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Alex Loew April 4, 2023

Four DMACC students were awarded membership to the 2023 Coca-Cola Academic team. This prestigious award grants winners a full tuition to Iowa State University for the next two years. Seven total DMACC students were awarded between the gold, silver, and bronze levels of the international Phi Theta Kappa scholarship, with 50 winners at each of three levels. The application for the award was applied for by approximately 3600 students around the world, 150 winners were chosen from the pool, and seven of those winners were DMACC students. 

Four of the seven DMACC students awarded with the free tuition to ISU are from the Boone/Ames area. Those four students are Kaylin Petrak, Sondra Wilson, Allison Arnold, and Henry Souhrada. Each of the four students gave credit to Dr. Nancy Woods. Woods is a PTK Advisor and DMACC professor at the DMACC Boone Campus, and she provided advisory and motivation to help the students earn these prestigious awards.

“I am super proud of all of the 20 students who represented DMACC on the 2023 All Iowa Academic Team,” said Dr. Woods. “This is a Herculean application to complete at a time when students are preparing for fall finals and other events. I am also amazed by the seven DMACC students who earned the 2023 Coca-Cola Scholars recognition. It’s hard to believe that DMACC had seven Coca-Cola Scholars out of the 150 TOTAL!  Yea!  These are life-changing scholarships and I am proud to be part of the whole process.”

Coca-Cola Scholarship earner and DMACC student Sondra Wilson said, “I think all of us [recipients] would include the words ‘above and beyond’ in describing Dr. Nancy Woods’ role in helping us to achieve these awards.  It is extremely impressive and really says a lot about her in that every student she worked with and motivated to fill out these lengthy scholarship applications received an award!”

Sondra Wilson plans on attending Iowa State to earn a Bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship. With that degree, she plans to better improve her own organization Wild Willpower ( Wilson also plans on attending the University of Iowa’s Law School. 

“I would like to become a cause lawyer with a particular interest in social justice-related class actions, officer and judge accountability (abuses of power), and making the justice system more accessible to the average person.”

Each student was very appreciative of the honor and of Dr. Woods for her help in earning this prestigious award. 

Allison Arnold said, “I am extremely honored to be a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar. Financially, it lifts a huge weight off my shoulders since Iowa State University recognizes this achievement by awarding scholars two years of free tuition. This will allow me to put my entire focus on doing my best in classes rather than worrying about how I’m going to pay for them. Being a Coca-Cola Scholar is the highlight of my DMACC career.” 

Arnold plans to use the award after graduating DMACC with an Associate’s in Liberal Arts, she will then transfer to Iowa State with plans to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering.

For Henry Souhdra, winning this award means so much more than free tuition. 

“Winning this award was reassurance that those long hours of studying were worth it,” Souhdra said. “I’m proud to represent DMACC through this scholarship because DMACC has been a significant part of my college career.” 

Souhdra plans on attending Iowa State for a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. With this degree, he plans to design and build bridges.

Of the 150 top earners, 11 of the students were from the state of Iowa and seven of them were DMACC students. The 11 winners from Iowa is a record for the state. With this award these students will be able to attend ISU without paying a single dollar towards the university’s tuition because of their hard work and dedication to academics.