UNK names eight finalists for 2017 homecoming royalty

KEARNEY – Eight finalists for homecoming royalty at University of Nebraska at Kearney were announced Monday.

The king and queen will be crowned at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Health and Sports Center. They also will be recognized during halftime of UNK’s football game against Northwest Missouri State at 2 p.m. Saturday and oversee other homecoming week festivities.

Queen candidates include: Odalys Cruz, Schuyler; Kylie Kenedy, Omaha; Miranda Ketteler, Petersburg; and Ivy Prater, Elgin.

King candidates include: Alex Hart, Lynch; Taylor Janicek, Bridgeport; Logan Krejdl, Aurora; and Austin Partridge, Grand Island.

Finalists were selected by student vote. The final round of voting takes place this week.

Queen candidates, and the organizations they represent, include:

Odalys Cruz, Alpha Omicron Pi
Cruz is a senior from Schuyler majoring in middle grade education with an emphasis in mathematics and Spanish. She has served this year as recruitment chair for Alpha Omicron Pi and currently is assistant director of St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn. Cruz has been involved in many organizations through the Office of Multicultural Affairs such as Sister to Sister, Hispanic Student Association and Kearney Association for Bilingual Educators. She also volunteers in the Kearney community and works in the UNK Admissions Office as a student diplomat. Cruz is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Mu Gamma and Mortar Board National Honor Society, and she has been on the dean’s list each of her semesters at UNK. 

Kylie Kenedy, Alpha Omicron Pi
Kenedy is a senior from Omaha majoring in exercise science with the goal of one day being an occupational therapist for adults with disabilities. She is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and has served on the National Panhellenic Council as both the vice president of programming and social, as well as president. While at UNK, she has represented the AquaLopers as a member of the swim team and worked two years in the UNK Admissions Office as a student diplomat.

Miranda Ketteler, Loper Programming and Activities Council
Ketteler is a senior from Petersburg majoring in social work. She is involved in Phi Eta Sigma, Mortar Board, UNK Students for Life, Student Social Work Organization, Phi Alpha, UNK Newman Center, and serves as vice president of Loper Programming and Activities Council. She has volunteered with Loper Leaders and The Arc of Buffalo County. Ketteler is a student researcher with the university, has worked as a student diplomat, and served as a peer mentor for the Susan Thompson Buffet Scholarship Program. She also studied abroad in the Czech Republic and is a member of the dean’s list. 

Ivy Prater, Alpha Phi
Prater is a senior from Elgin majoring in organizational communication with a minor in marketing and management. Prater currently serves as Alpha Phi chapter president, is a student diplomat and UNK’s student body vice president. She stays active both on and off campus through The Kearney Area Friends Program, intramurals, Mortar Board, Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society, Gold Torch Society, Order of Omega and Phi Eta Sigma. Prater interned in Washington D.C. the past two summers and after graduation will pursue a career in grassroots advocacy.

King candidates, and the organizations they represent, include:

Alex Hart, Sigma Tau Gamma
Hart, a senior from Lynch, is majoring is sports management with a minor in marketing and management. He is president of Sigma Tau Gamma and has been named Fraternity and Sorority Life Outstanding Chapter President. Hart has worked as UNK Football student equipment manager, New Student Enrollment Leader, student diplomat, Loper Leader and as a Peer Mentor for the Thompson Scholars Program. He was a UNK Forensic Team-AFA National Qualifier and is a member of the Sports Administration Majors Club. Hart is also a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and has been on the dean’s list six semesters.

Taylor Janicek, Student Government
Janicek, a junior from Bridgeport, is majoring in psychology with a minor in recreational management. He is senator for the College of Natural and Social Sciences, and vice president for FIRST Leaders and Phi Delta Theta. He also serves as vice president of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council. Janicek is a member of the Men’s Project, Order of Omega and American Democracy Project.

Logan Krejdl, Pi Kappa Alpha
Krejdl is a junior from Aurora majoring in finance with a minor in sports management. He has been involved in Student Government, Pi Kappa Alpha, The Men’s Project, Interfraternity Council and Order of Omega. Krejdl has worked as a resident assistant and is part of the Cope Scholars, Honors Program and Chancellor’s Ambassadors.

Austin Partridge, Sigma Phi Epsilon
Partridge of Grand Island is a senior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in finance. He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and currently serves as student body president and student regent for UNK. He is also a member of Honors Program, Mortar Board and Beta Gamma Sigma.


Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu
Source: Laura Matthies, Assistant Director Student Activities/Events, 308.865.8398, matthiesla@unk.edu