Submitted by braswell on October 29, 2014 – 1:49pm
POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College has received two important grants from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation for community projects and classroom improvement.
The foundation awarded PRCC $17,000 for the ninth Women’s Health Symposium and $13,000 for new physics lab equipment.
The grants were presented by Sid Whitley, the foundation’s chief executive officer, on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the college.
“Since the inception of the Women’s Health Symposium, the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation has been a major sponsor for this special event,” PRCC President Dr. William Lewis said. “Their continuing support is vital to the success of the program and continues to make a difference in promoting healthy lifestyles for the many women who participate in this symposium each year. The symposium is directly aligned with the mission of the foundation and has become an annual event that participants return to every year.”
The 2015 symposium will be held Jan. 31 at Crosby Hall on the PRCC campus. Registration materials will be available in November.
“This project is oriented toward improved health for women,” Whitley said. “It provides health screenings, instruction and motivational speakers. This program has been extremely well accepted over the past eight years.”
Due to space limitations and the event’s popularity, attendance will be limited to 450.
“The Women’s Health Symposium encourages women to live healthy lifestyles, have healthy attitudes, and appreciate good health,” said Dr. Jennifer Seal, PRCC vice president for planning and institutional research and chair of the symposium steering committee. “Pearl River Community College is grateful for the support that the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation has provided to educate and enrich the lives of each participant.”
The grant for the physics lab funded purchase of Vernier Lab Quest 2 interfaces that allow students to collect data with hand-held equipment at each lab station. The software allows students to save the data and work with it on mobile devices as well as desktop computers, instructor Dr. Ross Setze said.
“It’s updating all of our equipment to the 21st Century,” he said. “You used to have to spend half of your time graphing. Now the computers do all that.”
Enrollment in PRCC physics classes dropped dramatically after Hurricane Katrina but has recovered to the point that there are more students enrolled in the engineering physics class this fall than in 15 years.
“The physics grant funded by LPRVF will allow Pearl River Community College to offer more hands on, innovative lab experiences for our physics students,” said Karen Bond, chair of the science, mathematics and business department. “We are excited about this opportunity and are grateful to the LPRVF for their support.”
A former physics teacher, Whitley easily understood the need for the grant.
“This project provides state of the art instruments that allow students to make direct measurements that enhance their understanding of observations,” he said. “This project will enhance students’ preparation for the job market and for further training.”
Sid Whitley, seated left, CEO of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, presents grant checks to Pearl River Community College on Oct. 29 for the Women’s Health Symposium and updated physics lab equipment. With him are Dr. Jennifer Seal, seated, chair of the symposium steering committee; physics instructor Dr. Ross Setze; standing, Karen Bond, chair of the science, mathematics and business department; and Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president.
PRCC Public Relations photo