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LU Online student wins Mrs. Virginia title

February 14, 2011 : Allison Cundiff/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University Online student Rachel Travis was crowned Mrs. Virginia on Feb. 5 and will compete for the title of Mrs. America in April.

Travis, who is earning her Bachelor of Science in psychology and also in religion, beat out 10 contestants from all over Virginia. All contestants must be married. Originally from Greenbush, Mich., she represented Lynchburg, her home since 2009. The pageant consisted of an interview as well as swimsuit and physical fitness, and evening gown portions.

Travis said her decision to enter was “very last minute”; she entered only three weeks before.

“I’m glad that I did it,” she said. “I knew it would be a great opportunity to help other people.”

As the reigning Mrs. Virginia 2011, she will be making appearances at events and working with charities. Her platform going into the Mrs. America contest is raising awareness of human trafficking in Southeast Asia through Freedom 4/24, a nonprofit organization that helps victims through Christian ministries.

The crowning of Mrs. America will be held at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., April 14. The event will be televised.

Travis said she competed in pageants as a child, but this was her first time as an adult.

“I entered the pageant because I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year that any opportunity that came by, I would take it – basically because at the end of my life I don’t want to look back and regret anything,” she said.

Travis attended Word of Life Bible Institute in Pottersville, N.Y., from 2004 to 2005, and was on staff there until 2009. She enjoyed singing in gospel productions and working at summer camps there. It was also where she met her husband, Mark, a Lynchburg native.

She said she first heard about LU Online through co-workers and she enjoys the flexibility the program offers.

Travis is an independent consultant with Arbonne International, a health and wellness company. She is also employed with Virginia Eye Clinic as a paraoptometric.