Skip to content
Search Icon

Five SMSU Students Participate in Aquatennial Ambassador Program

Published Tuesday, July 18, 2023

L-R: Angulo, Longtin, Pauling, Paulson, Walz
L-R: Angulo, Longtin, Pauling, Paulson, Walz

The Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) is excited to announce that SMSU students Justine Angulo of Granite Falls, Miranda Longtin of Starbuck, Kassey Pauling of Montevideo, Lillian Paulson of Winthrop, and Savannah Walz of New London are participating in the AAO Candidate Program from July 17 through July 23. 

This year, 41 candidates are participating in the program; one young woman is chosen to be the Queen of the Lakes, and two women are chosen as Princesses. The selection team considers a variety of criteria including professionalism, public speaking ability, current and future goals, education, and co-curricular/extracurricular activities. In addition to the interview process, the candidates also participate in leadership, personal development, and other unique experiences. These experiences include visiting Minneapolis hallmarks like The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, the Stone Arch Bridge, and the Minneapolis City Center.

Community members are invited to cheer on their community representative at the traditional Meet the Candidates event, taking place on Wednesday, July 19 at the Minneapolis City Center Rotunda from 9:30 to 11:30 AM.

The week culminates with the Coronation of the 2024 Aquatennial Ambassadors at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus on Saturday, July 22 at 4PM with a reception an hour prior.  

Community members are encouraged to send well wishes to their candidate at the Hilton Garden Inn - University Area, 511 Huron Blvd, Minneapolis MN 55414 (indicate they are an AAO Candidate); Jandrich Floral will also provide a 15% discount to all orders for AAO candidates. 

Learn more about the SMSU students below:

Justine Angulo of Granite Falls, Minn.
I'm currently pursuing a degree in business and marketing at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, with the aim of opening my own business and making a difference in my community. Back in high school, I was a student who participated in various activities like Concert Choir, Concert Band, Track and Field, Dance Team, drum line, and prom committee. I also spent my weekends volunteering to clean churches, attending social events, and working fundraisers for different groups. Despite my uncertainty, I managed to stay focused, work, and spend quality time with my family during my freshman year in college. I love reading, outdoor activities, sharing my love for the Lord, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Miranda Longtin of Starbuck, Minn.
I represent the Starbuck Heritage Days as their Miss Minnewaska Queen! I am planning on attending Southwest Minnesota State University, to major in environmental sciences! Throughout my high school career, I was greatly involved in the school's music department, participating in both band, choir, and various jazz choirs from 7th to 12th grade. Alongside being involved in music, I competitively swam from 8th to 12th grade, and participated in track and field this past school year! A few hobbies of mine include listening to music, random shopping trips, and being active outside! If given the opportunity to represent the Minneapolis Aquatennial, I would welcome the opportunity to establish relationships with other ambassadors from all over, no matter how near or far. If I were to be honored with the ability to represent the Minneapolis Aquatennial, I would certainly look forward most to the chance to reach unknown possibilities, push myself outside of my comfort zone, and develop new skills and experience that accompany the ambassadorship!

Kassey Pauling of Montevideo, Minn.
I am currently attending Southwest Minnesota State University for a degree in Agribusiness Management. Agriculture has always been something I am passionate about. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, riding horses, and volunteering as a youth softball coach.

Lillian Paulson of Winthrop Minn.
I will be attending Southwest Minnesota State University for Elementary Education with the goal of one day becoming a school administrator. During high school, I was a big part of theater. I was in every production possible starting freshman year. This includes three one-act plays, three skits, and three musicals. I was in the National Honor Society and Student Council. I worked with the Winthrop Lions Club and volunteered with their group. Currently, I work at my local grocery store, and in my free time I like hanging out with family, reading, and watching movies. If selected, I am looking forward to traveling around the country and showing how amazing Minnesota is.

Savannah Walz of New London, Minn.
I am currently attending Southwest Minnesota State University for a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I enjoy working as a substitute paraprofessional at Prairie Woods Elementary. In my free time I like to go on walks, bake, sing, dance, and spend time with my friends and family. I volunteer my time whenever I get the chance. Recently, I have been helping chaperone the 2023-2024 New London Ambassador candidates. If I am selected as an Aquatennial Ambassador, I am looking forward to inspiring the younger generation. I want to encourage kids to be a leader in their own community and be genuinely good. When an individual looks at me, I want to be the spark that gets them whenever they are meant to end up. I want to be the reason that they smile because everybody deserves to find happiness. To find my own happiness in the program I am going to actively learn new things and build relationships with those around me. I want to keep working hard to achieve my goals and strive to be the best version of myself.

SMSU is proud to have five student representatives in the candidate program for the Aquatennial. We wish them all the best of luck.

Photos provided by the Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization.

Related Articles