Joy Swanson


Joy Swanson

B16 Martha van Rensselear Hall
Phone: (607) 254-6449 Fax: (607) 255-1033
View Cornell University Contact Info
Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:
Two disciplines, Food Science and Nutrition have captivated my interest and spurred my curiosity for most of my life. My educational journey brought me to the University of MN, BS Consumer Food Science; Oregon State University, MS Food Chemistry & Toxicology with minor in Biochemistry and Cornell University, Ph.D. Food Science with minors in Nutrition and Organic Chemistry and an NIH-Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in the Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at Cornell University. My research activities have contributed towards our understanding of the influence of dietary lipids on the plasticity of membrane, cellular and tissue lipid and fatty acid composition and the relationship between dietary lipids and membrane and tissue functionality and structure. Continuing my work in lipid biochemistry, research was expanded to lipid soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene and Vitamin E). Pharmacokinetics explored the metabolic fate of lipid soluble vitamin absorption efficiency and elimination pathways. A novel urinary excretion pathway for gamma-tocopherol and of a novel P450 hepatic enzyme responsible for the degradation of alpha –tocopherol, aptly named tocopherol omega hydroxylase was discovered. A relatively new research interest is in educational outreach programs to attract and retain young girls and women to STEM fields of study and careers.

Teaching and Advising Statement:
As a teacher, I have a goal to help students find their learning style, instill a curiosity to learn and become life-long learners as well as develop critical thinking skills. Foundational skills in critical thinking and innovative problem-solving are instilled through the use of independent learning modalities such as a flipped classroom and problem-based learning groups. Using various learning modalities in my classroom; media, case studies, role play, trips to various campus venues, reflective writing or laboratory exercises students become aware of the importance of auditory, kinetic, tactile and visual senses in their learning success. Giving students the skill and confidence to explore, analyze, interpret and draw conclusion on various resources available to guide their future professional careers is a key advising goal. Empowering the student to understand where they are at, where they want to go and what they need to do to arrive at their goal guides my mentorship with students

Current Professional Activities:
Professional Memberships: National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions - Northeast representative on the national membership committee. Northeast Association of Advisors for the Health Professions - As co-chair of the Upstate New York Local Area Network of Health Professions Advisors. As co-chair assisted in the organization of a regional meeting of Advisors at University of Rochester School of Medicine, February 10, 2017. The meeting agenda included review of U of Rochester's medical school initiatives on diversity, their medical humanities program and the problem-based learning curriculum used during years one and two of medical school. Professional Development training for pre-health advisor was provided through a Deans Panel of area medical schools: University of Rochester, SUNY Upstate Medical University, SUNY at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Albany Medical School, LECOM and NYIT-COM. American Chemical Society & Cornell Section of ACS - Chair the Cornell Section Outreach committee and member of the Executive Board. Ithaca Campus: HCAN - Health Careers Advisors Network: As Director of post baccalaureate program provide program updates on curriculum, admission policies and advising, promote awareness of the program and program's mission to other campus health advisors. Faculty Advisor - Expanding Your Horizons in Math, Science and Engineering Program: Provide leadership in program organization, fund raising and conference logistics.

Current Public Engagement Activities:
Faculty advisor of the STEM program: Expanding Your Horizons in Math, Science & Engineering, provide leadership in the organization and implementation of the annual conference for this program.  Over 500 girls with guardian attend each year to spend one day at Cornell learning about careers in math, science and engineering.  In 2016 we hosted 500 participants and continued to expand our recruiting to include more rural and under-resourced school districts.

1979,  University of Minnesota, BSc. Food Science,  1982,  Oregon State University, MSc. Food Science with minor in Biochemistry 1988,  Cornell University, Ph.D.   Food Sciene with minors in Nutrition & Chemistry 1988- 2001 NIH Post-Doctoral Trainee in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Courses Taught:

NS 5100 Preparation for Professional Studies
NS 5200 Health & Humanities
NS 5410 Integrated Health Studies I
NS 5411 Integrated Health Studies II

NS 6000 Special Problems for Graduate Students

Related Websites:

Post-Baccalaureate Program's webpage:


Linkages to this website are also found on DNS webpage.


Expanding Your Horizons in Math, Science & Engineering Program:

Administrative Responsibilities:

Director of the post-baccalaureate program administrative responsibilities include:

Curriculum development and updates,

Record maintenance of human cadaver specimen procurement and disposal, maintain compliance with licensure for procurement and storage of human cadaver specimens,

Budget allocation,

Program marketing - recruitment fairs, professional meetings, seminar presentations,

Conduct program evaluation and curriculum updates, data collection and statistical analysis of program graduate acceptances in health professional schools,

Preparation of program letter of recommendations for program graduates,

Development/updating of program website content,

Supervise program staff; provide curriculum advise and content topics to members of teaching staff.


Selected Keywords:
Research associate, lecturer, director post baccalaureate certificate program in health studies, carotenoids, tocopherols, stable isotopes, STEM educational outreach programs, pre-health advisor, career counselor.

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.