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Three women named NIACC’s Outstanding Math and Engineering Students


This news story was published on April 29, 2021.
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Emily Majerczyk, Hailey McCoy-Munger, and Thea Lunning

MASON CITY – Emily Majerczyk, Hailey McCoy-Munger, and Thea Lunning have been named NIACC’s outstanding students in Mathematics and Engineering this year. It is the first in over thirty years that the recipients have all been female.

Each spring the NIACC Mathematics department honors its most outstanding students in Mathematics and Engineering. Faculty members in the department nominate students with at least a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.5 Math and Engineering GPA, who have completed at least one course beyond Precalculus, and have at least 10 hours of college credit in Mathematics at NIACC. Some years there are no students nominated and selected, and in other years there are multiple students selected. The most students selected in a year has been five, and one year the son of a previous outstanding student was selected.

“The students selected are truly the cream of the crop, and this year is no exception,” said Kathy Rogotzke, NIACC Mathematics instructor. “These three women are outstanding not just in their achievements in Mathematics but also as excellent students and people.”

Emily Majerczyk of Clear Lake is planning to attend Iowa State University next fall to pursue an Engineering degree, most likely in Software Engineering. She has been a leader in her classes helping to organize group chats to help with questions that arise in class since they do not all meet in person regularly due to COVID. Emily was also selected to be one of the student speakers at graduation by the NIACC faculty.

Hailey McCoy-Munger of Sheffield is part of an elite group of students who graduate both from NIACC and high school in the same semester. Hailey is planning to continue at the University of Iowa studying Biomedical Engineering, where she hopes to explore regenerative medicine research. While finishing high school, she has also done exceptionally well taking challenging classes at NIACC—Physics, Chemistry, Calculus III and Differential Equations.

Thea Lunning of Mason City is planning on attending Central College to study Biology and continue playing collegiate golf. She currently plays on the NIACC golf team and recently qualified for nationals. In addition to being an outstanding student and athlete, Thea also plays the cello. She too was selected to be one of the student speakers at graduation.

“These three terrific students are interesting, wonderful, caring people who lead by example,” said Rogotzke. “Even with the challenges of COVID these students have adapted and done a fabulous job! I have no doubts that they will all go on to do marvelous things!”

Historically an open house has been held to recognize and honor these outstanding students, but this year due to COVID each student and a few of their family and friends were invited to come at different times for the presentation of a certificate and a check. There is a display in the math lab featuring the advice they have for in-coming students.

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