Katie Stam, a 22 year old from Seymour Indiana is Miss America 2009. She is Indiana’s first Miss America.

Miss Am Katie Stam 2009

Miss America 2009, Katie Stam received her crown

Battling laryngitis and a throat infection, she sang a rendition of Via Dolorosa.

Katie is a Senior at the University of Indianapolis where she is known for her “scholarship, leadership and volunteer work.” Miss Stam is working toward her BA in Communications and hopes to become a television news reporter and anchor. Her platform is “promoting community service and involvement.”

The Miss America pageant aired live on TLC from from The Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Paradise, NV. The all-too-darling Mario Lopez was host.

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Mario Lopez

Photo Credit: WENN

Miss Stam was one of three preliminary fitness and swimsuit winners. As usual, the Swimsuit competition was a hot topic – and not just in the United States.

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Miss Indiana Fitness and Swimsuit Preliminary Winner

The UK’s Daily Mail refers to our ladies as “beefy.” The Brits believe the contest is losing it’s “girl next door” identity. Scroll through a gallery of “muscle babe” contestants here and here.

Since losing network sponsorship several years ago, the pageant has floundered but recently began gaining credibility once again. While many see the contest as a beauty pageant, the participants see it as an education, a chance at the world stage to further their talent or careers, and a vehicle for raising funds for their chosen platform. Art McMaster, president of Miss America, said the 1998 winner, Kate Shindle raised $20-$30 million for AIDS during her reign.

Katie Stam goes home with $50,000 in scholarship monies, plus another $1,000 for winning the preliminary swimsuit and fitness award, and perhaps other awards accrued along the road to becoming Miss America 2009.

While this Miss America win is a first for Indiana, they’ve been close. Last year’s Miss Indiana, Nicole Rash, was first runner-up in 2008. Chastity Hardman, Miss Georgia is 2009’s first runner-up.

Today’s Miss America logs 20,000 miles a month and she propels through a location change every 18-36 hours.

Three states hold the honors for the most Miss America winners: California, Oklahoma, and Ohio are tied with six winners each.

Twenty Nineteen states hold no Miss America titles: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Miss America 2009 – Video