New York Community College Trustees Honor Cayuga Trustee with Leadership Award

A statewide consortium of community college trustees honored a long-time Cayuga Community College trustee with a prestigious award this month for her years of leadership and advocacy.

Applauding her commitment to Cayuga, New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT) honored Cayuga Trustee Dr. Linda Van Buskirk with the Donald M. Mawhinney Jr. Trustee Leadership Award on November 5. The award recognizes trustees for their dedication to their local community college through advocacy, fundraising and professional contributions.

Dr. Van Buskirk said she was honored to receive the NYCCT award, and that she was proud of the work she and other trustees perform to support the College and its students.

“Public service and education stand at the top of my values. I am deeply gratified that I have been given the opportunity to serve Cayuga Community College, which offers so many people avenues for success,” she said.

A trustee at Cayuga since 2008, Dr. Van Buskirk was the Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2016-2018 and the Vice-Chair from 2014-2016 and 2018-2020. She was the Chair for the Trustees’ Governance and Planning Committee in 2019-2020, and is the current Chair for NYCCT’s Government Relations Committee.

As a trustee at Cayuga, Dr. Van Buskirk has supported efforts to expand the College’s academic programs and community presence and advocated for the state to adjust its financial support for community colleges. She has also conducted advocacy training sessions for trustees at other institutions to support their efforts.

Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant and Board of Trustees Chair Marian Brown praised Dr. Van Buskirk for her commitment to Cayuga and for advocating on behalf of community colleges.

“For almost 15 years Dr. Van Buskirk has been an indefatigable advocate for community colleges across New York and an exemplary trustee at Cayuga. Her leadership and support have been integral to our institution as we serve our students and the surrounding communities,” said Dr. Durant. “On behalf of Cayuga Community College, I congratulate Dr. Van Buskirk for receiving this tremendous award. She is truly deserving of this honor.”

“We are so pleased that our colleague Dr. Linda Van Buskirk is being acknowledged by the New York Community College Trustees. She has been tireless in advocating for greater support for community colleges as invaluable educational partners,” said Brown. “Her work has not only benefited Cayuga Community College, but her advocacy training for trustees of other institutions has benefited community colleges across the state.”

Along with her service at Cayuga, Dr. Van Buskirk dedicated her career to higher education. In 2016, she retired from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, where she specialized in academic and professional writing, gender and communication.

In 1979 she earned a doctorate in English Literature from the University of New Mexico, where she previously received a Master of Arts Degree, also in English Literature. She previously earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Utah.

The NYCCT is a nonprofit association comprised of community college trustees. The consortium supports trustees as they advocate, develop and implement policies that impact community colleges. For more information, visit