(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.
UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.
That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.
Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.
Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.
This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
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