Clemson has a favorite this year for Miss America

Students and faculty in Clemson University’s College of Science already have a favorite in the Miss America competition – and the date and location of the event have yet to be announced. May 2019 Clemson graduate and Miss Clemson Morgan Nichols was recently named Miss South Carolina. Nichols’ state and national platform will focus on STEM education, which promotes career development for the life science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. “I started out in the College of Science at Clemson University,” Nichols said. “Because of my education at Clemson, I received an internship at SCBIO, South Carolina’s biotechnology organization. That is where my social impact initiative ‘Stronger with STEM’ started. I traveled around South Carolina meeting with life science companies and learning of a STEM workforce void that we have. I became extremely passionate about this.” Nichols, who is from Lexington, earned her undergraduate degree in the College of Science’s department of genetics and biochemistry. She also had a minor in business and she plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration once her year as Miss South Carolina comes to a close. Though she had previous pageant experience, Nichols decided to compete for Miss Clemson only weeks before the event. It was the rebranding of the Miss America competition – with its greater focus on offering more opportunities to showcase women’s personal initiatives, accomplishments and skill sets – that drew her in. The Miss South Carolina title carries with it a $60,000 scholarship and it will also be Nichols’ full-time job for the next year. She was crowned on Saturday, June 29. Within two days, she had met with Gov. Henry McMaster and set her agenda in motion. “We talked about our plans for this state,” Nichols said. “We talked about the upload epidemic, workforce development and life science sector in South Carolina and how we can collaborate.”