College of Agriculture

Bell Family Presidential Scholarship and More

Since 2014, the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship has provided four-year scholarships to select incoming first-year students. The College of Agriculture is excited to announce that this scholarship will now be extended to transfer students as well. The generous founder and donor of this scholarship, Dan Giustina, has extended the opportunity to include transfer students starting in fall 2023.  

Starting next academic year, we will have available four scholarships for incoming first-year students and four additional “Tier II” Bell Family Presidential Scholarships to students who transfer from community colleges. These scholarships will provide funding for two years to students who declare an undergraduate major in the College of Agriculture, are California residents, and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. 

This opportunity will provide more financial support for students in the College of Agriculture to gain their undergraduate education. This year’s class of 2026 Bell Scholars include Lauren Mallery, Shelby Criner, Cole Ingersoll, Bailey Ham, and Sophia Benitez.  

Students smiling at camera.

A local to the area, Lauren is an animal science major from Paradise, California, focusing in pre-vet in hopes to attend veterinary school after her undergraduate degree. She has been involved in 4-H and FFA, where she found her passion for raising livestock. 

“I am beyond thankful to be chosen as a Bell Scholar. This has provided me the opportunity to and support to be able to accomplish my goals in my education,” Lauren said.  

From Alturas, California, Shelby is an animal science major with a deep passion for the agriculture industry. In high school, she was heavily involved in FFA with a large focus on her education. She wants to be an advocate for the agriculture industry and being an active student at Chico State. She wants to become involved in the College of Agriculture to gain the most out of her college experience.  

“Having the Bell Scholarship is a huge honor to me. I am very passionate about agriculture, and having the opportunity to continue my connection with the industry while expanding my knowledge through my schooling at Chico State is something I am very grateful for,” Shelby said. 

Cole is an agricultural education major from Turlock, California. He was an active member of a Boy Scouts group, where he learned valuable skills like communication, leadership, and team work. This experience gave him the skills he has today to be an excellent student in the College of Agriculture. His career goal is to be a high school agricultural floral teacher.  

“Being chosen as a Bell Scholar will help me advance in my education without the worry about financial need. I am so thankful for this opportunity,” Cole said.  

Bailey is an agricultural education major where community service is an integral part of her life. She is always looking for opportunities to give back to her community and the agricultural industry. In her hometown of Grass Valley, California, she operates a dairy goat business. She is hoping to go to graduate school in agricultural education to become a high school agriculture teacher.  

“It means the world for me to be chosen as a Bell Scholar. I come from a large family with a single income, so college was going to be challenging if I did not receive any scholarships. This opportunity made it possible for me to attend a four-year university out of high school to pursue my passion in agriculture,” Bailey said.  

Sophia’s passion for science led her to pursue the major of agricultural education with a focus in animal science. This allows her to combine the passion of science and education to be able to educate future generations. She is from Visalia, California, with an interest in animal genetics and breeding. She hopes to pursue a PhD one day to teach at the collegiate level.  

“My biggest dream has always been to go to college to further my education. Being given the opportunity to be a Bell Scholar means I will be able to reach my true potential as a student. I have the ability to grow as a responsible leader, student, agriculturalist, and young adult. I am honored to represent Chico State’s College of Agriculture and will continue to strive for success and stay active within our program,” Sophia said.  

Students smiling at camera.

Academic requirements are high for the scholarship. California high school seniors who plan to major in agriculture must have a 3.5 GPA and 1200 SAT or 27 ACT scores in order to apply. They must also demonstrate a dedication to agriculture and a propensity for leadership. For those who meet the mark, the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship reduces their financial burdens, gives them an elevated profile in the College of Agriculture, and opens doors of opportunity throughout their college careers. To continue eligibility, each scholar must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 each semester. 

High school seniors who may qualify for the scholarship are encouraged to apply by contacting the College of Agriculture’s student success office at Applications will be available in December 2022.