Pearl River Community College

March 2021

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Pearl River announces exciting opportunities for Forrest County residents

Pearl River announces exciting opportunities for Forrest County residents

Pearl River Community College announced two exciting initiatives March 1 at the Forrest County Board of Supervisors meeting set to benefit Forrest County residents. 

The board of supervisors gave $125,000 to continue the County Tuition Assistance Program (CTAP) which is in it’s the third year. Forrest Health also gave $90,000 in seed money to start a new LPN to RN bridge program at Pearl River’s Forrest County Center. 

“It’s a great day for Forrest County and a great day for Pearl River Community College,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “What the Board of Supervisors has done over the last three years has provided an opportunity to achieve higher education. Everyone that lives in the area will have an opportunity to attend Pearl River Community College tuition free through this program. 

“That’s a testament to their work, a testament to the dedication to their constituents and a testament to really building better communities.”

CTAP

Recently graduated students can take advantage of the tuition assistance program if they are residents of Forrest County. This program fills in the gap for any eligible student’s tuition need for four consecutive semesters after financial aid and scholarships are applied. This allows for Forrest County students to attend college at Pearl River without the financial burden of tuition cost. Students interested should apply to Pearl River Community College at PRCC.EDU/admissions and fill out a FAFSA application. 

LPN TO RN BRIDGE

While nursing professionals have been needed in the workforce for quite a while, Phyllis Chambers-Berry, Chief Nursing Officer at Forrest General Hospital says, the pandemic has exacerbated that need. This recognition of need is, in part, what led to the start of the partnership. 

“The ability to bring the RNs to the Pine Belt is a great opportunity for Forrest Health,” Chambers-Berry said. “This will also touch anyone that has a will and initiative to care for patients. It’s so important for the residents of Forrest County to have the opportunity to bridge into this program.”

Chambers-Berry and PRCC Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs Dr. Jana Causey worked together to bring about this partnership for the benefit of both parties and the county residents at large. 

“This partnership means so much for the Pine Belt,” Causey said.  “When a partner can come forward and can offer funding to start a new program and when entities like the Forrest County Supervisors can help with tuition, that makes it where our students can go to college. We can also start programs like this that can meet the needs of the workforce.”

This night and weekend RN program will allow already licensed Practical Nurses to continue their education close to home and while increasing the amount of RN’s available to the local workforce. 

“Forrest General has been a great partner to us over the last several years especially since the pandemic has hit,” Breerwood said. “They have worked with us on a variety of initiatives and when they came to us and stressed the importance of needing additional nurses in the area, we were happy to step up and they provided the seed money for us to get this program started. 

“The college is committed to the longevity of the program to continue to provide opportunities to put people to work in our healthcare industry.”

To learn more about the LPN to RN bridge program visit PRCC.EDU.

 

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

March 2, 2021 - 11:54am
 
Pearl River will offer full college experience Fall 2021

Pearl River will offer full college experience Fall 2021

Pearl River Community College is looking forward to giving students the full college experience this fall.

Students will once again have access to a wide variety of daily student activities and sporting events. Pearl River’s Student Government Association and Student Activities Office have plans for an exciting student engagement calendar going into the fall. Traditional face-to-face coursework options will be available as well as a wealth of hybrid and online choices. Visit PRCC.EDU/Academics to learn more.  

“It’s time to offer students the full college experience this fall,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “The interactions of faculty, staff, and students on campus contribute to a vibrant community. Being together brings with it much more than teaching a class or staffing an office. It allows faculty, staff and students to interact more frequently and get to know one another; it allows offices to collaborate on ideas for improvement and students to benefit from all that our campuses have to offer. 

“Join us as we gradually move in the direction of bringing everyone to a sense of togetherness.”

NEVER SLOWING DOWN

While still following safety guidelines and protocols, Pearl River has never slowed down showing that Wildcats Never Quit. 

An abundance of construction projects have continued through the pandemic, including the completed James W. Barnes STEM Center, expanding bookstore services to include the Wildcat Distribution Center, continuing construction on the new Wildcat Den and Mini Mart location, relocating the Verlene Cole Alumni House to expand the campus and welcome alumni to campus events and the new men’s and women’s dormitories which are rapidly approaching completion. Pearl River's Brownstone Center also plans to continue to build its calendar of cultural experiences with a full fall season. 

