College of Humanities & Fine Arts

Robert Merton Rawlins Award

One of the largest and most prestigious at Chico State—celebrates scholarship, extracurricular activities, and outstanding academic and professional accomplishments. Awards are also based on evidence of a student’s sincere intent to complete their education, to increase their personal knowledge, and to achieve success in every aspect of life.

The Rawlins merit scholarships are named in honor of Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins, who died piloting a B-29 bomber over Tokyo Bay during World War II. Wishing to leave a legacy in the name of her son, Fern Rawlins established the Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award endowment in 1981.

Since the program’s inception, more than $1 million in scholarships has been awarded to more than 800 deserving CSU, Chico students.


Vivian Hernandez

Vivian Hernanez, Rawlins Recipient

Vivian is a first-generation college student and double major pursuing bachelor’s degrees in history and Latin American studies with a goal to receive a master’s degree in history, because she loves research, and possibly a PhD so she can teach Latin American history. She became president of the Phi Alpha Theta—National History Honors Society in May 2019 and has been director of external affairs of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (MEChA) de Chico State since September 2019 and a member since August 2018. She has also been parliamentarian of the San Benito LULAC Young Adults Council since March 2020 and remains active in other volunteer political work and community outreach programs. Vivian was awarded the 2019 Jacqueline Barnhart Memorial Scholarship and has worked the front desk of the History Department since 2020, been an HFA student ambassador since 2019, and worked as a summer intern for Teknova Quality Assurance since 2017. History department chair and nominator Stephen Lewis said Vivian was “truly the complete package—talented, determined, reliable, and very personable. She is beginning to put together an impressive academic record as well as a resume of  political work and outreach, and she is only a sophomore! . . . In 22 years of teaching, I have never encountered a student who is more likely to make the most of her opportunities.”


Juan Vega Ramirez

Juan Vega Ramirez
Juan, a 2017 Chico State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in history and a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies as well as a minor in global development studies, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in history. Juan’s goal is to teach at the community college level, then pursue a PhD in history—ultimately to inspire students as his professors have inspired him. In 2017, Juan published a research paper in Chico State’s history journal, The Chico Historian, and presented another paper about the United States and Argentina’s “Dirty War” at Phi Alpha Theta’s Northern California Regional Conference, where he placed second. Additionally, Juan currently serves as Phi Alpha Theta: History Honors Society’s vice president, as well as an information specialist on Box migration for the Chico State’s Information Technology. Juan is also dedicated to giving his time to the community by volunteering with the Butte Environmental Council and the Butte Humane Society, where he has been involved in fundraising events and as a cleanup volunteer. His nominator, Stephen Lewis, wrote: “Juan has become one of the best and most promising students that I’ve encountered in my 20 years of full-time teaching.”