Pearl River Community College

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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February 12, 2020 - 10:53am
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POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River Community College President Dr. Adam Breerwood has been nominated by his students for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Paragon Award for New Presidents because of his dedication to student support.

More than 500 college presidents were eligible to receive the award and 28 will be recognized during PTK Catalyst 2020, the Society’s annual convention, April 2-4 in Dallas, Texas.

These awards are given to new college presidents who have shown strong support of student success by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students at their college. Recipients were nominated for the award by the students on their campuses.

Breerwood started at the college as a student and earned the presidential position on July 1, 2017, 21 years after he began working at the college.

He has worked in many avenues of the college along the way including athletics, recruitment and student services.

“I am honored to receive recognition from a premier student-based organization like Phi Theta Kappa,” Breerwood said. “Our entire faculty and staff work daily to promote student success. I am humbled that these elite students not only recognize but appreciate this commitment.”

According to the organization’s mission statement, the purpose of Phi Theta Kappa shall be to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.

To be invited to join this prestigious group, a student must complete 12 hours of college credit from their institution and secure at least a 3.4 GPA.

"We appreciate Dr. Breerwood's continued support of our students," FYS Coordinator and PTK Advisor Lisa Wall said. "Having administrative support makes all the difference in our organization and gives our students the resources they need to make an impact both on their campus and in their community." 

Pearl River has two chapters of Phi Theta Kappa including Iota Mu located on the Poplarville campus and Beta Tau Gamma located at the Forrest County Center. Both organizations are active at their respective locations organizing events such as blood drives, plasma donor screenings, interview attire fashion shows and more.

PTK students have a 91 percent student success rate, and research has shown that strong presidential leadership and support of PTK increases member success and the depth of their college experience.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats) and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG).

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

 
February 12, 2020 - 3:52pm
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POPLARVILLE, Miss — Pearl River Community College has appointed a lifelong Wildcat as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Tessa Rawls Smith. 

"Ms. Tess Smith is a trusted and well respected member of our Board of Trustees," Pearl River President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. "Her forward thinking and innovative approach to education has provided valuable perspective. I look forward to her continued leadership as we work to provide higher education opportunities to our surrounding communities. I am thrilled with the Board of Trustees’ decision to appoint Ms. Smith Chairman for the next two years. In the ever changing world of higher education we have numerous challenges that lie ahead. She is the ideal candidate to lead the efforts of our Board."

Twenty-eight years after first stepping on Pearl River’s Poplarville campus as a college freshman, Smith is taking on the role of Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  

Smith is a lifelong resident of Sumrall. She attended and graduated from Oak Grove schools before joining the Wildcat Family in 1987 as a college freshman on the Poplarville campus. 

After PRCC, she moved on to earn her Bachelors of Science in 1992 from the University of Southern Mississippi and began her teaching career at her alma mater, Oak Grove High School. After earning her Masters from USM in 1997 she transitioned into a school counseling position. Smith then earned her Specialist from USM in School Administration and became assistant principal at Oak Grove Middle School.

In 2014, Smith returned to Wildcat Country as a member of the board when she was named Superintendent of the Lamar County School District. She is currently working on her Doctorate degree from William Carey University. 

“It has been truly amazing to see the growth and change that has taken place on the campus from then to now,” Smith said. “I feel truly blessed to play a role in PRCC's future.”

Smith and her husband, Ray, have two boys who both chose a military path including participating in ROTC while at USM. Smith and her husband are expecting their first grandchild in April. 

“I have taken each role on the PRCC board very seriously,” Smith said. “I believe in lifelong learning. Anything that we can to do support all levels of education is of critical importance.”

Superintendent of Education for Hancock County Schools, Alan Dedeaux preceded Smith in the Chairperson position for the years of 2018 and 2019. Smith will serve for all of 2020 and 2021. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats) and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG).

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Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia M. Seal, Director of Admissions and Records/ ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator at P.O. Box 5559, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060 or Maghan James, Assistant Vice President of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5805, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1132.

 
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