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Cayuga students earn scholarships from New York State Sheriff’s Association

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association has awarded scholarships to two Cayuga Community College students as they pursue their degrees and careers in law enforcement.

Awarded annually to one student at each Cayuga campus, the Criminal Justice Scholarship recognizes students for their academic success and dedication to pursuing a related career. The recipient from the Fulton Campus was Zach Burdick, and the recipient from the Auburn Campus was Jake Steinbacher.

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“Zach and Jake are great examples of students in Cayuga’s Criminal Justice Program — they’re both committed to their academic success and preparing for their future careers, and are dedicated to serving their communities,” said Professor and Program Director Theresa Misiaszek. “I’m proud of their success, and that they’ve received these scholarships from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association.”

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Burdick is an Oswego City School District graduate who is now serving in the National Guard. Currently in his second semester at Cayuga, he’s hoping to graduate in 2023 and join a law enforcement agency after completing his degree.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

“I’ve always been interested in helping people, and joining law enforcement after serving in the military seemed like a natural next step,” said Burdick. “The classes I’ve taken at Cayuga have confirmed for me that this is what I want my career to be.”

Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton, who presented Burdick with the scholarship, applauded him for his academic success and intent to join law enforcement.

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“On behalf of myself and the members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, congratulations to Zach for receiving the New York State Sheriffs’ Association scholarship,” said Sheriff Hilton.

A member of Auburn Enlarged City School District’s Class of 2021, Steinbacher is looking to start his law enforcement career in a local agency to give back to the community. He’s eventually looking to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Ever since I was 13 years old, I’ve wanted a career where I can help people. Serving in law enforcement seems like the best way for me to do that,” he said. “Over the past year at Cayuga I’ve gained a better understanding of the justice system, which will help me in the future.”

Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck presented Steinbacher with the scholarship and congratulated him on his achievement.

“On behalf of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and all our members across the state, I would like to congratulate Jake Steinbacher for receiving this scholarship in recognition of his academic excellence. We wish him all the best as he prepares for a career in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Schenck.

Only students studying criminal justice or related fields at New York’s community colleges are eligible to receive the New York State Sheriffs’ Association scholarship. The scholarship is awarded based on academic performance, commitment to community service and an intent to pursue a career in law enforcement.

For more information on Cayuga’s Criminal Justice Program, visit