Beginning Wednesday, March 3, capacity guidelines will be lifted for all outdoor venues for athletic events, including Dub Herring Park, Wildcat Stadium and the Pearl River Soccer Complex. Additionally, attendance at Marvin R. White Coliseum and Shivers Gymnasium will be increased to 50 percent. Admissions for those games will be granted on a first come, first serve basis until capacity is reached. 

“We are extremely grateful to our faculty, staff, and students for the tremendous job they have done to excel during the past year with the challenges we have faced,” Vice President for Poplarville Campus and Student Activities Jeff Long said. “I know we have made great improvements in certain areas brought about by the adjustments needed during this unprecedented time. We also believe the overall college experience is vital for student success, and we look forward to providing that to our students and faculty this coming Fall.”

IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER 

The adjustments made during COVID-19 have made it easier than ever before for students to have access to a quality education no matter their circumstance. Students can secure their future at The River by following four easy steps to become a Wildcat.

1. Apply for Admissions

2. Apply for Financial Aid

3. Apply for Housing 

4. Sign up for ROAR 

Visit prcc.edu/Admissions to become a Wildcat today.

While the adaptation to insurmountable roadblocks has created an environment for students to continue to learn and thrive during a strange time, Pearl River recognizes and is seizing the opportunity to allow for students to return to a sense of normalcy. 

Pearl River will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and conduct campus life in line with safety protocols while offering our Wildcats the college experience they deserve.

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

March 3, 2021 - 2:35pm
 
 
PRCC a major factor in Idaho Forest decision

PRCC a major factor in Idaho Forest decision

Pearl River Community College was a factor in lumber producer Idaho Forest Group’s decision to invest $120 million to set up a sawmill operation in Lumberton.

Lumberton’s first new sawmill since the 1920s will create some 135 jobs and that’s where PRCC’s workforce training comes into play. 

“PRCC is one of the reasons we chose Lumberton,” said Julie Shiflett, Chief Financial Officer, Idaho Forest Group. “We look forward to an active partnership to be able to hire and train a skilled workforce. We want to be a good community partner.”

Idaho Forest will manufacture a variety of wood products at the mill, which is scheduled to start operations in late 2021, with full operational ramp-up by mid 2022.  Site work has already begun.

Shiflett said the company’s goal is to hire local residents from the regional area.

“We are not planning to relocate Idaho to Lumberton,” she said. “Our target is to match the diversity of the community in our workforce.”

And PRCC stands ready to help Idaho Forest Group reach its goals.

“At the River, we train students to go to work, advance in work, and connect to long-term sustainable wage careers,” said Rebecca Brown, PRCC’s Dean of Workforce and Community Development.

“We are eager to partner with Idaho Forest Group to develop a highly-skilled technical workforce. The manufacturing industry is flourishing within the great Pine Belt area, and this investment will bring that growth to a site situated conveniently between the Poplarville and Hattiesburg campuses.”

PRCC already has relevant two-year associate degree programs in place to prepare technicians for positions in the highly-automated sawmill. 

“We will work with IFG to provide skills assessments and then additional training to employees once they are hired,” said Brown.           

 When asked what the most important things that Idaho Forest Group is looking for in applicants, Jamie Major, Human Resources Director, said the company wants to draw a skilled employee base.

“We want employees with an appetite to learn, possess a strong work ethic and an ability to reason,” he said. “We envision our partnership with PRCC to help set the standard for hiring skilled trades and supplement training to sustain an adaptive and highly-skilled workforce.”

Major said jobs will be highly skilled. “Jobs will be technically focused such as electrical and industrial technicians, engineering, computer scientists and other technology centric roles that support efficient fiber conversion to high quality lumber,” he said.

He also said this mill will differ from their other existing mills.

“This will be a green-field mill with innovative technology including advanced equipment, software and automation,” said Major. “This sawmill will focus on safety and efficiency, as well as be highly automated.”

Shiflett said when fully operational the plant will see 75 to 100 log trucks a day and as many as 150 total trucks worth of traffic going through daily.

The company, based on Coeur d’Alene Idaho, currently operates six sawmills throughout Idaho and Montana and one Finger Joint mill, outputting more than 1 billion board feet of lumber per year. This marks the company's first expansion into the South.

For information about the Lumberton IFG plant, go to Lumberton.IFG.com.  

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

March 5, 2021 - 1:56pm
 
 
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Pearl River honors students excel at conference

Pearl River honors students excel at conference

Pearl River Community College was well represented at the recent Mississippi Undergraduate Honors Conference where students showed their creativity and knowledge.

Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute students participated in the 2021 conference with the theme of "Certainty of Uncertainty: Research in an Ever-Changing World." PRCC honors students submitting conference presentations included Patrick Dunkle, Jennifer Kerry,  Hanna Lambert, Michelle Legg, Jessica Roberts, and Lauren Sumrall.

Jennifer Kerry won  first place in the category of Social Science for the Two-Year School, with her presentation “Music Through COVID-19.”

Lauren Sumrall’s presentation, “Face Masks in a Pandemic: Are They Masking More Than We Think” also took first place in the STEM category for Two-Year Schools.

The conference was held virtually by the University of Women and featured pre-recorded presentations in the categories of Humanities, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and STEM. Students met judges via Zoom sessions for Q&A sessions. All honors students and faculty from Mississippi institutions were invited to attend the synchronous events and to peruse and comment on the student presentations.

“Jennifer Kerry and Lauren Sumrall are two remarkable students who seized the opportunity to conduct research on a relevant issue facing our society, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research and Honors Institute Dean Dr. Jennifer Seal said. “Each of the sophomore-level students chose research that combined personal interest and area of study with pandemic-related actions. Their timely research has offered insight into the benefits of recommended practices while lending suggestions into future best practices.”

The annual conference, organized by honors programs throughout Mississippi, provided honors students from across the state the opportunity to share their research, hear about research conducted by their honors peers and to learn more about other Mississippi colleges and universities.

Hosted by a different institution each year, the conference has been running since 2013. PRCC Honors Deans, Dr. Jennifer Seal and Dr. Terri Ruckel serve on the planning board for the conference.

“One of the main goals of the William Lewis Honors Institute is to help students succeed in their academic journey—and their subsequent careers—by providing the highest quality experiential learning opportunities possible,” Ruckel said. “Building a research culture is one way to realize success! Researching and presenting research for the Mississippi Undergraduate Research Conference offers PRCC Honors students an opportunity to speak with peers, mentors, and experts from around the state and to lay a stronger foundation for future success.”

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

March 8, 2021 - 10:14am
 
Pearl River will offer half-off summer classes

Pearl River will offer half-off summer classes

Pearl River Community College is offering an affordable way for students to get ahead on their college coursework with its Summer Slash Bash. 

PRCC is presenting half-off all summer classes. This applies to students taking both part-time and full-time course loads.

“This past year posed many financial challenges to our students and we want to help offset that burden by offering a discounted summer tuition rate,” Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communication Candace Harper said. “Current and future students can take advantage of PRCC’s Summer Slash program allowing them to jump start their educational goals. Students home for the summer who need a few courses can also benefit from our reduced summer credit hour rate. 

“If you have ever been interested in taking a few college courses, now is the time.”

Whether you are a high school student looking to get a jump start on college, a current Wildcat still working toward your degree, a university student hoping to fit in some fully-transferable coursework while at home, or a community member looking to gain skills and increase your employability, PRCC has room for you in Wildcat Country.

Examples of classes available over the summer term include English Composition I and II, American Literature I, Art Appreciation, College Algebra, General Biology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, General Psychology and much more. To see a full list of summer courses visit prcc.edu/academics.

LOOKING FORWARD 

Pearl River Community College is looking forward to giving students the full college experience this fall.

Students will once again have access to a wide variety of daily student activities and sporting events. Pearl River’s Student Government Association and Student Activities Office have plans for an exciting student engagement calendar going into the fall. Traditional face-to-face coursework options will be available as well as a wealth of hybrid and online choices. 

While still following safety guidelines and protocols, Pearl River has never slowed down showing that Wildcats Never Quit.

An abundance of construction projects have continued through the pandemic, including the completed James W. Barnes STEM Center, expanding bookstore services to include the Wildcat Distribution Center, continuing construction on the new Wildcat Den and Mini Mart location, relocating the Verlene Cole Alumni House to expand the campus and welcome alumni to campus events and the new men’s and women’s dormitories which are rapidly approaching completion. Pearl River's Brownstone Center also plans to continue to build its calendar of cultural experiences with a full fall season.

Beginning Wednesday, March 3, capacity guidelines will be lifted for all outdoor venues for athletic events, including Dub Herring Park, Wildcat Stadium and the Pearl River Soccer Complex. Additionally, attendance at Marvin R. White Coliseum and Shivers Gymnasium will be increased to 50 percent. Admissions for those games will be granted on a first come, first serve basis until capacity is reached. 

