to bring public art to Pullman Square," Van Horn said.

The final project will be unveiled at Pullman Square during the Visual Arts Center community open house on Friday, Sept. 19.

For more information about the Visual Arts Center, please visit

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday July 10, 2014
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Research institute and medical school to partner with international company in drug development venture

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR) and the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine today announced they will be partnering with an international biosciences company to develop potential anti-cancer drugs.

Under the agreement with Shanghai-based HD Biosciences Co. Ltd., the three partners will share the costs and risks of discovery and development of these new drugs. They also will jointly own any intellectual property and commercialization rights to products developed through the collaboration.

According to Dr. Zijian Xie, MIIR's director, getting new drugs from the research laboratory to clinical trials where it is determined if the treatment is safe and effective for humans is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

"Normally, it would take tens of millions of dollars and as long as a decade to translate the technology MIIR and the school of medicine have developed over the last several years into viable drug candidates," he said. "This joint effort with HD Biosciences will significantly shorten the process because of their expertise in drug discovery, and ultimately will reduce the risk for all the partners.

"In short, this represents a bold approach that will not only advance MIIR's mission of innovation, discovery, enterprise and advancement, but will also create new business opportunities and add value for all of us."

Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the school of medicine, said the partnership was formed with the goal of bringing new treatments to cancer patients as quickly as possible.

"We couldn't be happier to work with HD Biosciences. Our venture allows lab-based scientists and clinical researchers to share ideas, move them forward at a quicker pace and ultimately provide better patient care," he said.

Dr. Xuehai Tan, president and CEO of HD Biosciences, added, "We are very pleased to have established this collaboration with Marshall University. This agreement is another example of our company's strategy and commitment to long-term growth. We will contribute with our extensive capabilities in preclinical drug discovery and new drug development in the Chinese market, and our ability to create value for the company and our partners, while the university is well versed in translational medicine, clinical trials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines."

Dr. John Maher, Marshall vice president for research, said the venture has significant economic development potential for Marshall and the entire region.

He added, "By working together to examine the commercial viability of the disease targets and treatments being developed at MIIR and the medical school, we will be able to accelerate the translation of research from our labs into discoveries that will both help improve human health and stimulate economic development in the region."


About the Participants

Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research
MIIR is Marshall University's key vehicle for advancing regional economic development. The institute's scientists are developing a focused program of biotechnology research dedicated to exploring new treatments for cancer and heart and kidney disease, producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new businesses based on those discoveries. Learn more at

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is a community-based, Veterans Affairs-affiliated medical school dedicated to providing high-quality medical education and postgraduate training programs to foster a skilled physician workforce to meet the unique healthcare needs of West Virginia and Central Appalachia. The school seeks to develop centers of excellence in clinical care, including primary care in rural underserved areas, focused and responsive programs of biomedical science graduate study, biomedical and clinical science research, academic scholarship and public service outreach. For more information, visit

HD Biosciences Co. Ltd.
Based in Shanghai, HD Biosciences Co. Ltd. is a biology-focused preclinical drug discovery contract research organization. The company offers comprehensive service platforms around target validation, plate-based pharmacology, hit identification and lead discovery, therapeutic antibody discovery and in vivo pharmacology, as well as other research and development services. The company currently collaborates with eight of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and has established strategic partnerships in many key research and development areas. For more information, visit

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Wednesday July 9, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall University Career Services offering Community Career Workshop Series during July

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University Career Services will conduct a Community Career Workshop Series, open to the public, during July.� All workshops are free to attend and will take place at the Career Services office, located at the corner of 5th Avenue and 17th Street in Huntington.

The workshop dates and topics are:

Tuesday, July 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - "Building a Standout Resume"
Thursday, July 17, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - "The Job Hunt - Tips and Strategies to Maximize Success"
Tuesday, July 22, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - "Can Twitter Help You Get Hired? Using Social Media Effectively"

Please call Career Services at 304-696-2370 for more information and to reserve your spot.� Reservations are appreciated but walk-ins also are welcome.

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Wednesday July 9, 2014
Contact: Dr. Robert Rabe, Dr. Robert Rabe, Graduate Coordinator, Journalism and Mass Communications, 304-696-2360

Online Master of Arts in Journalism, New Media Studies emphasis launches

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University is offering a fully online graduate program in New Media Studies beginning this fall.

It is a 30-credit-hour program that serves individuals who want to enter mass communications for the first time or veterans who are retooling for a changing industry. The online Master of Arts in Journalism maintains the school's commitment to advanced study and research, but it approaches mass communications' storytelling and graduate scholarship in innovative ways. Students will study, write, design and produce digital work that will be distributed through emerging technology including mobile devices.

The "master's initiative" requirement of the program is a three-semester project that produces a non-traditional thesis. Six hours of branch electives help students tailor the program to meet their individual needs and interests.

"We are excited to begin offering this new online master's degree that will allow students the flexibility and innovative coursework to meet the demands of the 21st century mass media," said Dr. Robert Rabe, graduate coordinator for the school of Journalism and Mass Communications. "Students will be able to tailor an individualized sequence of courses and experiences that prepare them for exactly the kinds of careers they hope to pursue."

In addition to the new program, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers its traditional Master of Arts in Journalism, an M.A.J. with a health care emphasis and three free-standing 15-hour certificate programs in Media Management, Integrated Strategic Communications and Digital Communications.

For more information about the programs, and for admission requirements, contact Rabe by phone at 304-696-2360, or visit the school's website,

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