“Autumn. . .the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, red and yellow leaves on the ground, cooler air, football, and of course UCF’s Homecoming,” said Kristina Grabnickas, nurse practitioner coordinator of Clinical Services Satellite Clinics, Health Services. Grabnickas volunteered to be a judge for selecting the 2013 Homecoming king and queen. “Brings me back to my college days and being part of pageantry myself; it was a great opportunity not to miss when Leanza Altenderfer, royalty director at UCF’s Homecoming Court, wrote back to me of my acceptance.”

“What a wonderful lifetime experience. Contestants were from all different groups including the first-time participation of Athletics. I had the task of asking questions like: ‘Who is your role model? Where on campus is your favorite spot? and Describe yourself using three words?’ One of my favorite answers after asking: ‘Why should we pick you as king or queen?’. . . The answer: ‘I bleed Black & Gold.’”

“It was very hard to decide out of 11 queens and nine king contestants because of the outstanding qualities and accomplishments a student had coming into the pageant.”

“I thought to myself as I was leaving the judging event. . .Homecoming means more than winning a competition or a sporting event. It provides an opportunity for every component of the university to come together to celebrate as a whole.”

Altenderfer gave each judge a homemade black and gold Christmas ornament with a card that thanked them for taking the time out of their busy Saturday to be a judge for Homecoming Court interviews.