Michael Summers of Lake Forrest, California, has been named the recipient of CSU’s Learning Partner Scholarship through the Orange County International Association of Firefighters. Summers, a fire battalion chief, has served as a first responder for more than 21 years.
“Responding to calls for service in my community became second nature,” said Summers. “Moving up the ranks as a supervisor, it is my responsibility to guide and support my crews as they serve others.”
Summers has been working toward his MBA at CSU since 2015. The Learning Partner Scholarship will allow him to complete the remaining 18 credit hours he has left to earn his degree.
“I was injured while fighting a large structure fire and have been on temporary disability. In July, my wife, Andrea, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without the support of the Learning Partner Scholarship, I may have to elect to suspend the pursuit of my degree to continue to afford to care for my young family,” said Summers. “I look forward to completing my degree and implementing positive changes for my department and my community.”
Jenna Franks of Bury St. Edmunds, England, has been awarded the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship. Franks is currently stationed overseas with her husband who serves in the U.S. Air Force.
“Though I am a military spouse, that’s not all I am. I don’t have to lose sight of my goals, my dreams, my future or my career,” said Franks.
With this scholarship, Franks looks to pursue an associate degree in criminal justice. After facing trauma in her past, she says her survival has fueled her to step up and be the person she needed when she felt helpless.
“I understand what it feels like to be on the other side, so I can apply what I’ve learned through my past experience to better assist anyone in need,” said Franks. “I don’t think anyone can ever fully be prepared to go into this field, but I know what kind of officer I want to be because of it.”
Reggie McKeithen of Kansas City, Missouri, has been awarded the CSU Knight Scholarship. A firefighter and paramedic, McKeithen has served his city for the last 13 years.
“I had the opportunity to impact my community in ways I never imagined,” he said. “I am a member of our department special ops rescue squad, a paramedic and a former police officer, all accomplished while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.”
McKeithen says the idea of pursing higher education always seemed out of reach. Now with this scholarship, he plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in fire administration. In addition, he is currently next up to be the first African American assistant division chief in his department.
“This scholarship will allow me to continue pursuing my education and motivate others like myself to pursue their dreams of obtaining a bachelor’s degree even if the odds are stacked against them.”
Willis Tumblin of Sebastian, Florida, is the recipient of the Criminal Justice Scholarship. As a law enforcement officer, Tumblin is tasked with wearing many hats when interacting with the community he serves. His favorite, perhaps, is working with the younger generation.
Tumblin plans to use his scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice administration. His degree will aid him in being able to one day lead a law enforcement agency.
“The most important goal and positive impact this scholarship would provide is the ability to receive a quality education while setting funding aside for my three high-school aged children’s college plans,” he said. “With three graduations expected within the next three years, this scholarship will ensure a great portion of their college funding will be paid which will prevent me from limiting their dreams of success based on my current financial status.”