Students benefit from networks of opportunity at Pratt Community College

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Community College's new-this-season softball coach, Jason Jordan, meets with three of his players on the field Monday during the team’s home game at the Sixth Street Park diamonds.

The benefits of networking, for a community and for students connected to that community, were amplified at the February 20 meeting of the Pratt Community College Board of Trustees, via a new phone system that augmented Zoom communication. Several agenda items centered around student achievements and the benefits of being connected to the PCC family were discussed by trustees during the virtual meeting.

"I have to share a personal call I got from a Pratt Community College student," said trustee board chairman Dwane DeWeese. 

DeWeese said his caller told him that he was very pleased with the lineman program that we have here at PCC because not only did he get an excellent education, he stepped right into a job here in Pratt because of the network that went along with it. The student told DeWeese that he had made a very good decision to come here to Pratt, it changed his life. 

"He just wanted to call and tell me that," DeWeese said. "I thought it was very special, and indicative of what we have to offer our students at PCC."

Along with the success of students, PCC President Dr. Michael Calvert said he was proud to relay that two Pratt Community College students, Zach McPhee and Dayton Porsch had recently received Awards of Excellence for their student-athlete achievements.

McPhee, a freshman from Canada, recently qualified in four events for the NJCAA National Championships in indoor track - mile run, 3,000 meter dash, 5,000 meter dash and the 1,000 meter dash - while maintaining a high-level grade point average. Porsch, a freshman from Hoxie, also has achieved high grades while qualifying for USA Wrestling's Jr. World Team and the Olympic Trials.

"We are proud of these students and their achievements," Calvert said.

Special guests for the meeting, PCC instructors Jason Ratcliffe and Angie Tatro, shared networking opportunities and academic growth of Phi Theta Kappa students at PCC.

Ratcliffe, a new history and political science teacher at PCC, said that PTK students recently completed  a world-view project that required some special intellectual vigor.

"We had a wonderful activity where they chose their own topic to focus on," Ratcliffe said. They had to answer the question of 'if you knew the future impact of your work or career would you proceed with that project?'"

Ratcliffe said the PTK group chose to delve into the making of the atomic bomb and watched a video, researched scientists roles and worked together to answer the group question.

Another recent PTK project was the successful community blood drive held Feb. 3 on campus.

"We had great participation and met our goals," Ratcliffe said. "Every slot was filled."

Calvert told meeting participants that he recently received an email from the CEO for the national PTK organization recognizing the Pratt chapter for continued growth and membership.

"Keep up the good work," he said.

In other business, trustees:

* heard in the financial report from Kent Adams that ad valorem property tax receipts went from +126,000 to -150,000 with a 40 percent value change

* learned from Lisa Perez-Miller that early enrollment for the next year begins mid-March; and Calvert reported that PCC is the largest EDUKAN member among the four schools still left in the consortium

* were made aware by Athletic Director Tim Schwartzendruber that all sports except soccer are now underway, with fans allowed (up to 350 in the Dennis Lesh Gymnasium); new softball coach Jason Jordan was commended for the Lady Beaver's good start last week, as were PCC’s volleyball, basketball, baseball and wrestling coaches who all are putting in tremendous effort with their student-athletes.

As for the new phone system used for the Zoom meeting Saturday, IT Director Jerry Sanko simply said, “We can now  make and receive calls.”

The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place as scheduled on Monday, March 22, 2021.