Oct. 27, 2014Vol. 45, Issue 2

Supporting Tomorrow’s Leaders

The recipients of the 2014 Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award (not pictured: Aleksander Irvin, Nicole McAllister, and Lyndsay Olds).

Rawlins Merit Awards Recipients Are Campus’ Best, Brightest

Fourteen California State University, Chico students with major achievements in the classroom and the community were honored at the 33rd annual Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award reception Oct. 14.

The scholarship program is one of the largest and most prestigious at CSU, Chico and recognizes scholarship, extracurricular activities, and professionally related and academic accomplishments. Faculty members nominate the recipients, who receive scholarships of $3,000.

Senior Ben Sampson, a business administration major with an option in project management, is among the 2014–15 recipients. In 2013, Sampson founded a social network called Soul id LLC and earned recognition from the Thiel Fellowship’s Under 20 Summit, a select group of young entrepreneurs from around the world. He has also served as president of Chico’s Collegiate Entrepreneurial Association and works with community incubators to create job growth and sustainability opportunities.

Another recipient, Nicole McAllister, is also heavily involved in campus and community activities. In addition to triple majoring in multicultural and gender studies, political science, and a special major of sociology, she works with the Community Legal Information Center, the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center, and the Academic Senate. She also serves as Associated Students director of Legislative Affairs and director of University Affairs and is a member of the Academic Plan Committee.

College of Communication and Education Dean Angela Trethewey, a CSU, Chico alumna and 1988 Rawlins Merit Award recipient, gave a special address to students and attendees at the Oct. 14 reception.

“As a past recipient of the Rawlins Merit Award, I know, firsthand, how meaningful this recognition can be,” Trethewey said. “I know the students who have been selected feel embraced by our university community. In receiving this award, they know that they represent the best of what Chico State has to offer our communities, namely smart, talented, other-oriented, civically engaged future leaders.”

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

Since the program’s inception, more than $1.4 million in scholarships has been awarded to more than 900 CSU, Chico students.

The 2014–15 Rawlins award recipients are

Angela Breining, Political Science/Latin American Studies

Joanna Bundros, graduate student in Nutritional Science

Natalie Holmberg-Douglas, Animal Science/Biochemistry 

Aleksander Irvin, Journalism

Darion Johnston, Communication Studies/Political Science

Shelby Martin, Applied Computer Graphics (Computer Science, Japanese, and Video Game Design minors)

Nicole McAllister, Multicultural and Gender Studies/Political Science/Special Major in Sociology

Lily Mirsepassi, French/Business Administration (International Relations minor) 

Natalie Oelsner, Agriculture

Lindsay Olds, Liberal Studies

Lindsey Runge, Psychology

Benjamin Sampson, Business Administration

Steven Sanchez, Business Administration (Ethics, Justice, and Policy minors)

Quinn Western, Journalism (Criminal Justice minor)

Sarah Langford, Public Affairs and Publications