First, she gets her own "day" in Minnesota, and now, the spotlight on one of America's most popular morning news shows.
You might not know her by name, but you've almost certainly seen Nic Zapko. Since the start of the pandemic and through the civil unrest that followed George Floyd's death, she's been at Gov. Tim Walz's side as his sign language interpreter, relating important news and safety information to Minnesota's deaf and hard of hearing.
She became a celebrity in her own right owing to her highly expressive and accurate sign language interpretations, building quite a following social media.
On Friday, Zapko and her meteoric rise to fame were the subject of a profile on NBC's Today. The report goes into Zapko's life story and explores how her job as the governor's ASL interpreter actually works (bet ya didn't know it's a job that requires two interpreters!).
Today correspondent Joe Fryer also talks to Zapko about her trademark facial expressions and animated gestures — and what makes them so important to deaf viewers.
You can check out the video right here:
The Today Show appearance comes a month after Gov. Walz, in a surprise press-conference move, proclaimed March 9, 2021, "Nic Zapko Day."
Not coincidentally, it was also her birthday, and the announcement caught her totally off guard.
The governor said Zapko's translations ensure thousands of Minnesotans have access to real-time information that will keep them safe.
He described her as "by far the most popular person on this podium and the most well-known."