Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Beyond the Crown: Miss Hub City Aims to Keep Lubbock Healthy
Health educator Desiree Markham spends her days teaching students the benefits of a healthy lifestyle while also on the journey to Miss Texas USA.
Written by Kendall Rompf
Markham will compete for the Miss Texas USA title Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Houston. Photo by Eric Karr.
Q: What is your role at TTUHSC? What is a typical day like?
A: I am a health educator. Every day is different and provides new challenges. I advise Impact Tech, our student organization of peer health educators, give presentations on health topics in the classroom to all ages and majors and give presentations in the dorms to organizations and clubs. I also facilitate Guns Up All Night, our late night programming committee on campus that is responsible for providing free events to students on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. I also facilitate the administration and implementation of AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol education course required for all incoming freshmen. Finally, I plan and participate in various awareness events throughout the year and serve on numerous committees.
Q: What is your platform as Miss Hub City? Why did you choose this platform?
A: My platform is The Big O: Overfed and Undernourished. It focuses on preventing and reversing the four leading causes of death in the United States through nutritional excellence. In 2007, I made my first dietary lifestyle change by eliminating meat from my diet. Since then I have become more passionate about nutrition and health and now as a health educator, it is all coming together even more. My background is in communication, and my master’s thesis was in health communication, so using this as my platform is great. I want to able to communicate healthy messages to the public.
Q: How do you expect participating in Miss Texas USA will bring awareness to your platform?
A: As Miss Hub City I do numerous interviews, presentations and charity events. This gives me the opportunity to speak with people about my platform and what it means to them. Also, fitness is a large part of the competition and my progress at Capstone Crossfit is being noted and I can use myself as an example that being fit is possible. I can show what health benefits you will reap by being physically fit and having a nutritionally dense diet.
Markham participates in workouts at Capstone Crossfit to stay in shape for competition. Photo by Eric Karr.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish by competing for Miss Texas USA?
A: I hope to excel in the competition and be awarded scholarship money to help fund my education at Texas Tech. Also, I am hoping to connect more with the Lubbock community, which is already happening. I have met fantastic, supportive people here like Eric Karr, my photographer and official pageant sponsor; Capstone Crossfit, my fitness sponsor; and Nicole Garza, a media journalist in Lubbock who is my image consultant. There are many people to thank in the Department of Student Health Services, Justin Paysinger in Texas Tech Athletics, Randy Rogers Auto, Chancellor Kent Hance, St. Clair Orthodontists, David Stone, Joe Anne Karr, Chili’s Bar & Grill, Dickey’s BBQ, Blue Sky, Raising Canes… the list is endless and I have received such great support.
Q: What role do you think Texas Tech and TTUHSC will play on your journey to Miss Texas USA?
A: I have amazing support here. So many people have helped me with marketing and attending the charity night events I have hosted at local restaurants. I have two final charity nights coming up. In addition, my coworkers have made me feel amazing by showing me their support and I feel honored to be an employee and a student here. It’s a fantastic place to represent.
Q: Why did you choose to participate in the pageant?
A: I was accepted in to Texas Tech’s Ph.D. program in mass communications and I needed to find a way to fund my education. I graduated debt free with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and my goal is to do the same with my Ph.D. I also want the chance to perform. My undergraduate minor was fine arts and I have always enjoyed theater, dance and musical productions. I’ve always enjoyed modeling so this fulfills that dream too. I also enjoy representing Lubbock, Texas Tech and TTUHSC.
Q: Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in 10 years?
A: I should graduate with my Ph.D. in mass communications in four years and continue pursuing a career in the health communications field. I have a wonderful fiancé, Rozbeh, who I will marry after he graduates with his Ph.D. in civil engineering. A competition like Miss Texas helps prepare you for life challenges physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and that is something I will carry with me for a lifetime.
Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.
Student Health Services
Student Health Services promotes each student's learning experience by providing comprehensive, cost effective and compassionate health care and health education to ensure the academic success of students.
Beginning in 1969 as Texas Tech University School of Medicine, TTUHSC now is a six-school university with campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa.
TTUHSC has trained more than 20,000 health care professionals, and meets the health care needs of more than 2.5 million people in the 108 counties including those in the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico.