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Chico State

Introducing Manraj Singh Randhawa: 2023 Lt. Rawlins Merit Scholarship Recipient

Manraj Singh Randhawa poses in a gray suit.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Manraj Singh Randhawa, one of the 2022-2023 recipients of the Lieutenant Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award, is photographed on Friday, January 20, 2023 in Chico, Calif. Each year, faculty members nominate students based on their scholarship, involvement in extracurricular activities, and outstanding accomplishments. Nominations are based on these standards, along with evidence of students’ sincere intent to complete their education, increase their personal knowledge, and to achieve success in every aspect of their lives. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/Chico State)

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.

Manraj Singh Randhawa began the Chico State nursing program with the end in mind. Not graduation. The very end.

“At the end of my life I want to be able to look back and say that I did good for humanity,” he said. “I don’t think I will have any regrets if I know I spent my life helping others.”

He is well on his way. Randhawa already has a strong track record of dedicating himself to the service of others. He’s in his seventh year volunteering at the Sikh Temple in Yuba City. He leads a group that focuses on maintenance, cooking, and serving food. He’s served as a board member on the finance committee for the College of Natural Sciences, helping to ensure the just allocation of department funds. He’s also the president of the United in Nursing via Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Club.

The club was dubbed “Men in Nursing,” when Randhawa was installed as its president. Among his first actions was to advocate for a name change.

“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,” Randhawa said. “We could be inclusive toward other groups who are minorities in the nursing field.”

Randhawa is on track to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

What does receiving the Rawlins Award mean to you?

Having professors Ennies Musvosvi and Richard Burton nominate me for this scholarship meant a lot to me. It helped me realize that even if I didn’t understand my full potential, they certainly saw something in me that maybe I didn’t even see in myself at the time. Professor Musvosvi was known to be one of the toughest teachers, teaching the hardest class in the School of Nursing. I’d heard about how challenging the class was before I even accepted the invitation into the School of Nursing. So, to get her nomination meant so much to me. And Richard Burton really helped develop my love for nursing in my first semester here. He made everything so enjoyable and really set me up for excitement for the next two years. To have their nominations is a real honor.

Is there a memory, place, or faculty member that stands out as particularly impactful during your time at Chico State?

I feel like every semester I’ve had faculty that has just made it absolutely wonderful. I feel like every teacher has made me realize and learn something new about myself. First semester, someone who really stood out to me was Richard Burton. He helped me a lot. I learned a lot from him. He grew my love for the field. Then second semester, I had Ennies who taught pathophysiology and she was also my clinical instructor. She taught me so much in terms of not just theory, but what goes on behind the scenes, how to think critically and apply that in the hospital. I had 12 clinical days with her in the hospital and she would guide me along the way and promote critical thinking. That meant a lot to me. In the third semester, Holly (Kralj) and Pamela (Remley) stood out. Holly was our theory instructor and Pam was our clinical instructor for OB and Peds (obstetrics-gynecology and pediatrics). They really opened me up to a field I never had much interest in before. Brandon Coustette, Darcy Hostetter-Lewis, and Helen Karpilovsky were also outstanding professors.

Why did you choose Chico State?

I had heard good things about the program. I had also heard from prior students that the faculty are just extraordinary, which is true. It was also an accelerated bachelor’s program which helped save around a year of time getting my bachelor’s. That was a big selling point to me because I value my time a lot. So that’s how I ended up here.