LOGISTICS 

With the half-off discount in place, instead of $140 per hour for part-time students, the cost will be $70 per hour. Full-time students will pay $812.50 instead of $1625.

This Summer Slash Bash deal is applicable only to summer courses at PRCC. This deal only includes the cost of the course by credit hour. The promotion is for regular tuition paying students only. Promotion does not apply to already discounted programs. Dual enrollment students do not qualify due to their current discounted program. 

With the circumstances of 2020 continuing to take a toll on many in Pearl River’s community, this is just one way the institution is creating opportunities for success. 

IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER 

With the slash in tuition prices, it’s easier than ever before for students to have access to a quality education no matter their circumstance. Students can secure their future at The River by following four easy steps to become a Wildcat.

1. Apply for Admissions

2. Apply for Financial Aid

3. Apply for Housing 

4. Sign up for ROAR 

Visit PRCC.EDU/Admissions to become a Wildcat today.

 

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

March 8, 2021 - 1:56pm
 
 
 
Pearl River Workforce Education administers variety of programs for business and industry

Pearl River Workforce Education administers variety of programs for business and industry

Pearl River Community College’s Workforce Education department serves industrial clients through demand-driven training.

During the 2019-20 school year, Workforce Education trained 5,346 individuals.

The workforce team has a dual focus: Providing long-term skills base pre-employment training to the public and creating customized-training solutions for local businesses and their employees.

“Our staff is committed to helping you succeed in achieving your career goals,” said Rebecca Brown, PRCC’s Dean of Workforce and Community Development. 

An industry breakdown of the companies served by PRCC includes: 37 percent manufacturing, 27 percent health care, 18 percent government, 15 percent energy and 3 percent hospitality.

“We provide training wherever it is needed,” said Brown. “Sometimes businesses come to us and many times we train onsite with many companies. Our subject matter experts have strong industry backgrounds themselves and they frequently come directly from the industries in which they train.”

Funding for this training comes from a number of sources. They include Mississippi’s Workforce Enhancement Training (WET), the Mississippi Development Authority, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and federal funds administered by Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District.

“These training partnerships provide basic skills, technical and job-specific training to both job seekers and employees looking to advance,” said Brown.

The Workforce Education Department covers the entire 3200 square miles making up PRCC’s six-county district. The department has offices in Poplarville, Hancock County, Stennis Space Center and the Lowery A. Woodall Advanced Technology Center (ATC).

The ATC is located on 12 acres in the Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park.

Public classes offered at the ATC include Commercial Truck Driving (CDL), ServSafe, Forklift Operation, Welding, Electrical, Manufacturing Skills, Structural Fitting, OSHA Safety, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and Certified Nursing Aide (CNA).  

Those programs are administered by Workforce Project Managers Richie Lewis and Michael Yarbrough.

“Our daily mission is to help others gain more marketable and value-added employment skills to improve lives and our overall community here in the Pine Belt area,” said Lewis, who joined the PRCC team in June 2019. “We strive to be training match-makers, where we link up individuals or companies with whatever resources we have available to help them meet their training objectives and needs.”

Yarbrough joined PRCC in July 2019.

“I enjoy equipping students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to improve their lives, opportunities, and community,” said Yarbrough. “It’s a privilege being a positive contribution in the development of others and making our state and community a little better each day.”

PRCC also serves individuals through the Hattiesburg WIN Job Center.

From July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, 37 Career Tech students and 13 Workforce students received new WIOA ITA awards totaling $217,565.

From July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, students were awarded $131,219 in WIOA funds toward their education and training at PRCC. 

Twenty Career Tech students participated in paid internships in their fields of study. 

It’s Brown’s opinion that Workforce Education at PRCC makes a difference to a whole lot of working people.

“We are not limited in the training topics we provide,” she said. “We create tailored solutions for the challenges employers are facing today, tomorrow and in the future.” 

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

March 11, 2021 - 11:23am
 
PRCC nursing students help give out COVID vaccines

PRCC nursing students help give out COVID vaccines

Students in the Practical Nursing Program at Pearl River Community College are gaining valuable experience on the front line with Covid-19 vaccinations.

Nursing students have joined Hattiesburg Clinic in administering the vaccines.

“They contacted us in January and we started in February,” said Dr. Melissa Bryant, Director of Practical Nursing at PRCC. “They are enjoying it. They get valuable experience doing everything from the paper work to giving the injections. We will continue to do this into April.”

