Hofstra University’s Homecoming Queen Hanna Knuuttunen is ready to head back to her hometown in Sandown, New Hampshire for the Thanksgiving holiday. The 21-year-old TV production major and drama minor just landed an internship with Sesame Workshop’s Domestic TV Distribution Department, which she’s excited to begin in January 2015.
I got to catch up with Hanna on campus to talk about the Fall Showcase, her post-grad plans and where she keeps that gorgeous crown.
Me: Where are you from?
Hannah Knuuttunen: I’m from Sandown, New Hampshire, a very small New Hampshire town.
Me: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
HK: Passionate, motivated and genuine.
Me: Are you involved in any campus clubs?
HK: I’m the president of Alpha Phi, and I’m also the president of Sigma’capella, which is a co-ed a capella group. I’m an RA in the Netherlands Hall and I’m in She’s the First.
Me: What did your friends and family say when you told them you were going to be part of the showcase?
HK: They were very excited for me. They were all very supportive as well and super excited to see what I came up with. My mom was constantly calling me and was like “Oh, so did you decide what you’re doing? You need to get it on video to show me!”
Me: Did you think you were going to win? At what point did you feel that you could actually win Homecoming Queen?
HK: I was so nervous the entire time. I had no idea. It was great because I feel like every girl that was up on stage is a leader in so many different things on campus and we’re all so unique. So it could of been any one of us. During the showcase I had such a blast and I had a huge group of friends that came out to support me so that made me feel a little more comfortable. But until the second my name was called I had no clue.
Me: What went through your mind when the crown was being placed on your head?
HK: I just couldn’t stop smiling! It was so exciting. It was President Stuart Rabinowitz that crowned me so I was like ‘This is so cool.’ It’s such an incredible honor to be Homecoming Queen at Hofstra. It’s something that you should really cherish and be honored that it happened to you because it means that you’re involved and you’re respected by not only your peers, but administration. I was happy that everyone was supporting me and it was such a great moment. Definitely one of the best moments so far.
Me: Where do you put the crown when you’re not wearing it?
HK: I have a bookshelf in my room, and one of my residents actually came in and re-did my bookshelf and set my crown and sash. She made a pretty display for it so it’s just sitting on the bookshelf.
Me: What do you like to do for fun?
HK: I love theater. I like singing, dancing and acting. I live for that. Anything to do with performing really. I just love being able to be in front of people and talking to people and making them laugh or whatever it may be. I love writing scripts. Like, one act plays. Not necessarily stories or essays, but I love creating dialogue.
Me: What’s your favorite film?
HK: I love West Side Story. That might be a classic for me.
Me: What are your plans after graduating in May?
HK: I want to travel. I would love to take a year off and just go everywhere I can and not have a set plan. Like, just save up and go to one place and take a plane to the next place and just keep going. It’s gonna be a lot of money. I’d have to save but that would be the dream. I would also love to go to grad school, potentially, or just work in the city.
Me: Who is your female role model?
HK: This is probably so cliché, but definitely my mom. She’s the reason that I’m the person that I am today because every single thing I’ve done, every club, group or rehearsal I’ve had since I was in elementary school, she’s supported me through and she’s been the thing that always keeps me going. If I’m upset about something she’s the one to remind me why I’m here doing what I do and why I can achieve whatever I’m trying to achieve. She is, without a doubt, the reason I have accomplished anything that I’ve accomplished.
Me: What is your life motto?
HK: I actually got this from a fortune cookie once, and I wrote about it in an essay: You can’t have a beautiful ending without making a few beautiful mistakes.
Check out some of Hanna’s work below!