The new Miss America is a scientist from Virginia
Posted December 19, 2019 10:18 p.m. EST
Updated December 20, 2019 7:48 a.m. EST
CNN — Camille Schrier, a student at Virginia Commonwealth who advocates for drug safety, was crowned Miss America 2020 on Thursday night at the Mohegan Sun Earth Expo & Convention Center in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Schrier was chosen by a panel of three celebrity judges over Miss Georgia Victoria Hill.
Schrier, who gave a chemistry demonstration on hydrogen peroxide during the talent competition, was crowned by 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin from New York.
The new Miss America told the crowd during introductions that she plans to get a doctor of pharmacy degree at VCU, in Richmond, Virginia. She has undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and systems biology from Virginia Tech.
She will spend a year advocating for Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics.
Miss Missouri Simone Esters made the top three but did not make the cut after the final trio advocated for their social causes.
Contestants were judged by singer Kelly Rowland, "Queer Eye" star Karamo Brown and "Superstore" actress Lauren Ash.
Last year, the competition announced it would stop judging women on their outward appearance and scrapped its highly criticized swimsuit competition. Now, the organization says, contestants have more time to advocate for their social impact initiatives and have their voices be heard.
During the preliminary competitions, 51 contestants took to the stage for personal interviews, talent demonstrations, and social impact statements.
The other women in the top 15 were:
- Miss Oklahoma Addison Price, third runner-up, eliminated after the talent competition
- Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy, fourth runner-up, eliminated after the talent competition
- Miss Alabama Tiara Pennington, eliminated after first on-stage interview
- Miss Colorado Monica Thompson, eliminated after first on-stage interview
- Miss California Eileen Kim
- Miss Florida Michaela McLean
- Miss Hawaii Nicole Holbrook
- Miss Kansas Annika Wooton
- Miss New Jersey Jade Glab
- Miss North Carolina Alexandra Badgett
- Miss New York Lauren Molella
- Miss Texas Chandler Foreman