James David Collum and Brendan Ryan Massey represented Pearl River Community College Feb. 21 at the annual HEADWAE events in Jackson.
HEADWAE – Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence – was established by the Legislature more than 20 years ago to honor academically talented students and faculty.
Honorees were welcomed to the Capitol by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, then introduced to the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Collum has taught electronics engineering technology at PRCC for seven years at the Forrest County Center.
After earning an associate’s degree at PRCC in 2008, he earned a B.S. from William Carey University in 2010 and a Masters from Carey in technical education in 2013.
“I was deeply honored to be recognized by PRCC for the HEADWAE award,” said Collum. “I have been blessed to work with a group of instructors and administrators who have made student success their mission. “
Massey, 19, a sophomore Phi Theta Kappa student at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center, has had to face challenges that might sideline the average student. In just his short time as a PRCC student, he has been hospitalized six times – once for a heart condition – from one to four days at a time.
Today, this theoretical mathematics major is a 4.0 student at PRCC.
Massey is employed at the PRCC Student Success Center. He serves as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, president of Mu Alpha Theta, president of the PRCC Chess Club, and was recognized at Nerdnation, PTK’s international convention last April, where he spoke before some 4,000 fellow students. He recently became PRCC’s first student to be awarded another very special scholarship.
He is one of only 10 students to receive PTK’s 2016 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education, the society’s first renewable scholarship and mentorship program supporting both associate and bachelor degree completion
“Brendan’s strong work ethic is only eclipsed by his enthusiasm for learning,” said Dr. Terri Ruckel, one of Brendan’s mentors at PRCC. “His natural curiosity and interest in research beyond what is required commands the attention of all of his instructors and our administrators as well. His study habits are self-motivated and stem from an intrinsic desire for knowledge. He will end his community college studies with much more than 21 honors credits.”
Pictured at the HEADWAE event in Jackson are, from left, Dr. Jana Causey, vice president for Forrest County Operations; electronics engineering technology instructor James David Collum, student Brendan Massey of Hattiesburg and PRCC President William Lewis.