Dr. Bryant said she is proud of the students despite all the challenges they have faced during the pandemic.

“Hattiesburg Clinic has always been there to help our students gain clinical experience,” said Dr. Bryant.

“Students participating in the Covid vaccine clinic report feeling like they are a part of something bigger, something that benefits our entire society.”

Practical Nursing is a one-year program at PRCC.                

 

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

March 11, 2021 - 4:29pm
 
Pearl River marketing program nationally recognized

Pearl River marketing program nationally recognized

Pearl River Community College’s Business and Marketing Management program was recently recognized as one of the most popular online marketing degrees in the United States by BusinessDegreeCentral.com. 

The institution was ranked the No. 2 Most Popular Online Associate’s Degree School in the Southeast Region, the No. 2 Most Popular Online Associate’s Degree School in Mississippi and No. 13 Most Popular Online Associate’s Degree School in the United States. 

"I feel honored that our program has received this award,” Instructor of Marketing Management Technology Katie Ball said. “Since being hired in 2015, it has been my goal to have our program recognized in some way. This program holds a special place in my heart, as I am a graduate from the Business and Marketing Management program from PRCC. Rebekah (Jackson) and I have worked hard to create specialized recruitment efforts for our program, as well as carefully crafted curriculum design that includes a hands-on learning experience in each of the MMT classes.  Our online faculty also contribute to the success of the program by offering industry experience in the business and marketing fields.

“Students can feel confident that this online program will give them instructors that truly care about their success and equip them with the knowledge and tools needed to manage an organization's marketing efforts or start a business of their own.”

The Business and Marketing Management Technology program covers the creative and strategic side of managing a business. It’s ideal if you’re interested in marketing, but want to retain a general management focus. With insight in both business and marketing, you will be valued by any company or lead your own business to great success. This program combines several specialized subjects to give you an all-around business education. You’ll develop your business capabilities while learning about key marketing disciplines, such as human resources, social media and advertising. The curriculum includes a combination of class work and practical experience.

When the program first offered an online option in 2011 full-time instructors Carol Williams and Delana Harris began offering the classes on an as needed basis for students to complete the program. They started a letter writing campaign where they emailed students that were currently enrolled in marketing classes and inquired if they would be interested in finishing their degree online. 

“It was quite a daunting task to teach online while teaching six different preparations face-to-face,” Williams said. “ However, Delana and I saw needs not being met online so we started the process. We were shocked to see how fast it grew and how accepted the online format was 10 years ago.”

At one time, the instructors had upwards of 50 students registered for in-class courses and just as many registered online. 

“Our Online Business and Marketing Management program strives to provide quality and industry relevant education to students,” program instructor Rebekah Jackson. “For years, our online program has provided a way for stay-at-home parents, working adults and other non-traditional students to be able to gain a degree to help jump start or even advance their careers in Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Advertising, Management, or Entrepreneurship. Since COVID-19 we have seen an increase in our percentage of traditional students who are opting for the online program as well. While COVID-19 has brought about significant challenges to traditional education, our established online program is still rocking and rolling. The Business and Marketing Management instructors work hard to ensure each student gets hands-on learning, classroom interaction and one-on-one attention from instructors from the safety, comfort and convenience of your own home. 

“We continuously identify new industry recognized certifications and skill sets needed and incorporate those into our classes, so it is exciting for our program to get recognized as a nationally ranked online business program for those efforts.”

To learn more about the exciting programs offered at The River and start the process of becoming a Wildcat today, visit PRCC.EDU. 

IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER 

It’s easier than ever before for students to have access to a quality education at PRCC. Students can secure their future at The River by following four easy steps to become a Wildcat.

1. Apply for Admissions

2. Apply for Financial Aid

3. Apply for Housing 

4. Sign up for ROAR 

Visit PRCC.EDU/Admissions to become a Wildcat today.

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

March 11, 2021 - 4:34pm
 
Pearl River Instructor Dr. Eric Leatherwood named Humanities Instructor of the Year

Pearl River Instructor Dr. Eric Leatherwood named Humanities Instructor of the Year

Pearl River Community College Instructor Dr. Eric Leatherwood was recently recognized as the Humanities Instructor of the Year, the Humanities Teacher Awards has announced.

“I always like the quote from high school basketball coach Tim Notke ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard,’" Leatherwood said. “Even if you are talented, maintain a solid work ethic. Even if you are not the most talented, you can strive to be the hardest worker.  There is a lot of motivation for all of us in Notke's quote. So - always be working hard.  

