Vizza crowned Miss Louisiana

June 29, 2012

Miss Tech to compete for national title


Rebecca Alvarez
News Editor

The lights dimmed, the audience let out a loud roar and the band’s song resonated throughout the theater. Within moments 35 young women took the stage, each of them knowing that by the end of the evening, only one of them would be wearing the crown.


Last November she was named Miss Louisiana Tech 2012. Seven months later, Lauren Vizza stood alone as she was crowned Miss Louisiana 2012.


The senior political science major went the distance Saturday in the 2012 Miss Louisiana Pageant and now has the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to compete for the 2013 Miss America title in January.


“It’s a dream come true,” she said. “Never did I imagine I would win: I’m in shock.”


Despite winning the swimsuit contest during the preliminaries Thursday night, winning the Miss Louisiana Pageant was one of the last things she ever expected to accomplish, Vizza said.


“No matter how many preliminary awards you get—you could win them all—you still find reasons to convince yourself you’re not going to win,” she said. “Even in the top two I was in shock; I didn’t expect it at all.”


Prior to participating in pageants, Vizza played soccer at Caddo Magnet High School and attended Tech to take the field as a Lady Techster, but recurring knee injuries ultimately ended her sports career.


She said she still feels the effect of the knee injuries and must be attentive and cautious because she dances for the talent portions of the contests.


“My biggest challenge to overcome has been my knee,” she said. “I have to be in shape to dance, and overcoming the injuries is very important.”


Saturday, after she was named in the Top 10, Vizza performed a dance to Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain,” in which she executed numerous acrobatic moves.


Talents showcased by the other finalists included playing instruments and singing.


Six of the women Vizza competed against were also Tech students.


Mallory Cox, a senior mathmajor and reigning Miss Lafayette, won the talent portion in the Thursday night preliminaries and was the only other Tech student who was selected among the 10 finalists. She ended the night as third runner-up and was named Miss Congeniality.


“[The Miss America Organization] is the best organization,” Cox said. “It has taught me so much.”


Vizza said competing in pageants in the Miss America Organization has also taught her many lessons.


“I’ve learned so much about the little things, from putting on make-up and doing my hair to how to handle an interview,” she said. “It’s taught me confidence.”


Vizza said she started competing in pageants as a freshman when she took part in the Miss Louisiana Tech Pageant after her friends encouraged her to enter. She did not place in her first contest, but with additional support from her friends and family, she decided to compete in other pageants, she said.


After just one year of experience, Vizza was crowned Miss Monroe 2011 and went on to compete in the 2011 Miss Louisiana Pageant where she was awarded fourth runner-up. Later that year, she competed again in the Miss Louisiana Tech Pageant and her win has catapulted to her reign as Miss Louisiana 2012.


“I’m still getting used to being called Miss Louisiana and signing autographs,” she said.


The day after she was crowned, Vizza was required to immediately move into an apartment on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe where she will reside for the next year. She will be taking the next year off from school to tour the state to promote her platform, the philanthropy of her choice, Victory for Volunteering, and to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, the charity supported by the Miss America Organization.


“Everything was a bit overwhelming at first,” she said. “I had to pack up my whole life and move so quickly, but it’s exciting. Now it’s time to prepare for Miss America.”


For the next six months leading up to the Miss America Pageant, Vizza will be working with a personal trainer to reach physical goals, preparing for the interviews for the Miss America Pageant, holding press conferences and visiting state schools, and preparing her dance.


While Vizza will be leaving her home at Tech for the next year, she said winning the crown has made her feel like she is part of the Tech family and she is honored to have represented the university at the pageant.


“When I checked my Twitter and Facebook accounts, it was everywhere. It was a great feeling,” she said. “I felt like I was winning something for Tech.”


Vizza is the second Miss Louisiana Tech to become Miss Louisiana. If Vizza wins the crown in January,she will be the first Miss Louisiana to ever win Miss America. Hope Anderson, Miss Louisiana 2011, placed in the Top 10 at the 2012 Miss America Pageant.“It still feels like a dream, and I don’t want to wake up,” she said.


Email comments to rha014@latech.edu.



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