Breaking Traditions Honors MACC Students
Three Moberly Area Community College students were recognized in the 2015 Breaking Traditions Awards contest. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) sponsors the awards to recognize outstanding, non-traditional, career and technical students and the adults who support them.
Casey Willingham, a Computer Information Technology major from Mexico, MO, was nominated by her instructors Richard Bright, David Pence, and Semi Necibi for the Female Post-Secondary Region II award. As a full time college student, Casey has made Dean's List or President's List every semester while maintaining a job at the same time. She was independently recommended for this award by all three of her primary instructors and is recognized for being a hard-working, attentive student who loves challenges and is a great problem-solver and communicator.
"I didn't go into this field thinking about the fact that it was nontraditional for a woman to obtain an IT degree," Willingham said. "I went in thinking this is what I want to do and I'm going to do it! Having a strong mindset is very important when deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life."
Sean Muckerman, a Practical Nursing major from Mexico, MO, was nominated by Mexico program Practical Nursing Coordinator Ryan House and Instructors Susan Gale and Stephanie Baldwin for the Male Post-Secondary Region II. Sean has worked at University Hospital in Columbia since 2011 as a Certified Nursing Assistant and volunteers to present hygiene workshops to 7th grade boys.
"Seeing the impact that the nurses have on patients and their families really influenced me to pursue this career path," Muckerman said. "All the male nurses that I have met have nothing but good things to say about their career choice."
Wesley Koenig, a Practical Nursing major from Moberly, MO, was nominated by Moberly Practical Nursing Coordinator Terry Bichsel and received an Honorable Mention. In addition to the Breaking Traditions honor, he was awarded the Thelma Shaw Memorial Scholarship in October 2014 and the Hartig Memorial Scholarship in December 2014.
"If you have a dream that involves a nontraditional career choice, go after it," said Koenig. "Going into a nontraditional field, I was a little nervous at first, thinking friends and other people would have jokes and insults, but I decided that I wanted it bad enough to ignore those people."
Koenig continued, "Halfway through the program I realize that it had the opposite effect. Everyone I talk to now has nothing but respect and admiration when I tell them I'm going into a field dominated by the opposite sex."
This is the twenty-second year of the Missouri Breaking Traditions recognition of outstanding students in nontraditional career and technical education programs. A nontraditional career is an occupation or field of work in which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in that occupation or field. Breaking Traditions honors outstanding students who have chosen specific career and technical programs based on their interests and abilities, and who have not let their gender influence their career decisions.
Career Centers, public two-year colleges and comprehensive high schools can nominate a single student from each nontraditional program. A panel of judges chooses winners from nine regions in the state. Those finalists then compete for male and female secondary and postsecondary/adult State awards.
State winners receive scholarship offers from every Missouri Community College and from the State Technical College of Missouri. In addition, each winner who continues his or her education next fall receives a $100 scholarship from the Foundation for Missouri Women.
Casey Willingham, shown with (l-r) MACC-Mexico ATC Director Caroline Groves, MACC Director of Career and Placement Services Pat Riley, and Susan Hazen, DESE Region II College and Career Consultant, was one of three Moberly Area Community College students who were recognized in the 2015 Breaking Traditions Awards contest.
Sean Muckerman, shown with (l-r) MACC Director of Career and Placement Services Pat Riley, MACC Practical Nursing Assistant Professor Susan Gale, and Susan Hazen, DESE Region II College and Career Consultant, was one of three Moberly Area Community College students who were recognized in the 2015 Breaking Traditions Awards contest.
Wesley Koenig, shown with (l-r) Terry Bichsel, MACC Practical Nursing Program Coordinator, MACC Director of Career and Placement Services Pat Riley, and Jo Fey, MACC Dean of Career and Technical Programs, was one of three Moberly Area Community College students who were recognized in the 2015 Breaking Traditions Awards contest.