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Miss America 2023 Shines a Spotlight on Nuclear Power and STEM Careers

The 2023 winner of Miss America is Grace Stanke, a nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin. She’s been on a mission to dispel myths about nuclear energy and inspire the next generation of female scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.
At the Anthropocene Institute, we are thrilled to see what Grace Stanke is doing. As Miss America, she is using her voice to bring attention to the importance of STEM careers to women and the benefits of nuclear energy in the fight against the climate crisis.
In this article, we want to spotlight the 2023 Miss America winner, Grace Stanke, on her important work.
"I hope I can continue to pave the way for women in the future and help make it an equal percentage of women and men in the [STEM] field," said Grace Stanke in an interview with Oshkosh Northwestern. (Image source: @Grace.Stanke / Instagram)
"I hope I can continue to pave the way for women in the future and help make it an equal percentage of women and men in the [STEM] field," said Grace Stanke in an interview with Oshkosh Northwestern. (Image source: @Grace.Stanke / Instagram)


Communicating the Complexity of Nuclear Power as Miss America

Representing the state of Wisconsin in the 2023 Miss America pageant, Grace Stanke showcased her knowledge of employing nuclear power to achieve carbon-free energy in the climate crisis. Shantel Krebs, the chair of the Miss America Organization Board of Directors, recalled what Grace Stanke’s intellect brought to the Miss America competition and said, ”The role of Miss America is not of vanity, but rather community impact and contribution to the crown. Grace has strongly demonstrated her abilities, and there is no doubt in our mind she—and all of this year’s class of candidates—are destined for greatness.”
After winning the 2023 Miss America competition and receiving $50,000 in scholarship assistance, Grace Stanke earned an appearance contract from the Miss America Organization. With this appearance contract, Grace has been traveling the country as Miss America to serve as an inspiration and role model for young women, while sharing her passions and life story.
Additionally, since being crowned Miss America 2023, Grace Stanke has also gone on to partner with the American Nuclear Society (ANS). With her partnership with the ANS, Grace has been traveling throughout the United States to communicate the positive benefits of nuclear energy, tour nuclear energy plants, and promote the value of STEM careers to women. During her visits to nuclear energy plants and meetings with the public, Grace Stanke emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between science and communication regarding nuclear energy with her social impact initiative: Clean Power, Clean Future.
Grace Stanke explains the mission of Clean Power, Clean Future by saying, “America needs to convert to zero-carbon energy sources, and I’m helping to make that happen by breaking down misconceptions surrounding our most powerful source of zero-carbon energy: nuclear power. I advocate for nuclear power and 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.”
(Source: University of Wisconsin – Madison)
(Source: University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Grace Stanke leverages the power of simple and effective science communication about the benefits of nuclear energy by writing articles with ANS and keeping an active social media presence. Through these platforms, Grace Stanke has addressed misinformation about nuclear energy and given her unique perspective as both Miss America and a nuclear engineering student about the positive role that nuclear energy can provide to society today.
In a video for the U.S. Women in Nuclear, Stanke said, “I have three main goals. The first is to help recruit new individuals for the nuclear industry and improve communication skills for nuclear professionals across the whole world. And help increase funding going toward the nuclear industry and clean energy as a whole.”
“It's the community and the teamwork that makes the nuclear industry so awesome. Have those conversations, be aggressive, be annoying, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops!” said Grace Stanke at #ANSannual ‘23 in Indianapolis.
“It's the community and the teamwork that makes the nuclear industry so awesome. Have those conversations, be aggressive, be annoying, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops!” said Grace Stanke at #ANSannual ‘23 in Indianapolis.

On the subject of Grace Stanke’s career ambitions, she wants to utilize nuclear energy to create clean energy production in the United States. Grace wants to “produce efficient, clean, zero-carbon energy for America through nuclear energy in a core design position.”
From all of us at the Anthropocene Institute, we are so proud of you, and we hope you reach your career ambitions. Your role as 2023 Miss America is already influencing America’s next generation of women scientists.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYrl8fWqf_8&t=1s


Check out Grace Stanke's articles on the American Nuclear Society website:
  • Munene Mugambi

    50 w

    She took on a worthy cause. Good for us all

    2
    • Tabitha Kimani

      50 w

      Wow. Beauty with brains. She is a real inspiration to the women world over. Her influence is geared towards saving many generations.

      2
      • Daniel Waweru

        50 w

        Such an inspiration

        6
        • winnie nguru

          50 w

          She is an inspiration to all of us

          2
          • Kevin

            50 w

            A very impeccable article

            3
            • Simon Bergbom

              51 w

              Very interesting article! How do you believe Grace Stanke's promotion of STEM careers can inspire young people to contribute to sustainable energy solutions?

              9
              • Kevin

                51 w

                She is a force to reckon with.Admirable

                2
                • Patrick Kiash

                  51 w

                  Her advocacy and communication toward clean energy and emphasising America should convert to zero carbon is a very important step.

                  11
                  • Ford Brodeur

                    51 w

                    Way to go, Miss America!! Seeing Grace Stanke undertake such important work and inspire others is awesome.

                    3
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