2021 Tillman Scholar

L. Trice Burkes

Colorado State University

“A quality education is the vehicle to decolonizing one’s mind to transform the status quo. As a higher education administrator, I will help dismantle for-profit institutions that prey on veterans.”

After writing a high school research paper on Colin Powell, Trice was inspired to become a U.S. Army Ranger. As such, several years later, he earned an Army reserve officers’ training corps (ROTC) scholarship, branched Infantry, and graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School. In Ranger training is where Trice learned the true essence of leadership, teamwork, and followership.

Twenty-three years later, his organizational leadership style is based on the aforementioned precepts learned in Ranger school. Most recently, Trice served as the Professor of Military Science at Lincoln University (LU) of Missouri. During this assignment is where his over twenty-years of leadership experience was tested. Trice and his team of cadre were charged with revitalizing the program through recruitment, training, and organizational culture. He quickly connected with LU alumni, the greater Jefferson City community, and university leadership to develop a strategic plan for program growth. As a result of Trice’s collaborative nature, learned in Ranger school, his cadre of instructors improved the enrollment and graduation rates of Lincoln’s ROTC program.

As a professor of military science and department head, Trice reconnected with the civilian community and solicited their support with recruitment, scholarships, and fundraising in order to revitalize the ROTC program. During this assignment, his proudest moments involved awarding ROTC scholarships to students whom could not attend college without financial assistance. As a result, he is pursuing a  Ph.D. in order to improve college access for low-income minority students.