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Sharon Brown

Professor of Exercise Science

Beck Center 3013
Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797

Phone: (859) 233-8205
e-mail Sharon Brown

“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, cross-country skiing, participating in triathlons, or traveling.


  • “Deconstructing School Food Culture in Copenhagen.” Presentation at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Austin, Texas (May 2012).

  • "The Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Travel Course on College Students' Physical Fitness." Presentation at the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport. Adelaide, Australia (October 2007).

  • "A Cultural Comparison of Physical Activity in 5th Grade Students: USA and France." Presentation at the International Conference on Physical Activity and Obesity in Children. Toronto, Canada (June 2007).

  • "A French School Lunch Program and Its American Counterpart: A Case Study." Presentation at the International Conference of Childhood Obesity and Nutrition Education. A Cultural Comparison U.S.A. and France. Challons, France (April 2006).

Want to know more about Transylvania's exercise science program?

Academic history

Areas of specialization

Courses taught

Recent publications


Professional memberships

Academic history

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

Areas of specialization

  • Childhood obesity
  • Nutrition and energy balance
  • Exercise and wellness

Courses taught

  • Senior Seminar
  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Nutrition and Energy Balance
  • Special Topics: Women's Health
  • Transy's Tour de France: Royalty, Revolt, and the Culture of Provence (travel course)
  • Lifetime Fitness

Recent publications

  • "The childhood obesity epidemic." Encyclopedia of Life Science. Ed. Katherine E. Cullen. New York: Facts on File. (2009)
  • "Kentuckians should follow principal's courageous lead on school nutrition." Lexington Herald-Leader. October 10, 2005.
  • "The importance of physical activity for children." Montessori Leadership. 1 (2), 4-6. (1999)


  • 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.

Professional memberships

  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education

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