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October 2021

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All Roads Led Home for Pearl River Homecoming 2021 Celebration

All Roads Led Home for Pearl River Homecoming 2021 Celebration

PRCC Wildcats take the field at Homecoming 2021

Pearl River Community College Wildcats came from near and far to celebrate Homecoming 2021. Evening festivities began with the Homecoming Parade and ended with fireworks after an amazing football game. 

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson served as Grand Marshal of the Homecoming parade and honorary captain for the coin toss. He was accompanied by his three daughters, Gracie Pierce, Annie and Cora Beth. Cheerleaders, The Spirit of the River marching band, String of Pearls and Color Guard processed before being followed by the Homecoming Court on PRCC golf carts.  

 PRCC Wildcats take the field at Homecoming 2021

Prior to the presentation of the Homecoming Court, tailgating areas were available for alumni and current students. Thanks to a generous donation by Highland Hospital, Kona Ice was on hand for a sweet delight pregame. The Student Government Association ran the student tailgating area on the east side with games, face painting items, a sign making station, along with beverages and snacks. The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office was set up just inside the gate to help attendees check on their voter registration status. 

The Wildcat Way Show also debuted a very special edition of College GameDay on the videoboard with President Dr. Adam Breerwood serving as the guest picker. 


Prior to kick-off, the Homecoming Court was presented. 

The 2021 Homecoming Queen is Picayune resident, Aliciana Carter.  

PRCC Homecoming Queen Presented after being crowned by Dr. Breerwood

Carter is the daughter of Leslie Ellis Smith, Jonathan Smith, and Alvin Carter. Carter was a graduate of Picayune Memorial high School, where she was part of the Show Choir, the Pride of the Tide, as well as Lady Tide Softball and Volleyball teams. She is currently in the Medical Laboratory Technology program and a member of the String of Pearls dance team. After PRCC, Carter plans to obtain a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. 

This year’s Freshman Maids are Alexis Johnston from Richton, Jazzalyn Arianna Gelinas from Bay St. Louis, McKenzie Hanson from Hurley and Kellie Hunt from Picayune.  

Johnston is the daughter of Kristen and Charles Cochran. She graduated from First Assembly Christian Academy during which time she played volleyball and softball in an out of school league. She is planning to complete her associate degree in nursing with the desire to work at a hospital with NICU babies. 

Gelinas is the daughter of Shannon and Gerard Gelinas. She is a graduate of Bay High School where she enjoyed spending time with friends. She is currently in the Business Management and Entrepreneurship program with a vision of opening a bakery and becoming a licensed herbalist.   

Hunt is the daughter of DeAnna and Jason Hunt. She graduated from Picayune Memorial High School where she was on the Lady Tide Softball team all four years and the Lady Tide Volleyball team for two years. Her concentration at PRCC is Business Management and she is a member of the PRCC softball team. After graduating, she plans to go into real estate.   

Hanson is the daughter of Mashay and George Hanson. A graduate of East Central High School, she was a member of the cheerleading squad for all four years. Currently, she is pursuing general studies for an associate degree while being a Wildcat Cheerleader and holding a work study position in the Admissions Office.  

Sophomore Maids for 2021 are Leah Brienne Penton from Carriere, Destiney Cangelosi from Slidell, Louisiana, Lexi Barnett from Poplarville and Priscilla Bolian from Diamondhead.  

Penton is the daughter of Amy Dossett, Kyle Dossett, Terry James Penton and Brittney Penton. She graduated from Pearl River Central High School where she was on the varsity softball and cheer teams, the dance team, Beta Club, and the National Honor Society. She is in the Dental Assisting program with plans to apply for Dental Hygiene instead. She is a member of the String of Pearls dance team and Phi Theta Kappa honor society. After graduation, she wants to be employed as a Registered Dental Hygienist. 

Cangelosi is the daughter of Chantelle Congelosi and Kris Stravinsky. She is a graduate of Slidell High School where she was on the volleyball team. She is in the nursing program and plans to attend LSU to enter the field of anesthesiology. 

Barnett is the daughter of Stefanie and Duane Smith. A graduate of Pearl River Central High School, she was a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society. At PRCC, she is studying psychology while also being a member of the Baptist Student Union, Honors Institute, an officer of Phi Theta Kappa and a Student Government Association sophomore representative.  

