Katherine L Cason, PhD, RD, LD
Assistant Director of Food, Families, and Health Programs
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Katherine serves as the Assistant Director, Food, Families, and Health Programs with Penn State Extension. A registered and licensed dietitian, she holds a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Penn State University; a MS in Nutrition from the Texas Woman’s University; and, a PhD in Nutrition from Virginia Tech. She has extensive experience in community nutrition and health, clinical dietetics, and food service management. Before joining Penn State Extension in August 2016, she worked with Clemson University as professor in the Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences Department, and as Director of the Center for Healthy Living.
At Penn State, she directs two Extension Program Teams – the Health and Wellness team and the Family Well-being team. Directed to Americans throughout their lifespans, programming within the Health and Wellness team is focused on promoting health, preventing and managing disease and disability, and decreasing health disparities among minority populations. Key programs include Strong/Women Growing Stronger, Dining with Diabetes, and Mediterranean Cuisine. The Family Well-being team responds to and impacts priority issues facing children, youth, families, and communities in Pennsylvania. In response to the opioid crisis and in support of developing the current and future workforce, the family well-being programs address the critical issue of “building healthy and resilient children, youth, and families across the lifespan.” Key programs include PROSPER, and Better Kid Care.
Katherine's research is in the area of socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological factors affecting food choice, nutrient intake, food purchasing and preparation practices, and level of food security among limited resource audiences, and the impact of nutrition education on dietary adequacy, food and nutrition practices of children, youth, and families.