News

New Miss UM to tackle childhood obesity

Melissa Marcus, sponsored by Zeta Tau Alpha, is the newly crowned Miss UM. She is now on her way to the Miss Florida pageant.

“I don’t really know why I won, but I did have a very good interview and I had a good talent,” Marcus said. “Every girl in the competition was talented this year.”

Marcus, a Miami native in her second year at UM working toward a doctorate in exercise physiology, was a previous participant of Miss Miami. She is also a former grand national baton-twirling champion. Melissa feels that her experiences with baton-twirling helped her with the talent portion of the competition and in exuding confidence.

“I’m on an all-star baton-twirling team in Sacramento, and we have won the world championships for the past two years,” Marcus said. “It was both the scariest and most exciting experience of my life. I will never be as nervous as I was competing for the world championships.”

Over the years, the pageant has become a staple event during Homecoming week.

The theme of this year’s pageant was “Fire and Ice.”

Students said the pageant was well-organized and had a creative flair.

“Everything was well-planned,” Gabe Santamarina, junior, said. “The stage and decorations show that a lot of time was put into the pageant.”

There were 14 contestants, varying from freshmen to graduate students. Sororities, fraternities, student organizations and graduate programs were among the groups to sponsor the candidates.

The pageant was broken up into the following categories: personal interviews which accounted for 40 percent of the total score, artistic expression [talent]worth 30 percent, lifestyle and fitness [swimsuit]worth 10 percent, presence and poise [eveningwear]worth percent and an overall composite score worth 10 percent.

After a long night of anticipation, the judges cast their vote. The crowning of the new 2003-2004 Miss UM went to Melissa Marcus.

The Homecoming court also included first runner-up Stephanie Martinez, second runner-up Joy Mailloux and Miss Congeniality Katie Brown.

The judges agreed that, although it was a tough choice, what set Marcus apart from the rest of the contestants was her consistency.

According to Judith Coffman, one of the judges, some contestants were weak in certain areas, but Marcus was strong all around.

“The Miss UM pageant was such a great experience,” Marcus said. “I was shocked to win because I was just doing the pageant for fun and there was a possibility of some scholarship money.

“Miss UM was so much fun and I met some people that ordinarily I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.”

The audience offered their comments on the pageant.

“The diversity of the people chosen was a good representation of our Miami community,” Courtne Anderson, senior, said.

“The pageant, in my opinion, was well-organized,” Kelly Russo, junior, said. “The talent portion had a large variety of acts ranging from vocals to acting.”

Shauna Pender, Miss Florida 2003, gave her opinion of the pageant.

“I feel there was an excellent selection in terms of the winner and the court runner-ups,” Pender said. “It was a tough competition, and Melissa will really enjoy herself preparing for the Miss Florida competition.”

The grand prize for the winner of Miss UM was a $1,000 academic scholarship, along with other prizes such as a $100 textbook scholarship to the UM Bookstore.

Marcus is excited with the opportunities that Miss UM will present her.

“My platform for the pageant was preventing obesity in children,” Marcus said. “I would really like to go into the schools and teach children and their parents about proper eating and exercising habits.”

Marcus said she would also like to hold a camp in which she can teach children about portion control and how to exercise and cook in a healthy manner.

“For the boys, the sports would include the usual such as football, baseball, basketball and soccer,” Marcus said. “For the girls, I will have gymnastics, baton-twirling and dancing.”

“I’m definitely looking forward to a great, rewarding year,” Marcus said.

Christie Asencio can be contacted at c_asen@hotmail.com.

November 7, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.