UNK names eight finalists for 2019 homecoming royalty

Finalists for UNK’s homecoming royalty include, front row left to right: Makenzie Petersen, Parker Humpal, Haley Pierce and Hannah Sealock, and back row left to right: Jose Ortega, Jacob Roth, Zach Sullivan and Gabe Crocker.
Finalists for UNK’s homecoming royalty include, front row left to right: Makenzie Petersen, Parker Humpal, Haley Pierce and Hannah Sealock, and back row left to right: Jose Ortega, Jacob Roth, Zach Sullivan and Gabe Crocker.

KEARNEY – Eight finalists for homecoming royalty were announced today (Sept. 30) during a pep rally on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.

Queen candidates are Parker Humpal of Fort Collins, Colorado, Makenzie Petersen of O’Neill, Haley Pierce of West Point and Hannah Sealock of Columbus. King candidates are Gabe Crocker of Kearney, Jose Ortega of Lexington, Jacob Roth of Milford and Zach Sullivan of Omaha.

UNK’s homecoming king and queen will be crowned Thursday night following the lip-sync competition, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Health and Sports Center, and recognized during halftime of Saturday’s home football game against Northeastern State University, set for 2 p.m. at Cope Stadium. They also oversee other homecoming week festivities.

Homecoming royalty are selected by two rounds of student voting, with the final round occurring this week.

Queen candidates, and the organizations they represent, include:

Parker Humpal, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Humpal is a junior elementary education and business administration major from Fort Collins, Colorado, with a 3.95 GPA. She’s a member of the UNK women’s soccer team, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is actively involved in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority.

Makenzie Petersen, Mantor/Randall Hall
Petersen is a junior 7-12 language arts education major from O’Neill with a 4.0 GPA. She serves as a resident assistant in Mantor Hall and was a New Student Enrollment leader last summer. Petersen is a senior adviser for the Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society, a researcher in the Undergraduate Research Fellows program, a member of the Sigma Tau Delta honor society and a dean’s list selection. 

Haley Pierce, First Leaders
Pierce is a senior journalism major from West Point with a political science minor and 4.0 GPA. She’s been involved in the Honors Program, undergraduate research, Loper Programming and Activities Council, First Leaders, Students in Mass Media and National Residence Hall Honorary, a group that recognizes outstanding leaders on campus. She’s also served as a Student Diplomat, New Student Enrollment leader and Blue and Gold Welcome coordinator.

Hannah Sealock, Alpha Omicron Pi
Sealock is a senior exercise science major from Columbus with a pre-physical therapy emphasis and 3.94 GPA. She’s a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, Exercise Science Club and Panhellenic Council, holding an officer position in each organization. She’s also involved with Order of Omega, the Alpha Epsilon Delta and Mortar Board honor societies and the Undergraduate Research Fellows program. Sealock volunteers with several organizations, including Volunteers Around the World, TOPSoccer and Camp Luther of Nebraska. She plans to attend physical therapy school after graduation.

King candidates, and the organizations they represent, include:

Gabe Crocker, Sigma Phi Epsilon
Crocker is a senior chemistry major from Kearney with a health science emphasis, business administration minor and 3.8 GPA. A Kearney Bound Scholar, Crocker is involved with UNK Student Government and Sigma Phi Epsilon, serving as chaplain for the fraternity. He’s also a Chancellor’s Ambassador, volunteer wrestling coach at a local middle school and co-leader of Skills for Success, a program that teaches etiquette skills to seventh-graders. Crocker plans to attend dental school after graduation.

Jose Ortega, Sigma Phi Epsilon
Ortega is a senior biology major from Lexington with a 3.4 GPA. He’s been a Chancellor’s Ambassador, Student Diplomat and Loper Leader, and is involved with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Undergraduate Research Fellows program, Mortar Board honor society and Conozca UNK, a program that assists Spanish-speaking families during campus visits. Ortega, who volunteers at Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camps, received scholarships from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute and UNK Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion.

Jacob Roth, Loper Programming and Activities Council
Roth is a junior sports communication major from Milford with a history minor. He serves as a resident assistant and is involved in intramural sports and the Loper Programming and Activities Council. Roth was a New Student Enrollment leader last summer and he’s a student broadcaster with the campus radio station, KLPR 91.1 FM.

Zach Sullivan, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Sullivan is a senior industrial technology and organizational communication major from Omaha with a 3.75 GPA. He’s a member of the UNK football team and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, previously serving as social relations chair. Sullivan is part of the Undergraduate Research Fellows program and he works as a success coach mentoring students in the UNK Learning Commons. He’s also president of the Epsilon Pi Tau honor society, a member of the UNK Men’s Project and a volunteer at the S.A.F.E. Center and Press On Community Youth Center.