Catherine Elizabeth Carmichael is the daughter of Daniel and Janelle Russell. She has three brothers; Jackie who plays professional basketball, Jamison who is a college basketball coach at Baker University, and Christian who plays basketball and attends Colby Junior College. They keep her on her toes, and have always made it their duty to keep her tough! Family has always been such an important part of Catherine’s life, and she feels incredibly blessed that she is so close with all of them. She is originally from Manhattan, KS and attended elementary and middle school on Ft. Riley Army Post where her mother is an elementary Physical Education teacher. She feels as though having the experience of attending school on a military base gave her the opportunity to meet and develop an appreciation for families of many diverse cultures, and backgrounds. This experience also provided her with a deep appreciation for our country and the men and women who fight every day for our freedom.
In 2009 after graduating from Manhattan High School, Catherine moved to Lawrence, Kansas to attend the University of Kansas and was blessed with the opportunity to pursue a collegiate volleyball career. In her 5-years at KU she became the starting outside hitter, helped her team to 2 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances; and in 2013 her team became the first in KU Volleyball history to make a Sweet 16 appearance. She graduated in the fall of 2013 with her degree in Cultural Studies with a focus on African and African American Studies, and a Minor in Communications.
After a short stint pursuing a professional volleyball career in Slovakia, Catherine returned back to Lawrence in 2015 and took a job as the Assistant Director of Recruiting for the University of Kansas football team. She absolutely loves working in collegiate athletics, and feels grateful to be able to be back in Lawrence, and to have the opportunity to work at her Alma Mater.
With the title of Miss Kansas USA Catherine is very passionate about raising awareness for Pediatric and childhood cancer. It is a cause that is very near and dear to her heart since her younger brother Jamison is a two-time Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer survivor. Through Vanbros official charity the Warriors For Ross Foundation she is excited to help promote and raise money for families that have children going through the same things her own family has been though.
In addition Catherine and her Grandma have been watching Miss USA since she was five years old. Having the opportunity of being Miss Kansas USA, and for her grandma to finally have the chance to see her walk the Miss USA stage is a dream come true!!