Mississippi College

MC Hosts 2009 Miss MC Pageant

January 9, 2009

Mississippi College students will sing, dance and face interviews the evening January 22 as they compete for the $2,000 top prize in the annual Miss MC Scholarship Pageant.

Eight contestants - seven from Mississippi and one from Texas - are each hoping to impress the judges that Thursday night at Swor Auditorium and succeed 2008 Miss MC Morgan Byrd. A nursing student from Flowood and 2007 Northwest Rankin High graduate, Byrd will crown the 2009 winner to cap the two-hour production. The event begins at 7 p.m and is open to the public. Byrd was sponsored by the Kissimmee Social Tribe last year.

There's more at stake for MC's 2009 pageant. The first prize of $2,000 was bumped up from the $500 awarded last year. There will be $500 awarded to the first runner-up. There are two more MC women competing in the new year - up from the six entered in the pageant a year ago. Judges rates the contestants on evening gown competition, on-stage interviews and their talent.

The contestants are:

--Ellyn Burton, 20, of Ellisville. An MC junior and nursing student, Burton is the daughter of Stan and Sheree Burton. She is a member of the Baptist Nursing Fellowship and the Nenamoosha Social Tribe.

--Ashlan DuBose, 19, of Round Rock, Texas. A sophomore, and kinesiology major, DuBose's father is Tom DuBose. Her mother is Mary Frances Espinosa and her stepfather is Justin Espinosa. A guard, she is a member of the Lady Choctaws basketball team.

--Jessica Terrill, 18, of Fulton. A freshman, her major is English literature. Her parents are Jeff and Jan Terrill. A Noxubee County native, Jeff Terrill is entering his seventh season as head football coach at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.

--Audrie Cirlot, 21, of Moss Point. A junior, the East Central High graduate is a vocal performance major. Her parents are Steve and Tinell Cirlot.

--Kayla Thompson, 20, of Jackson. The junior is a business administration major. Her mother is Debra Thompson.

--Jessica Daves, 21, of the Delta town of Black Hawk. The senior is a communication major. The 2005 Carroll Academy graduate is the daughter of Kim and Mary Lou Daves. Daves is the lone contestant who competed in the MC pageant last year.

--Mary Margaret May, 21, of Ridgeland. A junior, May is a vocal performance major and member of MC's vocal ensemble group Mixed Company. She is the daughter of Bill and Marty May.

--Ivana Kanengiser, 20, of Pearl. A junior, Kanengiser is a marketing major and former member of the MC Lady Choctaws soccer team. The 2006 Pearl High graduate is the daughter of Andy and Sunuia Kanengiser. Her dad is university news coordinator at Mississippi College and her mom is an MC junior.

"It will be a good night,'' said Jonathan Nutt of Clinton, the co-student director. He and fellow MC junior Robert Gatewood of Clinton are teaming up to help keep the pageant on track - from rehearsals since early January to publicity to the performances the night of the big show. This year's theme is "Vogue,'' named after the award-winning American fashion magazine.

Miss MC 2009 will advance to the annual Miss Mississippi Pageant staged in Vicksburg in July.

Tickets cost $5 for MC students, faculty and staff and $10 for the general public. The price includes a pageant program. Tickets will be available at the door.

Cam Armstrong, coordinator of student activities, predicts the pageant will attract 400 to 500 people to the auditorium in Nelson Hall. The program is being sponsored by the MC Office of Student Affairs.

For more information, contact Armstrong at 601-925-3830.

Photo: Left to Right: Kayla Thompson, Jessica Daves, Ellyn Burton, Ashlan DuBose, Morgan Byrd, Jessica Terrell, Audrie Cirlot, Mary Margaret May, Ivana Kanengiser

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