URI Student Representing Massachusetts at the Miss America Competition in January

KINGSTON, R.I.- October 25, 2012- Taylor Kinzler, a 20-year-old junior from across the border, was recently crowned Miss Massachusetts, but no need to fret. Her heart is still on the URI campus.

She’s been a devoted student since she came here three years ago. Her activities are impressive. She was a cheerleader her freshman year, a sorority sister in Alpha Phi, and, in one of her biggest accomplishments, a spokesperson and staff reporter for URI Athletics and GoRhody.com.

“I was able to pursue my passion for journalism by reporting about athletics,” Kinzler said. “It’s been an incredible experience.”

Her journey into the world of pageantry started when a friend encouraged her to compete in the Miss America Organization as a way to expand her talents as a gymnast. Kinzler started her path in 2008, winning Miss Massachusetts’ Outstanding Teen.

“I really wanted to grow as a person and grow out of my shyness,” Kinzler said. “This whole experience has made me so much more confident.”

Winning the Miss Massachusetts title presents challenging goals as well as opportunities. “I have a Board of Directors that plan and set-up my appearances throughout the state, but a lot of the preparation for the actual competition in January such as dieting and exercise, and preparing for the talent and interview segments, I do myself,” said Kinzler.

With at least four to five appearances across Massachusetts each week, Kinzler’s school schedule has shifted dramatically since being crowned. She is now a part-time student, taking two night classes. She’s planning to graduate in the spring of 2014.

Her pageantry experience has taught her a lot about how to live. The competition, she said, is not all about beauty and the physical fitness, it is primarily a scholarship program. In fact, to date she has earned over $21,000 in academic scholarships, which has helped to pay for her education here at URI.

“The program is a way to empower women and inspire them to share their story,” she said. “It really enforces the idea that as a woman you can achieve any goal you set your mind to and it gives woman a voice and a stage to promote their personal platforms.” Kinzler will also spend her year promoting her platform “Give the Gift of You! Volunteer.”

“I am very grateful to have the opportunity to compete for the Miss America crown,” said Kinzler.

Kinzler will now compete with 52 other contestants at the Miss America pageant this January in Las Vegas. She has already met the other 52 contestants while in Orlando, Florida in August at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. “Even though it was a bit intimidating, it was a great way to connect with the girls and use each other for resources and advice since we are all going through this experience together.” Watch for Kinzler live on ABC on January 12th!

Pictured above

Kinzler smiling proudly as she is wearing her Miss Massachusetts crown.

Former Miss Massachusetts crowns Taylor Kinzler new Miss Massachusetts 2012.

Taylor Kinzler filming the URI baseball team for GoRhody.com Photo courtesy by Mike Scott.

This press release was written by Tess Povar, an intern in URI’s Department of Communication and Marketing and a public relations and communication studies major.