Alumna named Miss Nebraska

The newest Miss Nebraska is a science nerd and darn proud of it.

MSUM Biochemistry and Biotechnology graduate Nicky Haverland intends to use her time as Miss Nebraska to share her love of science with school children throughout the state.

Miss Douglas County Haverland has been named to fill the remainder of the Miss Nebraska reign of Teresa Scanlan. Scanlan is unable to fulfill her duties as Miss Nebraska after being named Miss America 2011 earlier this month.

Haverland, who was the overall winner of the interview portion of the state contest in June, was the fourth place finisher.

According to Jay Engel, co-executive director for the Miss Nebraska program, first runner up Miss Omaha, Devon Howell, opted not to take over the role due to job commitments and second runner up Miss Lake McConaughy, Kayla Batt, intends to compete for the title in June.

“We are very pleased Nicky has accepted,” Engel said at a press conference on Monday. “She was the overall interview winner last year.”

Each state that has a Miss America goes through this same process, Engel said. Last year’s winning state, Virginia, crowned their sixth runner up to take over the job after Caressa Cameron won the Miss America title.

Haverland spent a sleepless night after learning that Scanlan had become the first Miss Nebraska to win the Miss America crown.

“I knew it was a possibility that I would be asked to step in,” she said. “My parents and my boss at UNMC encouraged me to do it. They pointed out that I began this process in June and should see it through.”

She began her pageant career at 18, competing in the Miss Minnesota contest.

After graduating from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a double major in biology and chemistry, Haverland moved to Omaha to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is a graduate student in pharmacology and experimental neuroscience.

Her pageant platform, “Grab life by the protons—encouraging science in our schools,” is being underwritten by Dr. George Garlick, who is sponsoring Haverland’s appearances at 10 schools throughout the state.

“My platform is much more than something I do in my free time,” she said. It’s something I live everyday. I want to get kids excited about science.”

Haverland said she was also looking forward to being part of the statewide celebration in February to welcome Miss America Teresa Scanlan back to Nebraska.