Two dynamic departments join forces in Pearl River – Picayune Item
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Two key departments at Pearl River Community College are teaming up to promote affordable, accessible, and effective educational opportunities for future feral cats.
While the offices worked hand-in-hand for many years, the Office of Marketing and Communications and the Office of Recruitment officially merged into one department. Kari Eve Valence will lead the department as Director of Marketing and Recruitment.
“Combining the talents of our recruiting department and our marketing department enables us to better utilize our resources and human capital to achieve the mission and goals of our institution,” said Candace Harper, Vice President of Talent Management. registrations and commercial services. “Teamwork remains the ultimate competitive advantage and PRCC strives to be innovative and progressive in its recruiting and marketing strategies. Both departments are filled with extremely talented people and specialized assets; when combined, they make a powerful team.
“Leading this team is Kari Eve Valence, our former Director of Recruitment, who also worked in the Marketing department for several years under my direction. His commitment to PRCC, his leadership style, his dynamism and his experience allow him to understand that if everyone moves forward together, success takes on its full meaning. We are extremely excited to see this new team flourish.
Prior to joining the PRCC Marketing team, Valence worked at WDSU in New Orleans as part of the morning/weekend assignment team, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS as a journalist and media producer, and was most recently the “Alger Accent” columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and NOLA.com.
Valencia offered her talents in broadcast journalism when she arrived at PRCC as a marketing specialist focused primarily on media journalism across the institution and community. She has developed programs featured on CAT-TV, including The Wildcat Way Show YouTube channel and podcast, the Workforce Wednesday series, Wildcat Weekly, What’s What This Week, and the Alumni Spotlight series.
During the 2021-2022 school year, Valence served as Recruitment Coordinator, directly overseeing all operational aspects of the recruiting office. She pioneered effective and impactful recruiting techniques such as implementing digital admissions announcements, “Legacy Tours” and the Wildcat Parent’s Prowl, as well as overseeing the success of redesigned events Wildcat Experience, Allied Health Day and CTE Day.
“Marketing and recruiting go hand in hand to cultivate the culture that our Wildcat family cares about so deeply, to live your life the Wildcat Way, with pride, respect, class and character,” Valence said. “I believe in our institution’s motto and love being able to work to showcase our amazing Wildcats and how they implement those qualities in their daily lives.”
Valence holds a Master of Science in Strategic Communication from the University of Troy and is currently working on a PhD in Higher Education Administration at Liberty University. She is president of the Rotary Club of Poplarville, vice president of the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi (CPRAM) and a member of the 14th cohort of the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy (MCCLA). Originally from Buras, Louisiana, she now resides in Poplarville with her husband Jonah, their son Little Jonah (6) and daughter Gentry (3).
“I have a background in the news industry, so I love being able to showcase our college, tell the stories of our students, faculty, and staff, and share that with our community,” Valence said. “By combining the highly skilled and uniquely talented people within these two departments, Pearl River will continue to see success in carrying our message to surrounding communities as well as continued growth within our institution.”
MEET THE MARKETING TEAM
Alexx Kennedy has assumed the role of Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications where she will oversee and implement marketing projects. Kennedy attended The River from 2011 to 2013, during which time she was involved with several on-campus groups, including the PRCC Singers Choir and River Road Show, while also serving as work-study for the Vice President of the campus. She earned her associate’s degree from the PRCC, then transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies before continuing on to graduate school. She returned to The River as a full-time employee in 2015 and served in various departments. Kennedy is originally from Poplarville where she currently lives with her corgi, Bo.
Jacob Cochran is currently a Marketing and Communications Specialist with a focus on photography and videography. He attended The River from 2010 to 2012 and was in The Voices, Spirit of The River Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Cats. He returned as an employee in 2020. He is the owner of Jacob Claude Photography & Videography and J. Claude Portraits. A longtime resident of Poplarville, he is working on a bachelor’s degree in digital media and marketing communications from Tulane University.
Corey Guerra joined the department in July 2021 as a graphic designer. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Tulane University and a Master of Fine Arts from Full Sail University, where he delivered the farewell speech. He has done extensive brand identity and logo design for other colleges and universities in the region and assisted companies in all stages of development with branding needs. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor of Design at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Guerra has been happily married for six years now and has four dog children: Friz, Pearl, Lola and Bleu.
