Zach Becker, Amboy, IL., is studying Agricultural and Consumer Economics with a concentration in Agribusiness Markets and Management. During his time on campus, he has been a member and demonstrated leadership in organizations such as FarmHouse Fraternity, Alpha Zeta Morrow Honors Fraternity, SORF Board, ACE Ambassadors, and the College of ACES Student Advancement Committee. This past spring, he even got the opportunity to study abroad at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Zach is grateful for all the opportunities he has been presented while attending Illinois, and it is an honor to represent the student body on Homecoming Court.
Faith Brown, Louisville, KY, studies Dance in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Additionally, she’s pursuing a minor in Business and certifications in Yoga and Leadership Studies. As both a James and Bailey Scholar, she is passionately involved in the arts on campus: She serves as President of her departmental Student Board; the organization Fine and Applied Arts Black; and the Black Advocacy Team, which she helped found. She’s worked for New York dance organizations including the José Limón Dance Foundation and trained with companies including Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Faith thanks God and her family for her success.
Mikayla Busby, Monticello, IL, is a senior studying Agricultural Science Education with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Management in the College of Agriculture Consume Environmental Sciences. On-campus she is involved in various organizations, including Second Vice President of Sigma Alpha, Secretary of the Student Advancement, and the Agricultural Education Representative for Collegiate Farm Bureau. Being a third-generation UIUC student, she has bled orange and blue since birth. Her fondest memory at school was storming the field after the Illini beat Wisconsin in the 2019 Homecoming game, and why she is honored to participate in this year’s Homecoming Court festivities!
Joy Chen, Champaign, IL, is studying Bioengineering with a cell and tissue concentration. She currently serves as Vice President for the Biomedical Engineering Society and Engineering Ambassadors. Her dedication to STEM outreach has driven her to lead efforts in educating young students through the both of these organizations. Joy is passionate about mentoring students to reach their professional goals. She is also devoted to conducting cancer research and has enjoyed sharing her work at various conferences. She is excited to be applying to PhD programs to continue her research journey and is honored to be on the Homecoming Court.
Katelyn Eathington, Avon, IL., is studying Agribusiness Markets and Management in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, with a minor in Public Relations. On campus, she has been involved in various organizations, including the Orange Krush, Greeks Support Homecoming, and the College of ACES Student Advancement Committee. Katelyn is a member of the 4-H House Cooperative Sorority and works for the College of ACES Dean's Office. Eathington is applying to graduate school, where she hopes to pursue a master's degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations at the University of Illinois.
Berat Gulecyuz, Lemont, IL., is focused on making a positive difference in the Grainger College of Engineering and University. Studying Bioengineering with an Anthropology minor, Gulecyuz is a member of Student Alumni Ambassadors, a leader in Society of Women Engineers and Undergraduate Researcher in the Tissue Biomechanics Lab. She passionately works to be a role model and mentor for underclassmen through her participation as a Student Coordinator for Women in Engineering Orientation, an Engineering Learning Assistant and a Course Assistant. She is honored to represent Illinois and be on Homecoming Court, as she is a student now, but Illini forever.
Blake Hayes, Melbourne, Australia, is studying Kinesiology in the College of Applied Health Sciences. An international student, he has worked passionately with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and partnered to help raise funds and awareness for Pediatric Brain Cancer. While playing for the University of Illinois Men's Football Team, he hopes to pursue a master's degree in public health. As a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Athletic Fraternity, he hopes to continue to have an impact both on and off the field.
Devon Jackson, Bellwood, IL, is studying Middle Grades Education with a concentration in literacy as well as obtaining an English as a Second Language endorsement. Throughout her tenure at Illinois, Devon has served as a Resident Advisor, James Scholar Research Student, and Golden Apple Illini Mentor. One of the many accolades Illinois has given Devon is the opportunity to learn more about teaching students of other languages through studying abroad in South Korea. Devon has a deep love for the orange and blue and is humbled by the distinct honor to be a member of the 2020 Homecoming Court.
Abbie Levitt, Deerfield, IL., is majoring in Communication with a minor in Public Relations and a certificate in Leadership Studies. On campus, she is currently completing her term as President of Panhellenic Council and is an active member of the Student Alumni Ambassadors and the social sorority Alpha Omicron Pi. She represents the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences as a Communication Leader, Research Assistant, and Social Media/Communication Intern through the ATLAS program. Abbie is honored to be a member of the Homecoming Court and looks forward to celebrating her favorite place: the University of Illinois! ILL!
Johana Machuca, Chicago IL, is pursuing a dual degree in Speech and Hearing Science along with Spanish. She hopes to create change and influence others by her involvement in organizations including the Leadership Center, the I-Promise Council, ILEAP along others. As an aspiring bilingual speech-pathologist, she has interned at the Center for Speech Disorders as well as in a behavior management non-profit named Tuesday's child, where she was able to build meaningful relationships with children, parents and staff. Currently, Machuca is applying to graduate school where she is eager to expand her education to become a well-rounded speech-pathologist.
