FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2017
Allison Tietjen has been crowned Miss Nebraska 2017 and will represent the state at the 2018 Miss America Pageant live on ABC in September. Miss America Organization Executive Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell, along with Miss Nebraska 2016 Aleah Peters, presented this year’s awards and honors to the new Miss Nebraska. Tietjen, a 21-year old University of Nebraska-Lincoln student from Chester, will now travel the state for the next year to advocate for veterans and active military members, her personal platform of service. Tietjen was also awarded Preliminary and Overall Talent Awards (tie), a Preliminary Evening Wear Award, the Overall Interview Award (tie), the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award, the Miss America Community Service Award, and was awarded 3rd place for the Children’s Miracle Maker Award. In total, Tietjen is awarded more than $13,050 in cash scholarships, in addition to use of a car for her year of service and an estimated $13,000 in gifts, wardrobe and services. Her parents are Cary and Amy Tietjen of Chester. Photos of Tietjen are attached; please credit Kamie Stephen Photography. .
Wellesley Michael, Miss Omaha, was named 1st runner up at the competition, which concluded Saturday in North Platte after a week of events. She also won the Overall Interview Award (tie) sponsored by Miss Nebraska 1988 Jodi Miller Holen and family, for a total of $3,250 in cash scholarships. Michael will step in to serve as the state’s official ambassador if Miss Nebraska is crowned Miss America or is otherwise unable to fulfill her duties. Michael, 20, is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student from Omaha. Her mother is Colette Michael of Omaha.
Jessica Shultis, Miss Kearney, was named 2nd runner up. She is awarded $2,500 in cash scholarships. Shultis, 23, is a Doane University Masters Program student. Her parents are Wayne and Lauri Shultis of Dannebrog.
Lianna Prill, Miss Harvest Moon Festival, was named 3rd runner up. Prill was also awarded 2nd place for the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award, and won $2,500 in cash scholarships. Prill, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student from Holdrege, has traveled the state sharing her struggle with Celiac Disease to spread awareness to others. Her parents are Scott Prill and Kristin Prill.
Kogan Murphy was named 4th runner up. Murphy, a 23-year old from Omaha, is a professional ballerina with Ballet Nebraska. She also won a Preliminary Talent and Overall Talent Award (tie) and in total, won $2,000 in cash scholarships. Her parents are Robert and Jamie Murphy of Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Jenni Wahonick, Emma Wilkinson and Krista Hinrichs were also named Top 8 Finalists. Each was awarded $1,250 in cash scholarships. Wahonick also won a Preliminary Evening Wear Award and an additional $350, and Hinrichs was awarded 2nd Place for the Children’s Miracle Maker Award. All remaining contestants were awarded $1,000 each in cash scholarships.
Nikki-Catrina Anderson, Miss Scotts Bluff County, also received the Miss America Scholar Award and was presented an additional $1,000 cash scholarship. Anderson, a 21-year old Brigham Young University student from Scottsbluff, was also named a finalist for the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award, spending more than 900 hours over the last few years advocating for literacy across western Nebraska. Her parents are Mark and Irene Anderson of Scottsbluff.
Devin Owens, Miss Western Nebraska, received the Non-Finalist Interview Award and a $250 cash scholarship donated by Chris Tooley. Owens, 22, is a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her parents are Traci Warren and Brian Owens of Omaha.
Jaicelyn Shakespaere, Miss Queen City of the Plains, received the Non-Finalist Talent Award and a $250 cash scholarship donated by Pat and Kathleen Keenan. Shakesepaere, a 22-year old BYU-Idaho student from Verdigre, sang the jazz classic At Last. She was also voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow Miss Nebraska contestants and was awarded an additional $250 cash scholarship sponsored by Miss Nebraska 2012 Mariah Cook. Her parents are Byron and Judy Shakespaere of Verdigre.
Kaelia Nelson, Miss Alliance, received the Children’s Miracle Maker Award and a $750 cash scholarship in honor of Emily Stadler. Nelson, a 20-year old Peru State College student from Alliance, raised $2,350 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Her parents are Mark and Shardel Nelson of Alliance.
Alayna Wilson, Miss Gering, was named a finalist for the Miss Nebraska Community Service Award. Wilson, an 18-year old graduate of Scotus Central Catholic, has focused her year of service on spreading awareness of childhood cancer through the Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation. Her parents are Bill and Sandy Wilson of Columbus.
The Miss Nebraska Organization awarded the 2017 High School Senior Male Community Service Scholarship for $500 to Dermot Swanson of Omaha. Swanson will be attending Regis University in Denver.
Organizers presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Melinda Cullan, a volunteer with the Miss Alliance Pageant and the current Field Director for the Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Organization. The Miss Alliance organization will receive $250 towards their scholarships and funding.
In total, the Miss Nebraska Organization awarded nearly $40,000 in cash scholarships and more than $25,000 in gifts and services to this year’s contestants. For more information, additional photos and interview requests, please contact Co-Marketing Director Brandi Petersen at email@example.com or visit www.missnebraska.org.