PRCC student named to PTK''s top academic team

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POPLARVILLE – A Pearl River Community College student was one of 15 chosen for the 2012 All-Mississippi Academic First Team.Debra Thompson was named to the select team sponsored by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, Mississippi Community College Board, The Clarion_Ledger newspaper and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. As a member of the First Team, she will receive a $1,000 stipend from PRCC.PRCC students named to the Second Team are Alyssa Brand of Sumrall, Gineca Garriga of Catahoula and Eddie Hodges of Purvis.Fifty-four students from Mississippi 15 community colleges are honored annually through selection to the All-Mississippi Academic Teams. They will be honored on March 7 by both houses of the Mississippi Legislature and as guests of the sponsors at a luncheon at the Jackson Convention Complex.Thompson, 41, is a general studies major planning to continue her education in dental hygiene before workings toward a master degree in biology.A graduate of Salmen High School in Slidell, La., she is president of the Iota Mu chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on the Poplarville campus. She also represented PRCC as the college student honoree at the Higher Education Appreciation Day_Working for Academic Excellence events on Feb. 28.She is a Student Support Services tutor, a member of the Honors Leadership Forum and a Dean List scholar. She carries a 3.81 GPA.Dreams are things that make futures, give us something to work for and enjoy along the way, to make new inventions, discover cures, save lives, enrich lives, build each other up and raise a generation of people who love what they do and do it well, she wrote in the essay submitted for the All-Mississippi Academic Team.Thompson and her children – Zachary, 16, and Alexandra, 9 – live in Carriere. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Huye II of Picayune.Brand, 20, graduated high school in League City, Texas. She is enrolled at PRCC Forrest County Center, taking prerequisites for nursing school. She has a 3.82 GPA.She is a member of the Beta Tau Gamma PTK chapter, the Alpha Epsilon chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta and the Honor Leadership Forum. A Dean and President List scholar, she has been named to Who Who Among American Community Colleges.Brand is the daughter of Raylyn Brand of Sumrall and Doug Brand of Maryville, Tenn.Garriga, 19, is a graduate of Hancock High School and carries a 3.6 GPA. She plans to attend Mississippi State University to major in chemical engineering.She is secretary of the Iota Mu chapter of PTK on the Poplarville campus and received the Leaders of Promise and the Favre Forward Foundation scholarships.Garriga is the daughter of Ernest and Sandra Garriga.Hodges, 28, is majoring in electronics technology and bio-medical technology repair at the Forrest County Center and plans to ean a degree in English with a creative writing emphasis from the University of Southern Mississippi. His GPA is 3.9.He graduated from Purvis High School and served in the Army for eight years, which included two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. While enrolled at PRCC, Hodges works as bassist for the Blackheart Poets band along with working at Forrest General Hospital as part of an internship.Hodges is vice president for fellowship of the Beta Tau Gamma PTK chapter, vice president of Sigma Kappa Delta, an active participant in the PRCC Creative Writing Program and founder of the campus Vet 2 Vet program.He is the son of Ann Hodges of Hattiesburg and Dell Hodges and the late James Allen Hodges of Purvis.Stephanie Lee is advisor to the Iota Mu chapter of PTK. Doug Donohue, Dr. Ryan Ruckel and Dr. Terri Smith Ruckel are advisors to the Beta Tau Gamma chapter.