Sharon E. Ross
Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor
Department of Health and Human Development

Dr. Sharon Ross is an Assistant Professor of Health and Human Development and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences in the Graduate School of Public Health. She earned concurrent Bachelor of Science degrees in Spanish and Human Development and Family Studies and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from the Pennsylvania State University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ross has expertise in obesity prevention and physical activity promotion in children and families. Her research focuses primarily on promoting healthy lifestyles in Latinx children and their families through culturally-tailored, home- and community-based interventions. Much of this research employs community-based participatory methods and uses a peer support (community health workers aka promotores de salud) model. She teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level centering on health disparities and the social determinants of health, evidence-based program design and evaluation, and health program and policy implementation, with themes of equity and justice woven throughout.

Instructional Interests

  • Social Justice & Diversity
  • Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities
  • Evidence-based Lifestyle Program Design and Evaluation
  • Health Promotion Policy and Program Implementation

Scholarly Interests

  • 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

Selected Grants

  • 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)

  • Co-Investigator, “Disrespecting the Border: A Latinx Community-Based Mural in Pittsburgh”; Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh. ($5,000)

  • 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, “Development and Maintenance of Healthy Physical Activity Habits in Latino Children Following Immigration to the U.S.” Central Research Development Fund, University of Pittsburgh. ($16,000)

  • Primary Investigator, “A Promotora-mediated, Family-based Intervention to Prevent Obesity in Latino Preschool Children”; NIH/NHLBI. ($250,000)

Featured Publications

  • Sharma, N.P., Gibbs, B.B., Documet, P.I., Taverno Ross, S.E. Parental Limit Setting, Acculturation Proxies, and Screen Time in 6-11 year old Latino Children. Fam Community Health. (Accepted).

  • 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.

Awards and Honors

  • Faculty Fellow, Extended Diversity Experience, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh (2019-2020)

  • Participant, Mentoring Women to Fellowship Program, American College of Sports Medicine (2018 - 2019)

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

  • Member, Strategic Health Initiative for Health Equity Committee, American College of Sports Medicine. (2020-present)

  • Member, Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Pediatrics Committee, American College of Sports Medicine. (2019-present)

  • Member, Recess Advocacy Team, Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, (2018 – present)

  • Member, Plan for a Healthier Allegheny Chronic Disease Working Group, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, PA. (2018-present)

  • Member, Let’s Move Pittsburgh Executive Committee, Pittsburgh, PA. (2016-present)

  • Member, Community Research Advisory Board (CRAB), Center for Health Equity, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. (2015-present)

  • Core Faculty Member, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. (2014-present)
Sharon E. Ross


206 Oak Hill

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