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NKU Student Wants to Be FBI Agent, Miss America

They call her Miss Congeniality - but I wouldn't if I were you.

But, as Katie Himes says, the parallels are uncanny.

"You'd be surprised how often I get that," she says. "Just call me Gracie Lou."

It's a reference to the Sandra Bullock character in the movieMiss Congeniality, and it's appropriate because, like Bullock's Gracie Lou, Katie is a pageant girl. She's been one all her life, and a very successful one, by the way. But she also wanted to be in the FBI, so the NKU junior majors in criminal justice.

"I chose criminal justice because I love how it is an ever-changing field and one that you can continue to learn more and more about," says the 21-year-old from Cynthiana. "It's interesting to see all of the different types of crimes and how each circumstance is different. It's certainly a field that will never get boring."

That's right. She's a butt-kicking, law-abiding pageant winner – most recently when she won the 2014 Miss Thoroughbred Country in February. That sets her up for the Miss Kentucky America Pageant, which is a preliminary to the Miss America pageant – and that's her ultimate goal.

She's no long shot, either. She's been competing since age 8. In 2010, she was Miss Teen America, and she's held various other titles such as Miss Kentucky Teen America, Miss Kentucky Collegiate, Miss Ohio Collegiate and Miss Kentucky Preliminary. 

But it's not all about pageants for Katie. At NKU she's a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority, Golden Key Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Psi Chi Honor Society. She's the President and Founder of Bully Bashers, LLC, an anti-bullying campaign, and she loves to sing and tap dance.

"I have really enjoyed the college experience at NKU," she says. "Being a Kappa Delta has been a blessing because I have had the continued support of my sisters for everything I do with pageantry and especially my anti-bullying campaign, Bully Bashers. I have also been blessed to be involved in a very interesting major. My professors have been wonderful and all of my classes have been super interesting."

There's no doubt that in the future pageants her NKU family will be watching.

‪"I just can't thank NKU enough for the continued support that I have received," she says. "It's amazing to know that I have the support of NKU on my journey to Miss Kentucky and I hope to make everyone proud."

The Miss Kentucky pageant will be held July 10-12 at the Singletary Center for the Arts at the University of Kentucky. Find more at http://www.misskentuckypageant.com.

Written by Ryan Clark, Web Marketing & Communications at Northern Kentucky University

Photo: Katie Himes by Tim Sofranko