Celebrating Academic Excellence: PRCC’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Inducts 46 Exceptional Students

March 21, 2024

Pearl River Community College’s Iota Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa proudly welcomed 46 outstanding students into its esteemed ranks during a special induction ceremony held on Monday, March 19. Held at the elegant Brownstone Center for the Arts, the event was a testament to the hard work and dedication of these students, who exemplify the highest standards of academic achievement.  

46 men and women stand on stage in two long rows.
PTK Iota Mu Induction on March 19, 2024.

The foremost honor society for two-year colleges, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) currently has over 1,300 chapters worldwide. This evening was the Iota Mu Chapter’s 67th induction ceremony. The chapter covers both the Hancock and Poplarville campuses.  

Membership is reserved for students who have proven their dedication to academic achievement, requiring a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 and the completion of at least 12 credit hours of non-remedial coursework. 

Scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship are the four hallmarks of PTK. The current officers briefly shared personal reflections on how these hallmarks have shaped their journey within PTK. 

One young man and four young women stand together on stage.
Officers for PTK Iota Mu Chapter. Back row (left to right): Aidan Levy (Vice President of Fellowship & Regional CTE Representative), Devyn Lee (Vice President of Leadership), and Kellie Watts (Vice President of Scholarship. Front row (left to right): Allison Gobuzzi (President) and Lauren Gobuzzi (Vice President of Service.)

Attendees heard from Dr. Kristi Motter, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Manager at The University of Southern Mississippi. She talked about how we can give a little something extra, some lagniappe, to our efforts as that will allow us to reap the rewards in the future.  

Woman wearing suit speaks while standing behind a podium with PRCC emblem.
Dr. Kristi Motter speaks at Iota Mu’s Induction on March 19, 2024.

“Each and every aspect of your life, whether academically or personally, is based on the decisions that you make, your accomplishments,” said Motter. “Your choices or decisions provided the opportunity for us to celebrate you today. As you progress on this journey, continue to make those good decisions, focus on better choices and apply a little something extra.” 

For students considering the transition from community college to a four-year institution, PTK serves as a transfer resource to its members. Many colleges and universities, especially those in Mississippi, offer special scholarships to PTK members with additional value for PTK officers.  

PRCC Vice President of Poplarville Campus and Student Services Jeff Long spoke to the students about how they exemplify the best of Pearl River Community College. He also thanked the students for showing pride in their work and their families for supporting them.  

Man in suit speaks from behind podium with PRCC emblem.
Jeff Long addresses students at PTK Induction March 19, 2024.

“Thank you for getting that alarm clock waking up, going to class, going to study, going to the lab, and doing things right,” said Long. “You are what makes Pearl River Community College great. I can’t wait to see what you will achieve in your time with Pearl River Community College.” 

Iota Mu Advisor Kira Arthurs shared more about the level of excellence the chapter has obtained. She mentioned last year’s placement as the second finalist for most Distinguished Chapter internationally awards received at the recent Mississippi-Louisiana Gala. For the second year, Iota Mu was named the Most Distinguished Chapter for the region, a highly competitive designation. Chapter Members will attend Catalyst, the international conference for PTK, in a few weeks where they will learn of any awards for the current year. 

Greeting inductees after the ceremony were representatives from Blue Mountain College, Mississippi State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Mississippi, The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, and William Carey University. 

PRCC students inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Iota Mu Chapter for spring 2024 semester are: 

Rondell Alexander, Picayune 
Kailey Allen, Columbia 
Joan Amacker, Petal 
Jhylan Barnes, Magnolia 
Sarah Bolin, Poplarville 
Donovan Bounds, Picayune 
Brandon Brooks, Purvis 
Jaliyah Brooks, Foxworth 
Meg Broom, Columbia 
Olivia Broom, Poplarville 
Olivia Coleman, McNeil 
Lillian Diamond, Lumberton 
Byron Expose, Columbia 
Jillian Hollis, Poplarville 
Ashlynn Goss, Picayune 
Yasmine Haynes, Sandy Hook 
Hunter Herring, Sandy Hook 
Hannah Hopkins, Picayune 
Anna Kate Hutson, Sumrall 
Radhika Khetia, Carriere 
Blake Kiefer, Carriere 
Anajah Laneaux, Bay St. Louis 
Kaitlyn Langenstein, Poplarville 
Abigail Long, Kiln 
Jakaden Mark, Sandy Hook 
Victoria Martin, Carriere 
Katherine McCain, Oak Grove 
Kaniya McDaniel, Brookhaven 
Mya McInnis, Hattiesburg 
Madison Morgan, Pine, LA 
Lydia Pace, Columbia 
Shawn Palmer, Picayune 
Morgan Patrick, Brandon 
Andrew Pickens, Gautier 
Elizabeth Purvis, Carriere 
Blayne Scharenbroch, Picayune 
Sheridan Shoemo, Columbia 
Marlee Smith, Picayune 
Mason Smith, Tylertown 
Laura Sones, Poplarville 
Lucas Stringer, Columbia 
Blair Tew, Tylertown 
Briana Tew, Tylertown 
Naomi Williamson, Wiggins 
Kennedy Wilson, Gulfport 
Zoe Wilson, Carriere 

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

Article and photography by Laura O’Neill.

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.