On September 24, 2016 Andrews University had its first ever Mr. and Ms. Andrews by way of a world pageant located at Berrien Springs High School. Pageantry is not a common practice in the Seventh-day Adventist community, whereas celebration of one’s cultural background is quite prominent. The pageant mixed these together for a very successful outcome. While there were mixed reviews about the concept, the feedback was generally favorable.
“I think the idea of a pageant at Andrews University was surprising, but their mix of culture is very clever and I was look forward to the show. I knew that my fellow Andrews students would bring their best,” Tia Jones (senior, business, pre-law) said.
The hosts of the show were well known students, Executive AUSA Vice President Jessica Yoong (junior, business management, pre-med) and Graduate Student Association President Mark Reid (second year, Master of Divinity).
Prior to the cultural celebration there was a food fair from 7 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. that consisted of different kinds of foods from all over the world, yet made right here in Berrien. The show started sharply at 8 p.m., starting with a welcome video to ease everyone into the atmosphere of the show. Shortly following the video, there was an African dance performance that was very well-received by the audience. The judges were then introduced, and the show began.
The first half of the show included contestant introductions and questions for the contestants. The contestants were as follows: Sharyl Cubero (freshman, biology, pre-med), representing Cuba, who recited a poem on her cultural identity; Joshua Pazvakawambwa (senior, engineering), representing Zimbabwe, who did a cooking segment; Clavour Tucker (second year, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts: Communication), representing Jamaica, who performed a medley of famous Bob Marley songs; Daniel Silva (freshman, English Language Institute), representative of Brazil, who did not do a cooking segment but prepared food for the judges; Yobela Joyfully Kumaseh (freshman, CIEP, nursing, music), representing Indonesia, who performed an a capella piece; Colby Maier (first year, Master of Divinity), representing Canada, who did an acoustic guitar piece; and Calvin Parinussa (junior, mathematics education), representing Germany, who sang the German National Anthem.
The second segment of the show highlighted the contestants’ talents. These performances were alternated with performances by Malaysian, Kenyan and Chinese groups.
“I had so much fun being able to witness the various cultures that exist here at Andrews. Each contestant brought their own spin to the event. My curiosity about this event turned out to be worth it,” Ludanne Francis (senior, English) said. “Hopefully they continue this for years to come.”
Shortly after the talent segment, Mr. and Ms. Andrews received their crowns. Cubero won the title of Miss Andrews, and Tucker won the title of Mr. Andrews.
“It was a very fun night,” Cubero said. “It was a lot of fun getting to talk to other participants about their cultures and whether or not they were nervous, especially about answering the questions. I was amazed by the various traditional outfits.”
Cubero added, “Winning was great because I got an Apple Watch. However, I did not see it coming because I did not really view the night as a competition. My friend recorded my reaction and you could see the confusion on my face. I do feel that ultimately everyone won because we were able to showcase our many cultures.”
Ultimately, the Mr. and Ms. Andrews Pageant allowed Andrews University students the opportunity to showcase their various cultures and talents. The Andrews University Student Association and Graduate Student Association, who sponsored the event, plan on adding this event to their annual event schedules, providing different Andrews University students to claim the Mr. and Ms. Andrews titles for years to come.