May 25, 2023
Pearl River Community College English instructor Dr. Terri Ruckel is this year’s recipient of The Mosal Award, one of Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious awards for a faculty member.
The Mosal Award, established in 1984 and named for the Honors Society’s late Executive Director Emeritus, Dr. Margaret Mosal, provides financial support to PTK chapter advisors for the completion of projects that lead to personal professional growth.
Dr. Ruckel’s award comes with a $5000 stipend to support her research and writing on the topic, “One Writer’s Snapshots: Retracing the ‘Worn Path’ of Eudora Welty’s Photographs.”
She will have a year to complete the research, which includes travel to locations in the state visited and photographed by Eudora Welty. She’ll be writing about Mississippi and Mississippians then and now.
“I was born in Mississippi, and I love my home state,” said Dr. Ruckel. “This project is most exciting to me because it allows me to celebrate a great Mississippi writer and the diverse people who live here. I want to share their stories with my students because what Faulkner said is so true. ‘To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi’.”
She specifically mentioned she will share her content with her online courses via the MSVCC, and PRCC is always recognized as her institution.
“This is definitely an outstanding honor,” said Dr. Martha Lou Smith, Senior Vice President for Instruction/Provost. “And, with Dr. Ruckel, there is no doubt that she’ll give them research worth every cent of the stipend. I know it will be wonderful to see when she’s done, but I suspect the actual journey of conducting the research will be the best part.”
According to the Phi Theta Kappa website, Mosal Awards are presented to faculty advisers with at least five years of service who have submitted project proposals. Only outstanding, well-reasoned and intellectually substantive proposals are selected by a panel of scholars for funding.
Dr. Ruckel has served as Honors Coordinator at PRCC’s Forrest County Campus 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 chapter on the Forrest County Campus.
Dr. Ruckel has been appointed to the Two-Year College Committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council.
Ruckel has been an Instructor of English for PRCC’s Forrest County Campus since 2008 and the Dean of the FCC Honors Institute since 2016. She also served as the Honors Coordinator for PRCC FCC from 2014-16.
Article by Chuck Abadie.