A University of Central Arkansas alumna has been chosen as the new Miss Arkansas for 2022.
Ebony Mitchell, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UCA in 2019, was selected as Miss Arkansas from a field of 45 contestants. She will represent the state of Arkansas at the 95th edition of the Miss American pageant later in 2022.
“It’s just been so overwhelming,” Mitchell told KATV Monday afternoon. “The amount of joy and the amount of inclusion that I’ve received over the past week. I’m just excited for the coming year. I can’t stop smiling.”
Mitchell won nearly $150,000 in scholarships, awards and gifts during the competition. During the course of the weeklong Miss Arkansas competition, Mitchell won several awards and honors, including:
- Preliminary Evening Gown
- Preliminary On-Stage Interview
- Preliminary Talent
- Asher Ray Mentor Award
- The “All Grown Up” Award
- Overall Dance Award
- Grace Scholarship in Memory of Madelyn Grace Johnson
- Bill Tarkington Overall Evening Gown
- Sarah Slocum Overall Private Interview
- Scott Landers Business Profession Marketplace Scholarship
A native of Harrison, Arkansas, Mitchell performed a tap-dance routine to “Respect” during the talent portion of the competition. Her personal platform was called “A Responsible Digital You,” which aims to educate Arkansas children about safety in online spaces.
“I’ve been really fortunate to partner with the Office of the Attorney General as well as the Arkansas Department of Education,” Mitchell said. “I’m looking forward to speaking to schools, civic organizations and with anyone I can about keeping our children safe while they’re online.”
A former Miss University of Central Arkansas, Mitchell was a member of the cheerleading squad as a student at UCA.
Mitchell was joined on the Miss Arkansas stage by five other contestants with UCA ties.
Current Miss University of Central Arkansas Nia Renee Kelly, a freshman majoring in vocal performance, was a Top 11-15 semifinalist and was the Preliminary Talent Scholarship award winner and the Alpha Talent Scholarship award winner.
Senior nursing major Hannah Rainwater was the Mu Group Alpha Private Interview winner. Mattison Gafner, a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and public relations, Hannah Hagerman, a senior public relations major, and Shalexis Shelton, a first-year graduate student in occupational therapy, also competed at the event. Shelton also earned her undergraduate degree in health services administration/pre-occupational therapy from UCA in 2021.