Heads for Miss Oregon

Two Portland State students took home the titles for Miss Portland and Miss City of Roses 2001 last Saturday at Jackson Middle School.

Katie Harman, a speech communication student, was crowned Miss Portland 2001 and Erin Burns, an architecture student, was given the title Miss City of Roses 2001.

The Miss Portland program is a preliminary stage to the Miss America competition.

Harman will go on to compete for the Miss Oregon pageant in Seaside in July and maybe for the Miss America title in Altantic City this September.

These winners each received $500 in scholarships to be used at an accredited university or college. The first runner-up, Kristen McTaggart, also a student at PSU, received $150. McTaggart also received a special award for advertising assistance with the program and Harman for selling the most tickets to the show.To qualify for the Miss Portland title, the contestant must promote a platform she strongly advocates, must be academically successful and understand the importance of being a role model for young children.

“As Miss America, she will travel 20,000 miles a month, making over 200 appearances a year, changing cities every 18 to 36 hours, promoting and implementing her platform,” said pageant host Dave Style of Z100 radio.

Harman’s platform issue was “Metastatic breast cancer awareness: giving hope to the terminal patient” and Burns’ was “Juvenile diabetes awareness: avoiding and reversing complications.”

“Metastatic breast cancer is a terminal disease and the women and men suffering for this disease are dying. The best way to promote this issue is to help those people who are dying first,” Harman said during the onstage interview. “Make sure that they have the support that they need and that this issue is clearly made known in the community so that members can get involved …”

The theme for this year’s competition is “I’m Every Woman.” There are four phases to the competition: private interview with the judges, physical fitness, talent and onstage interview.

Of the 11 total candidates, eight represented Portland State University. The other contestants were Kristin Barnhart, Elizabeth Joo, Taryn Allen, Stephanie Best and Alexis Clark.

“Each of these girls can make a difference just being who they are,” said Angela Brink, Miss Oregon 2000.

Brink’s platform was on learning disabilities. She encouraged others to discuss this issue with her.

“I’m here for you and I want to help you. Don’t let the crown scare you.”

The Miss America Organization disbursed over $40 million in scholarship to contestants at each level of the competition last year. The nonprofit organization has provided scholarships to women since 1921. The program is funded by sponsors and made possible by volunteers.