Madelynn Barker received the title of Miss JSU, along with a yearlong tuition scholarship, during the 2016 Miss JSU Scholarship Pageant held in Leone Cole Auditorium on Friday, January 15.
She will go on to represent the university in the Miss Alabama Scholarship Pageant in Birmingham June 8-11. Each year, the Miss America Organization gives $45 million in scholarships and $500,000 through volunteer programs.
Malin Barber was named first runner up, and was the winner of the talent and swimsuit portion. She won a $1,000 scholarship and gift cards, along with $250 for winning the talent portion, and $100 for winning the swimsuit contest.
Barker was one of six girls competing for the crown.
The pageant kicked off with the ladies dancing, which was led by Cortlyn Watson, Miss JSU 2015. Following the dance, the candidates introduced themselves and then began to answer opening questions.
As a representative of JSU, Miss JSU is expected to be well spoken and up to date with current events.
The questions were randomly selected from a bowl. They centered on public policies and politics, and included topics such as guns on campus and the lottery.
When asked what she would do if she were elected the first female president of the United States, Barker said, “I would definitely help people understand the differences between different races and religions.”
In addition to the opening questions, the ladies also had individual interviews with the judges earlier in the day. After the questions there was a swimsuit round.
The swimsuit competition is one of the oldest competitions in the pageant. It helps the judges determine how the candidates handle awkward situations, along with their overall confidence and poise.
Following the swimsuits, the candidates then presented their talents. Dressed in white, Barker performed a ballet to Kari Jobe’s “Forever.” Other talents included jazz dance performances, singing and a performance of a monologue on feminism.
At the conclusion of the talent portion, there was a short intermission before the start of the evening wear.
Evening wear consisted of 20 percent of the candidate’s score, and gives them a chance to present their own personality while representing sophistication. The evening gowns varied in color and length, ranging from red and blues to black and whites.
The evening wear concluded the competition, and allowed Watson a chance to have her last walk as Miss JSU.
Watson was dressed in a long white gown, and thanked all of her friends and family for their support over the last year.
She also wished the best for the next Miss JSU, and was grateful for the chance to fulfill her dream of competing in the Miss Alabama Scholarship Pageant.