College of Education and Professional Studies

Dr. J. Sunshine Cowan


Phone: (405) 974-5238

Office: WAH 012

Box: 189


  • 2009 Doctor of Philosophy, Focus: Environmental Science/Environmental Justice, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • 2002 Master of Public Health, Focus: Health Promotion, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • 2000 Bachelor of Science, Focus: Community Health, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma

General Information

Dr. Cowan is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Studies and the Coordinator of the Community/Public Health Program at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and her research interests include health equity and social determinants of health. She regularly involves students in the community, including the development of interventions with residents in public housing, focus groups with INTEGRIS, and media advocacy projects for Oklahoma organizations. Dr. Cowan is involved in her profession, serving as the 2018-2019 President of the Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (OAHERD), the 2011-2012 President of the Oklahoma Public Health Association (OPHA), the 2007 Chair of the Oklahoma Turning Point Council (OTPC), and as a founding board member of the Oklahoma Health Equity Network (OHEN). She also serves the university in numerous roles including as chair of the University Core Curriculum Committee and as a member of the Healthy Campus Leadership Team.


  • 2018 College of Education & Professional Studies Elizabeth H. Threat Diversity Initiative Award
  • 2015 Betty Abercrombie Scholar Award, Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (OAHPERD), October 5, 2015
  • 2013 DaVinci Fellow, DaVinci Institute, March 29, 2013
  • 2010 University of Central Oklahoma Students for an Accessible Society Certificate of Excellence
  • 2009 University of Central Oklahoma Provost Award "Modeling the Way"
  • 2009 College of Education and Professional Studies Vanderford Distinguished Teacher Award
  • 2008 Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies nominee for the Neely Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2007 Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Health Professional of the Year
  • 2005-2006 College of Education and Professional Studies Award for Collaborative Teamwork
  • 2004 Action for Healthy Kids Oklahoma State Team Healthy School Hero


  • The Incorporation of Social Corporate Responsibility, included in Chapter 6 (Industry Analysis) of the text, Managing Your Business (2017) by Irenee Dondijo.
  • NCD. (2009). Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities. National Council on Disability, Contributing author and researcher for guidebook.
  • Cowan, J.S. & Rudebock, C.D. (2007). Community Health Education in Rio Bravo, Mexico: Creating Student Learning Beyond the Classroom. Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Journal. XLIII (2).