Ruckel, Donohue set to continue tradition of excellence for Honors Institute at PRCC

Published 11:07 am Saturday, January 22, 2022

Dr. Ryan Ruckel and Dr. Doug Donohue have been named new deans of Pearl River Community College’s Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute at the Forrest County Campus in Hattiesburg.

Dr. Ruckel will serve as the second Dean of the Honors Institute. Dr. Donohue will serve as the Associate Dean.

They will work collaboratively across all PRCC campuses to plan joint opportunities for Honors students.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We are so fortunate to have both Dr. Ruckel and Dr. Donohue leading the education of the very talented and bright students of our Dr. William Lewis Honors college at the Forrest County Campus,” said Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs.

“Dr. Ruckel has been involved with the honors college since its inception and played a huge part in laying the foundation that has paved a road of success for this program. Dr. Donohue has also been involved from the beginning in which he served as honors faculty to teach and mentor these students.”

Dr. Ruckel is a graduate of Oak Grove High (1984), Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and the University of Southern Mississippi. He holds a doctorate in history from Louisiana State University.

He has served the students of PRCC for the past 25 years as an instructor of History and English. He also serves as the Mississippi-Louisiana Regional Coordinator of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisor, and Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department.

“The full support of the faculty, staff, and administration at Pearl River has empowered us to build a magnificent “opportunity engine” by which our students have gained access to world-class scholarships and experiences,” said Dr. Ruckel.

“I am deeply honored to have been entrusted with the responsibility of generating even more opportunities for even more individuals who can come to PRCC and find their future.”

Dr. Donohue, a 1988 graduate of Hattiesburg High, earned a doctorate in Community College Leadership from Mississippi State University. He is also an alumnus of USM and of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

He has served the students of PRCC for the past 18 years as an instructor of Mathematics and Statistics, as a member of the Honors faculty, and as an advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

He is a graduate of the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy, a past president of the Mississippi Faculty Association for Community Colleges, and a current student pursuing additional graduate work in Economics at Harvard University.

“I am honored that PRCC has entrusted me with the care and development of some of the best and brightest students in south Mississippi,” said Dr. Donohue. “I am excited to work with Dr. Ruckel to champion these amazing young scholars and create opportunities for them to grow and flourish under the guidance of the outstanding Honors faculty at the Forrest County campus.”

Dr. Jennifer Seal will continue to serve as the Dean of the Honors Institute at the Poplarville Campus.

PRCC Honors alumni have gone on to earn scholarships and degrees from colleges and universities across the country including Michigan, Columbia, Tulane, Kansas, Colorado, William Carey, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Mississippi College, Millsaps College, Mississippi State, Jackson State, Mississippi University for Women, Alabama, Louisiana State, and Southern Miss.

Several students from the PRCC Honors Institute have received the coveted Jack Kent Cooke transfer scholarship, and many others have earned transfer scholarships that covered their costs to complete their degrees.

Prospective students who are interested in learning how to become Honors Institute scholars should send E-mail to or