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James Lee and Luan Nuam

Lee, Nuam win 2023 Mr. and Miss Asian OSU

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Media Contact: Jordan Bishop | Editor, Department of Brand Management | 405-744-7193 |

James Lee and Luan Nuam went home with the crown following the 2023 Mr. and Miss Asian OSU pageant on Sunday in the Oklahoma State University Student Union theater. 

The Mr. and Miss Asian OSU scholarship pageant presents diverse Asian cultures and heritages represented by students on campus. It’s a culmination of dedication and hard work that contestants spend five months preparing for. The night consisted of esteemed contestants and entertainment including traditional dances, live music and other traditions from across Asia. 

Four contestants for Miss Asian OSU and two for Mr. presented their best selves to compete for the title. The pageant has six categories the contestants are scored through: private interview, platform presentation, cultural wear, talent, evening wear and extemporaneous question. Contestants were also rated on their personal presentation, stage presence and poise. 

The pageant was also in competition for a scholarship, though 2022 winner Jordan Lin made note money is not the focus of the competition. Regardless, the winners were awarded a $1,500 scholarship. First runner-up was awarded $500 and second runner-up $250. 

“To the new Mr. and Miss Asian OSU, I know you guys are gonna do great,” Lin said. “You guys are going to encounter a lot of things that are very hard. But don't forget that. Again, it's a very small step, but don't let it discourage you. You guys are going to do very great things.”

Nuam, Miss Asian OSU, is a junior from Jenks, Oklahoma, who is studying human development and family science. Her platform is empowering immigrants to adapt to life in the U.S. An immigrant herself, Nuam is passionate about helping people acclimate as she did.

"I chose to speak about my platform because as an immigrant myself, I understand the challenges that come with adapting to life in the United States,” Nuam said. “I want to use my experience to help others who are going through the same process. My platform focuses on empowering immigrants to successfully adapt to life in the United States by addressing common obstacles such as cultural differences, language barriers and accessing resources."

For Nuam’s talent portion, she performed a traditional Zomi folk dance referred to as Chheih Lam which can be traced to her Burmese heritage. She was supported and sponsored for the pageant by her family, who cheered her on passionately. 

Lee, Mr. Asian OSU, is a sophomore from Oklahoma City who is studying biosystems and agricultural engineering. Lee’s platform for his reign is water equity. After graduation, he plans to further his research in providing clean water for all people. 

“As a biosystems engineering major, my degree teaches me about water and what I can do to ensure that I innovate to ensure all have access to clean water,” Lee said.  “Through my platform, I hope to educate students and locals about what they can do to protect their water and how they can take little steps to ensure all have access to clean water.”

Along with the title, Lee also won awards for academics and the interview portion of the pageant. His talent was playing the song “Oklahoma” on the violin, which prompted the crowd to clap along. He also represented his Singaporean and Cantonese heritage with a traditional jacket contrasting with modern denim jeans to show the contrast of contemporary China.

The Mr. and Miss Asian OSU scholarship pageant’s mission is to further develop the leadership, confidence and creativity of students. The royals will positively advance the aims and objectives of the Asian American Student Association and represent the university as spokespersons. 

The pageant, which is free and live-streamed for those at home, was sponsored by the Division of Institutional Diversity, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Student Government Association Multicultural Affairs Committee. Visit OSU’s website to learn more about diversity on campus.

Story By: Haley Simpson |

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