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EGSC Students Will Shine Bright on the Miss Georgia Stage

EGSC Students Will Shine Bright on the Miss Georgia Stage

by Norma Kennedy | June 18, 2015
Last Edited: September 26, 2015 by Norma Kennedy
EGSC Students Will Shine Bright on the Miss Georgia Stage

On June 17-20, 43 of Georgia’s most talented, intelligent and beautiful young women have turned their dreams into reality as they compete for the title of Miss Georgia 2015. 

Of these 43 queens, six are either current or former East Georgia State College students. Allison Durden, Harley Strickland, Austin Carruth, Morgan Lothridge, Amanda Lawler, and Caitlan Coleman will proudly represent their current individual titles, as well as their East Georgia State College roots. Recently, staff members with EGSC’s student life department interviewed the six contestants and share the following insights from each queen.

Q & A with EGSC’s Miss Georgia Contestants

Allison Durden: Miss East Georgia State College

What is your fondest memory of being Miss EGSC?
My fondest memory of being Miss EGSC was the night I was crowned! It was such an incredible honor and I know I will never forget that night. I am so excited to represent my amazing school at Miss Georgia in June.

What does holding the title of being Miss EGSC mean to you?
Being Miss East Georgia State College means the absolute world to me. I have only held the title since February of this year, and I feel so fortunate to have already had so many opportunities and experiences in this short time that I wouldn’t have had without the title. One of these opportunities was when I was asked to be the student speaker at East Georgia State College's Spring 2015 Graduation. I loved being able to speak on the entire student body's behalf and congratulating the graduates and letting them know how proud we were for their accomplishments.

What is your Miss Georgia Platform?
My Miss Georgia Platform is "Youth Empowerment through the Boys and Girls Club of America". I am an active member on the committee focused on starting a Boys and Girls Club of Emanuel County. I have promoted the cause by speaking at the Swainsboro Kiwanis Club and the Twin City Lions Club, where we have gained additional committee members. The committee and I have met with multiple civic and recreational organizations to begin the step-by-step process of starting a Boys and Girls Club of Emanuel County. We have obtained donors and we will be meeting with a grant specialist in the hopes of this being a speedy and successful process. During my time as a mentor at Boys and Girls Clubs in surrounding counties, I saw firsthand how beneficial the Club was to each and every one of the children and young adults that attended.  I cannot wait to be able to mentor at a Club in my own county, and see all of the positive aspects it will bring to the boys and girls of Emanuel County.

What are you doing now?
I am currently a student at East Georgia State College, and I am working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.

Harley Strickland: Miss Coastal Empire

What is your fondest memory of being Miss EGSC?
I cannot think of one memory that stands out as my favorite during my time as Miss EGSC. I enjoyed every moment, trip, speaking engagement, etc. I will always hold this title close because of the people I gained with the title. I gained a family at East Georgia State College that will forever support me in anything I ever decide to do. My East Georgia family is probably my fondest memory.

What did holding the title of being Miss EGSC mean to you?
Holding the title of Miss East Georgia State College meant so much to me. Being able to represent my wonderful college and the community at many events and at the Miss Georgia Pageant was something I will never forget. The opportunity to be Miss EGSC opened so many doors for me and allowed me to meet so many people. It was an opportunity I will forever be thankful for.

What is your Miss Georgia Platform?
My Miss Georgia platform is Hospice: A Servant’s Heart. I chose this platform because my grandfather was placed on hospice when I was 12. At the time I didn’t understand the positives and benefits of hospice. Through volunteering and speaking about hospice, I have been able to educate others like myself about the wonderful services hospice can provide.

What are you doing now?
Currently, I am transferring to Georgia Southern University to major in Multimedia Communication. In January I was crowned Miss Coastal Empire and will be attending the Miss Georgia Pageant for my second time.

Austin Carruth: Miss Middle West Georgia

What is your fondest memory of being Miss EGSC?
I wish I could pick just one memory, but I have so many incredible memories as Miss EGSC that I have to choose two! Being able to partake in the Investiture of Dr. Boehmer as EGSC's fifth president was just incredible. I was given the opportunity to meet so many people, as well as being a member of his personal platform party. Singing the National Anthem at this event was a moment I could never forget. My second memory would have to be meeting a young girl named Rebecca at the CURE Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Kickoff. She was a high school senior who wanted nothing more than to be a "princess." Being able to crown her in that moment and make that small dream come true for her will always be one of my most cherished memories.

What did holding the title of being Miss EGSC mean to you?
Holding the title of Miss East Georgia State College meant the world to me. As my first title within the Miss America Organization, it gave me the opportunity to make a true difference not only on my school's campus, but within the community as well. When asked to participate in an event or volunteer my time, I would never say no to anything. Participating in everything I could, I feel that I represented my school well and now carry memories to last forever because of it. (Also, it was really cool to be the first Miss East Georgia State College...I was the first to carry the title after the school officially added 'state' into the name!)