Bolian is the daughter of Alissa and Carl Bolian. She was homeschooled during which time she was a competitive dancer for a decade, a model, and an assistant dance teacher. Bolian is in the Dental Hygiene program as well as a member of the Baptist Student Union, Phi Theta Kappa, and String of Pearls dance team. She plans to be a registered dental hygienist after graduation.   

 Leah Penton Forrest County Sophomore Maid, Lexi Barnett Poplarville Sophomore Maid, McKenzie Hanson Poplarville Freshman Maid,  Desinty Cangelosi Hancock Sophomore Maid, Aliciana Carter Poplarville Queen, Priscilla Bolian Poplarville Sophomore Maid, Kallie Hunt Poplarville Freshman Maid,  Alexis Johnston Forrest County Freshman Maid, Jazzalyn Gelinas Hancock Freshman Maid 

From left to right: Leah Penton Forrest County Sophomore Maid, Lexi Barnett Poplarville Sophomore Maid, McKenzie Hanson Poplarville Freshman Maid, Desinty Cangelosi Hancock Sophomore Maid, Aliciana Carter Poplarville Queen, Priscilla Bolian Poplarville Sophomore Maid, Kallie Hunt Poplarville Freshman Maid, Alexis Johnston Forrest County Freshman Maid, Jazzalyn Gelinas Hancock Freshman Maid


The Homecoming football game did not disappoint Wildcat fans. Having the team enter with pyrotechnics for Homecoming set a festive tone. But some fans were still finding their seats at kickoff, with no idea how the next few minutes would play out. 

Within what seemed like seconds, Tony Brown (Hurley; East Central) set the theme for the game with a 56-yard run to get the first touchdown of the evening. While Holmes quickly countered, the Wildcats took hold of the game with several more long runs resulting in touchdowns, eventually winning 55-7. 

The halftime show featured The Spirit of the River Marching Band, String of Pearls, and Color Guard. 

Wildcat fans then enjoyed a fabulous fireworks show sponsored by Highland Hospital. 

Find more details about the game here: 

Highlights from the game can be found here:


October 8, 2021 - 3:35pm
Pearl River climbs to 4th largest community college for first time in school’s modern era

Pearl River climbs to 4th largest community college for first time in school’s modern era

Infographic about Fall 2021 10th day stats for PRCC; 4th largest community college in Mississippi

The annual 10th day headcount results are in and Pearl River Community College is now the fourth largest community college in Mississippi. This holds true for both the number of students and the number of credit hours. 

Founded in 1909 as the state’s first county agricultural high school, Pearl River became the first public two-year community college in the state of Mississippi in 1924. The current ranking marks the first time Pearl River has been No. 4 in the school’s modern era. 

“We are humbled by the increased number of students who choose to enroll at Pearl River Community College,” said Pearl River President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “We have worked diligently to remain affordable and accessible for all those who are seeking higher educational opportunities. Our Board of Trustees has provided overwhelming support for facility upgrades, the addition of several new programs, and flexible course scheduling. Their vision has allowed us to become better equipped to serve a larger student population. 

“Over the past several years we have increased institutional and Foundation scholarship opportunities and developed new marketing strategies."

What ultimately makes Pearl River so special and allows it to stand above its peers, is its faculty and staff. More than 500 strong in total, PRCC credits its faculty for being the solid foundation that has allowed the college to grow in unparalleled ways. PRCC's faculty and staff often go above and beyond the daily requirements and expectations to ensure each student is cared for. 

"Our enrollment growth over the past several years is a direct result of these efforts and a remarkable faculty who remain focused on changing the lives of those we serve,” Breerwood said.     

Breerwood assumed leadership of the college for the 2017-2018 school year and quickly built on a strong foundation created by his predecessor, Dr. William Lewis. 

A downward trend in enrollment growth has been experienced at the college level nationally for the past four years. Yet, PRCC has been able to key into something unique and special. A big emphasis has been put on providing efficient, accessible and affordable opportunities. 

When comparing the 2017 and 2021 fall counts, PRCC is the only Mississippi community college to have maintained growth in both headcount and credit hours. There has been an overall 4 percent increase in students and a 10 percent increase in credit hours over this four-year period. 

What is quite striking is a 72 percent growth in the credit accumulation rate during that time period. This is an indicator of progress toward on-time completion of a certificate or degree. In 2016, only 28.7 percent of students were on track. In 2019, the rate was at 49.3 percent.  

