Elle Smith pic

Elle Smith poses for a portrait on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Issac Janssen | Staff

Elle Smith, alumna of University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Media, won the 2021 Miss USA pageant Monday after previously being crowned Miss Kentucky. 

Smith graduated with a B.A. in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science in May 2020. according to her biography from WHAS11, where she works as a reporter. According to WHAS11, while at UK, she was vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, a videographer for SEC Network and UK Athletics and a reporter for the Student News Network.

Social media was flooded with messages of support and celebration following Smith’s win. A tweet from WHAS11 said, “Our Elle Smith is your new MISS USA!”

Smith tweeted, “Kentucky this is a win for us all!!!!!”

She will representing the USA in Eliat, Israel, for the 2021 Miss Universe pageant, which will take place on Dec. 12.