It’s all about giving back to the community.
That’s what motivates Cindy Walsh to give of herself and support Leadership Oswego County, a program that gives participants an up-close look at Oswego County while grooming future leaders.
Walsh, the team coordinator for the Human Ecology Division at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, was named the recipient of the 2008 Leadership Oswego County Distinguished Alumni Award, at this year’s Leadership Oswego County Graduation held in June.
“It is absolutely an honor,” she said.
“Cindy has been an active supporter of the Leadership Oswego County (LOC) program since her graduation with the class of 2001,” said Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County Executive Director Paul A. Forestiere II.
It was ForestiereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âalso a LOC graduateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âwho nominated Walsh for the award.
“She speaks positively about the program at every opportunity and is always attempting to recruit new participants from those individuals whom she interacts with on a daily basis,” he added.
Walsh’s daily role at Cooperative Extension includes activities involving nutrition, health and safety education. She is heavily involved in helping people develop life skills. She also administers programs such as “Making Ends Meet” and “Parenting After Separation and Divorce.”
She has worked in this capacity for the past eight years.
The LOC program is administered by Jeff Grimshaw, assistant director of the Office of Business and Community Relations at SUNY Oswego.
According to Grimshaw, the award goes to a LOC alumnus that has become civically engaged and involved in the community.
“She is an exemplary example of this distinction,” said Grimshaw, who along with Walsh was part of the 2001 graduating class. “She’s always out there finding new ways to be involved.” Grimshaw said she has been helping LOC as a member of its presenters’ group every year since her graduation and is a member of its curriculum committee. The curriculum committee serves as a review and advisory board.
Her presentations have centered largely on family literacy programs.
“She is really living Leadership Oswego County,” Grimshaw noted.
What motivates Walsh to stay involved with LOC?
“Part of LOC involves giving back to the community and being active in the community,” she said.
She said one can learn more about Oswego County through LOC during the nine-month program, compared to living here for five years.
“It gives you a real flavor for the county,” Walsh said.
“LOC helped develop my leadership style and helped me learn more about other people’s styles as well,” she said.
LOC participants also focus on doing a project that benefits the community. Her class did a cleanup of an overgrown community walking trail near Springside at Seneca Hill in Volney.
“It was fun and interesting to watch the dynamic of the group and the way it developed over the course of the year,” she said.
Walsh, 50, is a native of Burlington, Vermont, and with her husband Steve have 21-year-old twin daughters. Both daughters will be pursuing masters’ degrees beginning in the fall. Walsh earned her master’s degree in education at SUNY Oswego. She is also a New York state-certified dietitian and nutritionist.
Walsh is also on the state registry for emergency disaster response for events involving food safety and supply issues.
When she is not working at Cooperative Extension or assisting LOC, Walsh is enjoying her hobbies, which include cooking. She is a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu London, a leading culinary school.
Additionally, she is affiliated with several national and state health-related organizations, as well as the Oswego County Partnership for Health, Oswego County Nutrition Collaboration Group, Oswego County Opportunities Health Subcommittee, Oswego County Breastfeeding Connection, and the Oswego County Migrant Coalition.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is a key outreach system of Cornell University with a strong public mission and an extensive local presence that is responsive to needs in New York communities. The Cornell Cooperative Extension educational system enables people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work.
If you would to learn more about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, call (315) 963-7286, or visit http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/oswego.