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The 2016 Blackburn-Spencer Pageant Contestants


The sold-out 40th anniversary of the Blackburn-Spencer Pageant is taking place in Baker Ballroom on Saturday, October 8th at 7PM to celebrate the success of the contestants raising money for the scholarship fund.  The event will consist of a dinner, pageant, and special dedications to important contributors to the event and scholarship. I was able to sit down with a few of the 17 contestants that will compete in the pageant and get to know what they find important about themselves and the pageant.


Payge Bass

Payge is a first-year looking into studying business. She states her personality is “calm, laid-back, friendly,” and she likes to have a fun time! Payge has raised over $250 through selling brownies, chips, and water throughout campus. She is hoping the pageant gives her experience, new friends, and a way to help the university and other students. She likes to hang in the Multicultural Center in her free time. SnapChat her your best wishes @blacpayge!


Kyle Billingsea

This undecided major freshman explains his personality as creative, sociable, and energetic! He has raised over $500 through a GoFundMe, getting pied, and hosting fundraisers at home. Mr. Billingsea believes the Blackburn-Spencer pageant is important because everyone can, “…come together as a community for a greater cause.” He is hoping to gain connections and a great time with the other contestants during the process and encourages all to apply for the event and scholarship! Find him on Instagram @the_official_kb and wish him luck!


Rico Boamah

A junior studying Communication Studies and Marketing, this contestant has used his own talents to raise money for the event. He held a concert, a Pie Rico event, and sold cake pops to raise over $600 as of September 25th! When asked what makes him unique, he chuckled and responded, “My swagger, my suave.” He also credits his one-of-a-kind humor and intellect for making him the person he is today. Rico wants everyone to know that the pageant is a lot of work and although that might scare people aware from applying, it allows you to meet wonderful people and encourage others at Ohio University. Catch him tweeting @idontthinkicare!


Tatiana Boykin

Boykin is a sophomore studying biological sciences. Through her work with her sponsors, the Student Alumni Board, she has raised over $900 selling grilled cheese, snacks, and hosting a movie night. Tatiana is relatable, understanding, and believes she makes other people feel comfortable around her. The pageant is important to her because it demonstrates a successful Black community and it is empowering. She giggled as she ended her brief interview shouting, “OU Oh Yeah!”


Monique Callieham

Monique is a Communication Sciences and Disorders major graduating in 2018. She has fundraised $700 as of September 25th through bake sales, a spa event, and Pie a Q. Her sponsor for the pageant is Omega Psi Phi, Incorporated. Monique describes herself as a nice person with a strong personality, and she loves to help others. Follow her on Twitter @mcallieham and wish her the best of luck this weekend!


Kaitlyn Mabrey

Kaitlyn is a sophomore studying Exercise Physiology with a minor in biological sciences. To raise money for the scholarships, she has done a grilled cheese stand, a pie in the face stand, and she created a GoFundMe campaign. Kaitlyn describes herself as, “…a funny person that can be serious when the time is right.” She hopes the pageant will help her gain professionalism skills and new friends, and wants everyone to know that the pageant is more fun than serious and it creates lifelong friends. Come out to the pageant Saturday to cheer on Kaitlyn!


Kalah Saunders

Kalah is a junior studying special education and she is killing it with fundraising for the pageant! Through selling quesadillas, grilled cheese, throwing a party, and setting up a GoFundMe, she has raised over $1000! Miss Saunders describes herself as goofy and smart, but stressed that she over thinks a lot! She believes the pageant is important because it is supporting education through scholarships, and it pushes the contestants out of their comfort zone. Keep up with Kalah on all social media @kalah_saunders!


Bitanya Tefera

Bitanya is an undecided first-year with wonderful fundraising skills. She has raised over $780 through her family’s donations, rainbow Jell-O cup sales, and walking tacos on Court Street. She refers to herself as open-minded, ambitious, and cultured and encourages anyone and everyone to be a part of the pageant. She loves that the event means “students help students,” and that proceeds go to a good cause. Scroll through her timeline on Twitter @Bitanyaxx and Instagram @Bitanyaa!



Dejae’Naye Wilkins

A first-year student contemplating majoring in Communication Studies and African American Studies, Wilkins stresses the importance of the pageant’s history and the creators who have made it possible over the past 40 years. She is always looking for a good time and smiled as she said she was sarcastic. Dejae’Naye may come off shy at first, but if you get to know her, you’ll love her stunning personality. She has raised over $300 through lemonade stands and hot dog sales to contribute to the scholarship. Send her your well wishes through SnapChat @dejaerose!


Reggie Williams

Reggie is a junior majoring in Political Science Pre-Law with a minor in Kinesiology. He has raised $200 from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, donuts, a pie in the face, and a football tournament. He describe himself as, “…someone who is very outgoing, genuine, and charismatic.” Reggie joined the Blackburn-Spencer Scholarship Pageant to make connections with students and be challenged by breaking out of his comfort zone. Keep up with Reggie on SnapChat @Reggie2 and Instagram @ReginaldOTheGreat!  


Christopher Williamson

Christopher is a first-year undecided student looking into pre-engineering. At the time of the interview, he had raised $200 and had ideas for several more fundraisers including bake sales! He credits being an only child for providing him social skills, a calm demeanor, and a relatable personality. Christopher hopes to gain experience and have a good time during the pageant process. Ask him to hang out through SnapChat @kiiing_chris!


Kaitlin Wilson

Kaitlin is a senior majoring in Performing and Literary Arts with a minor in African American Studies that credits her fundraising skills to her study abroad experiences. She dropped off letters to the departments she is associated with and has received over $1500 in donations! Kaitlin is an, “extroverted butterfly,” and “As someone who is only 4 foot 10 inches, I tend to have a larger than life personality.” Miss Wilson self-proclaims to give really good hugs and she thrives on stage, so she can’t wait for the pageant! As most seniors at Ohio University, she can’t believe she’ll be graduating soon. Follow her last year at  OU on Instagram and Twitter @celinekw.



Her Campus Ohio U wishes every contestant the best of luck this Saturday!

All photos provided the indiviual contestants.Cover photo courtesy of www.twitter.com/ou_bscpb. 

Not available for interview: Kaelyn Brown, Nelson Cruz, Ashleigh Johnson, and Allen Steele

Ohio University 2017 Alumna Communication Studies major | Business minor | Social Media certificate Qnary | Client Success Manager Some Good Wine | Event and Marketing Director Delta Zeta Alumna | Public Relations Advisor Her Campus | Chapter Advisor and past Campus Correspondent PRSSA | Mentor Living my best life in NYC.
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