Journalism Student Sarah French Crowned Miss Missouri

By Kelly Peery

Columbia, Mo. (June 26, 2006) — Sarah French, a radio-television journalism junior at the Missouri School of Journalism, has been crowned Miss Missouri for 2006.

Sarah French
Sarah French was crowned the 2006 Miss Missouri. A radio-television journalism student, she plans to delay her studies for a year to concentrate on her pageant engagements. She will compete in the Miss America Pageant in January 2007.

French will take a leave of absence from her studies to devote her time to her Miss Missouri appearances, press conferences and preparation for the national title. She anticipates traveling more than 50,000 miles to fulfill her engagements around the state. French will also travel to Los Angeles to participate in the filming of the reality television show, “Finding Miss America.”

“I am ready for everything to start. I can’t wait!” said French.

French’s road to Missouri from Hot Springs, Ark., began when she started her search for the best college to study journalism. A conversation with Sarah Zapp, BJ ’99, now an award-winning reporter for CN8 in Boston, Mass., led French to Missouri. A campus visit and a tour of KOMU, the only university-owned commercial television station in the U.S. that uses its newsroom as a working lab for students, convinced French to study here.

French said that the introductory newswriting course that she took last semester helped her learn about writing for broadcast media. Her professor, Scott Swafford, said French’s professionalism and work ethic were outstanding.

“Her presence and delivery on camera, as well as her sense of imagery and her ability to capture moments that truly illustrate why a story is news, made her work for the class superior to much of what I see in mainstream television journalism. She certainly has a bright future,” he said.

French credits the broadcast fundamentals she learned, specifically the interview training, for helping her win the Miss Missouri crown.

Sarah Zapp
Sarah Zapp, BJ ’99, reporter at CN8 Boston.

“My journalism professors have been a tremendous help,” she said. “I feel the instruction and experience that I’ve had at Mizzou gave me an advantage with the judges and onstage.”

French hopes that her Missouri Journalism degree and her pageant experience will allow her to move into a national anchor chair someday. “I have my eye on Diane Sawyer’s job,” she said.

French’s journalism professors look forward to helping her learn the fundamentals of the profession after her year of service as Miss Missouri.

“Sarah will do well in our radio-television journalism program because the Miss Missouri winners are always efficient and punctual in getting their work done. And, of course, they always have a confident and sophisticated presence in front of an audience, which is what radio and television journalism requires,” said Kent Collins, chair of the radio-television journalism emphasis area.

Kelly Peery, of Troy, Mo. is studying media convergence journalism with an emphasis in public relations and also pursuing a minor is business. After graduation in May 2007, she plans to pursue a career in media promotions.

Updated: April 10, 2020

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