National Institute on Aging

The New Miss USA Is an African American Nuclear Scientist

On May 14, Kara McCullough won the 2017 Miss USA contest at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was representing the District of Columbia and will now go on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, into a Navy family. She was raised in Virginia Beach. McCullough earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a concentration in radiochemistry from South Carolina State University. She was crowned Miss South Carolina State University for the 2012-13 academic year. Her degree enabled her to gain employment in the Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C.

Commenting on McCullough being named Miss USA, James E. Clark, president of South Carolina State University, said that “this national platform will increase the level of exposure to Kara’s commitment to STEM education awareness. Her recent win also puts the world on notice about South Carolina State University – that from these hallowed halls, graduates are transformed to leaders with the potential to leave an indelible mark in the world.”


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  1. Juliette Gittens,M.A. says:

    Congratulations Miss USA 2017.

    Best Wishes
    Mrs.Laguna Niguel 2002

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