Barbara McCahan

Plymouth State University
Director of the Center for Active Living and Healthy Communities and Professor of Health Education and Promotion

Dr. McCahan brings an educational background in biological sciences together with 30 years of experience in health and physical activity leadership to her teaching, research and regional outreach activities.  In line with the Center’s mission – to enhance active living, health and wellness of rural residents in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and North Country – McCahan’s activities focus on understanding the social and cultural influences on health and physical activity behaviors. She also serves as a consultant to regional groups working on issues related to access to physical activity resources, transportation and health concerns. After graduating from the University of California San Diego, McCahan earned Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Biological Sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara, specializing in cell biology, ultrastructure and plant anatomy. She served as a post-doctoral research associate in immunopathology at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver and as a teaching/research associate in reproductive biology at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. McCahan entered the physical activity leadership field during her time in Hawaii and has since developed a career in health and fitness promotion. Most recently she was awarded the 2011 Anne Seeley Scholarship to attend the Physical Activity in Public Health – Community Outreach training program, cosponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. A Plymouth State faculty member since 1989, McCahan instructs various theory and professional-skills courses in health promotion and exercise science.  Additionally, she serves as a mentor for the Circle Program in Plymouth addressing the needs of local at risk girls, is a community health advisor for the Lakes Region United Way and is heading the Healthy PSU worksite wellness campaign for the campus.  Continuing as a group exercise leader, personal trainer, consultant, swimmer, hiker, cyclist and skier, she resides in Plymouth, NH with her husband Ted McCahan.