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14 January 2008
Lauren Moon Crowned Miss JSU 2008

Lauren Moon, newly crowned Miss JSU 2008 poses with this year's runner-up, Mistress of Ceremonies and last year's winner of the Miss JSU title. Pictured here, from left to right, are Jessica Andrews, Miss JSU 2007; Jamie Langley, Miss Alabama 2007 and Miss JSU 2006, who served as Mistress of Ceremonies for this year's pageant; Lauren Moon, Miss JSU 2008; and Sharonica Neeley, 1st Runner-up.

Lauren Moon was named Miss JSU 2008 at the 26th Miss JSU Pageant on Friday, Jan. 11. Held at the Leone Cole Auditorium, the pageant featured five accomplished JSU women competing for the crown. The reigning Miss Alabama and Miss JSU 2006, Jamie Langley served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event. Jamie will be competing for the Miss America 2008 crown later this month in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 26.

Following an introduction of this year's contestants, the judging centered around the traditional On-stage Interview competition, Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit competition, Talent competition and the Evening Wear competition.

The regular in-depth Private Interviews were held by the judges with each contestant earlier in the afternoon.  Judges evaluate the contestant's personality and preparation for the contest through quizzing them on their knowledge of current events and learning about their individual platform issues.  The Private Interview score makes up 25% of the contestant's final score.

The Miss JSU program is part of the Miss America Organization which is the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women.  The pageant is a preliminary one to the state's Miss Alabama Pageant, June 4-7 in Birmingham, in which Miss JSU will be a contestant.  Miss JSU wins a two-semester tuition scholarship, and the 1st Runner-up wins a $1,000 scholarship. 

This year's scholarship competition showcased the classical vocal talents of two contestants, Brittany Greene, a junior majoring in Communications and this year's winner, Lauren Moon, of Calera, AL, whose major is History. Vocals were also presented by Ashley Gray, of Woodstock Georgia, who is majoring in Secondary Education, and Sharonica Neeley, of Pinson, AL, also majoring in Secondary Education. A jazz dance was performed by Whitney Watkins, of Piedmont, AL, majoring in Pre-Health/Biology. Jessica Andrews, Miss JSU 2007 also performed

The highlight of the evening was the talent portion of the competition which worth 35 percent of the contestant's total score. Ashley Gray sang "Look To Your Path" from Les Choristes, while Brittany Greene sang "The Laughing Song" by Johann Strauss. Whitney Watkins performed a jazz dance to "Fever" by Ray Charles. Sharonica Neeley sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow," and Lauren Moon sang "O Mio Babbino Caro" by Giacomo Puccini.

Jessica Andrews, Miss JSU 2007, performed her winning dance number "Feeling Good" while the contestants prepared for the Evening Wear  competition worth 20 percent of the total points. 

Jessica took her final walk as Miss JSU 2007 while Cory Tucker, a JSU alumnus who got his performing start on a homemade stage in the basement of some of his Gamecock baseball teammates, performed "Birmingham Girl," the song he wrote for Jessica.

The pageant concluded with the crowning of Miss JSU 2008, Lauren Moon.  Lauren's platform is promoting mental health awareness.  Lauren is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, History Club and the Stars Committee for the Alabama Higher Education Partnership.

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