Meet your 2017 Homecoming King and Queen: Art Hernandez and Madison Minor

Francisco Castro, Contributor

Homecoming King: Art Hernandez

On Oct. 28th, Tarleton State University experienced the crowning of the 2017 Homecoming King and Queen. After two days of voting, Art Hernandez and Madison Minor were crowned as the Homecoming King and Queen.

A junior Kinesiology major from Georgetown, Texas, Art Hernandez arrived at the gates of Tarleton with one goal in mind: to become an athletic coach.

“I was inspired by my coaches in high school to pursue coaching,” Hernandez said when asked what inspired him to be a Kinesiology major. “[After graduation], I plan to coach a little bit and ultimately be in an athletic director position at a high school or college.”

“My coaches and teachers showed me this school that I had no idea existed,” Hernandez said as he explains why he chose to attend Tarleton. “And when I visited, I instantly fell in love with it. The whole idea that it was student focused and how well [the faculty] wanted to know their students. And, they had a good program here for what I wanted to do, and that’s ultimately why.”

During his first year, Hernandez felt there were many opportunities for him to get involved on campus.

“I think what Tarleton does better than anyone else is give the opportunity [for students] to go down different paths,
and it’s up to you to choose the right one that’s best for you, and ultimately, you’ll love whatever you do,” Hernandez explained.

With that, it didn’t take long for Hernandez to get involved.

“I got involved practically after my first month in college, trying out for a Tarleton Transition Mentor, and wanting to go for something that was bigger than myself, and be able to give back to the community,” Hernandez said.

“If you don’t buy in to what Tarleton has to offer for you, then you are missing out on your college experience,” Hernandez said, looking back on the past three years of his college life. “I had the opportunity to write my own story. No one influenced me to go any other way, but to just do it my way.”

When asked what he hopes to leave behind upon graduation, Hernandez said, “I hope that when I leave, everywhere I got to make an impact on will inspire people to take it to a whole other level.

If I did it, there’s no reason to grab it and run with it. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have, you can make something out of yourself. Tarleton gave you the platform to do whatever you want to do, be whoever you want to be. I hope that people don’t just see my accomplishments, but they see what I had to do to get there.”


Homecoming Queen: Madison Minor

Hailing from Decatur, Texas, senior Madison Minor joined the purple and the white as a Child and Family Studies major. After graduation, Madison hopes to be able to work in public policy so that she may help improve the lives of children.

“There are some thing in the legislature that can be altered for the benefit of some of the kids in the foster system, and I think it is my job to be an intricate part of that,” Minor said. “I realized like, listening to stories, a lot of these kids needed someone to stand up for them. There are so many kids that just need a voice in a system where a lot of the times their hushed. And I absolutely believe that the Lord says ‘Madi, that is your job?’ And so, I want to be [that voice] for them.”

Minor said that Tarleton was the very last place she toured, following a few other schools. Her tour guide, Shawn Ginyard, had so much energy and made her feel welcome, Minor said.

“I also got to meet the Dean of the College of Education, and he was very invested in what I wanted to do. He was showing me all these opportunities, offered me plenty of information that seemed to be so vital to be successful,” Minor said. “I felt like the staff and
the faculty were very invested in their students here, and so I decided this is where I was going.”

Minor said another reason she chose Tarleton was because she really loved the color purple.

“So my first year was unpredictable,” Minor recalled upon being asked about her first year. “It was not what I was expecting it to be. What I realized is that I had the same set of friends my entire life, so I didn’t know how to ‘make a friend.’ As a result, I ended up overloading myself with organizations and academic life. And, there was so much going on, and I kind of had to reboot myself.”

Minor credits one faculty member who took time to invest in her and to make sure she wasn’t going to go home.

Elizabeth Stevens, Director of the Child Development Center, was the faculty member that helped Madison get to where she is now.

“She was my advisor, and I went to her mid-semester because I was struggling,” Minor recalls. “She had a conversation with me and it made me realize how important it was for me to be here. I truly believe I would not be here if it wasn’t for her. Those 30 minutes and the investment she’s made in me over the last four years was crucial for my career choice, my leadership capabilities, to my own confidence in wanted to do and what I wanted to be. She has been a key player in that for me.”

Minor is very grateful for all Tarleton has done for her over the years.

“[Tarleton] has given me mentors, it has given me friends, it has given me support, it has given me love, and even when I leave here, I feel I’ve made connection with people that want me to be successful, and vice versa, I want them to be successful, and we’ll help each other get there,” Minor said. “It has changed my life for the better, and it’s broken chains in my family, which will no longer keep us from being successful.

“I absolutely believe that if you make investments into organizations, you’re more likely to stay if you have a reason to. If you believe you can, there is no limit to what you can do here. And I hope people can see that, and I hope I can leave that behind.”