Alisha Lee, a sophomore from Salt Lake studying social work, was crowned Miss UVU at the Miss UVU Scholarship Pageant on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the UCCU Center. With 20 contestants, the pageant was the largest in UVU history.
Lee’s new court includes Samantha Cummings, first runner-up; Bri Sorenson, second runner-up; Shannon Oveson, third runner-up and Rachel Kearl, fourth runner-up. Other titles awarded were Miss Congeniality or “Spirit of Pageant,” earned by Haelly Kirk; “Miracle Maker” to Shannon Oveson and “People’s Choice” to Bri Sorenson.
Lee will represent UVU for the 2011-2012 school year and will receive a $3,800 scholarship in addition to a $200 gift from the UVU Bookstore. The runners-up will each receive a $1,600 scholarship and a $100 gift from the Bookstore.
To begin the show, each contestant, decked in sparkling silver and white, participated in a dance on stage. The audience then watched a pre-recorded video of each girl sharing a little about herself. The comments that stood out were service oriented or about UVU.
Lee talked about having great teachers and fun learning opportunities, like attending the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” presentation. Another contestant, Kimberly Frandsen, talked about the great open enrollment policy at UVU.
Next, the ladies completed the swimwear portion of the competition. It’s not easy to wear a swimsuit and heels in front of hundreds of people, but the girls smiled and looked fantastic.
After swimwear, each competitor got a chance to showcase her talent. Lee performed an impressive jazz dance to the song “Proud Mary.” Cummings hit notes as high as Mariah Carey in her vocal talent, while Sorenson danced beautifully in a flowing white costume. Oveson performed amazingly on the marimba, and Kearl played a complicated piano piece.
Other talents of interest included an artistic showcase by Jorden Hobush, where she sketched Michael Jackson to the tune of “Smooth Criminal,” and Megan Palhum’s impressive tumbling routine to “Thunderstruck”.
After the talent portion, the contestants answered questions involving current events. When asked how she could help others dealing with domestic violence, Lee talked about giving women empowerment, letting them know that they are of worth and are strong enough to break the violence cycle. “I realized this was how I can make a difference,” Lee said, referring to the competition.
Lee also said she would love to graduate with a degree in social work and take her platform of helping others in domestic violence to the next level. She wants to “make a difference in the life of teens.” With sparkling eyes and a fabulous smile, she said to the student body (and to the world, for that matter), “Get ready, I’m coming!”