Miss UA crownedBy Patty Vaughan | 02/21/2010 11:32pm
Shellie Street, a junior from Mobile, was crowned the new Miss UA after a long process of facing five judges through a private interview, an on-stage question, and swimsuit, talent and evening wear competitions.
Street competed with 13 other girls: Martinique Gideon, Kristi Kelly, Brittany Powers, Hannah Muncher, Carly Evans, Brooke Johnson, Shawntae Johnson, Lisa Ledbetter, Ashley Brooke Wieronski, Melissa Lilly, Hilary Rubin-Holloway, Lori Kerr and Mallory Meissner.
As the 2010 winner, Street will receive a full-tuition scholarship for one year, two book scholarships and several other prizes. Last year, the prize package totaled more than $20,000.
In June, Street will also travel to Samford University in Birmingham to compete in the Miss Alabama pageant. If she wins that competition, she will represent Alabama in the Miss America pageant.
The runners up received prizes ranging from $100 to $400. The fourth runner-up was Kerr, the third runner-up was Ledbetter, the second-runner up was Wieronski and the first runner-up was Meissner.
Street also won the “Spirit of Alabama” award. Meissner won the swimsuit competition while Wieronski won the talent competition.
Jacqueline Shealy, a senior majoring in public relations, said the pageant is a good experience in general.
“Girls should participate because it really puts UA on the map,” Shealy said. “It’s just something great to do. I think it will help their future in whatever they want to do in life. So being able to have this great experience to back them up is great.”
Street will be responsible for representing many organizations through the University, pageant director Carol Wright said.
“She does a lot of public relations for the University with the alumni chapter and other organizations that we are called upon,” said Wright, who has led the pageant for 15 years. “She’s just available to anyone in college on the University campus, the administrators, anybody that is on her platform, which is a community service issue that she works with.”
People who attended or helped out with the pageant included Cristin Duren, who was the 2002 Miss UA winner and Miss Florida in the Miss America pageant, Anthony Williams from the television show “Project Runway” and Chris Rogers and Mike McCoy from the Alabama football team.
Shealy believed that it was important for students to come and watch the pageant.
“It’s important for students to come so they can support their fellow students,” Shealy said. “It’s a UA event, and these are girls who are putting themselves out there, so it’s just really important for students to come.”
Wright also said that it was good that students came out to support their peers in the pageant.
“[Students] need to support the winner, because she is a representative of the University for a whole year,” Wright said. “It’s important to come and see what these girls go through to compete strongly in a program like this because it’s not easy. I was talking to [Chris] Rogers, and we talked about how hard they had to work for the national championship. Well, these girls work, not to the extent of football players, but they’ve put in a lot of hours practicing interviews, working on their talent, and keeping their grades up.”