Published on Monday, July 31, 2017
Media Contact: Ruth Cummins
The call came as Dr. LaToya Mason Bolden was pushing a cart around the grocery store.It was from the Mobile, Ala., national office of the Distinguished Young Women program, formerly known as Junior Miss. They asked: Would you serve this summer as a judge in the 60th annual competition?Mississippi’s 1994 Junior Miss didn’t blink. “It was immediately a yes,” said Bolden, an associate professor of anesthesiology who came to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in September 2016.Her wonderful experience as Hinds County’s Junior Miss and at the state level made giving back at the national level a no-brainer, said Bolden, who previously served for a decade on the Baylor College of Medicine faculty.
“I got a phone call from a friend of mine as I was landing in San Diego for an association meeting two years ago,” Bacon said. “The friend said that Dr. Mason was getting married to the mayor of Canton, and that she was interested in what UMMC had to offer. I didn’t know all of the great things I was getting when she came here.“She is one of a handful of world experts in obstetric anesthesiology. We’re very fortunate to have her here,” Bacon said. “She’s had a great academic career. She’s absolutely phenomenal, and such a wonderful nice and easy person to work with, and her outreach to the community is important.”Her time as Mississippi’s Junior Miss, Bolden said, stays fresh in her heart. “More than anything, it’s inspired me to be a model of excellence, especially in this society where there are so many controversial images,” she said. “I want to be a model of integrity, of character, of scholarship and of leadership, while trying to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”At this summer’s program, she made new friends, had fun, and learned a lot – just as she did in 1994.“I would definitely welcome the opportunity to do it again,” Bolden said of judging. “The executive director said, ‘You will definitely hear from me.’ ”
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