July 21, 2024
IAAI Cynthia Sato

CSU, International Association of Arson Investigators Partner to Award Scholarship to Cynthia Sato

Columbia Southern University is proud to award veteran firefighter Cynthia Sato of Anaheim, California, with the 2020 International Association of Arson Investigators Scholarship.

Sato plans to use the scholarship for a CSU bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration with a concentration in arson investigation. She has been a paramedic, dispatcher, search-and-rescue canine handler, and now, an arson investigator.

“Although I have been a firefighter for over 14 years, I have been involved more in the extinguishment of a fire scene,” said Sato. “The origin and cause portion of investigating a fire scene is relatively new and I have many concepts to still learn. Over the next five years, I see my attending college as a stepping stone toward meeting the bar of becoming a good investigator, being a more credible witness and investigator for arson investigations, and I will learn more about the criminal justice system and fire investigation procedures.”

In addition to enhancing her career, Sato wants the degree so she can show her young son the importance of finishing what you start and setting your standards high.

“With all of the studying and the tests I had to take to get into my current position as an arson investigator, this has caused me to set my standards as high as I can get them,” she added.

Through its Learning Partnership, the IAAI and CSU have worked for a decade to provide IAAI members with various educational benefits, including tuition discounts and an annual IAAI Scholarship. This award covers up to 60 credit hours toward one online degree program with CSU. The scholarship will be applied directly to Sato’s tuition for up to three years or until the completion of her degree program, whichever comes first. To learn more about the IAAI scholarship, visit

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.