Mary Randall IvyMiss Natchez Trace
Hometown: Oxford, MS
Platform: Listen Carefully: Healthy Hearing Awareness
Talent: Piano solo “Once Upon a December” from the Broadway musical Anastasia.
What college did you attend, or are currently attending? The University of Mississippi
What is your major? Communication Sciences and Disorders for Speech-Language Pathology.
What is your scholastic ambition? I plan to attend graduate school to obtain a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology to work with individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
List scholastic honors: As an Ole Miss freshman, I was selected to be a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. The Class of 2014 was comprised of fellow freshmen who were leaders in their communities. We were part of a cohort class, mentored by our Chancellor, who enjoyed presentations by leaders from a variety of successful business, government and educational roles, many of whom were Ole Miss Graduates. It was a great way to start my time at Ole Miss!
Greatest non-academic accomplishment: My greatest non-academic achievement was being selected from over 300 women as one of 35 to serve as an Ole Miss Diamond Girl for the Ole Miss Baseball Team. I was able to enjoy the best atmosphere in college baseball, while serving my university by engaging fans in a sport I love.
What is your favorite style of music? My favorite style of music is country because country songs always tell great stories about the things that truly matter, like family and faith.
What is your favorite movie genre and why? I enjoy Science Fiction because I love how the imagination, creativity, and art of the fantasy stories are beautiful and unique.
What is your favorite gadget? My D3100 Nikon Camera. I love capturing that one moment in time, that will never happen again; that only a picture can do.
What is your favorite blog? NOBREAD Your Guide to All Things Gluten Free. This site offers healthy, delicious recipes that are easy on the tummy. http://nobread.com/blog
What is your favorite place to visit? The beach. Being near the water and hearing the sounds of the waves is so relaxing. It’s true what they say…the beach fixes everything!
What is your favorite food? Pomegranates.
If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? I would bring a blank journal to record my thoughts and ideas. And after I enjoyed the beach for a while, I could use the blank pages to send a message in a bottle to be rescued!
Do you twitter? Yes!
What is your favorite?
Sports Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch
Actress: Alicia Vikander
Television Program: Favorite of all time: Friends. Current TV show: Scandal
Wardrobe Accessory: My FitBit
Thing to do on a weekend: Dinner and a movie with girlfriends
Way to spend a day off: Taking pictures with my camera or playing the piano.
What is your hometown like? Constantly thriving, very entertaining, and full of delicious food! I love how Oxford is rich with history, but offers current music, sports and the arts.
What were you like when you were a child? Sassy, yet sweet. I loved participating in dance recitals, but I also enjoyed reading, painting and having time to myself.
Who is the most influential person in your life? My paternal grandfather has been the most influential person because he has helped me fall in love with my music and taught me the ability to chase any dream I can think of.
What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? In 2013, I suffered a “Lisfranc” stress fracture and torn ligaments in my right foot. I have undergone two surgeries, several casts and countless hours of physical therapy and procedures to be able to walk again.
Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: Seeing that moment of confidence with middle school girls I mentor, when they compete in pageants, and realize their self-worth.
What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? A smile is the most important accessory you can wear, and friendship and the ability to uplift others is more rewarding than the crown itself.
If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Year of Service? I want to educate Mississippians about noise-induced hearing loss. From wearing protection while hunting or at sporting events, there are many ways to prevent hearing loss. I want to be a spokesperson for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
What is your secret wish or dream? To become a professional photographer, which I plan to come true soon! I enjoy taking portrait, events, weddings, and pet photography.
I’m motivated by: I’m motivated by my passion to help others realize their sense of self-worth. No matter what you may be facing, you have an important role in the world.
Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform?
I have a nine-year-old cousin who was born deaf. She received cochlear implants at ten months old, countless hours of speech therapy and now has language and reading skills two years above her grade-level. Through Annabelle, I have begun to understand the importance of hearing in learning and enjoying life, such as hearing music. This led me to not only my college major, and my desire to help those with hearing loss, but my platform to increase awareness about preventing noise-induced hearing loss.
What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime?
Sustaining a stress fracture and torn ligaments my senior year of high school has been the most significant event of my lifetime. It changed every aspect of my life from my hobbies of competitive dance and golf, to what shoes I wore, to how far I could walk during daily activities. Once I was back in regular shoes, I still had to use a handicapped-parking pass, and I was verbally harassed on multiple occasions, because people couldn’t see my handicap. This has inspired me to advocate for those with unseen handicaps, like hearing loss.
The one thing I can’t live without: Music. Music is universal, and can reach across all languages and cultures, and even across disabilities; the interpretation of music is how it makes you feel.
My best friend would describe me as: Artistic, helpful, and friendly.
Something interesting about my family: I come from a large and ever-growing Italian family from the Mississippi Delta. We are a loud, food-frenzy bunch!
Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: My younger brother (who is 6’2 with curly black hair) and I went to see a movie together and the ticket master thought we were a couple out on a date! It was more embarrassing for my brother!
One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: Hike in the Grand Canyon, even though I am afraid of heights!
Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: I’ve never known life without a Labrador retriever. We lost our black Labrador a year ago, at age 15, but we have another black Lab puppy on the way!