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Joan E. Cowdery

Professor of Health Education

Photo of Joan E. Cowdery 318H Porter


Ph.D., Health Education & Health Promotion - University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa /University of Alabama Birmingham School of Public Health
M.S., Exercise Physiology - Purdue University
B.S., Community Health Education - Ohio State University

Professional Summary

A faculty member in the School of Health Promotion & Human Performance at Eastern Michigan University since 2006, Dr. Cowdery’s primary research interests include the use of novel and innovative theoretical and technological approaches to health communication and health behavior change, including tailoring and the use of virtual worlds to influence health behaviors and eliminate health disparities. Recently her research has focused on the use of smart phone apps to encourage physical activity behavior change, and the use of text messaging for stroke risk reduction. Other recent studies have included the use of tailored health information in stroke risk reduction in a Hispanic church based population and exploring the use of virtual world technology in delivering health communication messages regarding dietary behaviors and physical activity to college students.

Dr. Cowdery is involved in several professional organizations including the American Academy of Health Behavior and the Society for Public Health Education, and is a reviewer for multiple professional journals. She is also a founder and board member of the Academy for Sport Leadership.

Courses Taught


HLED 550 - Foundations of Health Education
HLED 562 - Health Education Program Planning
HLED 570 -  Measurement in Health Education
HLED 575 -  Implementation & Administration of Health Education Programs
HLED 592 -  Special Topics:  Health Communication
HPHP 677 -  Research Methods
HLED 690 -  Graduate Project in Health Education
HLED 692 -  Thesis in Health Education
HLED 599 -  Directed Study in Health Education
HLED 686 - Internship in Health Education


HLED 120 – Healthful Living (on-line)
HLED 242 – Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior
HLED 270 – Principles of Health Education
HLED 355 – Health Education Program Planning
HLED 499 – Directed Study in Health Education

Selected Presentations and/or Publications

A complete list of scholarly publications can be found here:


Additional Information

The Public Health Education Program is part of the School of Health Promotion & Human Performance, 318 Porter Building, 734.487.0090