Sharon Brown

Professor of Health and Exercise Science; Program Director

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.

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.

Academic History

Ph.D., M.S., University of South Carolina, 1994
B.S., Eastern Illinois University, 1984


Monroe Moosnick Memorial Award for teaching, lifelong learning, and service to students, Transylvania University, 2014.
CIEE Faculty Development Seminar, Italy: Sociocultural Significance of Food in Italy and the Mediterranean, Summer, 2014.
Jones Faculty Development Grant for travel to present at the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity at the University of Ghent, Belgium, Spring 2013.
Jones Faculty Development Grant for study of slow food movement and schools in northern Italy, Summer 2012.
Kenan Faculty/Student Research Grant for study of slow food school lunches and U.S. comparisons, Summer 2012.
Jones Faculty Development Grant for CIEE Faculty Development Seminar, Kenya and Tanzania, Africa, Summer 2011.
Kenan Faculty Sabbatical Research Grant for study of the New Nordic Diet and Danish school lunch program in childhood obesity prevention, Spring 2011.
Bingham Teaching Fellow for Excellence in Teaching, Transylvania University, 2004 to present.
Bingham Award for Excellence in Teaching, Transylvania University, Winter 2000.

Recent Publications

Brown, S.C.(2014). Uncommon wealth: Coach’s life part of women’s health movement (Op-ed). Lexington Herald-Leader, February 17, 2014.

Professional Memberships

International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Courses Taught at Transy

Senior Seminar
Kinesiology and Biomechanics
Nutrition and Energy Balance
Special Topics: Women’s Health
Special Topics: It’s All About the Bike: Public Health and Sustainability
Transy’s Tour de France: Royalty, Revolt, and the Culture of Provence (travel course)
Lifetime Fitness and Wellness

Areas of Specialization

Childhood obesity prevention
Nutrition and energy balance
Cycling and sustainability
Exercise and wellness