Miss Kansas titleholders promote awareness

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Carolyn Fitzgibbons, senior in theater and kinesiology, Hannah Mauler, freshman in nutrition and health, and Makayla Weiser, sophomore in modern languages, are competing for the Miss Kansas title this June.

K-State is home to five pageant contestants, who will continue their pageant runs by vying for the title of Miss Kansas June 8-11 in Pratt, Kansas.

Miss Barton County

Hannah Mauler, freshman in nutrition and health, said she is excited to combine her passions for strength and beauty in the Miss Kansas Pageant.

“Many people believe that this is just a beauty pageant,” Mauler said. “That’s not true. It’s about being your best self and finding your inner strength.”

It is for this reason that Mauler said she will focus on her platform “Girls on the Run.” She said her platform centers on helping girls learn to be confident in standing on their own two feet while embracing their beauty in all shapes, sizes and skin tones.

“We do more than just train for a 5K,” Mauler said. “We teach life lessons and become a role model for other girls.”

Miss Flint Hills

Carolyn Fitzgibbons, senior in theater and kinesiology, said she is truly grateful to be involved in the Miss Kansas organization.

“The Miss Kansas Pageant is a giant sisterhood,” Fitzgibbons said. “Everyone is ready to welcome the other girls with open hearts and open minds.”

Fitzgibbons said she will be focusing on cancer research with her platform of “Beating the Odds and Finding a Cure,” and her goal is to bring awareness to cancer research, especially in Kansas. Fitzgibbons said she is working on building a relationship with cancer research labs at K-State and on raising money for the Relay For Life.

“My biggest challenge will be finding that balance with all my commitments in being a full-time student and working, while also going to rehearsals and making public appearances,” Fitzgibbons said.

Miss Metro KC

Makayla Weiser, sophomore in modern languages, is not new to the Miss Kansas Pageant. She competed for Miss Kansas in 2014, where she made it into the finals and was awarded the Kansas Choice Award, which is similar to the well-known People’s Choice Award, she said.

As reigning Miss Metro KC, Weiser said she will continue spreading awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder through her platform of “Surviving PTSD.”

“It’s a personal story for me,” Weiser said. “My dad came back home from overseas with PTSD, and we didn’t realize it at first. I want to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of PTSD so others know the signs to be aware of. I’m also an Air Force ROTC cadette — this is something which can affect me and others I know.”

Weiser said the challenges of commuting between metro Kansas City and her student life at K-State keeps her busy.

“I try not to think of it as a challenge because really the challenges are just fun,” Weiser said. “The whole week is just a lot of fun, and the people I meet are really friends for a lifetime.”

Miss Queen of the Prairie

Hannah Maddy, junior in communication studies, said she is ready to help, stand up for and include others with her platform “#itonlytakesone.”

“In the end, it’s really about inclusive leadership,” Maddy said. “My high school had a very negative Twitter page, and I knew I had to make a change. This led to my passion for inclusiveness and my idea to create a more positive Twitter environment.”

Maddy said she did not realize the tradition that came with pageants until she ran for Miss Barton County last year.

“I was hit by the pageant bug,” Maddy said. “I learned about the honor and tradition, which are part of pageants. It’s about being a leader.”

Being in a pageant is much like a job or taking an extra class, and with studying, practices, event appearances and volunteering, you can spread yourself very thin, Maddy said.

“Its a challenge, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Maddy said.

Miss Golden Belt

Sarah Gustin, freshman in agricultural economics, was unavailable for comments.

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Hi, I'm Kaitlyn Alanis, former news editor for the Collegian and a May 2017 graduate in agricultural communications and journalism. I have never tried a hamburger and I hate the taste of coffee, but I love writing stories and sharing what I learn with our readers. By writing for the Collegian, I can now not only sing along when the K-State Band plays "The Band is Hot," but I also know that most agriculture students did not grow up on a farm, how to use an AED to save someone's life and why there is a bust of MLK Jr. outside of Ahearn Field House. Thanks for reading!