UVU Student Takes Miss Utah Crown for Second Straight Year
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Brad Plothow, (801) 863-7149
For the second consecutive year, a Utah Valley University student will represent the state of Utah at the Miss America pageant. Danica Olsen, a junior majoring in speech communication, was crowned Miss Utah Saturday and will compete for the title of Miss America on Jan. 14, 2012. Olsen will follow in the steps of UVU’s Christina Lowe, who was a semifinalist for the national crown as Utah’s representative last year.
Olsen was selected as Miss Utah 2011 from a pool of 49 candidates from across the Beehive State during the pageant Saturday evening at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City. An avid dancer and three-year member of the UVU drill team, Olsen performed a dance to Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” for the talent portion of the competition.
“Danica is an incredible young woman. She’s a very motivated, driven person,” says Carly Condie, coordinator of the UVU Spirit Squad and Olsen’s coach. “I sat with her in the audience last year when we watched Christina Lowe compete for Miss America, and she said, ‘I want to be on that stage.’ She set a goal and has been absolutely focused on achieving it.”
As Miss Utah, Olsen will spend the next year providing outreach and community service. This will include speaking on the dangers of prescription drug abuse, serving as a local representative for the Children’s Miracle Network, and acting as an official spokesperson for the Child Protection Registry, which aims to shield children from inappropriate solicitations.
A native of Tooele, Utah, Olsen will receive a $10,000 scholarship, a one-year housing stipend and a car from Murdock Motors in addition to the title of Miss Utah.
Olsen was one of a dozen UVU students or alumni who competed for the Miss Utah crown. She entered the state competition as Miss UVU, whereas other students and alumni represented various cities and counties spanning the Wasatch Front and into Southern Utah. Olsen is the first to win Miss Utah as the current Miss UVU. Lowe was a former Miss UVU and current Miss Utah County when she won the Utah pageant last year.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.