MSU PLS senior honored for his leadership skills as a first generation college student

November 22, 2023 - Karessa Weir

MSU Political Science Scholar Malcom Charles was recently awarded a First Generation Leadership Award.

Malcom Charles

Malcolm, a senior, was honored at the Nov. 8 Vanderploeg First Generation College Celebration ceremony at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. 

The Vanderploeg First-Generation College Celebration is an annual event to celebrate students, faculty, and staff who are the first in their families to attend or graduate from a four-year institution. This event allows for this community of scholars to come together to celebrate the strengths that they bring to MSU. 

"Malcom is an exemplary student. He is a kind-hearted and genuine person and is such a joy to advise. He has made an incredible impact in the Political Science Department and in state and local politics. He was selected as a PLS Scholar after his first year, was elected to the Political Science Scholars Advisory Board. He was also selected as the PLS department representative for the Dean's Student Advisory Council. In addition to his on-campus involvements, he has also had a variety of internships, including internships with Mayor Any Schor and Elissa Slotkin. Because of his internship performance, he was asked to take on a Communications Intern position in Washington, DC with Rep. Slotkin and worked to create three co-sponsor recommendations, one that was signed into law by President Biden. Malcom is such an incredible student and earning this award would mean so much to him. He is so thankful for his time and experiences at MSU,” wrote Political Science Advisor Krista Zeig in her nomination letter for the award.

Malcolm is a graduate of Sterling Heights High School in Sterling Heights, MI and is a Political Science Major with minors in Law, Justice and Public Policy. He is passionate about climate change, equal voting rights, and racial injustice in America. 

"Specifically, with racial injustice, it's always been very prevalent in this country, but the past few years have shown an increase in it within many minority groups—especially in the African American community," Malcom wrote.

Post-undergraduate, Malcom plans to attend law school where he will become a family law attorney. After gaining experience there for some years, he will eventually transition to running for a political office of some sort - starting off small like running for mayor or governor and then working his way up to higher offices.