Dr. Ted J. Alexander, president of Pearl River Community College from 1986 to 2000, died Wednesday, July 2, in Hattiesburg. He was 78. Alexander served as PRCC president during a time of tremendous growth in students, course offerings and physical facilities, including the Allied Health Center and its programs at the Forrest County Center. “Ted Alexander was an innovative, creative and progressive educational leader,” said Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president. “His vision for Pearl River Community College was reflected in the many transformations that took place at the institution during his tenure. “The numerous allied health programs that the college opened during Dr. Alexander’s presidency serve as a tribute to his legacy. These programs have developed thousands of health care professionals who now provide a variety of health services for the citizens of South Mississippi. It goes without saying that Ted Alexander’s vision and leadership have made a difference for our people.” The campuses in Poplarville and the Forrest County Center, in large part, took on their current shapes during Alexander’s administration. “He was a very focused individual that had specific goals that he worked very hard to attain,” said Miller Hammill, who served as dean of student affairs under Alexander. “He brought a lot of positive things to Pearl River as far as improving the education programs and the facilities while he was president. He worked very hard to attain these goals that he set for the college and for himself.” In addition to expansion at the Forrest County Center, Alexander spearheaded construction of a $3.6 million Nursing Building and the adjacent Wellness Center on the Poplarville campus. “He was determined to get those programs going in Hattiesburg,” Hammill said. “Another thing was the Wellness Center. A lot of people had real reservations about that and now almost every college has one.” The administration building on the Poplarville campus bears Alexander’s name as does the Ted J. Alexander Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship was established by friends of Alexander in lieu of retirement gifts and is administered by the PRCC Development Foundation established during Alexander’s tenure. Following his retirement from Pearl River, Alexander was named chief executive officer of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. Martin T. Smith of Poplarville, attorney for the PRCC board of trustees, serves on the foundation’s board and was also the college’s attorney during Alexander’s administration. “He was a visionary if there ever was one,” Smith said. “He continued to be very much involved in the life of Pearl River Community College and through his work with the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, he was aware of many projects that meant so much to the betterment of the recipients of those grants.” The foundation was established to administer the majority of the proceeds from the sale of Crosby Memorial Hospital and concentrates its efforts on educational and health-related projects. Many of those projects were funded in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Poplarville. “We worked closely together on a number of projects and I saw first hand the passion that Dr. Alexander had for the welfare of children,” said Archie Rawls, former Rotary Club president. “Through his leadership at the LPRVF, countless children in South Mississippi have benefitted from projects such as the Safe Harbor after-school programs following Hurricane Katrina, vision and hearing screenings in the schools, cultural and educational programs and numerous classroom enhancement grants. His leadership and advocacy in these efforts will be greatly missed.” Rawls, chairman of the PRCC Department of Fine Arts and Communication, was director of bands during Alexander’s tenure as president. “Dr. Alexander faced some very difficult decisions concerning the future of PRCC during his tenure but his determined and focused leadership ultimately resulted in a stronger institution with a better clarity of mission and goals,” Rawls said. Alexander came to PRCC after 10 years as superintendent of the McComb Municipal Separate School District. During his 46-year career in education, Alexander also served as superintendent of schools in Newton, high school principal in Pascagoula and Franklin County, guidance counselor in Franklin County and in Meadville as biology and physical science teacher, football, basketball and baseball coach. He was a member and past officer of numerous professional organizations. He graduated from Central High School in Jackson and received a B.A. degree from Millsaps College. Alexander earned the Master of Education degrees in educational administration and guidance from Mississippi College and the Doctor of Education degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Alexander of Hattiesburg; two sons, Brent Alexander and his wife, Jane, of Jackson; and Bryan Alexander of Biloxi; and twin granddaughters, Emily Clare and Elizabeth Chandler Alexander of Jackson.
POPLARVILLE - A course offering the industry recognized certificate in pipefiitting will be taught at Pearl River Community College’s Poplarville campus during the fall semester. The course will meet from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Cost is $300. Students who complete the course will be eligible for application for 10-hour OSHA certification, basic lift truck operator OSHA certification and NCCER certification in introductory craft skills core curriculum, Level 1 and Level 2 pipefitting. Students must be 18 years old and complete the following steps in this order to reserve a seat: •CRC Certificate rating of silver or better. Free CRC testing is offered at the Woodall Center in Hattiesburg; 601 554-4646. •Clean drug screen at student’s expense. •Application. Contact Cheryl Frierson at 601 403-1113 for application. •Full payment at the PRCC business office in Poplarville. Tuition assistance throught the Workforce Investment Act is available for those who qualify. Contact a WIN Job Center or Rebekah Jackson at 601 336-2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org about WIA funding. Students must provide steel toed shoes, clear safety glasses, welding cap and gloves, long-sleeved snap shirt and tape measure.
