Dr. Sharon Ross is an Associate Professor of Health and Human Development and director of the Latino Family Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. She holds a dual appointment as assistant professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences in the Graduate School of Public Health. Prior to her time at Pitt, Dr. Ross was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Children’s Physical Activity Research Group in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She completed her PhD in Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University.
She has published in peer-reviewed journals including BMC Public Health, the Journal of Nutrition, Education, and Behavior, and Health Promotion Practice. Dr. Ross has served as an ad hoc reviewer for nearly 25 academic journals, including the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Pediatrics, Childhood Obesity, and the International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health.
As primary or co-investigator, Dr. Ross’s research has received nearly $4 million in grant funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Brady Foundation. She is a member of professional organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Public Health Association. She is a Fellow with the American College of Sports Medicine and serves as a member on ACSM’s Strategic Health Initiative for Health Equity committee.
Dr. Ross teaches several courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, including topics related to the social determinants of health and health equity and health promotion program design, implementation and evaluation, and research methods. Her teaching is informed by her community-engaged research and commitment to equity and justice in health and human development.
Social Justice & Diversity
Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities
Evidence-based Lifestyle Program Design and Evaluation
Health Promotion Policy and Program Implementation
Physical activity promotion and obesity prevention in children and adolescents
Sociocultural influences on health behaviors in Latinx children of immigrants
Family- and community-based interventions to prevent obesity in Latinx children
Community-based participatory research, mixed-methods research
Huerta, C., Gutschow, B., Banales, J., Boyzo, H., Jenkins, V., Documet, P.I., Taverno Ross, S.E., Goodkind, S., Ragavan, M. Developing a youth participatory action research program for Latine youth in an emerging community. Health Promot Pract. (Accepted)
Taverno Ross SE, Dowda M, Saunders RP, Pate RR. Longitudinal changes in domains of physical activity during the transition from elementary school to high school in the U.S. J Sci Med Sport. 2023 Apr 28:S1440-2440(23)00073-7.
Nocera, VG, Taverno Ross SE, Hasson RE. Equality vs. equity-based approaches to promoting health and fitness in diverse populations. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. Dec 2022;26(1):5-9.
Taverno Ross SE, *Liang HW, *Cheng J, Fox AF, Documét PI. Effectiveness of a promotores network to improve health behaviors and outcomes in members of an emerging Latino community. Health Educ Behav. 2022 Apr 26:10901981221090161.
Bantham A, Taverno Ross SE, Sebastião E, Hall G. Overcoming barriers to physical activity in underserved populations. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2021 Jan-Feb;64:64-71.
Taverno Ross SE, Smith Tapia I, Saunders RP, Documet PI, Pate RR. Implementation Monitoring of a Promotora-Led, Home-Based Obesity Prevention Pilot Study With Latino Preschool Children and Their Mothers. Int Q Community Health Educ. 2021;41(4):411-418.
Documet PI, Louth W, Smith-Tapia I, Jaime MC, Miller E, Taverno Ross SE. Pedagogic Tailoring of a Human Research Ethics Training for Community-Engaged Research With Latinos. Health Promot Pract. 2020; doi:10.1177/1524839920954122
Taverno Ross, S.E., Macia, L., Documet, P.I., Sanchez, I., Escribano, C. Mirzakazemi, T. Latino parents’ perceptions of physical activity and healthy eating: at the intersection of culture, family, and health. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2018 Nov-Dec;50(10):968-976.
Taverno Ross, S.E. Interventions to promote physical activity in Latino preschool children: A scoping review. Kines Rev. 2018 May;7(2):151-162.
Taverno Ross, S.E., Documet, P.I., Pate, R.R., Saunders, R.P., McIver, K.L., Barone Gibbs, B. ANDALE Pittsburgh: results of a promotora-led, home-based intervention to promote a healthy weight in Latino preschool children. BMC Public Health. 2018 Mar 16;18(1):360.
Co-Investigator & Pittsburgh site PI, “Sedentary behavior, physical activity, 24-hour behavior in pregnancy and offspring health: the Pregnancy 24/7 Offspring study”; NIH/NHLBI 1R01HL164662-01A1. ($3,513,500)
Co-Investigator, “Improving Literacy and Diet in Latino Preschoolers through Family Food Routines and Peer Support”; The Brady Foundation. ($178,968)
Principal Investigator, “The Healthy Communities, Services, and Lifestyles (HCSL) Project: Stage 2”; School of Education, University of Pittsburgh. ($49,764)
Co-Investigator, “Race, Class, and Context: Exploring Intersectional Influences on Child and Adolescent Health”;(School of Education/Learning Research Development Center, University of Pittsburgh. ($150,000)
Co-Investigator, “Using PhotoVoice to explore environmental sustainability among Latinos in an emerging community”; Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, University of Pittsburgh. ($7,860)
Primary Investigator, “Testing the Feasibility and Acceptability of the Physical Activity Portion of a Promotora-led, Home-based Lifestyle Intervention in Latino Children of Immigrants”; Healthy Lifestyle Institute, University of Pittsburgh. ($20,000)
Primary Investigator, “Effectiveness of a promotores network to improve health behaviors and outcomes in members of an Emerging Latino community”; DHHS/CMS. ($215,000)
Primary Investigator, “A Promotora-mediated, Family-based Intervention to Prevent Obesity in Latino Preschool Children”; NIH/NHLBI. ($250,000)
Awards and Honors:
- Dean’s Scholar of Health, Wellness, and Engagement, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh (2023-2024)
- Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (2022)
- Faculty Fellow, Extended Diversity Experience, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh (2019-2020)
Member, Strategic Health Initiative for Health Equity Committee, American College of Sports Medicine.
Member, Recess Advocacy Team, Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, Pittsburgh, PA.
Member, Let’s Move Pittsburgh Executive Committee, Pittsburgh, PA.
Member, Community Research Advisory Board (CRAB), Center for Health Equity, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
Core Faculty Member, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.