Extension Professional Staff
Laura L. Walker
Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness
535 South Randall Road
St. Charles, IL 60174-1591
Expert in: Food Safety, Nutrition in Aging, Weight Management, Diabetes, Communications
Laura Barr is dedicated to engaging individuals and organizations to adopt healthier life-styles through diet and physical activity, providing guidance in health practices to maintain health and avoid chronic disease. In addition, she empowers individuals to address current health issues such as obesity/weight management, diabetes and heart disease.
Barr graduated from Benedictine University, Magna Cum Laude, with a bachelors of science in nutrition and attained a masters of arts in communications at Governors State University. She was both a member and historian of the Nutrition Club at Benedictine University. During clinical post-graduate work at Vanderbilt Medical Center, she determined that health promotion was the best avenue of service to the community.
Barr acquired an Illinois State Food Service Sanitation Instructors Certification through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and partners with Northern Illinois Food Bank to provide capacity building workshops on topics of food safety and sanitation. IDPH 8 hour and 15 hour Food Service Sanitation Managers Certification are offered as well as "Serve it Safely". In partnership with grass root organizations, Barr assists in development, completion and assessment of nutrition programs, and implements continuous improvements as needed. She has instructed interns from local businesses on effective health presentations while marketing University of Illinois Extension research-based web-resources. In addition; introduced Organ Wise Guys Comprehensive School Program (OWG CSP) to five local schools. Organ-Wise curricula empower teachers to instruct elementary children in basic anatomy and physiology, while educating children to acquire wholesome eating patterns and exercise.
Barr has received community recognition for programming excellence from Joliet Partners for Healthy Families and Joliet Alliance for Youth. Additionally, she received a Diversity Team, Award of Excellence from University of Illinois Extension in 2005 and was the recipient of National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences "New Professional Award" for the Central Region in 2014.