University of Arkansas – Fort Smith students Nina Echelle and Brent Goff, both of Stigler, Okla., were crowned Homecoming King and Queen as part of the university’s homecoming celebrations Feb. 25.

Echelle is the daughter of Jimmy and Rita Echelle and is a nursing major representing Gamma Phi Beta. Goff is the son of Daniel and Terry Castillo and is also a nursing major representing Kappa Sigma. The two were crowned during the basketball games held Saturday at the Stubblefield Center.

Both recipients said they were honored to receive the recognition.

“When I was nominated by my organization, the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, I already felt honored just to represent them,” Goff said. “Hearing my name being called as UAFS Homecoming King 2017 to represent our university was unreal. I love this campus and the students here are what make it great. I'm thrilled to have made proud and represent my Brothers of Kappa Sigma, my hometown of Stigler, Oklahoma, and this University.”

“When I first came to UAFS, I had no idea the impact this campus would have on me,” Echelle said. “Throughout my years here on campus, I have gotten to see the love that UAFS shows to its students. This campus is very personable, which is what I love most about it. I quickly got involved here at UAFS in different organizations, Gamma Phi Beta being the main one. When Gamma Phi Beta chose me to represent the organization in Homecoming, I was so shocked. Our moto is to strive to promote the highest type of womanhood, and to have these ladies choose me to do that meant so much to me. I am so honored to represent not only Gamma Phi Beta, but the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith as well. I plan to represent this campus with as much pride and love as it has shown me.”

Crown bearers were Cooper Holland, son of Todd and Jennifer Holland, and Anna-Kate Serna, daughter of Edward and Lauren Serna.

The king and queen were selected by student voting and personal interviews with a panel of judges. More than 1,500 students participated in the voting for Homecoming Court this year, according to Stephanie London, director of student activities. 

Additionally, six other UAFS students – four men and four women – were nominated to the homecoming court. Nominated students were Maddie Gilliam of Greenwood, representing Delta Gamma; Diana Gutierrez of Dardanelle, representing University Student Ambassadors; Austin Merriott of Hot Springs, representing Kappa Alpha Order; Mari Odake of Osake, Japan, representing Alpha Omicron Pi; Daniel Romo of Lavaca, representing Pi Kappa Phi; and Steven Stone of Stigler, Okla., representing Kappa Sigma.


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit


Article by John Post, Director of Public Information
Photo Credits: 
Photo by Rachel Putman, Photographer, Marketing and Communications Office
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
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