Pearl Pauline Swanson was born in Cokato, Minnesota in 1895.  She received her B.S. (1916) from Carleton College; her M.S. (1924) from the University of Minnesota; and her Ph.D (1930) from Yale University, where she was a Sterling Scholar and the Alexander Cox Browne Fellow.  She was a Chemistry Instructor (1916-1918) at the high school in Fairbault, Minnesota and then Carleton College (1920-1922); an Assistant Professor in Home Economics (1924-1927) at Montana State College, prior to joining the faculty at Iowa State College (University).

She was named an Associate Professor (1930-1936) in Food and Nutrition; and a Professor (1936-     ) in Nutrition at Iowa State.  She also served as the Assistant Director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station (1944-    ).

She was a member of numerous organizations, including the American Home Economics Association; the American Institute of Nutrition, the editorial board for the Journal of Nutrition, the American Chemical Society, the American Dietetic Association, the the New York Academy of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and the American Association of University Women.






Dr. Swanson received several awards:

Borden Award (1954)

Representative, 7th International Congress for Home Economics, Stockholm (1949)

U.S.D.A. Outstanding Achievement Award (1951)








The Borden Award is given in the field's highest recognition for
experimental research in foods and nutrition


Home Economics Research: Its Opportunities and Challenges
By Pearl B. Swanson
Presented at a seminar of the Home Economics Faculty at Washington State University (1962)

"We are living in a changed and in a changing world.  You and I know an entirely different American than our parents knew; in turn, our children and youth as they move forward into adulthood will face still another world.  In a nutshell, the factor of change poses the great challenge of Home Economics.  People will find satisfaction in living only to the extent that they can deal with their needs and with the circumstances of their times.  In all aspects of our profession--teaching, extension, and research--we aim to help individuals and families develop competencies fundamental to effective living.  But before we can give this help we must understand our changing times and its significance."

Dr. Swanson's graduation cap
Artifact Collection, University Archives

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Twentieth Century Women of Iowa State University