Having accrued more than 40 years of experience, Sharon L. Telleen, PhD is renowned across her chosen fields of education, public health and psychology. After nearly three decades at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she was honored with the title of research associate professor emerita in 2011 and has since focused on building healthy communities through volunteer services. Dr. Telleen joined the aforementioned institution in 1983 as a research associate, going on to serve in roles such as research assistant and associate professor in the School of Public Health, director of research and evaluation for the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, research associate professor at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and project coordinator for the vice provost for undergraduate studies, among others.
Dr. Telleen found inspiration to pursue her endeavors upon working with local community groups in Washington, D.C., which fueled her desire to find healthy outcomes for children. At the start of her professional journey, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from Augustana College in 1968 before matriculating at the University of Maryland, where she attained a Master of Education in 1969 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1976. Dr. Telleen remained at the University of Maryland to launch her career, as she taught as an instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Human Development between 1976 and 1981. She also served as an adjunct faculty member in contemporary survey of child development at National Louis University in 1983. Notably, Dr. Telleen became a licensed psychologist in the states of Maryland and Illinois in 1981 and 1982, respectively.
The recipient of numerous grants and honored in public health by Delta Omega, Dr. Telleen credits her vast success to her supportive family. To add to her accomplishments, in 2002, she co-authored the book “The Transition from Welfare to Work: Processes, Challenges, and Outcomes,” highlighting her experience with people with low incomes and no health insurance and the efforts to fill in gaps in the health care system, which ultimately led to the Affordable Care Act. Likewise, Dr. Telleen has authored more than 70 published works, numerous articles for professional journals, and a book chapter for the American Public Health Association. She has also been active as a reviewer for articles published by the Maternal and Child Health Journal and the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
To remain abreast of her industry, Dr. Telleen maintains membership with the Society for Community Research and Action, Society for Developmental Psychology, American Psychological Association, American Evaluation Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health, Association for Health Services Research and Society for Research in Child Development. In addition, she has served as a board member with the Chase Settlement House and the White House Conference on Families. Looking ahead, Dr. Telleen plans to continue to mentor, complete projects, and write. She is additionally working with several of her epidemiologist-peers as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.