Political Science Princess

Miss South Dakota Month 6: The “Halfway Point”, hunting, and honoring veterans

November tested my ability to adapt.

From school visits, to photoshoots, to performing, back to school visits, to pheasant hunting, to local competitions, to putting on my own career planning conventions, to speaking with the governor’s staff, to a fancy party at a law firm, to the MACYS THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE, to changing flights an hour before takeoff, to driving 300 miles in a blizzard… it was a bit of a whirlwind and I am not referring to the blowing snow.

I cannot believe I am already half way done with my year as Miss South Dakota. Miss America is in just a few days and it feels like just a couple weeks ago I was crowned. Honestly I don’t even know where I was for fall because it’s winter now and I JUST put away my shorts and Birkenstocks.

Here’s to the latter 6. Coming at you Uncasville… Mohegan Sun, this South Dakota girl has you in her sights.

Miss South Dakota AppearancesDateMileageFlying
Boutique Shoot5-Nov20
Natl. Anthem College Basketball Game5-Nov20
Bison Visit7-Nov542
Pheaseant Banquet8-Nov81
Pheaseant Hunt9-Nov30
Miss SDSU10-Nov189
Veterans Day11-Nov442
Mock Interview12-Nov399
Keloland Living15-Nov30
Super Saturday16-Nov30
Governor Meeting18-Nov448
Salon Vermillion19-Nov126
Rotary Club21-Nov400
Theta Soup & Sip21-Nov114
Rapid City Central22-Nov114
Beaujolais Celebration22-Nov30
West River Super Saturday23-Nov114
NYC PARADE11/25-11/294742749
Total: 6945

Miss South Dakota Month 5: Hobos, Halloween, and “HOW MANY MILES?!?”

October brought Hobo Day, over a dozen school visits, my Miss America Trunk Show, and Miss America Orientation.

The month brought many miles traveled, friendships formed, early mornings, late nights, and almost unreal moments.

Over 7,000 miles in a month. Over 20,000 miles traveled so far as Miss South Dakota. If anyone wants to know a good Christmas present- Vitamin C is a highly used commodity in my household.

Miss South Dakota AppearancesDateMileageFlying
Hill City School Visit2-Oct373
Bennett County 3-Oct155
Kadoka School3-Oct312
Boutique Shoot4-Oct20
SDSU Speech4-Oct58
HOBO Parade5-Oct15
Spirit of Dakota5-Oct202
Centerville School7-Oct82
Mount Vernon9-Oct172
Trunk Show12-Oct802
Pheasants Forever17-Oct450
Salon 18-Oct126
Dell Rapids18-Oct50
Alcester Hudson25-Oct96
Lake Loraine Halloween26-Oct30
Miss USD27-Oct126
Highmore Harrold28-Oct394
Wolsey Wessington30-Oct286
Total: 737547832592

Miss South Dakota Month 4

State Fair Sept 1-2 130
Career Success Advisors USD 3-Sep 65
Soroity Visits 3-Sep 65
Radio Interview 5-Sep 0
Boutique Shoot 5-Sep 10
Arlington School Visit 10-Sep 80
Hot Springs Stair Climb 11-Sep 403
CMN Golf Tourney 13-Sep 51
Hall of Fame Event 13-Sep 432
Garretson School Visit 16-Sep 425
Sioux Valley School Visit 16-Sep 132
SESHRM Meeting 17-Sep 10
Bowdle School Visit 18-Sep 323
Henry School Visit 19-Sep 212
Sioux Falls Community College 20-Sep 15
Ranch & Hills Trip (Miss A Video) 20-Sep 744
Stickney Corsica School Visit 23-Sep 230
Avon School Visit 24-Sep 236
Junior Achievement Call 25-Sep 0

Total miles:
September was a ride. So much so that I am still recovering and we are literally already halfway through October!! Starting off at the State Fair and ending with a weekend getaway, I traveled every weekend of my birthday month. From Huron to Oklahoma to Hot Springs to Virginia- I put on some serious mileage, but a lot of it was personal travel to celebrate my birthday. Highlights include being on stage with The Beach Boys, starting my school tour, filming for Miss America at the Outlaw Ranch, and attending the Miss South Dakota, South Dakota Hall of Fame Exhibit opening.

I never could have imagined how crazy this ride would get, especially now as I continue to chip away at my college class work while being Miss South Dakota.

But you can’t take life too seriously, as we never get out alive. Every adventure and sleepless night will be a story for the future and will bring me fond memories for the rest of my life.

Wake me up when September ends? Oh right. It’s October. Keep reminding me.


Miss South Dakota Month 3

August was a busy month for me as usual. I spent much of the month working on my social impact initiative Operation Overload (

I was also able to go to the Sturgis Rally, the first ever Miss South Dakota, Roselyn’s 90th Birthday Party, and the State Fair.

