Indiana State University Newsroom

Terre Haute resident crowned Miss ISU 2010

November 18, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.-The dream of a 10-year-old girl finally came true - more than a decade later on the stage of University Hall Auditorium.

Taylor Schaffer, a junior communications major from Terre Haute, was crowned Miss Indiana State University, besting eight other women for the right to compete for the title of Miss Indiana.

The daughter of Tammy Schaffer, she was crowned by Carolyn Holcomb, 2009 Miss ISU.

"I'm thrilled to be a contestant for Miss Indiana," Schaffer said, adding her mother was involved in the Miss Indiana Pageant when it was held in Terre Haute.

"I spent countless summers watching the big girls compete," she recalled. "All I wanted at age 10 was to be just like those girls. That's why I applied."

In fact, Betsy Bobel, Miss Indiana 2000, signed an autographed photo for Schaffer, "For a future Miss Indiana."

As she prepares for Miss Indiana this summer, Schaffer will interact and raise money for the Children's Miracle Network and will advocate the importance of role models in the life of young women.

Her platform developed from her experience at the 14th and Chestnut Community Center, beginning in high school.

"It was a new experience and out of my comfort zone," she said. "But it was a great opportunity. I really enjoyed my time there."

While at 14th and Chestnut, she noticed that there seemed to be many male role models for the young men but not for the young women.

"My platform is to provide role models for those girls," Schaffer said. "I've had the benefit of female role models in my life. I consider myself very lucky to have had the benefit of their wisdom and guidance."

Specializing in public relations and pursuing a political science minor, Schaffer is involved with Sycamore Ambassadors, the University Honors Program, and a member of the Riley Dance Marathon committee where she chairs special events. She is also an ISU Sparkette.

"I'm excited about getting more involved with the Indiana State community and being an ambassador for ISU," she said.

But there's work to do before competing for the Miss Indiana crown. In the months leading up to June, Schaffer will work on her interview skills, work out with a personal trainer, in addition to her Sparkette workouts, and will develop her talent.

"I'm looking forward to picking out a new song and developing a new routine," she said.

Then there's shopping - for a dress, bathing suit, shoes and dance costume.

"That's the silly stuff," she said. "The road to Miss Indiana is so much more than looking for a dress and doing my hair. The judges are looking for a real person - intelligent and involved in the community."

Schaffer said Miss America Katie Stamm, whom she has met, is a perfect example of what Miss Indiana signifies.

"She's an intelligent woman committed to making a difference in communities," she said.

In the midst of all the activity, Schaffer has one goal for the Miss Indiana competition in June.

"I want to win," she said, smiling.

Schaffer, who also teaches dance, said her students are excited about her success. She teaches a wide range of students - from 3, 4 and 5-year-olds to first and second graders to middle and high school girls.

Her younger students view her as royalty, not grasping the pageant process.

"I have a tiara and the Disney princesses have one too," Schaffer, who also works at Hulman Center, said.

Ultimately, the young dancers want to try on the sparkly crown. And when she places it on their head, it's magic.

"Their expressions are priceless," she added, beaming.

Schaffer is lucky enough to have a contingent of tiny tots to support her in her quest for the Miss Indiana crown.

"My four-year old's class started a new dance a few months ago called "Some Day I'll be Miss America," or as they call it, "Miss American." Each girl gets to wear a little sequin tiara for the dance," Schaffer explained.

Several of the girls attended the Miss ISU competition and have seen her crown but things never really clicked last week.

"We finished the dance and as I picked up their crowns to move on to something else, one of the girls said, ‘You are gonna be a queen just like Miss American.' I couldn't help but laugh. I was so impressed she had put it all together. I had a crown, Miss America has a crown, and yes... I want to be a Queen just like Miss America," she said.

Schaffer, who competed for the title of Miss ISU twice before winning, hopes young women look into the Miss Indiana program and discover the many opportunities the program offers them to grow on a personal level.

"I hope to see more ladies competing next year for the Miss ISU crown," she added.

The Miss ISU Scholarship Program began in 1958, and Schaffer is the 27th winner, receiving a $1500 scholarship. She will now begin preparing for Miss Indiana, which takes place in June 2010 in Zionsville. The Miss Indiana pageant is a preliminary pageant for the Miss America pageant.


Contact: Freda Luers, Associate Director, Student Activities and Organizations, 812.237.3831

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812.237.3783 or