Kat Riddler, Managing Editor

Voting for Homecoming King and Queen open on February 19. Students will have a chance to vote for their candidate via Triton Sync using their UMSL SSO ID. Students may only vote once.

Queen Candidates

Ares Boria Lopez, senior, psychology
Sponsoring Organization: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Triton Health Educators

“I think the UMSL Homecoming King and Queen should know they are the face of a really special celebration that literally means: returning home. I am an athlete and a foreign student. My home is far from here, as well as my family. Coming back to UMSL after the beautiful Christmas break in Spain is not mandatory. I have chosen to come back to UMSL every year and leave behind my ‘original home’. The main reason why is because UMSL feels now like a home for me and my teammates are like my second family. I like Saint Louis and I like UMSL, but what gives me this feeling of being ‘home’ is the people here. The professors and staff have been kind to me, the students are always willing to help and collaborate and the university has given me a chance to get a degree while playing the sport I love. In return, I try to be the best student, athlete and person every day.”


Tori Dieckman, senior, anthropology
Sponsoring Organization: KHAOS K-Pop Dance Group  

“I think UMSL Homecoming King and Queen represent strong leadership abilities, focus on interpersonal connection, with an interest in service to the community. As president of my own organization, I have been working to improve these qualities within myself while also fostering these qualities in my members to build a community that creates a strong positive impact on campus.”


Jessie Kehle, graduate student, English
Sponsoring Organization: PRIZM Queer Trans Straight Alliance

“The UMSL Homecoming King & Queen should obviously be leaders, but more importantly, they should be people who want to see and bring about positive change at UMSL. I try to be an agitator every day: the one in the SGA Meetings that questions why graduate students are so underrepresented in everything, the one working behind the scenes with SEIU to get students to rally around a faculty union, and most importantly, the one getting PRIZM members motivated to do queer advocacy work on campus and participate in the LGBTQ+ Advisory Board. The more student leaders we can get to be vehicles of social change, the better.”


Tayler Leverenz, junior, finance and marketing
Sponsoring Organization: Alpha Xi Delta

“I think UMSL Homecoming King & Queen represent tradition. Since I transferred to UMSL last year, I believe I fit this role. This past summer, I was an Orientation Leader for UMSL. As an Orientation Leader, I not only learned the history about UMSL, but about the future of UMSL as well: the new students. I became a peer for these students when they knew no one on campus. By being that welcoming face, I made valuable relationships within the campus through these students, staff, and faculty. To me, UMSL’s tradition is being welcoming through all aspects of campus life. I have also been involved on campus through Alpha Xi Delta on their Executive Board, Residential Life and Housing as a Desk Assistant, Order of Omega Honor Society as a general member, and National Society of Leadership and Success as a general member. UMSL’s Homecoming King and Queen need to be people who are not only known around campus, but known in a way where they can make UMSL proud.”


Scarlet Montilla, junior, criminology and criminal justice
Sponsoring Organization: University Program Board

“The titles of UMSL Homecoming King & Queen represent students who carry the most pride in attending the University of Missouri-St. Louis. They should encourage others to attend UMSL and love it as much as they do. They should also represent people who are actively involved in their academics and student organizations and put effort into maintaining the esteemed reputation of the university. As for myself, I am a qualified candidate because I have spent that past two years improving myself and the UMSL community through my leadership roles on campus. I’ve taken leadership positions in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Undergraduate Student Association, University Program Board, Transfer Student Programs, Weeks of Welcome crew, and International Student Services office. Through these many positions, I have been able to gain and maintain professional skills, life lessons, and valuable friendships. I have also been given the opportunity to meet new students and help them find their place on campus while acting as their support system. This is an important skill for Homecoming Queen and Kings; the desire to help others through kindness.”


King Candidates

Yaniv Dudaie, senior, finance, logistics, and international business
Sponsoring Organization: Alpha Sigma Phi, Entrepreneurship Club

“To me, UMSL’s Homecoming King and Queen positions are an opportunity. For me, this is an opportunity to cause a ripple effect at UMSL and to change it for the better. My goal throughout my time at UMSL has been to give back academically and socially to my peers and community. I was able to reach many students from my hard work. However, being able to serve as Homecoming King would truly be an honor by helping me to spread my message further.”


Thomas Poon, junior, mechanical engineering
Sponsoring Organization: The Goose Chasers

“UMSL Homecoming King & Queen represents those who embodies the spirit of UMSL. To me, UMSL is made up of people who are smart, welcoming, open-minded, passionate for success, and hold a genuine desire to help others. The Homecoming court are people who set an example of that and inspire others to strive for those qualities. I believe that I am someone who exemplifies that. I have spent my two years here striving for my success as an engineering student, but I have also devoted my time to assisting students through their college experience. I assist as a peer mentor for both the engineering students, and for residents of Oak hall. I actively aim to make meaningful encounters for those who come into contact with me. I truly love UMSL and do my best to spread that passion to others.”


Ethan Short, senior, secondary education
Sponsoring Organization: Recreation and Wellness Center

“UMSL Homecoming King & Queen should represent the students of our campus, and be a model of what it looks like to choose UMSL. This should be a model of inclusion, diversity, and acceptance for the entire population of UMSL, among other things. I believe I would be a qualified candidate because I can provide that positive view and energy of our campus, and through my attitude and positivity show others why choosing UMSL is the way to go.”


Dre Williams, sophomore, business management and theater & dance
Sponsoring Organization: Student Electronic Media Professionals’ Association (SEMPA), UMSL Theatre

“I believe that the UMSL Homecoming King & Queen represent UMSL’s student body, The people who stand to fill these roles are people who put in time and effort to engrain themselves into the UMSL community, as well as, allow the UMSL community to become part of themselves as we all grow and mature into professionals in our prospective fields.”


Ari Zakroff, senior, biology
Sponsoring Organization: Alpha Phi Omega

“In combination, the UMSL Homecoming King and Queen should represent what it means to be a student of UMSL. Additionally, they should serve as a positive example of what UMSL students can accomplish through UMSL. I have been heavily involved on campus, holding officer positions in two student organizations. For going on three years, I have balanced a full-time class schedule with a part time work schedule. Like most UMSL students, I am a commuter, though I have also lived on campus for two years. Beyond this, I have studied abroad through UMSL’s programs. During all of this, I have maintained respectable grades. None of these things are unique; however, relatively few students combine all of these things.”