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Rhode Islanders will be rooting for Allison Paganetti ’06 at the April contest.

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URI senior Allison Paganetti can shoot, rappel, and strut. And, as the 2005 Miss Rhode Island USA, she is preparing to compete in the Miss USA contest in April. A kinesiology (exercise science) major, Paganetti is a cadet in the Army Reserve Officers Training Program at URI. She’s as comfortable wearing a crown as she is carrying a rifle.

“Everyone at ROTC has been incredibly supportive. A few of the cadets even came to the Rhode Island pageant,” says the 21-year-old cadet, who was chosen over 40 other contestants to represent the Ocean State. “My ROTC training has taught me to be determined, to set goals, and not to hold anything back. I bring that with me wherever I go, whether I’m preparing for a pageant, in class, or at field training.”

Becoming a cadet seemed a natural step to Paganetti since both of her grandfathers served in the armed forces. By the end of this year, she will have to pick a ROTC specialty. She is leaning toward the medical corps because it would use many of the skills she has learned in her kinesiology major.

The North Kingstown resident has competed in pageants since she was in sixth grade. Because she had always been considered a tomboy, she entered her first contest on a lark. When she was named a finalist, she decided to enter more contests. Since then she has worn many crowns, including the 2003 Miss U.S. Model’s tiara.

“All the hard work has paid off,” she says of her recent Miss Rhode Island/USA title. As Miss Rhode Island/USA, she is currently engaged in charity and publicity work for numerous non-profit Rhode Island organizations. She is also preparing for the Miss USA pageant, which will be held in Baltimore. Donald Trump and NBC are its sponsors. A pageant consultant and a personal trainer have been preparing her head to toe for the high-profile pageant.

“This is my retirement pageant,” says Paganetti, who will be commissioned a second lieutenant when she graduates. Like her fellow cadets, she is concerned about the situation in Iraq. “We’ll either be dealing with its aftermath or we’ll be there ourselves,” she commented.

Jan Wenzel ’87 is a public information officer in the URI Communications Office.

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