Miss LSU-USA 2011 Christina “Fammy” Famularo was headed for a career in fashion before Hurricane Katrina sparked an interest in engineering.
The New Orleans native, who will be a junior at LSU in the fall, will be busy over the coming year focusing on her civil engineering coursework, as well as making public appearances and preparing for the 2012 Miss Louisiana-USA pageant.
Winning the title is the greatest blessing she has received, she said.
“Every day I strive to represent our university to the best of my ability, as well as to be a role model not only to the rest of the student body but also to our younger generation,” Famularo said.
Before becoming a civil engineering major, Famularo was sure she wanted a career in fashion.
She said she keeps up with all of the fashion magazines and even designs many of her dresses.
“To me, it’s a way to express who you are,” she said.
Famularo had been accepted into the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.
Her plans changed after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005. Her high school, Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, sustained 16 feet of water, Famularo said.
Famularo said she questioned, “How could this happen?”
She wanted to learn more about the levee failures and the human mistakes that caused the flooding.
Her research sparked an interest in engineering, which she decided to pursue for a career rather than fashion.
The current economy also played a role in her decision, she said.
“I wanted to be stable and supply my own future,” Famularo said. “Fashion wasn’t a definite income once I graduated.”
“Now, I have the American Society of Civil Engineering magazine with my Vogue on my coffee table,” she said.
With the change in career plans, the decision to attend LSU was an easy one, she said.
“I’ve been an LSU fan since before I can remember,” Famularo said.
She also qualified for a TOPS scholarship, so financially, the decision made sense, she said.
At the Miss LSU pageant, held this spring, Famularo was one of 23 contestants.
She was named “Miss Congeniality” and won “Best Swimsuit,” in addition to the overall title.
It was only her second time competing in a pageant. Last year, at the urging of her Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters, she entered the pageant. She won “Best Evening Gown” and finished in the top 10.
Leading up to the 2011 pageant, Famularo said she started working out twice a day and following a healthy diet.
“I wanted the Miss LSU title so badly,” she said. “I worked so hard, and I knew it would give me the opportunity to do so much.”
But, Famularo nearly didn’t get the crown after a scoring mishap placed her as first runner-up and another contestant received the title.
The judges caught the error after the pageant was over and Famularo and the other top contestants were called back to the LSU Union.
While Famularo said she was “ecstatic” to be crowned Miss LSU, “it was heartbreaking” that the mistake happened.
During her reign as Miss LSU, Famularo said she is looking forward to being presented on the field at Tiger Stadium during a football game, as well as emceeing the chancellor’s welcome for incoming freshmen. She also is thrilled that she will have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch of the LSU Tigers 2012 baseball season.
This summer, Famularo is taking an engineering course at the University of New Orleans.
In addition to pageant-related events, she is also an active volunteer.
She is involved in her sorority’s national philanthropy campaign, which is breast cancer awareness and education, and she enjoys working with Habitat for Humanity.
“It gives me another way to get involved in the community,” Famularo said.
“I feel so privileged in my life and for what my family has given me,” she added.
“I get joy out of brightening someone else’s day.”
The next step in Famularo’s pageant career is the 2012 Miss Louisiana-USA pageant in October.