Name: Theresa Marie Vail
Title: Miss Kansas
Hometown: Manhattan, Kansas
Date of Birth: October 1, 1990
Education: Kansas State University—Senior—Chemistry and Chinese
Army School of Ordnance
Army School of Health Sciences
Leavenworth High School
Platform Issue: Empowering Women: Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers
Scholastic/Career Ambition: Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Chinese and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. To become a dentist for the Army.
Talent: Vocal/ “Nessun Dorma”
Scholastic Honors: Georganne Howler Chemistry Scholarship Recipient; National Society of Collegiate Scholars; Member of the Kansas State University Parachute Club; Member of the Kansas State University Dental Club; Member of the Kansas State University Chemistry Fraternity; Distinguished Honor Graduate at the Army School of Ordnance; Distinguished Honor Graduate at the Army School of Health Sciences.
Leadership Roles: Section leader at Kansas Army National Guard Medical Detachment; Director of Public Relations and spokesperson for the hunting company “Suburban Woodsman”; CEO and founder of the Miss Outdoor Girl brand and website; Coordinate nursing home visits for the college students of my local church; Liturgical minister for my local church; Assist with blood drives held by Kansas State University; Lead and was responsible for 250 soldiers for 9 weeks of mechanics school; Coordinated and ran an all-girls archery clinic.
Accomplishments: 3.8 GPA Chinese major; Expert marksman for the Army on the M16 rifle; Soldier of the Month; Completed the 2011 Bataan Death March; Distinguished Honor Graduate at both military schools attended; Consecutively earned the Army physical fitness award; Developed an Empowerment Project for women.
Interesting Facts: One of nine children; I joined the Kansas Army National Guard when I was 17; I speak Chinese fluently; I have put in10 hours towards my private pilot’s license; I have lived and traveled all over the World.
Employment: Kansas Army National Guard Medical Detachment
How has the world you come from shaped your dreams and aspirations?
I grew up being bullied and feeling self-conscious about the way I looked. My self-esteem and my perspective on life changed when at the age of 10 my dad altered my teeth. I entirely devote my love and passion for dentistry and healthcare philanthropy to those moments.
Of all the ways you could succeed in your life, why have you chosen to succeed in the Miss America Organization?
I believe God gave me an innate ability to lead others. As a proven leader in the Army, in my church and in college, I am also a role model. The Miss America Organization gives me the opportunity to use my leadership abilities and strengths to be such a role model and serve others. As soon as I learned of the Organization, I knew being part of it would allow me to reach out and serve a different group of people.
What social issue, other than your platform, will have the greatest impact on your generation and why?
Social media will likely have the greatest impact on my generation. For decades we have grown increasingly more dependent on it. We send letters or make phone calls less frequently or not at all. Instead we text, tweet, Facebook and YouTube. Breaking news can be sent directly to our phones, travesties go viral on Facebook, and political groups can now reach us and spread their message via Twitter. Through all the various forms of social media now available to us, we have more knowledge and information than any former generation. We have the world at our fingertips and the power to do what we want with it – positively or negatively.