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Miss UVI to Vie for National HBCU College Queens Crown

Miss UVI Katherine Callwood

Miss UVI 2015-2016, Katherine Callwood, will compete in the 2015 National Black College Alumni (NBCA) Hall of Fame Queens pageant from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27, in Atlanta, Ga., at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Callwood will compete against college queens from Historically Black Colleges and University’s (HBCU) around the nation for the title of Miss NBCA Hall of Fame.

“I am really excited,” said Callwood. “We are coming big this year. We have a lot of great things prepared and have been working really hard.”  The talent segment is one that she hopes will be exciting, but would not reveal details before the competition.

Callwood, a junior majoring in early childhood education at UVI, will run on the Incorporating Eco-education into Early Childhood Development platform. She would like to bring nature into the curriculum.

This year, which marks the 30th year of the competition, Miss UVI and other contestants have been asked to sell full and half-page ads for the competition’s program. Any ad sales of three and above will be used to add extra points to the contestant’s preliminary scores. Additionally, contestants can earn extra points to their preliminary scores by having 20 or more individuals join the Hall of Fame’s social media networks. To support Miss UVI and the Virgin Islands use the hashtag #uviHOFBIG30.  

The NBCA queen contestants are judged in four categories, including talent, poise, image and personal and private interviews where the contestant has up to two minutes to introduce herself and discuss her platform. The woman crowned Miss NBCA will serve as a national representative and advocate of HBCUs, and will receive an academic scholarship and other prizes.

 Miss NBCA Hall of Fame Elisa ThomasThe reigning Miss NBCA Hall of Fame, Elisa Thomas, will also attend the competition. Thomas, the first Miss UVI to return home with the national HBCU crown, will take her final walk. She will also participate in various events, at the National Hall of Fame Weekend, which include lectures, workshops, and a Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Thomas will serve as mistress of ceremonies for most events, act as a panelist and attend to her duties at the queen’s competition. She will participate in the final performance number and give the question and answer.

“I just want to make sure I am a role model and that I do set a good standard,” she said. “I want the queens to feel comfortable to speak to me. I will welcome them and make sure that I execute my duties as Miss NBCA.”

Thomas, who graduated from UVI in Spring 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communication, plans to earn a graduate degree in marketing.  

“Coming from the University of the Virgin Islands, you are equipped with the necessary skills and assets to compete globally against anyone,” she said of UVI students and alumni. “You are just as good as any other queen or student, but you just have to focus.” She continued, “Be confident in yourself. Know that you are capable and that you are endowed. You have attended an institution that has prepared you to take on the world and seek higher heights.”

Both Callwood and Thomas will be accompanied by the Director of UVI Student Activities Leon Lafond and UVI Chaperone Marisel Melendez.

 The NBCA queen’s competition is sponsored by the NCBA Hall of Fame organization, which is dedicated to the growth and development of HBCUs through scholarships, internships, training and technical assistance, alumni recognition, and programs to encourage humanitarian involvement.

For more information contact Lafond at (340) 693-1111.