Dr. Nicole Owens' contact information:

Dr. Nicole Owens

State Specialized Agent II
Expanded Food & Nutrition Program (EFNEP)

Dr. Nicole Owens completed her PhD in Sociology in December of 2015. She started her post-PhD career in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences in January of 2016 as a Postdoctoral Associate for the Family Nutrition Program before transitioning into a State Specialized Agent II in October of 2016. Her appointment is 90% extension and 10% research. Dr. Owens is Program Coordinator of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). 

As an Extension professional, she provides leadership and manage the day-to-day operations of the statewide EFNEP program and supervises state EFNEP staff. In conjunction with the EFNEP PI, she creates an annual budget, five-year plan, and monitors the expenses. She determines the needs of county programs and implements changes or additions within allowable guidelines and budgetary restraints. She identifies gaps in curricula and adapts appropriate materials to support nutrition education efforts at the county level. She conducts program evaluation and programmatic reporting. She encourages expansion of innovative policy, systems, and environmental change strategies for EFNEP county faculty throughout Florida. 

As a researcher, her focus is on families, health, food and nutrition, social inequalities, and program evaluation. First, she works with her USDA NIFA NC2169 Multi-State Research Group titled “EFNEP Related Research, Program Evaluation and Outreach.” This research focuses on the outcomes and impacts of EFNEP, a nutrition education program for low-income parents and youth. She also conducts research on the impact of participating in federal nutrition assistance programs broadly. Finally, she researches access to healthy food. For instance, she has been a part of a team developing healthy corner store interventions for low-income communities with limited access to healthy foods.   

All of her extension and research efforts contribute to the UF/IFAS Extension Initiative 5 Priority Work Group 3: Nutrition and Food Systems. 

Dr. Owens is married to Ryan, an Associate Professor and Program Director of Counseling Psychology at UF. They have two adorable cats. Outside of work, she enjoys bicycle riding, practicing yoga, and going to the beach.