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CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Graduate Student Earns CSU’s Top Honor, $10,000 Scholarship

Date: 07-31-2013

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico graduate student Tim Sain has been named the 2013-14 recipient of the $10,000 Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholarship, the CSU system’s highest student award.

Sain, a student in the Rural Teacher Residency program, was the top-ranking nominee for the William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. Distributed by the CSU Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the CSU, the annual award recognizes students who have overcome adversity, demonstrated financial need and have attributes of merit including superior academic performance, significant personal achievements and exemplary community service.

Each of the 23 CSU campuses submitted a nominee to receive a scholarship of at least $3,000; 13 were selected to receive awards ranging from $4,000 to $6,000. The $10,000 Razi scholarship is the highest award.

Seven years ago, Sain overcame a life of drug and alcohol addiction to eventually become one of the most engaged students at CSU, Chico. In the face of losing everything, including his three children, he sought help and treatment, and turned his life around. He returned to his early love of education, earning an associate’s degree in child development at Shasta College and serving on the college’s board of trustees as student representative and student senate as president. He received scholarship offers from a number of universities, including UC Berkeley, but chose CSU, Chico for its commitment to teaching.

As an undergraduate at CSU, Chico, Sain maintained a 3.98 GPA while earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. He worked as an intern advisor for the Educational Opportunity Program, helping continuing and transfer students make a successful transition into university life. He is a teacher’s aide at Meadow Lanes Elementary School in Anderson and a facilitator and presenter for the North State Fatherhood Task Force. He has been active in Head Start as a volunteer teacher’s aide, working with children with special needs. Sain is also the recipient of the University’s Graduate Equity Fellowship and is working on several research projects related to teaching.

Sain is pursuing his master’s degree in education and a teaching credential, and he hopes to give to his future students what he says his educators have given to him: a second chance.

“I feel really honored; this isn’t supposed to happen to people like me,” Sain said. “Just being nominated by the University was enough. To find out that I won the top award, that was something else.”

In a letter nominating Sain for the award, CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg said Sain’s turnaround and subsequent accomplishments are a testament to the power of higher education and the human spirit.

“Through hard work and the process of education, he has redefined himself as a man, as an individual and as a citizen,” Zingg said. “Tim has learned through his mistakes and life’s hardships and has become a passionate mentor, successful student, responsible father and role model for others. He embodies the hope and spirit of this award.”

The Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award was established in 1999 as a partnership between CSU Board of Trustees and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In 2006, the Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholarship was established to recognize the top-ranking recipient of the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award. Razi, who served on the CSU Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001, now serves as chair of the Hearst/ CSU Trustees’ Award Selection Committee and as a member of the California State University Foundation Board of Governors.

In 2012-13, CSU, Chico anthropology graduate student Maija Glasier-Lawson received the $6,000 Trustee Emeritus Murray L. Galinson Scholarship.

Learn more about the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award online, and read more about Sain in the May 25 issue of Inside Chico State.