“During a time of numerous struggles and enrollment challenges, Pearl River Community College has expanded support services for students, particularly first-year students,” said Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research/Hancock Campus and Dean of the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute Dr. Jennifer Seal. “An onboarding process connects incoming students with excellent advisors and mentors to instigate successful navigation of college.   

“Pearl River empowers students with the tools needed for reaching collegiate goals. Both students and communities, within the Pearl River district, recognize the high level of service provided by the institution. Exceptional service combined with recent program expansion on all campuses contribute to the continuous growth experienced over the past four years." 

Pearl River’s fall enrollment is now 5,082. 


By working to create partnerships and unique opportunities, PRCC helps students acquire the skills they need to secure positions that launch careers. 

Career Tech Education has added several new programs this school year to meet the needs of local communities. Commercial and Residential Construction, Massage Therapy, Coding Technology, Court Reporting, and an LPN to RN bridge program are the new offerings at Forrest County Campus. At the Hancock Campus, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Program has added additional courses in hydrography that will open more doors for graduates. 

The fall semester had several Career Tech programs reach or exceed capacity for enrollment. Overall job placement rates in 2019 for CTE students across the PRCC campuses was 83 percent. The job market continues to be promising with many employers reaching out to CTE instructors seeking potential employees from current PRCC students. 

PRCC Career Tech Works list of available programs

Dean of Career & Technical Education for Poplarville and Hancock Campuses Dr. Amy Townsend said, “Our instructors are instrumental in helping CTE graduates connect with area business and industry partners to secure employment opportunities and to ensure our instructors stay current on workforce needs and trends.” 

Many Allied Health program students have jobs lined up before graduation. For some degrees, eager employers are offering signing bonuses. The Surgical Technology program has doubled in size with groups graduating twice a year to meet growing demand of local communities. 

“Our area is in great need of healthcare workers, so we at PRCC are dedicated to providing a skilled workforce to meet healthcare needs in our district,” said Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs Dr. Jana Causey. 


Even before COVID-19 had campuses going virtual for learning, PRCC was experiencing growth in online courses. Students who may have found attending class at a fixed time in a set location can now fit learning to their individual schedules. 

Comparing enrollments from Fall 2016 to Fall 2021, there was a 116 percent increase in the number of students taking online classes at PRCC. Just in the last calendar year, Pearl River saw a 24 percent increase in online class enrollment from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021. 

“With this growth, PRCC’s eLearning division has been focusing on the quality of online courses through intensive training of online instructors,” said Dr. Martha Smith, Senior Vice President for Instruction/Provost. “Instructors at Pearl River have risen to many challenges in the last year and half. The enrollment increases speak to both the quality of the education and the encouragement the instructors provide to our students.” 


Pearl River administration and board of directors have been attentive to the need to keep the cost of attending college as affordable as possible. Since 2017, tuition has remained steady at $1,625 per semester for in-state students. Also, PRCC made the move to electronic delivery of textbooks through RedShelf to significantly reduce out of pocket expenses for students. 

Incoming freshmen who begin within a year of high school graduation have options for both academic and service-based scholarships that cover part to all the base tuition rate. Academic scholarship amounts are either tied to ACT scores and final GPA from high school or based on GPA for two-year Career-Technical program graduates. Service based ones include participation in a variety of campus activities and organizations such as athletics, band, River Navigators, and student government leadership. 

The Pearl River Community College Development Foundation offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to students. These are made possible from generous donations by alumni and other community members. Since Fall 2017, 1,865 Foundation scholarships have been granted with a total value of $1,782,844.10. All students are highly encouraged to complete a Foundation scholarship application each year.  

“Support from our alumni, community and industry partners play a key role in the accomplishments of our students,” said Executive Director of Development Foundation and Alumni Services Delana Harris. “Scholarships aid with enrollment but go far beyond to ensure student retention, persistence and completion of credentials.  Our mission at PRCC is to create opportunities for students and scholarships are the foundation to building long-term student success.”   

A final scholarship opportunity exists for residents of Forrest and Hancock counties. The County Tuition Assistance Program (CTAP) closes the gap between aid received from grants and scholarships and the cost of base tuition. Students are required to complete a FASFA form, the Foundation Scholarship application, and file for state financial aid as well as be a full-time student at PRCC. More information is found at 


The decision-making process of a future college student includes the need to find a school with the program they desire. Yet, the final decision goes beyond course offerings to include finding an environment that appeals to them. 