HATTIESBURG - A series of free computer courses will be offered by Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg in August and September. The classes will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center, 906 Sullivan Dr., Hattiesburg. Word Level 1 will meet on Aug. 5, 7, 12 and 14. Excel Level 1 will meet on Aug. 19, 21, 26 and 28. PowerPoint Level 1 will meet on Sept. 2, 4, 9 and 11. To register, call 601 336-2240.
POPLARVILLE - Two women have been named to upper-level administrative positions at Pearl River Community College. Dr. Jennifer Seal became vice president for planning and institutional research and Tonia Moody is director of admissions and records, effective July 1. “ Our institution is fortunate to have two extremely skilled professionals who are assuming important positions in our college organizational scheme,” said Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president. “Dr. Jennifer Seal and Tonia Moody bring important skills, strong work ethics and a commitment to excellence to their new positions. I am extremely confident that these two individuals will make significant contributions to the future growth and well-being of our college.” Seal most recently served as PRCC’s director of institutional effectiveness. “Pearl River Community College provides excellent educational opportunities to students and surrounding community members,” she said. “I look forward to assisting the college expand its culture of continuing improvement.” Moody has been with PRCC since 2006, working with disability services, admissions and recruitment. “My goal as director of admissions and records is to continue the student-first approach to the college admission process,” she said. “It is our office’s ambition to make the admission process highly personalized, as we seek to assist each student reach their goals and maximize their potential for success, and to help students complete the process with ease.” As director of institutional effectiveness, Seal served as a reaffirmation review committee member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the college’s accrediting body. She is chair of several college committees, including the Women’s Health Symposium Steering Committee, and is on the Honors Institute Advisory Board. Seal was director of the quality enhancement plan (QEP) from 2006 to 2012 and successfully led the college in the completion of its first QEP, a requirement of SACSCOC. She began her work at PRCC as an adjunct mathematics instructor in 1995 and became a full-time instructor in 2002. Prior to coming to PRCC, she was mathematics department chair at Hancock High School in Kiln and received National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. She holds a doctorate degree in community college leadership from Mississippi State University and the master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Seal has served on the Hanock County School Board since 2006 and is secretary of the Gulf Coast School Board Association. She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Rotary Club of Poplarville, Hancock County and Poplarville Chambers of Commerce. Seal and her husband, Michael, live in north Hancock County with their 6-year-old daughter, Raleigh, and are the owners of Seal’s Market Place near Picayune. She is a Sunday school teacher at Crane Creek Baptist Church. A lifelong resident of south Mississippi, Moody holds the bachelor of science degree from USM and the master of science degree from MSU. Moody is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Rehabilitation Association of Mississippi (RAM), a division of the National Rehabilitation Association; the Mississippi Association on Higher Education and Disability, National Association on Higher Education and Disability, National Association of ADA Coordinators, Women In Higher Education Mississippi Network and Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. She is a member of Fellowship Chapel, where she teaches the adult ladies Sunday school class and serves as music director.
POPLARVILLE Reserved season football tickets and all sports pass are now on sale at Pearl River Community College. Tickets for all five home games, with seats in the chair back section on the 50 yard line, are $65 each. Season ticket holders will have first choice of seats and must renew by Aug. 10. Walk up individual tickets in the reserved section are $15 each. The entire center section will be chair backs for reserved seating. General admission tickets this season are $5 for students and $10 for adults. The all sports pass will also be offered for 2014-15 for $100. This pass includes a reserved ticket for football, as well as entrance to any PRCC regular season sports event on campus. The Pearl River Wildcats, who have won four MACJC state championships since 2003, will open their 2014 season with a home game against Coahoma Community College in Dobie Holden Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 28. The following week, on Thursday, Sept. 4, the Wildcats will host Holmes Community College. Both games will kick off at 7 p.m. The first road game is Thursday, Sept. 11, at Hinds Community College. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. Other home games include Jones County Junior College on Thursday, Sept. 18 (7 p.m.), Co-Lin Community College on Thursday, Oct. 2 (7 p.m.), and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on Saturday, Oct. 11 (2 p.m.), for Homecoming. Other road games include Southwest Community College on Thursday, Sept. 25 (7 p.m.), in Summit, Northeast Community College on Thursday, Oct. 16 (6:30 p.m.), in Booneville, and East Central Community College on Thursday, Oct. 23 (6:30 p.m.), in Decatur. The first round of the MACJC playoffs will begin Saturday, Nov. 3. William Jones, 46, a native of Hot Springs, Ark. and assistant coach at PRCC from 2001-07, is the head football coach at PRCC. This will be his second season. Jones comes to PRCC from East Mississippi Community College, where he served as associate head coach and defensive coordinator. To order, mail checks to the Pearl River Community College Department of Athletics, P.O. Box 5440, Poplarville, MS 39470 or call (601) 403 1041. Or email the athletic department at email@example.com.
