Olivia Battles

Olivia Battles of Ozark was crowned the 65th Miss Tech on Friday night during the 2020 Miss Arkansas Tech University competition at Witherspoon Auditorium.

Daughter of Leslie and Marcus Battles, the 19-year old freshman nursing student won the Lindsey Ahrens McCrary Vocal Award and the Nona Dirksmeyer Memorial Talent Award for her performance of “Almost There” from the Disney movie “Princess and the Frog.”

Battles added the Zachary McClure Denison Leadership Award on her way to the crown. It was Battles’ first appearance in a Miss America preliminary competition.

“It feels so amazing,” said Battles. “I am so excited to represent this school, and I’m so honored. I chose Arkansas Tech because they give their students a lot of opportunities to get involved, and that is my favorite thing about Arkansas Tech. My family and my friends supported me when I didn’t think I could do it. They’re my inspiration and the reason I do it.”

Battles’ social impact initiative is “B-Utiful,” which is an effort to connect foster families with skin care and hair care resources for foster children from diverse backgrounds.

“My social impact initiative is for blended families,” said Battles. “I come from one of my own, so it’s important to me to help foster families get information on how to take care of their children.”

Battles will represent ATU in the 2020 Miss Arkansas competition June 13-20 at Robinson Performance Hall in Little Rock.

Among the prizes that Battles receives as Miss Tech is a two-semester tuition scholarship at Arkansas Tech. In all, more than $25,000 in gifts and scholarships were awarded during the 2020 Miss Arkansas Tech competition.

Sophe Sligh of Hot Springs (first runner-up), Emily Lisenbey of Plainview (second runner-up), Rebecca Ward of Clarksville (third runner-up) and RitaClaire Jones of Rogers (fourth runner-up) rounded out the top five among 12 candidates.

Other candidates in the 65th Miss Tech competition were Aliyah Ann Anderson of Ashdown, Gracey Cantrell of Amity, Lyn’Daija DeHorney of Eudora, Kathryn Jones of Batesville, Katie Jo McHale of Clinton, Laryssa Myers of Castle Pines, Colo., and Jessica Woodard of West Memphis.

Dr. Jim Collins is in his 20th year as executive director of the Miss Arkansas Tech University competition. Delta Zeta sorority sponsored the event for a 21st consecutive year.

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