I was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.  Growing up in a rather smaller town in central Wisconsin, I kept myself busy with sports, leadership activities, and hanging out with friends and family.  I began dancing at age five at Dance with Pam and have taken classes in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, and ballet – that’s where my passion for performance began.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational and Professional Communication Studies and Sports Broadcasting in 2015 before working as a Multimedia Journalist and Fill-In Anchor for WXOW News 19, a local ABC Affiliate.  On a daily basis, I had the opportunity to go out into the community, meet new people, share stories, and learn more about myself and those around me; how cool is that?!

For the past eight years, I have channeled a lot of my energy into my involvement with the Miss America Organization.  Obtaining six different local titles that provided me with the opportunity to vie for the job of Miss Wisconsin and volunteer throughout the state.  I was floored (literally, check out the video below) to be crowned Miss Wisconsin 2018 in June, embarking on a year-long adventure of service, growth, and travel.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @TiannaVanderhei and @MissAmericaWI to stay up to date with the random happenings of my daily life and pageantry! Also, be sure to check out The @RefinedRedheadBlog on Instagram for lifestyle, style, and motivational posts!


  1. Tianna, As an avid watcher and fan of the Miss America Pageants, I read your profile and I can say that I too struggled emotionally, mentally and academically when I went off to college. I come from a similar background as you. I actually grew up in Wisconsin as well. La Crosse in fact! I was very smart, athletic and a dancer as well growing up. And I have always thought that I was the only person in the whole wide world who struggled when I went off to college. But now I have read your story and realize that it is not just me. Thank you for your inspirational story to help others! Good luck tonight in the Miss America 2019 Pageant! I am so going to be rooting for you!!!!

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