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Marques White studied finance at Beaver before settling on a career in news

Marques White

"Can I call you back? We’ve got dead people here.” The voice of Marques White filters through the receiver. There’s no hint of stress, no panic. His tone isn’t cold or uncaring. It’s matter-of-fact, the type of voice you would expect from an experienced journalist. "

As a reporter, anchor, and producer for WVNS-TV in Ghent, W.Va., the charismatic Penn State Beaver alumnus is used to chaos. It’s practically in his job description.

It’s an interesting job,” White ’06 Bus said later with a laugh, recounting his most tense experience.

“The most interesting thing I have probably done was cover a standoff with a man who deputies say shot and wounded one of their own. The man kidnapped an elderly woman and held her hostage. I was outside of the home near Topeka, Kan., covering the story for about 12 hours.”

White won a first place Kansas Association of Broadcasters Award and a first place Kansas City Press Club Award for his coverage of the story. White started at Penn State Beaver in 2002 and graduated from Penn State Erie in 2006, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance.

“I definitely remember some of the faculty members. I don’t know if I necessarily remember what I learned, but I remember that I certainly gained an appreciation for new ways of thinking. And I certainly gained and developed my thinking skills while I was there,” he said.

After graduation, White took a job at PNC Financial Services, where he worked as an accountant. For about a year, he crunched numbers and balanced budgets, but the life of an accountant just didn’t appeal to him.

White left PNC and enrolled in graduate school at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He said his experience winning two consecutive second-place prizes in the Penn State Beaver Undergraduate Research Fair under the tutelage of Dr. John Chapin helped prepare him for this transition.

“All the research I did in that fair helped me go on to use research in graduate school,” he said.

It was at Point Park University that he began to study journalism, a profession that he held close to his heart as a young child.

“I think I always knew I wanted to be in journalism as a kid. I would wake up and change the channel immediately to one I had an interest in. I asked my family questions about TV — why do they do this, and why do they do that?” he said.

At Point Park he was encouraged to break into the business as soon as possible.

“One of my mentors told me, ‘If you want to be on TV, you may as well do it while you’re young,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”

In 2008, White jumped into TV and quickly gained experience at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.

He began his journey into the fast-paced world of news reporting as an intern, but quickly impressed his superiors and was eventually offered a full-time job with the station as an associate producer.

It was during this time that he had two of his most memorable experiences.

On Nov. 5, 2008, White sat before the studio cameras to announce Barack Obama’s victory over Senator John McCain, becoming the nation’s first African-American president.

Three months later he covered the Pittsburgh Steelers’ road to Super Bowl glory in a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

“The Super Bowl and the election were very memorable because those were epic moments in history and big moments to be working in a newsroom,” White said.

He eventually left Pittsburgh and headed to Topeka, Kan., where he was a news anchor for a local CBS affiliate.

In February 2012, White accepted a job at WOWK-TV, the CBS affiliate for the Charleston-Huntington area in W.Va., where he anchored the morning news. He stayed at WOWK-TV for almost a year before moving to his current job with WVNS-TV.

“It’s not your typical 9-5 job,” said White. When he’s not producing the 6 and 11 o’clock newscasts, White spends his time updating the station website and Facebook pages, periodically checking the national newswires for breaking stories.

“You never want some person on the street to know more about what’s happening in the world than you do,” he said.