Sylvia Crowder, a USI senior graduating with honors this May with a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics, was crowned “Miss Indiana United States” on April 12. She will represent Indiana in the 2014 Miss United States Pageant, to be held July 1-6 in Washington, D.C.
During her reign as Miss Indiana United States, Crowder plans to promote her platform of healthy lifestyle awareness.
“I'm extremely thankful for this opportunity,” said Crowder. “As Miss Indiana United States, I will advocate for healthy lifestyles and be an ambassador for the American Cancer Society."
Currently, Crowder promotes good nutrition on her blog, "Simply Sylvia" at simplysylvialane.blogspot.com.
“I use the blog as a way to recreate popular recipes to healthier versions, post video tutorials, motivational stories, and healthy snack ideas,” said Crowder. “During National Nutrition Month in March, ‘Simply Sylvia’ was nationally accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”
Crowder was a senior in high school when she entered her first pageant. "It was a local competition, where all proceeds benefitted the American Cancer Society,” she said. “I never considered myself a ‘pageant girl.’ However, a month before the contest, my grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma, and I wanted to compete in honor of her.”
That year, she competed with other contestants from Illinois and Indiana, all vying for the title of “Miss Illiana Teen 2009.”
“Somehow, I managed to win the pageant, and I realized the strong emphasis pageantry has on community service, public awareness, and social platforms,” she said. “It was a year of personal growth and confidence-building.”
While at USI, Crowder has been involved with the Delta Epsilon Iota Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Food and Nutrition Student Organization, and Careers in Aging Symposium, and also gave a poster presentation at the USI Research Evidence-Based Practice and Performance Improvement in Healthcare Conference.
Upon graduation from USI, the Cayuga, Indiana native plans to attend Eastern Illinois University to obtain a master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and also complete a dietetic internship while working as a graduate assistant in the Health Education Resource Center as a nutrition educator.