Many current and past students have echoed this sentiment. At Pearl River, the Wildcats have worked hard to cultivate a positive and uplifting environment that empowers students to take control of their futures while equipping them with the necessary tools to achieve their goals. 

PRCC Homecoming Queen Presented after being crowned by Dr. Breerwood

Freshman Chassidy Brown first looked at PRCC because of the academic scholarship opportunities. It was a tour of the campus, however, that helped the Picayune native make the decision to start her college career here.  

“On my tour, I felt like I was home,” said Brown. “I see the PRCC Wildcat family being supportive and willing to celebrate successes with each other. And, compared to a larger school, I have a better chance to shine.” 


August 2021 saw the launch of the “Happy to Help” campaign. PRCC is committed to improving the experience of prospective and current students as well as alumni. The focus is on providing an exceptional customer experience at every touchpoint in a student’s academic career at PRCC. 

This campaign focuses on putting customers first, embracing challenges in customer service, and removing roadblocks that impede the student's experience.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to provide helpful support and to find the person who can best help in the situation if needed. 

PRCC Employees wearing Happy to Help tshirts

The live chat feature of the PRCC website has expanded hours of availability to include evenings and weekends. Questions that cannot be answered during the live chat are directed to the department most capable of handling the query. When PRCC is open for classes, visitors can interact with a chat agent Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

“Creating a culture of service excellence is the goal that drives the “Happy to Help” Campaign,” said Vice President of Enrollment Management and Business Services Candace Harper. “Our frontline offices have created action plans to not only provide great customer service but to create a recipe for service that includes going the 2nd mile.  

“These strategies are being implemented daily and I am excited to see our staff think outside the box on ways we can improve our service blueprint.” 


High school juniors and seniors as well as any non-traditional student will have the opportunity to learn more about PRCC at the upcoming Wildcat Experience. This free event will be held on the Poplarville campus Thursday, Oct. 28 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Centennial Courtyard behind the Administration Building. 

PRCC Wildcat Experience Fall 2021

“The Office of Recruitment is excited to host this annual event where the ‘Wildcat Way’ will be on full display, said Kari Eve Valence, coordinator of recruitment and marketing.  “The Wildcat Experience is an awesome day for prospective students to meet faculty, staff, administration and current students here at The River and learn more about what it means to be a part of the Wildcat Family.”   

Faculty, staff and current students will be available to cover everything from the enrollment process to what your college experience could look like as a PRCC Wildcat.   

Interested students can register at The first 250 students who register will have a chance to win a half-tuition scholarship for their first semester at PRCC (must be present at the event to win). Participants can also win free football tickets to that evening’s game between the Wildcats and visiting Hinds Eagles. 

For more information on Pearl River or to schedule a tour, reach out to the Office of Recruitment at or 601-403-1197. 

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

October 11, 2021 - 11:32am
Dr. Ben Carson inspires during Pearl River Community College visit

Dr. Ben Carson inspires during Pearl River Community College visit

Dr Ben Carson inside the Brownstone Center for the Arts at PRCC

Current students in the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute as well as hundreds of members of the public gathered on the Pearl River Community College campus Tuesday to hear world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson speak. The students were given the opportunity for a more intimate setting inside White Hall ahead of the public presentation at PRCC’s Brownstone Center for the Arts. 

The Honors Institute Lyceum Lecture Series seeks to host speakers who engage, challenge, provoke, and quite possibly, change lives. Hosting high caliber speakers is made possible by a generous sponsorship from Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. 


Late afternoon had Carson meeting with students in the Honors Institute. This more intimate setting allowed for the students to ask questions both in the group and then with a one-on-one meeting time. His wife, Candy, joined him for the trip to PRCC. 

Dr Ben Carson talks one on one with a few PRCC Honors Institute students

“The highlight of the visit by Dr. Ben Carson was his interaction with the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute members during the ‘Meet and Greet’ held in the Honors Institute Library,” said Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research/Hancock Campus and Dean of the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute Dr. Jennifer Seal. “Carson’s personal anecdotes, combined with practical advice, spurred thought-provoking questions from the honors students.   

