Monday November 24, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

The Marshall University Foundation joins National #GivingTuesday movement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Foundation has joined #GivingTuesday, which will take place Tuesday, Dec. 2. It's a nationwide program designed to encourage people to give to the charities and causes they support.

Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national movement for charitable giving around the holidays. It is similar to how Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.

"The impact social media have had recently in philanthropy is undeniable," said Griffin Talbott, program director of the annual fund for the foundation. The #IceBucketChallenge for ALS highlighted this fact and we feel #GivingTuesday can also be a success."

Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by the 92nd Street Y (92Y), came together to find ways to promote and celebrate the great American tradition of giving. The concept gained steam, and with the help of the United Nations Foundation and other founding partners, more than 10,000 organizations have joined the movement and are providing creative ways people can embrace #GivingTuesday and collaborate in their giving efforts to create more meaningful results.

Direct Link to This Release
Monday November 24, 2014
Contact: Beth Caruthers, College of Arts and Media, 304-696-3296

Low brass players bring TUBACHRISTMAS to town

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Sounds of the area's low brass will be filling the Huntington Mall with holiday cheer at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, as the city celebrates the 40th anniversary of TUBACHRISTMAS.

In addition to the West Virginia TUBACHRISTMAS, it is expected that 250 more cities worldwide will present the concerts, according to West Virginia TUBACHRISTMAS Coordinator Dr. George Palton, who is also the instructor of tuba and euphonium at Marshall University.

"Depending on the population of any given geographic area, TUBACHRISTMAS ensembles may attract multiples of 100 participants aged 8 to 95 years," Palton said. "To my knowledge, Huntington has been participating since 2003."

TUBACHRISTMAS was created by Harvey Phillips in honor of his teacher, tubist William J. Bell, who was born Christmas Day, 1902.

"Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect through William J. Bell to all the great artists and teachers who represent their heritage," Palton said.

Every TUBACHRISTMAS performance features traditional Christmas carols composed by Alec Wilder and specially arranged for the first TUBACHRISTMAS on Dec. 22, 1974, in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza.

"Through Wilder, TUBACHRISTMAS concerts pay grateful tribute to composers who have embraced these noble instruments with solo and ensemble compositions," Palton said. "The warm and rich, organ-like sound of this low brass choir has won the ears and hearts of every audience. It is no wonder that TUBACHRISTMAS has become an established Christmas tradition in cities throughout the world!"

All area performers are invited to participate in West Virginia TUBACHRISTMAS. Registration and rehearsal begin at 10 and 11 a.m., respectively, at the Smith Music Hall band room on Marshall's Huntington campus. Dr. Michael Stroeher, professor of low brass at Marshall University, will conduct the ensemble. For more information about these events or music at Marshall University, contact Palton by phone at 304-696-3117 or by e-mail at

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

Marshall Ph.D. student receives Chancellor's Scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Tenacious.� Passionate. Driven.� These are the words that Sean Piwarski uses to describe himself.�

Piwarski is this year's recipient of the Chancellor's Scholarship, given to a student in Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program. The Chancellor's Scholar Program is intended to recruit, educate and graduate underrepresented minority students in doctoral programs.� It offers a substantial tuition benefit and stipend as well as professional research and career development opportunities and a strong support network.� Further, it aims to provide support as the student transitions from his or her education into university faculty or administration roles.

Piwarski grew up in a bilingual, Hispanic household in California. He said that when he was a youngster, his mother provided "a lot of love" that allowed him to take risks and explore boundaries, while ensuring that he remained polite and stayed on the right path.� He was recruited to California Lutheran University on a football scholarship, where he double-majored in biology and chemistry.

One of his biggest influences was Dr. John Tannaci, who taught organic chemistry at California Lutheran, and to Piwarski's surprise, made it fun and relatable.� Piwarski said that was not something that he often found in his science courses, so one of his goals is to bring that level of passion and interest to a new generation.

