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Chico State

Twelve Students Honored With Rawlins Merit Awards

Rawlins Award recipients with President Gayle E. Hutchinson
Photo by Jessica Bartlett / University Photographer

The 36th annual Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award recipients on Monday, October 16, 2017 in Chico, Calif. (Jessica Bartlett/University Photographer)

Photos by Jason Halley / University Photographer

Twelve students with major achievements in the classroom and in the community were honored in a special ceremony on October 16 as recipients of the 36th annual Lieutenant Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award.

The award—one of the largest and most prestigious at Chico State—celebrates scholarship, extracurricular activities, and outstanding academic and professional accomplishments. Awards are also based on evidence of a student’s sincere intent to complete their education, to increase their personal knowledge, and to achieve success in every aspect of life.

The Rawlins merit scholarships are named in honor of Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins, who died piloting a B-29 bomber over Tokyo Bay during World War II. Wishing to leave a legacy in the name of her son, Fern Rawlins established the Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award endowment in 1981.

Since the program’s inception, more than $1 million in scholarships has been awarded to more than 800 deserving CSU, Chico students.

Meet the students joining the ranks this year:

College of Agriculture

Sierra ToddSierra Todd

Nominated by Wes Schager

Sierra is a senior pursuing her bachelor’s degree in animal science in the pre-veterinary pathway. She has earned the Chico State Organic Dairy Scholarship and Ag Alumni Scholarship, in addition to three years of Dean’s List placement. Her work and volunteer experience includes extensive care for cows and calves within the Chico Organic Dairy Unit Management Team, student leadership and guidance at Shepherd’s Flock Preschool, and equine care training. She has served as the Chico State Elephant Conservation Club’s secretary officer, as well as volunteering and judging at Chico State’s FFA Field Day, speaking at Chico State’s Great Debate, and finishing as a finalist in the Speech and Debate Rookie Tournament. “Sierra exemplifies the best of the best with respect to scholastic and student achievement,” wrote her nominator, Wes Schager, a former recipient of the Rawlins scholarship. “Sierra embodies the ideals and principles one should possess to receive this award.”

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Karlie Garcia

Nominated by Cindy Ratekin

Karlie is pursuing her master’s degree of arts in education, with an option in curriculum and instruction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in child development with honors and completed a minor in ethics, justice, and social policy, as well as CPR certification. Her academic honors as an undergraduate include three years of placement on the Dean’s List, All-Academic Team placement in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement honors, and selection for the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s All-Academic Track & Field Team for two consecutive years. She has completed three child development internships, ranging from toddlers to college students, and most recently with the chair of the Department of Child Development, where her work was so valued that her internship was extended another semester independently. Said her nominator, Cindy Ratekin: “When considering students to nominate for this award, Karlie was a unanimous choice by child development faculty. . . . Karlie’s decision to continue her education in order to make a positive difference in an ever-widening circle of children and families is a testament to her dedication to the field of child development.”

Dayne Gradone

Nominated by Brian Brazeal

Dayne is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology, with a sociocultural emphasis, having earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Chico State. He is a recipient of the Graduate Equity Fellowship and the Chico State Sustainability Fund Allocation Committee Award. He completed seven undergraduate research projects in balance with an outstanding four-year varsity career in cross country and track before excelling through multiple research projects across the world, including in Africa and Asia. He served a crucial role in the photographic and cinematographic direction of the nationally celebrated ethnographic documentary Stories in Thread: A Tapestry of Hmong Identity, and he currently serves as a digital cinematographer for a film on the Japanese internment camps of Northern California. Dayne’s nominator, Brian Brazeal, describe him as “a pleasure to teach and to learn from” and lauds Dayne’s “ability to pursue a successful life in any chosen capacity.”

Parker Rhodes

Parker Rhodes

Nominated by Darin Haerle

Parker is a senior pursuing a double major in economics and political science. He was a 2014 recipient of the President’s Scholar Award—one of the University’s most prestigious scholarships—and was selected from a highly competitive field for the position of Chico State’s Panetta Congressional Intern for 2016. In that capacity, he worked full time for Congressman Doug LaMalfa in Washington, DC, and was responsible for constituent relations and policy research, among other tasks. Parker served on the Associated Students Legislative Affairs Council during the 2015-16 academic year, also working as a facilitator for Freshman Leadership Opportunity. He has been involved with other campus groups including serving on the AS Community Affairs Council and as a tutor for Community Action Volunteers in Education, where he served as a tutor for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley. Said his nominator, Darin Haerle: “Parker is motivated, hard-working and a very strong student who excels both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Amalia Rodas

Amalia Rodas

Nominated by Thia Wolf

Amalia, a 2015 Chico State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work, is seeking her master’s degree in public administration. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Student Leader Award for the Department of Undergraduate Education and moved from First-Year Experience’s executive staff to its administrative team in 2016. She worked as a paralegal intern with Community Legal Information Center in the Women’s Law Project, and served as a peer mentor for multicultural and gender studies and communication studies. She also was awarded placement in the nationally competitive Hispanic Association of College and Universities’ Hispanic National Internship Program, which placed her in the federal Office of Minority Health in Washington, DC, working on minority women’s health policy issues. Her volunteer endeavors include experience with the Council of Graduate Students, the Graduate Women Council, Latinas in Action, Community Action Volunteers in Education, the Student Association of Social Workers, Gender and Sexuality Equity Center, and the Filipino American Student Organization. Noted her nominator, Thia Wolf: “Amalia is an exceptionally passionate, talented, and involved young academic who undertakes intellectual work in order to serve the public good.”

