Michigan Townships Association

Michigan Townships Association awards its Robinson Scholarship to future local leaders

Delta Charter Township, MI – The Michigan Townships Association has awarded three individuals aspiring to careers in public service its 2023 Robert R. Robinson Memorial Scholarships. The annual award, available to a junior, senior or graduate student in a Michigan college or university, aims to encourage today’s students to seek future public service aspirations.

“This year’s recipients demonstrated a strong commitment to both their education, and to working toward careers serving Michigan’s residents,” said Marilyn Strickland, MTA Robinson Scholarship Committee chair and Newton Township (Mackinac Co.) treasurer, who also serves as MTA District 4 director. “MTA created this scholarship to honor the legacy of long-time township advocate Robert Robinson by fostering future local leaders—and our three honorees this year are exceptional examples of dedication to public service.”

Melissa Raikes is pursuing her master’s in Business Administration from Wayne State University, Mike Ilitch School of Business. Raikes, who has been on staff at Northville Charter Township(Wayne Co.) for nearly 10 years, hopes to use her advanced degree to serve as a finance director in a Michigan municipality. She says that in her decade serving township residents, her goal has remained the same: “To serve the community to the best of my ability, and to provide safety and quality services through programs and policies to residents.” She continued, “I’ve always been drawn to helping people. At the local government level, you have the most impact on people’s lives. When local government listens and works with their citizens, they can make changes to ordinances, policies and procedures that serve the community.” Raikes is a resident of Livonia.

Jerrid Burdue, neighborhood business and projects coordinator for the City of Kalamazoo, is seeking a master’s in Public Administration at Western Michigan University, with a concentration in public management, to help fulfill his career aspirations of becoming a municipal manager. In addition to past work as a planner for the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, Burdue has also served the city as vice chair of the zoning board of appeals and is a board member for the revitalized Douglas Neighborhood Association. “It’s an honor to receive this scholarship, especially with the support of Howard Township (Cass Co.), the community I grew up in,” Burdue said. “This scholarship takes me one step closer to finishing my master’s of Public Administration. With this degree, I’ll be better equipped to make real, impactful changes in local government.”

Lake Superior State University student Madison Moran plans to use her degree in Fisheries and Wildlife to create safe public spaces for both residents and wildlife to grow and thrive. Moran spent four years as an intern with China Charter Township (St. Clair Co.), and also served the township as an election worker and was appointed as a township parks and recreation committee member. “I have always been very passionate when it comes to the outdoors,” Moran said, noting that she is very thankful for being named a scholarship recipient. “College is helping me gain the knowledge I need to connect people with nature. I hope to improve parks and help preserve rural neighborhoods.”