Some of my highlights include: “playing the guitar” with the Beach Boys, climbing a rock wall at Aurora Days, singing Man! I feel like a woman on Karfool Karioke, and speaking at the Governor’s Workforce Development Council meeting.

Close to 4,000 miles this month… that’s almost 15,000 already in three months. Check out the pictures from some of my adventures below.

EMBE lunch 1-Aug 57
Shoot with Vince 2-Aug 10
Aurora Days 3-Aug 120
Pilates 4-Aug 10
Podcast recording 5-Aug 10
Wynie Maes 5-Aug 130
Sponsor Shoot 6-Aug 10
Vermillion Meeting 6-Aug 130
Artisan Meeting 7-Aug 10
State Veterans Home 8-Aug 400
Gestring Call 9-Aug 0
Rally 9-Aug 106
Hippie Hole 10-Aug 70
Dept. of Labor Call 12-Aug 0
Pilates 12-Aug 10
Sponsor Shoot 13-Aug 10
Artisian Meeting 14-Aug 10
Hair Sponsor 15-Aug 130
Roselyns Birthday 16-Aug 784
FELS 17-Aug 572
Bisson Dental 20-Aug 57
Wilbert Square 20-Aug 10
Karfool Kareoke 21-Aug 10
CMN Sioux City 21-Aug 224
Student Coalition Call 22-Aug 0
EMBE Coffee 22-Aug 10
Sponsor Shoot 22-Aug 10
Boys and Girls Club 23-Aug 10
Artisian Meeting 23-Aug 10
USD Student Org Fair 24-Aug 130
Boys and Girls Club 26-Aug 10
CTE Academy Meeting 26-Aug 0
Volante Interview 26-Aug 0
Workforce Development Council 27-Aug 227
Bob Shoot 28-Aug 237
State Fair                                       29-31 Aug 130
  Total Number of Miles 3654

Miss South Dakota Month 2

It is already been TWO months since I was crowned Miss South Dakota. July brought me progress in my social impact initiative, trips to the Black Hills, and all the way to Florida to watch Miss America’s Outstanding Teen and have my first ever meeting regarding Miss America 2.0!!

Here’s a little run down of what I accomplished:

CMN Meeting20
Pool Party Ellsworth AFB86
Spearfish Sasquatch Game48
Belle Fourche Parade14
Ranch Day & Badlands86
Mt. Rushmore72
Military Promotion24
Eyelashes Sponsor 407 (Including drive home)
Nursing Home62
YMCA Meeting10
SD Clothing Meeting10
Miss Siouxland Rehearsal10
Meeting for Video/ Content10
Skincare Meeting10
Miss Siouxland 10
Tea Party10
Payton’s Trunk Show20
State Librarian Meeting232
DOE DOLR and BOR Meeting10
Hair Sponsor267
Nail Sponsor62
Black Swan Day462
Little Miss Canton Interviews40
Little Miss Canton  40
Omnitech Meeting10
Brookings Radio64
Car Repair Sponsor5
Barb Harms and Ray Lunch5
Bisson Dental5
BHSU Call64
5367 Total Miles (2175 Driving)

OVER 5,000 miles in one month! It has already been such an adventure. Here are some of my memories from along the way:

Miss South Dakota Month 1

Hello Everyone- *brushes cobwebs off of this blog site*

It is good to be back in business, your Political Science Princess as always.

Since I last posted, a THING kinda sorta happened. A sparkly hat was placed on my head and a piece of fabric across my chest that reads “MISS SOUTH DAKOTA”.

Life has been just a little different since the evening of June 1st for me. So, if you’re along for the ride… here’s a little recap of my first month as Miss South Dakota.

Event Date Mileage Estimate
KSFY 3-June 120
Miss Nebraska 6-Jun 782
Hair Sponsor Visit 10-Jun 120
Powerhouse Podcast Recording 11-Jun 0
Pilates Sponsor Visit 12-Jun 20
Cuong Strong Sponsor Visit 12-Jun 10
PSE Podcast Recording 12-Jun 0
Dignity Statue 15-Jun 143
Pierre Photoshoot 15-Jun 314
Trappers Game 15-Jun 20
Keloland Living 17-Jun 20
President Gestring Meeting 19-Jun 120
NewsCenter1 20-Jun 395
Kathleens 20-Jun 40
Riddles Photo 21-Jun 40
Downtown Friday Nights 21-Jun 40
Kenadi’s Carnival 22-Jun 20
Deadwood Nights 22-Jun 30
Roselyn Meeting 22-Jun 20
Huron Radio Stations 26-Jun 128
Brookings Board of Regents Meeting 26-Jun 75
Junior High School Rodeo Volleyball 26-Jun 75
Huron Plainsman Story 26-Jun 20
Hot Springs Craft Fair Performance 29-Jun 422
Sturgis Camero Rally 29-Jun 108
Hot Springs Kids Fair Reading Time 30-Jun 108
  Total Mileage: 3190

Another year…

This semester has been absolutely RIDICULOUS, but amazing at the same time. I decided to make a little list of some of the things that I’ve been lucky enough to experience since January 1st.

1.) Spend New Years in Denver

2.) Horse Back Riding in the Badlands

3.) Attend Miss Rapid City, Miss Mitchell, and Miss USD

4.) Do some pretty amazing stuff with the University of South Dakota Student Government Association

5.) Get the cutest little in my sorority Kappa Alpha Theta

6.) See Old Dominion in concert

7.) Go to the USS South Dakota – SSN 790 Commissioning

8.) See my grandmother in Cape Cod

9.) Speak on Wake Up Vermillion

10.) Speak to over a dozen schools- close to 1,000 students all over the state

11.) Attend Miss South Dakota Organization Orientation

12.) Attend South Dakota Student Federation Meeting and Students for Higher Education Days in Pierre

13.) Travel to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Grank Turk

14.) Put on the first ever Mr. USD

15.) Speak on the radio

16.) Attend Pi Sigma Epsilon Nationals and make top 36 in the nation (still in disbelief)

17.) Sleep in an airport

18.) Attend SGA Senator Retreat and hear Sheila Gestring, USD’s President Speak

19.) Attend a SERIOUSLY LONG SGA meeting (it’s for the students man!!)

20.) Travel way too many miles across I-90 and I-29

21.) Get admitted to the ER

22.) Establish my own non-profit company Operation Overload

23.) Spend a weekend with Megan Swanson and Jake Maslo for Powerhouse Pageantry

24.) Drink enough coffee and Dr.Pepper to probably kill most small animals

25.) Mostly importantly, meet so many other incredible humans on this crazy journey that is life. I love the busy, I love the grind, because it is when you are constantly out there that you make the most connections with others and impact others’ lives… in turn they also impact yours 💞

This next weekend I’m headed to see my grandparents in Florida and then there’s two weeks left of the semester! Miss SD paperwork is due on Monday and pageant prep has been in full swing for quite a while.

Thank you to everyone who has made these last few months a whirlwind. Thank you for dealing with my ups and downs, rants, and meltdowns. I am so so so grateful to say this is my life and I am continuously baffled and in awe of the things one human can accomplish in less than 4 months.

Here’s to 8 more, 2019. Keep it coming. 🙌🏼

End of an Era

November 2nd-4th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 40117 Total)

Work, Halloween Parties, Old Friends, Good Times.

November 5th-7th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 40117 Total)

SGA Meeting, Faculty Senate, Election Day, and Class

November 8th Vermillion, SD> Brookfield, WI (500 Miles, 40617 Total)

Headed to Pi Sigma Epsilon Regionals

November 11th Brookfield, WI> Vermillion, SD (500 Miles, 41117 Total)

Back to Vermillion with a Regional Trophy in hand.

November 12th-19th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 41117 Total)

Classes, SGA, PIKE Dream Girl, Theta Formal, and WORK… then it was home for Thanksgiving!

November 20th Vermillion, SD> Hot Springs, SD (479 Miles, 41596 Total)

Home to Hot Springs for Thanksgiving! I gave up my crown, got a puppy, and got my deer!

November 25th Hot Springs, SD>Vermillion, SD (479 Miles, 42075 Total)

Back to Vermillion to finish the semester!

December 4th Vermillion, SD> Aberdeen, SD (262 Miles, 42337 Total)

To Northern State University for the Student Federation and Board of Regents Meetings!

December 5th Aberdeen, SD> Vermillion, SD> Huron, SD (432 Miles, 42769 Total)

Back down to Vermillion and then back up to Huron to speak to a school the next morning!

December 6th Huron, SD> Vermillion, SD (170 Miles, 42939 Total)

After visiting with almost 300 children I was back to Vermillion for a short night.

December 7th Vermillion, SD> Sioux City, IA> Chicago, IL> Baltimore, MD> Washington, DC (1261 Miles, 44200 Total)

One of the craziest things I have ever done- fly to DC in the middle of finals week for a Youth Leadership School.

December 10th Washington, DC> Baltimore, MD> Chicago, IL> Sioux City, IA> Vermillion, SD (1261 Miles, 45461 Total)

And then it was back to Vermillion to take my finals and head home for the holidays.

December 12th Vermillion, SD> Hot Springs, SD (479 Miles, 45940 Total)

I finished my last final at 4pm and got home late, but it was so good to be home.

December 17th Hot Springs, SD (0 Miles, 45940 Total)

I was able to read and speak to the classrooms of my former elementary school teachers.

December 21st Hot Springs, SD> Denver, CO (332 Miles, 46272 Total)

My mom and her friend took me on a girl’s trip to Denver for the weekend!

