October 01, 2010

Ten vying for Homecoming queen, king honors

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Five women are in the running to be queen and five men are seeking to be king of “Saluki Shore,” the theme name of Homecoming 2010 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

This is the first homecoming in the new Saluki Stadium. Activities abound throughout the week and weekend and they include a big reunion for all former fraternity and sorority members at SIUC.

The homecoming court coronation will be during halftime of the Saturday, Oct. 9, game pitting the Salukis against the Northern Iowa Panthers. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Saluki Stadium.

The University’s student body is voting online for the homecoming court with the balloting starting at 8 a.m. Oct. 4 and wrapping up at 8 a.m. Oct. 7. The court will participate in the homecoming parade and other activities.

King contestants, listed by hometown along with their year and major, a short list of their campus involvement, a “fun fact” about them, and their personal statements, are:

Calumet City

• Rico Jackson, master’s graduate student, public administration, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. member, Center for Academic Success teaching assistant and Big Brother/Big Sister Volunteer. “I’ve taken Thai boxing for about three years,” Jackson said. “I believe I’m a prime example of the greatest attributes ingrained in all SIU students and I’m looking to add to the legacy this school exhibits.”

Carol Stream

• Ryan Lichtenstein, senior, radio and television, founding co-president of Southern Illinois Improv Comedy Club, supervising producer for Studio A, recipient of REACH grant for children’s television pilot. “I once fought a badger,” Lichtenstein said. “I’m great, in general.”


Sean Thomas, senior, elementary education, president of Wesley Foundation, student leader in College of Education and Human Services, secretary for Elementary Education Student Organization. “My chin gives Jay Leno a run for his money! Ha-ha!” Thomas said. “I am just an all around nice guy.”

South Holland

• Justin Murphy, senior, criminology and criminal justice, chapter president for Kappa Alpha Psi-Gamma Upsilon, participated in a Study Abroad Africa program in Kenya as well as an Illinois State Police Internship Program. “I want to be an FBI or CIA agent one day,” Murphy said. “I believe I should be homecoming king because during the four years I have been at Southern, I have been nothing less than a leader.”

Villa Park

• Guillermo Flores, senior, speech communications/public relations, SOAR staff orientation leader, vice president of alumni for Phi Kappa Tau and member of Public Relations Student Society of American. “My birthday is during Homecoming week; I was made for this,” Flores said. “I want everyone to be excited about attending Southern and proud to be a Saluki.”

Queen contestants, also listed by hometown with the same information about them as given for the king contestants, are:


• Brittany Cheves, senior, speech communications/public relations, public relations chair/”Colonnade” chair/vice president of programming for Delta Zeta, member of Saluki Shakers, in Public Relations Student Society of America. “I was in a Christmas special Huggies commercial when I was two years old,” Cheves said. “I would be a good representative for the University because I believe I possess all the qualities a good homecoming queen should: personality, wide variety of campus involvement, community service, commitment and good communication skills.”

Beach Park

• Krystin McDermott, senior, speech communications, chief of staff and finance committee chair/senator for Undergraduate Student Government, president of Rho Lambda Panhellenic Honor Society, vice president of membership and ritual and out of house chair for Sigma Kappa. “I have met a few of the ’85 Bears players and Robbie Gould at a charity event for soldiers in Iraq,” McDermott said. “SIUC is my home away from home. That is why I’ve stayed so involved on and off campus and I want to encourage others to do so.”

Johnston City

• Shantell Meuth, senior, rehabilitation services, secretary of Pan-Hellenic Association, vice president of Rho Lambda Pan-Hellenic Honor Society and on Alpha Gamma Delta Executive Committee. “I was awarded an honor of being a fraternity sweetheart and got proposed to on the same night,” Meuth said. “I uphold many of the standards of SIUC: I have high academic standards, a lot of campus involvement and am very involved in community service.”

New Douglas

• Brittany Miller, senior, agriculture systems/agriculture education, involved in Sigma Alpha and Alpha Zeta Agriculture. “People call me Milla Vanilla because I rap like Vanilla Ice,” Miller said. “I want to be homecoming queen because I want to be a positive part of SIUC history and promoting Saluki pride.”


• Taylor Poore, junior, dental hygiene, historian and banquet fundraising chair of the Dental Hygiene Student Association and involved in intramural co-ed volleyball. “I can brighten your smile, not just in my dental chair but on the karaoke stage!” Poore said. “Choose me as homecoming queen because I will most adequately represent our lively student body with friendly Southern spirit and the pride of being a Saluki Dawg.”

Find the complete 2010 SIUC Homecoming schedule of activities online at http://news.siuc.edu/news/September10/092910cjm10268.html.