Dec. 15, 2000
Earlier this year, Pamela Rodgers Rochester of Clarke County was awarded a doctorate in counselor education and psychology from Mississippi State University. Dr. Rochester's major study areas included theory of counseling, advanced psychology, statistics, research and governance of educational institutions.
Rochester was chosen to participate in an "intensive residency" program. Over 100 applicants competed for only 10 slots in this program, five of which were required to be filled by non-residents of Mississippi.
She was accepted as one of the 10 based on her academic record in her master's degree program, her professional achievements and a "professional paper" she submitted as a part of her application.
Rochester completed all the academic work for her doctorate while working full-time as director of human resources at East Mississippi State Hospital. She was published in the North Carolina Journal of Mental Health, and used the focus of that piece as her dissertation topic.
Dr. William H. Graves, dean of the College of Education at MSU, applauded Rochester's achievement.
Rochester is the wife of Buford Rochester, USDA Farm Service Agency Director in Clarke and Lauderdale counties. The Rochester's have one son, Stephen, a senior at USM majoring in anthropology and history. Rochester is the daughter of Sarah Rodgers and the late H.H. Rodgers of Pachuta.
Kimberley Monroe, who graduated from MCC's Radiologic Technology Program in 1989, is helping her alma mater and honoring her former teacher by seeding a scholarship endowment through The MCC Foundation.
The first $l,000 Darlene Withers Radiologic Technology Scholarship was awarded fall semester. She hopes other x-ray graduates of MCC will also want to contribute to the endowment.
With high praise for her former teacher, Monroe noted: "her one-on-one approach in the classroom and clinical environment set Darlene apart from other instructors and provided each student with a positive learning experience. My connection with Darlene did not end after graduation as I frequently contact her. I consider her a friend and mentor."
After graduation from MCC, Monroe worked at Riley Hospital for several years and then moved to Orlando, Fla., where she was associated with a portable x-ray company. She was particularly interested in working with geriatric patients. Returning to her hometown of Meridian, Monroe opened her business, which has continued to grow. "We currently provide mobile x-rays, EKG's and holter monitors to nursing facilities, home health patients, correctional facilities and occasionally business and industry.
Michael Beesley, 22, of Meridian, noted the scholarship is beneficial to him. "I was very happy to receive it," he said. He plans to graduate from the MCC program this summer.
Jean Purvis of Quitman, 33, is the first recipient of the Jacob Toney Memorial Scholarship at Meridian Community College.
This $1,000 scholarship for a Clarke County resident is funded by an endowment established through The MCC Foundation.
A sophomore studying in the Health Information Technology Program, Purvis is active in several campus organizations including HOSA, HITA, and Phi Theta Kappa. She earned a second place award in medical terminology at the last National HOSA Convention.
This honor student also serves as a youth director and teacher at her church, and she works part time at Rush Foundation Hospital.