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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Miss America comes to Loyola


BALTIMORE, M.d. – On Tuesday, April 8, ALANA services brought Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, to be the Asian and Pacific Islander Awareness Month Keynote speaker.  Ms. Davuluri also participated in a private press conference with students from Greycomm Studios and WLOY.

According to Loyola Magazine, Nina Davuluri is the first Indian-American and second Asian -American to win the Miss America  pageant in September 2013. She has won Miss New York twice and has also been crowned as Miss Syracuse.  Davuluri was born in Syracuse, New York and grew up in an Indian household, primarily the reason in which she goes back to India every year with her family. When she was 10 years old, she moved to St. Joseph, Michigan with her family where she attended St. Joseph High School and went on to study at her dream school,the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Nina Davuluri4-20130916-4

She received many awards while attending college such as a Dean’s list scholar, Michigan Merit Award and being inducted into National Honor Society. She graduated in 2011 and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science. She hopes to use the $50,000 scholarship she received in winning Miss America towards medical school to become a doctor. In the press conference, Davuluri explained that one of the main reasons why she decided to compete was for scholarship money. She received a $92,000 scholarship money through her time competing since she was 17, which helped her pay off all her debt from University of Michigan.

Davuluri received a lot racist backlash on Twitter because she was an Indian- American saying that she was a “terrorist” and a “Muslim”. She has risen above those comments and has continued to promote her platform, which is “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency.”

“The silver lining with everything that has happened is that I’m able to address my platform following diversity and cultural competency on national news networks and national television and to speak to various colleges and universities through my year to talk about that,” said Davuluri.

In response to the backlash on Twitter, she started a campaign called “Circles of Unity,” which encourages discussion on social media about diversity and cultural competency in our country.  She is also a National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and she is the spokesperson for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education where she works with the Department of Education in Washington D.C.

She says that one of the reasons she joined Miss America is to redefine the role of being “ the girl next door.”

“To reach out to that young girl that night I won and have her be able to say ‘Wow this year Miss America actually looks like me and I don’t have to have a normal talent’…To me, the image of the girl next door is evolving as diversity in America evolves.”

She is the first Miss America to meet President Obama and the first to be invited into the Oval office. She points out that these monumental opportunities werethe first time that her parents realized that this was a real job. She has also met President Clinton, Steven Tyler at the Superbowl and Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project.

You can tell right away when meeting Nina that she clearly breaks the stigma of the typical blue-eyed, blonde pageant queen. She is a beautiful person both inside and out.  Her advice for young adults is “ Be yourself… but it’s important to know who you are, love who you are and stand up for who you are.”

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Miss America comes to Loyola