Engineering student competes in Miss California pageant

JACQUELINE WIBOWO blends in well at Stanford. Dressed-down with a backpack and earbuds, she’s like any other college student jetting between classes, office hours and other activities. While she’s working hard to add the designation of Stanford alum to her résumé, Wibowo – who will graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a master’s degree in management science and engineering – has her sights set on another title.

Jacqueline Wibowo
Jacqueline Wibowo

Next month Wibowo will head to Fresno to compete in the Miss California pageant with 52 other contestants from across the state. Although a newcomer to the pageant scene, she won the Miss San Jose title in January, a victory that came with a $2,000 scholarship award, a crown and a sash. Wibowo says that while the state pageant looks glamorous, the event, which is the next step in a national program, has a deeper purpose.

“The Miss America program is unique in that unlike other pageant programs, each titleholder has a platform that they spend a year promoting, and for me, women in leadership is an issue that I really care about,” she says. “I think it’s very relevant for San Jose and Silicon Valley in general, a place that has had so many initiatives to diversify the workplace.”

Since being crowned, Wibowo has made public appearances and given speeches. Earlier this year she read books to schoolchildren for Read Across America Day and recently she addressed about 300 people at the TiEinflect 2018 entrepreneurship conference.

The Miss California competition includes an interview with the judges and an on-stage question, which involves selecting a random question from a bowl and answering it on the spot. For the talent portion, Wibowo, who is a classically trained pianist, will perform Fantaisie-Impromptu by Frédéric Chopin.

Read more on the Stanford News webpages.