~ By Kaitlin C. Meier, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

Kindle Lynn Cowger, an acting student from the Department of Theatre Arts, was crowned Miss Fresno County 2018 in March. She achieved this success during the last semester of her undergraduate work, completing her bachelor of arts degree this spring. Cowger will now compete for Miss California, a volunteer-based nonprofit organization, June 27-30.

Competing for Miss Fresno County during her last semester at Fresno State was both challenging and rewarding, Cowger said: “It has honestly been such a crazy time, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. This last semester was the hardest out of the 10 semesters that I attended Fresno State, and competing for Miss Fresno County at the same time was stressful, but absolutely worth it.”

Theater has been a major part of Cowger’s life, from childhood acting to collegiate productions. She has performed in numerous productions throughout the Central Valley and has been nominated for The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival twice. 

“I have theater to thank for a lot that has happened in my life,” Cowger said. “I would not be the person that I am today if it were not for my experiences and education through the Fresno State Theatre Department. I was given so many wonderful opportunities through the department that I will never forget.”

This love for Theatre Arts transitioned to Cowger’s involvement with the Miss California pageant through her platform advocating for Americans for the Arts, an organization seeking to bring more attention and support to the value of the arts in America.

“I believe my training in theater has absolutely helped me in my recent pageant success and competing for Miss California as a new college graduate is an amazing feeling,” said Cowger.

Cowger attributes much of her success to her experiences at Fresno State:

“My time at Fresno State has encouraged me to dream bigger than I ever thought that I could,” said Cowger. “I dreamt of being a college graduate and through hard work and determination, I was awarded that dream through Fresno State. Now I am competing for Miss California, a dream that I never thought I would be able to grasp.”

Now that Cowger has accomplished her goal of attaining her degree, she looks forward to the experiences she will gain in this latest competition:

“I am looking forward to experiencing something that I never thought I would ever be blessed enough to take part in,” said Cowger. “Competing for the title of Miss California is a huge honor and I am so lucky for this chance. I hope to make Fresno State and Fresno County proud in my upcoming competition.”

The Miss California competition has been held in Fresno since 1994 and will take place in Downtown Fresno at the Saroyan Theater. For ticket information, click here.