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Spring Break, March 13-17: Classes Canceled, Offices Closed:

The university is closed for spring break March 13-17. Normal operations resume March 20.

Professor/Director Maisch Coll GG

University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-5238 Kinesiology & Health Studies WAH 12 , Box 189


Sunshine Cowan, Ph.D., MPH, MCHES® is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) where she co-coordinates the public health program. She also serves as the assistant dean for the Jackson College of Graduate Studies.

Classes Taught

Cowan teaches numerous classes in the undergraduate public health program as well as the graduate program. Classes include but are not limited to: Introduction to Public Health, Human Development, Media Advocacy & Health Communication, Health Assessment & Evaluation, Community Intervention, Health Equity, and Community Engagement. Cowan also works with practicum students, interns, and serves on thesis committees and graduate projects.

Education and Certifications

Cowan holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in environmental science with a focus on environmental justice. Her dissertation focused on the public housing controversy in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. She has an MPH in Health Promotion Science from the University of Oklahoma and a B.S. in community health from UCO. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®).

Professional and Community Involvement

Cowan's research focuses on health equity, and she was one of five faculty in Oklahoma recognized as a 2013 DaVinci Institute Fellow for promoting innovative teaching practices in the classroom that included meaningful community work. Ongoing projects incorporated into her coursework include data collection and interventions with seniors and families served by the Oklahoma City Housing Authority; focus groups among people served by the Homeless Alliance Day Shelter; data collection among the Hispanic community for INTEGRIS hospital; and food desert observations between zip codes. Additional student research projects have included PhotoVoice projects among daily riders of public transportation in the metro, with people experiencing homelessness, and in zip codes to address inequities. 

Cowan is a founding board member of the Oklahoma Health Equity Network (OHEN), is the immediate Past President of the Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (OAHPERD), a former President of the Oklahoma Public Health Association (OPHA), and a former Chair of the Oklahoma Turning Point Council (OTPC).

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.