Sonya McCook truly Leads the Way as a woman in the male-dominated STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field. She was not deterred after a high school guidance counselor and a college professor told her women could not be successful in STEM. She went on to graduate magna cum laude with her bachelor’s degree and cum laude with her master’s degree, both in Mathematics. This Founders Nominee is working with young women to help them achieve their goals and dreams, not just in mathematics and school but also in life.

Sonya began teaching high school math in 1986 and in 1997 began teaching full-time at the college level at Alamance Community College. She became department head in 2008 and has served as the Dean of Business, Arts, and Sciences since December 2014. During her time as Dean, she has provided leadership during the merger of the Business Technologies and Arts and Sciences Division into one unit, supervised up to 70 full-time faculty and over 100 adjunct professors, and manages a multi-million-dollar budget. Sonya has participated in and chaired many committees and serves as Vice-President of the state-wide organization North Carolina Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges. Not only did she lead the division during a significant merger, but she also led her faulty through significant curriculum changes to the NC Community College System. Sonya worked with the Alamance-Burlington School system to create pathways for ABSS juniors and seniors to enter the community college. In addition to her work with the division, she also revised the College’s Mentor-Mentee program and served as a mentor to many women and students herself.

Apart from her work at Alamance Community College, Sonya is a member of the Board of Directors for Burlington Christian Academy and Clover Garden School. She and her family regularly volunteer at the Sandwich Ministry and Soup Kitchen at Crosslink Community Church in Mebane, and she is involved in the Lead AWANA program with her church as well. She volunteers with the Samaritan’s Purse and the Mebane Youth Soccer Association.