By Megan Montgomery, Chattanooga, TN—Junior Dacey Winkleman is one of 36 women competing in the local preliminary pageants to become Miss
Winkleman was crowned Miss Chattanooga in October after winning the title of Homecoming Queen just weeks before.
Winkleman is a molecular biology major and a chemistry minor from Lynchburg, Tenn.
She is involved in various clubs on campus such as Beta Beta Beta, Mortar Board, Golden Key and National Collegiate Scholars.
She is also a University Honors student, a majorette and an active member of Chi Omega.
Although Winkleman is involved in many activities, as well as preparing for the next pageant, her grades are always a top priority, she said.
“Scholarship is always at the forefront,” Winkleman said.
Winkleman has been competing in pageants since she was 18-months-old, but Miss Chattanooga was only her second Miss Tennessee preliminary pageant.
The Miss Chattanooga title recognized the work Winkleman is doing in the community, such as work with Reading Across America and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Her primary focus is child OCD; she is working to form support groups, speaking at local schools and helping produce educational videos.
Winkleman said the title of Miss Tennessee she is working towards is a position that means more than a crown and sash.
“It’s not a title,” she said. “It’s a job.”
If she wins the title, Winkleman will be working as an educational ambassador directly along side Gov. Bill Haslam.
Winkleman said that like her school career, the most important aspect of pageants is the potential scholarship opportunities.
She plans to continue her education to receive a PhD and hopes her pageant career can help make that happen.
Winkleman will travel to Jackson, Tenn. on June 17 to compete in three days of pageantry including preliminary competition and interview, talent, swimsuit, evening gown and question portion.
Winkleman said if she wins the Miss Tennessee pageant, she will follow in Miss Chattanooga 2012 Chandler Lawson’s footsteps and will be the second consecutive UTC student to win this title.