Catalina Arana-Mendoza
Catalina Arana-Mendoza

Catalina Arana-Mendoza, who was recently crowned the 2018 Homecoming Queen, shares why she loves being a Greyhound and her goal to be teacher.

Why did you decide to run for Homecoming Queen?

I knew I wanted to do before I graduated. However, I feel like it was just a spontaneous decision. 

Describe your Homecoming experience.

My experience while running for Homecoming Queen was amazing. It was hectic at times because I was trying to balance the candidacy, do homework and tests for midterm's week, work and rest, all at the same time. However, I did have many very supportive people at my side at all times.

When Doc Elder announced that I was the Queen I could not believe it. It was a very heartwarming moment on the support I had gotten from the students, faculty, community and anyone who supported me.

What does it mean to you to be named Homecoming Queen?

Being named Homecoming Queen is an honor. You are not just seen as a student but you are also seen as an example. When we were in the Homecoming parade, I would hear the little girls say "she's so pretty" and other comments which made me realize that those little girls are looking up to me. Being the Homecoming Queen means representing yourself, ENMU and the community in a way that everyone will be proud.     

What are your responsibilities as Homecoming Queen?

As Homecoming Queen I am expected to go to two mandatory events. They are Mud Volleyball and Eastern in Action.

What part of being Homecoming Queen do you look forward to the most?

I am looking forward on using the quote "A queen is never late. Everyone else is simply early." from "The Princess Diaries."

What advice do you have for students who may be interested in running for the Homecoming Court?

I encourage everyone to do it! I think it is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and meet/talk to people that you might have never talked to.

What is your major and classification? When do you expect to graduate?

I am a senior double majoring in elementary education and Spanish with a minor in bilingual education and English as a second language. With God's will I am expected to graduate May of 2020.

Which academic honors have you had at ENMU?

I have been in the Dean's List for the past six semesters. When I was a junior in high school, I got the excellent beginner speaker (because I was taking dual enrollment). Two years ago I gotten another award from the Spanish department. I was nominated as "Student Employee of the Year." I have gotten the Catholic Daughter Scholarship and the lottery scholarship.

What activities have you been involved with outside of the classroom?

I work at the Office of Hispanic Affairs. We put Hispanic Heritage Month together, our annual multicultural sashing banquet, events for Women's History Month and many other things. I am in Voices of Educators (V.O.E., which is the organization for education majors), Spanish Club, A.H.O.R.A. and member of Kappa Delta Pi (Honor society for education majors).

Tell us about why you chose ENMU.

I chose ENMU because it was close to home so I did not have to pay for rent and I got to stay with my parents. The main reason I choose it however was because of the education program which I had heard it was wonderful. Another reason was because while I was attending Portales High School I had started taking college classes here on campus, so I already was familiar with the campus.

Tell us why you are proud to be a Greyhound.

I am proud to be a Greyhound for many reasons. One of the reasons that I am very proud of is how friendly everyone is. We might be a small University but I believe that we are all one big family and always look out for each other. Another reason I am proud to be a Greyhound is our unity.

What high school did you attend and year did you graduate?

I attended Portales High School and graduated May of 2015.

Tell us about your family.

My parents are Hector Manuel Arana and Catalina Mendoza Corral. I have one older sister Carmen Verdiales-Arana and younger brother Hector Arana II. My siblings and I are first-generation college students.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include spending time with my family and friends, taking random trips and baking from time to time.

What do you hope to pursue as a career?

As an English learner, I peruse to make the change on children's life that my teacher made on mine when I came to the United States. I want children to aim past the stars and realize that the sky is not the limit. I want to encourage children to set their minds that where there is a will to accomplish a goal, there is a way.

What do you hope to ultimately achieve in your career?

I ultimately hope to change someone's life as a future teacher. I would feel as if my struggles would be worth it if I can impact someone's life and them saying "I accomplished this because my teacher believed in me."

Besides your career, what other dreams/goals do you have?

I have three little nieces and another (we don't know if its boy or girl) on the way so one of my goals is to be the best aunt/God-Mother I can be. When I have a stable job, I plan on traveling and learning more about other cultures because I think knowledge is key for anything. I also plan on helping people who are more needed.

Other thoughts?

Every day is a GREAT day to be a Greyhound!