Saturday afternoon, the Lucky To Be A Lion slate of homecoming festivities at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith culminated in the crowning of students Jomar Francisco of Little Rock and Shandreka McCullough of Farmington and as 2021 Homecoming King and Queen.
Francisco is the son of Johnny and Elsa Francisco. He is a senior Animation Technology major and represented the Campus Activities Board on the Homecoming Court. McCullough is the daughter of Lenard McCullough and Bobbie Walker. She is a senior media communication major from Farmington and represented Delta Gamma.
“I’ve given a lot to the university in my four years here,” said McCullough, who has served as Panhellenic president, a Resident Assistant, Black Student Association secretary, and has previously won Student Leader and Greek Woman of the Year at the university’s NUMAs awards, “and this feels like just one more thing the university has given to me. I love this place.”
“I’m so thankful to everyone who voted. Homecoming in this time helps us find unity, and I feel like it brings some normalcy to a difficult year,” Francisco said. He serves as a member of the Campus Activities Board, Hmong Student Association, Filipino Club, and as a Resident Assistant, “With all that I’ve been a part of, I’ve gained a big community to love and to grow from. I’m so grateful for them, and they’ve brought me here.”
2020 Homecoming King and Queen Luis “Wicho” Negrete Becerra of Saltillo, Mexico, who graduated from UAFS in 2020 and currently works as an admissions officer at UAFS, and Taely Dedmon of Mansfield, who graduated from UAFS in 2020 and now works at ArcBest, returned to campus to announce the winners during a socially-distanced presentation at halftime of the UAFS Men’s Basketball game.
UAFS Chancellor Dr. Terisa Riley joined the festivities, offering the Homecoming court and all participants her congratulations and presenting the newly crowned King and Queen with a scepter and a bouquet of roses.
“Homecoming is one of the very best days on a college campus, and I know I echo the sentiments of all of our students, faculty, and staff when I say we are truly so lucky to be Lions,” Riley said. “It has been wonderful to witness the creative ways our Student Activities Office and Alumni Association made homecoming week exciting and engaging, even in a largely virtual format. I have been so impressed by our students and alumni who came together this week to honor homecoming traditions with all the joy of previous years.”
Francisco and McCullough were crowned from a homecoming court of seven nominated students. Winners had the highest scores of a combined student vote counts and interviews scored by university faculty and staff.
The three additional students elected to Homecoming King court were: Chauncey Vick, the son of Charlie Vick, and Tiffany Rogers. He is a Junior Criminal Justice major from Fort Smith and represented Pi Kappa Phi; and Justin Powers, the son of Tim and Lisa Powers. He is a Senior Business Finance major from Catoosa, Oklahoma, represented Sigma Nu.
The Three additional students elected to Homecoming Queen court were Caroline Mikel, the daughter of Katherine Mikel. She is a Junior Radiography major from North Little Rock and represented Alpha Omicron Pi, Daisy Vargas, the daughter of Alma Martinez and the late Jose Vargas. She is a Junior Elementary Education major from Fort Smith and represented FEAP – Future Education Association Professionals; and Hannah Warrington, the daughter of Paul and Lisa Reames. She is a Junior Biology major from Russellville and represented the Campus Activities Board.