Announcements & News

May 2015

Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program receives donations for the Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship

The Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program was presented with $1,500 in donations to the Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship fund at the reception for the nationally recognized program's 19th graduating class.

Michael J. Farrell, Esq., presented the check on behalf of numerous contributors to Dr. Terry W. Fenger, director of the program. Gifts were made by Farrell; Tamela J. White, Esq.; Erik W. Legg, Esq.; Les and Denise Spears; Jill Stevens; Sam and Val Schiedler; David Miller and Dr. Terry Fenger and his wife, Sandy.

The Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship for the Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program was founded by White in honor of her parents. The scholarship benefits West Virginia and metro-area students who are accepted into the master's degree program and demonstrate high academic performance and financial need during their undergraduate education.

"The Marshall University Forensic Science Program is the National Leader in Forensic Science Graduate Education," said White. "Matters of national and state security, ranging from anti-terrorism to victim rights to digital forensics, are within this program's expertise. Dr. Fenger, Dr. Staton and the entire team of faculty and support staff are commended for the dedication and invaluable services provided. This scholarship is but one way that a community citizen can support the program and Marshall University."

Fenger said he hopes the endowed scholarship will encourage students from West Virginia to apply to Marshall's Forensic Science Graduate Program and seek opportunities for higher paying jobs and careers in this exciting and important field.

"Contributions to this scholarship are important because this is the only scholarship that has been established to provide students in Marshall's Master of Forensic Science program with financial assistance to help pay for their education," said Fenger. "The scholarship will help support our students so they can make a difference in our society by serving the greater good to make our communities safer and serve justice through scientific forensic methods."

Fenger presented Farrell and White with plaques from Marshall's Forensic Science Center to recognize their long-term contributions to the forensic science graduate program and improving forensic science education.

Fenger said Farrell has been instrumental in the development of the program going back to the early 1990s when he was on the West Virginia Board of Trustees, and he continues to provide advice and support.

"It is easy to support the best Forensic Science master's program in the United States," Farrell said. "I am grateful to Dr. Fenger and Dr. Pam Staton for their tireless dedication to this scientific cornerstone that provides reliable certainty to the administration of the criminal justice system."

Farrell also reminded students and graduates of the program that it is currently number one in the country for highest overall student test scores on the American Board of Criminalistics assessment test as of 2014. During the spring semester, students in the Class of 2015 took the exam, and the academic program is awaiting the results.

More than 50 percent of the 19 graduates of the program's Class of 2015 have obtained jobs and most of the others have pending offers. To date, 292 students have graduated from the nationally recognized, FEPAC-accredited program since 1997.

Donations to the fund may be sent to:

  • Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship Fund
  • c/o The Marshall University Foundation
  • 519 John Marshall Drive
  • Huntington, WV 25703


  • Mary Thomasson
  • Public Information Officer

  • Marshall University
    Forensic Science Center
  • 1401 Forensic Science Drive
  • Huntington, WV 25701