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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) will host the “Under the Big Top” Homecoming Royalty Pageant on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the NEO Fine Arts Building. Royalty candidates are students selected to represent various clubs and organizations on campus. The goal of the homecoming royalty competition is to build professional skills among candidates while also encouraging friendly rivalry between clubs.

Royalty candidates are as follows: Aggie Society Katlynn Martin – Gravette, Ark. – Agriculture Education Dahlton Berg – Minco, Okla. – Animal Science Masquers Meghan Sharp – Jay, Okla. – Elementary Education Jacob Turner – Skiatook, Okla. – Music Behavioral Sciences Chelsea Landrum – Commerce, Okla. – Business Aaron Jarvis – Miami, Okla. – Criminal Justice Forestry Club Lydia Nicholson – Sapulpa, Okla. – Natural Resources and Ecology Management Ag-Ed Club Hanah Schrader – Joplin, Mo. – Agriculture Education Kell Brown – Lindsay, Okla. – Agriculture Education Chorus Shariece Tate – Nowata, Okla. – Art Baptist Collegiate Ministry Grace Volkmann – New Franklin, Mo. – Nursing Mychaelon Mullins – Fort Worth, Texas – Early Childhood Education Student Ambassadors Shelby Acuff – Hindsville, Ark. – Nursing/Pre-BSN Logan Robrahn – Siloam Springs, Ark. – Agriculture Business Nursing Class of 2017 Tiffany Conard – Columbus, Kan. – Nursing Blair Rogers – Jay, Okla. – Nursing Nursing Student Association Alissa Terrapin – Miami, Okla. – Nursing Caleb Cox – Joplin, Mo. – Nursing Wesley Student Center Sunny Clark – Gustine, Texas – Physical Education Phi Theta Kappa Hannah Stephens – Vinita, Okla. – Business Administration Gregory Springfield – Vinita, Okla. – Social Science Resident Life Miranda Call – Verdigris, Okla. – General Studies Benjamyn Duncan – Tulsa, Okla. – Natural Science

The pageant is the main aspect of the royalty competition. Contestants will also participate in professional development workshops, create Linkedin.com profiles, and more. Mr. Ryan Orcutt, NEO Reach Higher program and Center for Academic Success and Advising coordinator, will serve as the ringleader and emcee in keeping with this year’s “Greatest Homecoming on Earth” theme. This year’s judges include Gretchen Evans, Northeast Oklahoma One Stop systems operator; Dr. Karen Holt, retired education administrator; John Lomax, former dean of NEO School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences; Clay Patterson, NEO’s head football coach; and Peggy Rhine, former executive assistant to the NEO president.

Candidates will dress in formal attire and answer two sets of questions. Candidates will also select the Mr. and Ms. Congeniality winners and Dr. Jeff and Donna Hale, NEO president and first lady respectively, will present the Congeniality awards. Free popcorn will be available during the pageant, and attendees will receive a special treat, as Christi Leonard’s Miami Dance Academy troupe will perform “Clowns” to open the pageant.

After the pageant, pageant and project scores will be combined for each candidate and tallied to determine king, queen, first runners-up, and second runners-up (both female and male). Mr. and Ms. Congeniality will be selected by their royalty candidate peers and receive bonus points. A student body popular vote will determine Mr. and Ms. Norse Spirit winners. The winners will be announced during halftime of the homecoming game, on September 24, at 6 p.m. The homecoming king and queen will each receive $250 scholarships and the runners-up will each receive $100 scholarships. In addition to the scholarship award, the king and queen will attend various events throughout the year and represent NEO to the local community. The public is encouraged to attend the NEO “Under the Big Top” pageant and admission is free.

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