Alexis Stinson is the 2012 Miss WCU after participating in the annual pageant. The pageant was held on Saturday Feb. 4 in the Asplundh Concert Hall.
Stinson is a junior pharmaceutical products development major and an honors student. Her platform, Aid to South Africa, an honors college program that seeks to help end the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. In the talent portion, she played the piano and sang the song “A Thousand Miles.” She wore a white gown in the evening wear competition.
According to their website, Miss WCU is “held to recognize the WCU women in the areas of academics, service, school spirit, talent, leadership, and interview.” Founded in 1998 in the basement of Killinger Hall, the pageant has grown considerably in the past 14 years in contestant size and audience size.
The selection process mimics a job interview process. Individuals who are interested in participating fill out an application and a select few are chosen to compete. They are then asked to take part in an interview before the pageant which allows the judges to get a sense of their character and if they would make a good representative for the university.
The pageant is broken down into sections and those sections are scored individually to get the final total. Each contestant was interviewed for 10 minutes by the panel of judges before the pageant. The interview was worth 40% of the score.
After the performing together a group dance to open the show, the contestants participated in the casual wear portion. This section is worth 15% of their score.
The talent portion of the show is worth 25%. Each contestant performed a talent before the judges and the audience. Some of the talents were a jump rope routine, tae kwon do, cheerleading, Irish dancing, musical numbers, and many others. The contestants are judged on creativity, entertainment, and difficulty level.
Before the intermission and evening gown section, Miss WCU 2011, Kristin Hector, performed a dance to the poem “Phenomenal Woman.” Hector’s platform was No Body is Perfect and as Miss WCU, she held the mirror project and inner beauty talent show. As Miss WCU, she represented the university at many different events such as the Princess Tea and Story Time at the Chester County Library.
The evening gown and onstage question portions were held after the intermission. Contestants are asked one of their interview questions onstage and then they have the spotlight to show the judges their poise and confidence in their gowns. The gown portion is worth 15% of the final score and the onstage question is worth 15% as well.
As the judges narrowed down the list of 20 women to the top five, Miss WCU 2011 shared some reflections on her year as Miss WCU and the Mayor Carolyn Comitta of West Chester recognized Hector’s services to the community.
The top five contestants were named and asked a random question written by one of the other women. Judges were asked to pick the winner based on her ability to answer the question. This portion of the pageant was five percent of the overall score.
Each year, the audience is invited to vote for their favorite contestant by putting a slip in that contestants bowl in the lobby or by cheering. Many students showed their support by making shirts, wearing crowns, and holding up posters. The people’s choice winner was Abby Lim, a business management major.
The runners up were (in order), Michelle Strausvaugh, an elementary education major, Missi Kang, a secondary English major, Vika Mosuriak, a communicative disorders major, and first runner-up Cassie Juste, a finance and business management major.
Margaret Weaver is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at MW608077@wcupa.edu.