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Chico State

Introducing Madeline Litman: 2023 Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship Recipient

Madeline Litman, one of the 2022-2023 recipients of the Lieutenant Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award, is photographed.
(Jason Halley/University Photographer/Chico State)

Jason Halley/University Photographer

In the coming weeks, we will be celebrating the accomplishments and stories behind this year’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.

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 resume that includes leadership roles, academic achievements, and now a prestigious Rawlins Merit Scholarship.     

Today Litman, a business administration major scheduled to graduate in May 2023, is a leader in multiple clubs on campus. She serves as the current president of the Association for Women in Business (AWIB) and as a team leader (director of membership) for the American Marketing Association (AMA). Last year, as vice president of AWIB, she was the day-to-day producer of the Women in Business Summit, a conference and networking event that strives to bring opportunities to women and underrepresented minorities in the business world. 

Litman has been a standout student throughout her Chico State career—carrying a 3.97 GPA during her time at Chico State. Her peers and College of Business faculty mentors have certainly taken notice of her accomplishments, work ethic, perseverance, and maturity.

“Madeline takes on challenges and turns them into opportunities to help others and better herself,” said Marketing Instructor Kristin Minetti. “But what is most impressive about her, in addition to all of her academic and professional accomplishments, is that she is one of the most friendly, inspiring, caring, and driven people I have ever met. She will be successful no matter where her career takes her next.”

Litman has already chosen the next step after graduation. She has accepted a sales position with Paycom, an HR software company where she interned in the summer of 2022.

Can you describe your journey in getting to this point?

I sort of always thought I would follow in my sister’s footsteps and attend UC Berkeley. However, those plans went array when I dealt with an unexpected life obstacle during high school and suffered academically because of it. When I realized wasn’t going to get into Berkeley, I had a choice to make—either dwell on the disappointment or move forward. Once I chose Chico State, I decided I was going to put everything I could into excelling academically.

Because I decided to attend late, I missed the application deadline for on-campus housing and lived off campus. I knew I needed to get involved and make friends somehow, so I joined the AWIB student club. Shortly thereafter, I joined AMA and became very involved in both clubs. Those experiences, and my “Honors Survey of Civilization” class that met three times a week, helped me establish a support group, professional contacts, and friends on campus. 

What does this scholarship mean to you?

It 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.

In addition, academics are everything to me, and it is nice to be rewarded. The work ethic, maturity, and dedication I have shown has been noticed and rewarded.

Tell me something about your time on campus outside of your major?

I spent almost two years as an intern and event coordinator for UMatter at Chico State. I oversaw 10 interns and managed the daily logistics of the WellCat Counseling Center. I worked in tandem with Safe Place, which provides confidential support services to individuals impacted by traumatic experiences.

I have a new level of appreciation for the importance of mental health services and my time at UMatter was extremely rewarding.

What is next for you after Chico State?

I’m really excited to start my sales career at Paycom. I know going into sales that failure is a constant, so I’m working hard on getting better at building resiliency. Long term, I am interested in the management side of the business and will certainly get an MBA at some point. I plan to get it at UC Berkeley to make things come full circle and get that goal checked off my list.

(Editor’s note: The 2023 Women in Business Summit is scheduled for March 4, 2023. Tickets can be purchased here).