SOPH student, Vishwadha Gunda is named Miss UAB 2018

by Shannon Thomason

Vishwadha Gunda of Montgomery was named Miss UAB 2018 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Friday, Nov. 3.

The Miss UAB Scholarship Pageant is an official preliminary to the Miss Alabama and Miss America pageants. Nine young women competed in this year’s pageant, with the theme “A Night in the Magic City.” The emcee was Miss Alabama 2017 Jessica Proctor, who also performed during the pageant. The UAB Golden Girls also performed. UAB Student Involvement and Leadership presents the pageant.

Prizes from sponsors include a $500 gift certificate from Bella’s Bridal & Formal, a $350 gift certificate from Southern Exposure Photography, and gifts for the winner and four alternates from Kendra Scott. Other sponsorships include lunch for the judges provided by Jim ‘N Nicks, and snacks and water for the contestants provided by Crowne on 10th.

Gunda is a sophomore majoring in public health in the School of Public Health. Her parents are Jyothi and Vikram Gunda. She was awarded a $2,500 scholarship, a floral arrangement, and the Bella’s Bridal & Formal gift certificate. She was also awarded a $200 scholarship and trophy for the Talent award, for her performance of a Bollywood dance to “Pinga.”

“I am beyond excited to proudly represent my university this upcoming year,” Gunda said. “I hope to use this year to further my platform, ‘Strengthening Cultural Consciousness,’ especially with our university being such a diverse community. This campus has opened up so many opportunities for me to grow as a person, and I honestly feel so blessed to be able to give back to my school with this title.”

The first alternate is Taylor Grace Eustice of Kimberly, a freshman majoring in nursing in the School of Nursing. Her parents are Travis and Kim Eustice. She was awarded a $750 scholarship and a floral arrangement.

Second alternate is Courtney Severino of Enterprise, a sophomore majoring in materials and science engineering in the School of Engineering. Her parents are Rhonda and Erik Severino.

The Miss UAB Scholarship Pageant is an official preliminary to the Miss Alabama and Miss America pageants. Nine young women competed in this year’s pageant, with the theme “A Night in the Magic City.”

She was awarded a $550 scholarship and a floral arrangement.

Third alternate is Caroline Davis of Decatur, a sophomore majoring in nursing. Her parents are Kelly and Frank Pate and Steve Davis. She was awarded a $450 scholarship and a floral arrangement. Davis was also named Miss Congeniality and was awarded a $200 scholarship and trophy.

Fourth alternate is Taylor McLean of Trussville, a senior majoring in early childhood and elementary education in the School of Education. Her parents are Michelle and Jeff McLean.

She was awarded a $350 scholarship and a floral arrangement.

A three-way tie was named for the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit award, with a $100 scholarship and trophy. Tied for the award were Severino; Davis; and Olivia Whyte of Gadsden, a sophomore majoring in kinesiology in the School of Education. Whyte’s parents are Robin and David Whyte.