Lynne Cossman, Ph.D.
Inaugural Dean
College for Health, Community and Policy

Lynne CossmanMedical sociologist and demographer Jeralynn “Lynne” Sittig Cossman joined UTSA in May 2020 as founding Dean of the College for Health, Community and Policy (HCAP) and Mark G. Yudof Endowed Professor for the Departments of Demography and Sociology. As she leads the development of UTSA’s largest college, Cossman is building interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs that are designed to send UTSA students out into the community in health-related capacities—and from many perspectives.  

Prior to UTSA, Cossman served as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University, an R1 land-grant university, where she oversaw curriculum and program development in a department of more than 1,000 students in criminology, sociology and anthropology. Notably, she spearheaded the design and implementation of the university’s doctoral program in sociology. Additionally, she led the expansion of the department’s research infrastructure, including affiliating with multiple health science research centers, to support and provide funding opportunities for all doctoral students.  

Cossman’s own research focuses on community health and health professionals. She has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, among others. She is the author of approximately 70 peer-reviewed publications in sociology and interdisciplinary journals, including the  American Journal of Public HealthSocial ProblemsHealth and PlacePopulation Research and Policy ReviewSociological Inquiry and  The Journal of Rural Health.  

Her current research is largely focused on the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on subjective life expectancy, protective behaviors (distancing/masking) and health behaviors (sleep, exercise and diet).

Prior to her time at WVU, Cossman worked from 2001 to 2014 at Mississippi State University, where she earned tenure and later promotion to full professor. She served in several administrative roles, including head of the Department of Sociology, graduate program coordinator and director of the women/gender studies program. 

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