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The Ronny J. Coleman Fire & Emergency, Leader Of The Future Endowed Scholarship

      The purpose of the Ronny J. Coleman Scholarship is to provide scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa members who demonstrate potential for or involvement in public safety or service while enrolled in a regionally accredited associate degree public safety program. The scholarship awards a $1,000 scholarship annually. The selection of those meeting the applicable eligibility criteria for scholarships is made by a selection committee appointed by the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute Board of Directors. Applications are submitted through Phi Theta Kappa in the Spring of each year

Criteria for this scholarship are:

  • Be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) semester credit hours [or nine (9) quarter credit hours] of associate degree, college-level coursework at the time of application.

  • Be a Phi Theta Kappa member is prefered

  • Hold a minimum of a 3.50 cumulative GPA out of a possible 4.0 on all college-level coursework at the time of application.

  • No courses can be marked as incomplete.

  • Have completed at least 50 percent of coursework in an associate degree public safety program at a regionally accredited college by June.

  • Eligible public safety programs include: Fire Science, Fire Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Fire & Emergency Services Administration, Community Risk Reduction, Fire Engineering, Fire Prevention, or Public Safety Education.

  • NOT be a pre-major or certificate student.

  • Hold temporary or permanent residency in the country of the college the student is attending OR must possess a visa considered appropriate by the college.

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About Ronny J. Coleman (May 17, 1940 -September 21, 2023)

        Ronny J. Coleman was the retired State Fire Marshal for the State of California. He received a Master of Arts Degree in Vocational Education from Cal State Long Beach, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Fire Science from Santa Ana College (CA). He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

        He was a prolific writer and columnist for Fire Chief Magazine and Sprinkler Age Magazine authoring hundreds of articles over many years. He authored over 19 published textbooks for the fire community. With 60 years of devotion to fire and EMS services around the globe, Chief Coleman was a mentor, adviser, and leader to many. Prior to his position as State Fire Marshal, he had served as the Fire Chief for the Cities San Clemente and Fullerton in Southern California.

        Chief Coleman served in many elected positions in professional organizations, including President, International Association of Fire Chiefs; Vice President, International Committee for Prevention and Control of Fire (CTIF); and President, California League of Cities, Fire Chiefs Department. In 2010, he was appointed Chairman of the California State Firefighters Association Volunteer Committee. He served on the Public Safety Committee for the League of
California Cities for almost 20 years. He served as Chairman of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International from 1984 – 2005.

         He held professional memberships in many other organizations, such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Fire Code Institute, Conference of Building Officials, International Code Council, National Fire Protection Association, and the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), USA Branch. He was elected as a Fellow of the IFE by the British Chapter. In 2011, he received the Mason Lankford Award lifetime achievement award created by the
Congressional Fire Caucus Institute. In 2012, he was placed in the CSFA Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was designated as “Companion Fellow” with the IFE.

         Ronny J. Coleman served as a panel member on the re-constituted “America Burning” panel and was a member of the US Fire Administrations “Stakeholder Committee. He served on the Fireman’s Fund National Committee and served as the President of The National Fire Heritage Center. This organization is dedicated to preserving the written history of the Fire Profession in the United States. He was also the Chair of the International Accreditation Services, Technical Advisory Committee on the Accreditation of Fire Prevention Bureaus for the
International Code Council. In 2011, he was appointed to the National Construction Safety Team panel, under the jurisdiction of the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST).

         The California Fire Chiefs Association named their annual Fire Chief of the Year Award after Chief Coleman in 2000. The Center for Public Safety Excellence named a perpetual trophy devoted to Excellence in Leadership after Chief Coleman. He was awarded a special recognition by the President of the International Code Council (ICC) for his lifetime involvement in the
development of fire codes.


  • Jacob Fletcher Indian River State College Florida


  • Nicole Torres  Community College of Auroa Colorado


  • Timothy Morrison  Thomas Nelson Community College Virginia


  • Kyle Golden  Eastern Gateway Community College of Arizona


  • Jeremy Pepin  State Fair Community College Missouri


  • Marissa Hays  Gadsden State Community College, Main Campus, A

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