Posted on April 12, 2020 by Jana Schwartz

cossman photo The College for Health, Community, and Policy is excited and pleased to announce that Jeralynn "Lynne" Sittig Cossman will be joining UTSA as our founding Dean on May 11! Dr. Cossman is a medical sociologist and demographer and is joining us from her position as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University.

At West Virginia, an R1 research-intensive university, Cossman oversaw curriculum and program development in a department of nearly 1,000 students in criminology, sociology and anthropology. She spearheaded the design and implementation of the university's doctoral program in sociology, which enrolled its first cohort of 14 students in 2016 and now has grown to more than 30 Ph.D. students. 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. Additionally, she facilitated the separation of a single sociology/anthropology major into two distinct ones, implemented changes to writing, capstone and general education requirements in tandem, and also facilitated the creation of a new online criminology major, which boasted an initial enrollment of 85 students in 2018-2019. Her background and experience are a fantastic fit for leading the College for Health, Community, and Policy toward realizing its potential.

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 and has published in several sociology and interdisciplinary journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, Social Problems, Health and Place, Population Research and Policy Review, Sociological Inquiry and The Journal of Rural Health. Her current research focuses on spatial concentrations of mortality and morbidity, the opioid epidemic and the Mountains of Hope cancer coalition in West Virginia.

— Jana Schwartz