Calil and Williams to represent UM in Miss Florida pageant



Family members, friends and fans poured into the auditorium at the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall to watch 16 dynamic young women compete for scholarships and the exciting position of Miss University of Miami and the new title of Miss Miami Hurricane 2009 at the annual Miss UM Scholarship Pageant on Tuesday night.

“There’s so many talented women we chose to have two title holders,” said Laura Stott, director of Student Activities and the pageant’s advisor.

The two winners, sophomore Jaife Calil, crowned Miss University of Miami 2009, and sophomore Jaime Lin Williams, who won the title of Miss Miami Hurricane, will go on to represent UM at the Miss Florida pageant and possibly the 2009 Miss America pageant.

“I came expecting to see some great performances [and]a lot of great looking women and to be totally entertained. I’m enjoying it” senior Sam Kugby said.

There was a noticeable increase in turnout this year in the audience as well as participants. The 16 contestants included Sharde Chambers, Mia Amato, Claudia Curiel, Megan Anderson, Jaife Calil, Christie Thomas, Jessica Rausch, Bria Walker, Jaime Williams, Kimberly Thompson, Veena Gursahani, Leslie Hood, Stephanie Gust, Rae Williams, Christy Castillo and Tia Dawkins-Hendricks.

From the beginning, it was clear this year’s pageant was not the stereotypical beauty contest.

“Pageantry is one of the best things that can happen to some of these girls. It’s not about beauty, it’s not about swimsuit, it’s about being able to present yourself and it helps them grow,” said Corilene Hudson, one of the five pageant judges.

The girls all had different cultural backgrounds but all shared one common goal – to be a role model for young women.

“The pageant is important because the winner can be the face to represent the University of Miami and show much the school is important to them and how much they actually care about their community,” junior Tia Dawkins-Hendricks said.

The five judges scored the girls on a scale of one to 10, as fit bodies flaunted swimsuits and each contestant had the opportunity to show off a talent.

“We all worked really hard the past few weeks but in the end it was great to compete and winning is awesome but the journey was a lot more important to me,” Williams said.

Some chose to sing, some danced, while others played an instrument or presented a monologue. Presence and poise were displayed in the last phase of the pageant when the girls answered questions in their elegant evening wear.

After deliberating, the judges crowned Calil and Williams, while Jessica Rausch, a senior, was first runner-up. Junior Raecine A. Williams took second runner-up and junior Kimberly Thompson placed third runner-up.

“I’m very excited and overwhelmed. I worked really hard and there were times I was discouraged but I kept on going,” Calil said.

Calil and Williams won a $750 scholarship and several other prizes.

March 25, 2009


Mikaela Green

Contributing News Writer

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Calil and Williams to represent UM in Miss Florida pageant”

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you for making this your lead story!!! When I was crowned Miss UM in 2006, I was so disappointed that there was no coverage from the paper. I wrote to the Hurricane, and you all stepped up to the plate the next year for the crowning of Sola, who went on to be first runner up to Miss Florida. I am so glad the Hurricane is covering this important event now and even making it front page news this year! We have had quite a few Miss Florida’s and contenders for the crown from the University of Miami student population. UM is proud of our pageant girls!
    Thank you again!
    Sarah Grace Pachter
    Miss University of Miami 2006
    B.M. Music Education 2006

  2. Wayne Ritchie says:

    I went to Miami briefly back in the early 70’s I moved to NC in th late 80’s because of work. It was so refreshing to read about these young girls. I’m bombarded every day about the U of M being a thud school. If My co-workers could and will see this atricle. What a lift for my spirits. Also I must add one word about the new dean of Law. Whow what a resume…. My school has never let me down. My spirit is filled with geen, orande and white while I live in a sea of dark and light blue mixed in with a little purple and red. Thanks for the article and thanks for this newpaper being on line so that us folks away from home can still have a taste of being home.

  3. Patty Margalotti says:

    Wonderful photos of the pageant! Chelsea Matiash really brings you into the moment! Wow, just wonderful! I feel like I was at the event!

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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.