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Chico State

Vision Beyond Sight: College of Business Student’s Inspiring Journey

Carter Lindstrom smiles while seated on a stool in a dark-colored suit.
Jason Halley/University Photographer

In the coming weeks, we will be celebrating the accomplishments and stories behind 2024’s Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship Recipients. The award—one of the largest and most prestigious at Chico State—celebrates scholarship, extracurricular activities, and outstanding academic, and professional accomplishments.

When Carter Lindstrom’s peers find out he is legally blind, the most common reaction is complete surprise.

“Either I’m a good actor or they are not very observant,” he joked. 

Within the College of Business, it has been hard not to observe Lindstrom and all this success. He carries a 3.92 GPA, has served as president of the Management Club, is currently on the executive board of the American Marketing Association (AMA) club, and is an active member supporting the Association of Women in Business. Through these clubs, he contributed greatly to creating a comprehensive 40-page case study about the Wall Street Journal that received a “Commendable Award” and ranked 31st in the nation out of more than 100 universities. He was selected to go to the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans in 2023 where he competed in multiple competitions including exhibit and perfect pitch—and he is scheduled to attend again this spring.

Lindstrom has accomplished this despite not being able to drive to campus and or view slides projected in the front of the classroom. He blows up the font dramatically to type papers, takes his exams in the Accessibility Resource Center, and must disclose his disability in every group project.

“Carter has taught me to change my perspectives and view life and our campus in a more inclusive way,” said Kristin Minetti, Chico State marketing professor. “His talent, work ethic, friendliness, sense of humor, and courage will take him far and I can’t wait to see where he goes after Chico State.”

Lindstrom’s story is remarkable and inspiring, and now he has been awarded with a 2023-24 Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins award.

What does winning the Rawlins Award mean to you?

The award provides practical assistance in covering expenses such as books, classes, accommodation, and other college-related costs. Beyond the financial support, it signifies a great honor, acknowledging my dedication. Not many have the opportunity to receive such recognition, making me feel validated in my hard work.

Do you think it might inspire others who are living with a disability? 

I don’t necessarily view myself as disabled; it’s just a part of my life that influences me daily. While it has a constant impact, I don’t dwell on it regularly. To those facing disabilities or similar challenges, I would encourage you not to let it be the downfall of your success. Be strong enough to look disadvantage in the eye and say: I’m going to do the best that I can with the cards I’ve been dealt.

Joining clubs has been a huge part of your career at Chico State. Coming in as a transfer student, did you make it a point to get involved as soon as possible?

When I first got here, I was just trying to get my feet wet and learn about what the college experience is all about. I didn’t think about clubs because I was just trying to get to classes on time and was living by myself for the first time, so I was worried about having food in the refrigerator and things like that. But, once I got a feel for everything I was more willing to be open and specifically look to meet new people. 

There were actually a couple people setting up during Clubtacular and they told me I should come to the American Marketing Association club and I was like, “Well, why not.” So, they were my first introduction to the College of Business and it helped me meet people to hang out with.

What faculty have inspired you?

Quite a few professors. Angela Casler, April Howell, Sean Morgan, David Agoff, and Maria Mendez have all been super helpful and supportive. 

But, Kristin Minetti has been the biggest influence. I first met her when I took one of her marketing courses and got to know her much better when I joined the American Marketing Association. She has been an advocate for me as well and helped me learn about campus and about how to access certain services. She was just very helpful as a person and a professor, both professionally and socially. 

I should also mention the staff at ARC (Accessibility Resource Center) have been helpful in providing accommodations. I take my big exams in their office. They are as nice as can be and always willing to help.