A nuclear engineering student from the University of Wisconsin wrote history after she impressed the panel by playing the violin and her thoughts about nuclear energy. Yes, Grace Stanke of Wausau, who won Miss Wisconsin 2022, has now been crowned Miss America 2023. Read on to know more about the journey of this nerdy student towards becoming a beauty queen.
Miss America 2023: Grace Stanke, Beauty With Brain!
Congratulations to #MissAmerica2023, Grace Stanke from Wisconsin!
1st Runner Up – New York
2nd Runner Up – Texas
3rd Runner Up – West Virginia
4th Runner Up – Georgia pic.twitter.com/czu6wCryOo
— The Miss America Org (@MissAmerica) December 16, 2022
Miss Wisconsin Grace Stanke of Wausau was crowned Miss America 2023 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Thursday (Dec. 15). During the talent round, Stanke mesmerised the panel of judges by playing the violin. During the Red Carpet portion, her answers were like a bull’s eye.
However, Miss New York Taryn Delanie Smith was crowned first runner-up, while Miss Texas Averie Bishop managed to secure second runner-up. After winning the crown, Stanke stated that she was excited to have opportunities to discuss meaningful issues as Miss America and represent “the women who can.”
She revealed: “As Miss America, I am representing this organization. If they ask further questions, I am able to preface by saying, ‘This isn’t the organization’s point of view, this is my personal point of view as Grace Stanke’ and I can go on to state it — especially when it comes to things like nuclear energy and so many other hot political topics.”
She also emphasised her career goals as an advocate of nuclear power. Isn’t that a perfect combination of beauty with brain, eh? As for the competition, the top 11 finalists underwent various stages like on-stage questions, “red carpet” competition, talent and philanthropic programs (now called “social impact initiatives”. Here is a list of the top 11 contestants:
- Miss West Virginia 2022, Elizabeth Lynch.
- Miss Nevada 2022, Heather Renner.
- Miss New York 2022, Taryn Delanie Smith (first runner-up)
- Miss Wisconsin 2022, Grace Stanke (winner)
- Miss Hawaii 2022, Lauren Teruya.
- Miss Oregon 2022, Sophia Takla.
- Miss Texas 2022, Averie Bishop (second runner-up)
- Miss Ohio 2022, Elizabetta Nies.
- Miss Georgia 2022, Kelsey Hollis.
- Miss Indiana 2022, Elizabeth Hallal.
- Miss Illinois 2022, Monica Nia Jones (America’s choice candidate, included via online votes).
More About Grace Stanke
On her Instagram, Grace Stanke describes herself as “a nuclear nerd who loves to ski & travel.” She has a major in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. During an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, Grace revealed that she is the daughter of Darrin Stanke, a civil engineer. She grew up on construction sites in and around Wausau. Her mother is Jenny Stanke.
Previously, Grace served as Miss Madison for two years during COVID -19 pandemic. Later, she placed in the top 10 at Miss Wisconsin before returning to the stage and winning the title this year. As Miss America 2023, Stanke now succeeds Emma Broyles, a Korean-American, who became the first Miss Alaska contestant to win the title in the competition’s 100-year history.
As for her scholastic honours, Grace is a “Dean’s Honour List Recipient, and also receievd a Dean’s Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship; “graduating high school at 17 with the equivalent of an Associate’s Degree through dual enrollment courses at a local college.” Apart from this, she is a talented violin player, and the world saw it all yesterday.
As for her career ambition, Grace revealed that she wishes to “produce efficient, clean, zero-carbon energy for America through nuclear energy in a core design position”. She believes that the country needs to convert to zero-carbon energy sources, and she’s working hard to make that happen.
As for a solution, Grace stated that she is “breaking down misconceptions surrounding our most powerful source of zero-carbon energy: nuclear power. I advocate for nuclear power & improved communication about nuclear science with both the general public and nuclear engineers to bridge the gap of the unknown between the two groups of people.”
She believes that she grew up with the phrase, “Impunctuality breeds disorganization”. As per her dad’s advice, she follows the “Lombardi time”, which means if you are ten minutes early, you’re on time. If not, you’re late. Well, this one’s not just a beauty, but a very punctual lady.