Magazine article Public Management

Award for Career Development in Memory of L.P. Cookingham

Magazine article Public Management

Award for Career Development in Memory of L.P. Cookingham

Article excerpt

Each year, ICMA presents the Award for Career Development to a corporate member who has made a significant contribution to the development of new talent in professional local government management. The award commemorates former ICMA president L. P. (Perry) Cookingham, who is credited with creating the local government internship. This year, ICMA presents the Career Development Award to Mark M. Levin, city administrator of Maryland Heights, Missouri.

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During his long tenure in city management, Mark Levin has made a point of dedicating significant time and effort to foster enthusiasm in, and provide learning opportunities for, young people contemplating or entering the profession. As a city manager, adjunct professor, task force member, and, above all, mentor, Mr. Levin has contributed significantly to the development of talent in the profession.

Perhaps the most notable product of his dedication has been the city of Maryland Heights internship program, which began in 1986. By design, the program introduces the interns to all governmental and quasi-governmental functions that take place in our society. Each Friday during the summer, the interns are taken on a field trip to a designated site--the fire station, a construction project, water and sewer facilities, etc.--to gain a true sense of what is involved in providing citizens with the many services they take for granted. Since the program's inception, approximately 50 students have participated, and a significant number have gone on to work in municipal management in one capacity or another.

As chairman of ICMA's Advisory Board of Graduate Education, Mr. Levin has shared his passion for the city's internship program, advocating a nationwide effort to create new municipal management internships and support those already in place. As one of the more tangible results of this effort, ICMA created an Internship Toolkit, which offers guidelines for determining whether an internship program is right for a community and, if it is, how such a program should be created. …

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