With his strong science background, Piwarski came to Marshall University to obtain his master's degree in forensic science, focusing on toxicology and drug chemistry.� In deciding how to apply the knowledge and skills gained through that program, he realized that a Ph.D. was the logical next step, particularly with the interdisciplinary, team-based science program offered at Marshall.

Currently in his third year of a program that typically takes 5 to 6 years to complete, Piwarski is working with Dr. Travis Salisbury in the Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences cluster.� His research focuses on determining how certain chemical mechanisms in specific toxins may work to stop cancer metastasis.� He said it is a subject close to his heart, since several of his family members have lost battles with cancer.�

Piwarski said that being the first Hispanic student to receive the Chancellor's Scholarship is "very humbling," and gives him the opportunity to pursue his passions.� He also said he believes that it gives validation to exploring his scientific ideas. When he was younger, he noticed that certain classes were considered to be only for the "smart people."�

"Science isn't so much about being the smartest person in the room; it's about tenacity," Piwarski said.� "Try out creative ideas and don't be afraid to put yourself out there to further what is possible."�

Once he completes the Ph.D. program, Piwarski says he will pursue an academic position where he can put the "swagger in science" and stimulate the same passion and drive for excellence in others.

Direct Link to This Release
Friday November 21, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall faculty member travels to Rome to present international biomechanics research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Suzanne Konz of the Marshall University College of Health Professions traveled to Rome last month to give an oral presentation on her biomechanics research during the 2014 International Congress on Sport Science Research and Technology Support (icSPORTS) conference.

Konz, director of the college's biomechanics laboratory, said her research focused on the reliability and validity of the XOS Motion Capture System, which is housed in the basement of the Henderson Center on Marshall's Huntington campus.

"We have several motion analysis systems in our biomechanics lab at Marshall and the XOS system is relatively unknown and untested," Konz said. "My graduate assistant and I did a reliability study on the system using a vertical jump component to test how high people jump. In our research, we found this system isn't as reliable as other equipment such as the Vertec, which is used in strength conditioning to test the jump height of a jump."

Konz said her research on the XOS system emphasized the technology behind the equipment instead of its practical application. Konz said this study aimed to provide protocol for strength and conditioning professionals, as well as researchers, to indicate the best practices for their assessment or research.

"By assessing the validity and reliability of the system, individuals can make research-based decisions on purchasing and implementing these new tools," Konz said. "When one considers many of these systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it becomes extremely important they provide valid and reliable results."

David Cottrill, a 2014 graduate of the college's exercise science master's program, served as Konz's graduate assistant throughout her research. Cottrill, now an adjunct faculty member at West Virginia State University teaching biomechanics, said technology is taking a much larger role in motion analysis and assessment.

"If researchers and coaches are to implement these technologies into their activities, scientific validation of these systems' capabilities must be conducted," Cottrill said. "Prior to our research, no such investigation had been conducted on the XOS system. There is a high demand for research assessing the validity and reliability of new instruments, tools and methods within the fields of biomechanics."

Cottrill said because of Konz's quality of work, as well as her ability to identify research needs that may be overlooked, her work is instrumental in ensuring the field of biomechanics remains up to date and progressive.

"Dr. Konz's research provides an exciting means to apply the skills and knowledge taught within biomechanics and the exercise science department as a whole. Her high standard of performance and work ethic are contagious and set others up for future success," Cottrill said. "I am and continue to be thankful for the opportunity to learn from her during my time at Marshall."

In addition to Konz's recent trip to Rome, she also traveled to Brazil this past year for her research on muscular biomechanics and sports performance. Konz said she plans to present her research at the 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center in Glasgow, Scotland, this summer.

To learn more about the 2015 ISB conference, visit online. For more information on Dr. Konz's research, contact her at For more information on the Marshall biomechanics program, visit online.


