Nov. 3, 2004 – The candidates for this year's Miss University of the Virgin Islands include a future medical doctor, an aspiring actress and a future international resort executive.
Vying for the coveted title are Shakima Stoutt, Khalilah Gordon and Tamica Lawrence. They'll be showing their talents and skills Saturday in the annual pageant at the Reichhold Center for the Arts.
"These students are particularly high achievers in terms of how well they're doing in college and their chosen areas," Junie Violenes, student activities supervisor, said. "The lowest grade point average among them is 3.45. I'm expecting a very good show in terms of their ability to handle themselves."
Stoutt is the 2000-2001 Miss British Virgin Islands and represented the BVI at the Miss Universe Pageant. She has an associate's degree in business administration from H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. At UVI she is a junior enrolled in the pre-medical technology program. Stoutt plans to become a gynecologist and open a women's health facility in the BVI. She is the president of Alpha Mu Gamma foreign language honor society, a Student Government Association junior senator and a member of Rotaract Club.
Gordon is a senior pursuing a bachelor's degree in speech, communications and theatre. She plans to become an actress. Gordon is an officer and member at several UVI organizations, including the Golden Key honor society, Righteous Instruments of Truth, Alpha Mu Gamma and the Residence Hall Judicial Council. She is also a senior senator of the Student Government Association and the secretary of the 2005 UVI senior class. During her spare time Gordon enjoys meeting new people of various backgrounds, writing poetry, playing steel pan and volunteering.
Lawrence, a former Miss Nevis, is now a sophomore pursuing a double major in business management and hotel and restaurant management. Her career goal is to open a hotel chain and expand it regionally, then internationally. When she isn't studying, Lawrence can be found listening to music, playing netball or designing and sewing clothes.
The contestants will be judged modeling professional wear and evening wear, and in a talent competition. The areas weighed most heavily are the pre-pageant interview, a question and answer segment and ambassador presentation.
The winner receives a full scholarship that includes tuition and room and board for the year of her term. She also serves as a goodwill ambassador for the university, assists with recruitment efforts and implements a platform.
"I think any of them would make a good representative for the institution," Violenes said. "This is one of those times when you wish each of them could get something. Whatever they do, they will all do well in life."
The pageant is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on the St. Thomas campus. Tickets are $12 for uncovered seats, $15 for covered. Student tickets are $10 for uncovered seats, $12 for covered.
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