“In the long run, your sweat equity will pay off for you.”

The Humanities Teacher Awards recognize the contributions of humanities faculty at each of the state’s colleges and universities in the fields of English, history, music, art and philosophy. Nominations are made by the college or university president, vice president or dean of instruction. Each award recipient is required to prepare and deliver a public lecture

Leatherwood earned his Bachelor of Science with emphasis in English and Psychology from the Houston Baptist University, Master of Arts with emphasis in English from Sam Houston State University and his Ph.D with a specialization in American Literature before 1900 and dissertation emphasis of Mark Twain and the American Circus from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

He has been employed at Pearl River for 26 years during which time he has taught a variety of classes including Developmental English, English Composition I and II, American Literature I, World Literature I and II, Film as Literature and Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Honors Forum. 

Leatherwood’s presentation for the Humanities Instructor of the Year was titled “Hidden Gems: Teaching Servant Leadership in Phi Theta Kappa’s Leadership Honors Forum at Pearl River Community College.”

The central focus of the Honors Forum course is the development of leadership skills. The class strives to provide students with the basic understanding of leadership and group dynamic theory. The class also works to assist students in developing a personal leadership policy. It encourages students to develop a moral and ethical awareness of their responsibilities of leadership while cultivating their own leadership style. 

The curriculum of the class is based on teaching leadership through classic literature, pop culture and experiential teaching. Over the years hundreds of students have had the opportunity to explore and evolve their leadership potential through this class. 

Leatherwood has represented Pearl River in a variety of publications and presentations throughout the years. The most recent was a Faculty Lecture Series for the Forrect County Center called “Imagination, Preparation, and Determination: rediscovering the Lost Art of Self reliance.”

“I’m really grateful that Dr. Wes Estey and Dr. Ted Alexander took a chance on hiring a young graduate student in 1995,” Leatherwood said. “Thanks also to Dr. (William)  Lewis and Dr. (John) Grant for allowing me to grow and evolve as an instructor during the early and mid 2000’s and as well thank you Dr. Adam Breerwood and Dr. (Martha Lou) Smith for continuing the tradition of strong support for our faculty at Pearl River Community College. For the colleagues I’ve been blessed to work with over the years, you’ve taught me how to become a better person and most especially to the students who have graced my classroom over the past 25 years, thank you so much. 

“You are really the gems of my professional life and I’m grateful for you and hold you dear.” 

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

March 11, 2021 - 5:01pm
 
 
 
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PRCC Distinguished College Administrator recognized by Phi Theta Kappa

PRCC Distinguished College Administrator recognized by Phi Theta Kappa

Pearl River Community College’s Associate Vice President of Student Success Dr. Amy Townsend was recently named a Distinguished College Administrator by the Phi Theta Kappa organization. 

“I’m so excited to receive the 2021 Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished College Administrator award and consider this a top highlight of my professional career,” Townsend said. “I am a huge supporter of PTK, both students and PTK advisors. My daughter was a member, and I saw firsthand how she reaped the benefits of PTK in her education. Many of PTK’s organizational goals align with my professional goals and responsibilities - to encourage student success, provide opportunities for student growth, and support advisors. This is why supporting them seems so natural and enjoyable.”

The Distinguished College Administrator Awards are presented to college vice presidents, deans or directors serving at post-secondary institutions who have shown strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students.

Townsend is an alumnus of Pearl River where she graduated with her Associate of Arts Degree with honors. She then continued to The University of Southern Mississippi where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education; Master of Education in Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership and Research and Ph.D. in educational Leadership and Research in Higher Education Administration. 

Townsend has worked at PRCC for 18 years. During that time, she has held several positions including GED Instructor, Adjunct Instructor, Workforce Investment Act Coordinator, Special Populations Coordinator, Title III Director and Director of Office of Student Success. She currently holds the titles of Quality Enhancement Plan Director and Associate Vice President of Student Success. She also has six years of experience in elementary education in a variety of school districts and held the position of Coordinator of Summer Programs for Graduate Education at USM for two years. 

“While much of my time is spent ‘behind the scenes’ striving to improve student services, I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to interact with our PTK chapters,” Townsend said. “It’s like getting a shot in the arm because I get to share their energy and celebrate their journey. Each year, they grow stronger which is demonstrated through their college projects and academic achievements."

