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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Clary recognized for completion of Food Systems Leadership Institute Executive Leadership Program

STILLWATER, Okla. – Already a proven university leader, Cynda Clary, associate dean in Oklahoma State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, is always trying to improve.
Clary recognized for completion of Food Systems Leadership Institute Executive Leadership Program

Cynda Clary

She was recently recognized for doing just that as she completed the Food Systems Leadership Institute Executive Leadership Program. This accomplishment was celebrated at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C.

“Sometimes, the position of a leader can be somewhat lonely and isolating. It can be difficult to find colleagues who understand the challenges you are facing and with whom you can have confidential discussions,” said Tom Coon, DASNR vice president. “I applaud Dr. Clary for taking on this commitment while fully occupied with her professional responsibilities at OSU and her dedication to her family. It strengthens our college to have her connected and engaged in this way.”

The intensive two-year program is designed to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

“I think it’s important to always work to improve your skill set,” Clary said. “I knew it was going to be a program that would push me to challenge myself and get better in some areas that needed it.”

The program curriculum includes three executive-style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring and personal projects. It allowed Clary to look at herself in a realistic way through a number of assessments where participants are given feedback on how they fit with particular attributes or strengths.

“I’ve been through a number of leadership development programs and all of them have been valuable,” she said. “I learned there’s always room for growth and by me growing in that way and doing a better job, I’ll be helping others do a better job.”

Carol Reilly, FSLI program specialist, said participants in the program receive extensive tools to help them in their leadership positions and hear from top-level leaders and experts in the various topics presented at the residential sessions. They also become part of a larger network of leaders.

“Dr. Clary’s successful participation in the Food Systems Leadership Institute has provided her with a broader network of colleagues with whom she can have those conversations and from whom she can learn,” Coon said. “Just as important, the other members of her network have the benefit of her counsel.”

Coon and Gary Sandefur, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at OSU, served as mentors for Clary throughout the program, for which she said she is greatly appreciative.


Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
157 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078