Easton resident Shreya Sood was unable to describe her feelings as she stood on the stage of The Palace theater in Stamford Sunday just after being crowned Miss India CT. "I'm speechless, which is rare for me," said Sood. She added that she was "completely overwhelmed and extremely grateful."
Sood was born in India and grew up in Woodbridge, Conn. A radiologist, she graduated from Cornell University in 2005, then went on to study medicine at Yale.
The pageant, presented by Diva America, Inc., stressed health as an important component of beauty. Sood was chosen from a field of 14 contestants. Late in the program she was named one of five finalists. Each answered a pair of questions put to them by one of the judges. Sood's response to an inquiry about where she'd take a visitor unfamiliar with Connecticut showed her affinity for family. She chose Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, a favorite place for family outings.
"I don't think anybody can go there and not have fun," Sood said. She also briefly broke with the Q&A format and gave a "shout out" from the stage to family members for their support.
Priya Kumar was selected Miss India Teen CT, besting seven other contestants. Miss India CT runner-up was Tina Kumar and Miss Teen India CT runner-up was Priya Gupta.
Dignitaries attending the event included U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia, who said the event underscores the city's "multicultural ethnicity" and "diversification," and First Lady Maureen Pavia, who served as an advisor for the pageant. A portion of the proceeds was donated to Maureen Pavia's Stamford Gives Back Association, which provides scholarships and other support to young performing artists.
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