EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association hosted the Sun Court Coronation Friday, Aug. 5 at the El Paso Country Club inducting the 2016 Sun Queen, Lady-in-Waiting and Sun Princesses for the upcoming year.
The 2016 Sun Queen is Katherine Carroll-Miller, replacing Cassidy Daw. Joining Carroll-Miller on the court is 2016 Lady-in-Waiting Clarissa Gardea. Both Carroll-Miller and Gardea were on the 2015 Sun Court as Sun Princesses. There are a total of 12 members on the court, all from El Paso. These young role models attend college at the University of El Paso at Texas, Texas at Austin, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, Tulane University and Tulsa University.
“We have a great court that is very diverse group of young ladies again this year,” Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “We are excited for these young ladies to represent El Paso and the Sun Bowl Association.”
Selection is based on poise, appearance, personality, communication, interpersonal skills, and the ability to demonstrate knowledge of El Paso. Applicants must be enrolled as full-time students.
The Sun Court serves as ambassadors for the city of El Paso. They volunteer at various community events and make appearances at the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic, FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade, WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Hyundai Sun Bowl Game, Academy Sports + Outdoors Sun Bowl International Soccer Tournament, the Helen of Troy Sun Court Charm Camp and other events throughout the year.
Coronation has been part of the Sun Bowl since the first-ever college Sun Bowl game was played in 1936. Coronation played a huge social role in the “Sun Carnival,” the week-long pageantry associated with the Sun Bowl.
According to the 1938 Sun Bowl game program, “The social side of the Sun Carnival centers around the Coronation of the Sun Queen with Ladies-In-Waiting and her Royal Court of Princesses from all the cities of the Sun Empire and the Grand Ball tendered by the Association in honor of Her Majesty and Court.”
In the early years of the coronation, about 30 young women were part of the formal coronation, and each participant represented an organization.
Below are the bios of each member of the 2016 Sun Court and the ladies in the group photo are as follows: Ariana Martell, Stephanie Figueroa, Katie Gallegos, Hannah Legge, Queen Katherine Carroll-Miller, Lady-in-Waiting Clarissa Gardea, Emery Henschel, Lauren E. Pena, Claire Lazo-Kim, Kayla Quintero and Macy McBeth. (not pictured Sarah Elisabeth Medrano)
Lady-in-Waiting Clarissa Gardea
Clarissa Gardea, the daughter of Gloria Hinojos, is a student at the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso. Clarissa attended the University of Texas at El Paso where she was a recipient of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation Scholarship along with an academic scholarship from UTEP. While attending UTEP she was a member of the Panhellenic Theta Xi Chapter of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. Clarissa was also recognized as a 21st Century Scholar and worked as a Peer Career Advisor for the College of Health Sciences and School of Nursing. She currently volunteers with La Fe Care Center and the Special Olympics. Clarissa was also the Vice President of administration for the UTEP Panhellenic Council and the Vice President of Membership Education for Alpha Sigma Alpha. Even with an extensive work load and a full schedule, Clarissa has made the Dean’s List at UTEP from the fall of 2012 thru the spring of 2014 and was a top-ten percent scholarship recipient during those years. She is a graduate of Burges High School and was a great representative on the 2015 Sun Court.
Sun Queen Katherine Carroll-Miller
Katherine Carroll-Miller was a member of the 2015 Sun Court. She is the daughter of John and Jennifer Miller, and is a senior at Texas Tech University where she is majoring in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a minor in Biology and Spanish. Katherine was a top four-percent graduate of Franklin High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society, the tennis team and first runner up in the “Texas Distinguished Young Women of America.” Katherine was recognized as a Who’s Who among American high school students and the winner of the Better Business Bureau Essay Contest on Ethics. Katherine is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society at Texas Tech and is also a part of the Texas Tech Honor Society. She is also a part of the Alpha Lambda Delta Academic Honor Society, the Phe Eta Sigma Honor Society, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society and was on the Dean’s List from 2012-2015. She has volunteered her time for the Court Appointed Special Advocates known as CASA, Gift to the Mountains, the El Paso Food Bank, the Child Crisis Center and the Rescue Mission.
