For her work in marketing and communication that helped secure funding for a number of Central New York economic development initiatives, Christa Glazier ’01 became the second recipient of the Cornell New York State Hometown Alumni Award on Aug. 28.
As a way to “tell an important part of the Cornell story” and show the “University’s commitment and engagement in New York State,” the University began giving out the Cornell New York State Hometown Alumni Award on a bi-monthly basis in April, according to Gary Stewart, Associate Vice President for Community Relations.
Glazier is the current vice president of communications and marketing at CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, a business leadership organization that is “dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region,” according to the organization’s website.
Stewart said in an interview with the Sun that the University established the award earlier this year to recognize people “who left their hometown or region, attended Cornell, and returned home to start or enhance a business or non-profit, and to volunteer in their community.”
Glazier majored in natural resources and after graduation went to work for a local congressman, U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh (R-N.Y.), but her career took a turn when she chose to get involved in communication.
“Even though I had a major that was natural resources, I just remember [doing] so much writing for so many different classes,” she said. “The breadth of experiences that I had at Cornell through coursework and diversity of people that you meet … serves me well in my job now.”
Glazier helped draft the 2015 Upstate Revitalization Initiative proposal for Central New York, which ultimately received $500 million in competitive New York state funding for a number of regional economic development initiatives. One notable project is the advancement of infrastructure and technology to support the growth of the unmanned systems, or drone, industry in Central New York, according to Glazier.
Part of the funding is currently being used to attract business and jobs from that industry to the region, as well as work with the federal government, including the FAA and NASA, and private sector partners to set up the infrastructure and policies to advance the industry.
Working in Syracuse where she grew up has also helped her gain a “better awareness” of her home community.
“I gain a better appreciation for some of the things that are going on in the community,” she said.
As part of the award, the University gives a monetary gift of $1,000 in the name of the recipient to a community non-profit of their choice.
Glazier selected the Syracuse-based InterFaiths Works’ Center for New Americans, according to the University.
In addition to helping her hometown, Glazier is also an active leader in the Cornell alumni community.
As a member of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network, she has interacted extensively with prospective Cornell applicants from her local community.
She is also on the board of the Cornell Alumni Association of Central New York where she has planned alumni networking sessions and fundraisers. Money from the fundraisers goes to the association’s scholarships programs, she said.
“If you have an open interest or passion for something, see if there is something you can get involved in. Create an opportunity,” she said.