Faculty Profile for Dr. Mary Odum Dixon

profile photo for Dr. Mary Odum Dixon
Dr. Mary Odum Dixon
Assistant Professor — Dept of Health & Human Performance
JOW A116
phone: (512) 245-8304

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Mary Odum earned a BA from Erskine College in Psychology, a MS from The Citadel in Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, and a PhD from Texas A&M University in Health Education.

Dr. Odum serves Texas State University as an Assistant Professor of Health Education in the Department of Health and Human Performance. Her primary research focuses on socio-ecological influences on obesity and chronic health conditions and creating community-based interventions that target health behavior change (primarily nutrition) to reduce individual and familial risk of obesity and chronic diseases. Dr. Odum’s secondary research focuses on improving student writing outcomes, specifically writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy.

Many of the research questions Dr. Odum pursues are best answered with qualitative methodologies, but she values and uses quantitative and mixed-methods research approaches as appropriate for the context. She also appreciates and engages in multi-disciplinary approaches to scholarship and community building. In community-based interventions, Dr. Odum uses a community-based participatory approach as means to build community capacity and improve health outcomes.

Dr. Odum's work has been published in leading health promotion journals, including Journal of School Health, Journal of American College Health, American Journal of Health Behavior, and American Journal of Health Studies. Dr. Odum's ORCID iD is 0000-0002-3994-934X.

Websites summarizing Dr. Odum's research:

Please note that the use of the name Dixon in this faculty profile is a result of an automated university records system and does not reflect Dr. Odum's name as it appears on published scholarly products.

Teaching Interests

Community Health Program Planning and Evaluation
Writing for Community Health Programming and Research
Health Behavior Theory

Research Interests

Socio-ecological influences on obesity and nutrition-related chronic health conditions
Community-based nutrition programs
Community-Based Participatory Research

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Williams, R. D., Housman, J. M., Dixon, M. O., & Alissa, R. (2017). Energy drink use linked to high-sugar beverage intake and BMI among teens. American Journal of Health Behavior, 41(3), 259–265.
  • Xu, L., & Odum, M. (2018). Cancer awareness and behavioral determinants associated with cancer prevention: a quantitative study amongy young adults in a rural setting. Journal of Cancer Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-018-1342-8
  • Odum, M., & Xu, L. (2018). Racial and sex differences of fruit and vegetable self-efficacy and intake among college students in a rural, Southern location. Journal of American College Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2018.1515752
  • Housman, J. M., & Odum, M. (n.d.). Alters & Schiff Essential Concepts for Healthy Living (8th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett. Retrieved from https://www.jblearning.com/catalog/productdetails/9781284152791#productInfo
  • Odum, M., Housman, J. M., & Williams, R. D. (2018). Interpersonal factors of male and female adolescent fruit and vegetable intake. American Journal of Health Behavior, 42(2), 106–115. https://doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.42.2.10

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Alphi Chi Favorite Professors for 2016. Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. 2016
  • Award / Honor Recipient: College Achievement Award for Service, College of Education, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. 2016
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Health Education Teacher of the Year, Division of Health Education, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. 2013
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Outstanding Graduate Student, Division of Health Education, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. 2011

Selected Grants

  • Odum, Mary (Principal), Housman, Jeff M (Co-Principal). Childhood Obesity Prevention for Low-income, Minority Families in San Marcos, Texas, Texas State University, $16000. (Funded: 2016 - 2017). Grant.
  • Dixon, Mary Odum (Co-Principal), Wiley, David C. (Principal). Evaluating graduate student writing: productivity, anxiety, and self-regulatory efficacy, College of Education Faculty Pilot Research Grant, Texas State University, $5000. (Funded: 2014 - 2015). Grant.
  • Chen, Lei-Shih (Principal), Ward, Susan (Co-Principal), Odum, Mary (Co-Principal). Taiwan Endowment Funding Program, Texas A&M University, Institutional (Higher Ed), $6900. (Funded: 2013 - 2014). Grant.
  • Odum, Mary (Principal), Goodson, Pat (Co-Principal). Leonard Ponder Endowed Chair Research Grant, Texas A&M University, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $2500. (Submitted: August 1, 2011). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Reviewer / Referee
Public Health Nutrition
Outstanding Graduate Student Selection Committee
Reviewer / Referee
American Journal of Health Behavior
Reviewer / Referee
Health Education Journal
Health Educator
San Marcos Housing Authority
January 2017-Present