EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association announced the 2019 Sun Court, including a new Sun Queen, Lady-in-Waiting, and Sun Princesses on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the El Paso Country Club
Ten new Sun Princesses join the 2019-20 Sun Queen, Elizabeth Vega, and Lady-in-Waiting, Diana Martinez as ambassadors for the Sun Bowl Association, while also representing the city of El Paso.
“Our Sun Court is a very important part of our association and events,” said Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “These young ladies, who are all originally from El Paso, are very well rounded and represent the Borderland very well.”
The Sun Court Coronation has been a part of the Sun Bowl since the first-ever college Sun Bowl game played in 1936. Coronation played a huge social role in the “Sun Carnival”, the week-long pageantry associated with the Sun Bowl.
According to the 1938 Sun Bowl game program, “The social side of the Sun Carnival centers around the Coronation of the Sun Queen with her Lady-In-Waiting and Royal Court of Princesses from all the cities of the Sun Empire and the Grand Ball tendered by the Association in honor of Her Majesty and Court.”
Today, the Sun Court serves as ambassadors for the city of El Paso. The ladies of the court volunteer at various community events and make appearances at the Marathon All-America Golf Classic, the Sun Bowl Parade, Weststar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Hyundai Sun Bowl, Helen of Troy Charm Camp and many other events throughout the year.
2019-20 Sun Court
Elizabeth Vega – 2019 Sun Queen
Elizabeth Vega is the daughter of Angela Olivas and Manuel Vega. She is a 2016 graduate of Coronado High School and the International Baccalaureate Program where she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. Her philanthropy began in high school when she formed Packages for Patriots, assembling care packages for Fort Bliss soldiers returning from deployment.
Her college education commenced at the University of Arizona where she was appointed as the Vice President of IT for the Eller College of Management Dean’s Council and was the recipient of the Rising Star Award her outstanding achievements in academics. Elizabeth was a Pre-Professional Academic Communities of Excellence (P.A.C.E.) member, serving as a mentor for incoming Eller College of Management pre-business freshmen. She has since continued her education at the University of Texas at El Paso. Now a senior majoring in Marketing, she has maintained a 4.0 and has been named to the Dean’s list at both Arizona and UTEP.
Outside of her education and career goals, Elizabeth has made it her mission to volunteer her time throughout El Paso. She assisted in bell ringing during the holiday season to encourage donations towards the Salvation Army. She helped demolish and clean a new location for the El Pasoans Food Bank. At the Make-a-Wish Walk for Wishes, she directed participants and cheered them on along the route. She worked with Rebuilding Together El Paso to repaint and repair the house of a community member as a part of National Rebuilding Day.
While Elizabeth has worked at UTEP and El Paso Locomotive FC, volunteered throughout the city, and served as a 2018 Sun Princess, she has gained a greater understanding of the city of El Paso. From the beauty of the Franklin Mountains, the richness of the culture, and the hospitality of El Pasoans, it truly is a place like no other. The Sun Bowl is an organization that exemplifies these qualities to every visitor while also giving back to the community. Elizabeth is honored to represent both the Sun Bowl Association and the City of El Paso as the 2019 Sun Bowl Queen.
Diana Martinez – 2019 Lady-in-Waiting
Diana Martinez is the daughter of Daniel and Gabriela Martinez. Diana is graduate of Hanks High School and currently a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso. currently a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso. Upon graduation, she will earn a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Biology and Spanish. Ultimately, her goal is to become a physical therapist to help the elderly along with athletes in rehabilitation.
Currently, Diana is a Presidential Excellence Scholarship recipient which is a scholarship that is awarded to students with exceptional leadership skills. She has also been on the Dean’s list for three consecutive years. Chosen among students in the Kinesiology department, she was chosen as a runner up to participate in the American College of Sports Medicine State conference. To add on to her scholastic achievements, Diana is the Vice President of the Kinesiology Club and the social outreach officer of the Pre-Physical Therapy Association at UTEP.
