Office of University Communications & Marketing

MISS UNA TO BE CROWNED JAN. 17
Jan. 12, 2009



FLORENCE, Ala. — Twenty-one young women will compete for the crown of Miss University of North Alabama 2009 and a chance to represent the university in the Miss Alabama Pageant when the Miss UNA Scholarship Pageant takes place Jan. 17 in Norton Auditorium.

The doors will open at 6 p.m., ad the pageant will begin 7 p.m. The contestants are Erin Dulaney, of Cullman; Katherine Purcell, of Trinity; Jamie Brooks, of Clay; Valerie Jones, of Hanceville; Chelsea Murdock, of Muscle Shoals; Chanda Berryhill, of Killen; Lakesha Moore, of Loretto, Tenn.; Breann Boughton, of Killen; Emilee Crosswhite, of Decatur; Erica Gholson, of Springville; Tori Barrentine, of Madison; Cayla Buttram, of Trinity; Laura Milligan, of Muscle Shoals; Lakeva Casey, of Muscle Shoals; Victoria Vaughn, of Blountsville; Holli Jacobs, of Double Springs; Jessie Robinette, of Tuscumbia; Jade Tarpley, of Falkville; Ashley Sheehy, of Harvest; Arrie Moore, of Birmingham; and Maggie Bea Dawsey, of Sheffield.

The evening’s mistress of ceremonies will be Deborah Rogers Ford, of Birmingham. A native of Athens, Ford graduated from UNA in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She later attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she earned master’s degrees in education and special education. Ford spent nearly 20 years as an alternative school teacher and physical education teacher.

In 1996, she founded GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) Inc., a merchandising company specializing in women’s apparel. In 1998, her company was named the 38th fastest growing company in America by Entrepreneur Magazine. She is the author of four books about life, love, friendships and other home comforts of the South. Her first book, “The GRITS Guide to Life,” was named the 2004 South Eastern Book Sellers Association Non-Fiction Book of the Year and a New York Times Best Seller. She is a member of the Penguin Putnam Speakers Bureau and a regular columnist for Ya’ll Magazine.

The Miss UNA Scholarship Pageant is an official preliminary for the Miss Alabama and Miss America pageants. The pageant has been a UNA tradition for 33 years. It provides an opportunity for the university’s young women to compete for scholarship funding and prizes.

Each contestant is encouraged and mentored to develop skills that will enrich her personal and professional life beyond her university experience. Miss UNA spends her year in service to the university and Shoals area community. She promotes the platform of her choice, makes official appearances as a university representative and represents the university at the Miss Alabama Pageant.

Categories in which the contestants will be judged include an interview session, worth 25 percent of an individual’s score; an on-stage question, worth 5 percent; a talent portion, worth 35 percent; evening wear, worth 20 percent; and lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, worth 15 percent.

Admission to the event is $10 for the general public and free to UNA students. Tickets are available at the UNA Office of Student Engagement and will also be available at the door. For more information, contact Angel Wilkes, UNA coordinator of programming, at 256-765-4248 or awilkes@una.edu.

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