Photo: (Left to Right):  Conor Bolger of Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim Norway, Dr. Suzanne Konz of Marshall University and Peter Federolf of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo, Norway at the 2014 icSPORTS conference held Oct. 21-27 in Rome, Italy.
Photo Courtesy of icSPORTS.

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

Marshall University receives in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University today announced it has received an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software, with a commercial value of nearly $134 million.

The in-kind grant gives students access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop innovative products in a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, machinery, shipbuilding, high-tech electronics and many more.

Graduates with this type of software training are highly-recruited candidates for advanced technology jobs.

Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp said the university is excited to work with Siemens to provide industry-leading technology in its classrooms.

"By using the same technology in the classroom that is used by companies all over the world, our students gain important real-world experience that will serve them well after graduation," he said.

Bill Boswell, senior director, partner strategy, Siemens PLM Software, said, "Siemens PLM Software is dedicated to helping develop the next generation of highly trained and highly qualified engineers and technologists. Our academic partnership with Marshall University encourages students to pursue careers that will revitalize manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world."

The in-kind grant for Marshall includes Siemens PLM Software's:

  • NX� software, a leading integrated solution for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE); and
  • Solid Edge� software, the most complete hybrid 2D/3D CAD system.

Dr. Gayle L. Ormiston, Marshall's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, added, "We are pleased to partner with a global corporation that is on the leading edge of PLM technology. Our school could not develop the next generation of engineers without the support of this state-of-the-art technology from Siemens PLM Software. This partnership enables us to meet the needs of employers and prepare students for these high-paying careers in science, technology, engineering and math."

Dr. Wael Zatar, dean of Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering, also thanked Siemens PLM Software, saying, "This generous grant will enable our students to better prepare for successful advanced technology careers. It is exceptionally valuable because it helps us train our students for tomorrow's jobs using one of the best engineering design software solutions available."

Dr. Asad A. Salem, professor and chairman of the university's Weisberg Division of Engineering, said, "Our students are excited to have access to this industry-leading technology, and we are grateful to Siemens for its commitment to advance education opportunities for our students."

Siemens PLM Software is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services. NX and Solid Edge are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and in other countries.

The in-kind grant was provided by the Siemens PLM Software's academic program that delivers PLM software for schools at every academic level.

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

Local writers Marie Manilla and Nicole Lawrence to read from their work at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Tri-State area natives Marie Manilla and Nicole Lawrence will read from their work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Foundation Hall on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

The event, called Writers Harvest, is part of the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series, which receives support from the College of Liberal Arts, the Honors College, the West Virginia Humanities Council and the Department of English.

The literary reading is being done in support of the Facing Hunger Foodbank. A suggested donation of 2-3 nonperishable food items is requested for admission, and a book signing will follow.

Manilla is a Huntington native and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Mississippi Review, Prairie Schooner, Calyx, and other journals. Her collection of stories, Still Life with Plums (WVU Press, 2010), was a finalist for both the Weatherford Award and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year.

Her novel, Shrapnel (River City Publishing, 2012), won the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Publishers Weekly describes her newest novel, The Patron Saint of Ugly (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) as "Clever, funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, all at once�A lovely, hopeful tale." Booklist calls it "Beautifully written, filled with detailed prose meant to be savored."

Manilla is a visiting faculty member in West Virginia Wesleyan's Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts program. Learn more at

Lawrence is a poet who teaches at Marshall University. She grew up in Ona, West Virginia, and studied English at Marshall University, then was a fellow at Indiana University, where she received her M.F.A. She has contributed music to the local film Trace Around Your Heart (2013), which won Best Music and Best of Festival at the Coal River Film Festival and Colony Film Festival. She was a finalist for the Atlanta Review International Competition, Bertolt Clever Award for Poetry, and Ross Lockridge Award for Fiction.

For more information on the Writers Harvest, contact Carrie Oeding in the Department of English via e-mail at


Photos: Marie Manilla (above) and Nicole Lawrence (below) will read from their work at Marshall University Wednesday, Dec. 3.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday November 20, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Schray earns national honors as top professor in West Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named Dr. Kateryna Schray of Marshall University the 2014 West Virginia Professor of the Year. Schray was among nearly 400 top professors in the United States who were finalists.

