Standing room only at PRCC’s Barbering and Cosmetology 2023 Graduation

June 29, 2023

Malone Chapel at Pearl River Community College was standing-room-only for the Barbering and Cosmetology graduation on Thursday, June 29. The room was filled with many family members and friends coming to celebrate their achievements. 

Attendees were greeted by the Dean of Career and Technical Education, Dr. Amy Townsend. 

“When your clients come in, remember that you are there to help them,” said Townsend. “Whatever you do, wherever you go and whatever path you choose, always remember what you have been taught here at Pearl River: The Wildcat Way which is Pride, Respect, Class and Character.” 

Tina Speights, Owner of Tina’s Salon and Barbershop in Lumberton, served as the designated speaker for the graduation ceremony. She is a graduate of both the Cosmetology (2005) and the Cosmetology Instructor (2016) programs. 

“You are in a servant position,” said Speights. “You have been prepared. I salute you because you are starters and finishers.” 

Eileen Sumlin, Career & Technical Student Services Coordinator, introduced each candidate including their hometown, immediate plans for work, and long-term goals. Certificates were presented by their instructors.  

Twelve students graduated from the eleven-month-long Cosmetology program. During that time, students learn the basics of hair, skin, and nails.  

Women in black and white dresses hold certificates

Sarah (Emma) McArthur originally came to The River enrolled in a different program, but switched gears to Cosmetology. She already enjoyed doing her own nails and decided to make it into a career. 

“I had a great experience and met people who will be friends for life,” said Lothian. “Ms. Patterson prepared us well, helping us pack bags for the state boards. I’ve loved being a PRCC Wildcat and am eager to start my career at Hair & Tonic Salon in Gulfport.” 

Ten students graduated from the year-long Barbering program, led by Instructor of Barbering Tyrone McLaurin. A mixture of coursework and hands-on instruction is delivered with a focus on shaving and cutting hair. 

Group of men and women holding certificates.

Mason Miller completed the Barbering program and has been working towards an Associate of Applied Science degree with the Business Marketing Management program. While at The River, he served as a River Navigator and started a job at H & Co. in Poplarville. He is currently working at David’s Barber Shop in Picayune and hopes to eventually have his own high-end barber shops. 

“Barbering has been life-changing for me,” said Miller. “I started at PRCC with basic classes and felt like what I was going into wasn’t for me. 

“PRCC has become a second family to me. I love PRCC, I love the Barbering Program, I love Mr. Mac, and I look forward to learning a lot in marketing.” 

Barbering graduates include Bailey Beech, Brian Bickham, William Burns, Rhiannon Howard, Maurice Jones, Vincent Keyes, Leslie Luter, Mason Miller, Joanna Reynolds, and Rilee Scarbrough. 

Cosmetology graduates include Kaitlyn Amundson, Kannie Crabtree, NaKirya Davis, Camryn Fore, Hailee Loze, Sara McArthur, Jenna Parker, Faith Pratt, Karlee Rodriquez, Faith Russell, Nataleigh Sandifer, and Ryleigh Shaw. 

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

Article by Laura O’Neill. Photography by River Roderick.

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.