Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN

Associate Professor of Health Systems Science

Dr. Shannon Zenk is an associate professor in the Department of Health Systems Science of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and a Fellow at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy, where she has collaborated on scientific teams since 2004. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).

Her research interests center on social determinants of health and health disparities, particularly neighborhood environments. Urban food environments are a major focus of her research. She is involved in community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships in Detroit and Chicago.

Dr. Zenk earned her doctorate in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where her predoctoral training was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her doctoral dissertation focused on neighborhood racial composition, poverty, and food access in metropolitan Detroit using geographic information systems and spatial analysis. She completed postdoctoral training in IHRP's Cancer Education and Career Development Program, funded by the National Cancer Institute, in 2006.

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

See a more detailed list of articles by Dr. Shannon Zenk, with links to full-text articles, on this PubMed list.

Springfield S, Buscemi J, Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Zenk SN, Schiffer L, Sampson J, Jones Q, Murdock T, Davis I, Holland L, Watkins A, Odoms-Young A. A randomized pilot study of a community-based weight loss intervention for African-American women: Rationale and study design of Doing Me! Sisters Standing Together for a Healthy Mind and Body. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Jul;43:200-8. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Isgor Z, Rimkus L, Barker DC, Chaloupka FJ. Prepared food availability in U.S. food stores: a national study. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Dec;115(12):1975-1985. [See abstract.]

Johnson-Lawrence V, Schulz AJ, Zenk SN, Israel BA, Wineman J, Marans RW, Rowe Z. Joint associations of residential density and neighborhood involvement With physical activity among a multiethnic sample of urban adults. Health Educ Behav. 2015 Aug;42(4):510-517. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Odoms-Young AM, Krauss R, Fitzgibbon ML, Block D, Campbell RT. Impact of the revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package policy on fruit and vegetable prices. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Feb;114(2):288-96. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Rimkus L, Isgor Z, Barker DC, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Chaloupka F. Relative and absolute availability of healthier food and beverage alternatives across communities in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2014 Nov;104(11):2170-2178. [See abstract.]

Rimkus L, Powell LM, Zenk SN, Han E, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Pugach O, Barker DC, Resnick EA, Quinn CM, Myllyluoma J, Chaloupka FJ. Development and reliability testing of a food store observation form. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2013 Nov-Dec;45(6):540-8.] [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Israel BA, Mentz G, Miranda PY, Opperman A, Odoms-Young AM. Food shopping behaviours and exposure to discrimination. Public Health Nutr. 2014 May;17(5):1167-76. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Odoms-Young A, Powell LM, Campbell RT, Block D, Chavez N, et al. Fruit and vegetable availability and selection: federal food package revisions, 2009. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Oct;43(4):423-8. [See abstract.]

Gittelsohn J, Laska MN, Andreyeva T, Foster G, Rose D, Tester J, Lee SH, Zenk SN, Odoms-Young A, McCoy T, Ayala GX. Small retailer perspectives of the 2009 women, infants and children program food package changes. Am J Health Behav. 2012 Sep;36(5):655-65.

Izumi BT, Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Mentz GB, Sand SL, de Majo RF, Wilson C, Odoms-Young A. Inter-rater reliability of the Food Environment Audit for Diverse Neighborhoods (FEAD-N). J Urban Health. 2012 Jun;89(3):486-99. [See abstract.]

Ayala GX, Laska MN, Zenk SN, Tester J, Rose D, Odoms-Young A, McCoy T, Gittelsohn J, Foster GD, Andreyeva T.  Stocking characteristics and perceived increases in sales among small food store managers/owners associated with the introduction of new food products approved by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Public Health Nutr. 2012 Sep;15(9):1771-9.

Han E, Powell LM, Zenk SN, Rimkus L, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Chaloupka FJ. Classification bias in commercial business lists for retail food stores in the U.S. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012 Apr 18;9(1):46. [See abstract.]

