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    Ashanti Modlin and Nicholas Hedgpeth pose together for cameras following their wins as Mr. & Miss NCCU 2017-18. Photo by Kaylee Sciacca/Echo staff photographer.

Hedgpeth, Modlin become NCCU royalty at Mr. and Miss Pageant

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Two rising seniors claimed the titles of Mr. and Miss NCCU Thursday night as the results of Student Government Association elections were announced in McDougald-McLendon Arena.

Public health education major Ashanti Modlin, a native of Livingston, N.J., will serve as the university’s 90th Miss NCCU. She previously served as Miss Sophomore during the 2014–15 academic year.

Nicholas Hedgpeth, a business major from Rocky Mount, N.C., will be the 18th Mr. NCCU. Hedgpeth has extensive royal court experience, having been Mr. Freshman 2014–15 and Mr. Sophomore 2015–16 during his time at the university.

Four contestants vied for the 2017–18 campus queenship—juniors Alexis Anderson, Ashley Hurst, Modlin, and Karen Villanueva-Sierra—while Hedgpeth only had two fellow competitors for the throne: juniors Justin Trotman and Jonathan Tucker.

The five-person panel, composed of Arvita Callejas, Dr. Anthony O. Vann, Dr. Tiffany Blakeneny, Evin L. Grant and head judge Juanita Williams, was responsible for judging the contestants on their performances in the oratory, talent, evening wear and interview segments of the pageant.

Thursday night’s performances weighed 70 percent in determining who took home the crowns.

According to Assistant Director of Student Activities Kent A. Williams, who announced the election results, more than 1700 students voted online via Blackboard this election cycle, setting a new record for SGA voter turnout.

Voting began on April 5 at 8 a.m. and closed the following day at 9 a.m.

The major SGA and Royal Court results are as follows:

  • Student Body Vice President: Davanta Parker, rising junior (58%, 1007 out of 1736 total student body votes)
  • Student Body President: Michael Hopkins, rising senior (53%, 921 votes)
  • Mr. Sophomore: Andre Knight-McWilliams (52.37%, 320 out of 611 freshman votes)
  • Miss Sophomore: Victoria Wise (34.7%, 212 votes)
  • Sophomore Class Vice President: Justin Everett (unopposed)
  • Sophomore Class President: Damon Westray (58.43%, 357 votes)
  • Mr. Junior: Jamaal Searcy (64.68%, 315 out of 487 sophomore votes)
  • Miss Junior: Jessica Watson (unopposed)
  • Junior Class Vice President: no candidates; determined in fall elections
  • Junior Class President: no candidates; determined in fall elections
  • Mr. Senior: Jamario Joyner (55.99%, 215 out of 384 junior votes)
  • Miss Senior: Kayla Jones (64.58%, 248 votes)
  • Senior Class Vice President: Jessiqua Pryor (unopposed)
  • Senior Class President: Maleek Thomas (58.33%, 224 votes)

Miss NCCU Dajah Johnson encouraged her successor to carry on the Miss NCCU legacy with “poise, grace and confidence” while Mr. NCCU Patrick Minor spoke to Hedgpeth, who is a friend of Minor’s, directly.

“Nick, the only thing that’s between you and whatever you want is you,” Minor said. “Don’t let yourself stop yourself from being great, especially in this role—use it to elevate yourself.”

The inauguration ceremony for SGA officers will take place on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m. in the Alfonso Elder Student Union.

All 2017–18 officers, including those on the NCCU Royal Court, will take the SGA oath of office. Formal coronation for NCCU Royal Court members takes place during Homecoming festivities in the fall semester.

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Kaylee Sciacca is a Mass Communications student at NCCU from Durham, NC with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Geographic Information Systems.

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