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Health Sciences

College of Education and Professional Studies

CWU Master's Student and Employee Crowned 100th Ellensburg Rodeo Queen

Living in Ellensburg for 22 years gives you a unique perspective on the town, the community, and Central Washington University, especially when your mom works there.

Alexis Andrews, a secretary senior and administrative support for the CWU Douglas Honors College and a public health master’s student, sees decades of her life coming together this year as she prepares to support the 100th annual Ellensburg Rodeo as a Rodeo Queen while furthering her education and working in the very same office her mom, Charlene, once did.

The connections between CWU and the Ellensburg community have come into focus for Andrews, who sees both sides of the coin through her job and her lifelong involvement in the annual Labor Day weekend event.

“Central is really working to be more connected with our community events,” she said. “They’re one of our sponsors for the rodeo, for instance, and I think that’s really cool to see because CWU is such a pinnacle point of our community and employs so many of our residents. It’s nice that that connection is being built up, and really starting to bridge out into the community.”

Andrews was crowned 2023 Rodeo Queen because of her continued involvement with local programs such as 4-H, Future Farmers of America, the Kittitas County Cattlemen’s Association, and the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. In addition, she also has served as a Washington State Beef Ambassador and has received the Young Cattlemen of the Year award. Developing deep knowledge and passion for agriculture and animal husbandry has prepared Andrews for the role of Rodeo Queen, which involves participating in the planning process and serving as a rodeo representative nationally and internationally.

When she’s not working or advancing the Ellensburg community’s dedication to agriculture, Andrews is studying for her master’s degree. She says a public health degree is a natural extension of her bachelor’s in molecular biology, and she believes Ellensburg is an ideal place to launch a career in public health.

“What really drew me to public health was the fact that I could take my science background and apply it even further,” Andrews said. “Ellensburg is such a great location for it, too, because it’s at the center of the state, and it’s home to a lot of state agencies, as well as the county seat. It provides a lot of job opportunities for public health professionals.”

Andrews added that the rodeo is an opportunity for anyone to get involved with Ellensburg’s thriving culture and explore all that her hometown has to offer.

“I think it’s a great experience that a lot of people should get to be a part of,” she said. “From volunteer opportunities to paid positions, there are all sorts of ways to get involved with the rodeo. For those just wanting to see it, I think it’s a great chance to get some Ellensburg culture, especially for students who are just settling in here. Show up early for move-in and see what this community is all about!”

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1264

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