PLS Outstanding Senior 2024 is Malcom Charles

April 18, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Graduating PLS senior Malcom Charles has been “an ambassador for the department” in his four years at Michigan State University, and it is for that reason – among many others – that Dr. Eric Gonzalez Juenke nominated him as the Political Science Outstanding Senior. 

Malcom CharlesEach year, one student who will be graduating with a Political Science degree and who will participate in the May graduation ceremony is chosen to represent the department during the ceremony. The Outstanding Senior will lead the department procession in College of Social Science commencement.  

“I have known Malcom for about two years now. He was a student in my Intro to American Politics class and I quickly realized his talent and ambitions early on. I recommended him for the PLS Scholars program in his sophomore year, and he was admitted. He has been an active member of the Scholars program, showing up to events and interacting with guests and other students,” Juenke wrote in his nomination.  

“I can’t think of an undergraduate student I have met in my 15 years here who has been more impressive than Malcom. He is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, intelligent, and affable individuals, and he has done as much or more than any recent student to shine a positive light on our department. I think honoring him would not only reward his amazing time here at MSU, but also reverberate up as the news is shared with local and state politicians with whom he has worked. I really cannot express what a special student he is.” 

Learning that he was the outstanding senior came as a shock to Malcom but it was a happy surprise. 

“As a first-generation college student, I came to my studies with the mindset of ‘try my best,’” he said. “It feels good to reap the benefits of that labor. It means a lot to me and I take it very personally that the department thinks well of me.”  

Malcom has already secured a job with U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s Senate campaign, following several internships with her and Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. 

“It is bittersweet to be leaving,” he said. “I’m super excited but also sad. Jumping into the real world with bills and apartments and everything is a little scary but I’ve made friendships here that will last a lifetime.”