Each year, the Mineral Area College Alumni Association recognizes MAC students who have demonstrated outstanding ability in service, classroom and other areas of campus life. Seven Outstanding Student Award recipients will be recognized at MAC Commencement on May 13, 10:30 a.m. in the Robert E. Sechrest Sr. Field House.
As a side note, this year’s commencement will see a record number of matriculating students, with 511 students applying for graduation, and 385 walking in graduation. Each student has five tickets, the ceremony will be live-streamed in the MAC Fine Arts Theater for the overflow crowd. Anyone who doesn’t have a ticket to present at the door will be directed to the theater.
The outstanding student for the Art Department is Nicholas Hurst. Hurst was selected for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, and is a member of the Art Club. Nicholas credits the MAC faculty with being genuinely concerned about helping students learn. He said he felt as if he could “ask almost any question, 24/7.”
He plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University until he determines which career path to follow. His ideal job will involve art and computers. Nicholas graduated from Ste. Genevieve Senior High School in 2015 and is the son of Carl and Linda Hurst.
Alec Ramsey was chosen by the Music Department as this year’s outstanding student because he has been tremendously involved in instrumental music while attending MAC, performing in concert band, jazz combo, and many MAC musicals. Ramsey received the 2016 soloist award at Elmhurst Jazz Festival, was selected for All-Collegiate Band for the state of Missouri in 2016, and is the graduation soloist for the 2017 commencement ceremony.
Ramsey indicated he has received an “amazing music education” at MAC and credits the program for his growth as a musician. He said he’s made many close friends through performance with the students and staff.
Ramsey is a Farmington High School graduate and is the son of Mike and Judy Ramsey. After graduation, he plans to attend Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, focusing on jazz performance.
The Athletics Department has chosen Taylor Covington as the outstanding student for this academic year. Covington is a member of the volleyball team, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Student Missouri State Teacher’s Association (SMSTA). Covington’s coaches indicate she always goes above and beyond expectations to help both teammates and classmates. She leads by example and was instrumental in the team’s NJCAA 10th place finish last fall.
Covington is pursuing a career in education. According to education department faculty, she is an exemplary student who has been instrumental in many SMSTA activities, including the annual book fair. She will continue her education as well as her volleyball career at Drury University. She is a graduate of New Haven High School and is the daughter of John and Amy Covington. She also has two younger sisters.
Logan Willmore has been identified as the Theatre Department’s outstanding student. He is a member of Delta Psi Omega and Little Theater Guild. He has garnered leading roles in many MAC productions. According to the faculty in the theatre department, Willmore is always willing to pitch in and wants to learn about all aspects of the craft, from acting to production. Performing at MAC has actually prompted Logan to change his major and pursue theatre.
Willmore said, thanks to Theatre Instructor Chuck Gallaher’s assistance in preparing monologues for auditions, Willmore has been accepted at Lindenwood University where he will begin his study of theatre next fall.
A 2014 Farmington High School graduate, he is the son of Phillip Willmore and Laurie Wigger of Farmington.
Career and Technical Division
Patricia Lewis is the outstanding student representing the Career and Technical Education Division. Lewis is a graduate of South Iron High school, is married to Eddie Lewis and has a daughter, Callie, and son-in-law Michael Trenary.
Lewis is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, serves as an EXCEL tutor, works in the Upward Bound Office, and also is employed part-time in the C.H. Cozean Library on campus.
Lewis gave credit for assistance from counselors and faculty alike, mentioning the help and encouragement she has received from MAC employees and instructors Beth Mell, Roger McMillian, Todd Kline, Melynda Barks and Lana LaBruyere as key to her success. Her professors indicate that she is an asset to their classes due to her enthusiasm and willingness to share her experiences with others. She plans to further her education in accounting.
Arts & Sciences
Jessica Carey has been selected as the Arts and Sciences outstanding student. Carey has been extremely active in Phi Theta Kappa, serving as an officer for the 2015-16 academic year. She was instrumental in MAC’s chapter, garnering several regional awards including the Honors in Action Distinguished Theme, Distinguished Officer Team, and an individual Distinguished Officer Award.
Carey has also helped U.S. Geological Survey scientists with collecting and sampling crayfish, checking for the presence of Chytrid fungus. She has recently joined the U.S. Air Force reserve and plans to pursue a degree in wildlife biology. Her parents are Lisa and Scott Carey, and she graduated from Marquand-Zion High School in 2014.
Student Leadership & Service Award
Ericka Sumpter is receiving the Campus Leadership and Service Award. She will be graduating with her Associate Degree in Nursing this semester. She has been a student nurse delegate for the past two years. In this role, she has been responsible for writing and presenting a resolution at the National Student Nurse Association Conference. She presented in Dallas in April 2017, on this year’s topic “Increasing Awareness of Genomic Sequencing for Personalized Drug Therapy for Psychiatric Disorders.” She has also been a member of Psi Beta and Phi Theta Kappa.
According to the faculty member who nominated her, “Ericka displays the maturity, poise and elegance to represent Mineral Area College at this national level.” This project and Sumpter’s dedication to it embody the epitome of MAC’s nursing program.
Sumpter graduated from Bismarck High School, and is the daughter of Jeanne Sumpter and Angela Richards and of Kevin and Pam Sumpter. She has two children, Max and Zander Voyles. She plans to continue to work on her BSN through Central Methodist University.
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