Honors Institute graduates receive medallions

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Submitted by jbraswell on May 5, 2015

POPLARVILLE – Twenty Pearl River Community College students were recognized with presentation of their Honors Institute medallions by Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president, on Monday, May 4.
Honors Institute graduates have completed a minimum of 21 hours of Honors coursework and maintained a cumulative 3.4 grade point average.
“We hope that this has been a great experience for you,” Lewis said. “That’s what it was meant to be.”
Ashley Calcote moved from her home in Ocean Springs to an apartment in Hattiesburg to be a part of the Honors Institute at the Forrest County Center.
“It is extremely daunting to move somewhere where you don’t know a single soul,” she said. “I have thrived here as a student and personnally. I’ve learned if something scares you, you probably need to do it.” She plans to attend Mississippi State University next fall.
Timothy Keegan Hall of Hattiesburg earned a GED certificate from PRCC before enrolling in the Honors Institute.
“Pearl River gave me true companions and true mentors,” he said. “It gave me the desire to be better tomorrow than I am today.” He plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi.
The Honors Institute started three years ago in temporary quarters in Seal Hall on the Poplarville campus. It is now located on the renovated second floor of White Hall where students have access to the Thomas J. and Patricia Malone Honors Institute Library and a computer lab.
“I know that I and many of my classmates use White Hall on a daily basis,” said Levi Herrin of Picayune. “It’s had a definite impact on our studies.” He also plans to attend MSU.
The Honors Institute students will be the first to cross the stage at graduation on Thursday, May 14, at White Coliseum on the Poplarville campus.
“When we started the idea of the Honors Institute, there were two basic reasons,” Lewis said. “One was an avenue for special experiences for high-achieving students and pathways to greater opportunities in the future.”
Scholarship offers from major universities, internships and PRCC’s membership in the National Collegiate Honors Council are indicative of those pathways being recognized, he said.
“The second reason is selfish – we wanted to attract the very best students we could find,” Lewis said.
Honors Institute students had received approximately $300,000 in scholarship offers before the medallion ceremony with more coming in, said Dr. Stephen Black, institute director. The PRCC graduates are automatically accepted into honors programs at all of the state’s universities
In addition to MSU and USM, the students plan to attend William Carey University, the University of Mississippi, Jackson State University, Mississippi College, Louisiana State University and Tulane.
Forrest County Center Honors Institute graduates are Samuel “Eli” Bedwell of Sumrall, who completed his degree requirements in December and is enrolled in the Carey nursing program; Phillip Bedwell of Sumrall, Ashley Calcote of Ocean Springs, Timothy Keegan Hall of Hattiesburg, Cameron Howard of Oak Grove, Joshua Matthews of Pass Christian, Kerrie Pace of Petal, Brantley “Matt” Steen of Kosciusko, Mason Stokes of Petal, Leslie Terrell of Purvis and Shamiraca “Shay” Williams of Oak Grove.
Honors Institute graduates on the Poplarville campus are Michael Byron of Seattle, Wash., Kaitlin Cooper, David Failla and Levi Herrin, all of Picayune; Jenesis Kelly of Hattiesburg, Stephen Miller of Sumrall, Raygan Necaise of Kiln, Caridae Pittman of Picayune and Alec Rivera of Petal.
Two Forrest County Center students – Bradford Moore and Ishimine Goins, both of Hattiesburg – completed 15 hours of Honors coursework and will graduate with Honors Certificates.

Pearl River Community College awarded medallions May 4 to the 2015 Honors Institute graduates in a ceremony at White Hall on the Poplarville campus. They are, seated from left, Samuel “Eli” Bedwell and Phillip Bedwell, both of Sumrall; Michael Byron of Seattle, Wash.; Ashley Calcote of Ocean Spring, Kaitlin Cooper of Picayune, Timothy Keegan Hall of Hattiesburg, Levi Herrin of Picayune, Cameron Howard of Oak Grove; standing, David Failla of Picayune, Joshua Matthews of Pass Christian, Stephen Miller of Sumrall, Raygan Necaise of Kiln, Kerri Pace of Petal, Caridae Pittman of Picayune, Alec Rivera of Petal, Brantley “Matt” Steen of Kosciusko, Mason Stokes of Petal, Leslie Terrell of Purvis and Shamiraca Shay Williams of Oak Grove. Not pictured is Jenesis Kelly of Hattiesburg.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Pearl River Community College president Dr. William Lewis straightens the Honors Institute medallion he awarded to Raygan Necaise of Kiln during a pre-graduation ceremony on May 4 at White Hall.
PRCC Public Relations photo