Both chapters of Pearl River’s Phi Theta Kappa nominated Townsend for the award. 

The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunities 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.

“PRCC truly has the best group of PTK advisors. I’ve watched our advisors work tirelessly to help students reach their full potential as leaders and to provide them with every advantage as they continue their academic journey to the university level. I’ve also enjoyed the support of PTK students as they’ve worked as peer leaders in my areas of responsibilities through the years.”

Townsend will be honored at the PTK Catalyst 2021 Live virtual convention April 9. 

“I know it’s cliché,” Townsend said. “But I truly am honored to receive this distinguished award, especially because it is based on what I strive to do every day - helping students succeed.”

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

March 24, 2021 - 3:34pm
 
 
 
 
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'This is what never giving up looks like' PRCC Adult Ed grad sets path for herself

'This is what never giving up looks like' PRCC Adult Ed grad sets path for herself

Janice Houston turns 38 this weekend, but for this Pearl River Community College Adult Education graduate, age is nothing but a number.

That’s because this proud single mother of four and grandmother of one recently earned her GED.

“This is what never giving up looks like,” said Houston, who dropped out of school in the ninth grade when she was pregnant with her oldest daughter.

“I finally did it,” she said. “I have to pinch myself. I am overly joyed. I am not ashamed of my accomplishment. My plan was simple enough. I wanted to better myself in life.”

Houston made the decision to get her GED because she knew it was important to have an education.

“This (GED) was important to me because education is essential to get further in life through employment and a career," said Houston. “I was stuck in a bubble.”

At times, Houston worked as many as three jobs to help raise her children and pay the bills. It was in 2018 while working as a cashier at a local dollar store that she decided to begin her pursuit of a nursing degree.

“A customer told me (the John Lennon line) ‘time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time’,” she said. “I procrastinated a lot. I got tired of living the way I was living.”

This fall, she will attend PRCC at the Forrest County Center to begin a general studies program with her goal of being a LPN one day. Later on, she can see herself in PRCC’s new LPN to RN bridge program at the FCC.

“I’m so proud of Janice earning her high school equivalency diploma,” said Christy Brady, PRCC Adult Ed counselor.

“In the time that I’ve known her, she has been such a hard worker. As a single parent, she is determined to push herself for higher and higher achievements, so she can show her children it pays to never give up. She is opening up so many opportunities for herself.”

Houston’s daughter, Alexis McGill, is especially proud of her mom.

“She worked on this as far back as I can remember,” said Alexis, 22, the mother of six-month-old Kyng Paige. “Every time she would go to get her GED, something would come up to stop her. She had to work three jobs at times to take care of us. It’s very surreal for me personally because of everything she went through to reach this point.”

Houston’s two-year path to gaining her diploma was not without challenges. While going to school, working and raising her children, she also managed to get certified through PRCC’s forklift program at the Woodall Advanced Technology Center.

She learned March 11 that she had passed the final test. It’s a day she won’t soon forget.

“I cried, but they were tears of joy,” she said. “My children are all excited for me. I finally completed as goals they I have always talked about.”

Houston wants to thank all the people at PRCC who helped her along. “All of the people here were very sweet, kind and helpful,” she said.

She has some advice for students like herself who did not finish high school.

“I would tell them to go ahead and receive your high school diploma,” she said. “It’s very important. It can open so many career doors. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. You have to try and never give up.”

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

March 29, 2021 - 8:22am
 
String of Pearls claim championship at Nationals

String of Pearls claim championship at Nationals

The String of Pearls dance team had a trip to remember this weekend when they traveled to Arlington, Texas, for the annual American Dance/Drill Team Nationals competition.

The Pearls, led by director Kara Fleming, claimed a championship in Pom while placing first runner-up in both Jazz and Hip Hop.

Placing in three different events was especially rewarding after last year’s competition was changed to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To me the most amazing part is I saw half of this team get to the week we were leaving for nationals and then everything shut down because of COVID,” Fleming said. “They had worked so hard and didn’t get to make that trip. We competed virtually, but it was just a recording so they didn’t get to experience going to Nationals.

“The best part was the girls who essentially worked for two years finally got to go and compete and get that title.”

Heading into the competition, Fleming was optimistic the Pearls would do well but, of course, you never really know until it’s time to take the floor.

“You always feel that way but it’s hard because in dance you really don’t know what you’re up against until you get there,” she said. “Everybody keeps their routines hidden until you get there. You work hard on your skills, get there and hope you hit the mark.

