Consumer Economics Educator
Kathy Sweedler provides leadership in consumer economics programming in a four-county area of central Illinois for individuals and families, with an emphasis in the area of financial management. Sweedler graduated from the University of California at Davis with a bachelor of science degree in home economics as well as a teaching credential. At the University of Arizona, she earned a master's degree in family and consumer resources with an emphasis in consumer education. As an Extension Educator, Sweedler focuses on providing individuals with research-based information and strategies to help them make positive changes in their financial behaviors. She is interested in reaching new audiences through creative methods such as the Financial Wellness program which uses peer educators to deliver financial education for college students, and by reaching young adults through social media such as the Plan Well, Retire Well Blog and with her Twitter account @morethancoupons. In addition, she co-created and is an instructor for Personal Finance for Young Adults, a Coursera course. Another recent accomplishment is the revision and publication of All My Money: Change for the Better, a money management curriculum for limited-resource audiences produced by University of Illinois Extension's consume economics educators. While Sweedler provides programming in many financial management areas, she is passionate about helping people plan for financial security in later life. Included among her awards and recognitions are the Internet Education Communications National Award from the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS); Outstanding or Innovative Program for Your Money & Your Life Financial Education Program from University of Illinois Extension; and the National Internet Technology Communications Award for the Plan Well, Retire Well website from NEAFCS. Sweedler's professional associations include Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science.