ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Cornell grad and Ithaca resident Camille Sims, who was crowned Miss New York in May, nearly claimed the Miss America crown this past weekend weekend.

Sims was the second runner-up. Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, won the Miss America title.

During the competition, Sims gained a lot of attention for her answer during the Q&A portion of the event, which focused on political issues. According to a report from WSYR, the question directed at Sims was straightforward: “What do you think of Donald Trump?”

Sims response: “I think he’s a bright reminder of how our country needs to come together. If you don’t agree with his message, then you need to decide where you stand on this debate. As Americans, we need to make sure that we are celebrating all people from all backgrounds.”

According to her bio, Sims graduated from Cornell University with a major in Human Development and a minor in Inequality Studies. Her platform is “Ensuring Wellness and Fostering Food Justice,” and she has worked with low-income and racial/ethnic minorities in Brazil, Ecuador, Turkey, and communities in Upstate New York and throughout Tompkins County. She also serves on the Tompkins County Food Policy Council as a Food Justice chair.

Sims is also a singer — and performed songs during both the Miss New York and Miss American pageants. She released her first album last year.

According to, Sims’ winning history includes being crowned Miss Fulton County Outstanding Teen 2007, Capital City’s Outstanding Teen in 2010, Miss Finger Lakes 2013, Miss Fulton County 2015, and recently Miss Pride of New York 2016.

(Featured photo courtesy of @MissNewYorkMAO on Twitter)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.