CANTON — Eli Max is a busy man. The SUNY Canton student received the Dr. McBride Criminal Justice Student Award for both academic excellence and his impressive slate of volunteer work.
A full-time criminal investigation student, Mr. Max also works as a dispatcher for the SUNY Canton police and volunteers as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in Canton and his hometown of Freeport.
“Some of my classes are online; it makes it easier for me to do homework and class work when I need to,” Mr. Max said. “I can go out on an emergency call and come back.”
Mr. Max was one of the first on scene at the Feb. 10 fire on campus, said Susan E. Buckley, chairwoman of SUNY Canton’s criminal justice department.
“He was honored in general for service to the community. It wasn’t specifically for his service during that time frame,” she said.
Ms. Buckley said the recipient of the $500 award must demonstrate academic excellence and service to the community and actively pursue a career in public safety.
Mr. Max credits his academic success to one-on-one interaction with his professors.
“Honestly, I can tell you my professors definitely showed me that I meant a lot to them. Clearly I was more than just a name on a paper,” he said. “They were there for me every step of the way. Even with my summer classes, I had professors who were very eager to help me out.”
Mr. Max says he wants to be a New York City police detective or a New York state trooper after he finishes his studies.
“At this point I am focusing on my bachelor’s degree,” he said. “I have a year left and I want to see how many options I have open.”
He just finished an associate degree in criminal justice.
Along with school, work and volunteering, Mr. Max serves as secretary for the Criminal Justice Student Organization.
“I sleep when I can get a chance on a quiet day,” he said. “I feel more fulfilled helping others and getting the work done than getting a full night’s sleep.”
The Dr. McBride Criminal Justice Student Achievement Award is given annually in recognition of R. Bruce McBride, who helped develop professional guidelines for the university police.
“Dr. McBride was active in establishing the professional requirements for university police officer,” Ms. Buckley said. “That goes hand in hand with the academic side of things, and that is why he was chosen.”