The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

71° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Big plans for UA pageant winner

    Miss Native American University of Arizona pageant winner, Candace Begody, a journalism senior, wears her crown and sash while standing outside of Old Main yesterday afternoon.
    Miss Native American University of Arizona pageant winner, Candace Begody, a journalism senior, wears her crown and sash while standing outside of Old Main yesterday afternoon.

    Recently crowned Miss Native American University of Arizona Candace Begody hopes to couple her new title with her already thriving journalistic endeavors to become a visible face for the Native American community at the UA.

    “”I thought (the pageant) was an awesome opportunity to serve the Native American community of Tucson and the university,”” said Begody, a journalism senior and member of the Navajo Nation.

    The annual Miss Native American University of Arizona pageant isn’t a run-of-the-mill pageant. Competitors need to compose and read an essay, answer interview questions, answer an impromptu question and perform a traditional talent.

    For her talent, Begody sang a Native American church song in Navajo, which she said was her biggest challenge during the pageant.

    Two other students competed in the Miss Native UA pageant along with Begody, which was sponsored by the Native American Student Affairs office and held on Feb. 7 at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater.

    Aside from coordinating next year’s pageant, there are not a lot of set responsibilities that come with the title of Miss Native UA, but Begody said that is not going to stop her from taking a moreactive role in the Native community at the university.

    “”One of my goals this year is to really be visible in front of my peers, the Native community on campus,”” she said. “”My role is to serve the Native community and the university. For me, that’s my first priority.””

    One way she has been serving the community is by being one of the driving forces behind establishing the UA chapter of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) in January of 2008, which is the second of four national chapters.

    Begody also edits for Native Perspectives, a student-run publication produced by NAJA that focuses on Native American issues. One of the main goals of Native Perspectives is to bring something to the university that the Native community can be proud of while educating Natives and non-Natives about the culture, she said.

    “”We put a call out for essays, journalism, photos and interviews, so it’s really open,”” Begody said.

    Originally, Begody wasn’t planning on competing in the Miss Native UA pageant after a loss last year, but she said she felt a responsibility to run once again.

    “”Your character is built by failure and not so much success, because it depends on how you get up and put yourself back out there after losing,”” she said. “”If anyone else won, I would have just been happy that we had some people run.””

    Through her past and future experiences as a Native American journalist and now as Miss Native UA, Begody believes she has become a more-rounded person.

    “”(Success) is just telling me that I’m on the right path, I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on, and that’s it, I’m going in the right direction,”” she said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search