December 23rd Denver, CO> Hot Springs, SD (332 Miles, 46604 Total)

After fun weekend we were headed back to Hot Springs!

December 30th Hot Springs, SD> Denver, CO (332 Miles, 46936 Total)

Another last-minute adventure back down to Denver for the New Year!

January 1st Denver, CO> Hot Springs, SD (332 Miles, 47268 Total)

Back to Hot Springs and back to reality.

In the past year I have traveled 47,268 miles. I have kept up with this blog for an entire year- and what a crazy ride it has been. 2018 made me feel on top of the world while also knocking me on my butt a few times. I ended this year with a 4.0 GPA in school, a circle of true friends, plans of many projects for Miss South Dakota, possible internships and travel opportunities, and more people in my life than I can count that have supported me and loved me through it all this year. Here’s to another one.

and then God said, “Actually, nope.”

September 17th-September 20th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 34849 Total)

Classes, Theta meeting, High Howlers, and SGA!

September 21st Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 34849 Total)

My acapella choir sang at the USD Music Festival and then I went to the Med School Formal!

September 23rd Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 34849 Total)

PSE Potluck and Miss SD 101… I made cookies!

September 24th-27th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 34849 Total)

Miss South Dakota 101 Session #2, Sorority Meeting, Classes, SGA, High Howlers, PSE… another normal week of college!

September 28th Vermillion, SD> Lower Brule, SD… and back (428 Miles, 35277 Total)

Chris Skunk and I drove to Lower Brule to speak at the Lower Brule High School!

September 29th Vermillion, SD> Urbandale, IA (232 Miles, 35509 Total)

I drove to Iowa for my photoshoot the next day.

September 30th Urbandale, IA> Vermillion, SD (232 Miles, 35741 Total)

My Miss South Dakota Photoshoot in Iowa and then the school talent show! We got 2nd place!

October 2nd Vermillion, SD> Rapid City, SD (391 Miles, 36,132 Total)

Josh, Maddie, Matt, Chris, and I made the trek to Rapid to the School of Mines to attend the Student Federation Meeting and the Board of Regents Meeting.

October 3rd Rapid City, SD> Vermillion, SD (391 Miles, 36523 Total)

We trekked back to Vermillion after the BOR meeting!

October 4th Vermillion, SD> Sioux City, IA> Chicago, IL> Norfolk, VA (1402 Miles, 37925 Total)

A long weekend away…

October 5th Norfolk, VA> Williamsburg, VA> Richmond, VA (96 Miles, 38021 Total)

I met up with my boss from the summer, visited William and Mary Law School, and then Chris and I went to an Old Dominion Concert! They were incredible.

October 6th Richmond, VA> Norfolk, VA (93 Miles, 38114 Total)

Back to Norfolk for a more leisurely day.

October 8th Norfolk, VA> Philadelphia, PA> Chicago, IL> Sioux City, IA> Vermillion, SD (1553 Miles, 39667 Total)  

Back to Vermillion for classes!

October 9th-15th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 39667 Total)

SGA, High Howlers, Classes, working, and meetings!

October 16th-19th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 39667 Total)

Classes and life crises… sometimes the hardest moments in life teach you the most and push you back onto the right path.

October 20th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 39667 Total)

I was in the ESA She Said Yes to the Dress Event for Cancer Research! My mom came out to see me as well!

October 21st– 24th Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 39667 Total)

A choir concert, a candidate forum, SGA, a double ear infection… classes, normal student stuff!

October 25th: Vermillion, SD> Tea, SD…and back (110 Miles, 39777 Total)

After going to class and attending my business fraternity meeting I was able to shoot up to Tea to watch the Bison play in their playoff game.

October 27th Vermillion, SD> Huron, SD…and back (340 Miles, 40117 Total)

I woke up at 3am and drove three hours to Huron, worked at the Women’s Expo, drove three hours home, took a 45 min nap, and worked at Lyle’s until 2am.

October 28th– November 1st Vermillion, SD (0 Miles, 40117 Total)

Another week of school- except I also got a free trip to the hospital (my immune system was crashing) Classes, SGA, High Howlers, sorority photos, and pulling my life back together.

The last month of my life has been filled with the loudest laughs, saddest sobs, and seriously stressful situations. I have learned more about life in the last month than I ever thought I would. Honestly, sometimes you are heading down a certain path and I believe God kind of just went, “Actually, nope” and picked me up and plunked me down in a totally different direction. And that’s okay. Sometimes you need a reality check and a change of scenery. It has challenged every thread of my being and every principal in my soul, yet I have walked away a stronger, humbler, and more grounded person. Keeping busy keeps me sane even when it’s completely insane. During hard times you find your real friends, what is important to you, and what you truly want in life. It’s been a little rough getting here, but I honestly couldn’t be happier. Here’s to a successful finish to the semester!

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