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Pearl River honors students excel at conference

PRCC Public Relations

Pearl River Community College was well represented at the recent Mississippi Undergraduate Honors Conference where students showed their creativity and knowledge.

Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute students participated in the 2021 conference with the theme of “Certainty of Uncertainty: Research in an Ever-Changing World.” PRCC honors students submitting conference presentations included Patrick Dunkle, Jennifer Kerry,  Hanna Lambert, Michelle Legg, Jessica Roberts, and Lauren Sumrall.

Jennifer Kerry won  first place in the category of Social Science for the Two-Year School, with her presentation “Music Through COVID-19.”

Lauren Sumrall’s presentation, “Face Masks in a Pandemic: Are They Masking More Than We Think” also took first place in the STEM category for Two-Year Schools.

The conference was held virtually by the University of Women and featured pre-recorded presentations in the categories of Humanities, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and STEM. Students met judges via Zoom sessions for Q&A sessions. All honors students and faculty from Mississippi institutions were invited to attend the synchronous events and to peruse and comment on the student presentations.

“Jennifer Kerry and Lauren Sumrall are two remarkable students who seized the opportunity to conduct research on a relevant issue facing our society, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research and Honors Institute Dean Dr. Jennifer Seal said. “Each of the sophomore-level students chose research that combined personal interest and area of study with pandemic-related actions. Their timely research has offered insight into the benefits of recommended practices while lending suggestions into future best practices.”

The annual conference, organized by honors programs throughout Mississippi, provided honors students from across the state the opportunity to share their research, hear about research conducted by their honors peers and to learn more about other Mississippi colleges and universities.

Hosted by a different institution each year, the conference has been running since 2013. PRCC Honors Deans, Dr. Jennifer Seal and Dr. Terri Ruckel serve on the planning board for the conference.

“One of the main goals of the William Lewis Honors Institute is to help students succeed in their academic journey—and their subsequent careers—by providing the highest quality experiential learning opportunities possible,” Ruckel said. “Building a research culture is one way to realize success! Researching and presenting research for the Mississippi Undergraduate Research Conference offers PRCC Honors students an opportunity to speak with peers, mentors, and experts from around the state and to lay a stronger foundation for future success.”