OSU-CHS Honors Professor


The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Faculty Senate recently presented Dr. Nancy Van Winkle with the Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

“Dr. Van Winkle has a long history of superior service to our students and the medical school,” says Dr. Robin Dyer, past president of the – Faculty Senate. “She is respected by the – faculty for her dedication to improving the health of older adults in Oklahoma and her involvement in community-based palliative care efforts.”

Van Winkle helped establish a senior mentoring program as part of a new curriculum implemented by the College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013. The program pairs medical students with older adult volunteers to build relationships, learn life histories and gain insight on the health care system. Students also polish their interpersonal skills, which are a vital part of the doctor-patient relationship.
She is a member of the Linking Gerontology and Geriatrics Advisory Committee, which organizes conferences and events to provide resources to health care professionals working with older adults.

A professor of behavioral sciences, Van Winkle teaches courses on developing physicians, sociology of aging, social gerontology, geriatric medicine, multicultural health and clinical medicine foundations. Her research interests include community-based palliative care, suicide and end-of-life decisions among American Indians and family caregivers of elders with dementia.

Van Winkle earned bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and sociology from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of New Mexico and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Kentucky. She was an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Safety Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining the faculty at – in 1991.

A member of the – Faculty Senate, Van Winkle chairs the Faculty Affairs Committee. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, Gerontological Society of America and Oklahoma Alliance on Aging, a founding member of the Oklahoma Academy for Palliative Care Education and a past member and chair of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute board.

Updated 09-05-2014

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