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CVMBS alumna trades in tiara for a new kind of crown

August 19, 2014
by Rachel Griess

The Larimer County Fair and Rodeo has ended, and 2014 Queen Danielle Mayer has passed over her sparkly reins and picked up her stainless steel dental tools.

“Professional school has always been my plan, and it’s exciting to see it taking off,” said Mayer, an aspiring dentist.  

Danielle Mayer, a young alumna in biomedical sciences, is trading in her rodeo crown and prepping for dental school. Photo: Skillman PhotographyMayer, who graduated from Colorado State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, dedicated two years to the Larimer County Fair and Rodeo Royalty program, first as lady in waiting, then as queen. In the royal roles, she traveled across Colorado and through nearby states to represent Larimer County at rodeos and events.

“People see the sparkles, the big hair, the smiles and the waves,” said Mayer, who also represents the variety of student interests in the CSU Department of Biomedical Sciences. “But you have a huge job as a rodeo queen. Rodeo is a production where everything must run smoothly, and that’s where the queen comes in."

Even as she energetically fulfilled these duties, Mayer attended her challenging senior year in biomedical sciences, worked as a researcher for the Fort Collins branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and made plans to attend dental school.

Mayer gallops through an arena in her role as 2014 Larimer County Rodeo Queen. Photo: Bob Sprouse Photography“Danielle is an example of a student who made the most of her college experience in the BMS major,” said C.W. Miller, biomedical sciences professor. “She not only excelled in her academics, but she devoted her smile and energy to so many other activities that contributed to the well-being of others, while also providing valuable life lessons to her.”

Mayer, who grew up near Wellington, north of Fort Collins, recently has worked as an assistant in the office of an oral maxillofacial surgeon – experience that should give her a leg up in dental school.

The outgoing Larimer County Rodeo Queen finished her applications to dental school this summer. As she works and awaits word of acceptance, Mayer reflects on the life lessons she gained as a rodeo queen.

“This experience has given me more than I could have ever imagined,” Mayer said. “It made me work harder in school, connect with new people, prioritize for outcomes I really wanted in life, and handle myself gracefully in all situations.”