Mr. and Miss SFA announced

Logan Ray, senior education major from Lubbock, and Rachel Ballback, senior health science major from The Woodlands, are the new Mr. and Miss SFA. The Mr. SFA title was established in honor of the late Stan McKewen, a 1934 SFA graduate. The Miss SFA title was established in honor of Arnodean Covin, who was named Miss SFA in 1940, 1941 and 1942.

 

Logan Ray, senior music education major from Lubbock and Rachel Ballback, senior health science major from The Woodlands, have been named the 2020 Mr. and Miss SFA. The students will be honored during halftime at the SFA men’s basketball game against Sam Houston State University at 4:30 p.m. on March 7.

Ray is a recipient of the Stan McKewen Mr. SFA award. He currently serves in many leadership roles on campus, such as orientation student coordinator. He is also an orientation leader and the recruitment chair of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Ray is also a member of the SFA A Capella Choir and the University Opera. Jamal Smith, director of orientation programs and SFA alumnus, nominated Ray as Mr. SFA.

“I first met Logan when he interviewed to be an orientation leader back during Fall 2017,” Smith said. “I sat in on his interview and immediately knew that he would become a standout member of the orientation staff that upcoming summer.”

Smith said Ray demonstrated leadership and communication skills, as well as love for SFA.

“On a personal note, he has been extremely trustworthy and dependable as an [orientation student leader] and a friend,” Smith said. “I nominated him because I believe he truly embodies the qualities of Mr. SFA.”

Ray said that he feels that it’s important for whoever Mr. SFA is to have a good relationship with different organizations on different aspects of campus.

“It’s important for me to make sure I’m impacting everybody and helping everybody as much as I can, so viewing orientation and being involved in different aspects of campus helps me reach different people,” Ray said.

After his interview for Mr. SFA, Ray said he went back to his office at Orientation Programs. Later, he got a phone call from Smith.

“He said, ‘I’m really excited to tell you that you got Mr. SFA,’” Ray said. “It was just a rush of emotions, because he likes to mess with me. It was really special that he got to tell me in person instead of texting me.”

Ray said he looks up to Smith, as Smith was Mr. SFA in 2011.

“I never really saw myself as Mr. SFA,” Ray said. “But, ever since being involved, I have a lot of pride for SFA. It means a lot because I’m eight hours from home, but it feels like home. It means that I feel like I’ve done right by SFA. It’s rewarding. It’s really cool to join the club with people like Jamal and Seville. It’s real special.”

Ray would like to attend grad school for higher education and student affairs. His ultimate goal is to work as a student affairs professional.

Ballback is the recipient of the Arnodean Covin Miss SFA Award. She is currently the executive director of internal relations for the SFA Dance Marathon and is a member of Dancers Against Cancer. Ballback was also in the Freshman Leadership Academy and a Jack Camp Counselor. She was also involved in Hunger Jacks and the Speech Language Hearing Association.

“I’ve loved every minute and being at SFA,” Ballback said. “It’s been such a great experience for me, especially going into college. I was scared since I didn’t have anyone that I knew that was coming here. It’s definitely been an eye-opening experience for me and being able to meet people from different backgrounds has been awesome.”

Dr. Adam Peck, dean of student affairs, nominated Ballback for Miss SFA and said he first met her during her freshman year.

“She was involved in the Freshmen Leadership Academy,” Peck said. “She was a leader in our project that year, and her positive attitude really stood out. When she got more involved in our Dance Marathon program, I really got to know her better. Again, she is so passionate about serving others.”

Peck said that Rachel exemplifies the qualities that the University seeks in a Miss SFA candidate.

“When I looked at her involvement on campus, I noticed a common theme that literally leaps from the page: her heart for serving others,” Peck said. “It is really clear that she deeply cares about and is passionate about serving others. Even in her spare time, she teaches fitness classes at the Nacogdoches Senior Center.”

Ballback said that being involved on campus is important and that it helps people want to stay in school.

“I recommend people getting involved,” Ballback said. “It helps you not only appreciate the University itself, it helps you meet different people from different backgrounds that you would never have met before.”

Ballback said she was at home with her dog when Smith called her to tell her she was the new Miss SFA.

“I was really thankful for the opportunity to represent such an amazing University,” Ballback said. “I was like, ‘Thank you so much!’”

For Ballback, Miss SFA means that she’s able to represent a University that has given so much to her.

“Being able to give back is my main reason being involved on campus,” Ballbacksaid.

After graduation, Ballback would like to attend grad school to study occupational therapy. She would like to later become a neonatal therapist.

Raquel Torres began working at The Pine Log her sophomore year at Stephen F. Austin State University. During her time at The Pine Log, Raquel has served in positions including Contributing Writer, Staff Writer, Social Media Editor, Web and Content Editor.

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