Assistant Director of Programs

Penn State Extension's assistant directors of programs oversee the planning and administration of our educational programming around our seven major focus areas. Program teams work to create priorities, programs, and products, allowing educators to maximize reach of education throughout the state.


  • Catherine Nettles Cutter, Ph.D.

    Catherine Nettles Cutter, Ph.D.

    Assistant Director of Food Safety & Quality Programs

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    Assistant Director of Food Safety & Quality Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Food safety Food microbiology Foodborne pathogens Antimicrobials Edible films Spoilage Meat, poultry, seafood, muscle foods HACCP Sanitation

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  • Chris Houser

    Chris Houser

    Assistant Director, Agronomy and Natural Resources Programs

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    Assistant Director, Agronomy and Natural Resources Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Bio-Energy Farm Safety Field & Forage Crops Forestry Master Watershed Steward Pesticide Education Urban Forestry Water Quality & Quantity

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  • David L. Swartz

    David L. Swartz

    Assistant Director, Animal Systems Programs

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    Assistant Director, Animal Systems Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Dairy Profitability and Sustainability Equine Farm Animal Welfare Livestock Profitability and Sustainability Poultry Profitability and Sustainability

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  • James R. Ladlee

    James R. Ladlee

    Assistant Director Energy, Entrepreneurship, Economic and Community Development Programs

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    Assistant Director Energy, Entrepreneurship, Economic and Community Development Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Economic and Community Development Shale Best Practices Oil and Gas Land Use Decline Curve Analysis Social License, Energy, & Agriculture

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  • Joshua E. Rice, Ph.D.

    Joshua E. Rice, Ph.D.

    Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development Programs

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    Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Youth Development/4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Experiential Learning Program Development

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  • Katherine L Cason, PhD, RD, LD

    Katherine L Cason, PhD, RD, LD

    Assistant Director of Food, Families, and Health Programs

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    Assistant Director of Food, Families, and Health Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Health and Wellness Nutrition Education Family Well-being

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  • Michael Masiuk

    Michael Masiuk

    Assistant Director of Horticulture Programs

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    Assistant Director of Horticulture Programs

    Areas of Expertise

    Strategic Planning Green Industry Tree Fruit and Grapes Vegetable and Small Fruits and Mushrooms Master Gardener Program Master Watershed Stewards Program

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