As County Director, Megan Walsh provides leadership and guidance for University of Illinois Extension in Grundy, Kankakee and Will counties. Megan leads a staff of eighteen to respond to local community needs in the areas of Family Life, Horticulture, 4-H Youth Development, Local Food Systems and Small Farms and Nutrition Education. She is also responsible for fiscal, human resource, volunteer and facility management for Grundy, Kankakee and Will offices.
Megan received a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Human Development and Family Studies. Before working for University of Illinois Extension, Megan worked for K-State Research & Extension as a District 4-H Agent. During this time, she focused on club growth, Cloverbud (for ages 5-7) club development and creating unified District 4-H policies. While working in Kansas, she attended Kansas State University to earn her master's degree in Youth Development.
Megan returned to Illinois and worked in the area of substance abuse research in teens and adults, by supporting data collection among counselors and therapists. She later moved into community organizing and worked for a coalition that was a Federal Drug-Free Community grantee. Her work with the coalition focused on developing logic models, grant writing, refining community partnerships, program implementation and promoting policy and system changes.
Megan joined University of Illinois Extension as a 4-H Youth Development Educator. In her role as an Educator, Megan was responsible for STEM education, reaching new and untapped Extension audiences and volunteer training and management. For her work as a 4-H professional, she received the Distinguished Service Award and the Achievement in Service Award.
Megan is passionate about helping youth and adults reach their full potential through research-based education. She believes change can occur with education, supporting relationships and community connections with the land-grant institution that serves the people of Illinois.