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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

June 1, 2004
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations (218) 726-8830,
Elee Vang, UMD student, Miss Deaf Minnesota
Nancy Diener, UMD Access Center/Disability Services (218) 726-8709 TTY (218) 726-7380
Misty Schomberg, Chaperone, Miss Deaf America,

UMD Student to Compete in
Miss Deaf America Pageant July 9

She is currently Miss Deaf Minnesota 2003-2005

University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) student, Elee Vang is the current reigning Miss Deaf Minnesota for 2003-2005. The sophomore student is preparing to compete this summer in the Miss Deaf America pageant. The pageant will take place on July 9, 2004 at the National Association of the Deaf Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Miss Vang, from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, is studying to be an audiologist and is enrolled in the UMD Communication Science and Disorders program.

Miss Deaf Minnesota is sponsored by the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens. The Miss Deaf America Pageant (MDAP) is in its 38th year and offers young women between the ages of 18-28 an opportunity to develop self-confidence as they compete to become a goodwill ambassador and spokeswoman of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). The goal is to encourage and foster future leaders and is part of the youth programs of the NAD. The MDAP takes place during biennial NAD conferences. The women are judged across a broad spectrum of categories including community service, academics, current events, knowledge of deaf culture, and more.

Miss Vang shares her present philosophy in a saying she has written:

"Deaf itself is a gift from God, not a disability that you can't fix." -Elee Vang

For more information see: and

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Cheryl Reitan, Associate Director of External Affairs, 218-726-8996,
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Lori Melton, Communication Associate, 218-726-8830,
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