The UTSA Black Student Union (BSU) collaborated with UTSA University Center Programs to host the 5th Annual Miss What A Woman Pageant on December 4th at 7pm in the UC Ballroom. The event was open to the entire UTSA community.
The UTSA Black Student Union was founded in November of 1997 and was established to provide a network that encourages the success of African American students by providing the necessary tools for a successful college and post-graduate career. BSU‘s goal is to provide a sense of community and belonging, build new friendships; ultimately creating a bridge of unity among all people of African descent on the campus of University of Texas at San Antonio.
The annual event is dedicated to spreading cultural and community awareness while also producing an entertaining, educational, and engaging opportunity for the UTSA community. This year’s pageant coordinators requested the collaboration with UC Programs because they wanted to take the pageant to the next level, increase campus wide participation, and encourage more diversity among contestants and audience members.
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Prior to the actual pageant, contestants are interviewed before 5 judges which included the 2013 Miss What a Woman, Kenricka Miles and the 2012 Mr. What a Man, Nathan McDuell. At the pageant, five UTSA women competed for the crown of Miss What A Woman and the $500 scholarship. According to pageant coordinators, the title represents class, dignity, and ultimately what a woman should and can represent in the community. The pageant is designed to showcase the unique personalities, talents, and strengths of its contestants while also recognizing the need for equality among the genders.
Contestants opened the show with an introductory dance choreographed by UTSA student Kamilah Avery. They displayed their talents, took part in the Princess in Me and Winter Wonderland casual dress showcase, and participated in a question and answer session. There will be special performances by the BSU Dance Team and the University Center Programs Poetry Slam Jam first-prize winner and UTSA Student Jonathan David Jones.
“The vision for the future of the Miss What A Woman pageant, now in its fifth year, is that it will educate and showcase the unique culture of each contestant while also spreading awareness within other organizations throughout UTSA,” said one of the pageant coordinators Kelsey Hillis, a senior psychology major. “The Miss What A Woman Pageant strives to showcase not only the beauty and elegance of its contestants but their integrity and intelligence as well."
Ashley La Fleur was crowned the 2014 Miss What A Woman. Ashley is a UTSA senior (graduating on Dec. 19th!) studying communication. The platform she presented at the pageant was called C.A.R.E., which stands for Creating, Awareness, Responsibility, and Empathy. Ashley has been an engaged UTSA student and has served her community as a Resident Assistant, as the President of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, and a member of VOICES. She has already been offered professional opportunities prior to graduation, one as a college admissions counselor for a San Antonio high school, another with Union Pacific and one with the New York Life Insurance Company.
The pageant team is thankful for donations from the following people and organizations in order to make the pageant a reality: The UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion for providing décor, the Alpha Delta Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, the Omicron Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Mrs. KyJunta Hilis, Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, and photographer Melvin Fudge for their donations towards the scholarship and the pageant.
For more information about this program, please contact UC Progams or call us at 210-458-5099.
UC Communications & Programs