Marshall alumni return to university to pursue careers


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Marshall University is home to thousands of students who may never return to campus after receiving their degrees. However, for a few people working in the University Communications Department, this is not always true. 

The department is home to many graduates who have returned to Marshall to pursue their careers, such as Melanie Chapman, a Marshall alumna with a degree in broadcast journalism. 

For years, Chapman worked as one of the producers at local news station WSAZ NewsChannel 3. After over 12 years in the television business, Chapman returned to Marshall as the university relations specialist. 

“Coming back here is like a breath of fresh air,” Chapman said. “The TV world is vastly different. It’s fast paced, and every day is different. But I find a lot of that here as well.”

Whether she is planning the Fountain Ceremony, taking the class photo at the football stadium for the class of 2022 or planning homecoming week, Chapman said she could not be happier to be home. 

The university’s director of communications, Leah Payne, also graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Marshall. 

After graduation, Payne worked in radio broadcasting as well as television news. In 2003, after going through a divorce and becoming a single mom of three, Payne said she decided going back to the robust atmosphere of a newsroom would not be what was best for her and her family. 

“I heard about an opening here at Marshall, and I thought to myself ‘Now that is something I’d like to do, I’d like to be back on campus,’” Payne said. “Marshall has been so good to me.”

Payne has had several positions at Marshall within the last few years, but she said she loves being the spokesperson for a place she can now call home forever.

Madison Davis can be contacted at [email protected] 

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