Beyond the Crown

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Dominique Harris, a double major in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology & Nutrition, isn’t just about winning crowns. As a member of the Ladies of GOLD and the 2023 Homecoming Queen, Dominique is passionate about public health and physical therapy.

Dominique Harris’s reign as 2023 Homecoming Queen was more than a fleeting moment in the spotlight. While she wore the crown with pride, Dominique’s ambitions extend far beyond the world of pageantry. As a double major in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology & Nutrition, she’s driven by a deep-seated passion for promoting health and wellness, fueled by her own experiences as a Lady of GOLD and a lifelong athlete.

Dominique’s journey at UTC wasn’t confined to classrooms and textbooks. UTC was her second home, and her dedication and skill were evident in her achievement as the first four-year member of the prestigious Ladies of GOLD team. “Joining the Ladies of Gold majorette team has been an incredibly rewarding journey, filled with growth, camaraderie, and unforgettable experiences,” Dominique reflects. “As the first four-year member of the team, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing its evolution and contributing to its legacy.”

Balancing academics, athletics and a commitment to community outreach wasn’t always easy, but Dominique thrived under pressure. “Being part of Ladies of GOLD wasn’t just about maintaining good grades and staying in shape,” Dominique explains. “It was about supporting each other, holding each other accountable, and using our platform to inspire younger athletes.”

Dominique is the epitome of grace, resilience, growth and compassion. From dance, to Homecoming Queen, to pageants, and everything in between—it’s so easy to support her because she works so hard. I can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes, and she deserves every bit of it!

Ashley McKnight

Head Coach

Ladies of GOLD

These experiences, coupled with the grueling demands of her athletic pursuits, solidified her desire to pursue a career that would bridge the gap between public health and physical therapy. “Performing at football and basketball games evokes a unique blend of excitement, pride, and adrenaline,” Dominique says of her time with the Ladies of GOLD. “The pulsating rhythm of the music, the roar of the spectators and the camaraderie among teammates create an atmosphere that’s nothing short of exhilarating.”

“There’s this disconnect between access to healthcare and the knowledge of how to prevent health problems in the first place,” Dominique observes. “I want to be part of the solution, particularly within underserved communities. I envision myself working with individuals who may not have access to proper healthcare or fitness facilities, promoting preventative care and utilizing physical therapy as a tool for overall well-being.”

UTC’s academic offerings provided Dominique with the perfect platform to explore her dual passions. Her coursework in Exercise Science delved into the intricacies of human movement, the science behind exercise physiology and the application of these principles to improve athletic performance and overall health. Meanwhile, her minor in Psychology and Nutrition allowed her to explore the emotional and dietary factors that contribute to physical health and well-being.

Looking ahead, Dominique’s plans are ambitious. She’s set to pursue a Master’s in Public Health, followed by a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. This combined expertise will equip her to tackle public health issues at a community level, promoting preventative care, creating accessible fitness programs and implementing evidence-based physical therapy interventions, all informed by her experiences as an athlete and a leader within the Ladies of GOLD program.

Support Mocs Like Dominique

Empower excellence and inclusivity in health and education. Your donation to the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies and the Ladies of GOLD fund supports programs that nurture and elevate students like Dominique. Help us provide scholarships and enhance student life experiences, ensuring a range of leaders are prepared to serve and succeed.