Being part of the sun court is a significant accomplishment for Diana because she feels that the Sun Court displays the grace and forte of a group of educated women and what they have to offer for future generations.
Alison McLean – 2019 Sun Princess
Alison McLean is the daughter of Michael and Gina McLean. She graduated from Coronado High School in 2017 and is currently a Junior at the University of Texas at Austin where she is pursuing dual majors in Accounting and Business Honors. She is also a part of the Business Honors Program in the McCombs School of Business.
During her time at the University of Texas, Alison has been involved in the Beta Xi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma and is currently serving as the Assistant Philanthropy Chair where she works closely with members of Reading is Fundamental and the B+ Foundation to organize events and promote the importance of literacy in the community and philanthropy within the chapter. In addition to her leadership role within in her sorority, Alison also serves as a member of the Ethics Board and as a Hometown Recruiter within the Business Honors Program at the McCombs School of Business. Through these positions, Alison has worked closely with the school’s faculty to promote ethical behavior and has helped promote the Business Honors Program to potential applicants.
Alison has always shown a passion for service and giving back to her community. In high school, Alison gave back to the El Paso Community through her numerous years serving on the Coronado Student Council. Now, she is building on her passion for service in the Austin community by serving as a Community Mentor with Austin Partners in Education.
Ever since Alison was a little girl, she has looked up to the Sun Court as models of community service. Now Alison hopes to serve as a role model to the next generation of girls in El Paso and is eager to represent the city of El Paso in such a unique and impactful way.
Briana Guerrero – 2019 Sun Princess
Briana Guerrero is the daughter of Carlos & Angelica Guerrero. She is a senior studying Graphic Design at the University of Texas at El Paso and a graduate of Harmony Science Academy.
Briana was recently elected President of the UTEP chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Although she is still training for her newly elected position, she is excited to get started, as she has many ideas on how to strengthen the connections between the organizations’ members and lead a thriving group of designers.
Before enrolling at UTEP, Brianna attended Abilene Christian University, where she had an internship with the Office of Multicultural Affairs. During her internship, she was tasked with designing promotional materials for various campaigns aimed at promoting diversity on campus. While working in this internship she had the chance to interact with students from all over the world, which she says ignited a passion for learning about other cultures.
Brianna says that it is an absolute privilege to represent El Paso as part of the Sun Court. She wants the opportunity to speak to out of town visitors about the cultural richness and diversity of El Paso. However, she says she is most excited to be giving back to the city that “has her heart”.
Brittany Baffert – 2019 Sun Princess
Brittany Baffert is the daughter of Bret and Sandra Baffert. Brittany is currently a Junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Applied Learning and Development and is a graduate of Coronado High School. Aside from her academic endeavors, Brittany enjoys playing golf and giving back to her community.
Brittany has been involved in several organizations in her time at UTEP. Brittany recently served as the Sisterhood Chair for her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta. In her term as Sisterhood chair, she was an advocate for the organization Autism Speaks and helped develop the importance of sisterhood within the chapter. Brittany is also a member of Christians at UTEP and is a recipient of Mount Kiwanis Scholarship.
In 2017, Brittany volunteered with Big Brothers & Big Sisters of El Paso where she helped organize and facilitate the “Dance for Kid’s Sake” fundraiser. She has also been able to give back to her community through her job at Topgolf. Topgolf consistently works with the Make a Wish Foundation in order to grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. In addition to working at Topgolf, Brittany also is employed as a sales associate at Kendra Scott, where she partakes in KGB (Kendra Gives Back) parties where a percentage is given back to local organizations/ individuals in the community as she holds the core value of philanthropy close to her heart.
Brittany’s love for the El Paso Community and commitment to giving back is what inspired her to apply to be on the Sun Court. She is looking forward to being a spokesperson for the Sun City and leaving a positive impact on El Paso.
