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Kelsey Cummings wins Miss UNCP 2013

By Nikki Scott
Photo Editor

February 8, 2013


Photo by Nikki Scott
Miss UNCP 2012 Jocelyn Hunt, left, crowns graduate student Kelsey Cummings with the Miss UNCP 2013 crown.

Miss UNCP 2012 Jocelyn Hunt crowned graduate student Kelsey Cummings the 61st Miss UNCP Scholarship pageant winner on Jan. 31.

As Miss UNCP, Cummings won a $2,000 scholarship, $500 wardrobe allowance, free student housing and a meal plan for the 2013-2014 year and a class ring certificate from Jostens and the UNCP Bookstore.

'The winner will go on to represent the community and university as a good will ambassador,' Mistress of ceremonies Michelle Braxton said.

The Contestants

  • Comfort Johnson, 21, a junior mass communication major from Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Kyler Williamson, 19, a sophomore nursing major from Shelby, N.C.
  • Ashley Williams, 20, a junior social work major from Charlotte, N.C.
  • Brandi Chavis, 20, a junior elementary education major from Lumberton, N.C.
  • Halbreonda McNeil, 19, a sophomore psychology major from Kannapolis, N.C.
  • Shenetta Monk, 22, a senior digital art major from Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Kelsey Cummings, a graduate student working toward her Masters in Art and Music from Pembroke, N.C.


  • The contestants competed in four phases of on-stage competition: on-stage question, casual wear, artistic expression and talent and the presence and poise in formal wear competitions.

    The on-stage question was the first phase in which the women competed and was worth 5 percent of the total score. Each answered two questions for the judges to consider her interpersonal skills and determine her ability to motivate the community through her leadership and initiative in her platform.

    Cummings wowed the audience with her answer during the on-stage portion when Hunt asked her who she would like to have dinner with from the past or present and why.

    "Tyler Hansborough... He is my dream man. I could convince him that I am the perfect girl to be his girlfriend," Cummings said.

    Monk won first runner-up and a $750 scholarship. Her platform was autism awareness with respect to her sister's own experience with the disorder.

    "Some people would look at my sister and they thought something was wrong with her. So we had to learn to humble ourselves. Our parents were very interactive with her, and we put her in different programs for her to build up her self-esteem. And she's just lovely and bubbly," Monk said.

    McNeil's performance of the poem "Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)" by Nikki Giovanni during the talent competition captivated the audience.

    Diamonds was the theme for the presence and poise evening gown phase. The judges rated each contestant's self-confidence, personality and stage presence. This phase was worth 20 percent of the contestants' final scores.

    Chavis wowed the audience during the evening gown competition, and the crowd screamed and cheered her on as Braxton read a quote from Marianna Williamson, "It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?'"

    Chavis placed second runner-up in the competition and took home a $500 scholarship.

    A dedication to Hunt brought tears to her eyes as she and the audience watched a presentation of photos and friends to "You've Got a Friend," by James Taylor as the Miss UNCP pageant committee members brought her gifts and flowers, bringing her reign as Miss UNCP to an official close.

    "I was very fortunate to get to see Jocelyn compete at the Miss North Carolina pageant last June and she represented you magnificently. For those of you who were not there, please know, that she was an outstanding representative of your university community," Master of Ceremonies Lane Ragsdale said as the presentation came to a close.

    All participants received a participation trophy, and contestants who did not place each won $100 scholarships.

    Johnson won the Miss Congeniality award, which was voted on by the other pageant contestants.

    Williamson won the Jessica Reed and Family Community Scholarship for $150. Established in 2002, the award promotes community involvement.

    Mass Communication-Broadcasting major Thomas Tre Robinson danced to excite the crowd for the opening of the competition.

    There was a change in the competition this year. The Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit Competition was not one of the categories. According to Monk, this was to encourage women of all body shapes to participate in the competition and feel comfortable on-stage.

    This year the winner of Miss UNCP will not compete in the Miss North Carolina pageant, ending the connection with the Miss America pageant.

    In earlier pageants, Hunt was the first Miss UNCP Outstanding Teen affiliated with the Miss North Carolina pageant. Miss UNCP Outstanding Teen Elizabeth O'Brien, who served with Hunt when she was Miss UNCP, is the last.
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