2014 Rawlins Recipients

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Natalie Holmberg-Douglas

College of Agriculture
Majors: Animal Science & Biochemistry
Class of 2016

Nominated by: Wes Schager

Natalie is a junior double majoring in animal science and biochemistry. As a high school student, she was heavily involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA), holding chapter office and competing in a number of team events. During her time at Chico State, Natalie has participated in the Pre-Vet Club and the American Chemistry Society Club, and served as a facilitator for the Lead Cat Conference. She also tutors students in the College of Agriculture in chemistry and has served as a member of the Student Learning Fee Committee, representing the College of Natural Sciences. Natalie has her sights set on attending veterinary school after graduation and practicing large-animal medicine. She hopes to become licensed to work on food animals and perform equine surgery.

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Natalie Oelsner

College of Agriculture
Major: Agriculture
Option: Agricultural Science and Education
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Audrey Denney

Natalie is a senior pursuing her bachelor’s degree in agriculture with an option in agricultural science and education. Throughout her time at Chico State, she has worked for California FFA and National FFA presenting conferences and workshops. Natalie is particularly passionate about reaching out to high school students; she is very comfortable and dynamic in a classroom setting and inspires young students to pursue avenues in agriculture. Natalie also currently works as a teacher’s assistant in the College of Agriculture. In addition to her vigorous academic and extracurricular schedule, Natalie is very involved in the Chico State women’s rugby team. She has served as the president and was given their Rookie of the Year award and the Chico State Women’s Rugby Most Inspirational Player award. She now volunteers as a coach for the Chico Wild Oaks High School rugby team.

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Nicole McAllister

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Majors: Multicultural and Gender Studies, Political Science, & Sociology (special)
Class of 2016

Nominated by: Bill Loker and John R. Mahoney

Nicole is triple majoring in multicultural and gender studies, political science, and a special major in sociology. She is heavily involved in the University, working with CLIC, GSEC, and the Academic Senate and serving as the AS director of Legislative Affairs and AS director of University Affairs. She is also a participant in the Academic Plan Committee. In this capacity, Nicole, along with other members, works on analyzing the themes that emerged from the campus’s "possibility conversations" held in November and December of 2013. Nicole has been an excellent representative for student concerns in her many capacities as a student leader at Chico State. She plans to graduate in spring 2016.

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Lindsey Runge

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Master’s: Psychology
Class of 2016

Nominated by: Michael Ennis

Lindsey is a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in psychology. She is a recent graduate of the Honor’s Program in Psychology as well as a recipient of the Outstanding Psychology Student award. Lindsey designed, researched, and analyzed her thesis project entitled "How Much Can You Remember? Working Memory and Factors That Can Inhibit or Enhance Your Working Memory." Over the last year, Lindsey has been working as a research assistant investigating personality types in relation to Facebook usage. Her extensive academic involvement has allowed her to amass an impressive array of research skills. Lindsey is expected to complete her master’s degree in 2016.

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Lily Mirsepassi

College of Business
Majors: French & Business Administration
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Ed Meda

Lily is a senior completing a double major in French and business administration, along with a minor in international relations. During her time at Chico State, Lily has expanded her professional and academic capacities by studying abroad in France and Thailand, and by joining multiple student organizations such as the professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. Last year, Lily was a keynote speaker in This Way to Sustainability, a conference held at CSU, Chico to promote sustainable practices. Lily’s interests in environmental and international development have also spurred her to pursue employment opportunities with a number of nonprofit organizations that provide education to underdeveloped communities.

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Benjamin Sampson

College of Business
Major: Business Administration
Option: Project Management
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Ed Meda

Ben is a senior majoring in business administration with an option in project management. After completing an internship in San Francisco for Trade Finance Analyst, Ben realized his passion for entrepreneurship. In January 2013, he founded Soul id LLC, a passion-driven social network that allows people to join a community focused on the intersection between creative entrepreneurship and athletic accomplishment. Ben’s work on Soul id has earned him recognition by the Thiel Fellowship’s Under 20 Summit, a select group of young entrepreneurs from around the world who are making a positive impact through business. In an effort to further promote entrepreneurship in the community, Ben has served as president of the Collegiate Entrepreneurial Association and is working with community incubators in an effort to create opportunities for entrepreneurs that would benefit the community through job growth and sustainable practices.

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Steven Sanchez

College of Business
Major: Business Administration
Major Option: Finance
Minor: Ethics, Justice, and Policy
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Angela Casler

Steven is a business administration major with an option in finance and a minor in ethics, justice, and policy. During his short time at Chico State, Steven has been active in a number of campus organizations and currently serves as the investment director for Phi Chi Theta, a professional co- education fraternity, and is starting his second term as treasurer in the Sustainable Consultation of Office Practices. Steven has also participated in many fundraisers such as Yellow Door Walk for Autism, Relay for Life, Make a Wish, and the Chico Science Museum’s auction. In addition to his busy academic and extracurricular schedule, Steven also works for University Housing and a catering business. Steven will graduate in December 2015.

