In-Duck-ted as Mrs. Oregon America

Crowned Mrs. Oregon America, UO business instructor Merryn Roberts-Huntley will compete November 20 in the Mrs. America pageant in Las Vegas


University of Oregon business instructor Merryn Roberts-Huntley believes there is value in pushing yourself to try new things. During the summer, she put this belief to the test—and emerged victorious.

Roberts-Huntley, MBA ’06 (sports business), was named Mrs. Oregon America 2021. From the moment she was crowned, this career coach, author, wife, and mother has set out to be a different kind of pageant winner.

“I’m an academic and a professional—I’m in a unique position to change perceptions,” Roberts-Huntley says. “The women I’ve met in the world of pageants are philanthropic, kind-hearted, determined women who want to help their communities. That’s a great thing.”

What was once just a beauty contest now prioritizes participants’ community service and performance in interviews by judges, Roberts-Huntley says. In a partnership with Dress for Success, a global nonprofit organization for women’s economic independence, she is conducting workshops throughout the year teaching hundreds of women how to land jobs.

Roberts-Huntley, who teaches marketing strategy for the UO sports product management master’s program in Portland, intends to use her victory to inspire women facing challenges to dream big and go for it.

“I’ve gotten so many messages from colleagues and students,” says Roberts-Huntley (follow at @madetohire). “My students are all saying the same thing: ‘I’m proud of you, way to set an example for us.’”