Sun Princess Stephanie Figueroa
Stephanie Figueroa is the daughter of Jesus Figueroa and Luz Moriel. She is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in computer science. A 2014 graduate of the Distinguished Plan at Clint High School and an attendee of El Paso Community College she was able to maintain a 3.80 GPA, while she is planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UTEP in May of 2018. Stephanie is a member and a Panhellenic Delegate Officer for Zeta Tau Alpha Women’s Fraternity and helped the organization raise funds toward Breast Cancer Awareness. As a part of the National Panhellenic Council and the Greek community, she participated in UTEP’s Project Move. Stephanie is also a part of the Leadership Institute and Student Enrichment Experience where she participated in The University Honors Program’s spring course developing leadership, management and communication skills. Stephanie was also the Historian for the University Honors Council from August of 2014 through December of 2015. She is currently working for the Center for Civic Engagement and looks forward to showcasing how amazing El Paso truly is through the events put on by this association and is anticipating to serving as a great role model, representing this city with pride.
Sun Princess Katie Gallegos
Katie Gallegos is currently a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in marketing and is the daughter of Martin and Felicia Gallegos. She maintains a 3.0 grade point average at UTEP while interning for the athletics department and being a part of UTEP Student-Government Association as a Senator. Katie is also a peer educator for the UTEP Wellness Program where she is responsible for increasing awareness on sexual health related issues and handing out information throughout the campus. Katie, who attended the Most Holy Trinity Catholic School up until the eighth grade before attending Silva Health Magnet. Growing up and throughout her time at UTEP, Katie has seen the importance of the Hyundai Sun Bowl and knows what an honor it is to be a part of the Sun Court. She is excited to show love for her hometown and is ready to follow in the footsteps of past Sun Court members who represented the Sun Bowl and El Paso.
Sun Princess Emery Henschel
Emery Henschel, the daughter of Sean and Monica Henschel, is a sophomore at Tulane University in New Orleans majoring in Art History and Political Economy. A graduate of El Paso High School in 2015 and the president for the National Honor Society there, she was the recipient of the Tulane Founders Scholarship. She was named to the Dean’s list for the 2016 Spring Semester. Emery is the Vice President of the Student Alumni Ambassadors and helps to coordinate and plan events for about 60 members. She is also a member of the Phi Mu Women’s Fraternity, Delta Chapter and sites on the membership committee. Emery is a committee member for the Tulane Class Challenge and helps to raise awareness about the importance of alumni donations. As a native of the Sun City, Emery is excited to spread enthusiasm and knowledge of her hometown. She is aware that the Hyundai Sun Bowl is a city-wide tradition and provides a great way to showcase the city and is ready to be a great ambassador for the Sun Bowl Association and El Paso.
Sun Princess Claire Lazo-Kim
Claire Elise Lazo-Kim is the daughter of Dr. Glenn and Ileana Kim and is a junior majoring in Speech Pathology at Baylor University holding a 3.45 grade point average. She is a graduate of Coronado High School. Claire worked at the El Paso Children’s Hospital last summer where she helped in the Developmental and Rehabilitative Services. She is a member of the National Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a member of Baylor University Stepping Out. Clair was a tutor at La Fe Preparatory School where she helps Spanish-speaking elementary students. She volunteers at the Mustard Seed Cafe and helps the St. Clement’s Church as a Vacation Bible School Leader preparing weekly lessons for classes and teaching on a regular basis. The El Paso native is part of Zeta Tau Alpha and is the Programs Council Chairperson while also being a part of the Big Man on Campus Committee and the Legacy Event Coordinator. She has earned many honors, which include being on the Dean’s List at Baylor, earning the Baylor University Provost’s Gold Scholarship, as well as the El Paso Panhellenic Award of Scholars. She was also honored on the National Society of Collegiate of Scholars. Claire mentioned that she loves the people of El Paso and is proud of how the city is growing. She is honored to be on the 2016 Sun Court and plans to brag about the loving city she calls home.
Sun Princess Hannah Legge
Hannah Legge is the daughter of Douglas and Deanna Legge and is a sophomore at Texas State majoring in Political Science and minoring Sociology. She was a part of the National Honor Society at Americas High School before graduating in 2015. Hannah is the President, Historian and Floor Representative for the Lantana Hall Council. She helped organize events such as Breath of Hope, Communities in Schools and the Semi-Colon Project to benefit the San Marcos Community. Hannah furthered her community service projects when she was elected as a Texas State Bobcat Preview Representative, where she was tasked with leading groups throughout freshman orientation. She mentioned that growing up in El Paso has helped her find her identity and is proud of it. In her essay, Hannah quoted Eleanor Roosevelt stating “The influence you exert is through your own life and what you’ve become yourself.” She went on to mention that El Paso has helped build her cultural identity and is ready to represent El Paso as a Sun Princess not only here, but throughout Texas.
