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 for College Students program which uses peer educators to deliver financial education to other 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 Financial Planning for Young Adults, an online Coursera course.
Working with Consumer Economics colleagues, the Family Financial Feuds podcast is produced monthly. To help other professionals work with limited-resource audiences the curriculum, All My Money: Change for the Better, was revised in 2017.
One of Sweedler's key efforts is bring Money Mentors volunteer program to Illinois. Money Mentor volunteers help community members reach their financial goals.
Sweedler is very honored to have received the Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year Award from AFCPE in 2019, and the Stewart M. Lee Consumer Education Award from ACCI in 2020.
Additional awards and recognitions include 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.