Filled with genuinity and a heart for others, freshman Madison Oswalt has become our new Miss Arkansas Tech. Although she began competing at the early age of 13-years-old, she did not always have her pageant personality down, and still does not always. When she was younger, she used to be a shy girl, and she claims she used to “dress like a boy with a sweater and a hoodie.” On the few weekends she has free time, Madison loves to ride four wheelers and go horseback riding.
“You put me on a farm, and I’m a farm girl,” said Madison of her varying personalities.
Madison is a pre-veterinary major, which she decided she wanted to do after her dad showed her the ways around a farm in an attempt to sway her in another direction. She chose this not out of spite, but out of the experience, she grew more in love with animals. Madison and her family as a whole are lovers of animals. They have what they call a “hobby farm.” They do not make any money off of them, but whatever animal comes, stays. Between her and her family, she owns four dogs, a cat, one rooster, and six goats.
Madison plans on going to graduate school to finish out the veterinary program. Although most do not want to return to their hometown, Madison can see herself returning to Harrison and either running her own veterinary clinic or taking over one.
“My ending point would probably be in Harrison,” said Madison.
Although she did not live in Harrison her whole life, she has lived there long enough to appreciate her community and the people that are in it. The ultimate goal for her is “being in a community that I know is going to be uplifting, and resourceful.”
As someone who wears many hats (or crowns, for that matter), Madison is an organizer and a planner. She schedules time for absolutely everything, including nap time. She is currently handling some sophomore classes as a freshman, her new role as Miss Tech, activities with the Delta Zeta sorority and the Golden Girls dance team. Prioritizing and planning do help, although there are some days she admits that it gets hard.
“Most of the time, I just want to crawl in my bed and just say, ‘Madison has the day off,’” she said, laughing.
Yet, destressing has a place in hanging out with friends and eating lunch or during practice at the dance studio.
Madison started at what is now called Next Step Dance Studio in Harrison when she was 12-years-old. She found it as a “hidden talent that I could do and I loved.” She was a teacher throughout high school for dance and competed often. Madison dedicated countless hours of time at the dance studio, often going straight from school to the studio and staying until around nine at night. Fortunately, all of her hard work paid off in landing a spot on Tech’s Golden Girls Dance Team, as well as the Kristen Hayes Dance Award. According to Madison, her and her team are like a close family and always support each other. Support from this team and her sorority are super helpful to her and are always supportive.
“I’ve always wanted to go Greek,” Madison said.
The idea of a sisterhood motivated Madison to want to be involved. She knew she really liked Delta Zeta going into recruitment, and Madison is almost speechless when it comes to the subject: “It’s…amazing. And I don’t regret my decision of going Delta Zeta at all.”
Among the sisterhood, giving back is one of her favorite parts. The philanthropy that her and her sorority gets involved with the community. There are a lot of standards with being in the sorority. Yet, Madison is thankful. “It helps you grow as a woman. Being in Delta Zeta, I can definitely see a difference. I was the freshman, young girl coming into a new college, and not knowing hardly anybody. And now, because of my sisters behind me, and everything that we’ve done, I still am growing into a woman. But I feel like, because of them pushing me and just doing everything that we do together we’re all pushing ourselves to be the women we want to be in the future.”
Madison clearly has a heart for others. Her platform is “That’s Not Love,” which deals with abusive relationships, both physically and verbally, and the warning signs of these. Within the span of a few years, Madison herself had an experience with abusive relationships from a few people who were close to her. When she discovered the platform, it struck a chord with her.
“I want to be a voice for those that do not have a voice because being the victim, and people don’t realize how hard it is,” said Madison.
Rather than showing it as a presentation, Madison instead prefers to have more of a “heart-to-heart” with those she speaks to.
As far as being Miss Tech, she wants to get more involved. Although she is involved in so much already, Madison wants to be as incorporated with Arkansas Tech as she can. Integrating the Russellville community is also a part of what she wants to promote.
“It’s humbling, and it’s honoring,” Madison said of her new position.
Her family, her Delta Zeta sorority, the dance team and her director, Dr. Jim Collins, all motivate her to represent Arkansas Tech as she does.
Madison Oswalt, although young, is motivating, confident in a good way and cares wholeheartedly. All of this, she most undoubtedly would dedicate to the organizations and the people around her for her successes.
“Knowing my best in anything I do will be just fine,” Madison said, and feels she is a winner, with the successes or not.