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Aleksander Irvin

College of Communication & Education
Major: Journalism
Major Option: Public Relations
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Debra Johnson

Aleksander is a junior majoring in journalism with an option in public relations. Alek has had a very successful academic career at Chico State; he has been on the Dean’s List every semester and is this year’s recipient of the Chris Hilbert Outstanding Chico State Friend Award. Additionally, Alek is very committed to advocating for LGBTQ+ students and helping them adjust to college life. He is also involved in promoting sustainability practices. Alek recently designed an information graphics gallery about California’s drought with a specific focus on in-home water use. This fall, Alek is studying abroad at Griffith University in Australia, making him the first member of his family to travel outside of the United States. Alek will graduate in spring 2015.

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Darion Johnston

College of Communication & Education
Majors: Communication Studies & Political Science
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Michelle Givertz

Darion is currently working on a double major in communication studies and political science. During her sophomore year, Darion worked as an event planner and mentor for the First-Year Experience program. In that role, she planned and promoted the Chico Great Debate, focused on civic engagement and civil discourse, managed recruitment for all volunteers for the event, managed the social media promotional campaign, and mentored first-year students to encourage community involvement and academic success. Recently, Darion has become an AS Legislative Affairs Committee member. During the 2013 spring semester, Darion was nominated by President Paul Zingg to represent Chico as the 2013 Panetta Institute congressional intern. In addition to her extensive extracurricular work, Darion has also maintained excellent academic standing and has been on the Dean’s List every semester.

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Lindsay Olds

College of Communication & Education
Major: Liberal Studies
Class of 2015

Nominated by:
Pamela Morrell and Esther Larocco

Lindsay is pursuing a major in liberal studies and will graduate next spring. Lindsay is passionate about diversity education, and in her capacity as a resident advisor, she has worked to educate residents and university students about the vast range of identities surrounding them. This semester, Lindsay is studying abroad in Spain and will graduate when she returns in the spring. After graduation, she plans on applying to the credential program at Chico State, where she hopes to earn a subject matter authorization in math or science. Her goal is to teach at the junior high level.

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Quinn Western

College of Communication & Education
Major: Journalism
Major Option: News
Minor: Criminal Justice
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Dave Waddell

Quinn will complete a major in journalism with an option in news and a minor in criminal justice in spring 2015. Quinn’s passion for journalism began early in her life when she was the editor of the student newspaper at her high school. When she came to Chico State, she joined The Orion, where she demonstrated great depth and skill as a writer; she was promoted to news editor and, finally, to second in command as managing editor. Quinn has also won two statewide writing honors, including a first-place award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. She has shown a great appreciation for journalistic values and press freedom, which have been instrumental in securing prestigious internships at The Fresno Bee and The Sacramento Bee. Quinn is currently working as CSU, Chico’s social media intern.

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Shelby Martin

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
Major: Applied Computer Graphics
Minors: Computer Science, Japanese,
& Video Game Design
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Clarke Steinback

Shelby is working towards a degree in applied computer graphics with minors in computer science, Japanese, and video game design. Shelby is very committed to his college career; he often goes beyond the classroom to further his knowledge of computer animation and game development, spending several hours outside of the lab-classroom environment to produce exceptional work. In addition to his busy academic schedule, Shelby volunteers as a youth group leader at Grace Community Church. After completing his degree in the spring, Shelby intends to pursue a master’s degree and eventually build his own video game studio.

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Angela Breining

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
Majors: Political Science & Latin American Studies
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Stephen Lewis

Angela is a senior completing a double major in political science and Latin American studies. Angela was born in Mazatlan, Mexico, and attended school in Mexico before arriving in the United States. She has been profoundly marked by her experience as an immigrant. In December 2012, Angela became a community worker for California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. She works as an interpreter for attorneys and does advocacy and quasi- paralegal work under the direct supervision of her supervising attorney. She also goes into the community and into the fields to tell farmworkers about their labor rights and to teach them about heat-illness prevention. In addition to this, Angela works as a student researcher with the CSU, Chico Research Foundation and is currently working on a documentary with a nonprofit organization called Migrant Clinician Network. After graduation, Angela plans to become a lawyer specializing in either labor or immigration law.

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Joanna Bundros

College of Natural Sciences
Master’s: Nutritional Science
Option: Nutrition Educations
Class of 2015

Nominated by: Michelle Neyman Morris

Joanna is a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in nutritional science with an option in nutrition education. Joanna has a breadth and depth of extra-curricular activities related to her professional goals including paid and volunteer experiences at the community hospital in her hometown of Arcata, the Humboldt County Public Health Department, and locally at the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion and Paradise Unified School District. Joanna is interested in non-diet approaches to health and wellness, leading to her involvement as a co-author of a systematic review manuscript to be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. She is deeply committed to research in her field and is currently working on conducting a needs assessment among local high school students in order to develop a nutrition education and positive body image intervention. Joanna will complete her degree in spring 2015.



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Photo: 2014 Rawlins Award Recipients

2014 Rawlins Recipients