Carla Viesca – 2019 Sun Princess
Carla Viesca is the daughter of Dr. Carlos and Rocio Viesca. She is a rising senior studying Psychology with a minor in Biology at Baylor University and a Franklin High School graduate. Upon graduation, she plans on applying to medical school and hopes to attend a Texas Medical School in the fall of 2020.
While at Baylor, Carla has become a member of the pre-health honor society, Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) and the Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS). Carla has served on the yearly MAPS medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic where she helped set up clinics and pharmacies for the community. Carla will also be serving on the executive board as the Mission Trip Co-Chair for MAPS this coming year.
Carla has volunteered in El Paso at the El Paso Specialty Hospital and in Waco with the Family Health Center and Quality Care Nursing Home, while also researching and volunteering at Baylor Scott & White in Temple.
Carla loves the close-knit community of El Paso and hopes to return one day as a physician in order to better serve her community. In the meantime, Carla hopes to represent El Paso and the Sun Court and be part of the amazing tradition as well as inspiring other girls just like her. Carla has a great appreciation for the city of El Paso for making her the person she is today and would be honored to represent them in this way.
Jaylene Placencia – 2019 Sun Princess
Jaylene Placencia is the daughter of Raul Placencia and Melissa Cortez, and she is a Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School graduate. Jaylene is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Upon graduation, Jaylene plans on pursuing a career in serving others in the medical field.
Jaylene has received several awards and recognition due to her academic success as a nursing student, receiving multiple scholarships. These scholarships include Mickey Solis “Nurses are Heroes” Scholarship, LULAC Council 8 Scholarship which gave her congressional recognition from Beto O’Rourke and finally the St. Anthony’s Knights of Columbus Scholarship. She has also earned 2nd place in two competitions for Health Occupation Students of America in Clinical Nursing.
Jaylene spends her time volunteering for a local non-profit organization El Paso Pro-Musica where she helps in various operations including guest artist hospitality, concert promotion and front house during concerts. On top of that Jaylene takes pride in volunteering with her church where she serves as a lector, confirmation teacher and general volunteer at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Jaylene strongly believes that beauty and poise do not depend solely on looks but on hard work and dedication to their future. Being part of the Sun Court will allow her to represent the beautiful city of El Paso and the Sun Bowl Association while bringing her message to young women in the community. Jaylene hopes to become a role model for students and members of the city.
Katlyn Crawford – 2019 Sun Princess
Katlyn Crawford is the daughter of Jeffery and Teresa Crawford. Katlyn is a graduate of Immanuel Christian School and is currently a Senior at the University of Texas at El Paso studying Nursing. Upon graduation from UTEP, Katlyn hopes to become an ER or ICU nurse.
Katlyn has shown great commitment to her nursing career since attending UTEP. She has spent time shadowing several nurses and physicians in the El Paso area. Because of her dedication to her academics, Katlyn was awarded the Nursing Program Summer Scholarship in 2018 and 2019. She has also previously served as an English tutor at El Paso Academy where she helped prepare students for both their classes and end of year exams. Additionally, Katlyn is a member of the Texas Student Nursing Association.
Katlyn is dedicated to the improvement of the El Paso community. She has logged over 300 volunteer hours, from completing screenings at the farmers market to helping with hygiene drives for the schools in El Paso. She has also volunteered with her church, helping build homes for underprivileged populations in El Paso.
Katlyn looks forward to the Sun Bowl every year. Going to the game has been a tradition for her family for several years. She is excited to represent the city of El Paso and help pave the way for future generations of girls in the Sun City.
Lauren Flores – 2019 Sun Princess
Lauren Flores is the daughter of Charles Lopez and Martha Luna-Lopez. She is a senior studying Kinesiology at the University of Texas at El Paso and a graduate of Chapin High School. Upon graduation, she is planning on pursuing a career as a physical therapist.
Lauren has been part of many organizations on campus such as Health Occupations for Students in America (HOSA), Pre-Physical Therapy Association, Kinesiology club and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). She is also a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity (ZTA), where she has served on both the Executive Committee as Panhellenic Delegate and the Judiciary Committee. As Panhellenic Delegate she serves as an ambassador for ZTA to the larger fraternity/sorority community.
