5 questions with…graduating senior, Miss Ohio contestant Camille Dyquiangco

headshot of Camille DyquiangcoThis Sunday, senior Camille Dyquiangco and her fellow graduates will walk across the stage at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center to receive their diplomas—marking a successful end to hundreds of undergraduate careers at Case Western Reserve University.

For Dyquiangco, her walk also serves as practice, as she is set to take the stage in the 2014 Miss Ohio Scholarship Program next month in Mansfield. There, she’ll compete against 24 other qualifiers from around the state for the title of Miss Ohio and the chance to compete for the title of Miss America in September.

To qualify for the Miss Ohio program, Dyquiangco won the title of Miss Ohio River in March, but her pageant journey began years ago in her native Castro Valley, Calif.

“My first taste of pageants was in junior high,” she said, “when I won the title of California State’s Teen Ambassadress. It was a terrific experience because its main focus was community service and great emphasis was put on the value of serving others. I grew as a person because of it.”

She became involved in the Miss America Organization in high school, when she won the title of Alameda County’s Outstanding Teen and, later, competed for the title of Miss California’s Outstanding Teen.

Unlike the Miss Universe and Miss USA programs, which are more beauty-focused, the Miss America program is more academic and career-focused, providing scholarships to its participants. According to the Miss America website, the program “exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community.”

If Dyquiangco wins the upcoming Miss Ohio pageant, she will compete at the Miss America pageant this September. If that doesn’t happen, the nutritional biochemistry and metabolism major has applied to several graduate programs to continue her education.

In addition to applying to graduate schools and wrapping up her final semester of school, she has been rigorously preparing for the competition.

“I was partnered with a mentor, Kathy Wise, who helps me by setting up mock interviews and providing feedback when necessary,” she said. “Also, I’ve been keeping up to date on current events, working out more, and practicing my talent routine: tap dance.”

The talent portion of the competition is her favorite, as it comes most naturally. She began dancing at a young age and spent three years on the Spartan Dance Team before sitting this year out to focus on the competition and her studies.

Dyquiangco credits some of her public-speaking ability and diverse outlook to her four years at Case Western Reserve.

“I love public speaking—get me up on a stage with a mic and somehow the words just flow. However, my recent involvement with the CWRU Toastmasters Club has helped me hone those skills,” she said. “Also, my time here truly exposed me to great people from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, helping me to better relate to more people.”

Learn more about Dyquiangco in this week’s five questions.

1. Facebook or Twitter?
I prefer Facebook. I recently created a Twitter account because of the pageant, but I don’t feel the need to tell people my every thought or action.

2. What is your favorite building on campus and why?
I really like Harkness Chapel. I’ve spent some time in there to see vocal performances. Something about my background in music and dance draws me to it. The building has great acoustics and a good energy about it.

3. What is your favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot is either Hawaii or the French Riviera. Both are beautiful. I suggest Hawaii in the winter or the French Riviera during solstice.

4. What is one of your hidden talents?
I have a knack for looking at something and being able to re-create it. I can look at a hairstyle and reproduce it or I can draw something just from looking at it.

5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
I have an appreciation for the intellectual conversations that take place here. It’s something I feel I don’t get everywhere I go and won’t get in such quantity when I move on.