Office of University Communications & Marketing

Twelve Women to Compete for Miss UNA Title Jan. 22
Jan. 6, 2011



FLORENCE, Ala. – Twelve young women at the University of North Alabama will soon compete for the title of Miss UNA during the preliminary pageant Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in Norton Auditorium, where the winner will go on to represent the university, serve the UNA and Shoals communities and promote her platform.

The UNA Scholarship Pageant, which has been an annual tradition at the university for 36 years, is a preliminary to the Miss Alabama pageant. Former Miss UNA winners Pam Long (1974), Susie Vaughn (1975) and Pam Battles (1982) have gone on to win the Miss Alabama title and compete in the national Miss America pageant.

In addition to taking the Miss UNA title, the winner of the pageant will be awarded a full-tuition and book scholarship, as well as several other prizes. The first runner up will receive a scholarship that covers one half of her tuition, while the second and third runners up will receive scholarships covering one fourth of their tuition costs.

This year’s pageant theme is “All Glee-ked Out,” which was inspired by the Fox TV series “Glee” and was the idea of 2010 Miss UNA winner Erica Gholson.

The contestants in this year’s Miss UNA pageant are D’Aria Booker, of Huntsville; Paige Bowen, of Muscle Shoals; Emilee Crosswhite, of Decatur; Ann-Marie Hall, of Russellville; Traci Hite, of Cullman; Brandi Lewis, of Homewood; Jessica McElvey, of Cleveland; Norma Mills, of Cullman; Celia Prince, of Hoover; Katherine Purcell, of Trinity; Ann-Marie Russ, of Florence; and Claire Stewart, of Hazel Green.

“This pageant is really about the personal and professional development of the women competing in it,” said Cheryl Mathis, pageant director. “It’s beneficial in building confidence, interviewing skills and on how to speak publicly. These ladies who compete are put up there on stage and are expected to have enough poise and grace to speak confidently. The more dedicated they are, the more they get out of it.”

The pageant’s mistress of ceremonies will be 1997 Miss UNA winner Rachel Bobo Faulkner, a native of Florence and 1998 UNA graduate with a degree in public relations. Faulkner was the vice president of sorority Alpha Gamma Delta, a member of the LaGrange Society and a sweetheart of fraternity Sigma Chi. While at UNA, Faulkner competed four times in the Miss Alabama pageant and was a community service finalist and talent winner.

Faulkner worked as a pharmaceutical representative for Eli Lilly and Company out of college and was one of the youngest executive sales representatives in the company’s history. She also took home the President’s Council award, the company’s highest honor. She worked as the assistant director for Miss Tennessee Valley and judged several preliminaries. Faulkner is now the mother of two children, Davis and Campbell, and currently lives in Huntsville.

“Miss UNA is a local celebrity in this area,” said Jennifer C. Brown, assistant director with the UNA Office of Student Engagement. “She is a positive role model for girls. The pageant forces contestants to speak publicly, and that makes them feel like they can go on to tackle anything.”

Contestants will be judged on an interview, worth 25 percent; on-stage question, worth 5 percent; talent, worth 35 percent; evening wear, worth 20 percent; and lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, worth 15 percent.

Admission to the pageant is $12 for the general public and free to UNA students. Tickets will be available on the Office of Student Engagement Web site, www.una.edu/boxoffice, at the beginning of the spring semester. Free student tickets will be available in the Office of Student Engagement, GUC 107.

For more information, visit the Miss UNA and University Program Council Web sites at www.una.edu/missuna and www.una.edu/upc, or contact Mathis at 256-765-4248 or cmathis@una.edu.