CSU, Chico News

Pre-veterinary Student Selected for Prestigious CSU Trustees’ Award

Date: 09-15-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

Natalie Holmberg-Douglas, a fourth-year animal science and biochemistry major at California State University, Chico, has been selected for the Robert and Dorothy Talty Family Scholarship. The $6,000 award is among the 2014 CSU Trustees’ Awards for Outstanding Achievement, the system’s highest distinction for students.

Holmberg-Douglas is the first to receive the Robert and Dorothy Talty Family Scholarship, established recently for CSU students majoring in engineering or the sciences. Distributed by the CSU Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the CSU, the award recognizes students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need.

Holmberg-Douglas is one of 23 students across the state to receive a CSU Trustees’ Award. The scholarships range from $6,000 to $10,000.

Holmberg-Douglas grew up in a rural setting and experienced a pleasant childhood until her family was thrown into crisis. When she was a teenager, her family struggled through the loss of income and insurance, health problems, addiction and mental instability. Her grades in school began to slip. Instead of allowing these circumstances to pull her down, she worked harder. Turning her grades around, she helped support her family while pursuing her education, making a difference in her community and becoming a leader among her peers.

Today, the pre-veterinary student maintains a 3.8 GPA while remaining active in both the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Agriculture through a staggering number of committees, clubs, conferences and tutoring and mentoring commitments. For three straight years, she has chaired the forestry segment of the University’s FFA Field Day, which tests high school students’ skills and competencies. She also participated in the campus’ 2014 Chemistry Summer Research Institute, conducting medicinal research alongside CSU, Chico chemistry professor Carolynn Arpin. In 2013, she tutored agriculture students in chemistry, among many other service efforts.

After graduating, she plans to attend veterinary school and become a large-animal veterinarian.

“I don’t believe anyone has a perfect life, and the obstacles we face mold us into the individuals we become,” Holmberg-Douglas wrote in her award application. “Life is full of challenges, and mine have given me determination and dedication to work hard to reach my goals… I was inspired to prove to others, and myself, that I could prosper. While doing so, I now strive to help as many people and animals along the way.”

Holmberg-Douglas and the other award recipients were honored at a Sept. 9 CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.

CSU, Chico students have received CSU Trustees’ Awards for three straight years. In 2013-14, Rural Teacher Residency Program student Tim Sain received the $10,000 Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholarship, and in 2012-13, anthropology graduate student Maija Glasier-Lawson received the $6,000 Trustee Emeritus Murray L. Galinson Scholarship.

Learn more about the CSU Trustees’ Awards on the CSU’s website.