“The amazing success achieved by a hard-working person from meager beginnings inspired students to consider how their academic aspirations may produce positive results for families, communities, and possibly governments.” 

Many of the student questions surrounded medicine, both for those considering a career in that field and those curious about both his past groundbreaking surgeries and where he sees medicine going in the future.  

“It is amazing to look at advancements in the last few decades,” said Carson. “Neurosurgery today is completely different than when I entered the field.  

“People watched shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman with bionic implants. Now we are seeing advancement like this.” 

One question asked his favorite reading selections, both in the medical field and classic literature. This opened the door for Carson to discuss the impact reading had on his life. Carson recounted the path from reading for his own interest to that of learning across subjects. Beyond gaining knowledge and becoming a better student, Carson realized that he could use reading to “help him rise above the poverty he hated.” 

With a nod to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Carson reminded students that people have the capacity to think and analyze in a way that animals do not. That ability to reason is how we can judge on the content of character instead of a physical distinction like the color of a person’s skin. 

Dr Ben and Candy Carson at PRCC Honors Institute

Freshman student and Carriere native Hannah Smith was appreciative of the experience.  

“Having the opportunity to talk one on one with Dr. Ben Carson has to be one of the most rewarding parts of being in the Honors Institute,” she said. “Listening to him talk about his life experiences within such a small group is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am so grateful to have experienced.” 

Grant Holladay, a freshman from Kiln, reflected on the experience and its impact on him.  

“To meet someone who persevered despite hardship sets an example to us that conscientiousness and an aptitude to succeed goes a long way,” Holladay said. “What stood out to me was his kindness when he told me ‘I think you’ll do great things.’” 


As Carson walked onto the stage, an enthusiastic crowd gave him a standing ovation. 

Dr Ben Carson speaking on stage at PRCC Brownstone Center for the Arts

His talk wove together tidbits from his life with his personal vision of living one’s best life; not just for the individual, but for the country. 

He mentioned now commonly familiar stories of events became turning points in his life. Carson realized that through reading he could learn and that he was not a “dummy” as his fifth-grade classmates often taunted. He also had an epiphany as a teen that his temper and outbursts as a youth could land him in reform school, jail or the grave.  

Carson struck a chord with the audience when he said, “When God changes your heart, He doesn’t do a paint job. He fixes it for good.”  

Along with his weaving of faith and its impact upon his career, Carson also encouraged attendees to “THINK BIG” as a reminder of how to live a life that can have a positive impact on the community. Talent, Honesty, Insight, Nice, Knowledge, Books, In-depth Learning and God are the key reminders that comprise the anacronym.  

Carriere resident Donna Herring was one of the attendees who was deeply moved by Carson’s presentation. 

“I was truly touched when Dr. Carson talked about getting involved in your community and standing up for what you believe in,” she said. “We are blessed to have opportunities to hear motivational, encouraging leaders like this at PRCC.” 

Finally, Carson reminded attendees that, “We are not each other’s enemies. We need to decide what kind of people do we want to be? 

“The next time you have your hand over your heart during the National Anthem, remember that we can only be the land of the free if we are the home of the brave.” 


Coming from what many consider humble beginnings, Carson worked his way up the ranks. He was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to attend Yale University and then continued his studies at University of Michigan Medical School, followed by an internship and residency in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. At the age of 33, he was named Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins where he remained until retirement in 2013. 

During his tenure, he performed cerebral hemispherectomies to help control intractable seizures in children, conducted invitro placement of an intracranial shunt for relief of hydrocephalus and then went on to lead a team in conducting the first successful separation of occipital craniopagus conjoined twins.  

Carson is President and Chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute (ACI), which emphasizes common-sense solutions to improve the lives of all Americans. He believes America is more an idea than a place—an idea that promotes liberty and justice for all. 

Additionally, he and his wife Candy co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994. The fund supports two main initiatives: The Carson Scholars Program and The Ben Carson Reading Project. While Carson has stepped back from an active role with the Fund, his wife remains in a leadership role. 

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

October 12, 2021 - 9:19am
Two PRCC students to be published in PTK National Literary Journal

Two PRCC students to be published in PTK National Literary Journal

Michelle Legg, Dr. Terri Smith Ruckel, and Jessica Roberts stand behind counter at PRCC

Michelle Legg and Jessica Roberts, two former Pearl River Community College students, will have their writing published in the 2022 issue of Phi Theta Kappa’s online literary journal, Nota Bene. 

