Livingston, Ala. — The candidates hold a bouquet of red roses from the university; however, each looks to the girl who stands beside her. Five girls wait for the drawn out announcement, anxious, nervous, and hopeful their name will be read. The crowd of students for the Serendipity talent show has packed into the Hughes Recreation Center. However, the once noisy gym quieted with the announcement, “And, your 2014 UWA Homecoming Queen is….”

Hughes Recreation Center erupted with screams as students cheered for their newly crowned Homecoming Queen, Tamara Smoot.

In fact, as the rest of the crowded cheered, Smoot tried to hold back tears. From the stage, she could hear several students calling her name and yelling, “Congratulations, Tamara!”

“I could hear the distinct voices of my friends calling to me, which made me chuckle as they placed the crown on my head,” said Smoot. “On one hand, I was excited to be the Homecoming Queen, but on the other, I was shocked to have received the title. I feel truly honored and humbled to be chosen by the student body.”

The senior from Talladega spends her leisure time reading books, watching movies, exercising, playing with her dogs, traveling, and volunteering for charities.

Smoot participates in Alpha Epsilon Delta, Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Beta Beta, Blue Key Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, People Against A Littered State, Resident Assistant, Senator of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Student Support Services. Smoot also serves as the vice president of Tri-Beta and president of PALS.

“Tri-Beta, along with Dr. John McCall’s support and positive encouragement, sponsored my campaign for the title,” said Smoot. “Since freshman year, I have held three positions in the biological honor society and had amazing experiences while making unforgettable friends. My sincerest gratitude to Tri-Beta.”

Smoot lacked no confidence with her campaign slogan, “Vote Class! Vote Glam! Vote Tam!”

With the title of Queen, Smoot hopes to achieve countless positive acts.

“After I was crowned, two women brought over their daughters and asked if the young girls could pose in a picture with me,” Smoot said. “I was so elated and honored when they stepped in front of me, I placed my crown on their heads in the picture. The simple act of the crown atop their heads made their night and I was overjoyed to witness them so ecstatic and feeling special. It was a beautiful moment.“

Daughter of April Truss and Steven Fomby, Smoot laughed and said, “My family was extremely proud and overjoyed. They still cannot seem to stop bragging to anyone who will listen.”

Smoot admits that running for homecoming queen was out of her element. Usually, she relates to academic fields, which involve intimate groups. However, Smoot passionately felt she could accomplish her goals. She felt the student body could be proud of choosing her as a representative. Smoot described her support to be “ineffable” from the students.

“Livingston is a modest place, but I feel I have accomplished a plethora of goals at the university and I have had multiple opportunities, which I could not receive at other places,” Smoot said. “I have been able to form extraordinary relationships with my professors and network with a mass of different people. I love it here.”

The queen has been at the university for four years, and after graduation, she plans to enlist in the Peace Corps, attend graduate school, and apply for internships related to her biology field.

Overall, Smoot saw the position of queen as an opportunity instead of looking at the campaign as a competition. “Women empower each other. Women are beautiful, unique beings in our own way, and I was honored to be nominated amongst the other four candidates,” Smoot said. “The chance to run is a chance not all girls receive, which was exceptional and quite humbling.”

Smoot wants to encourage women wanting to run for homecoming queen to act on their dreams. “Don’t let anything stop you, not personal insecurities nor fear of rejection. Be yourself and be beautiful.”

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