Rebecca Quintana is an Eastern New Mexico University junior studying forensic science with an emphasis in chemistry and a minor in criminal justice and was recently crowned Homecoming Queen 2017. She plans on moving to Albuquerque to get lab experience and then move to a big city like Houston to work in a crime lab.
Where did you get your outfits for Homecoming?
All of my Homecoming dresses came from Dillard's.
What is your most embarrassing story?
While I was a counselor for Dawg Days 2016, I thought they called my name for one of the counselor awards and I ended up excitedly running up to the stage in the ballroom for an award that wasn't mine.
Your go-to meal or guilty pleasure.
My go-to meal or guilty pleasure has been chicken nuggets with buffalo sauce, but I honestly like most foods, so it depends on the restaurant.
Who inspires you?
A lot of people inspire me in different areas of my life. However, the people who have struggled through the most adversity before becoming successful, the people with the most heart and the people who are most passionate about bettering themselves, things and people around them are the people who inspire me most.
Are you still learning who you are?
I'm not still learning who I am, but I am still learning who I want to be.
Hands down has to be Ryan Guzman.
Your perfect date.
My perfect date depends on the season and how well I know the person before the date. My perfect winter date is staying in and watching movies. A great spring date is spent outside playing sports. A perfect summer date is a day trip somewhere or at a concert. My perfect fall date is to go to a corn maze and pumpkin patch before carving pumpkins. Any date that involves food is great, and I enjoy doing a variety of things, which makes it easier to choose what to do.
Worst fashion decision you've ever made.
Definitely in middle school when wearing spaghetti strap shirts or tank tops over regular t-shirts were a thing.
How did you feel about winning? What does the crown feel like on your head?
It was honestly really nerve-racking to win. It was a mix of emotions, but I felt honored that I got voted Homecoming Queen. The crown feels great to wear because I know I'm representing something greater than myself.
What does this title mean to you? What does being an ENMU representative celebrity feel like?
This title means more to me than I expected it to since I have the responsibility of representing the school and everyone on campus. It is an honor knowing I received the support from my fellow students and I'm excited to see what is in store.
Being an ENMU representative celebrity feels a little weird sometimes because so many people you haven't met yet know you. It's a strange feeling, but not much has changed from the title I had before as Hispanic Reina, now it's just on a larger scale.
What sets you apart from others?
What sets me apart from others is that I am super involved here at Eastern. I dedicate a lot of my time to organizations at Eastern and have a genuine love for the school and the community-feel it has. I think my passion for people is what sets me apart.
Are you going to keep the crown forever and show your grandchildren?
Yes, it's something I feel like I worked hard to earn.
Why did you run for Homecoming King or Queen?
I ran for Homecoming Queen because I feel I represent Eastern in a positive way. I'm involved on campus, and I've fallen in love with Eastern over the past three years. Representing the University and the students is the biggest duty that comes with being Homecoming Royalty. I felt like that was one of the biggest honors I could receive with the time I have left here.
How did you prepare to run? The behind-the-scenes details, please.
A lot of the preparation was getting to know people and building friendships with them. There is a lot of time and effort put into reaching the people you don't know and convincing them to vote in general and to vote for you. You don't want to hold back showing people the real you and what sets you apart, so I took advantage of as many opportunities as I could to reach people. Josh [the 2017 Homecoming King] and I visited athletes and various organizations on campus. We tabled every day that we could and we talked to and met as many people as possible. A lot of candy buying, flyer printing, banner painting, picture posting, cookie baking and glitter was involved with getting my name out there. It was definitely hard work, but it was worth it. You have to mentally prepare to put in the time and effort more than anything else because it just shows how much it means.
What was the scariest part about running? What insecurities did you have?
The scariest part about running for queen is not knowing if you were doing enough to convince people to vote or what the results were going to be.
What was the best part?
The best part about running was all the fun you have with the people you meet and the memories you make. Running is definitely an experience in of itself because of everything you put in and take the time to enjoy.
What did you learn from this experience?
This experience taught me the more heart you put into something, the more you get out of it. It shouldn't always be about winning or losing; it should be about just having fun.
What advice would you give to others about school? About running for king and queen?
Work hard to get what you want and achieve your goals. If you don't know what you want, explore different things to figure out what you're passionate about and then run with whatever it is that you love.
For homecoming, put in more work outside of homecoming season, as far as building relationships, so it does come easier to meet people when campaigning starts and you have more people to help you spread the word.
Will this be the only crown you pursue?
Seeing that I already have two crowns, this will be the last crown I pursue in college. I might consider pursuing others after I graduate but we will see what happens.
If there is anything we didn't ask and you want to talk about, please do!
My favorite Disney movie is "Tangled."
I've been enlisted in the Army Reserve for over four years now.
The weirdest craving I have is spicy pickles and nacho cheese.
I love naps because I hardly get to nap, or better yet, sleep in general.
I love to craft in my downtime.