POPLARVILLE - The Mississippi Humanities Council recently commended Pearl River Community College instructor Daniel Smith for his assistance in transporting three exhibits on loan to the state. Smith, PRCC commercial truck driving instructor, and his students transported three traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. The commendation notes the exhibits were moved “safely, professionally and in a timely manner.” “ This undertaking would have literally been impossible without the assistance of you and your students and the general cooperation of (president) Dr. William Lewis and the trucking school at Pearl River Community College,” the letter reads. “You have done us proud.” Moving the exhibits gave the students practical driving experience along with experience in packing a trailer, Smith said. He and the students first transported the New Harmonies exhibit in May 2011 from Hattiesburg to Pass Christian. They also moved the Journey Stories and The Way We Worked exhibit.
Pearl River Community College commercial truck driving instructor Daniel Smith, left, and David Morgan, special projects director for the Mississippi Humanities Council, load part of a Smithsonian Institute Museum on Main Street exhibit onto the PRCC tractor-trailer rig in May 2011. The New Harmonies exhibit had been on display in Hattiesburg, and Smith and students transported it to Pass Christian. PRCC Public Relations photo
POPLARVILLE - Two Poplarville legislators got a crash course in the value of workforce training Tuesday, July 15, at Pearl River Community College. Rep. Herb Frierson, chair of the House Appropriations committee, and Timmy Ladner, vice chair of the House Workforce Development committee, toured the welding, pipefitting, automotive and construction equipment operators technology programs. “I’m going to use this to help other legislators understand workforce training,” Ladner said. “I want to learn how all this works.” Instructor Joel Dickens showed the representatives examples of the work pipefitting students learn to do in the 270-hour course. “The numbers look real good for employment coming out,” he said. “We don’t have to hold their hands. We just send them out and they get hired. The most important thing to me is they go to work and make money.” Heath Ladner will be teaching the course this fall from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Cost is $300. Information from such tours helps legislators connect the dots as they make decisions about spending tax money, Frierson said. “It’s good to see how the money is being used in a practical manner to train people,” he said. “We need more of it.”
Pearl River Community College instructor Joel Dickens, center, talks to Rep. Timmy Ladner, left, and Rep. Herb Frierson about a pipe system mockup students in the PRCC pipefitting program learn to make. PRCC Public Relations photo
Seats remain available for ROAR new student orientation at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center. The sessions will be held at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 22 and 23. Students will register for fall semester classes, access student email accounts and learn about financial aid. Students must have completed the application process to attend. Pre-register on-line at www.prcc.edu/admissions/roar.
Students in Pearl River Community College’s occupational therapy assistant program left the classroom to spend three days in the July heat at Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp. The camp held the week of July 21 at Camp Iti Kana served 100 adults with cognitive disabilities ranging in age from 22 to 65. Approximately 115 volunteers - 75 staff and 40 high school-age counselors - made the week a vacation for the campers. For the PRCC OTA students, three days at camp gives the students a different perspective than they get through clinical or classroom work, program director Tim Pulver said. “The best therapy involves fun,” he said. “Being involved with that at camp, you get that mentality. This is what I call an idealized environment - everybody is treated equally rather than based on ability. That transforms students’ thinking.” He has been bringing third-semester students to Civitan Camp since 2004. “They’re able to offer support to our teenage counselors because they don’t know about adults with disabilities,” camp director Kay Boone said. “They’re able to adapt games for adults with disabilities. They’re able to adapt things to make them work.” OTA student Kristian Wilson of Hattiesburg first volunteered as a teenage counselor in 2009. The experience brought her to the OTA program. “It was my entire decision,” she said. “Being around them made me know what it was I wanted to do.” During a break from play rehearsal, camper Regina Young of Hattiesburg rushed up to hug Wilson and invite her to come back for the Thursday night performance. “She’s been my best friend in the whole world,” Young said. The camp gives the students a different view of what they are learning, instructor Debbie Goldberg said. “The focus during field work may be on what a patient can’t do,” she said. “They may be able to draw on their experience at camp and turn it more toward what they can do.” The students acompanied campers to the petting zoo set up by Lee’s Lane Farms, helped them ride horses from Pink Cactus Horse Camp in Hattiesburg and played soccer, kickball and basketball - all before lunch time. The camp, funded by the Civitan Club and other donors, has three missions, Boone said. The first is to give the adult campers a vacation; the second to provide a time of relaxation for the campers’ parents or caregivers. The PRCC students benefit from the third mission, she said. “We look at part of our role as building leaders among our counselors and staff,” Boone said.