“Once we won, the girls were so excited. We had about a 30-minute photo session afterwards where there was nothing but tears.”

Winning the pom category was especially rewarding.

“Pom is fast motion precision mixed with high-level skill like jumps, turns and leaps,” Fleming said. “It’s definitely one of the most difficult categories because it has a little bit of everything.”

Members of the 2020-21 String of Pearls are Catherine Authement, Ashanti Bullock, Aliciana Carter, Cara Davis, Ali Dore, Katelyn Everhart, Kaisley Kamlade, Harleigh Lafontaine, Sarah LeCompte, Ashley Miller, Jessica Mixon, Belle Moeller, Juliana Moore, Robyn Moss, Breanna Smoak, Kailee Spiers, Jolee White, Sarah Williams and Haley Vaughan.

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).

March 29, 2021 - 12:01pm
 
PRCC: CNA Graduation

PRCC: CNA Graduation

The following students graduated Friday (March 26) from the Certified Nurse Aide course offered by Pearl River Community College at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in Hattiesburg. They are from left: First row - Sharkia Murphy of Hebron and Cressandra Thomas-Green of Hattiesburg. Second row - Taneqwa Jones of Hattiesburg and Jasmin King of Magee. Third row - Tammy Crain of Picayune and Reginald Luckett of Hattiesburg. Fourth row - Vashun Hutton of Hattiesburg and Courtney Howell of Hattiesburg. Top row - Glorya Whittington of Lumberton. Not pictured: Reshall Jones of Hattiesburg. Program instructor is Adison King. Enrollment is currently underway for May 2021 classes. For information, call 601-554-4646 or visit the Woodall Advanced Technology Center.

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

March 29, 2021 - 2:53pm
 
 
Pearl River invites prospective students to 'GET ONBOARD: The Wildcat Experience'

Pearl River invites prospective students to 'GET ONBOARD: The Wildcat Experience'

Pearl River Community College is inviting all prospective students to its Poplarville Campus on April 20 for a fun and informative event “GET ONBOARD: The Wildcat Experience.” 

The Wildcat Experience is a chance for future Wildcats to enjoy a free fun event where they can experience college life activities while also getting answers to all their important questions about the onboarding process of becoming a Wildcat. The come-and-go event will be held on PRCC’s Poplarville Campus, 101 Hwy 11 North, from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. and is open to any prospective students. 

“Our institution listened to the needs of our future Wildcats who desire an opportunity to visit campus, observe what college life looks like and speak one-on-one with representatives from each department that can answer their questions and concerns,” Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Candace Harper said. “The Wildcat Experience is an open event that allows all those interested in becoming a Wildcat an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled and relaxed come-and-go event where the Wildcat Way will be on live display. PRCC has so much to offer, and we want those high school seniors and non-traditional students thinking of joining our family to know that success doesn’t just come and find you, you have to go out and get it. 

“We are prepared and ready to help you get there.”

Free popcorn, cotton candy and plenty of photo opportunities will welcome future Wildcats to the centrally located event on The Green at Centennial Courtyard. Games, activities and prizes will be available to prospective students as well as a variety of informational booths representing all PRCC locations. The booths will include student organizations and activities; academic and career and technical instructors; Admissions, Financial Aid, Housing and Veterans Affairs representatives; Athletics and much more. 

Not only will prospective students have the opportunity to fill out their PRCC Admissions Application on site at the event, they will also be given vouchers to a variety of college life activities that same day, including the PRCC baseball game at 3 p.m., soccer match at 5 p.m., yoga session on the lawn at 6 p.m. and the Pearl River Choir Concert at 7 p.m. 

The first 250 people to pre-register for the event will be entered into a drawing for a half-tuition scholarship and those that register before April 12 will receive a free t-shirt when they arrive. Potential students must be in attendance to receive gifts and/or accept winnings. 

“The Office of Recruitment is excited to host our Wildcat Experience on April 20,” Director of Recruitment Richard Gleber said. “It is always a rewarding and fun day for our recruiters when they can host our future Wildcats. The Wildcat Experience is a great day for students to meet members of the PRCC family and complete an admissions application along with experiencing PRCC student life. Our ultimate goal is to help ease our future Wildcats' transition into the next step of their educational journey.”

Students can register for the Wildcat Experience by visiting PRCC.EDU/wildcatexperience

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

March 31, 2021 - 2:42pm
 
 
 
 
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