Sun Princess Ariana Martell
Ariana Martell is a graduate of Eastwood High School and is the daughter of Dr. Gustavo and Diana Martell. She is currently a senior at Texas Tech University majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Legal Studies and Spanish. While at Texas Tech Ariana has been a part of many organizations including Raider Sisters for Christ, TechPR and the College of Media and Communication Dean’s Student Ambassadors. She was also a part of the President’s Select and was the Member of the Year for the 2015-2016 school year. Ariana represented Texas Tech at the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Hong Kong where she spoke to more than 850 students from around the world. She has also worked at Texas Tech as an undergraduate teaching assistant for anatomy teaching students about the anatomy of the human body. She is an intern for the Office of the President at Texas Tech and helps organize events for donors, alumni and VIP guests while in that position. Ariana is the co-founder of SisterHoodies where she helps to collect coats and donates them to the less fortunate in an El Paso. SisterHoodies has collected more than 2,100 coats to date and assists Dame La Mano, The Rescue Mission and the Reynolds Home all year long. Ariana quoted Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz stating “There’s no place like home” and is proud, honored and humbled to represent her hometown as a Sun Princess.
Sun Princess Macy McBeth
Macy McBeth, a senior attending the University of Oklahoma, is the daughter of Mitch and Jill McBeth. She is majoring in English Literature and minoring in Spanish expecting to graduate in May of 2017. Currently hold a 3.65 grade point average, Macy has been on the Dean’s List at OU from 2013-2015 and was an El Paso Panhellenic Scholarship Recipient and PITF Travel Scholarship Recipient in 2016. She is very active with many organizations including the following: the Delta Gamma Director of House Management, Delta Gamma Director of Rituals, a Peer Teaching Assistant, Campus Activities Council (CAC) Film Series Executive Committee, CAC Film Series Executive Vice Chair, Delta Gamma Bible Study Leader, Alpha Lambda Delta Scholarship Director, the CAC Winter Welcome Week Executive Committee, Alpha Lambda Delta, Delta Gamma House Corporation and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Macy mentioned that as a child she looked up to the Sun Princesses and remembers seeing them at different events. She admired the fact that these ladies represented El Paso and understands that she has the opportunity to be a positive role model for young girls throughout the El Paso area. Macy is ready and excited to be an ambassador for both the Sun Bowl and the City of El Paso.
Sun Princess Sarah Medrano
Sarah Elisabeth Medrano is a junior majoring in International Studies with a focus in Communications and Media. The graduate of Eastwood High School is the daughter of Ruly and Debbie Medrano. Sarah is currently the Media and Communication Officer for the Lone Survivor Foundation, Texas A&M Chapter and also works as a receptionist and facility attendant for Texas A&M Recreational Sports Department. Sarah is involved with Aggie Sisters for Christ and helps the organization with outreach programs and several community service projects. She also volunteered with Bridge Ministries Pantry and Brazos Valley Food Bank as well as the AgSpire Kids Carnival in College Station, Texas. Sarah studied abroad in Mexico this past summer and is ready to use her communication skills to spread excitement about her hometown as a Sun Princess.
Sun Princess Lauren Pena
Lauren Elizabeth Pena is the daughter of Lisa and Dr. Andrew Pena. She is a graduate of Eastwood High School and is currently a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in English. She is a Presidential Excellence Award recipient and maintains a 3.85 grade point average. Lauren worked for the Office of Accounting at UTEP and is also a teacher’s assistant for the UTEP Dinner Theater and performs in the five full-length, professional shows. She is very proud of her faith and was selected to serve as the Director for a Teen’s Retreat in 2014 with St. Pius X Church. Lauren credits her parents for always pushing here to do her very best even when she felt she couldn’t. She loves El Paso, the culture and community is thrilled to represent the city and the Sun Bowl as best as possible.
Sun Princess Kayla Quintero
Kayla Quintero is the daughter of Norma Madrid-Martinez and is graduate of El Dorado High School. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and maintains a 3.6 grade point average while holding a job and remaining active in many organizations. Kayla is part of Alpha Sigma Alpha and has volunteered with the Special Olympics since 2014 and the Rescue Mission of El Paso for two years. She is the recipient of the UTEP President’s Scholarship and has been named to the Dean’s List multiple times. Kayla is also part of the Pre-Pharmacy Organization and the University Honor’s Program. She mentioned that one of her goals is to be a positive influence in the El Paso community and has done that by being a part of organizations such as Adopt-a-Highway, the S. June Smith Center and Girls on the Run. Through all the activities and experiences Kayla is prepared to represent the Sun Bowl Association as a Sun Princess and will do everything possible to contribute to making the City of El Paso the best place to visit.