Portia N. Gifford, Miss SCSU 2007-08, named “Most Impressive” at HBCU leadership conference

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Portia N. Gifford, Miss South Carolina State University 2007-2008ORANGEBURG – Portia N. Gifford, Miss South Carolina State University 2007-2008, was named, “Most Impressive” during the Leadership for Queens and Kings Connection conference, held July 12-15, 2007, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Leadership for Queens and the Kings Connection is a three-day conference for the queens and kings who will represent Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses in the upcoming academic year. The conference is designed to enhance, support and train young women and men to become dynamic campus representatives, as well as expose them to business and etiquette skills that will enhance their abilities to market their campuses and communities. At the conference, participants attended workshops where trained professionals discussed articulation, stage presence, etiquette, confidence and professionalism. Dr. Tonea Stewart, best known for her role as Aunt Etta in television’s In the Heat of the Night and director of Theatre Arts at Alabama State University, was among the presenters.

Gifford was among an estimated 25 queens and kings of HBCUs who attended the conference. She was selected by the organizers of the event and received a scepter in recognition of the award.

Gifford, a 21-year-old rising senior and the daughter of Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) John and Angela Gifford of Augusta, Ga., will represent SC State as a contestant in the National Black College Alumni (NBCA) Hall of Fame Foundation’s competition of black college queens in Atlanta, Ga., September 26-30, 2007. She aspires to attain a doctoral degree in the field of nuclear pharmacy after completing her undergraduate degree in chemistry at SC State. She received the coveted 2007 “Shining Star Award” from the SC State University Foundation in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements, campus leadership and community service.

A classically trained dancer, professional model and advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, Gifford is a member of the SC State’s Honors College and the S.C. Alliance for Minority Participation [in science fields] Program (SCAMP), which recognized her as the 2005 “Most Outstanding Summer Research Intern.” During her year of service as Miss South Carolina State University, Gifford plans to encourage students to become more actively involved as campus and community volunteers under the platform, “Stop the Violence of Silence.”

For additional information, contact Cheryl D. McMichael at (803) 536-7186 or cmcmich1@scsu.edu.