June 2017

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PRCC board adopts $37.2 million budget
June 14, 2017 - 3:05pm -- admin

     POPLARVILLE - The Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees approved a budget of $37.2 million for the 2017-18 academic year during the regular June meeting on the Poplarville campus Tuesday.
     The budget includes both restricted and unrestricted funds. The new budget is an increase from last year’s budget of $36,767,231.

    Revenue projections for fiscal year 2018 reflect a decrease in state funding ($1.6 million), while funding support from Pearl River Community College’s six-county district included an increase of $174,208.
     Tuition for a full-time student (15 hours or more) is $1,625, a raise of $200 from last year. The hourly rate for in-state students (less than 15 hours) is going from $125 to $140.

      In other business, the board: 

  • Approved a new 10-year contract with Valley Services, Inc., which includes a $600,000 renovation project in the Crosby Hall cafeteria. Work is expected to begin immediately and take up to six weeks.  
  • Approved the hiring of instructors Amanda Lawler (biology, Poplarville), Erick Moffett (chemistry, Poplarville), Cassie Reid (biology, Forrest County Center), Tillman Donati (electronics engineering technology, Forrest County Center), and Ted Egger (interim head football coach).     
  • Approved the new position of WIN Center Case Manager, at the Hattiesburg WIN Center, a 12-month position.
  • Approved the retirement of Kenny Russell from the position of compositor and printer, effective June 30.    
June 14, 2017 - 3:05pm
 
Lions Band coming to PRCC
June 15, 2017 - 1:03pm -- jbraswell

  POPLARVILLE - The Mississippi Lions All-State Band arrives in Poplarville on Tuesday, June 20, for 10 days of intense rehearsal.
  The band will practice at Pearl River Community College before competing at the Lions International Convention in Chicago.
  About 150 high school musicians, selected by audition, make up the band.
  “This will be the first time Pearl River has hosted the Lions Band in about 30 years,” said Dr Kyle Hill, PRCC director of bands. “The Lions Band is composed of the top band students in the state of Mississippi in grades 9 through 12.”
  Jeff Cannon, who is retired from Pearl High School, is director.
  Six dancers, 16 color guard members, jazz band and percussion musicians begin rehearsals on June 20. The remainder of the band checks in and begins rehearsals on June 21.
  The next six days will be spent in intense preparation with two-a-day parade rehearsals, three concert rehearsals and one lobby show practice. Marching practices will be held near Lamar Hall dormitory on the PRCC campus at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m daily.
  The Mississippi Lions All-State Band holds 32 championships overall and 14 in the past 15 years in the parade competition. The International Parade will be on Sunday, July 2.
  A Grand Concert Finale will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, at the PRCC Brownstone Center for the Arts. The concert is free and open to the public.

June 15, 2017 - 1:03pm
 
 
 
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Seal, Ruckel will lead PRCC Honors Institute
June 26, 2017 - 3:12pm -- admin

POPLARVILLE – Dr. Jennifer Seal and Dr. Terri Smith Ruckel have been named new deans of Pearl River Community College’s Honors Institute.

Dr. Seal will serve the Honors Institute on the Poplarville campus and Dr. Ruckel will serve the Honors Institute at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg. They will work collaboratively across campuses to plan joint opportunities for Honors students.

“We are very pleased with the progress that the PRCC Honors Institute has experienced since its inception a few short years ago,” said PRCC President William Lewis. “The quality students that are participating in this program are a real asset to our institution.  At the same time, the programmatic and scholarship opportunities that are afforded these students are significant and, in some cases, life-changing.

“I am most confident that the leadership roles that Dr. Ruckel and Dr. Seal have assumed for this program will enable the Honors Institute to continue to grow and to benefit many more Pearl River Community College students.” 

Dr. Seal will add the duties of dean to her role as vice president for planning and institutional research, a position she has held since 2014. Prior to that, she was director of institutional effectiveness and served as a reaffirmation review committee member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the College’s accrediting body.