Schray, an English professor, describes her teaching philosophy as "embarrassingly simple: provide students with a supportive learning environment, identify and build on their strengths, and make each person an active participant in his/her own education, all the while remembering that learning is inherently joyful."

She credited colleagues for playing a large part in her receiving the Professor of the Year award.

"I am so grateful for and incredibly humbled by this recognition, but it is so very important for me to put this in context," she said. "My college seeks out and recruits committed teachers, and at every step of my career my colleagues and my chair have supported and encouraged me in my teaching vocation. I have the best colleagues a professor could hope for."

Schray is in Washington, D. C., today, where the national and state winners are being announced and honored at an awards luncheon at the National Press Club. She also will be attending an evening congressional reception at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

"We are supposed to wear business/professional attire to the reception at the National Press Club, but when I looked at the official group photo of last year's award recipients, I realized that I had no idea where any of them came from," she said. "So, I'm trying to figure out a way to wear a Marshall shirt, while still meeting the dress code, so that anyone looking at the photo would know that Marshall is represented among the winners."

She said she considers herself a "pretty good" representative of her department.

"All of us strive to make our classes substantive, meaningful, productive and memorable," she said. "In addition, I've had the privilege to team teach with great teachers at Marshall Jamie Warner, Susan Gilpin, Caroline Perkins, Steve Mewaldt, Bill Price, just to name a few."

Most of all, Schray said, she continues to be "absolutely amazed" by her students.

"Their ideas, their insights, their courage, their cleverness and upbeat natures, their generosity towards one another, their desire to serve others, their determination to make the world a better place," she said. "I cannot imagine a more rewarding career and I still can't believe how lucky I am. I have a lot to be grateful for, more than I can say."

Schray, who has  been at Marshall since 1996, when she was hired as an assistant professor of English, said she also greatly appreciates the work done by her colleagues at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

"Truly these teachers do the heavy lifting and I am in awe of their talents," she said. "Now that my oldest child is in high school, I recognize how much I am indebted to the teachers who have preceded me and I am so very grateful. I've also come to understand the important role a good principal plays, and the contributions of the essential people behind the scenes: school secretaries, counselors and specialists."

Schray earned her Ph.D. in Medieval Literature from the University of North Carolina in 1997. She received her bachelor's degree from La Salle University and her master's from Georgetown University. She was named the Marshall University Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award Recipient for 2012-13, and was the keynote speaker at the university's Winter Commencement last December. She also received the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001 and the Reynolds Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009.

She is the fifth professor in Marshall history to have won the prestigious award. The university's previous recipients include Dr. Karen Mitchell, a mathematics professor, in 1995; Dr. John McKernan, an English professor, in 2000; Dr. Steven Mewaldt, a psychology professor, in 2003; and Dan Hollis, a journalism professor, in 2012.

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. Additional support for the program is received from Phi Beta Kappa, which sponsors the congressional reception, the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education and other higher education associations.

This year, a state Professor of the Year was recognized in 31 states. CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third and final panel, which selected four national winners. CASE and Carnegie select state winners from top entries resulting from the judging process. Schray was selected from among faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.


Photo: Dr. Kateryna Schray, second from left, works with three Marshall University students earlier this week. The students are, from left, Cassidy Dutcher, Chelsea Miller and Cayce Blankenship. Schray said all three are her former students who inspire her to keep striving for excellence and exemplify why she has "the best job in the world."  Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The Carnegie Foundation is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge.

Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London, Singapore and Mexico City, CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Direct Link to This Release
Friday November 14, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

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

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

Rec the Halls with Holiday Hopes can be compared to an "Angel Tree." Wish lists will be collected from local agencies such as Golden Girls, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Tri-State, A.D. Lewis Community Center, Ronald McDonald House, Branches, Pressley Ridge, Lily's Place and NECCO.

