September 21, 2023

IAAI Member Gail Baker Awarded Learning Partner Scholarship

Gail Baker of Avon, Colorado, received a surprise gift from CSU in December 2017. She was the recipient of a 2017 Learning Partner Scholarship.

Baker won the award as a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), an international professional association of more than 9,000 fire investigation professionals. The IAAI is a CSU Learning Partner.

Employees and members of Learning Partner organizations receive exclusive benefits including scholarship opportunities like the Learning Partner Scholarship and a 10 percent tuition discount. The Learning Partner Scholarship will cover up to $13,200 in one online degree program.

Baker is eager to take advantage of her newly awarded scholarship. She plans to earn her bachelor’s in fire administration with a concentration in fire investigation.

“Through my experience, I have noticed that fire investigation is becoming a very specialized field with more of a focus on the science behind fire causes,” said Baker. “This shift requires further education and more knowledge than what you can just learn from experience.  It is up to fire investigators to stay current and educated on the latest developments so that there are few to no mistakes made…”

Baker not only understands the importance of perfecting her craft, but she also understands the value of earning the Learning Partner Scholarship.

“I was fortunate enough to have my associate degree in fire science covered by my current employer, Eagle River Fire Protection District, which I have been with for over 12 years,” explained Baker. “I realized early on during my associate education that I have a greater sense of responsibility in ensuring I get good grades and a strong desire to complete my degree as soon as possible due to the fact that someone else was paying for my education.”

She also has a strong desire to help others facing financial issues as she demonstrated in September 2014 by starting the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund. The fund helps cover costs during times of medical or financial crisis for emergency responders in her area. Additionally, the fund provides scholarships to children of deceased responders and community members who wish to go into the field of emergency response.

“The fund is growing slowly, but we have helped three emergency responders to date cover unexpected financial strain due to death and medical issues,” said Baker.

To learn more about becoming a CSU Learning Partner, visit