Laura O’Neill is entering her second year in the role of Marketing and Communications Specialist. She has a background in customer service, education and marketing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester Simon Business. School. O’Neill currently resides in Poplarville with her husband and three of her four boys, one of whom graduated from the PRCC in May 2022 and the other is expected to graduate in May 2023.
Chuck Abadie was a communications assistant based at the Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in Hattiesburg and hosts the radio show Wildcat. He was public relations director for 18 years before retiring in 2018. He had an award-winning 28-year career as a journalist and editor of the Hattiesburg American. Abadie was named Mississippi Sportswriter of the Year in 1986 and 1988 and received the Company President’s Award for Outstanding Customer Service in 1990 and 1992. Abadie graduated from Southern Miss with a bachelor’s degree in sports administration. Abadie is married to Marthe. They have two daughters, Miriam and Catherine.
MEET THE RECRUITMENT TEAM
Chelsie Lyles shares her time on the Forrest County campus as an academic advisor and recruiter. She graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in 2011 from PRCC. She then transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She has also completed 18 postgraduate hours in Voice Communication and is currently an Assistant Online Public Speaking Instructor at PRCC. She is married to Garrett Lyles and has two children; Weston and Savannah.
Caitlin Warner is originally from Poplarville where she attended Poplarville High School and joined the Wildcat family as a student and work-study student in 2011. She earned her Associate of Applied Science in Marketing and Management from The River before receiving his bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Marketing from William Carey University. She has nearly completed a Masters in Business Administration from William Carey University. Warner has a decade of experience in the business sector focusing on marketing, sales and entrepreneurship. She has been a PRCC employee since July 2018, is married to Kade Warner and recently welcomed their first child this spring.
Ron’Shea Moore is a permanent resident of Gulfport, Mississippi, and a graduate of Gulfport High School. She earned an associate degree from PRCC where she worked at the PRCC Center for Academic Engagement as a student worker and member of the Student Government Association. She transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi to pursue a bachelor’s degree in child and family science. Moore returned to the Wildcat family as a recruiter in 2019. She also owns a small business Lovely Roots, a hair salon that offers natural beauty services.
McKinsy Hickman is a recruitment and marketing specialist at Pearl River Community College. Hickman graduated from the PRCC in 2018 and transferred to Mississippi State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications. She has been involved in many aspects of marketing throughout her career, including her role as an account executive for Mercedes-Benz of Tuscaloosa and the creation of her own show, HometownHype. Hickman resides in Wiggins, MS with her husband, Ashton Hickman.
Lucas Lymuel is a recruiting and marketing specialist who splits his time between Forrest County and Poplarville campuses. A proud PRCC alumnus, he graduated in 2019. While at The River, he served as Resident Assistant, member of the Student Government Association and The Voices. He transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a major in educational leadership and was heavily involved as a scholar, mentor, and student leader. Lymuel is an active member of his church and community and enjoys spending time with family and friends. He plans to pursue his master’s degree in higher education.
Jolie Pervel has joined the team as Office Manager/Assistant Recruiter. She recently completed her Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Management Technology. While at The River, she was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Baptist Student Union. She also did a work-study program in the Marketing department. She is a resident of Lumberton.
RECOGNIZED MARKETING TEAM
Earlier this spring, members of the Marketing and Communications Office were recognized for their work when they won 17 awards at the 2022 College Public Relations Association of Mississippi (CPRAM) Conference.
START AT PRCC
Enrolling in Pearl River Community College requires just four simple steps:
1. Apply online and have your transcript sent
2. Apply for financial aid, including doing your FASFA
3. Apply for housing if necessary
4. Sign up for ROAR, our orientation program to help you have the BEST experience as a Wildcat
Visit PRCC.EDU/Admissions become a Wildcat today.
Anyone interested in a tour of Forrest County Campus or Poplarville Campus can contact the recruiting office by calling 601-403-1197, emailing [email protected]or by visiting the webpage Prcc.edu/recruitment.
For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS) and Facebook (@PRCCMKTG).