(March 27, 2013) -- It will be an April to remember for Alexis Harris, a junior anthropology major in the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts. The new face of Cover Girl, an 18-year-old, will participate in a photo shoot with talk show host-comedienne Ellen DeGeneres.
Harris was selected as the Cover Girl model search winner among 20,000 entrants nationwide. The surprise announcement came as Harris and her family members were in the studio audience watching a taping of the "Ellen" show.
In addition to the modeling contract, Harris received a check for $20,000 that she will use to help build the nonprofit SMIILE (Students Making Impact In Lives Everywhere) Movement, which she founded last summer in Killeen.
The organization helped collect food to distribute to the less fortunate in soup kitchens and assisted needy Killeen families with collection drives for clothing and school supplies. Harris hopes the movement can help various San Antonio organizations in need including Haven for Hope.
In a recent appearance on the KENS TV morning show "Great Day SA," she spoke with host Eileen Teves about the Cover Girl competition and the SMIILE Movement.
"It's really about making a difference as a young person," said Harris. "Standing up for what's right and giving back to your community, any way you can… we just want to set the example for other young people in the way we conduct ourselves."
A devoted "Ellen" show viewer, Harris submitted her video shortly after an announcement on the show that the nationwide model search was underway.
"I have always wanted to be a model, but put that dream aside to start the SMIILE Movement and pursue it whole-heartedly," said Harris.
In addition to studying anthropology and pursuing a modeling career, Harris aims to earn a doctoral degree in public policy so she can work with legislators to help impact the lives of other people.
"I want to give rights to those who don't have any and help to implement laws for those who are less fortunate," she said.
The Killeen native is no stranger to multi-tasking. Before enrolling at UTSA, she completed coursework at two community colleges and earned her associate"s degree before graduating from high school.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
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