Chaix B, Bean K, Daniel M, Zenk SN, Kestens Y, Charreire H, Leal C, Thomas F, Karusisi N, Weber C, Oppert JM, Simon C, Merlo J, Pannier B. Associations of supermarket characteristics with weight status and body fat: a multilevel analysis of individuals within supermarkets (record study). PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e32908. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Odoms-Young AM, Wilbur J, Matthews S, Gamboa C, et al. Feasibility of using global positioning systems (GPS) with diverse urban adults: before and after data on perceived acceptability, barriers, and ease of use. J Phys Act Health. 2012 Sep;9(7):924-34. [See abstract.]

Powell LM, Han E, Zenk SN, Khan T, Quinn CM, Gibbs KP, et al. Field validation of secondary commercial data sources on the retail food outlet environment in the U.S. Health Place. 2011 Sep;17(5):1122-31. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Matthews SA, Odoms-Young A, Wilbur J, Wegrzyn L, et al. Activity space environment and dietary and physical activity behaviors: A pilot study. Health Place. 2011 Sep;17(5):1150-61. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Odoms-Young AM, Dallas C, Hardy E, Watkins A, Hoskins-Wroten J, et al. "You have to hunt for the fruits, the vegetables": Environmental barriers and adaptive strategies to acquire food in a low-income African American neighborhood. Health Educ Behav. 2011 Jun;38(3):282-92. [See abstract.]

Grigsby-Toussaint DS, Zenk SN, Odoms-Young A, Ruggiero L, Moise I. Availability of commonly consumed and culturally specific fruits and vegetables in African-american and Latino neighborhoods. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 May;110(5):746-52. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Grigsby-Toussaint DS, Curry SJ, Berbaum M, Schneider L. Short-term temporal stability in observed retail food characteristics. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2010 Jan-Feb;42(1)L26-32. [See abstract.]

Wilbur J, Zenk S, Wang E, Oh A, McDevitt J, Block D, McNeil S, Ju S. Neighborhood characteristics, adherence to walking, and depressive symptoms in midlife African American women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Aug;18(8):1201-10. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Lachance LL, Schulz AJ, Mentz G, Kannan S, Ridella W. Neighborhood retail food environment and fruit and vegetable intake in a multiethnic urban population. Am J Health Promot. 2009 Mar-Apr;23(4):255-64. [See abstract.]

Tarlov E, Zenk SN, Campbell RT, Warnecke RB, Block R. Characteristics of mammography facility locations and stage of breast cancer at diagnosis in Chicago. J Urban Health. 2009 Mar;86(2):196-213. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Wilbur J, Wang E, McDevitt J, Oh A, Block R, et al. Neighborhood environment and adherence to a walking intervention in African American women. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Feb;36(1):167-81. [See abstract.]

Schulz AJ, Zenk SN, Israel BA, Mentz G, Stokes C, Galea S. Do neighborhood economic characteristics, racial composition, and residential stability predict perceptions of stress associated with the physical and social environment? Findings from a multilevel analysis in Detroit. J Urban Health. 2008 Sep;85(5):642-61.

Zenk SN, Powell LM. US secondary schools and food outlets. Health Place. 2008 Jun;14(2):336-46.

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Mentz G, House JS, Gravlee CC, Miranda PY, Miller P, Kannan S. Inter-rater and test-retest reliability: methods and results for the neighborhood observational checklist. Health Place. 2007 Jun;13(2):452-65.

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Israel BA, James SA, Bao S, Wilson ML. Fruit and vegetable access differs by community racial composition and socioeconomic position in Detroit, Michigan. Ethn Dis. 2006 Winter;16(1):275-80.

Wilbur J, McDevitt J, Wang E, Dancy B, Briller J, Ingram D, Nicola T, Lee H, Zenk SN. Recruitment of African American women to a walking program: eligibility, ineligibility, and attrition during screening. Res Nurs Health. 2006 Jun;29(3):176-89.

Israel BA, Schulz AJ, Estrada-Martinez L, Zenk SN, Viruell-Fuentes E, Villarruel AM, Stokes C. Engaging urban residents in assessing neighborhood environments and their implications for health. J Urban Health. 2006 May;83(3):523-39.

Zenk SN, Tarlov E, Sun J. Spatial equity in facilities providing low- or no-fee screening mammography in Chicago neighborhoods. J Urban Health. 2006 Mar;83(2):195-210.

Honors and Awards

IHRP Fellow
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar