Bio major impresses at Miss Asia Purdue pageant

05-05-2014

Amanda Mark

Bio junior Amanda Mark prepares herself before the 2014 Miss Asia Purdue pageant, which was held April 12.


A Biological Sciences junior studying Health and Disease, Amanda Mark traded in her microscope and avian retinal ganglion cell analysis for a sash and evening gowns for one night.

Born in Taiwan but living most of her life in Indianapolis, Mark competed in the 2014 Miss Asia Purdue pageant on April 12 in Fowler Hall. Among eight contestants, Mark received second-runner up honors.

Standing on-stage with flowers and gift bag in hand, Mark beamed with pride after her name was announced in front of a boisterous audience.

“I’m not a pageant girl,” she said with a touch of pride and bemusement after the event.

Mark did compete and perform in show choir throughout her high school years. The training and stage experience served her well during the talent portion of Miss Asia Purdue. With guitarist Caleb Carriere sitting beside her, Mark gave a soulful rendition of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, a playful and happy duet complete with whistling breaks.

Amanda Mark
Bio junior Amanda Mark took home second runner-up honors at the 2014 Miss Asia Purdue pageant.

Mark and her fellow contestants changed outfits three times throughout the pageant. After the talent portion, Mark had to answer two random questions. For “who is your favorite Asian hero,” she gave an emotional response about her Grandma Lee.

“My grandma was actually someone who never really showed her emotions, but her strength and endurance through all the trials in her life is what makes her such an amazing woman,” Mark stated.

Born to a Taiwanese mother and American father, Mark is half-Taiwanese. She represented the Purdue Hapa Student Association, an organization for students of mixed Asian heritage.

Mark speaks English, Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, and she recognizes both sides of her family with equal love.

That love carried over to her performance during Miss Asia Purdue, bringing laughs, tears and hearty applause. The judges took note and scored her high. Third out of eight isn’t bad for the pageant rookie and future surgeon, who currently researches in Prof. Esteban Fernandez-Juricic’s lab.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to do very well and it’s a nice surprise,” said Mark after the festivities.

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