Four Homecoming Court Ambassadors From CAS

Posted on: October 7, 2013

homecoming-courtFour out of 10 students on MSUs 2013-14 Homecoming Court come from the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, more than any other college.

The CAS students include:

  • Janisse Patino-Martinez , Communication major with a specialization in Public Relations, Sales Communication and the Bailey Scholars Communicative Learning Specialization
  • Jessica Pedersen, Journalism major with a specialization in Public Relations and Womens and Gender Studies minor. She also is a member of the Honors College
  • Lexis Zeidan, Communication major with a specialization in Public Relations and Sociology minor. She also is a member of the Honors College.
  • Elliot Zirulnik, Media and Information major with a concentration in TV, Cinema and Radio, specializing in Connected Learning

The ambassadors will attend many functions during Homecoming Week, October 7-12, including the Homecoming parade and football game, a reception with President Lou Anna K. Simon, Grand Awards Ceremony, and Green and White Brunch.

But their responsibilities as members of the Homecoming Court don't just end at one week. They began their duties in March, representing the MSU student body at various alumni, community and university engagements and will continue their commitment throughout the rest of the school year.

"Every student chosen to be a part of the Homecoming Court exudes the truest Spartan qualities: someone who is engaged in their community and knows when to listen and when to lead," Zirulnik said.

Homecoming Court Ambassadors are chosen through a highly selective process, evaluated on their leadership, community involvement, academic excellence and Spartan pride. Personal interviews also were conducted by a group of MSU faculty, staff, alumni and students.

Each of the CAS students have quite the list of accomplishments both in and out of the classroom.

Janisse Patino-Martinez

Homecoming court member Janisse Martinez.Patino-Martinez is from Miami, Fla., and is a first-generation college student with parents from Colombia and Venezuela. She has an extensive background that includes studying abroad with the Advertising + Public Relations a la Mediterranean, Rome, Italy, program. Her internship experience involves Organizing For America for President Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign as well as Chrysler Group LLC this past summer.

"I was raised by a single mother who sacrificed a great deal of her life to allow my brother and me to see the world with curious eyes," Patino-Martinez said. "I came to MSU not knowing a soul, but the CAS community took me in and gave me the tools to chase my dream...now with the Spartan nation cheering me on."

Jessica Pedersen

Homecoming court member Jessica Pedersen.

Pedersen is from Eastpointe, Mich., and is a first-generation college student. She has had numerous articles published in campus publications. Her involvement stretches across several campus organizations including MSU Women's Alliance, Senior Class Council, Red Cedar Log, and the Vagina Monologues, just to name a few.

"I am so, so excited to go to the Green and White Brunch and the Homecoming football game with my parents!" Pedersen said. "Neither of my parents have ever attended college and they have no idea what they are in for."

Lexis Zeidan

Homecoming court member Lexis Zeidan.Zeidan is from Dearborn, Mich., and was involved with the U.S. Department of Education as an intern during her time with the D.C. Study Away Program in Washington, D.C., last spring. She co-founded the Cure for Christmas dinner for the Child Life Department at Children's Hospital.

"I have the opportunity to become a Spartan Superhero and do my duty as a court member to represent my student body in a positive light and I couldn't think of an opportunity more amazing than this one," Zeidan said.

Elliot Zirulnik

Homecoming court memeber Elliot Zirulink.

Zirulnik is from Royal Oak, Mich., and has participated in a Study Away program in Orlando, Fla., and two Study Abroad programs, one in South Africa and the other in Malaysia. He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has earned multiple scholarships. He also has interned for the International Animal Exchange and has been a Diversity and Inclusion Educational Video Consultant.

"MSU will always be a part of me and I will never forget where I came from," Zirulnik said. "In high school, it never occurred to me that I would someday describe myself as a leader or that I would receive enough scholarship funds to travel to the other side of the planet (twice). My senior year isn't the end of my Spartan experience. In fact, it's just the beginning!"

More Information

Want to see these stellar students yourself? Be sure to attend the CAS Homecoming Bash and look for them in the parade on Oct. 11. They also will be honored during halftime at the football game on Oct. 12.

For more information on the Homecoming Court and its members, see the 2013-2014 Homecoming Court website.

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