The District Of Columbia just claimed its second consecutive Miss USA crown over the weekend. Kára Deidra McCollough, a 25-year old chemist who was born in Italy, was crowned the winner of the prestigious beauty pageant in front of an applauding crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Coming in second is Miss New Jersey, Chhavi Verg, and at third place is Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould.

McCollough was crowned by the reigning Miss USA winner, Miss District of Columbia, Deshauna Barber. This year's Miss USA will be representing the United States at the upcoming 66th Miss Universe pageant.

Beauty and brains

McCollough currently works as a radiochemist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She graduated from South Carolina State University, where she studied nuclear chemistry. Aside from her academic accolades, the stunning 5-foot 10-inch brunette also has an outreach program that teaches children about science and technology. Her program also aims to inspire and help women who have interests in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences.

Answers to controversial issues

One of the biggest factors that likely gave McCollough the win was her answers to some very tough questions regarding two particularly controversial topics. The first question that was asked was regarding her thoughts about healthcare being a privilege to US citizens.

The titleholder affirmed her belief that healthcare is indeed a privilege and that it is only given to those who have jobs, but that everyone should strive for an environment that gives people the right opportunities to acquire healthcare.

The second question was regarding her stance towards feminism. McCollough immediately responded by saying that the term should be called "equalism" instead.

She then mentioned that woman are just "as equal as men," especially when it comes to opportunities in the workplace. She also mentioned that woman are capable of taking leadership roles in different fields, including in offices or in medical science fields.

Equal opportunity

The recently held beauty contest actually included five contestants who had immigrated to the country while they were young.

The contestants include those from Florida, Hawaii, Connecticut, and North Dakota. The pageant's first runner-up even shared her story about coming to the country from India while she was four years old. Verg explained that the definition of being American is now slowly changing and that it does not necessarily require a specific skin color.