Pearl River Community College occupational therapy assistant student Kristian Wilson of Hattiesburg shares a moment with Regina Young, also of Hattiesburg, at the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp on Tuesday, July 22. PRCC Public Relations photo
Gary Pates, a camper at the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp, pets a goat from Lee’s Lane Farms while Pearl River Commmunity College occupational therapy assistant student Jessica Shows of Soso holds it still. PRCC’s OTA students are spending three days helping at the camp. PRCC Public Relations photo
Pearl River Community College occupational therapy assistant students play kickball with campers Billy Ray Taylor of Ocean Springs and April Bowman of Hattiesburg, second and third from left, at the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp on Tuesday, July 22. PRCC Public Relations photo
Julie Leslie of Clinton, a camper at the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp, gets on a horse with help from Pearl River Community College occupational therapy assistant students Mallory Knighton of Centreville (in cap) and Erica Cornelison of Pelathatchie while Misty Smith of Pink Cactus Horse Camp in Hattiesburg holds the horse. PRCC Public Relations photo
The 2014 practical nursing class at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center received pins during a graduation ceremony on Thursday, July 24. They are, seated from left, Ashton Green of Oak Grove, Kashuna Todd, Keia Amones, LaSondra Duncan, all of Hattiesburg; Franchesca Oatis of Bassfield, Yoon Englert of Hattiesburg; standing, instructor Cindy Boutwell, Christan Andrews-Ritchie of McComb with honors, Yvette Stephens of Monticello, Christian Corley of Brooklyn, Charlie Graves of Sumrall, Lucas Martin of Tylertown with honors, Crysta Holifield of Petal, Faith Windham of Hattiesburg, Jill Weber of Columbia, Amber Keith of Purvis, instructors Melissa Bryant and Susan Bedwell.
Medical laboratory technology students at the Forrest County Center of Pearl River Community College received their pins in a graduation ceremony Thursday, July 24. They are, seated from left, Aleshia Griffis of Columbia, Liselle Nuckols of Hattiesburg with special honors, Janea Burton of Columbia with honors, Jennifer King of Madison with honors, Stephanie Rivas of Carriere with special honors; standing, instructor Evelyn Wallace, Corrie Sanders of Petal, Megan Bartran of Laurel, BreAnna Peyton of Monticello, Erica Cave of Asheville, N.C., with special honors, Hayley Knight of Union and instructor Tamara Henderson.
Dental assisting technology students at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center received their pins in a graduation ceremony Thursday, July 24. They are, seated from left, Alexandria Carpenter of Laurel, Delora Cox of Columbia, LeAnne Griffith of Prentiss with special honors, Hannah Pittman of Hattiesburg, Deborah Parker of Beaumont with honors; standing, instructor Karen Carlisle, Miracle Bryant and Sarah Smalley, both of Hattiesburg; Alyssa Benoit of Carriere with honors, Alaina Emmons of Seminary with honors, Maurice Henton of Louisville and instructor Rhonda Bosarge.
Graduates of the Pearl River Community College practical nursing program in Poplarville are, front row from left, Kathy M. Ladner of Wiggins, Alena Dannette Ladner of Pass Christian, Sydney L. Jackson of Lumberton, Kayla R. Fortenberry of Columbia, Kelli M. Davison of Picayune, Markieta R. Christopher of Sumrall, Lakita S. Brown of Wiggins, Billie J. Alexander of Carriere; back row from left, Roxanne "Angel" Shannon of Perkinston, Ramesh Roy of Carriere, Angela M. Robinson and Daiquari S. Raine, both of Picayune; Whitney S. Polk of Poplarville, Amanda Musmeci of Picayune, Thomas Keith Martin of Carriere, Julie MaKamson of Picayune, Kyle J. Lizana of Kiln and Jarrod P. Lajuanie of Picayune. They received their pins during a ceremony on July 24 at Malone Chapel on the Poplarville campus.