Shandi Finnessey, a Lindenwood University graduate student, was crowned Miss USA Monday night in Los Angeles at the Kodak Theatre.
Finnessey, 25, of Florissant, has a degree in psychology. She is seeking a master's degree in professional counseling. She was crowned Miss Missouri last year.
Finnessey receives a New York City apartment for a year, extensive travel opportunities and a yearlong salary. She will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant June 1 in Quito, Ecuador.
Finnessey had said during the state competition that her platform is integrating people with mental challenges into society.