​​By all accounts, Kathryn Grizzle settles for nothing less than the best.

The senior mathematics major at California State University, San Bernardino maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA and plans to finish an ambitious research project even before she earns her bachelor's degree in June 2017.

But it's her drive to help others do their best that sets Grizzle apart.

In addition to a challenging course load, Grizzle is an attentive instructional aide at a middle school. She even started "College Tuesdays" to encourage higher education among the young students she works with.

On top of that, Grizzle is a volunteer tutor with Home and Hospital, working with children who are too ill to keep up with their studies. And she's a member of the CSUSB Math Club, which offers tutoring to students during finals week.

It is this profound duty to serve that makes her an exemplary recipient of the prestigious Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar award, given annually to recognize the highest-scoring recipient of the CSU Trustees' Award. The prestigious award began in 2006, when Dr. Ali C. Razi endowed a scholarship fund.

 

Meet Kathryn Grizzle and learn more about the outstanding work and commitment that led her to earn the Razi Scholarship.

 

 

Dr. Ali C. Razi, a member of the CSU Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001, not only created the Trustees' Award's highest honor, he's also credited with ensuring the future of the Trustees' Award by giving to the program when it was most in need of  help and encouraging others to do the same.

Today, the Razi Scholar is recognized as the outstanding example of the Trustees' Award ideals:  superior academic performance, personal accomplishment, and community service, in the face of financial need.

Grizzle has overcome tremendous hardship to achieve success in academics. As a child, she experienced physical abuse, poverty and homelessness until finally escaping with the help of her sister and moving to California at 16.

Grizzle used these traumatic experiences as motivation to excel.

During high school, she would sometimes be forced to sleep in her car for weeks, but still managed to maintain a 4.2 GPA in demanding courses. Though she worked full-time during four years of community college, she continued to strive for excellence.

When it came time to transfer, CSU San Bernardino offered the chance she needed. Grizzle immediately undertook an ambitious course load and has risen to the occasion and beyond.

Students who enter the mathematics program at CSUSB at the point that Grizzle did often take three to four years to graduate. W​ith the hel​p of winter and summer classes, Grizzle will have accomplished the feat in just two years.

As this year's Razi Scholar, Grizzle will receive a $12,000 scholarship. A master's degree and a Ph.D. are currently in her sights.

Her main goal remains becoming a teacher; no doubt she will bring a wealth of knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm for learning to the classroom.