Three Women Students Sweep Math Awards

April 19, 2019

Three women students at Schoolcraft College Awarded the College’s Prestigious Pythagorean Prize for Mathematics Excellence

Three women, the Pythagorean Prize winners, pose in a poster frame that reads hashtag I am ocelotLIVONIA, Mich. -- Schoolcraft College student Nina Perry of Farmington Hills was named the winner of the college’s prestigious 2019 Pythagorean Prize for excellence in mathematics and two other women students received second and third place prizes. This is the first time that women have swept the Pythagorean Prize field since multiple prizes began to be awarded in 2003.

As the first-place winner, Perry received a $3,000 prize award.  Second place went to Elga Bojko of Canton Township, who receives a $1,500 award, and the third-place winner, Sasha Gill-Ljunghammer of Plymouth, receives a $1,000 award.

To qualify for the award, a student must be enrolled at Schoolcraft College during the Fall 2018 or Winter 2019 semester and have completed at least three mathematics courses at the college, with at least one course being at the Math 200 level or above.  The student must also have a 3.25 or higher grade point average (GPA) and a 3.50 GPA in mathematics’ courses.  The Pythagorean Prize is named for the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras.

Perry said she started taking math courses at Schoolcraft College as a Dual-Enrollment student when she was in 10th grade, and the coursework has had a great impact on her.

“Before, I had a fascination in math. Now I have a passion for it,” she said.  She also loves helping other students, and rose to the position of Lead Tutor at the college’s Learning Center.  She was also president of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa Society (PTK) chapter, an international honorary scholastic society, in 2017-18. She will transfer to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor this fall and plans to major in biomedical engineering and minor in mathematics.

Bojko, who was awarded second place, came from Albania two years ago and lives with her aunt and uncle in Canton. Working with an Albanian charity started her career interest in medical biomechanics and prosthetic limbs. At Schoolcraft, she’s earned all 4.0 grades and works as a math, chemistry and physics tutor and Peer Assisted Learning tutor for the college’s Learning Center. On campus, she is also involved in a number of student organizations, including the Science, Computers, and Engineering (SCE) Project, the International Student Organization and PTK.

This fall, Bojko plans to transfer to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, which has a dual program in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Third-place winner Gill-Ljunghammer finished high school in her father’s native Sweden with an International Baccalaureate and plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering after Schoolcraft. She works at the college’s Learning Center and is also involved with the Math and Physics Club, the SCE Project, Mind Trekkers and PTK.

For more information about Schoolcraft College’s mathematics program, visit

Photo: Schoolcraft College’s 2019 Pythagorean Prize winners (L-R) Elga Bojko, Nina Perry and Sasha Gill-Ljunghammer