Psychology Major Garners Hearst/CSU Award

Humboldt State University senior Dannisha Battle has received a 2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees'Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award is $3,000.

A Los Angeles-area native and psychology major, Battle plans to take up graduate studies, become a marriage and family therapist and open a nonprofit organization to support underprivileged children and their families.

In addition to excelling academically at Humboldt State, Battle has volunteered her time with community programs such as Links for Life, in which she works with developmentally disabled adults, and Hand-in-Hand, aiding Humboldt foster youth. She is also a teaching assistant in American Sign Language.

President Rollin Richmond said Battle "is an exceptional example of someone who has overcome adversity and used those life lessons to better herself and make an impact on her community."

Battle grew up in a low income section of Los Angeles with her parents and five siblings, attending less than adequate schools. But three high school teachers encouraged her and she went on to Humboldt State. She intends to pursue graduate studies when she finishes her bachelor's degree and take up a career in community support.

"I plan to open a nonprofit organization that will provide resources such as mentor programs, after-school services, parenting classes, job fairs and limited free counseling," Battle says. "Because of the experiences I encountered as a child and adolescent in my community, I would like to provide children and their families with the guidance and support I didn't receive."

California State University selects 23 exceptional students each year "who overcame profound personal hardships" to obtain a higher education. They represent every campus in the system and are honored for becoming advocates, counselors, researchers and leaders after surmounting grave personal challenges, from poverty and disability to abuse and intense personal loss.

The CSU has honored 250 students since the award's inception in 1974. The awards are funded by personal contributions from the CSU trustees, staff, friends of the university and endowments. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi, Trustee Emeritus Murray L. Galinson, Trustee William Hauck, Chancellor Charles B. Reed, the Stauffer Foundation and the Haworth Family Trust have established endowments. Southwest Airlines and CSU Foundation board member Ronald Barhorst have funded additional named scholarships. Awards range from $3,000 to $10,000.

Paul Mann, News & Information