Nota Bene showcases the outstanding writing of Phi Theta Kappa members. More than 1,000 entries were submitted to the 2022 competition, which is judged by current and retired college faculty and staff from across the country. Only 30 articles are chosen for publication.

The digital issue will be available on this winter.

Legg, 29, and Roberts, 20, are 2021 honors graduates from PRCC and have transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi. Legg is an English major. Roberts is a business major. Both attended Oak Grove High School.

“The opportunity to be published while an undergraduate is rare,” said Dr. Terri Smith Ruckel, Dean of the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute at PRCC. “To have a publication is to have a permanent addition to your resume - and to have achieved that as a two-year college student is outstanding.

“These two students should feel very proud of their accomplishment and more than that, encouraged to know that they are prepared for academia. That's what Pearl River Community College strives to accomplish for all of their students.”

Legg will publish her personal essay, “Shadows of our Variety.” Her submission was also named to receive a $500 Reynold's Scholarship Prize. Roberts will publish her personal essay, “Not a Drill.” Both are students in Dr. Ruckel’s Creative Writing course.

“Being published in this literary journal means a great deal to me, not only as an aspiring writer but as a student and future teacher as well,” said Legg. “This feels like a confirmation that my hard work as a non-traditional student has paid off and almost feels like validation for my degree choice.”

She said the Reynold’s Scholarship will help toward her education and, “it will provide a boost to my future career so that I can help support my growing family. Thank you, Phi Theta Kappa.”

Roberts is also honored to receive the award. “When I started at Pearl River, I lacked confidence in my writing,” she said. “However, with the help of my instructors, including Dr. Ruckel, I found my voice.

“This publication has made my dream of being a writer feel more attainable.”

Both students are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the Honors Institute and the Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society.

Said Dr. Ruckel, “These two exceptional students join an outstanding list of published two-year students from Pearl River.”      

Photo Caption: 

Michelle Legg (left) and Jessica Roberts (right), two former Pearl River Community College students, are pictured with Dr. Terri Smith Ruckel, Dean of the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute at PRCC

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

October 14, 2021 - 1:54pm
The Market at PRCC benefits from Rotary Club of Poplarville generosity

The Market at PRCC benefits from Rotary Club of Poplarville generosity

Rotary Club of Poplarville Presents Check to PRCC Market

The Rotary Club of Poplarville recently visited the Carol Williams Station to present their donation of $700 to the PRCC Market. 

The Station merges two branches of assistance for current PRCC Wildcats. The Market is a food pantry for students, faculty and staff experiencing food insecurity. The Wildcat Career Closet is a free student clothing closet with professional clothing they can use for interviews and presentations. 

When it opened its doors in August 2018, The Market assisted approximately 50 individuals each month. The Market grew to serving as many as 300 students, faculty and staff over the last couple of years. 

Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world with over 1.2 million members globally. The Rotary Club of Poplarville has hosted their meetings in Crosby Hall on the Campus of Pearl River Community College since its founding in February 1926. Meetings are on Wednesdays at noon in the Special Events Room in the Olivia Bender Cafeteria.   

This is the second $700 donation made by The Rotary Club of Poplarville to support this outreach. The first donation was in October 2020. 

Rotarian Carolyn Tedford said, “The PRCC Market exists to overcome food insecurities by serving both students and employees of Pearl River Community College.  Rotary is honored to partner with this organization to improve our campus community.”  

Cash donations are the preferred method of supporting The Market. This way volunteers can purchase what is most needed. All donations, including non-perishable food items and clothing, are coordinated through Lisa Mapp at or 601-403-1419. 

“Food insecurity is a huge problem in today’s society,” said Mapp. “Students who are hungry find it very difficult to focus on coursework. Our goal is to make sure that no one at PRCC goes hungry, whether it be student, staff or faculty.  

“The success of The Market relies solely on the generous donations that we receive from individuals and civic organizations.” 

Current PRCC students, faculty and staff can complete the Market Request form ( for assistance. Everything is scheduled by appointment only. 

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

Photo Caption:

Rotary Club of Poplarville members make presentation of $700 to The Market.  

