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Sharon Shields

Associate Dean, Peabody Office of Professional and Graduate Education
Professor of the Practice and Associate Dean, Department of Human and Organizational Development

Short Biography

Professor Shields' career has focused on teaching, clinical research and practice in the area of exercise physiology, health promotion and disease prevention, community health, and university/community service-learning and civic engagement initiatives. She became a faculty member at Peabody College in 1976. She was Co-Founder (w/Craig Heim, MD) and Program Director of the Kim Dayani Human Performance Center (1982-1996)) at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. She served as the Interim Director of the State and Local Policy Center at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies (2000-2002) and as Assistant Provost for Academic Service-Learning (2002-2005). In the summer of 2005, she was a fellow at the National Poverty Center and in the Fall of 2005, was the recipient of a Fellowship from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She served as the Director of the Community Development and Action Master’s Degree Program in the Department of Human and Organizational Development (2005-2010) and as Faculty Head of House in the Commons. Currently, she serves as Associate Dean for Professional Education and a Professor in Peabody College.

Shields’ teaching has been focused on issues of health service delivery to diverse populations. She also teaches in the areas of social justice, diversity, gender equity, and underserved populations as it relates to health and physical activity issues. Her most recent scholarly work has been to conduct community development and action projects and initiatives related to physical activity, nutrition, health promotion and disease risk reduction, in both rural and urban settings. Recently, she served as the Educational Director of a PBS Emmy nominated web series for elementary aged children entitled “Fizzy’s Lunch Lab”. In Nashville, TN, she has served as an advisory board member for The Nashville Mobile Market, which brings fresh fruits and vegetables to food desert areas in our city. This initiative is a partnership between Vanderbilt University and the Nashville community. She is a Past President of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, past member of the Board of Governors for the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, a past member of the Tennessee’s Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health, and currently serves on the President’s Council on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health Science Board.

Media Mentions

The Tennessean: Recess time under review in Nashville schools