The former Tech Pom Pon Girl, Miss Tech (’98), Miss Louisiana (’00) and first runner-up to Miss America is a New York-based lawyer and regular contributor to cable news dialogue.
Current occupations: Attorney; TV legal analyst
Now resides in: New York, NY
Degree, Year: Political Science 1999
What brought you to Tech? I knew Tech was the school I would attend during my first visit to campus. The campus was beautiful and everyone I met was so welcoming and friendly. It was also close to home so I thought it was perfect for me.
Career stops: Currently, civil litigation for a litigation firm in New York. Former criminal prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Your best memories of Tech: I was a member of several organizations at Tech, but two stand out the most: (1) Louisiana Tech Pom Pon Girls – I got to dance on a great squad with people like Mette Boving (another former Miss Louisiana), Christina Cherry, who was a wonderful dancer and friend, and Anna Zielinski, who is now an actress in Los Angeles. I didn’t make the squad the first year I tried out, but Candee Terry encouraged me to come back and the second time was a charm! (2) Orientation Student Leaders. That was a life-changing experience. Chris, Lisa, and Les were our advisors. I don’t think I’ve ever bonded with a group of people more than them and the OSLs that year. It was one of the greatest experiences of my college years and life in general.
Your advice to Tech freshmen of today: Have fun in school. Get involved in lots of activities, and also think about your future. College transcripts will follow you throughout your entire career so work hard, get good grades and create relationships. My college friends are still some of my best friends to this day.
How did the pageant system help you ‘grow up’? Competing in the Miss America system helped shape me into who I am today. It all started with my dream of becoming Miss Louisiana Tech University. I wanted to represent my school. As Miss Tech, I learned how to speak to large groups of people, be a leader on and off campus, and be a positive role model for young people. I also learned basic things, like how to apply makeup. Before Miss Tech, I never wore makeup.
Would you suggest girls get involved in pageants today? Miss America Organization promotes academic achievement, community service, style and scholarship. As long as you have a healthy view of competition and yourself, it’s a great organization that you will be honored to be a part of.
You’re on a lot of news shows as a legal contributor. Do you get nervous? I do get nervous, especially when I’m on shows like “The O’Reilly Factor” or “Hannity” on Fox News, but it’s the nerves that help make me better. Bill O’Reilly is a challenging interviewer and I have to be prepared to think on my feet…I like doing legal commentary on TV. I get to share my perspective with viewers, debate hot legal topics, and analyze some of the highest profile cases in the country. I consider it an honor. I just started contributing on a regular basis this year, so it’s something I see myself doing for the near future.