College of Business

Max Dickstein

Max Dickstein

Nominated by Kristin Minetti

Max is a senior pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an option in marketing, along with a minor in management and internal sales, in addition to the professional sales certificate. He is an active participate in the Seufferlein Sales Program, having placed second in the Sweet 16 Sales Challenge in 2016 before placing third nationally out of 60 students in a sales competition at the International Collegiate Conference for the American Marketing Association. He is a three-year member of the American Marketing Association and will serve as its president for the 2017–18 academic year, and he is a three-time Dean’s List honoree. He is also the founder, producer, and host of UnboxTechnology, a YouTube channel with more than 8,000 subscribers and 2.3 million views. Kristen Minetti, his nominator and previous Rawlins Scholarship recipient, said: “Max is absolutely one of the most impressive students I have come across in my years at CSU, Chico. His dedication to scholarship and personal growth, along with his maturity and desire to help others, make him a wonderful candidate for this award.”

Timothy Goebel

Timothy Goebel

Nominated by June Covington

A senior seeking his bachelor’s degree in business administration, Timothy is working toward his ultimate goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Before his time at Chico State, Timothy worked as part of the Shasta College Gay-Straight Alliance, a collaboration to make campus safe and welcoming for LGBTQ+ students at Shasta College, where he earned his associate’s degree in business administration and accounting clerk and bookkeeping certificate. Timothy also led in the development of a board game in his Chico State coursework that is now in use as a Business Club fundraiser. Additionally, he has managed residential property as a landlord for more than two years in Redding, handling his family’s estate. Wrote his nominator, June Covington: “From what I have observed in Timothy’s work, attendance, participation, leadership, assignment submissions, and exam scores, I rate his motivation and initiative in pursuing academic and career goals at the highest level.”

College of Communication and Education

Daniel Human

Daniel Human

Nominated by Josh Trout

Daniel is pursuing his degree in exercise physiology, as he maintains honors in general education as a member of the National Honors Society. He is the recipient of the Ranko Moeller Scholarship for Outstanding Honors Students, an Academic and Performance Scholarship, and a medal from the mayor of Thousand Oaks, California, for outstanding youth in volunteer services. He also received a merit scholar award and serves as chair for the academic affairs committee for the Associated Students. Additionally, Daniel serves as the senator for the College of Communication and Education, and he is a nationally certified and state-licensed emergency medical technician. His volunteer service record includes work for the Shalom Free Clinic. His nominator, Josh Trout, wrote of Daniel, “Daniel has fulfilled his many scholarship, extracurricular activities, and professionally related responsibilities with integrity, quality, and distinction.”

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Mitchell Trieloff

Mitchell Trieloff

Nominated by Denny Gier

Mitchell is a senior seeking his bachelor’s degree in construction management. He is a two-time Dean’s List award recipient, and he has earned four essential industry-related certifications. He serves as the treasurer of the Associated General Contractors student chapter and is a member of the Design-Build Institute of America student chapter as well as an associate member of the Construction Management Association of America. Mitchell was the scheduler for Chico State’s Associated Schools of Construction commercial team at the annual student competition, in which Chico State placed second in the division. He also has extensive community service experience, with projects including Boy Scouts cabin renovation at Camp Lassen, work on Habitat for Humanity facilities, and ongoing construction at Patrick Ranch. Wrote Denny Gier, his nominator: “Mitchell has always had a positive attitude, enthusiasm, and great work ethic. . . . He has consistently proven himself to be a devoted student, dedicated student leader, and a pleasure to work with.”

Marisa Davini

Marisa Davini

Nominated by Kenneth Derucher

Marisa is a senior pursuing her bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, with an emphasis on transportation engineering; she also will receive a double minor in business administration and sustainability, with honors in general education. She is the local and national recipient of the WTS International Sharon D. Banks Memorial Scholarship, awarded to outstanding undergraduates in transportation-related fields of study. Marisa has interned as an accounting assistant with BFBA Accounting and at Quincy Engineering in Sacramento. She is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter and the ASCE Mid-Pac Steel Bridge Competition, and serves as treasurer of Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society. A three-year Dean’s Award recipient, Marisa also has volunteered with ASCE Community Outreach to mentor and motivate children about engineering and science. Her nominator, Kenneth Derucher, said Marisa: “will succeed as a person in a position of responsible charge, as a transportation engineer, and as a professional, and she will do so in an ethical and moral manner.”


College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Naomi Ramirez

Naomi Ramirez

Nominated by Stephen E. Lewis

A junior seeking her bachelor’s degree in history, Naomi is a Dean’s List recipient, a Daughter of the American Revolution Good Citizen award recipient, and vice president of the Chico State History Club. She plans to earn her teaching credential and master’s degree to teach history and one day run for public office in her home county of Mendocino; she plans to prepare for that long-term goal by seeking a student government senator position for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Additionally, she is a member of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) and the Student Learning Fee Committee for her college. She has a three-year community service record of tutoring and supervision at the Willits Kids Club. Her nominator, Stephen E. Lewis, wrote: “Naomi is truly an exceptional student” with a “precocious ability and tenacious commitment to the field of history.”

College of Natural Sciences

William Mixter

William Mixter

Nominated by Hyewon K. Pechkis

A senior double majoring in professional physics and mechanical engineering, William is a research assistant in the Ultracold Atom Group of Hyewon Pechkis in the Department of Physics and a senior physics tutor at the Student Learning Center. He also volunteers as a tutor with the Society of Physics Students and started a new academic program at Chico State, Formula SAE Electric, which will design and manufacture a formula-style electric race car for international competition. William has earned a mastery certificate through the International Tutor Certification Training Program, and he plans to join the Peace Corps after graduation to immerse himself in another culture to learn while teaching. Said Pechkis, his nominator: “William is the most proactive student that I know on campus. . . . He is naturally curious and inquisitive, and seeks out new challenges.”