Erica Tobe

Erica Tobe

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Dr. Erica Tobe began her career with Michigan State University (MSU) Extension as a children, youth and families agent in Branch County before becoming a 4-H agent in Washtenaw County and later, a program leader for MSU Extension’s youth and adult financial literacy initiatives. Most recently, she was a specialist with the financial and homeownership education team.

Tobe has a joint appointment between MSU Extension and MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS). Since 2011, Tobe has taught HDFS 238: Personal Finance and co-coordinated collegiate financial literacy, including a partnership with MSU Federal Credit Union to support Go for the Green, new incoming student orientation, and Money Smart Week collegiate financial literacy initiatives. From 2016 to 2018, Tobe also served as the graduate program director for HDFS.

In July 2020, Tobe became director of MSU Extension’s Children and Youth Institute (CYI) after having served as associate director since May 2019. In these roles, she provided leadership to more than 200 staff across the state who work collectively to prepare Michigan’s children and youth for the future. She served as director until May 2022.

Follow Erica on Twitter @etobe33.


  • BS in Family Resource Management, Michigan State University, 1998
  • MSW in Clinical Social Work, Michigan State University, 2003
  • PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University, 2014


  • Tobe, E., Eschbach, C., Weber, R., Ortquist, J., & Hendrian, B. (In Press). Behavior change for low-income households resulting from university extension’s financial capability program.  Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. 

    Johnson, C., Bartholomae, S., Serido, J., Katras, M., & Tobe, E. (2019). Launching a text message intervention to assist student loan borrowers with repayment decisions. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal.  48 (3), 230-244.

  • Janney, C., Wendling, A., Long, B., Matteson, S., & Tobe, E. (2017). Social Service Provider's perspective of Your Money, Your Goals toolkit for Adults with Mental Illness. Proceedings for the American Council on Consumer Interests, April 21-23, 2017, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Eschbach, C., Weber, R., Tobe, E., Hale, L., & Washington, V. (2016). “Evaluating an outcomes-based standardized homeownership education program.” Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. 45(2), 138-149. doi: 10.1111/fcsr.12189
  • Tobe, E., Ames, B.D., & Carolan, M. (2016). “Looking back: The experiences of four midwest families after receiving foreclosure counseling services.”  Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 37(3), 383-394 doi: 10.1007/s10834-016-9495-2
  • Tobe, E., Ames, B.D., Carolan, M., & Onaga, E. (2016). Surviving the recession: implications for practitioners to better support housing counseling clientele. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension. 4(3), 45-60. 
  • Tobe, E. (2016). “Research briefs: Fostering effective savings behaviors.” The Standard, 34, 2, 3. 

  • Wallace Bechard, C., Tobe, E., Guinot Talbot, A., & Ames, B. D. (2016). Family experiences and educational needs of home foreclosure clients. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 45(2), 179-192. doi: 10.1111/fcsr.12192
  • Guinot Talbot, A., Tobe, E, & Ames, B. D. (2015). The experience of un-or underemployment and home foreclosure for mature adults: A phenomenological approach. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 36, 4, 503-513. doi: 10.10007/s10834-014-9421-4
  • Tobe, E. (2014). The financial health and level of resilience in housing counseling clientele post experience: A mixed methods assessment. Order No. 3618505, Michigan State University, 2014. Ann Arbor: ProQuest.