Contestant Reaches Semi-Finals of National Competition
For Allyn Rose, of Newburg, attending the College of Southern Maryland was a stepping stone not only to college life but also to a crown. The 22-year-old and a former CSM student is the current Miss Maryland USA and competed for the Miss USA title on June 19 in Las Vegas, reaching the semi-finals. Rose attended CSM for one semester in 2006 and said it helped her to find herself before transferring to the University of Maryland (UMD).
Rose was recruited to play for the Hawks by CSM Head Volleyball Coach Michelle Ruble, who said it was Rose’s vertical leap that first caught her attention at La Plata High School but that she also saw pluses in Rose’s leadership skills, work ethic and strong academics.
Already accepted to attend UMD in 2006, Rose deferred admission to play for CSM. “Ally was a hard sell because she was concerned about being challenged academically,” Ruble said.
Rose not only found CSM courses to be challenging, she also found instructors who were supportive. She recalls her communications professor being very tough, but that the rigor helped her develop interpersonal and public speaking skills. To be successful in pageantry, Rose said, “You have to know how to speak, conduct yourself and your body language. There were a lot of intricacies she taught me that definitely helped out.”
Rose also recalls the support she received from her English professor, William Barton and the volleyball coaching staff. “They were all great, great people—very supportive. It’s kind of a transitional period when you’re in your first semester of college and they’re here to mentor you,” Rose said.
“A student that attends CSM out of high school develops skill sets in a friendlier, hands-on environment which will help tremendously when they transfer to a large institution where they could possibly feel like a number,” said Ruble.
Ruble, who has been a member of the coaching staff at CSM for 20 years, said a big part of women’s sports is team bonding, “CSM promotes activities that allow players to develop that bond. Attending a community college allows students to experience diversity on a small scale and develop skills that help them to be successful in whatever their future plans are.”
Rose specifically remembers a trip with the volleyball team to Florida in which she developed lasting friendships with her teammates. The team finished second in the Maryland Junior College Conference and third in the region that year.
Attending CSM helped Rose to be more relaxed and better prepared to transfer to a four-year university, she said, “By the time I got to the university I was pretty well versed on things like who I was and what I wanted to do in school.”
As a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority at UMD, Rose received an email about a pageant to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Rose, who lost her mother to breast cancer the summer before her junior year in high school remembers thinking, “Of course I will do this. It was a great way to honor my mother.”
After competing Rose said she got the pageant bug.’
“I thought, if I won this [competition], I might as well go for the whole shebang,” she said of competing in the Miss Maryland USA pageant. “I tried it and it just happened. It was crazy.”
Since becoming Miss Maryland USA, Rose has had many opportunities to speak to young people. In an appearance for the Girl Scouts of America she spoke about what is was like for her at their age and how she became the person she is today. She said that although the death of her mother does not define who she is as a person, she looks for opportunities to speak to young people who have experienced the loss of a parent and help them to see it in a positive light.
Rose graduated from UMD with a bachelor’s degree in government and politics/ philosophy in 2010 and is currently working as a paralegal. She plans to attend law school in the near future.
With an interest in government that she attributes to her mother, Rose wants to encourage young people to become more active in civic duties and less apathetic toward politics. “Kids don’t see it as being important,” Rose said. She also encourages students to attend community college to help them become more grounded before heading off to a university. Rose’s friends who attended CSM before transferring to UMD have all excelled, she said.