Posted Sept. 1, 2017
Suzi Roberts, 2016 public relations alumna, current Miss South Carolina and incoming
USC School of Law student
How has your public relations degree from the J-school prepared you for your role as Miss South Carolina?
Essentially, the job of Miss South Carolina and that of a public relations professional are one in the same. I am the face of the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization, as well as the local face of the Miss America Organization. I am a local ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and I am personally responsible for promoting my platform. All of this requires carrying out comprehensive social media campaigns (both on my own and as led by Dick Clark Productions), communicating on behalf of the organizations that I represent, hosting events and securing sponsorships or donors for each.
Do you have a favorite professor or a favorite memory from your time here?
I really loved the leadership and teaching styles of Instructor Ernest Grigg and Dr. Shannon Bowen, among others. These two professors really took the time to get to know me and have conversations about how my education would affect my future career and my preparation for Miss America. What I learned from these individuals goes far beyond the classroom, and I will always have the utmost respect and gratitude for them!
This year, we found three other contestants with a J-school connection (either students
or alumni) participating in Miss South Carolina. Last year, there were seven. Why
do you think the J-school is so well-represented in the pageant?
There truly is something special about the J-school. I feel that the way we're educated makes us feel a sense of responsibility and connection to the community around us, which is why we have sought out these opportunities to serve through the Miss America Organization. I also believe that the value we place on our education is what makes us more likely to compete in such an incredible scholarship program.
What do you hope to accomplish during your reign as Miss South Carolina — and possibly
as Miss America?
A few things I am currently working on are assisting the Department of Education in marketing STEM programs to girls beginning in elementary schools, creating a program to train all early childhood educators and school nurses to assess adverse childhood experiences and streamlining the process of subsidized kinship care. I would love to stay heavily involved in the legislative process throughout this year and use my partnership with the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to improve pediatric healthcare practices in South Carolina. I would also love to grow participation in the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization in order to cultivate a population of strong, intelligent and driven future female leaders for our state. I hope that through my year of service every single person in the state of South Carolina will come to be familiar with and respect the Miss America Organization and everyone involved!
What do you hope to do after completing law school?
I plan on continuing my work in child advocacy. What exactly that will look like, I'm not quite sure yet! Whether it be working as an attorney for DSS, joining forces with a think tank like the Institute for Child Success or becoming a prosecutor on crimes against children — what I do know is that I will never "work" a day in my life because improving the well-being of children is the most fulfilling job you could have!