“There’s a wide application of exercise science to many allied health professions. Graduates go on to study physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, public health, and nutritional sciences.”
Sharon Brown likes to involve students in her research, which has taken place all over the world and focuses on the Mediterranean diet, the Slow Food movement, and childhood obesity prevention.
For example, she and a student received Jones/Kenan research grants from Transylvania and traveled to Northern Italy to study the Slow Food movement. They visited school gardens, observed school lunches, and met with students, teachers, and administrators to learn how the local food culture is integrated into the way Italians experience and value food and health. They also met with leaders from Slow Food and learned about the impact the organization is having around the world in making food more healthy and sustainable.
“The Italian children were proud to show us their gardens, give us bouquets of herbs, share the food they had produced when we joined them for lunch, and teach us how they integrated what they learned from their gardens into their classrooms.”
That type of experience, along with the liberal arts foundation that all Transylvania students gain, provides excellent preparation for exercise science majors who choose to go on to graduate and professional schools.
"Most exercise science majors enter the allied health professions, and because our U.S. population is becoming ever more diverse, it's important for our students to have a background in cultural anthropology, world history, and a second language," says Brown. "They'll work to heal the whole person, so courses in psychology, sociology, religion, and philosophy are important, too. Our students develop a high degree of academic maturity."
When Brown isn't teaching, you'll likely find her biking, running, cross-country skiing, cooking, or traveling.