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Abigail Craft receives math/science award

Niles STEM major Abigail Craft April 27 received Southwestern Michigan College’s 2018 Math/Science Department Appreciation Award at a reception in the David C. Briegel Building on the Dowagiac campus.

Chairman Dr. Keith Howell said the award was established in 2012 to honor a current student planning to continue at SMC who demonstrates a strong work ethic, shows academic promise, plans to pursue a science, technology, engineering or mathematics-related career, and who made a significant contribution to the Math/Science Department.

Craft, who has been very involved in the Honors Program as well as STEM Club, is interested in transferring to Western Michigan University after finishing at SMC.

 “Abigail always says, ‘I’ll be there,’ whether it’s helping me do science experiments on a Thursday evening at Granger Science Night; entertaining guests at February’s Dowagiac Ice Time Festival, which was three hours on a Saturday; when I needed help doing activities with 60 Niles elementary students; and, since November, building a robot to install in the greenhouse. The robot’s installed except for programming,” said physics instructor and STEM Club advisor Andrew Dohm, who nominated Craft.

Craft excels in subject areas outside STEM. Honors Program coordinator Gary Franchy said, “Today Dr. Barbara Karwacinski spoke glowingly of her work in her class as well.”

 “She’s been a terrific addition to the Honors Program overall,” added Franchy’s fellow coordinator, Mark Pelfrey.

Craft not only wrote a research paper on women in STEM for Karwacinski, she showed her public speaking and communication skills by presenting it at the second annual NoTED Talks April 24 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building.

“She lives STEM, thinks STEM and does not hesitate to contribute. She’s naturally curious,” Dohm said. “She sees the benefit of learning from everything she does. She gives 100-percent, asks questions to make sure she understands everything and is a pleasure to have inside and outside class. We’re so excited Abigail is going to be here next year. She already said ‘I’ll be there’ at STEM summer camp in August.”