Vivian Lueras, a student pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Eastern New Mexico University, was recently named Miss Native ENMU 2018-19.
Vivian, who plans to graduate in December 2019, shares what being named Miss Native ENMU means to her:
Why did you decide to run for Miss Native ENMU?
Being a young Native American woman, I wanted to take this opportunity to represent my Tribe and my family.
What was the process of becoming Miss Native ENMU?
In order to become Miss Native ENMU, I had to apply with the Native American Office. You must be single, have at least one-quarter of Native American blood, and provide a CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood). You can be an undergraduate or graduate Student; however, Miss Native must be able to hold the title for an entire academic year November to November. For the Miss Native Pageant, I had to represent my culture/tribe through public speaking, traditional attire and traditional talent. I also participated in the Miss Photogenic portion of the competition.
What does it mean to you to be named Miss Native ENMU?
It is a great honor to be Miss Native ENMU and not only to represent my University and Tribe, but all Native Americans. This title has helped me to celebrate my culture and become a role model for young Native American women and my people. I hope to encourage everyone to achieve their goals, pursue their education and embrace their culture. This title allows me to be an ambassador for not only my tribe, but all of the unique and diverse ethnic groups we have here on our campus and around the world. I also enjoy being involved in Multicultural Affairs and getting to experience and learn about cultures different from my own.
What are your responsibilities as Miss Native ENMU?
Some of my duties and responsibilities as Miss Native ENMU include volunteering in the Native American Affairs Office, participating in all activities that the office sponsors, participating in any other events I may be asked to attend or present at and coordinating next year's Miss Native ENMU Pageant.
What part of being Miss Native ENMU do you look forward to the most?
My favorite part about being Miss Native ENMU is the opportunity I am receiving to represent so many people. This title allows me to be an ambassador for not only MY tribe, but ALL of the unique and diverse ethnic groups we have here on our campus and around the world. I also enjoy being involved with Multicultural Affairs and getting to experience and learn about cultures different from my own.
What advice do you have for students who may be interested in running for Miss Native ENMU?
Some advice for any of the young women who may be interested in running for Miss Native ENMU is to first be prepared for taking on this important role. This title holds much responsibility and students should be prepared to attend events, participate in the Native American/Multicultural Community. Anyone running for Miss Native should have good time management, good public speaking skills, a good GPA and should be very knowledgeable of their culture. As Miss Native ENMU you are a role model for not only young Native American people but young people of all cultures.
Which academic honors have you had at ENMU?
I have been fortunate to have many academic honors during my Undergraduate years here at ENMU. First I was able to earn my Bachelor's Degree in three years, of which I made the Dean's List five times. When I graduated this past May with my degree, I received Cum Laude Honors. This past summer I was honored as a guest speaker for the ENMU Alumni Association Annual Golf Tournament, as I have been a recipient of this scholarship two years in a row. Some of the other scholarships that I have received from the ENMU Foundation include the Karen Ramsey Memorial Scholarship in Business, Peter Kaunitz Memorial Scholarship and the Becky Sharp Endowed Scholarship as well as other interim academic scholarships I've received through ENMU.
Which activities have you been involved with outside of the classroom?
Over the past two years, I have been a Dawg Days counselor, and I am a member of the College of Business Dean Search Committee. I am the current President of the International Honor Society for Business Majors, Delta Mu Delta. During my time here at ENMU as an undergraduate student I did an internship with Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have worked as an office assistant for Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction, and I am currently a graduate assistant and Greyhound Guide in the Golden Student Success Center.
Why did you choose ENMU?
My older brother was an ENMU Alumni, and I became very familiar with the campus while he was attending. I really enjoyed all of my visits to the campus and how friendly the faculty and community were. I could tell that Student Success was important at this University and knew that I would be successful here.
What are some reasons you would recommend ENMU to future students?
I would recommend ENMU to future students because this University is dedicated to Student Success. The faculty, students and community here at Eastern are motivated in helping every student achieve their educational and career goals. When students come to school here, they are welcomed and everyone makes you feel like you are part of a family.
Which high school did you attend?
I attended Los Lunas High School, and I graduated in 2015.
Tell us about your family:
I come from a family of six including myself. My father, Anthony Lueras, is an Engineer for the BNSF Railway and will be retiring this next year with 40 years of service. My mother, Carvella Lueras, is employed by the Los Lunas Public Schools, but she was a stay-at-home Mom while my brothers and I were still young. I also have three brothers, Patrick, Justin and Lance. My oldest brother, Patrick, graduated from ENMU in 2014 and is currently employed by UPS. My second oldest brother Justin attended New Mexico Highlands University and is also employed with UPS. Both brothers ran collegiate Cross Country for their Universities. My youngest brother, Lance, is a junior at Los Lunas High School, where he runs/plays Varsity Cross Country and Baseball.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy running, hiking, baking, spending time with family and friends and most of all watching horror movies. I love the Conjuring Series!
What do you hope to pursue as a career?
I hope to pursue a career as a civilian contractor.
What do you hope to ultimately achieve in your career?
Ultimately, I hope to be successful in my field of work, be a contributing member of society, give back to my community and use my career to travel the world.
Besides a career, what other dreams do you have?
My biggest dream has always been to travel the world and visit countries outside of the United States. My two dream destinations are Barcelona, Spain, and Santorini, Greece.
I would like to thank Eastern New Mexico University for all of the opportunities it has afforded me, as well as Multicultural Affairs, my professors, close friends and my family for all their love and support. Go Greyhounds!