PRCC inducts members of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society at FCC

November 14, 2023

New members of the Beta Tau Gamma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society were inducted Monday, Nov. 6, at Pearl River Community College.

The chapter welcomed 24 students into the honor society. The induction ceremony was held at the Forrest County Campus with family members, friends, faculty, staff, and administration filling the audience.

PRCC students inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Beta Tau Gamma Chapter for the fall 2023 semester.

Phi Theta Kappa is known as the foremost honor society for two-year colleges with more than 1,300 chapters worldwide.

Students selected for membership are considered academically successful having completed at least 12 credit hours of non-remedial courses with a minimum cumulative 3.4 GPA.

Scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship are the four hallmarks of PTK. The current officers briefly shared how those hallmarks have played out for them as members of PTK.

Attendees heard from Dr. Joyce Olewski Inman, Dean of the Honors College at the University of Southern Mississippi. She recognized former PRCC students in the USM Honors College and shared how important it is to consider what the next steps will be with an eye on the relationships you will build.

Guest speaker foe the event was Dr. Joyce Olewski Inman, Dean of the Honors College at the University of Southern Mississippi.

“Students who show excellence in the first part of their academic careers typically continue to pursue excellence later,” she said. “I encourage you to continue your pursuits as you move toward the next steps in your journeys. I can promise you that students from PRCC are stellar when they get to the University of Southern Mississippi Honors College.”

Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President of the Forrest County campus, Allied Health and Nursing Programs, told students that PTK membership will open many doors for their futures.

“These students are going to achieve great things while they are here at Pearl River and moving forward,” said Dr. Causey. “What you are going to achieve would not be possible without the help of your teachers at PRCC. You have shown the ability to have pride in what you’re doing.’’

Beta Tau Gamma advisors at PRCC include Drs. David Collum, Doug Donohue, Terri Smith Ruckel and Ryan Ruckel, as well as Said Otwane.

Donohue and Ryan Ruckel welcomed the crowd and Terri Smith Ruckel, PTK Regional Coordinator, recognized PRCC staff members selected by students who have made a difference in their education journey.

They included Zac Bennett, Dr. Amy Duke, Heather Peerboom, Dr. Silvia Preston, Jeffrey Tinnon, Dr. Dan Browning, Dr. Rudy Gatlin, Alvin Pittman and Cassie Reid.

Beta Tau Gamma officers installed include from left: Kaeden Thigpen, Vice President of Fellowship; Sydney Smith, Vice President of Scholarship; Emily Smith, Vice President of Recruitment; Lara Meyerholtz, Vice President of College Completion-Transfer Readiness; Abbey Ford, Vice President of Service; Carlo Catlett, Vice President of Leadership; Richard Bullock, Vice President of Alumni; Raegan Anderson, Vice President of Chapter Engagement; and Abbilyn Jones, President.

Dr. Greg Underwood, Academic Dean, told inductees that “is a night where you can all be proud.”

Collum and Otwane also handled the induction ceremony for PTK officers.

PRCC students inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Beta Tau Gamma chapter for the fall 2023 semester are:

Lily Boyd of Hattiesburg, Chloe Busby of Hattiesburg, Anna Kate Cornish of Biloxi, Gracyn Deans of Purvis, Addison Dyess of Hattiesburg, McKenzie Fletcher of Hattiesburg, Mackenzie Gillum of Hattiesburg, Grace Harrison of Laurel, Jayden Hibbets of Sumrall, Anna Grace Hipp of Vancleave, Anna Johnson of Columbia, Charnessa Johnson of Stone County.

Halle Jo Lafleur of Sumrall, Hadden Lyon of Hattiesburg, Rebecca Madden of Purvis, Haley Montgomery of Sumrall, Holley Shipp of Purvis, Aubri Sparkman of Hattiesburg, Maddie Stafford of Petal, Sarah Thibodeau of River Ridge, La., Olivia Vidrine of Purvis, Randa Vidrine of Purvis, Caitlylyn Williams of Sumrall and Tori Williamson of Mendenhall.

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

Article by Chuck Abadie. Photography by Kaitlyn Jones.

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.