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UAM's Brown is homecoming queen

by Special to The Commercial | October 21, 2021 at 2:39 a.m.
J’Naya Brown of Rison (second from right) was crowned 2021 UAM homecoming queen Saturday at Convoy Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. Flanking Brown are her mother, Diana Lewis, and UAM Chancellor Peggy Doss. (Special to The Commercial/UAM Media Relations)

MONTICELLO -- There wasn't much time to celebrate for J'Naya Brown after being named the University of Arkansas at Monticello's homecoming queen Saturday.

Brown, a senior from Rison majoring in exercise science, was committed to participating in a "Strolling Contest" at the fine arts auditorium. The stroll-off is defined as a rhythmic, synchronized walk performed with or without music. Greek organizations gather to showcase their chapters.

That kind of commitment defines Brown well. She is always on the go. She is involved with multiple groups and activities. She is a student athletic trainer for all UAM athletic teams, including football, basketball (men and women), and wherever else she's needed. Duties range from taping wrists and ankles to listening to athletes and helping pinpoint what kind of injuries they might have.

Brown is the president of the Sigma Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and is involved all over Drew County at different charitable events. She thinks her involvement with people off-campus and on-campus contributed to being voted by the student body as queen. Brown was nominated by the Rho Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Escorted by her mother Diana Lewis of Monticello, Brown was named UAM homecoming queen as part of the pregame events at the UAM-Ouachita Baptist football game. She and the rest of the 2021 UAM homecoming court made their ceremonial walk down the 50-yard line at Convoy Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. A vote of the student body chose the homecoming queen.

"I honestly was kind of shocked when they said my name," Brown said, adding, "Hold on, I was in total disbelief.

"I knew I had a good chance because I'm very involved on campus, especially with the athletes since I work with the athletic trainers. I'm also president of a sorority, we do a lot of events on campus, so my face is well known," she said. "I was on a court with some amazing women who are just as dedicated to UAM."

Brown moved to Monticello in the fifth grade but still considers Rison her hometown.

"Somebody from Rison was here at the event," she said, recalling that person said, "I see you representing Rison very well. Rison helped me a lot with who I am today. I've never been afraid to start a conversation with people, including strangers. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat."

This isn't Brown's first involvement with royalty. In 2017 she was nominated as honor maid at Monticello High School.

Brown says she chose UAM because it's close to home. It also has a smaller teacher-to-student ratio.

"I am more likely to have a teacher sit down and talk with me, unlike UCA, where I attended as a freshman," the present UAM senior said. "It was very hard; the professors there didn't care as much. UAM is a very caring university."

J'Naya is the daughter of Diana Lewis and Darrin Brown.

This year's UAM homecoming court also included Kaylee Brasko of Stuttgart, Eryn Leggett of Fountain Hill, Hadley Lewis of Texarkana, Jamie Franks of Fort Worth, Mikayla McGregor of Monticello, Haley Mims of Conway, Rebecca Nichols of Monticello, Lauren Taylor of Grapevine, Mary-Lynn Wagnon of Warren, Rylan White of Star City and Anna Wynn of Star City.

Print Headline: UAM's Brown is homecoming queen

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