Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America for 2014, becoming the first Indian American to win that pageant title. Nina Davuluri's parents both were born in India and moved to the United States in the 1970s. She grew up in Fayetteville, New York, then graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science. (She has said that she will use her $50,000 Miss America scholarship to attend medical school.) Nina Davuluri entered the Miss New York pageant in 2013, winning while performing a "Bollywood Fusion style dance" as her talent. She then went on to compete in the annual Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, where "Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency" was her platform issue. She won the whole shebang, being named Miss America 2014 on September 16, 2013. She succeeded the previous Miss America, Mallory Hytes Hagan, who also was Miss New York.
“I’m kind of a nerd. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, and anything SciFi,” Nina Davuluri said in a 2013 video on the Miss New York website. The pageant reported that “She also is an active voice for healthy lifestyle, inspired by her own lifetime battle with obesity”… She is the fifth Miss New York to become Miss America. The full list: Bess Myerson (1945), Tawny Godin (1976), Vanessa Williams (1983), Mallory Hytes Hagan (2013) and Nina Davuluri (2014). Vanessa Williams was the first African American ever to be Miss America.
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