Isaias “Izzy” Miranda and Tabitha Sportsman were named Mr. and Ms. Lubbock Christian University for 2013. The two students were named Sunday night, April 14th, at the annual student awards banquet. In order to receive this award, LCU students nominate their peers. That list is then sent to LCU faculty, who pick three male candidates and three female candidates. The student body then votes on who should be named Mr. and Ms. LCU.
Izzy Miranda came from Clovis, New Mexico and majored in Youth and Family Ministry. Miranda was involved in cross country, track and choir while attending LCU. For Miranda, this opportunity allowed him to become an extension of the school across the country.
"Every time I was on the course, I gave it my all because I knew I was representing LCU," said Miranda.
LCU, for Miranda, has been a transformational experience. Initially, Miranda stated that he envisioned college as just a way to obtain a degree. However, because of the opportunities offered at LCU and the spiritual formation he experienced from the school, Miranda said that he has grown to become the man he is today, closer to God and congruent in every aspect of his life.
"LCU has given me opportunities to succeed in education, athletics, and choir ... God has blessed me with a Christian education that will last a lifetime," said Miranda.
For Miranda, the most life-changing experiences he has had at LCU have been with the people and friendships he has obtained on campus. The relationships he has gained from LCU will be ties he will maintain for years to come.
Upon graduation in May, Miranda hopes to return to LCU and pursue his Master's degree in counseling.
“I am honored to be selected as Mr. LCU. To be nominated along with the other two men was an honor, and to be selected was a greater honor,” said Miranda after being named Mr. LCU.
Tabitha Sportsman came to LCU from Ruidoso, New Mexico and majored in Art Education. Sportsman stated that LCU has been responsible for many life-changing experiences, including giving her a chance to develop relationships that will last a lifetime. She stated that some of the most life-changing moments she has experienced at LCU have been with her social club, Zeta Gamma. Sportsman also served as president of Zeta Gamma from 2012 to 2013.
Through hard times and happy times, Sportsman said she has learned a lot about how to be both a follower and a leader.
"Here I have developed relationships deeper than I ever imagined," Sportsman said about LCU. "My heart belongs to this university. I have poured my heart and soul into this place and I have been astronomically blessed because of it. Not only will I receive a diploma, but also I will have received preparation for life. I am the woman I am today because of my relationships at LCU and the experiences I had here."
Considering the future, Sportsman said, "I am ready to go wherever God sends me." Sportsman, once she graduates, expects to go to Nineveh. She knows that God is calling her to be an elementary art teacher and to minister to her students.
"LCU has been the cornerstone to my faith, education, and personal growth," Sportsman said. "I hold this university very close to my heart because the people here have invested as much in me as I have in them, and knowing that means the world. I will leave this place prepared for both my occupation and my life because the people here have invested as much in me as I have in them, and knowing that means the world."
Upon receiving this award, Sportsman said, "This year God has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I am honored to receive this award and grateful for the support and love of my LCU family."
Other candidates for Mr. and Ms. LCU were Alan Burow, Gary Head, Devon Langford, and Kristen Reid Vander-Plas.
Alan Burow came from Arlington and majored in Criminal Justice. While attending LCU, Burow served as Student Body President from 2012-2013. This experience allowed him to connect with a diverse set of groups and communities on campus while providing a voice for his fellow students to the university's administration.
Burow plans to leave for law school after graduation in May. His long-term goals include engaging in ministry to the under-privileged youth of the DFW area. Burow mentioned that without LCU, none of these opportunities would be possible.
From Flower Mound, Texas, Gary Head came to LCU and majored in Youth and Family Ministry. While here, Head said he was taught family values, true friendship, and the true meaning of love wrapped up in God. Moreover, Head found that LCU helped teach him the way of Christ and the way of the cross.
After graduation, Head plans to be married to his fiancé, Kayli Nelson, and enrolled in graduate school so that he might better learn how to serve the church. Looking back, Head remarked on how far he has come while on his journey at LCU.
Lubbock native, Devon Langford majored in music at LCU. During her time here she has participated in the choral, band and theater programs. Langford was also a member of LCU’s a cappella music group, Best Friends. Langford stated that some of her most life-changing experiences came as a result of going to LCU. Her parents are LCU alum Lisa (Gomez, ’83) Langford and former LCU faculty member, David Langford.
Langford is considering pursuing a master's degree in music one day. After this, she hopes to minister in Roswell, New Mexico through the gift of music and vocal performance.
Kristen Reid Vander-Plas is from Lubbock and majored in Humanities, Specialization, and Political Science at LCU, minoring in History, English, Law, and Government. While attending LCU, Vander-Plas has been involved in the University Honors program and has presented her research at national, regional, and local conferences.
Vander-Plas will be going to Texas Tech University School of Law in August of 2013. After graduating from law school, Vander-Plas plans to become a prosecutor with the Lubbock District Attorney's Office.
To see these students interviewed, please visit www.lcu.edu/mmlcu.