by Aly Michelle
When Bucks County native, Camille Schrier, took a risk and conducted a science experiment as her on-stage talent, we knew she wouldn’t be the typical Miss America. It turns out the risk paid off, and Schrier was crowned Miss America 2020. But, shortly after the competition, the world shut down, and Schrier, like the rest of us, had to figure out how to do her job from home. We recently sat down (remotely) with her to ask about the competition, becoming the first “virtual” Miss America, and her love of science.
“When I decided to perform a science demonstration as my onstage talent, I knew I was taking a huge risk,” Schrier said. “I wasn’t nervous, because I wanted to be authentically myself through the process…and so if that didn’t result in me winning, I was OK with that.”
It turns out that being “authentic” paid off for the for the then 24-year-old. Schrier was crowned Miss America 2020 on December 19, 2019. But, less than four months later, the Covid-19 pandemic brought life to a screeching halt and she, like many of us, was forced to do her job remotely. “Navigating a pandemic as Miss America was difficult, but brought me a world of unique opportunities,” she said. It was science that once again led to her success.
Schrier created a TV studio in her house and began creating video content—even filming a cooking show for PBS called, Cooking up Science, which she filmed from her kitchen. While she wasn’t able to meet many of the young minds she inspires in person, she does have an important message for them.
“My biggest piece of advice to any young person looking to be a scientist when they grow up is to not be discouraged by bumps in the road,” she said. “Studying science isn’t easy – but you don’t have to get an A in every class to have a successful STEM career. For little girls specifically, I want them to know that they never have to choose between being feminine or being a scientist. I hope that I can show those girls that they can stay true to who they are, and be incredibly successful while doing it.”
So, what’s next for the nation’s first Virtual Miss America? While she hasn’t had the opportunity to pass on her crown just yet, (the 2020 competition was postponed) she is stepping back from fulltime Miss America duties to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. She will also continue her work on the MindYourMeds campaign, as well as some independent projects, and promoting her passion for science.
“The reason I love science is that it affects every single part of our lives,” Schrier said. “From the engineering and construction of the homes we live in, to the design of the cars we drive, to the technology we communicate with and the medicines we consume…science drives how we live every day. Understanding how relevant STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is to our lives is what excites me most about not only educating on the topic, but also learning more for myself!”
We asked Schrier to tell us about some of her favorite Bucks County spots. Here’s what she said:
Favorite place to grab takeout?
Not takeout specifically, but I love ice cream from Goodnoe’s Dairy Bar in Newtown
Favorite coffee shop?
This one isn’t very Bucks County specific…but I’m a huge Wawa coffee fan!
Favorite Pizza place?
Meglio’s Pizzeria in Newtown!
Favorite date location?
New Hope, PA!
Best brunch spot?
Rocco’s at The Brick, Newtown
Looking at the Delaware River from the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge
Favorite place to shop?
I love spending time at Rice’s Market in New Hope!
This or That
“When I decided to perform a science demonstration as my onstage talent, I knew I was taking a huge risk. I wasn’t nervous, because I wanted to be authentically myself through the process…and so if that didn’t result in me winning, I was OK with that.”
– Camille Schrier
This or That?
Get to know Miss America with a fun “This or That” Challenge her choices in green
Poconos getaway or NJ beach trip
Netflix or Hulu
Pizza or Mexican
Instagram or Twitter
Winter or Summer
Plane or Car