Glenda M. Snyder of Buchanan, Va., Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) unit leader and 4-H youth agent in Botetourt County, recently received Virginia Tech's 2008 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on international outreach and research at Virginia Tech. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, global impact, significance of the project, and sustainability of the project. Recipients are awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Snyder was recognized for her leadership in delivering CHARACTER COUNTS! -- training to teachers, administrators, and community representatives from Santa Catarina and Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Extension has been involved in CHARACTER COUNTS! since 1994, when Virginia 4-H first joined the national coalition focused on character education, which promotes the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Since 1999, Snyder has provided character education leadership and training to schools and communities in Botetourt County and the surrounding region, as well as in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alaska.

Snyder’s local involvement with CHARACER COUNTS! led to the expansion of the program in Brazil. She was instrumental in forging relationships with representatives from Partners of the Americas who were interested in implementing the program in Joinville, Santa Catarina, due to the high rate of violence in the city’s schools and communities.

These relationships have continued to grow and develop over the years as VCE faculty members have trained hundreds of Brazilians in methods of teaching character education. During a 2008 trip, VCE provided basic and advanced training for more than 270 state school personnel and for about 75 youth.

In addition to the educators’ involvement in the program, the Brazilian judicial system has been very interested in the program. In 2007, Snyder coordinated the visit of 34 judges who came to Virginia to learn about the federal, state, and local judicial and rehabilitative systems. Upon returning to Brazil, several of the judges requested CHARACTER COUNTS! training for their states.

Snyder received her bachelor’s degree in human nutrition, foods and exercise and her master’s degree in career and technical education from Virginia Tech.

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