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HUNTINGTON, WV -

John M. Maher, Marshall University's vice president for research, has been elected chairman of the board of TechConnect West Virginia. 

TechConnect is a statewide economic development organization that fosters and promotes innovation-based businesses and entrepreneurial activities. The group's members represent education and research, private industry and the public sector. 

Maher joined Marshall in 2007. In addition to his vice president role, he also serves as executive director of the Marshall University Research Corp. From 2003 to 2007, he was the executive director of the Chemical Alliance Zone, a collaborative devoted to economic development in the chemical and allied sectors. 

Before that, he worked for 21 years at the Union Carbide Corp., serving in a broad range of technical and managerial assignments in areas as diverse as catalysis research, plant technology support, intellectual property management, capital project execution and new business development. 

Anne Barth is the executive director of TechConnect.

In other news at Marshall, the annual Women of Color program features award-winning actress and arts educator Carmen Mitzi Sinnott as keynote speaker.

She is known for her solo show, "Snapshot," the true story of love interrupted by invasion that explores the forces of history, race and war.

The Women of Color awards also were presented in a program coordinated by Fran L. Jackson of the Center for African-American Students; Leah Tolliver, director of the Marshall University Women's Center; Lisa Allen of Intercultural Affairs and Kesha Glover of Housing and Residence Life.