Lauren is also heavily involved in volunteer work throughout El Paso, volunteering to help raise awareness about breast cancer and ovarian health via educational and recreational activities. She has also worked with the Hospitals of Providence, the El Paso Specialty Physicians Group and the Physical Fitness in the Golden Age fitness program.
Lauren has stated that the role of the Sun Court is to represent the city, its values and traditions. As a Sun Princess she wants to make sure that she does that, while also representing the strength of minorities, the dedication of a female leader and to embody the pride of the El Paso community.
Lindsey Myers – 2019 Sun Princess
Lindsey Myers, daughter of Russell and Norma Myers, is a junior at New Mexico State University studying Mechanical Engineering. She was born and raised in El Paso and is a graduate of Eastwood High School.
Lindsey began her college career at El Paso Community College, where she became a member of the UTEP Marching Miners. While at EPCC, Lindsey was inducted into the community college honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. With Phi Theta Kappa, Lindsey volunteered at many meeting and events including attending the Catalyst Convention last year. During this time, Lindsey worked as a Regional Leader for Cengage which allowed her to communicate, oversee, and travel with the company to better student’s college learning experience. She also had the opportunity to participate in a marketing campaign for Cengage learning in Boston.
While at New Mexico State University, she has had the chance to volunteer with the Women in STEM organization. She has volunteered at many events, such as the Girls Can Convention and the Space Fest, to help spark the excitement of the STEM field for women and younger generations.
As a proud El Pasoan, Lindsey has been representing her love for her hometown her whole life. She is very excited and honored to continue to represent the Sun City that she loves as a 2019- 20 Sun Princess.
Paige Dorsey – 2019 Sun Princess
Paige Dorsey is a junior majoring in Accounting and minoring in Finance at the University of Texas at El Paso. Paige is the daughter to David and Susie Dorsey and a graduate of Franklin High School.
Paige is a Miner Ambassador at UTEP, where she is a student leader who represents the University and helps out with a variety of events. Paige is also a member of the Accounting Society student organization. Her role in this organization is to spread awareness of business opportunities and accounting knowledge to all majors. Paige is also a piccolo player for the Symphonic Band at UTEP. Paige is also a tutor and teachers assistant in the accounting department of UTEP, aiding students and professors.
Paige also enjoys helping the El Paso community by volunteering for her alma mater, Franklin High School. She helps out with the band, graduation ceremonies, and aided in the coordination of prom.
Ever since Paige was a little girl, she looked up to the Sun Court and the women involved. Paige has so much pride for the city of El Paso, and stated that she cannot wait to share the diversity of people, friendliness, vibrancy, and the growth potential with all who visit as a member of the 2019- 20 Sun Court.
Mackenzie Cochran – 2019 Sun Princess
Mackenzie Cochran is the daughter of Dave Cochran and Elizabeth Acosta and a graduate of Coronado High School. Mackenzie is currently a Junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in biology and minoring in economics.
Since attending UTEP, Mackenzie has been involved in several areas of the University. She is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority where she has previously served as the chapter’s Volunteer Chair. She will be serving as the Director of Membership Enrichment for the upcoming school year. Mackenzie was also elected by her peers to serve as a Senator-at-Large in UTEP’s Student Government Association. She will be working on projects throughout the year to improve the overall student experience and campus life at UTEP. Mackenzie is also working with Miner Athletics as a Student Assistant where she assists in video production and graphic design.
Much of Mackenzie’s volunteer experience is with the Sun Bowl Association. She has previously volunteered with the Sun Bowl soccer tournament and was a member of the CBS Host Committee.
Mackenzie is a proud El Pasoan and believes that the Sun Bowl Association embodies a lot of what the Sun City is all about. She is looking forward to showcasing El Paso’s unique culture and landscape through her role on the Sun Court.