University of Southern Mississippi Professor Amal Mitra is a particularly proud father these days after watching his daughter, Paromita Mitra, capture the Miss Mississippi USA crown on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Harrah’s Event Center in Tunica, Miss.
Mitra, 20, bested 25 other contestants for the title and will now represent the state in the 2013 Miss USA Pageant at a date to be determined. Mitra is a student at Mississippi State University where she is studying aerospace engineering. She hopes to work for NASA in the future.
Her father is professor of epidemiology & biostatistics and a Fulbright Scholar
in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Southern Miss. He has been a member of the Southern Miss faculty for the past 15 years.
“I was probably holding my breath at that moment and my heart was pounding,” said Amal Mitra of the final seconds before the winner was announced. “When I heard her name called as the winner, I jumped up and shouted loud. We had a big group of family and friends at the Harrah’s Event Center. We had a very enjoyable moment.”
A Bangladeshi-born U.S. citizen, Paromita Mitra spent this past summer visiting her birthplace working as a volunteer for the Operation Smile Bangladesh Program to promote health education to poor children with cleft lip and cleft palate in that region.