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Emilee Williams

Junior, civil engineering; minor, hunger studies

Emilee Williams, a junior in civil engineering, took home the crown, as well as a scholarship, at last year's Miss Auburn University Scholarship Pageant - her first. Since then, Williams has been promoting domestic hunger awareness, a cause that was close to her heart since long before wearing the crown. She recently published the Miss Auburn University Cookbook as part of a local hunger initiative to support the East Alabama Food Bank.

1. Why did you choose to pursue a degree in civil engineering?

I have always been strong in math and science, and I am a really big problem solver. Civil engineering is a perfect fit for those qualities, but beyond that, there is a great humanitarian aspect to civil engineering which really appealed to me. This is a field where not only are you working in a professional environment, but you are also helping and working for the people and city where you live.

2. How did you choose hunger studies as your minor?

I volunteered in several food banks in high school and would see classmates come in with their families. I was aware that hunger was a prevalent issue in the community, but that is when it hit close to home. I decided to pursue hunger studies as a minor at Auburn to get involved with the issue on a deeper level. In addition to my classes, I have become involved in several organizations that support this cause. I became the College of Engineering's representative for the Committee of 19, Auburn's student organization leading the United Nation's World Food Programme War on Hunger, as well as a community liaison to Campus Kitchens, another organization that fights hunger and promotes food sustainability by donating unserved food from campus to the community. My platform as Miss Auburn University is Food for Thought: Domestic Hunger Awareness.

3. Where do you see yourself after graduation?

I see myself working in a local government setting so I can pursue civil engineering as well as impact my community in a positive way. I may not be able to apply hunger studies to the field of civil engineering in my day-to-day life, but I feel that working with people wherever I live, and helping them in any way I can, may give me the best of both worlds and in both fields.

4. What has been the most rewarding aspect of being Miss Auburn University?

Having this opportunity to raise awareness for domestic hunger and those in need, and having the community come together to help others, has been incredibly rewarding. Events like the Miss Auburn University Pancake Breakfast have benefited charities such as the Children's Miracle Network, a wonderful cause that is also the philanthropy for the Miss America organization. Proceeds from the breakfast went to Columbus Regional Hospital, the local Children's Miracle Network hospital.

5. Why did you decide to create a cookbook?

The cookbook is a local hunger initiative to support the Food Bank of East Alabama. It is a great way to promote this cause and educate others while supporting those in need. I wanted as many people as possible to take part in this project. Anyone could submit a recipe through an online submission process. The cookbook includes around 200 recipes submitted by community members, former Miss Auburn University titleholders, family and friends. The categories include appetizers, soups and salads, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, tailgating and Miss Auburn University favorites. The cookbook is for sale online, in the Auburn University Bookstore, J&M Bookstore and on campus in the Student Involvement suite. All proceeds will provide meals to local families in need.

To order the Miss Auburn University Cookbook, visit

Jan. 23, 2012