Two Pearl River Community College employees recently completed the first Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy. Jana Causey, biology instructor at the Forrest County Center, and Dr. Jim Moore, assistant dean of student services, were honored during graduation ceremonies on April 23 at Mississippi State University.The academy was formed to prepare future community and junior college leaders to accept responsibility for leadership positions."The Leadership Academy provided the most practical experience and growth for me as a professional," Causey said.Members of the academy heard from a total of 53 presenters at the initial meeting in June and during weekends in September, November and February."These very knowledgeable individuals shared valuable experience with the members of the academy and the assignments were designed to expose us to real problems that leaders in the college face," Causey said. "Every minute was beneficial and I have grown tremendously as a result of experiencing this great opportunity. I believe this academy to be critical in molding future leaders for our college and ultimately impacts the future of our students."The interaction with personnel from other community colleges in the state has already paid off in suggestions for dealing with issues, Moore said."I don''t have to re-invent the wheel," he said. "The academy exposed me to a lot of good reading on leadership. It''s changed how I do things on a day-to-day basis."Moore said he is honored to have been chosen for the academy."It was a lot of fun," he said. "It was also a ton of work."The Mississippi Community College Foundation began planning the academy in the fall of 2008 with support from the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University."The Leadership Academy that has been established by the Mississippi Community College Foundation is providing significant development opportunities for individuals who have demonstrated the ability to become the leaders of the future for our state''s community colleges," said Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president. "I am very pleased that those chosen for participation in the academy will receive a high_level of leadership training that will enhance their productivity for their individual colleges and for the state system of two_year institutions of higher learning. It is most encouraging that the Mississippi Community College Foundation recognized this important need and formulated an outstanding training effort to address this issue."