From a Ph.D. to International Pageant Winner

Lorain, Ohio, native and Kent State University alumna Monica Burgett, Ph.D., has been named Dr. World Poland 2024

When you hear the word pageant, it likely conjures up images of tiaras, swimsuit competitions and ladies crying as they clutch an armful of roses on a brightly lit stage.

But Lorain, Ohio, native and Kent State University alumna Monica Burgett, Ph.D., has triumphed on a pageant circuit that doesn’t include sparkling tiaras or bathing suit competitions. This time, the pageant celebrated contestants for their brilliant minds.

Burgett, who earned her doctorate in biomedical sciences-cellular and molecular biology from Kent State in 2016, was recently named Dr. World Poland, as part of the 2024 Dr. World Productions pageant competition. 

Kent State alumna Monica Burgett, Ph.D., was named Dr. World Poland 2024

According to a feature article about Burgett in The Chronicle-Telegram, the “virtual competition is not one of swimsuit modeling and runway walks, but educational achievement, mentorship and community service." Contestants submit their resumes, including details about charitable work, mentorship, awards, career and education, before being contacted for an interview.

While she’s familiar with pageants – 20 years ago, Burgett entered Lorain’s International Festival as a representative of her Polish heritage – this type of recognition is truly unique.

“There’s nothing, to my knowledge … that had a competition for women with doctorate degrees and supporting women who want to educate women (and) support women,” Burgett told The Chronicle-Telegram.

Burgett works as an associate scientific director of medical communications, developing educational materials to help clinicians and patients understand treatments and decipher research findings, according to the article.

Both in 2004 and in this most recent competition, Burgett entered the pageant as a way to honor her mother and their heritage. Her mother Ewa emigrated from Poland in 1980 and became a self-taught tailor, building a life for herself in the U.S.

Her mother has since passed, and Burgett told The Chronicle-Telegram that being named Dr. World Poland is “kind of a painful circle” that allows her to continue honoring her mother’s legacy. Next, Burgett will compete for the international title, Dr. World.

Read more about Burgett’s recognition and honoring her mother’s legacy in The Chronicle-Telegram.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 02:25 PM
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2024 10:44 AM
Amy Antenora
Monica Burgett, Ph.D.