Shannon Sweeney

Shannon Sweeney

 

Dissertation Topic/Title: Active Travel Safety: Built and Social Environment Perceptions of Students and Parents

 

Dissertation Advisor: Joel Cantor, Sc.D.

 

Previous Degrees: M.P.H. The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Dartmouth College, 2009; B.A. Colgate University 2007, Geography and Geology

 

Contact Information

E-mail: smsween@rutgers.edu

 

Research Interest

Broadly, I’m interested in how the built environment influences health and physical activity, particularly in children. My dissertation examines how perceptions of the built and social environment impact active travel using two separate, but complimentary studies. One study of over 750 New Jersey middle school students utilizes a visual survey, discrete choice modeling, and qualitative in-class discussions to better understand students’ perceptions of safety and the built environment. Furthermore, the data collection was planned around classroom lessons to benefit students. Thus, the in-class sessions was seen as a learning opportunity where students engaged in critical thinking. The second study utilizes in depth one-on-one interviews with both parents and students from three New Jersey communities to examine parent and student perceptions on active travel to and from school and the similarities and differences between their perceptions. These studies help to better understand students' active travel preferences and perceptions and create practical steps to promote active travel policies and programs.

 

As a research assistant at Voorhees Transportation Center, I have also been involved with other Safe Routes to School grants, projects, and activities.

 

Teaching and TA Experience:

  • Critical Issues in Health & Healthcare, Graduate students, The Dartmouth Institute, Summer 2009
  • Inferential Methods and Systematic Review, Graduate students, The Dartmouth Institute Summer, 2009-Fall 2009
  • Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate students, The Dartmouth Institute, Fall 2009
  • Strategic and Financial Management of Healthcare, Graduate students, The Dartmouth Institute, Winter 2010
  • Principles of Public Health, Undergraduates, Rutgers University, Fall 2010-Fall 2012 (TA then Instructor)
  • Epidemiology, Undergraduates, Rutgers University, Spring 2013-present (TA then Instructor)