A last-minute decision to enter the Miss Collegiate America Pageant nearly resulted in a crowning for former University of Southern Mississippi student Christine Kozlowski, who captured the first runner-up spot in the annual competition held March 7-10 in San Antonio, Texas.
Kozlowski, a d’Iberville, Miss., native, was initially helping state directors recruit young women for the pageant before becoming interested herself in competing just a few weeks before the Miss Collegiate Mississippi contest last September. A victory there led her to the national event.
She vividly recalls the nervous excitement of clasping hands with Miss Minnesota’s Haley O’Brien, who ultimately took home the Miss Collegiate America title.
“It was such an honoring to be standing there in that moment. The possibilities of what may happen if I were to win were racing through my mind,” said Kozlowski. “It all happened so quickly, but I would be lying if I didn’t say a part of me wanted to win. However, I believe in God’s plan for the winner and his plan for me, and I am content in knowing that.”
Kozlowski, 23, is no stranger to the pageant scene. In 2009 she represented Mississippi in the Miss America Pageant and even captured a preliminary event – the swimsuit competition.
She is currently taking a short break from her studies in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Southern Miss to work on a movie project in Mobile, Ala. Kozlowski plays the role of Maryanne in the suspense thriller “The Phoenix Rises.”
“I am nine hours short of graduation and will re-enroll when the opportunity allows,” she said. “My goals are to make a living as an actor. I have come to love this field and although it is a difficult road to travel, it has become a passion. Performance has always been my life, and it is what feeds my soul.”