Managing school work along with being a collegiate athlete is not an easy thing to do. However, Cowley College’s Martyna Kowalska makes it appear easy as the Biology major excelled on the court and in the classroom. Despite her accomplishments, the seemingly always positive Kowalska was surprised to hear her name announced as Cowley College’s 2021-2022 Student of the Year during the annual honors and awards banquet held Tuesday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.
“I did not expect this at all, I am so happy,” Kowalska said. “I appreciate everyone at Cowley for believing in me and helping me so much. There are so many opportunities at Cowley and the instructors are so helpful.”
The sophomore from Leszno, Poland has a 4.0 grade point average and is admired by instructors and fellow students.
Pam Smith, Natural Science Department instructor, said even though Kowalska has a huge time commitment as a member of the Lady Tiger basketball team, it is evident she dedicates a large amount of time to her studies as well.
“She has an unrivaled natural curiosity and an uncommon perspective regarding her coursework and how it relates to her future career,” Smith said. “She is frequently seen helping fellow students, as it is evident that she wishes success for them too.”
Kowalska takes the same pride in her school work as she does her dedication to the game of basketball as she was named an NJCAA First Team Academic All-American as a freshman.
Kowalska has also volunteered with the Phi Theta Kappa Earth Day project and has assisted with the Ark City Recreation Commission basketball camp each of the past two years.
On the court, Kowalska averaged a double-double of 14.7 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The 6’0 sophomore also averaged 1.5 blocked shots per game as she was named a Second-Team all-conference selection.
“Martyna had to learn a new language when she came here,” Cowley women’s basketball head coach Todd Clark said. “Along with that and juggling her academics and athletics the way she did was just phenomenal.”
Kowalska is the daughter of Rafal Kowalski and Ewa Omanska. She has a brother, Konstanty, and a sister, Kaya. After graduating from Cowley she plans to transfer to a four-year school to continue playing basketball for an NCAA Division I or II program. She also plans to graduate with a Biology degree with future plans of becoming a veterinarian.
*Collegiate Quiz Bowl – Jacob Denholm, Shelby Fuqua, Todd Ketron
*Derek Burroughs Award — Joe Blake
*Student Ambassadors — Kaitlyn Blackburn, Andrew Burgos, Jennifer Calvo, Kailee Choice, Jean De-Dixon, Nathan Holloway, Reise Holt, Ileana Varela, Erin Hull, Morgan Nellis, Karstyn Nolan, Haden O’Toole, Tynil Retzer, Sarah Robinson, Madilyn n Sanderholm, Ashley Goforth.
*Outstanding Student Ambassadors – Nathan Holloway, Jennifer Calvo
*Student Ambassador of the Year – Morgan Nellis
*Resident Assistants — Luana Garcia, Karstyn Nolan, Tynil Retzer, Andrew Burgos, Reise Holt, McKenna Markle, Goran Duijsters, Shanna Nichols, Kaitlyn Blackburn, Takeshi Taco, Isaac Stebens
*Student Senate – Madilynn Sanderholm, Tynil Retzer, Kailee Choice, Doris Herrera, Felipe Mentz, Emma Willis
*Cowley Tutors — Dawson Crawley, Ariel Cortez-Martinez, Toby Henning, Chris Haroldson, Katie Morrison, Mya Chapman, Cierah Jones, Zane Butler, Madisyn Pitts, Ashley Goforth
*Writing Tutors – Carolina Pruss de Abreu, Kennedy Johnson, Rebekah Crisp
*Health and Human Services Department — Clayton Steele
*Business and Social Sciences Department — Shanna Nichols, Raven McPherson
*Outstanding Business Student of the Year – Tayshaun Washington
*Humanities and Communication Department — Joe Blake
*Natural Science Department — Martyna Kowalska
*Visual & Performing Arts Department – Hope Burgar
*ACES — Jennifer Calvo, Hannah Gray, Shanna Nichols, Clark Wynn, Morgan Nellis
*Art and Design Club — Vivian Hartshorn
*Creative Claws — Bryce Runyan
*DECA – Raven McPherson, Tayshaun Washington, Ariel Cortez-Martinez, Nathan Holloway
*Media Club — Annie Morrison, Joe Blake
*Phi Theta Kappa — Carolina Pruss de Abreu, Shelby Fuqua
*Vocal Music — Alexis Rogers, Elise Brewer
*Multicultural Scholars Program – Ileana Varela
*International Student Organization – Valentine Iheanyiogu, Franklin Okakpu
*FCA/Reverb – Camila Rodriguez
*Cowley Bands – Hannah Weaver, Zane Butler
*Trap Club – Carson Solomon, Slade Roberts
*Voices Heard – Kyra Ruhlen, Eternity Stewart
*Students of the Month – Shanna Nichols, Dawson Crawley, Martyna