“The Honors Institute provides an excellent experience for students who want to challenge themselves academically,” said Dr. Seal.  

She chairs several college committees, including the Women’s Health Symposium steering committee, and has served on the Honors Institute advisory board. In addition, Seal currently serves as president of the Hancock County School District Board of Education and as president of the Rotary Club of Poplarville. 

Dr. Ruckel has served as Honors Coordinator at the Forrest County Center since 2012 and has served as a member of the Honors Institute advisory board from its inception. She currently serves Mississippi and Louisiana as the associate regional coordinator for Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for the two-year colleges, while she continues to work with Beta Tau Gamma, the award-winning local chapter on the Forrest County Center campus.

“There are so many exciting opportunities associated with this position, not the least of which is working with Dr. Seal,” said Dr. Ruckel. “The commitment of Dr. Lewis and Pearl River to outstanding scholarly activity has clearly made a difference in the past six years, and I am looking forward to working with Dr. Seal to strengthen and advance an already strong reputation in honors education.”

An honors education at Pearl River includes personal attention, award winning faculty, lectures and seminars, study-travel experiences, research opportunities, and career-building studies – all designed to enhance a classic education and to prepare students for a lifetime of achievement.

According to Dr. Ruckel, “The Honors Institute provides opportunities like those which might be found at a much more expensive liberal arts college.”

The opportunities are significant, as last spring’s numbers prove: Honors graduates earned more than $500,000 in total transfer scholarships. As a means of growing that impressive figure, Seal and Ruckel are planning a series of workshops for Honors Institute students on both campuses.

June 26, 2017 - 3:12pm
 
 
PRCC athletes earn Academic All-State honors
June 28, 2017 - 5:01pm -- admin

PRCC AD Jeff LongPOPLARVILLE – The 2016-17 school year was another banner year for student-athletes at Pearl River Community College, as 52 Wildcats were selected as Academic All-State by the MACJC.

Athletes who posted a 3.25 grade-point average or better were eligible for the recognition, and those student-athletes who finished the year with a GPA of 3.80 or better were honored as Distinguished All-State selections.

PRCC athletes earning Distinguished All-State honors were Gage Clark, baseball (4.0); Jerrod Rigby, men’s basketball (4.0); Kristen Martin, softball (3.96); Sarah Walden, women’s soccer (3.92); Kayla Nobles, women’s soccer (3.90); Jordan Ahlgren, women’s soccer (3.85) and Tyler Polderman, men’s soccer (3.83).

“One thing we’re extremely proud of is the success of our student-athletes in the classroom,” said PRCC athletic director Jeff Long.

“This is something we’ve really focused on the last year or two, and that’s being students first. This recognition shows that that emphasis has paid off across the board with all of our sports.”

In addition to the individual honors, the Wildcat women’s soccer team and the baseball team were named as All-State Academic Team of the Year after finishing the year with the highest team GPA of any MACJC school in their respective sports.

The Lady Wildcat soccer team posted a team GPA of 3.47, while the baseball Wildcats finished with a GPA of 3.21.

“In my 10 years here, we’ve been in the 3.3s a few times, but we’d never broken 3.4, and to not only do that, but finish above 3.45 is something we’re extremely proud of,” said veteran Lady Wildcats coach Jack Byrd. “We’re going to strive to do better than that next year.”

In all, 13 players from the Lady Wildcat soccer team made the All-State list. The Wildcat softball team also had 13 players on the All-State list, along with 12 baseball players, nine men’s soccer players, three from women’s basketball and two from football.

“This is something I take a great deal of pride in,” said Michael Avalon, who recently completed his first season as PRCC baseball coach.

“During my five years at Mississippi Delta, we were either first or second, and ranked nationally, all five years, and that was one of my goals for us when I came here.”