The wishes will be hung on a tree in the lobby of the Marshall Recreation Center and in both First-Year Residence Hall lobbies. Anyone interested may stop by the Rec or residence halls starting Monday, Nov. 17 to collect a wish! Then, he or she may bring their items back to that same location with the tag attached to help make the holiday dreams come true for someone in the Tri-State. All wish items must be dropped off by Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Nobody needs to worry about wrapping the gifts - the recreation Center and First-Year Residence Halls will take care of the wrapping. A wrapping party will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12 to wrap the gifts for the agencies. Volunteers will be rewarded with snacks and drinks, while enjoying each other's company in a festive atmosphere.

For more information contact Dan Belcher, facility/operations coordinator, at 304-696-4651 or by e-mailing him at; or, Michele Muth, assistant director, marketing & memberships, at 304-696-2943, or by e-mailing her at

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday November 13, 2014
Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, (304) 691-1713

Marshall University internal medicine resident team wins state competition

School of Medicine team will represent W.Va. at national tournament

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A team of resident physicians with the department of internal medicine at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine recently won a statewide medical competition, "The Doctor's Dilemma," sponsored by the West Virginia American College of Physicians (ACP). The event was part of the organization's chapter meeting in October.

Marshall's team competed against medical resident teams from West Virginia University and West Virginia University-CAMC to capture the coveted title.   Marshall now advances to the national tournament at the ACP's national meeting in April in Boston.

The Doctor's Dilemma is a medical "Jeopardy"-style competition designed to test medical knowledge of medical residents in a variety of disciplines from general internal medicine to subspecialty questions in neurology, oncology, pulmonology, cardiology and endocrinology.

"The Marshall team has worked together and prepared extremely hard, performing over and above residency requirements," said Eva Patton-Tackett, M.D., associate program director of Marshall's internal medicine resident program. "We are extremely proud of this team and know they will represent the Marshall Medical School and the state of West Virginia well at the national competition."

Marshall's team members include Hatiem M. Muafa, M.D., Alaa Y.F.Gabi, M.D. (chief resident), Aviral Roy, M.D., and Jason P. Mader, D.O. Charles E. Meadows, M.D., an associate professor with the department of internal medicine, serves as team coach.

Direct Link to This Release
Wednesday November 12, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

MU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi achieves Chapter of Excellence status

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has achieved Chapter of Excellence status, Mary Todd, Ph.D., executive director of the society, has announced.

Todd said the goal of the Chapter Recognition Program is to reward those chapters that have exhibited outstanding performance as a result of the effort of their volunteer chapter officers.

"This past year, 53 of our 316 chapters received recognition status," Todd wrote in a letter of congratulations to Marshall President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp. "Both the headquarters staff and the Board of Directors are committed to providing chapters the tools they need to achieve recognition for their work with students."

Dr. Mary Beth Reynolds, president of Marshall's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, said, "Marshall's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi thanks its officers, members, and Marshall's Honors College for making this recognition possible!"

Marshall's chapter has been in existence just 41/2 years. Its petition for a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was approved in late May of 2010. Todd Green served as president of the Marshall chapter in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

"I am pleased that through the hard work of its members the Marshall chapter of Phi Kappa Phi achieved Chapter of Excellence status," Green said. "It means a lot to us as a newer chapter to receive this honor.  I hope we can build upon this in the future to make the Marshall chapter one of the best in the country."

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine. It is the nation's oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.  Approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni are inducted into the society annually from 300 select campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction can also qualify for membership in the society.

Direct Link to This Release
Tuesday November 11, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall's United Way campaign raises more than $28,700 for community

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's United Way campaign raised $28,736.89 during the 2014 university campaign Sept. 22 - Oct. 10. Thousands of lives across the region will be changed for the better with the help of funds raised by the Marshall community, according to Will Holland, director of resource development for United Way of the River Cities.