Ali Mirza, Lombard, IL, is studying political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As an aspiring civil rights lawyer, his passion and goals inform his academic and professional pursuits. On campus he is a Phi Beta Kappa inductee, represents his fellow students on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, and is currently a Wolff intern with the Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Ali credits everything he has done to his parents, who have instilled within him a mentality to work hard and dream big.
Michael Mitchell, DeKalb, IL, is double majoring in Supply Chain Management and Marketing in the Gies College of Business. He has been honored to serve as President of the Gies Scholars Program and Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in Phi Gamma Nu professional business fraternity. A hallmark of Mitchell’s educational experience was studying in London through the prestigious United Kingdom Fulbright program. Post-graduation Mitchell will work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Technology Consulting and pursue his master’s degree. He’s also interested in seeking elected office. Mitchell is humbled to have been selected as a member of the distinguished Homecoming Court.
Ali Morallos, Long Beach, CA., is studying International Business Management with a minor in Political Science. She is a member of the Women’s Golf Team, Philippine Student Association, President of the Illinois Sports Business Conference, and the Women’s Golf Representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is also interning for the office of Congressman Rodney Davis. Morallos is applying to law school where she hopes to pursue a career as a judge or politician. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this year’s Homecoming Court and excited to represent the Illini Family through this honor.
Samantha Nardella, Glen Ellyn, IL., is a James Scholar studying psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A member of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline & Sexual Misconduct, a workshop facilitator for the Women’s Resource Center, a rape crisis counselor for the local hotline, an intern for Cunningham Children’s Home, and an honors research assistant with the Family Studies Lab, she has thrived in a variety of roles that allowed her to pursue her passion in sexual violence prevention. Samantha is honored to be on this year’s court and excited to see where her Illinois education takes her.
Onix Nava, Chicago, IL., is studying Journalism with a Spanish minor in the College of Media and Sciences. On campus, she has been involved in various organizations, including mentoring with Student Opportunities for After-School Resources. She is the former president of Alpha Psi Lambda, Illinois’ first Latino/a fraternity, and works for Fraternity & Sorority Affairs. For the past two years, Nava has interned with Maestro Cares Foundation. She is applying to graduate school to help reach her goals of working in nonprofit development and communications. She is honored to be part of the 2020 Homecoming Court.
Zoe Replinger, Rock Island, IL., is a third generation Illini, and she is pursuing a dual degree in acting (Fine + Applied Arts) and advertising (Media). She has been involved in a dozen plays during her college experience, recently playing a high school soccer star in The Wolves (Krannert Center for the Performing Arts) and the suffering wife of a man held hostage in Beirut in Two Rooms (Armory Free Theatre). As a marketing intern serving Illinois Undergraduate Admissions, she enjoys connecting with future Illini through social media. After graduation, Replinger hopes to continue building a life in the arts.
Thomas Romanchek, Lake Forest, IL., is a senior studying Bioengineering and Psychology and is considering pursuing a law degree after graduating. He serves as the Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in the Illinois Student Government, as an Engineering Ambassador, and as the President of the Undergraduate Neuroscience Society. Romanchek is passionate about expanding conversations about STEM. He founded “Brain Matters Journal” to engage students and he researches trends in student mental health as a member of the Jensen Lab in the College of Engineering. He is honored to participate in Homecoming Court and will continue to support student achievement.
Aishwarya (Aisha) Shekara, Bloomington, IL, is a James Scholar studying Psychology, Political Science, and Gender and Women's Studies. She is passionate about empowering marginalized voices as President of Student Advocacy Coalition, and works for the University’s Office of Government Relations. Aisha served in multiple capacities within Illini Democrats, Illinois Student Government, and coalition-builds with RSOs and administrators to mobilize student voters. She is active in Pi Beta Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, and completing the Political Science Honors Program. Aisha is thankful and blessed to have supportive family and friends who made her journey at Illinois truly extraordinary.
Emily Whirledge, Naperville, IL., is studying Finance in the Gies College of Business with minors in Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Philosophy. On campus, she has been heavily involved as the President of Prime Mergers and Acquisitions, Student Director of the Margolis Market Information Lab, Teachers Assistant for Fin 463, as well as a mentor through the Investment Banking Academy, Golder Freshman Seminar, and Gies Scholars. Emily will be joining Credit Suisse as an Investment Banking Analyst in Chicago after graduation. She is honored to be a part of Homecoming Court and believes that her time at Universty of Illinois has been truly engaging.
Madelyn Yoo, Glenview, IL., studies Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development and Psychology as a minor. On-campus, she is a Vice President for Volunteer Illini Projects, Inc., a Human Development and Family Studies Ambassador, and an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Brian Ogolsky's Healthy Experiences Across Relationship Transitions Lab. After graduation, Madelyn will pursue a clinical doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She is grateful for the opportunity and encouragement the university offers its students and is honored to be part of this year’s Homecoming Court.