A Cayuga Community College student with a career goal of becoming a police officer has received the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Scholarship from Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould.
A Cayuga County native whose enthusiasm for a career in law enforcement started during ride-alongs with local police officers, sophomore Criminal Justice: Police Science major Alexa Smalley received the annual $250 scholarship.
Only students studying criminal justice or related fields at New York’s community colleges are eligible to receive the scholarship and one scholarship is awarded at each community college.
The scholarship is awarded based on academic performance, commitment to community service and an intent to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Gould presented Smalley with the award after Criminal Justice Professor Theresa Misiaszek nominated her for the scholarship.
“Miss Smalley is just the type of student we had in mind when we started our scholarship program,” said Gould. “She has let nothing deter her in her pursuit of her goals, and she exhibits all the qualities we look for in our scholarship recipients. The New York State Sheriffs’ Association is proud to recognize and reward Miss Smalley for her efforts.”
Smalley was surprised when she received the award, and thanked Misiaszek for her support and the Sheriffs’ Association for awarding her the scholarship.
“Receiving this award really threw me off-guard. The fact alone that Professor Misiaszek nominated me made me grateful to her and for all the work I’ve put in during my two years at Cayuga,” said Smalley. “I’ve always wanted to be a first-responder to have the chance to help other people when they need it. Serving as a police officer will give me that opportunity.”
Misiaszek praised Smalley for her dedication to helping other people, adding that her determination and work ethic will make her an excellent police officer.
“It was obvious from the first moment Alexa arrived at Cayuga that she was committed to helping other people, and that she knew a career in law enforcement was what she wanted for her future. She has remained committed throughout her time at Cayuga, serving as the secretary of our Criminal Justice Club and as an integral part of our Criminal Justice program,” said Misiaszek. “I’m proud that she has received this award.”
Smalley is scheduled to graduate from Cayuga in May and is considering transferring to SUNY Cortland or SUNY Oswego to continue her education.