Parent & Family Newsletter

Michael Circle, Family Services Coordinator, 304/696-6833

Airport Shuttle by TTA

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The Office of Student Affairs would like your help in welcoming our newest staff members to the family!

Jonathan McCormick, Director for Military and Veterans’ Affairs

Michelle Barbour, Student Advocate and Success Specialist

Krystal Lee, Administrative Assistant

Rachel Bailey, Assistant Coordinator for Disability Services

We hope you will encourage your student to utilize the many resources at Marshall University. From Student Organizations and Activities to the Counseling Center, our staff is here to help you child succeed and give them the tools necessary to grow at Marshall.

For more on our Student Affairs Staff, visit today!

Student Affairs Showcase

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Amy Saunders, Director of Student Health Education Programs, works extensively with Marshall University students to encourage clean, healthy living on and off campus. With events like the Health and Wellness Fair, she works to educate students on staying active and safe.

“We focus on a lot of health and wellness activities for students,” Saunders said. “We really try to promote healthy lifestyle and healthy decision making as well as general well-being. We want them to understand that some of the decisions they make could affect them later in life.”

Working closely with Student health, Saunders runs the education side of keeping campus clean and safe from disease, preventing substance abuse and early intervention. All programming comes from tried and true, evidence-based methods, studied by Saunders and her office. Marshall was also a test site for AlcoholEdu, a program created to inform of the risks included with excessive alcohol use.

“We are definitely willing to try innovative things,” Saunders said. “But we want our programs to be effective and make sure these events and programs have meaning and impact our students in a powerful way.”

Saunders office also works with campus policy to create a healthier living space for Marshall Students. Marshall University’s tobacco-free campus policy was formed to allow comfort for all when walking from building to building and to reduce littering from used cigarettes and chewing tobacco tins. Saunders said the policy, created in part by the Student Government Association, has led to a dramatic decrease in smoke and litter since its inception in 2014.

Students can come to Saunders for help in many areas from tobacco cessation to health needs.

“I see any students having issues with substance use or health issues and I can help make an appropriate referral,” She said. “Sometimes students don’t know what their options are and I help with that. I’ve helped students sign up for health insurance. I’ve helped set others up with specialists and dentists in the local area and even help them work out a payment plan if we can.”

Other services the office offers include vaccine clinics, infectious disease education, tobacco cessation seminars and more.

Saunders said her services are confidential and encourages any student suffering with substance abuse or health concerns to visit her.

“If the parent was worried about a student, about their drinking or anything, they can reach out to us and we will reach out to the student,” she said. “I cannot release information to the family without a release form because of my confidentiality, but I encourage students to include their family.

“I also encourage parents to talk to their children about these things,” she said. “I know parents think students don’t listen to them, but research shows they do. Be sure to open these channels of communication to your children so you can be more involved in their growth and learning.”

Finally, parents are encouraged to talk to their student. Saunders said checking in with their child, seeking our services and referring them to us are all ways they can help keep their students safe and healthy in a new environment.

Please remember that all of our Student Affairs resources are in place for the success of your student. Encourage them to seek out student involvement, tutoring or counseling if they need it. At Marshall University, your student’s success is our top priority.

For more information, visit or call (304)696-6833.

Featured Family: Darius Booker and Mary Clements Payne

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Support for a college student is paramount to their success in and out of school. Some fall back on friends, others on student groups and activities, and others still, family. Darius Booker, a public relations senior at Marshall University, has found his growth in the supporting shade of all of these, but his greatest support, his grandmother, is also his biggest fan.

“We are very close,” Darius said of his grandmother, Mary Clements Payne. “When I’m not busy, we probably talk every day. She is like my mom. She is my mom. She has guided me since birth and I don’t know where I would be today without her.”

Darius came to Marshall from the neighboring city of Charleston, visiting the campus during the Outstanding Black High School Student Weekend through the Office of Intercultural Affairs. While here, he said, he “met some great people and felt like Marshall was home and the place I need to be.”

Mary was glad to have him close to home, especially since the two have been together since his infancy.

“I’ve had Darius since he was a baby in a blanket,” she said. “Everywhere that Mary went, Darius was sure to go. I have seen him grow into a fine young man. When he went to Marshall, he called me every day. Now, he never stops. I am very proud of him.”

Through his many works on campus, Darius always finds himself busy. He is the Diversity Liaison for the Student Government Association and the President of the National Panhellenic Council, the governing board for four of the nine of the historically black Greek-letter organizations. He is also president of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and serves on the advisory board for the Associate Vice President of Intercultural Affairs, Maurice Cooley. Even in his academics, he finds honor and prestige through his hard work, earning his place among the Society of Black Scholars at Marshall University.

“He’s not happy unless he’s moving,” Mary said of her grandson. “He’s trying to achieve something great. When he was growing up, I used to call him ‘Mr. President’. My husband carried a brief case and Darius wanted one too.”

Both Mary and Darius said they would not be the people they are today without each other. Mary’s impact on Darius has given him the vision to see the good he can do for the world, he said.

“I joined my fraternity because I wanted to help someone else who didn’t have the life I did,” he said. “I want to be the person who can tell all minorities and students that don’t have the drive, the push they need to make it to the university level. When I work with these organizations, I am trying to be an example for the community; be the change.”

A change, he says, he learned from Mary Clements Payne.

Important Dates for April and May

April 28, Friday
Last class day
Last day to completely withdraw from spring semester

April 29, Saturday
Exam day for Saturday classes
Some common finals

May 1, Monday
Exam Day

May 2, Tuesday
Exam Day

May 3, Wednesday
Study Day
Exams resume at 3 p.m. for Wednesday evening classes

May 4, Thursday
Exam Day

May 4, Thursday
Approved Thesis/Dissertation must be submitted to the EDT website
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation form and graduation fee receipt submitted to the Graduate College Office

May 5, Friday
Exam Day

May 6, Saturday,

TBD at Big Sandy Superstore Arena Commencement

May 7, Sunday, Noon
Residence halls close