- Improving nutritional, physical, and emotional health across the life span among underserved populations
- Community empowerment and engagement for improving population health
- Systems approach to improving population health in rural and underserved areas
- Developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally-responsive approaches to establish and maintain healthy lifestyles
- Program, Organizational, and Community Evaluation
- Mixed research methods, including qualitative (e.g., focus groups, in-depth interviews) and quantitative (e.g., survey design and web-based application) methods, study design, and analytical approaches.
- Community-based participatory research, education, and outreach
- Reducing the risk for food insecurity and hunger among children, adults, and seniors
Education and Training
BA in Political Science, University of Texas at Austin
BS in Nutritional Sciences, Texas A & M University
MPH in Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health
PhD in Nutrition Intervention and Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health
Dr. Sharkey currently serves as a Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences and Founding Director of the Program for Research and Outreach-Engagement on Nutrition and Health Disparities Solutions at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. Dr. Sharkey leads efforts to examine food insecurity – causes, consequences, and coping strategies – among children, adults, and seniors in functionally rural and underserved areas. His current work focuses on the growing Mexican American and Mexican immigrant population along the United States border with Mexico. Dr. Sharkey is currently Principal Investigator on a USDA NIFA award to improve nutritional and physical health among families of Mexican heritage who reside in underserved areas along the Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas borders with Mexico. In addition to this work, Dr. Sharkey maintains extensive community collaborations to improve population health. His community-based participatory and mixed-methods approaches to research, education and outreach have been supported by the AARP Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and USDA. His work has been recognized by the Hispanic Presidents’ Council and Hispanic /Latino Graduate Student Association at Texas A&M University for contributions and support of the Hispanic/Latino community. Dr. Sharkey serves on several national advisory boards and has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.