WATER VALLEY – Ta’nia Hawkins was crowned Watermelon Queen during Saturday’s Watermelon Pageant hosted by the Junior Auxiliary. The daughter of Ray and Kathleen Hawkins, she is a junior at the University of Mississippi.
“I love my hometown and feel fortunate any time I can represent Water Valley,” Hawkins said about serving as queen for the next year. Hawkins also shared that she wants to help boost participation in the annual pageant in the coming years.
“I would like to expand the outreach of the pageant and let the young girls know a beauty queen is more than looks and there are things you can do with this title,” Hawkins explained.
At Ole Miss, Hawkins is a member of the UM Gospel Choir, serves as vice-president of the Tassels Chapter Honor Society of the Mortar Board, secretary for the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance IMAGE program and an Ambassador for the Health Professions Advising Office. She is majoring in Allied Health Services with a minor in Chemistry.
Hawkins has a busy summer ahead, starting with a three-week study abroad in Belize. When she returns home, she will start prepping for the admissions test for dental school. She plans to apply at two of her favorites – the University of Mississippi Dental School and the Meharry Medical School College of Dentistry.
She reports the application process is intense. Students must have completed specific undergrad courses, have a strong resume that includes extra-curricular activities and go through an interview process in addition to the admission test.
Hawkins was salutatorian of the Water Valley High School Class of 2019. She excelled in sports including basketball, softball and powerlifting in high school. She was also a member of the BETA Club, Mu Alpha Theta and served as president of the Student Council.