Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp presents top EMBA graduate Don Channell of Hurricane with a plaque. Channell earned a 4.0. (Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University)

Keynote speaker Phyllis Arnold of BB&T congratulates EMBA graduate Laura Davis Ellis of Charleston. (Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University)

CHARLESOTN – Fifteen business professionals in the current Marshall University Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) class were honored last weekend during a special hooding ceremony in Charleston.

The students were formally hooded in their academic regalia by Dr. Sarah Denman, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, after having successfully completed all the requirements of the Marshall EMBA program that included a recent study abroad trip to the Czech Republic. Don Channell of Hurricane was individually recognized as the top EMBA graduate.

"This ceremony recognized the accomplishments of our professional business students in a formal setting in the Kanawha Valley befitting the hard work and dedication that went into earning their EMBA degrees," said Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, president of Marshall University. "We are proud of them and this recognition event was our way of letting our EMBA students know that we understand and appreciate the sacrifices they made to advance their education and careers."

The Marshall University program is the only accredited EMBA offered in the Kanawha Valley. Classes are held on Saturdays at the university's South Charleston campus allowing professionals to earn an accredited degree without interrupting their current careers. This cohort of students sacrificed up to 86 Saturdays to earn this degree.

The Marshall EMBA curriculum has been designed for small class interaction using state-of-the-art technology and hands-on experiential learning that focuses on business ethics, leadership and global issues, along with management skills and tools.

Phyllis Arnold, West Virginia State President and West Virginia Central Regional President of BB&T, served as keynote speaker. Arnold earned her MBA from Marshall and has been inducted into the Lewis College of Business Hall of Fame. She based her speech on raising the standards of practicing business including recruitment and retention of employees, attention to employee wellness, celebrating workplace diversity, high standards of ethics, the nobility of earning profits and the value of economic freedom.

"Sometimes it's as simple as taking each problem you encounter in business and kicking it up a notch," Arnold told the EMBA recipients.

The Marshall EMBA Class of 2008 includes: Denise Baker of Winfield; Don Channell of Hurricane; Charles D. Childers of Ransom, Ky.; Jeremy Dolan of Catlettsburg, Ky.; Laura Davis Ellis of Charleston; Clifford Johnson of West Alex, Ohio; Donna R. Lusher of Ona; Jason Mastrangelo of Huntington; Kerry Kim Matthews Jr. of Yawkey; William M. McDaniel II of Scott Depot; James Howard McKee of Nitro; Philip Richmond of Huntington; Katrina Spaulding of Crown City, Ohio; Michael Paul Winter of Logan; and Richard D. Wiseman of Point Pleasant.

The students will have their official degrees conferred at Marshall's formal commencement ceremony May 10.

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