By Shannon Thomason 

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Xavier Turner of York, Alabama, and Angela Lee of Dothan, Alabama, are the new Mr. and Ms. UAB.

The 2021 Mr. and Ms. UAB winners were announced Saturday, Oct. 3, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Homecoming game. First alternates in the competition are Michael Xavier Turner and Angela LeeXavier Turner and Angela LeeHo of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Cassidy Nolan of Hueytown, Alabama.

Started in 1981, the Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition is one of UAB’s longest-standing Homecoming traditions, and is presented by the UAB National Alumni Society. The winners each receive $2,500 scholarships and serve as ambassadors of UAB and on the Student Alumni Society Leadership Council in the coming year. The first alternates each receive $1,000 scholarships. The 10 finalists were selected through an interview process at the NAS Alumni House. The winners were chosen through an additional round of interviews and a student vote, held during Homecoming Week.

Turner, 20, is a junior majoring in political science and criminal justice in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the UAB Honors College Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. He is a Camille Armstrong Stepshow Scholarship recipient, a resident assistant, a UAB Ambassador and on the Social Justice Advocacy Council. Turner volunteers for Woke Vote, for which he helps register students to vote and educates them on their rights and amendment laws, and for Cranes of Hope, which informs students about the significance of suicide prevention and resources for mental health treatment. His parents are Carolyn Turner and Levon Grantling Sr.

Lee, 20, is a junior majoring in chemistry and mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Honors College’s Science and Technology Honors Program. Lee has been on the Presidential Honors List since fall 2018 and has received multiple UAB math scholarships, including the Lars Gunnar and Debbie Jo Severin Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics, Mobolaji O. Kukoyi, P.E. Scholarship in Mathematics and the Fast Track Mathematics Scholarship. She is executive vice president of the Undergraduate Student Government Association, is communications coordinator in Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-health society), and was an on-campus VMASC tutor for math and chemistry. Lee volunteers for the Spirit of Luke mobile clinic health care initiative assisting in Alabama’s Black Belt regions, Equal Access Birmingham and Into the Streets, serving the Exceptional Foundation and M-Power Ministries. Her parents are Irene Chen and Ryan Lee.

Ho, 20, is a junior majoring in French and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Honors College’s Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. Ho has been on the UAB Presidential Honors List for the past four semesters, was a UAB Summer Presidential Fellowship recipient (canceled due to COVID-19), and is a TrailBlazer, a UAB Ambassador and a chemistry teaching assistant. Ho is a volunteer in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit of the Birmingham VA Medical Center and with Equal Access Birmingham, which provides free health care to uninsured populations of Birmingham in conjunction with UAB School of Medicine. His parents are Marie Loisy and Thomas Ho.

Nolan, 20, is a junior majoring in elementary education in the School of Education. Nolan is a recipient of the Academic Achievement Scholarship and New Student Programs Leadership Scholarship. She is an orientation leader, a TrailBlazer, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and also a volunteer for Into the Streets and UAB Serve Day. Her parents are Greg and Tracey Nolan.

Michael Ho and Cassidy NolanMichael Ho and Cassidy NolanThe Mr. and Ms. UAB competition finalists are:

  • Junior Daphne Embry, 20, of Athens, Alabama, majoring in chemistry and criminal justice, is a UAB Emerging Leader Scholarship recipient and UAB Chemistry Scholar, president and founder of Blazing Quiz Bowl, member of Alpha Xi Delta and College Democrats, and volunteer for Blazer Kitchen and Boo at the Zoo. Her mother is Miranda Romine.
  • Senior Alan Roper, 21, of Trussville, Alabama, is in the Honors College Personalized Pathway majoring in accounting and medical industrial distribution in the Collat School of Business, is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success and on the summer 2020 Dean’s List. Roper is a TrailBlazer, Student Alumni Representative and in the Beta Alpha Psi Honors Society and volunteers with Into the Streets and UAB Serve Day. His parents are Rick Roper and Bobbie Roper.
  • Junior Naqi Raza, 20, of Trussville, is in the Honors College’s Personalized Pathway majoring in biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering on a pre-med track, an Ever Faithful Award recipient and on the Presidential Honors list. He is an International Mentor, Alumni representative, in the UAB Cricket Club, and a student volunteer at UAB Hospital and for the Habitat for Humanity Club at UAB. His parents are Dr. Syed Raza and Ruqia Qamar.
  • Junior Nikki Short, 19, of Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in public health in the School of Public Health with minors in Spanish and chemistry, is in the Honors College and on the Presidential Honors List since 2018. Short is executive director of the Leadership and Service Council, a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and a Clinton Global Initiative University Research member. She is a caregiver for Right at Home Senior Care and a volunteer at food kitchens in Huntsville and Birmingham. Her parents are Thomas and Mayra Short.
  • Sophomore John Ellis Kuykendall, 19, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, majoring in neuroscience, is in the Honors College’s University Honors Program, the Early Medical School Acceptance Program and on the Student Leadership Council. Kuykendall is a Trailblazer, in UAB Connecting Narratives, an Honors College Ambassador and SMART Leader, chair and volunteer for the University Honors Program Recruitment Committee, and a Children’s Hospital of Alabama volunteer. His parents are Calvin and Angie Kuykendall.
  • Junior Katie Young, 21, of Memphis, Tennessee, is majoring in social work with a minor in human rights in the College of Arts and Sciences and is in the Honors College’s Global and Community Leadership Program. She is a TrailBlazer and on the TrailBlazer Leadership Team, a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and One Bham College Ministry with Church of the Highlands, and a volunteer with UAB Into the Streets 2018 and 2019 and Kappa Delta Day of Service 2020. Her parents are Ben and Jennifer Young.