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Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

Achieving greatness

29th annual Pythagorean Prize winners announced
(left to right) Madison Grieb, Nick Yamine and Luis Xhemollari are the 2024 Pythagorean Prize award winners. (photo courtesy of Schoolcraft College)

The challenge to excel is what students Nicholaas Yamine, Luis Xhemollari and Madison Grieb have achieved this past year. All three were awarded this year’s Pythagorean Prize carrying on a twenty-nine year tradition of honoring the hard working mathematics students on campus. 

The prize has long served students through its generous scholarships and connections for those in the STEM field. However, this prize has more significant meaning to students than just earning scholarship money and a fancy piece of paper. 

By earning this prize, they receive a representation and recognition of their hard work, as well as an opportunity to showcase it. This prize can affirm for these students that they have so much to be proud of, along with so much potential to look forward to in their futures. 


Here at Schoolcraft, Nick Yamine has worked extremely hard and enjoyed tremendous success working his way through the calculus sequence, earning a 4.0 in every single math class along the way. (photo courtesy of Schoolcraft College)

First Place: Nicholas Yamine

Nicholas Yamine, a computer engineering major, has waited a long time to apply for this prize. Yamine first discovered it, like many others, through his Calc 3 math class with Professor Mingela. During his time here, Yamine has been extremely dedicated to his mathematics studies. So, once he heard about this chance, he kept it in the back of his mind. 

“​​Since I started college, I decided to really hunker down and get serious about my education. Winning this prize shows to me that my hard work has paid off. It only encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing and continue to strive for more. This will definitely be the highlight of my time at Schoolcraft,” said Yamine. 

And serious he has been. “I’ve taken the entire calculus sequence as well as Linear Algebra, and am currently taking Differential Equations,” said Yamine. He attributes his success in part to his passion for mathematics as well as his supportive teachers and effective study strategies. 




Luis Xhemollari enjoyed a lot of success in mathematics in high school. However, his progress stalled in his first semester of college. He took a year off before deciding to enroll at Schoolcraft. Since then, his love of math and learning has been rekindled. Luis has been extremely successful at Schoolcraft, earning an overall GPA of 4.0. (photo courtesy of Schoolcraft College)

Second Place: Luis Xemollari

Xemollari is an engineering major and when he first discovered he won second place, he was initially surprised. Soon after though, that surprise was replaced by excitement and happiness about winning.

It feels like a great achievement and a way to recognize the dedicated work that I have put in throughout the past semesters here at Schoolcraft,” said Xemollari.

After the work is done here, he plans on transferring to the University of Michigan to study a double major of mathematics and computer science. He hopes this opportunity will help him continue to grow. “It feels like a way to reinforce my belief that I am on the right track towards achieving my goals.” 


Third Place: Madison Grieb 

Grieb returned to school after pursuing and finishing a B.A. in biochemistry from Albion college. In the future, she hopes the classes she is taking at Schoolcraft will lead her towards a masters degree in biostatistics in the fall. 

Madison Grieb came to Schoolcraft after earning a B.A. in Biochemistry from Albion College. Following a short stint as a nurse assistant, she decided to switch gears and pursue a degree in Biostatistics. Madison chose to enroll at Schoolcraft to take the necessary math courses for this new career path. (photo courtesy of Schoolcraft College)

“Winning the prize has helped reassure me that I am on the right path. At first, I wasn’t sure if I could pursue a career in biostatistics, but my time at Schoolcraft has helped me feel worthy and prepared me,” said Grieb. 

In addition, she believes it will aid her as an important memory throughout her career journey. Her hard work has led her to this moment, and she recognizes Professor Andrea Mayes for her supportive encouragement. 

Grieb’s advice for current math students is the following: “I have taken various math courses in the past, such as Statistics and Calculus 1. A strong math foundation and understanding of the basics has helped me enormously in more challenging courses. Everything builds off of basic math concepts, so paying close attention in earlier classes [has] set me up to be successful later on,” said Grieb.

This year’s math students couldn’t be more deserving of this prize. They were celebrated on April 17th during the official Pythagorean Prize presentation and reception where all were welcome to attend.

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Caitlin Cherry
Caitlin Cherry, Campus Life Editor
Hi there! My name is Catie Cherry, this is my second semester with the Schoolcraft Connection, but my first semester here as Campus Life Editor! I am majoring in general studies but I am hoping to transfer to university in the fall of 2025 to study graphic design or environmental science. I figured joining the Connection newspaper would help me exercise my love of writing, and it’s been a great opportunity to do just that, as well as be more active on campus! In my free time, I am very artsy and LOVE anything to do with painting, creative writing, poetry, reading, drawing, jewelry-making, clay sculpting, gardening, greeting card making, flower pressing, photography, and so much more.

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