Celebrating Our Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship Recipients
Over the last few weeks, we’ve highlighted this year’s Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship recipients. Representing each college around the University, we’ve showcased why these are among the finest students at Chico State.
Please join us in congratulating our 2022–23 Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship Recipients—click on their names to read their personal stories in detail and with a Q&A!
Social Work, ’22; MSW
An aspiring social worker, Stephanie Gaito is passionate about rural areas—she is committed to helping meet the unique needs of rural communities and providing proper representation. Having navigated through her own trauma in her early years, Gaito chose this line of work because the people who made the biggest difference in her life actively listened to her—and she would like to do the same for others.
“I’ll never forget those teachers, counselors, and mentors I’ve met throughout my life. And now, for me, my greatest opportunity is to help other people and be a resource for them.”
Kristen Chatham’s reputation as both a strategic problem solver and a gifted leader has been earned through a slew of regional and national accomplishments, including being recognized as sixth in the nation for the perfect pitch at the American Marketing Association’s International Collegiate Conference. As the daughter of a Chico State Business Administration graduate, she is carrying on the family legacy of excellence.
“I have just grown to love Chico State. I’ve been involved in so many different things here. I think to be successful, you have to spread your wings and do things that make you a little uncomfortable. And so I’m very happy that I’ve gotten involved in the way that I have.”
Manraj Singh Randhawa
Manraj Singh Randhawa has an end goal in mind—to look back on his life and know that he helped humanity. He’s off to a great start, serving as a board member on the finance committee for the College of Natural Sciences and as president of the United in Nursing via Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Club.
“I realized that we didn’t really have club values other than trying to promote men in nursing. And I realized that this was an opportunity for something bigger. We could be inclusive toward other groups who are minorities in the nursing field.”
A self-described “poultry nerd,” Peyton Arnold is dedicated to introducing future Chico State students to everything the University could offer a would-be agriculture major. Arnold has helped set up farm and facility tours that teach students more about the industry—recalling that when she was considering Chico State she was struck by the beauty of the campus and community.
“I came up here for Future Farmers of America in high school and the campus drew me in, especially all the brick and being downtown, too. I just really liked the atmosphere and natural beauty, and it was a good school. I had some family that came here, too, and I’d just heard good things.”
Concrete Industry Management
Yanetli Navarro-Hernandez was 10 years old when she knew she wanted to go into construction. After attending Architecture, Construction, Engineering Charter High School in Camarillo, she applied to Chico State as soon as she could. In just three years at Chico State, Navarro-Hernandez has taken part in internships and student-led research. She is also president of the American Concrete Institute, secretary of Women in Concrete, and a student ambassador.
“This feels like everything that I’ve worked for in the program is being recognized. Everything that I push for—my accomplishments are being awarded. Sometimes you get those days that you’re pushing and pushing but feel that nobody is seeing it. Now, I’m seeing that people are noticing all this work that I’m doing and my work ethic. It pushes me now to do even more.”
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Kyle Mason has always dreamt of attending college, studying hard, and earning his degree. When the Camp Fire displaced the Paradise native in 2018, his family lost their home, and he stopped attending Butte Community College to move to Las Vegas to work. Eventually, he felt the pull to return to school—at Chico State, he has taken full advantage of the chance as a first-generation student.
“My parents didn’t have the opportunities to go to school, so they supported me and gave me the opportunity with a stable household—I couldn’t just let the opportunity go to waste. I wanted to do something better with my life.”
Mathematics, ’22; Credential
College graduate. Future educator. Polyglot. Theodore Greenfield is many things, and as much as he loves thinking about being a high school math teacher, the title of “dad” means the most to him. Born and raised in Chico, Greenfield opted for his hometown university, and now, he’s being recognized with one of the University’s most prestigious honors and the monetary reward that goes with it.
“This scholarship is a huge help to me and my family. I am the sole provider for my wife and two daughters—one is 2 and the other is 5 months old—and even working while going to school, money has been tight. So having a boost in the budget is really what is allowing me to still pursue the career I want, namely teaching.”
After being placed on academic probation at Butte College and dropping out, Hannah Scholzen could easily have given up on college. But she didn’t. Instead, she worked hard, found her strengths, and became engaged and involved at Chico State. Overcoming a lack of confidence, Scholzen found her niche in a predominantly male-driven major and has proven to herself, her peers, and her faculty that she is a leader—and now a Rawlins Merit scholarship recipient.
“I feel seen and recognized. I’m not necessarily a star student—I think I have a 3.1 GPA—but I care a lot and work really hard.”
Madeline Litman’s journey to and through Chico State has encompassed so much more than lessons from the classroom. Overcoming a personal roadblock to enroll at the last minute, she has gone on to build a résumé that includes leadership roles, academic achievements, and now a prestigious Rawlins Merit scholarship. Taking on challenges and turning them into opportunities, Litman is prepared and work-ready for life after Chico State.
“This scholarship proves to me that resilience is one of the pillars of my character. There’s a belief among many in the tech and business world: to learn to succeed, you must learn to fail. I’ve experienced failure, and this award helps me realize I’ve also experienced some big successes.”
Josephine Hernandez is clear about what she wants. While discovering a love for research while in school, she plans to earn a master’s degree and then, likely, a PhD in animal science after graduation in May. In the meantime, she is a teaching assistant in an “Introduction to Department of Animal Science” class, helps with class preparation, grading, and guiding weekly study sessions with lab students—she has even led a few lectures on her own.
“Getting exposure in front of a class has really helped my confidence. Some days I stumble, others I am perfectly fine, but I just keep telling myself I can do it. In the long run, I know it’s going to be okay—everybody makes mistakes. How you learn is you move forward and try again.”
Chloe Koschnick is fueled by an insatiable curiosity. Living out her intrigue in the world through her studies and co-curricular activities, she also works at the Gateway Science Museum where she educates museum guests, sets up and maintains exhibits, leads field trips of elementary school students, and operates its robotics and technical equipment. Koschnick is committed to community service, including cultivating younger students’ curiosity through outdoor education.
“I have a pretty big interest in STEM education, and outdoor education and museums are a great way for nontraditional learning to happen. It’s really cool watching people learn about fascinating things—especially kids.”
Delaney Sarantopulos came to Chico State sight unseen. This “roll-of-the-dice” move paid off handsomely as she became involved in the College of Agriculture, from working at the University Farm to being an advising intern for first- and second-year students. Also an Ag Ambassador in the Chico Sheep Association, Sarantopulos has taken full advantage of one of her strengths as a networker who has built connections throughout her campus community.
“They say the College of Ag is like a little family, and it’s true because we get to know almost everyone who is in it and have a hands-on experience that is really special. I was excited to get accepted but I didn’t know the campus was so beautiful compared to some other college campuses.”