Taking Dr. Oden’s course on stress and women,(Out of the Woods) was informative and applicable. She walked us through foundational life-changing tips that were easy to incorporate, practical in their use, and relational for us women. Dr. Oden was able to tie in health and wellness, strength and rest. We learned how to increase skills in the area of our personal needs and to celebrate our own healing. The work done helped participants incorporate wholeness. This class shows you how to appreciate our unique ability to move into that place and feel restored. I highly recommend you attend; you will be blessed.

Melisa Majnarich


Dr. Oden was my professor for two courses in my Master of Public Health curriculum. Dr. Oden was exceptionally good at making challenging topics relatable and finding inventive ways to teach the course material. I also had the pleasure of seeing her active in capacities outside the classroom, and her willingness to jump on board and invest in projects to improve the world was contagious! I can say with full confidence that she will go above and beyond to ensure that her clients are satisfied. Dr. Oden is a well-rounded public health professional and an exceptional individual.

Kimberly Morris

MPH, CPH, CHES®, CPhT, Former MPH Student

Dr. Melissa Oden is such a positive influence and has an amazing ability to connect with her audience, keeping them engaged & interested. She has a wealth of knowledge and shares it openly to help improve the lives of those that are blessed enough to hear her speak.

Jan Archer

Owner, The Sitter of Pawz, LLC

Dr. Oden has the special gift of engaging everyone in the room when she is teaching. She uses unique methods that always involve her class or audience’s participation. I’ve never had a professor who was able to bring together such a diverse group of students and guide them to reach their goals and beyond!

Laura Mayfield


Dr. Oden is not only a dynamic, energetic, articulate presenter, she engages her audience as she creates an atmosphere that nurtures growth and positivity. Dr. Oden is in tune with her audience and ensures that they leave knowing more than they did when they came. Amazingly, Dr. Oden is able to use multiple forms of teaching styles and techniques to match the learning skills of the students she teaches. The high energy levels and true commitment to teaching combined help create a learning environment that produces results.

Christine Boyle


I have known Dr. Oden as an academic peer in her role as a faculty member at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and as a fellow past-president of the Texas Public Health Association. Her performance in both capacities has been nothing short of exemplary. As an academic colleague, Dr. Oden was an innovative, thoughtful and dedicated teacher who created an engaging and interactive learning environment that optimized learning opportunities for her students. Testimony to her teaching prowess was evidenced by her being presented the Outstanding Faculty Member in Research with Student Involvement Award for her collaborative work on the Planners4Health grant, a community-based project that integrated student participation in developing positive health outcome strategies. She easily created rapport with her students and was consistently called upon to participate in a number of student organizations and student-based activities. Dr. Oden’s engaging and energetic work ethic was also evident in her role as President of the Texas Public Health Association (2016-2017). She used a number of innovative tactics to engage the membership, including a Monthly Membership video to discuss current events, recognize outstanding work, and motivate member participation, which reached unprecedented levels during her presidency. Her passion for public health and the welfare of the community inspired participation and partnerships with disciplines and organizations that had not been traditionally integrated into the association’s initiatives. Following the tragic shooting of 5 Dallas Police Officers in July of 2016, she created an ad hoc committee to explore the dynamics of societal violence from a public health perspective. The final report was eventually shared with law enforcement entities throughout the state. Dr. Oden’s many laudable accomplishments are a testament to her motivation, dedication, innovation, creativity and energy. She brings all these commendable traits to every project and, consequently, elevates the chances for success for all those involved. I simply cannot overstate my endorsement of her potential.

Dr. Witold Migala

Colleague and Texas Public Health Association Past President

When I met Dr. Oden I immediately thought about how fun she is! Then as my professor she would present herself in an extremely professional way, showing her true love for her students, along with how she supported and nurtured me along my journey to achieve my MSW. She showed me a different side of social work and for that I am grateful and more well-rounded in my professional life as a MSW.

Christa Selby


Dr Melissa Oden is a true TPHA leader!   She became a student member in 2003 and within a few years was an elected member of our Governing Council followed by appointment to Executive Board.  In 2016 Dr. Oden became President of TPHA and chaired our Annual Education Conference in Fort Worth, Texas in 2017. She led the effort to form the student section and continues to inspire and mentor our student members today.  Dr. Oden leads with confidence, honesty and integrity!

Terri Pali

Executive Director, Texas Public Health Association

Dr. Melissa Oden is definitely a leader in her field. Social work is defined as a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. I can truly tell that she’s walking in her calling effortlessly. Her students absolutely adore her. I was introduced to her by one of her students, my sister. I find Melissa has this amazing ability to empower others, and she’s always willing to help. I would recommend her to assist anyone on any project where her expertise is needed.

Sandra Walters


I have had the honor and privilege of working with Dr. Melissa Oden for the past 15 years on a number of projects. She is a highly energetic and dedicated individual who pours her heart and soul into any project she is involved with, whether it be research oriented, teaching or leading non-profit state professional organizations. She is a rare gem among a cluster of precious stones.

Dr. Robert Galvan

Former Professor & Texas Public Health Association Past President

Real topics, real depth, real insight… this describes the work of Dr. Melissa Oden.  I have known Dr. Oden for a number of years and consider her an outstanding health educator, social worker, public health professional and mentor.  She is compassionate but will not shy away from the truth or the facts.  You don’t want to miss out on her offerings.

Lisette K. Osborne

RN/BC, MSN, CHEP, Colleague and President-Elect, Texas Public Health Association

Stay in Touch!

Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter: