Scholarship contest returns

Matthew Dolson and Kayla Pate were crowned Mr. and Miss USF Thursday night. The scholarship pageant was held in the Sun Dome Corral with a crowd of about 150.

Contestants were judged on four categories: talent, formal wear, interview segment and Bulls pride wear. Talents ranged from gymnastics and ballroom dancing to playing the drums. Contestant Brandon Fullep played the drums while reading Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Brett Farrar and Stephanie Gottlieb both wrote and performed original poetry about why they love USF.

Questions for the interview portion included “What does success mean to you?” and “How do you feel USF has prepared you for life after graduation?”

Pate, a senior majoring in communications, has another title to her name – she is the first baton twirler in USF Herd of Thunder Athletic Band history. She said she is very honored to be Miss USF.

“I know it is a new thing – well, it’s been brought back – I am so excited to be the first to be crowned Miss USF in a few years,” she said.

Dolson, who is majoring in business management and minoring in political science, felt the same way after being crowned.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “I am very happy to represent USF and hopefully do good things to show the student body at USF what it has.”

Jennifer Trivett, SG traditions coordinator, said everyone did a great job.

“I am really pleased with the outcome,” she said. “I was happy we had a good turnout. I was kind of wary, but I definitely think people are going to look for it next year.”

Student Government President Garin Flowers and Vice President Faran Abbasi were the hosts for the night.

“I think the event went very well – we had a great turnout,” said Flowers. “It was a magical night. I am really glad it came out the way it did.”

Five men and six women competed. Revived after a five-year hiatus, the pageant cost SG $3,500 to sponsor. Dolson and Pate received $350 and the four runners-up got $150 each. State Representative Trey Traviesa donated $1,000 toward the event.

The runners-up for Mr. USF were Bruno Portigliatti and Johel Comas. The runners-up for Miss USF were Brooklyn Carr and Marissa Anastos.

Associate Dean of Student Affairs Samuel Wright, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Tracy Tyree, and Ann Poonkasem, alumna, former Miss USF and this year’s Ms. Gasparilla, served as judges.