Since winning the Miss Mississippi pageant last June, Christine Kozlowski’s calendar has been full. Press conferences, special appearances and preparation for the Miss America competition have been an all-consuming task for the University of Southern Mississippi sophomore from D’Iberville.
All of her hard work and preparation culminates this weekend when Kozlowski takes center stage along with 51 other young women from across the nation at the 2009 Miss America pageant on Saturday, Jan. 24 in Las Vegas. The event airs at 7 p.m. on The Learning Channel.
Contestants have been in the spotlight leading up to the pageant, including in a reality series Countdown to the Crown, airing on The Learning Channel. The series followed the contestants while they lived together on the Queen Mary luxury ocean liner and engaged in a series of team and individual competitions to help them prepare for the pageant.
Viewers across America will have the opportunity to help select the contestants they think deserve to make it into the top 15 candidates via text messaging and voting on the channel’s Web site. Voting begins following the final episode that airs Jan. 23 at 10 p.m. Visit www.TLC.com/MissAmerica for more information.
Before leaving for the final competition, Kozlowski recently told The Vicksburg Post that she’s worked “24/7” to prepare for the pageant.
“I am naturally a very disciplined person, very hard working. I like to be pushed; I like when things are demanded of me – and not just as a pageant girl, but as a woman,” she told the newspaper.
A nutrition and dietetics major at Southern Miss, Kozlowski has made diabetes education and prevention her platform. She helped form Diabetes Advocates Nourishing Children’s Education (DANCE) to promote education about and prevention of the disease among young people. With her newfound celebrity status, she has more channels to deliver her message.
“Of course I want to win the title (of Miss America),” she said. “It would give me another year to dedicate to my platform and to promote the Children’s Miracle Network (the national platform for Miss America the last two years).”
“Christine is a person of great ability,” said Southern Miss Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul. “She’s a wonderful representative not only for Mississippi, but for the university as well. We're very proud and excited for her.”
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.