PRCC 2023 Awards Day highlights top performers in Academics, Nursing, and Career Technical Programs

Published 3:51 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River Community College hosted its annual Awards Day ceremony on Tuesday in the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts. Students, faculty, staff, family and friends joined together in celebrating the accomplishments of these students while wishing them success in their future endeavors. 

Vice President for Poplarville Campus and Student Services Jeff Long welcomed everyone to the ceremony. He thanked everyone in attendance for their role in helping the students succeed. 

“We have set out to be the best community college in the country,” said Long. “Where that starts is with our faculty. We have the best faculty in the country, and then you look at some of our facilities like the Brownstone, and you see a trend.   

“With all the changes in the past years, including a move to HyFlex and online classes, students have persevered alongside our faculty. Congratulations for being the top in everything you do and thank you for representing Pearl River Community College the way you have.”  

The presentations began with recognizing the two students in the Iota Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa named to the All-Mississippi Academic Team this year, Lauren-Anne Lagasse of Waveland and Kellie Watts of Picayune. Watts was also recognized as a Phi Theta Kappa 2023 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar. 

Jaime Missimer, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, presented a University of Southern Mississippi Presidential Transfer Scholarship to Sierra Greene of Sumrall and the Mississippi State University Presidential Transfer Scholarship to Grant Holladay of Kiln. 

Each department representing career technical education programs and main academic pathways presented a “Student of the Year” award to the top student. The nursing department presented several different awards for specific areas of nursing instruction. 

Traci Spence, a former PRCC employee and current Drafting & Design Technology student, is already putting her new program skills into practice to design and draft two homes and one business. 

“Being chosen for this award was a sweet surprise,” said Spence. “I enjoy being part of the program, love the challenge it offers, and look forward to the opportunities this program gives me as I continue to grow in the field. I am also thankful to have great instructors who are always willing to share their expertise.”      

Department of First-Year Experience 
Learning and Life Skills: Isabel Shivers of Columbia 

Department of Business Technology 
Business Management Technology: Michelle Tuggle of Picayune 
Medical Billing and Coding Technology: Rosa Gonzalez of Foxworth 

Department of Family & Consumer Sciences 
Barbering: Maurice Jones of Poplarville 
Cosmetology: Nakiyra Davis of Gautier and Camryn Fore of Perkinston 
Early Childhood Technology: Shamikka Hayes of Hattiesburg 

Department of Drafting & Instructional Technology 
Automation & Controls Technology: Karl Pichon of Slidell, LA  
Drafting & Design Technology: Traci Spence of Carriere 
Electronics Technology: Robert Taylor of Carriere 

Department of Fine Arts and Communication 
Theatre: Destiny Cooley of Hattiesburg 
Music Vocal: Brooke Vasquez of Picayune 
Music Instrumental: Eli Wright of Picayune 
Public Speaking: Allyson Davis of Sumrall 
Art: Emioluwa Akinyokunbo of Columbia 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences 
Criminal Justice: Kaitlin Bennett of Picayune  
English: Tessa Bullock of Picayune 
History: Andrew Baeuerle of Magee 
Sociology: Joshua Montes of Carriere and Paige Ramond of of Bay St. Louis 

Department of Marketing, Media, & Information Technology 
Business Marketing & Management Technology: Kalyn Pullens of Poplarville 
Computer Networking Technology: Logan Newton of Carriere  
Film and Video Technology: Facia Mundy of Hattiesburg 

Department of Nursing Education 
Dosage Calculations for Nursing: Jaidyn Durning of Poplarville 
Fundamentals of Nursing: Taylor Beech of Wiggins 
Medical/Surgical Nursing I: Leanna Elchos of Hattiesburg  
LPN to ADN Day: Chance Granger of Bogalusa, LA 
LPN to ADN Night: Brittani Dozier of Hattiesburg 
Women’s Health & Newborn Nursing: Makayla Verdin of Picayune  
Nursing Care of Children: Abbie Graham of Hattiesburg  
Mental Health: Lindsay Walker of Hattiesburg  
Medical/Surgical Nursing II: Lila Ramsey of Petal 
Practical Nursing: Amanda Powe of Carriere  

Department of Occupational Training 
Automotive Technology: Terence Smith of Picayune 
Electrical Technology: Timothy Moore of Kiln   
Heating, AC & Refrigeration Technology: Gage Loyd of Franklinton, LA 
Welding Technology: Carshell Thompson of Biloxi 

Department of Science, Mathematics, and Business  
Accounting: Morgan Meekins of Townsend, DE 
Biology: Joshua Montes of Carriere  
Business: Seth Ladner of Poplarville  
Chemistry: John Searles of Kiln 
Physics: Cameron Corr of Bay St. Louis 
Mathematics: Dominic O’Neill of Poplarville  
Engineering: John Searles of Kiln 
Anatomy and Physiology: Stacy Christopher of Diamondhead  

Hancock Campus 
Leadership: Breanna Parham of Diamondhead  
Citizenship: Devon Rosado of Waveland 
History: Charles Genin of Diamondhead  
Mathematics: Jaylin Hodgins of Diamondhead  
Sociology: Alexis Steele of Pearlington 
Welding Technology: Ryan Mitchell of Carriere  
Unmanned Aerial Systems: Anthony Gallodoro of Carriere  
Practical Nursing: Lauren LaFontaine of Bay St. Louis 

Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation 
Male Scholar Athlete: Gabe Broadus of Wilmer, AL 
Female Scholar Athlete: Dallyn Nance of Louisville 
Wildcat Wellness: Alexa Burge of Purvis and Jesse Cortez of Picayune 

The Wildcat Way Award 2022-2023 
Every year faculty nominate students who best exemplify living out the “Wildcat Way.” They show the attributes of Pride, Respect, Class, and Character both in and out of the classroom. 

Grant Holladay of Kiln 
Blake Hooks of Petal 
Caleb Thornton of Sumrall 
Halle Traylor of Belden 
Carson Ward of Luin                               

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