What is your Miss Georgia Platform?
"Conquering the Future One Day at a Time: CURE Childhood Cancer" is not only my Miss Georgia platform, but something that I live by. Upon my brother's diagnosis of osteosarcoma at the age of 10, I and my family stepped up to help others going through the same thing in our community. For the last two years, I have organized an Annual Gold Out Game at Emanuel County Institute to raise funds for the CURE Organization and families of local pediatric cancer patients. CURE was there for my family throughout my brother's cancer journey. I love being able to give back to them in any way possible, and will continue to do so for many years to come (even after my time in MAO is up).

What are you doing now?
After graduating from EGSC in December 2013, I transferred to Columbus State University. I am currently a senior, majoring in integrated media and minoring in business administration. In September 2014, I was crowned Miss Middle West Georgia 2015 and will be competing for the title of Miss Georgia again in just about a month! I was recently accepted to the Disney College Program for the Fall of 2015 to be a Fairy Godmother In-Training at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. This will fulfill my senior internship requirements and will, I hope, push me forward to graduate with my degree in Spring 2016. Upon graduation, I plan to return to my original hometown of Savannah, Ga., to find a PR Management position or possibly a position as a Video Editor.

Morgan Lothridge: Miss Golden Isles

What is your fondest memory of being Miss EGC?
My fondest memory of being Miss East GA College (it wasn't East GA State College yet) was being able to meet and spend time with Stephen and Matthew Huffman. The twins were the 2011 CMN Miracle kids, each weighing less than one-and-a half pounds at the time of their birth and faced many difficult health problems. Watching them grown into active little toddles truly inspired me, and helped me realize that if they can overcome such hard times as infants, I can face any of my small "stresses" in life.

What did holding the title of Miss East Georgia  College mean to you?
Miss East Georgia College was truly an amazing title to have. I was not only able to represent a community but I was able to represent my school and my peers. Being Miss East GA College means I always have a home to go to, literally, because Ms. Vicki still treats me as if I am her queen. That is the best feeling in the world knowing you are always a part of a lasting family.

What is your Miss Georgia platform?
My platform is Mind, Body, and Soul. Living a healthy lifestyle is so important and greatly impacts every person. However, being healthy isn't just about eating correctly and exercising it is also about having a healthy mind. Overall, I want to encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle in whatever way possible. Let's face it, HAPPINESS is the only thing we desire for its own sake. HAPPINESS is an inside job. If the body, mind and soul are happy, you are happy! If you would like to know more please email me:

What are you doing now?
I graduated last December from Georgia Southern University with a degree in journalism. As Miss Golden Isles, I am currently getting ready for the Miss Georgia Scholarship pageant next month and working at N'Shape fitness in Statesboro. If I win scholarship money at Miss Georgia, I will definitely go back to school for a Master’s degree. If I do not, I will be on a serious job prowl. Basically, I am waiting to see which road opens first.

Amanda Lawler: Miss Wayne County

What was your most memorable time as a student at East Georgia?
I have quite a few memories from East Georgia. First off, I would like to say it was by far my favorite to attend, and I went to three different colleges/universities. What I enjoyed most are the friends I made at East Georgia and feeling like one big family on campus. Of course, I could tell you little details of each of my favorite professors, such as Mr. Ellison, Mr. Benton, Dr. Brown, and of course the late Dr. Bartram. I will always recommend East Georgia being the first college to attend after high school.

What is your platform and what are you doing with it?
My platform is “When You ‘Make-A-Wish’, Dreams Do Come True”. With this platform, I am raising donations and increasing awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I am actually holding a one mile fun walk on May 30 in Vidalia to raise money to donate to give to Make-A-Wish Georgia Foundation, so that more kids’ wishes can be granted. Over the last 20 years the state of Georgia alone has granted 7,000 wishes.

What are you doing now?
I graduated from Georgia Southern University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations in December. I am currently doing an internship with The Walt Disney Company at Disney World as a Character Attendant through the Disney College Program. My internship will soon come to an end, so I plan to find a career anywhere in the surrounding areas. I enjoy working and networking with the public, and I am looking for a job that will allow me to start a future for myself.

Caitlan Coleman: Miss Emanuel County

What is your fondest memory so far of your time here at EGSC? 
My fondest memory was working with the children who visited our campus through a program called Second Grade Experience! It was so fun watching them play and have a great time while meeting some of our student athletes and of course "Bob" the Bobcat.

What is your Miss Georgia Platform? 
My platform is "Impacting Youth Through Mentoring."

What are you doing now and what are your future plans?
I have just finished my freshman year here at EGSC and plan to finish my education here in May of 2016.  In the fall of 2016 I hope to attend the University of Georgia and finish my Bachelor's Degree in Political Science.