Samantha Coogan

Program Director, Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics
Senior Lecturer, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences
Expertise: Diet, Human nutrition, Food science, Lifecycle nutrition, Community nutrition, Food & ethnic issues


Samantha Coogan is a senior lecturer within the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, and serves as the Program Director for the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND).

Coogan teaches human nutrition, sports nutrition, nutrition, health and ethnic issues, nutrition assessment, and medical nutrition therapy (MNT) within the B.S. in Nutrition Sciences undergraduate program. She has also taught in the areas of food science, lifecycle nutrition, and community nutrition.

Coogan earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Sciences and Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from UNLV. She has been a registered dietitian nutritionist since 2014 (licensed in NV).

Coogan is a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is a past president of the Nevada Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NvAND), and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nevada Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors practice group.

In 2019, she won the Nevada Emerging Dietetic Leader of the Year Award, and was then featured in the Opening Session of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) 2019 for her role as program director and passion for creating confidence in her students to become future leaders of the profession.

Coogan was later the 2023 Nevada Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year (RYDY) recipient for her contributions to the Las Vegas community, leadership in education and career guidance, and participation in the dietetics profession at the state and national levels.

She is frequently called upon by national media including Healthline, Sports Illustrated, Women's Health Magazine, and Wallethub.


  • M.S., Exercise Physiology, UNLV
  • B.S., Nutrition Sciences, UNLV

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Samantha Coogan In The News

Woman's World
Let’s face it: Between busy schedules, tempting treats and the allure of convenience foods, sticking to a healthy diet can be a challenge. Thankfully, healthy eating hacks can help you reach your wellness goals without feeling deprived. We asked experts to break down what tricks actually work, plus how to effortlessly incorporate them into your daily life.
At their core, the best bathroom scales should provide an accurate reading of your current weight. However, some scales offer more than just this basic function, providing a range of health insights, such as tracking muscle gain or loss. If you’re interested in adding weight or body composition monitoring to your wellness routine, our top recommendation is the Renpho Smart Scale. Priced at under $30, it tracks more than a dozen body metrics to help users stay on track with their health and fitness goals.
Men's Journal
In practice, weight loss is challenging, but scientifically, it’s fairly simple. You consume fewer calories than you burn (also known as a calorie deficit), which causes you to lose pounds. However, experts and health organizations caution maintaining a healthy weight involves much more than tracking your calorie intake. Instead, effective weight loss involves a number of lifestyle changes including increased physical activity, better stress management, and of course, a healthier diet.
Sports Illustrated 
LMNT electrolyte packets were founded on the idea that we need more salt in our diets. We put LMNT to the test, and had it evaluated by a dietitian. Take a look.

Articles Featuring Samantha Coogan

Spring Flowers (Becca Schwartz)
Campus News | April 1, 2024

A roundup of the top news stories featuring UNLV students and faculty.

The Sphere on the Las Vegas Strip.
Campus News | October 2, 2023

A collection of news stories highlighting expert insights, research, and academic achievement.

Students at Pida Plaza on the first day of classes (Josh Hawkins, UNLV).
Campus News | September 1, 2023

A roundup of prominent news stories highlighting university pride, research, and community collaboration.

Graduation surprise
Campus News | August 1, 2023

News stories from the summer featuring UNLV students and faculty.