PRCC Distinguished College Administrator recognized by Phi Theta Kappa

Published 9:07 am Monday, March 29, 2021

Pearl River Community College’s Associate Vice President of Student Success Dr. Amy Townsend was recently named a Distinguished College Administrator by the Phi Theta Kappa organization.

“I’m so excited to receive the 2021 Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished College Administrator award and consider this a top highlight of my professional career,” Townsend said. “I am a huge supporter of PTK, both students and PTK advisors. My daughter was a member, and I saw firsthand how she reaped the benefits of PTK in her education. Many of PTK’s organizational goals align with my professional goals and responsibilities – to encourage student success, provide opportunities for student growth, and support advisors. This is why supporting them seems so natural and enjoyable.”

The Distinguished College Administrator Awards are presented to college vice presidents, deans or directors serving at post-secondary institutions who have shown strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students.

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Townsend is an alumnus of Pearl River where she graduated with her Associate of Arts Degree with honors. She then continued to The University of Southern Mississippi where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education; Master of Education in Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership and Research and Ph.D. in educational Leadership and Research in Higher Education Administration.

Townsend has worked at PRCC for 18 years. During that time, she has held several positions including GED Instructor, Adjunct Instructor, Workforce Investment Act Coordinator, Special Populations Coordinator, Title III Director and Director of Office of Student Success. She currently holds the titles of Quality Enhancement Plan Director and Associate Vice President of Student Success. She also has six years of experience in elementary education in a variety of school districts and held the position of Coordinator of Summer Programs for Graduate Education at USM for two years.

“While much of my time is spent ‘behind the scenes’ striving to improve student services, I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to interact with our PTK chapters,” Townsend said. “It’s like getting a shot in the arm because I get to share their energy and celebrate their journey. Each year, they grow stronger which is demonstrated through their college projects and academic achievements.”

Both chapters of Pearl River’s Phi Theta Kappa nominated Townsend for the award.

The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunities for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.

“PRCC truly has the best group of PTK advisors. I’ve watched our advisors work tirelessly to help students reach their full potential as leaders and to provide them with every advantage as they continue their academic journey to the university level. I’ve also enjoyed the support of PTK students as they’ve worked as peer leaders in my areas of responsibilities through the years.”

Townsend will be honored at the PTK Catalyst 2021 Live virtual convention April 9.

“I know it’s cliché,” Townsend said. “But I truly am honored to receive this distinguished award, especially because it is based on what I strive to do every day – helping students succeed.”