Other Academic All-State honorees were: Mikel Anderson (football), Taylor Anderson (men’s soccer), Brody Bray (baseball), Luke Bradley (baseball), Rylee Dawsey (softball), Sarah Depperschmidt (softball), Parker Dungan (baseball), Ilyssa Easton (softball), Kyle Estess (men’s soccer), Rylee Foster (women’s soccer), Jason Garrett (baseball), Karsen Gildea (women’s soccer), T.J. Gines Jr. (men’s soccer), Caroline Grafe (women’s soccer), Travis Harper (men’s soccer), Abby Henderson (women’s soccer), Olivia Holley (softball), Mark Johnson (men’s soccer/football), Kaley Lambert (softball), Peyton Lee (baseball), Spencer Martin (men’s soccer), Austin Moffett (baseball), Olivia Moger (women’s soccer), Kyla Malone (women’s basketball), John Moore (baseball), Susan Morgan (softball), Noah Nicaud (baseball), Lacey Polderman (women’s soccer), Kyle Rankin (men’s soccer), Mia Richardson (women’s soccer), Mary Rieger (women’s soccer), Krista Robles (softball), Alycia Schwartz (women’s soccer), Madison Scoggin (softball), Jackie Shows (softball), Brook Smith (softball), Melly Snyder (women’s soccer), Kiersten Stanford (softball), Adyn Strickland (women’s basketball), Ramee Taylor (softball), Parker Thoms (baseball), Dylan Usry (baseball), Charisma Walker (women’s basketball), Logan Walters (baseball) and Brian Wright (men’s soccer).

June 28, 2017 - 5:01pm
 
Lewis's service to PRCC celebrated
June 29, 2017 - 9:46am -- jbraswell

  POPLARVILLE - Hundreds of friends traveled to Poplarville Wednesday, June 28, to honor Dr. William Lewis on his retirement as president of Pearl River Community College.
  Lewis officially steps down on June 30 after 17 years as president of Mississippi’s oldest state-supported, two-year college.
  “My season is over,” Lewis said. “It’s time for a new college president to be in place.”
  At one of Lewis’s last meetings with the PRCC Board of Trustees, he was excluded from an executive session, board chairman Alan Lumpkin told the audience. During that session, the board voted to name the PRCC Honors Institute after Lewis, he said.
  Lewis has guided PRCC through good times and bad, including a 10-year recovery from Hurricane Katrina and numerous cuts in state funding.
  “The life of a president is not an easy one,” said Dr Aubrey Lucas, president emeritus of the University of Southern Mississippi and one of two speakers at the program honoring Lewis. “Even though we presidents can put on those smiles, it’s a tough job.”
  Lucas recounted some of Lewis’s accomplishments as superintendent of the Petal School District and then at PRCC.
  “I think there’s something magical about William’s leadership,” he said. “Instead of pushing, he enables.”
  Lewis described Lucas and Dr. Clyde Muse, president of Hinds Community College, as mentors. Lewis and Muse, who also spoke at the program, worked closely together over the years to lobby the Legislature for funding.
  “I think of William as a trusted friend with a quick mind, a steady hand and a kind heart,” Muse said. “William has been a great servant to the state of Mississippi for a number of years.”
  The program included presentations of gifts - a Waterford crystal bowl from the Board of Trustees, a cash gift from PRCC employees, establishment of an endowed scholarship by friends and colleagues and a framed resolution from the Mississippi Legislature commending Lewis’s career.
  After almost 50 years as an educator, Lewis will miss the daily call of the “schoolhouse” but is ready to turn the PRCC reins over to Dr. Adam Breerwood, vice president for the Poplarville campus and Hancock Center.
  “It’s time for this college to have a new direction, to have new leadership,” he said.