"We saw an 83 percent increase in the number of contributors - 53 donors to 97 donors - and a 30 percent pledge increase from last year's campaign total," Holland said. "Anytime we see a big increase like this, it is because of the committed individuals behind the scenes working hard to make an impact in our community. Marshall University has much to be proud of."

Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions and current board member for United Way of the River Cities, said the amount raised by Marshall employees translates into thousands of people in our area who will be helped.

"If we wanted to see the actual impact these funds had on our community, we need to consider that 420 children were helped get ready for kindergarten, 170 adults were helped with job and life skills training, 238 youth gained healthy lifestyle habits and 1,972 individuals in need received a warm meal," Prewitt said. "We have the opportunity to make a positive difference and I hope we will continue to see participation increase in our community for many years to come."

Megan Archer, 2014 campaign coordinator, said she believes the participation level of the Marshall community will continue to grow as efforts are made to increase awareness and enthusiasm campus-wide.

"Plans are already underway for creating more visibility on campus for our local United Way all year, not just during campaign season," Archer said.� "The success of the 2014 campaign would not have been possible without the dedication of our committee members and the generosity of our faculty, staff and students."

To learn more about how you can give back to United Way of the River Cities, visit

Direct Link to This Release
Friday November 7, 2014
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions, 304-488-8863

Marshall's department of public health seeks participants for breast cancer research

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University undergraduate department of public health is searching for women in 23 West Virginia counties to participate in breast cancer research.

Dr. Monika Sawhney, director of the undergraduate public health program, said she received a grant to conduct breast cancer research in West Virginia last spring. Sawhney said her department will have educational sessions in each of the 23 counties for those interested in learning more about early prevention of breast cancer.

"We want to reach these underserved populations in our state to raise awareness about breast cancer and help these women understand the importance of timely screenings," Sawhney said. "Participants will be asked to attend an informational meeting in their counties and then complete a survey for our research purposes."

Counties offering opportunities for the breast cancer educational sessions include Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Harrison, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Pleasants, Riley, Randolph, Ritchie, Summers, Upshur, Webster and Wyoming.

Time and location will vary for each county. For more information on how you can attend a breast cancer educational session in your area, please contact Sawhney at or by calling 304-696-2602. To learn more about the Marshall Department of Public Health, visit online.

Direct Link to This Release
Thursday November 6, 2014
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Rob Wheeler Memorial Scholarship established at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A fund known as the Rob Wheeler Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of former South Point High School teacher Rob Wheeler, has been established by the Marshall University Foundation, Inc.

The recipient of the scholarship will be a full-time undergraduate student who graduated from South Point High School in South Point, Ohio with at least a 3.0 GPA. The Office of Student Financial Assistance will select the recipient.

The scholarship was transferred from South Point High School to the MU Foundation.

Wheeler died on April 25, 1994 after a long battle with cancer.

" 'I am firm in my belief a teacher lives on and on through his students.  Good teaching is forever and the teacher is immortal,' " said Peggy Byard, quoting writer Jesse Stuart. Byard, now retired, also was a South Point teacher at the time of Wheeler's death.

"This scholarship insures Rob's legacy will live on by providing much-needed financial aid to South Point High School graduates," Byard said. "Rob was a fantastic teacher, mentor and friend, and this insures his vision for students."

Byard wrote the following about Wheeler in the 1994 high school yearbook:

"Rob Wheeler was the consummate teacher, going to any and all lengths to educate those students with whom he came into contact," Byard wrote. "He not only taught classroom subjects, but he taught about life and the beautiful things it has to offer each and every one of us. He was able to bring out the best in students, having that special 'teacher talent' of being able to bridge the gap between friend and teacher."

On July 5, 1975, Wheeler's wife, Alice, gave birth to twins, Ellen and Alan. The entire family has been active members of the First Baptist Church of South Point, where Rob was a deacon and a Sunday School teacher.

