MISS USA 2009: Miss North Carolina USA, Kristen Dalton.
Laura Chukanov, born in Sofia and a dual US and Bulgarian citizenship holder, placed fourth in the Miss USA 2009 competition, a media statement said.
The competition was won Miss North Carolina USA, Kristen Dalton./
The media statement described Dalton as a "a talented singer and dancer who completed her degree in Psychology and Spanish at East Carolina University. She's not the only pageant winner in her family. Her mother was Miss North Carolina USA in 1982 and her sister was Miss North Carolina Teen USA in 2008."
The statement said that the judging panel for the 2009 Miss USA(R) Pageant included: Robert Earl, owner and co-chairman of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino; Miss USA 2004 and television presenter, Shandi Finnessey; co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Willie Geist; President of Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Channels, Brian Graden; Holly Madison star of "Girls Next Store"; internet celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton; "Access Hollywood" contributor and KVBC News Entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs; "Deal or No Deal" model and star of "The Celebrity Apprentice," Claudia Jordan; John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, NBC Universal; Kelly Monaco, season one celebrity winner of "Dancing With the Stars," and "Peepshow" star; comedian and cast member of "Saturday Night Live," Kenan Thompson and Eric Trump, Executive Vice President, Development & Acquisitions of The Trump Organization.
Chukanov was born in Sofia on June 5 1986. With her family, she immigrated to the US shortly after Bulgaria's transition to democracy began in 1990.
The Miss Utah 2009 contest website says the family left Bulgaria "when her father’s career in alternative energy research blossomed".
Chukanov speaks English, Bulgarian, and Spanish and is competent in Russian.
She is currently a senior at the University of Utah majoring in International Studies and doing minors in Leadership Studies and Art History. After her year as Miss Utah 2009, she intends pursuing a Masters Degree in Art Management.
Among other social activities Chukanov has served as a volunteer at a Navajo reservation. She has dual American and Bulgarian citizenship.