Left to Right: Steve Reid, Karla Lee, Carolyn Tedford, Jennifer Seal, Linda Hawkins, Carol Williams, Dalton Spiers, Lisa Mapp, Kathleen Martin


October 19, 2021 - 9:07am
PRCC Singers are embracing ‘204060 Challenge’

PRCC Singers are embracing ‘204060 Challenge’

Members of the PRCC Singers are no strangers to challenging themselves when it comes to their vocal abilities. Now, they are embracing a new challenge that will help develop their skills as musicians, leaders and humans.  

The “204060 Challenge” is the brainchild of Dr. LaDona Tyson, Director of Choral Groups at PRCC, and Dr. Trevor Hunt, Director of the Brownstone Center for the Arts. It was inspired by other health and fitness challenges that have grown in popularity.  

The goal is to have participants hold themselves to the highest possible standard in life. This translates into daily discipline that allows them to become a better friend, student, employee and servant.  

“I was inspired by the ‘75 Hard Challenge’ that was started by entrepreneur and best-selling author Andy Frisella,” said Tyson. “It revolves around daily discipline through achieving numerous tasks each day and tracking those in an app. I felt that my students could benefit both personally and as a team from going through a daily discipline challenge together.   

“Part of the ‘Wildcat Way’ is equipping our students to be successful in life outside of the classroom, so these daily tasks are designed to facilitate growth as musicians, but more importantly, as contributing members of society.”   

Participants of the 204060 Challenge must complete six daily tasks over the course of 20, 40 and 60 days. Tasks include daily reading, healthy eating, exercise, water in-take, a social media post with #204060challenge in the caption, and daily practice of choir music.   

The 204060 Challenge began on October 1 and will conclude on February 1. Participants who miss a day of completing all six tasks can restart at any point.   

PRCC Singers 204060 Challenge

Each participant was given the book “The Code. The Evaluation. The Protocols: Striving to Become an Eminently Qualified Human" by Jocko Willink, a 204060challenge reminder wrist band, and a 64-ounce water bottle.   

When thinking through the specifics of the challenge, Hunt and Tyson knew that reading leadership books would be a high priority and wanted them to start with the same book.    

“The title we selected explores leadership through daily discipline. It was as perfect fit for our challenge,” said Tyson. 

During the challenge, participants will collaborate to identify a need in the community, and at the end of the challenge they will lead a service project to meet that need.  

Freshman music major Jonathan Freeman likes how this challenge emphasizes routine.  

“Laziness is the absence of routine; the 204060challenge helps counter-react laziness.” said Freeman. “I do love how this challenge asks us to read something encouraging daily. As simple and cliche as it may seem it really does make a difference to have positivity and encouragement spoken into your life daily.  

“I'm doing this challenge to help put myself into a healthier routine, not only for me but also to set an example for my friends and family. I hope to gain a healthier routine and the mindset to keep pushing through when things get hard in life.” 

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

October 20, 2021 - 10:27am
PRCC STEM Club dives into the world of hydrography through USM and Navy visit

PRCC STEM Club dives into the world of hydrography through USM and Navy visit

Current students as well as a few faculty and staff members at Pearl River Community College gathered Tuesday for an informative and interesting presentation on hydrography. This was the first meeting of the year for the STEM Club on the Poplarville campus with several students joining remotely from the Forrest County Campus as well. 

Representatives from the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering as well as the Navy were on hand. They brought a pair of jet skis and an autonomous surface vehicle (Teledyne Z-boat) equipped with hydrographic survey equipment used in work by the U. S. Navy Fleet Survey Team for students to inspect after the presentation. 

Presenters from USM and the US Navy at PRCC STEM Club

Presenters included (left to right):  Calvin Martin, U. S. Navy Fleet Survey Team, Technical Director\Chief Hydrographer; Dr. Stephan Howden, USM faculty member, Interim Director of the Hydrographic Science Research Center and Director of Central Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System; Kevin Rolka AG3; Jaret Palmer, AGAN; and Alberto Costa Neves, Hydrographic Science Program Coordinator at USM.  

USM is the only school in the United States that offers a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science with a hydrography emphasis. And they are only one of two programs to offer master’s and PhD programs. The program is certified by the International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers. Graduates from the undergraduate or graduate level programs can take their degree and skills to work anywhere in the world. 

This school year saw the addition of two hydrography classes to the Unmanned Aerial Systems Program at PRCC. The classes are offered at the Hancock County Campus in coordination with the National Oceans and Applications Research Center. 


