On Jan. 3, the 2023 Miss America, Grace Stanke, visited the Idaho National Laboratory and gave a motivational speech to sixth-grade girls attending school in Idaho Falls. This was her final visitation as Miss America.

Stanke spoke about her journey as a woman in engineering and encouraged all the girls to follow their dreams while expressing that it’s okay if they haven’t decided on a career path yet. The students were impressed and inspired to pursue their passions.

While at INL, Stanke participated in a panel discussion with INL Director John Wagner, deputy laboratory director; Marianne Walk, chief research officer; and Erin Searcy, chief technology officer for nuclear science and technology. Additionally, she took a tour of their facilities and interacted with their equipment.

Back in September 2023, the Wall Street Journal named her “The New Face of Nuclear Energy.”

Bernadette Baca and Grace Stanke at a reception at the Women Airforce Service Pilots Museum in Sweetwater, Texas.

Bernadette Baca and Grace Stanke at a reception at the Women Airforce Service Pilots Museum in Sweetwater, Texas. Photo credit: Flickr

Stanke graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she studied nuclear engineering. She has spent her time as Miss America traveling and advocating for nuclear energy and its implementation into society.

When Stanke completes her time as Miss America, she plans to work for Constellation Energy Company in fuel core design while also doing public advocacy.

For more information, visit the INL website.

To learn more about INL, visit the Scroll website.