Kathryn Pedroza, a junior organizational communication major from Mansfield, was crowned as the 65th Miss ETBU this week. Pedroza, who embodies the spirit of what it means to be a Christian servant leader on campus and in the community, was selected from nine contestants during the annual pageant sponsored by ETBU’s Student Government Association. Sophomore English education major Leah Akridge was selected as first runner-up, and senior music education major Anissa Mott was selected as second runner-up.
“We had a wonderful group of applicants this year,” Associate Vice President for Student Engagement Blair Prevost said. “The judges, along with the students, faculty, and staff who voted, had any number of outstanding candidates to choose from. After being away from campus last year, we were excited for the Miss ETBU selection process to take place in person again. While we still have COVID protocols in place, I think it was important for the judges to be able to sit in the same room with the ladies as they shared about the ways they are involved at ETBU and in our community as well as how they would use this important honor as a platform to support ETBU.”
Throughout her time at ETBU, Pedroza has been busily involved on campus through her membership of the traditions committee of Student Foundation, where she is involved in the planning and volunteering of events on campus, works as a student worker in the ETBU Marketing and Communication Department, and was recently inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honor society. Additionally, Pedroza will serve as a Resident Assistant for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Off-campus, she is actively involved at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview where she leads worship every Sunday morning, serves as a small group leader, and creates content and takes pictures for social media.
“Being involved is important to me so that I can see how the University works, understand students’ attitudes and beliefs, and know how to use that knowledge to help everyone have a great experience on the Hill,” Pedroza said. “I can do that through being president of Student Foundation, as a resident director, or through just being a friend. I seek to be intentional about knowing the people around me so that I can have really fun and also really tough conversations that share the love of Christ.”
As Miss ETBU 2021, Pedroza receives a generous academic scholarship as well as the opportunity to represent the University throughout the community and region.
“I hope to build intentional relationships, bring different groups together on campus, and represent ETBU in a way that is honest and glorifies Christ,” Pedroza said. “As Miss ETBU, I want to intentionally build relationships with the people around me so that I can learn how to best serve those of the ETBU community. I want to get to know students, faculty, and staff on a new level so that I can know exactly how to make their life on the Hill an even better experience.”
In a similar fashion to last year’s Miss ETBU pageant, the University carried on the time-honored tradition with a few adjustments to the ceremony. Each contestant went through an interview and question-and-answer process, and students, faculty, and staff participated in an online vote to select this year’s winner.
“It is so encouraging to be first runner-up for Miss ETBU,” Akridge said. “ETBU is all about community, and that has been a tremendous part of my experience. Being able to represent a school that pours into us in such a Christ-like manner and being able to be a Christ-like role model to our community is a tremendous opportunity to have even as a runner-up.”
Haley Harmening, who was selected as Miss ETBU 2020, shared her encouragement with the 2021 recipient.
“I want Kathryn to know that her leadership means a lot on campus and this is definitely a God-ordained thing so she should take it with honor and with humility,” Harmening said. “I also encourage her to just love the people around her and be willing to be flexible and take initiative. Take initiative and seek opportunities to serve even when they aren’t obvious. I want her to know that she is loved and that she is held with high esteem on campus, and I have no doubt that she is going to do a great job as Miss ETBU 2021.”