Broadcast journalism major Kendall Morris was crowned Miss Texas in July of last year. After finishing in the top 10 at the 2012 Miss America pageant, Morris shares with us her travels, experiences, and future plans once she is back on the TCU campus.
Q: How would you describe your overall experience as Miss Texas?
A: "My experience as Miss Texas has been life changing. I'm not the same girl that I was in July when I won Miss Texas. The children that I've spoken to, the people that I've met, and the appearances that I've been on all over the state have caused me to grow as a person. It's been a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to travel, see some of the world, and broaden my horizons."
Q: What was the experience like representing the state of Texas in the Miss America 2012 Pageant?
A: "I've dreamed of being Miss Texas since I was a little girl. My mother and I watched the Miss Texas and Miss America Pageants on TV every year, and I admired the pretty, talented, and intelligent women competing for the titles. I've been to the Miss America Pageant 4 times before and sat in the audience to watch one young woman's dream come true year after year. I only hoped that I would some day have the chance to represent Texas. It was an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment the first time that I stepped on the Miss America stage and the spotlights hit me. Last year over 9,000 young women competed for the opportunity to be in the Miss America pageant, but in the end only 53 are left to represent their states so I was honored to say the least to be among this amazing group of young women."
Q: In the preliminaries of Miss America you won an award for lifestyle and fitness. What does that award mean? How were you feeling after you won that?
A: "The lifestyle and fitness award was the culmination of many years of hard work for me. Even though this portion of the competition represents a low percentage of the final score, most contestants spend a considerable amount of time preparing for it. Having a healthy body means having the self-discipline to eat right and exercise on a regular basis. My schedule as Miss Texas kept me extremely busy so that meant being more creative about healthy snacks and fitting in time to workout early in the morning or late at night around my appearances. When I won the preliminary award, it meant a lot more to me since I had to work around so many obstacles to be as fit as I could be. I was extremely happy that I won the lifestyle and fitness award during the Wednesday night preliminary, but I knew that it did not guarantee me a spot in the finals. I was still determined to do my best in every area of competition during the week. Miss America was like a week-long marathon and consistency counts in the end."
Q: What is left to do during your time as Miss Texas? Have things slowed down a bit?
A: "After Miss America I had a week off to relax, but now I am back on the road and ready for more adventures across Texas. My schedule is still packed with plenty of appearances working with my platform "Leukemia: Living for a Cure" and presenting my school program entitled "C.A.N." to students. There is no set job description for Miss Texas so I will be travelling all over the state for various events. I only have this title for a little over 5 more months so I want to make the most of it!"
Q: When do you plan on coming back to TCU?
A: "I will be back at TCU in the fall of 2012. I've missed my Horned Frogs and Fort Worth so I cannot wait to return!"
Q: During your time as Miss Texas you have traveled and done several news interviews. How does that affect you as a journalism major?
A: "All of the news interviews that I've done have only opened doors for me as a journalism major. I've emceed several events with prominent news anchors and reporters from markets all across Texas, and I'm always eager to ask them questions about the news industry. I've loved seeing how television news is produced behind the scenes, and it only makes me more excited to return to TCU and start working more in my major."
Q: What is the first thing you want to do when you start up classes again?
A: "I can't wait to apply the things I've learned this year about the broadcast journalism industry into my class work. I'm bringing a lot more life experience and a new perspective on the world back to school with me in the fall. Other than classes, I can't wait to watch my Horned Frogs play football! I wasn't able to attend very many games this past season, and I missed watching the TCU games."
Q: Did you accomplish everything you wanted to as Miss Texas?
A: "My overarching goal for this year is to do my share to leave this world a better place than when I started as Miss Texas. My work will not be done until I crown the Miss Texas. Even after this year, I will still continue my work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since Leukemia has so greatly affected my family's life after my dad was diagnosed in 2007."