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Hollis to speak at Marshall's December commencement

Dec. 01, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Dan Hollis, an associate professor of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University, will serve as the keynote speaker at Marshall's winter commencement at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Cam Henderson Center.

Hollis, who also is serving as interim assistant dean of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was recently selected as the 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching West Virginia Professor of the Year.

"It's probably going to be the only time I'll get to address such a large gathering of students at such an important point in their lives," Hollis said. "I'm feeling the pressure a bit, but I hope to give the graduates a little something that motivates and honors them."

Hollis has been at Marshall since the fall of 1999. He was born in southwestern Indiana and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Indiana in 1983. During college and after graduation, he worked at WFIE-TV in Evansville, Ind., as an award-winning photographer, producer and reporter. In 1989, he became a freelance videographer, often shooting recruiting videos for major colleges and universities.

In 1996, Hollis returned to school to pursue teaching. He received his master's degree in communications from the University of Kentucky in 1997 and taught there two years before joining Marshall.

Alyssa Salyers, one of Hollis' students, is graduating and will attend commencement on Dec. 16. She describes Hollis as having infectious energy and enthusiasm.

"He causes us to believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed," she said. "Somehow, this man manages to be the consummate professional even as he alternately teaches, exhorts, listens, advises, encourages, supports and mentors each green freshman through his or her college years. His effectiveness is evidenced by the many students who remain in touch with him throughout their lives and their careers."

At Marshall, Hollis has received the Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award and the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award.