"The loss of Rob Wheeler was for me, as it was for many others, a very deep and personal loss," Byard continued in her writing. "What he did, what he was and the lives he touched could fill this entire book. He was a very special person, and he will be missed by everyone who ever came into contact with him."

Peter Kim, a 1990 graduate of South Point High School and son of Dr. Chong Kim, former dean of the Marshall University College of Business, also had high praise for Wheeler. He, too, wrote about Wheeler in the '94 yearbook:

"It's been said that a true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes," Kim wrote. "Mr. Wheeler took on several roles in my life: educator, advisor, disciplinarian and coach. In all definitions of the word, he was an outstanding teacher; but, more importantly in my life, Mr. Wheeler was always a true friend."

In also writing about Wheeler, South Point teacher Jamie Lester Meade said simply, "with energy, patience and love for his students, Rob Wheeler taught me how to be a teacher in today's world."

Anyone wanting to contribute to the scholarship may send a check made payable to the MU Foundation to 519 John Marshall Dr., Huntington, WV 25705, with Rob Wheeler Memorial Scholarship on the memo line.

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Thursday November 6, 2014
Contact: Dr. David Trowbridge, Associate Professor of History, 304-696-2717

Marshall faculty, librarians launch history website and mobile app

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Monica Brooks of Marshall Libraries and Drs. Dan Holbrook and David Trowbridge of the Department of History at Marshall University have announced the public launch of Clio, a website and mobile application for the study of history.

Named after the ancient muse of history, Clio, which can be found online at, has been built by Trowbridge and students assisting him over the past two years. Clio picks up a user's location anywhere in the United States and tells them about the history and culture that surrounds them, with a growing database that includes nearly 4000 museums, art galleries, monuments, sculptures and historical sites. In addition, contributors across the nation are adding hundreds of sites each month, Trowbridge said.

"Clio creates a fascinating journey that illustrates historical events, people and places across America," said Jackie Wheeler, one of the students who has worked on the project. "By creating an entry on Clio, you can help to broaden the availability of rich American history and passionately share events, some of which are less known. I have enjoyed being a part of Clio and bringing history to others in a new and wonderful way."

Clio provides a summary and backstory for each location, along with links to more information, Trowbridge said. Clio can also connect users to relevant books, articles and websites when they are ready to learn more about any particular topic.

In addition to guiding the public to physical sites such as monuments and museums, Clio includes "Time Capsule" entries that allow users to hold their smartphones up to the modern landscape and see images and videos of historic events that have not yet been commemorated with markers. For example, Clio can guide users to the precise location of a civil rights protest or a labor strike. Users can "feel history" as they stand at that location while viewing images and videos of the event and reading primary source documents and interpretations of the event written by scholars. For example, Clio shows the precise location of sit-ins in Huntington and Charleston, allowing users with smartphones to view images and videos of the sit-ins right where they occurred.

"Clio has given me the opportunity to unearth the historical significance of DuBois High School," said Hailey Horn, another of the students who has worked on the project. "Clio allows us to bring history to the present, and inform the community members of its importance."

Clio's goal is to connect everyone in the United States to the history and culture that surrounds them, Trowbridge said. Each entry can provide a basic summary, detailed backstory, images and audio/video clips, as well as suggested books and articles for those who want to know more. Entries for museums and archives provide addresses, hours, phone numbers and official websites, along with turn-by-turn directions. Because Clio can pick up a user's present location, it can always guide them right to the place, he added.

"Clio reaches beyond the textbook, allowing a user to access the history that surrounds us," said J. Lee Sigmon, another of Trowbridge's students. "Events, places and people are brought to the user, [making] Clio perfect for historically inclined tourists. Launch the app and a region's history comes alive."

Students, faculty and librarians recently filmed a video introduction to Clio, highlighting its capacity to connect users to the history that surrounds them. It is available at

Clio is available on any web browser or as a free mobile application ("app") in iTunes and Google Play.

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