Miss America 2014: 5 Things To Know About Miss New York, Nina Davuluri

Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri
Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri

Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, was crowned the new Miss America on Sunday night in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Of course, Miss New York (the second Miss America winner from her state in the past two years) proved that she is much more than a beautiful face during the glitz and glamour pageant.

Here are five things that you need to know about the 24-year-old beauty queen.

She is the first Indian-American to ever be crowned Miss America

Though she hails from the Syracuse, NY area, Nina Davuluri was born to Telugu parents from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. “I’m most excited to promote my platform,” Nina said after being crowned. Sadly, she’s already faced some racial backlash as a result. “I have to rise above that,” she said, per CNN. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

She is a classically trained dancer

According to her official Miss New York bio, Nina regularly traveled to the southern Indian city of Vijayawada to study both Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dance. During the 93rd annual Miss America pageant, she performed a “Bollywood Fusion” dance routine filled with engery that was choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance‘s Nakul Dev Mahajan.

She is a self-proclaimed nerd

In Nina’s aforementioned biographical video she jokes that she’s “kind of a nerd,” adding, “I love Star Wars, Star Trek and anything sci-fi.”

She’s a dog-lover

Of  course she’s an animal lover! In her video on the Miss New York website, Nina jokes that she doesn’t worship cows, but she does worship one animal — her dog! “He’s half-retriever, half question mark. Love him!,” she says.

She was a straight-A student and plans to go to medical school

Nina graduated from the University of Michigan last year with a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science. During her time at the university she made the Dean’s List, and won the Michigan Merit Award and a National Honor Society Award. Next? She plans to apply to medical school and pursue a career as a physician. (BTW: Nina’s father is a gynecologist, her sister is in her third year of medical school, her maternal aunt and uncle are doctors who run a nursing home in India, and her father’s siblings also work in the medical field in America)

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