Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012 - 11:01am

POPLARVILLE _ Students willing to trade their traditional time off school for a fast course will now have that opportunity at Pearl River Community College.

Starting in December for the first time, PRCC will offer two-week mini-term classes at both the Poplarville campus and the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg.

“Our observation is that students who come home for the holidays have expressed an interest in getting an accelerated course out of the way,” said Dr. Martha Lou Smith, vice president for General Education and Technology Services at PRCC.

“We expect these students to be high achievers who are looking for a way to finish their degrees,” she said. “It is a sacrifice for the students during the holidays but they understand how important it is to stay on track.”

Mini-term classes will begin Dec. 10 and end Dec. 21 with finals being Saturday, Dec. 22. They will meet five days a week, four and one-half hours a day. These are not online classes.

  • Forrest County Center classes that will meet from 8 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. include English Composition I and II, World Literature I, General Psychology, Cultural Anthropology and Public Speaking I.
  • Poplarville classes that will meet from 8 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. include Music Appreciation (non-music majors), General Psychology and Public Speaking I. World Literature I will meet from noon to 4:30 p.m. Two Child Development Technology classes will also meet during this time.

Those students are encouraged to contact Judy Shaw ( or Sonya Tapper ( for further information.

Dr. Smith believes mini-term classes offer some students an academic advantage. “The student does not have a lot of time to forget the material that was presented the day before,” she said. “It tends to give them immersion in whatever discipline it is.”

She said it takes a commitment from students. “Missing a day would be like missing two weeks of classes,” said Dr. Smith. “These will be intense classes.”

She expects these mini-term classes to be attractive to four-year college students home for the holidays. “Some of them may have found it hard to get a class at a bigger school,” said Dr. Smith. “This way they can come home and take a class.”

PRCC students can apply the mini-term courses to their spring financial aid. Otherwise, the cost is $115 per credit hour plus any applicable fees.

If you are currently a PRCC student, enroll in the classes by logging into RiverGuide and registering. If you are not a current PRCC student, go to the PRCC website and select “Future Students.” From there, select the appropriate link to enroll as a student at PRCC.

November 12, 2012 - 11:45am

HATTIESBURG - Professor and author Dr. Andrew Wiest of Hattiesburg considers it his duty to make the Vietnam war history for today’s and tomorrow’s students.
Wiest, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi, spoke about the “Legacy of Vietnam” during the Pearl River Community College Veterans Day program on Nov. 8 at the Forrest County Center.
The author of  “The Boys of ‘67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam,” Wiest studied World War I when he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USM but that topic wasn’t his first choice.
“When I went to college, people didn’t teach about Vietnam,” he said.
As a student, Wiest traveled to the battlefields of Europe as part of study-abroad programs. He developed a life-long devotion to the memory of veterans when he and his classmates were the only people visiting an American cemetery in France.
“That was a very formative experience in my life,” he said. “It’s pretty emotional for students to stand in those places. It can be overwhelming. I made it my business that day to make sure our veterans are not forgotten.
“If each of us does our part to cherish the memories of our veterans, maybe the next time I go to a cemetery I won’t be the only one there.”
Wiest went on to receive his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1990 and returned to Hattiesburg. He founded the Center for the Study of War and Society at USM in 1992 and continues to serve as its director as well as leading students and veterans on study-abroad trips to both Europe and Vietnam.
“We take veterans with us, usually two or three,” he said. “Their job is to pick out a place they want to see again and we go with them. It’s usually a battlefield and they usually want to say good-bye to a buddy who didn’t make it home. It’s a very emotional thing.
“Vietnam is not history yet. It’s my job to make it history. Vietnam vets got too bad a wrap about what happened there and after.”
The typical veteran spent a year in Vietnam before being dropped back into a society that was becoming increasingly vocal against the war, he said.

“That was a brutal war,” Wiest said. “That one year of war is critical to their lives. It defines who they are. Veterans rarely talk about themselves. It’s always about the bravery of others.”
Wiest encouraged the audience to talk to family and friends who are veterans and to preserve their stories.
The Forrest County Center’s annual Veterans Day observance was dedicated to Army 1st Lieutenant Donald Glenn O’Quinn, a PRCC graduate who died in a military helicopter crash in 1988 at Fort Hood, Texas.
The program included a devotion written by Dr. Benny Hornsby, PRCC social sciences instructor, who retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain. Much of his 36-year career in the Navy was as a chaplain.
Those attending the program were given the opportunity to speak about the veterans in their lives. Student Courtney McKean of Hattiesburg spoke of the anger felt as a child when her father, John McKean, was away from home in the Army. He will soon be deployed to Afghanistan, she said.
“Anything like this, I always get real emotional,” she said. “I can’t imagine what the families go through who lose a soldier. That’s my biggest fear - that my daddy won’t come back.”
Veterans and family memvers of veterans are recognized
Photo captions:
Veterans and family members of veterans are recognized on Thursday, Nov. 8, during the Forrest County Center's Veterans Day program. At right is Donna O'Quinn, PRCC assistant director of financial aid. The Veterans Day program was dedicated to her twin brother, Donald Glenn O'Quinn, a PRCC graduate who died in an Army helicopter crash in 1988.
PRCC Public Relations photo