Taking the stage

Being crowned Miss Crawford County launched Brianna Layman’s pageant career — and helped her choose a new professional one.

Layman, a 21-year-old rising senior at Allegheny College who will compete in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant starting today, was a member of the college’s pre-health club and likely headed to medical school after graduation.

But when a friend suggested she compete in the 2015 Miss Crawford County pageant, she needed to find a cause to support.

“I couldn’t put my finger on anything except my passion for art,” Layman said. “It’s very sad to me that programs for art and music and theater and drama have been substantially cut and devolved into very small programs.”

Layman now plans to graduate with a degree in biochemistry and enroll in a master’s program in fine arts. Ultimately, she wants to combine the two interests and work in the emerging field of bio art: The artistic representation of science and scientific research.

She spoke with the Erie Times-News about competition, the biggest misconception about pageants, and her ultimate goal.

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ERICA ERWIN of the Erie Times-News can be reached at 870-1846 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNerwin. Read the Happier Ed education blog at blogs.goerie.com/education and post comments.