Joseph Sharkey, PhD, MPH

Joseph Sharkey, PhD, MPH


Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences
212 Adriance Lab Rd.
1266 TAMU
College Station, TX   77843-1266

Phone: 979.436.9374

Research Interests

  • Improving nutritional, physical, and emotional health across the life span among underserved populations and rural 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 
  • 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 
  • Improving the response of food systems in rural areas

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

Brief Bio

Joseph R. Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H. is a Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences at Texas A&M University School of Public Health in College Station, Texas; Affiliate Professor, Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington School of Public Health; and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at Washington State University. He received his Master of Public Health  (M.P.H.) and Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees from the Department of Nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health. Dr. Sharkey continues to lead research and outreach-funded efforts to develop innovative solutions to improve access and utilization of healthy foods by low-income and vulnerable children, adults, and seniors in rural and underserved areas. His current work focuses in two geographic areas: 1) developing and implementing a father-focused, family-centered program to improve nutrition and increase physical activity among the growing Mexican American and Mexican immigrant population along the United States border with Mexico; and 2) developing and implementing a parent-child program in rural Washington State that integrates experiential nutrition education and skill building with access to fresh produce from local, small scale farmers. Dr. Sharkey has been actively engaged in community-based research and outreach-engagement in Hidalgo County since 2007. Dr. Sharkey actively works with promotoras de salud (community health workers) and three community coalitions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and two coalitions (Peninsula Food Coalition and Olympic Peninsula Healthy Community Coalition) and the Sequim (WA) Food Bank in rural Washington. In addition to this work, Dr. Sharkey is involved in community collaborations to improve population health. Dr. Sharkey serves on the Advisory Council for Olympic Area Agency on Aging, the Washington State Council on Aging, and Leadership Team of the Olympic Peninsula Healthy Community Coalition. His work has been supported by the USDA, AARP Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Institutes of Health. Among his honors and awards are the 2011 Hispanic Heritage Amigo Award from the Hispanic Presidents’ Council at Texas A&M University, for significant contributions to the Latino community; 2016 Excellence in Faculty Leadership Award from the Hispanic/Latino Graduate Student Association, for his work and support of the Hispanic/Latino Community; and designated as Research Fellow with the Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University. He has published more than 125 peer-reviewed articles.