                    
Dr. Clyde Muse, left, president of Hinds Community College, and Dr Aubrey Lucas, president emeritus of the University of Southern Mississippi, listen as Dr. William Lewis makes his final remarks as president of Pearl River Community College. Lewis retires June 30 after 17 years as PRCC president.
PRCC Public Relations photo


Dr. Tommy King, president of William Carey University, congratulates Dr. William Lewis on his retirement as president of Pearl River Community College during a reception on June 28. Waiting to speak to Lewis are PRCC alumni Dr. Elton and Joyce Raby of Hattiesburg.
PRCC Public Relations photo


Janet Gale and Dr. William Lewis look at a book of photographs and letters of congratulation on his retirement as president of Pearl River Community College. The book was presented by the PRCC Public Relations Department at a reception in Lewis’s honor on June 28.
PRCC Public Relations photo

June 29, 2017 - 9:46am
 
Lions All-State Band rehearses at PRCC
June 29, 2017 - 3:09pm -- jbraswell

  POPLARVILLE - The Mississippi Lions All-State Band left Pearl River Community College on Thursday, June 29, headed to Chicago for international competition.
  The band prepared for 10 days at PRCC to defend its title as champions of the International Lions Parade, which rolls through downtown Chicago on Saturday, July 1.
  “It’s been an incredible experience to be around the talented people here,” said sophomore trumpet player Andrew Lott of Oak Grove High School. “It makes us want to do better, to take it up another level.”
  Lott, a first-year Lions Band member, is one of six Oak Grove students to go through two rounds of auditions and make the band.
  Senior Julianna Hinton placed first chair on trombone for her second year in Lions Band.
  “The opportunity to travel and the bond with people is what brought me back,” she said.
  Hinton was visibly shocked when director/manager Jeff Cannon of Pearl announced during the Grand Finale Concert on June 28 that she has been selected by the staff to receive the Roy Martin Award as outstanding member.
  The band spent four hours a day in marching rehearsals and another seven hours practicing for the concert and for the lobby show that will be performed at the McCormick Place Convention Center.
  Picayune Memorial High School senior Rebecca Robin plays clarinet in the band. This is her first year.
  “I love it so much,” she said. “The staff is so motivating. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
  The band is made up of 143 students from 55 schools, Cannon said. About 24 high school band directors and college music education students make up the staff. The band is the only all-state band in the country that doesn’t pay the staff more than expenses, he said.
  “It’s a labor of love and passion,” Cannon said.
  The 2017 staff includes PRCC alumni Sharon Laird, director at Oak Grove, and Jerry Pickering of Northwest Rankin High School.
  “It’s a little nerve wracking to begin with because these are some of the best kids in the state,” he said. “It’s been wonderful.” A first-time staff member, he played tuba in the Lions Band before coming to Pearl River in 1995.
  Laird played trumpet in the 1984 Lions Band and has been on the staff two previous years.
  “It is such an honor and great opportunity to work with some of the best band students in the state and the best band directors,” she said. “It’s amazing to immerse yourself in that.”
  Most of the students, like color guard member Kennedy Placide of Oak Grove, hope their Lions Band experience carries over at home.
  “It’s amazing,” Placide said. “I can come here and be comfortable with my skill and be better at it. I can take it back home and build.”
  The other Oak Grove students in the band are Elizabeth Porter, dancer; Taylor Hart, flute; Cole Callender, trumpet; along with Sumrall High School students, Brandon Broome and Derek Douglas, trombones.
  The students paid $1,900 to be in the band or raised the fee through sponsors, Cannon said. When the convention is overseas, the fee is much higher. The Lions of Mississippi and individual clubs sponsor much of the costs associated with camp and the trip, which will include some Broadway-type shows, a Chicago Cubs baseball game and a trip to Six Flags.
  The band will return to PRCC on July 5.


The color guard performs during the Mississippi Lions All-State Band lobby show on June 28 at Pearl River Community College.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Guest conductor Dr. Kyle Hill, PRCC director of bands, conducts Entry of the Gladiators during the Mississippi Lions All-State Band concert.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Kennedy Placide of Oak Grove High School rehearses a color guard routine during Mississippi Lions All-State Band camp.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Julianna Hinton of Oak Grove High School reacts with shock after receiving the Roy Martin Award for the outstanding student. She is first chair trombone in the 2017 Mississippi Lions All-State Band.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Andrew Lott


Rebecca Robin

June 29, 2017 - 3:09pm