Simply put, hydrography is the measurement and description of physical features of a body of water. This information is then used to create up-to-date nautical maps for safer navigation of waterways. It can also be used when planning marine renewable energy and aquaculture, a growing industry for the United States. 

Alberto Costa Neves is a retired Captain from the Brazilian Navy who recently joined USM as the Hydrographic Science Program Coordinator/Instructor. He began the presentation with an overview of what hydrography is, why it is important, who would make a good hydrographer, and where they are employed. 

“We have better maps of the moon than we do of the ocean floor,” said Costa Neves. “With only 20 percent of the ocean surveyed, there is plenty of opportunity for work. Students in the program at USM often have offers in hand before graduation.” 


Dr. Stephan Howden joined the USM faculty with a background in physics and oceanography. He shared that hydrography provides the geospatial background for studies done in oceanography. 

“Hydrographers take a measure once, use many times approach to field work,” he said. “A wide array of applications for the data collected exists.” 

Calvin Martin is the Technical Director\Chief Hydrographer for the U. S. Navy Fleet Survey Team located at Stennis Space Center. He knew nothing about hydrography when he first began work as a civilian employee. He was promised the opportunity to travel the world and his first time ever on a plane had him going to Australia.  

He is passionate about hydrography and enjoys sharing what he has learned while being of service to his country. 

“The center at Stennis has the largest concentration of hydrographers and oceanographers in the world,” said Martin. “We have this incredible place in our own backyard, but many don’t know about it.” 


Ahmarion Luckett is a freshman at PRCC with plans to become a physical therapist. He came to the STEM Club meeting to try something new and meet other students. He came away with knowledge of a field he had not heard about before. 

Ahmarion Luckett gets close up view of unmanned vessell at PRCC STEM Club

“I didn’t know about this field and found the presentation very interesting,” said Luckett. “They shared so many great opportunities available to a hydrographer including travel around the world. Plus, learning more about the ocean can help our military and anyone on a boat.” 

PRCC students interested in opportunities in science, technology, engineering, or math are invited to join the STEM Club by emailing STEM Club coordinator Emily Carlisle at Upcoming meetings include Nov. 4 to learn about the Rural Health and Physicians Scholarship program and then on Nov. 9 to learn about geography with guests from USM. 

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

October 21, 2021 - 1:54pm
PRCC launches Honors Lecture Series at Forrest County Campus

PRCC launches Honors Lecture Series at Forrest County Campus

Dr. John McEwen addresses FCC Honors Lecture Attendees oct 2021

Pearl River Community College’s Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute launched its Faculty Lecture Series Thursday at the Forrest County Campus.

Faculty and students attended the lecture, presented by Dr. John McEwen, Instructor of Math, Physics and Chemistry at the Forrest County Campus.

Dr. McEwen’s topic: “My Appointment with the TicToc Doc: The Impact of Unlicensed Physicians in the Social Media Age.”

Dr. McEwen was introduced by sophomore Patrick Dunkle of Petal, a member of the Honors Council.

Patrick Dunkle introduces speaker at Faculty Lecture series october 2021

Student members of the 2021 Honors Council include Jackson Bowering, Ben Hartley, Shui Lin, Peyton Scanlon, Jericho Gardner, Kristen Johnson, Allyna Pytleski and Genesis Williams.

Upcoming Honors Institute events include:

          -Nov. 16: Honors Faculty Lecture Series, Dr. Dan Browning (12:15 p.m., Multipurpose Room.

          -Nov. 17: Honors Research Symposium, 1 p.m., Thad Cochran Center, the University of Southern Mississippi.

PRCC Honors Institute Officers for 2021 on Forrest County Campus         


Members of the Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute at PRCC’s Forrest County Campus for Dr. John McEwen’s lecture included from left: Kristen Johnson of Sumrall, Freshman Honors Council; Patrick Dunkle of Petal, Sophomore Honors Council; Jackson Bowering of Petal, Freshman Honors Council; Peyton Scanlon of Petal, President; Dr. McEwen; Ben Hartley of Oak Grove, Freshman Vice President; Genesis Williams of Hattiesburg, Freshman Honors Council; Shui Lin of Hattiesburg, Sophomore Honors Council; and Dr. Ryan Ruckel, Honors Faculty.


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

October 22, 2021 - 3:33pm
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