Jennifer DeMelo of Kenner, La., Crowned Miss WCU 2013

Hattiesburg, Miss., October 22, 2012 - Jennifer DeMelo, a senior biology major from Kenner, La., was crowned Miss William Carey University 2013 at the Miss WCU Scholarship Pageant on Friday, October 19. She was also the preliminary interview winner.

DeMelo’s platform is “Eradicating American Homelessness,” and her talent was a salsa dance. She will represent WCU in the Miss Mississippi Pageant to be held in Vicksburg in July 2013. The daughter of Stewart DeMelo and Nancy Hood Green, she is a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, where she works full-time as a dental hygienist. She has served as a missionary in Uganda, Africa, is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, and received the Dental Hygiene #1 Clinician Award. Her career ambition is to become a dentist. She was crowned by Miss WCU 2012, Kenna Spiller of Petal.

Krissy Wilson, a junior English major from Laurel, was named first runner up, preliminary talent winner, and evening gown winner. Ashleigh Torres, a senior psychology major from Kiln, was named second runner up. Uniqua Evans, a senior psychology/music therapy major from Heidelberg, was named third runner up. Fourth runner up was Courtney “Dani” Ellzey, a freshman nursing major from Leakesville. Megan Bourne, a junior art major from Columbia, received the Amy E. Allen Award for Highest GPA of all the contestants.

Each year, one of the contestants receives the Virginia Scott Spirit Award. Voted on by the contestants, this award recognizes the contributions to the Miss WCU pageant by former director Virginia Scott who produced three Miss Mississippi’s, all of whom finished in the top five at their respective Miss America pageants. Natalyia Ferrell, a junior elementary education major from Heidelberg, received the spirit award.

During the pageant, there was a crown drawing for girls between the ages of 4 and 11. The winner was Elyse Bolling, daughter of Jeremy and Lacey Cofield Bolling.

Other contestants were Jenelda Green, Valencia Johnson, Whitney Johnson, and DePorche Taylor. Emcees for the event were Katelyn Farris, a senior music therapy and Miss WCU 2010, and Antony Keeler, a graduate student in the master of secondary education program. Entertainment was provided by Carey Company, the university’s show choir.

Each contestant raised money for the Children’s Miracle Network.


Winners of the 2013 Miss William Carey University Scholarship Pageant are: (left to right) Ashleigh Torres of Kiln, second runner up; Krissy Wilson of Laurel, first runner up, talent winner, and evening gown winner; Jennifer DeMelo of Kenner, La., Miss WCU 2013 and interview winner; Uniqua Evans of Heidelberg, third runner up, and Courtney “Dani” Ellzey of Leakesville, fourth runner up.