UTSA anthropology major Alexis Harris named new face of Cover Girl

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KENS-TV’s Eileen Teves (left) with UTSA student Alexis Harris on the set of “Great Day SA”

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(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.

>> Learn more about the SMIILE Movement.