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

Laura O'Neill- PRCC Marketing & Communication Specialist


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

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

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