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Miss America 2014 to deliver Asian & Pacific Islander Awareness Month keynote lecture

| By Nick Alexopulos
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri

Loyola University Maryland welcomes Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri for the Asian & Pacific Islander Awareness Month keynote lecture on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at 7 p.m. in McGuire Hall.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but strongly recommended because space is limited. Guests can reserve tickets online at any time or obtain tickets from the Loyola box office beginning April 1.

In her address, Davuluri will focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion, why she chose “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency” as her platform to compete in Miss America, and her experiences as a woman of color in the Miss America system. A Q&A session will follow Davuluri’s lecture.

Davuluri was crowned Miss America 2014 on Sept. 15, 2013, at age 24. She is the first Indian American and second Asian American to be chosen as Miss America. Davuluri is also the first contestant to ever have performed a Bollywood dance on the Miss America stage. Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., she moved with her family to St. Joseph, Mich., when she was 10. She attended St. Joseph High School and then went on to study at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While at the University of Michigan, Davuluri was a Sigma Kappa (Alpha Mu) and member of the Indian dance squad, Maya. She is also the recipient of several scholastic honors including dean's list, the Michigan Merit Award, and National Honor Society. She graduated in 2011 from the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) with a B.S. in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science.

With career ambitions to become a physician, Davuluri plans to continue her education once her duties as Miss America have concluded and plans to put the $50,000 scholarship award from Miss America toward medical school.

For several years prior to the Miss America competition, Davuluri had been working on the issues of “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency” and will now use her national platform to raise greater awareness. As part of the campaign, she has launched “Circles of Unity,” a new social media initiative aimed at encouraging constructive and respectful dialogue on issues surrounding diversity.

The Asian & Pacific Islander Awareness Month event is presented by the Asian Cultural Alliance, a Loyola student-run organization under the umbrella of ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Services.

Loyola marketing and communications intern Ariel Genovese was the primary author of this article.

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