Josephine Swanson
Extension Associate,Sr

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Professional Activities
Jo leads development of college-level extension and outreach programs and facilitates and supports faculty and CCE educators in program planning, implementation and development.  She provides orientation and professional development for individuals engaged in extension programming.  Jo is co-editor of the college magazine and has responsibility for selected college and CCE webpages.  She has special interest in using technology as a delivery strategy for outreach and particular experience in programming with populations at-risk.

Current Extension Activities
Provides strategic administrative leadership for college extension and outreach program development and accountability and leadership for the CCE educational system.


Biographical Statement
Josephine (Jo) is Assistant Dean in the College and Associate  Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). She brings to her administrative postion experience in developing CCE programs and providing professional trainings in food resource management, consumer economics and family resource management, having served first on the academic staff of the Division of Nutritional Sciences and for most of her departmental career in Consumer Economics and Housing, now the Department of Policy Analysis and Management.   She has received state and federal grants and contracts to support extension programs, has experience working with the media, developing and delivering video and satellite conferences and preparing printed educational materials for extension audiences. She was a co-PI on the multistate research project, "Rural Families Speak" from 1999-2008,  is a member of the national Board on Human Sciences, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; American Council on Consumer Interests; the Lambda Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi;  American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.  Jo has received awards and recognition for the development of family economics and consumer decision-making curricula and programs.

PhD Cornell University Adult, Extension and Continuing Education
MS Cornell University, Foods and Nutrition
BA Dominican University, River Forest, IL Major-Home Economics

Administrative Responsibilities
Jo serves on the dean's staff with particular responsibility for the outreach component of Cornell's Land Grant mission.  She works with the deans, directors, chairs, department extension leaders and other CU faculty, staff and administrators to carry out this responsibility.  She is also a member of CCE state administration and supports the development of CCE programs for children, youth and families in New York State communities. She is responsible for promoting programs which integrate extension with research and teaching and making connections with the college’s resident instructional programs. She initiates and supports collaborative program relationships with state and national organizations and agencies and promotes the college faculty's program partnerships with CCE professionals. Jo contributes to cooperation and collaboration among state Extension systems and to the design and evaluation of issue and discipline-based programs, orientation of new extension staff and faculty and the marketing of Cornell Cooperative Extension and other college outreach programs.

Courses, Websites, Pubs

Related Websites
Cornell Cooperative Extension

College of Human Ecology Outreach

The Rural Families Speak Project began in 1998 and involved two project identification numbers of NC-223 and NC-1011. There have been researchers in 17 states involved at different periods of time. The project ended on September 30, 2008. Materials and more information at:

Selected Publications
Swanson, J. A., C.M. Olson, E.O. Miller, and F.C. Lawrence. (2008) Rural Mothers' Use of Formal Programs and Informal Social Supports to Meet Family Food Needs: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. (29) 674-690.

Bauer, J. W., M.J. Katras (2007) in collaboration with J.Lee, Y.Sano, L. Richards, J. Swanson and S. Seiling. Rural Prosperity: A Longitudinal Study of Rural Communities and Rural Low-Income Families. (NRI research project monograph),

Olson, Christine M., Emily O. Miller, Josephine A. Swanson and Myla Strawderman. “The Dynamics of Food Insecurity in Rural America: Are There Regional Differences?” Paper and presentation for Regional Rural Poverty Conference, Northeast Center for Rural Development, May 3-4,

Swanson, Josephine A., Frances C. Lawrence, Kendra P. Anderson and Christine M. Olson. “Low-income Rural Families: How Do Formal and Informal Supports Address Food Needs?” Referred poster abstract in Conference Proceedings, Eastern Family Economics and Resource Management Association, February 2004

Anderson, Kendra A. and Josephine A. Swanson. (2002) Rural Families, Welfare Reform and Food Stamps: Policy Brief.

Anderson, C.A and J. A. Swanson. (1999). Teaching and learning at a distance: A case study to redefine how we educate. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Swanson, J., Mead, J., and Haugen, H. (1998). Using Internet resources to strengthen community programs and collaborations for children, youth and families at-risk. Conference on Families and Technology Proceedings, October 1997, ERIC Clearinghouse on Early Childhood, University of Illinois.

Hogarth, J.M., Swanson, J. and Segelken, J. (1995). Building an Understanding of Credit Services (BUC$). 260 page administrative manual for community financial management education with low income adults.  Contains analysis of focus group interviews, teaching guide, participant handouts, fact sheets and evaluation tools.