Sharon Akabas, PhD

Q: What is your profession? Where do you work?

A: My profession is professor and nutrition scientist. I am the Director of the MS Program in Nutrition at the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University.

Q: What do you do to stay healthy?

A: I stay healthy in large part because this has been modeled for me by my grandparents, parents and siblings. We have always been very active physically and this has led to great enjoyment because it was a way to have everyone included and growing and developing, it got us outdoors to enjoy nature and develop gratitude for beautiful and magnificent things in nature, and we appreciated exerting ourselves and becoming stronger in the process. My family, immediate and extended, also had a great appreciation for food. First of all having enough food was never taken for granted, preparation of food was a group effort (I am one of 8 children), and food represented joy and love.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Harlem?

A: Walking around and exploring.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I enjoy almost anything that involves being outdoors - no matter the elements. I enjoy being with my family and friends. I especially enjoy hiking, biking and swimming. I also like to read and have challenging conversations with people who are different from me. I hope that I will always be like my parents, now 92 and 87. Despite their many decades of life and experience, they are open to learning so they can deepen their understanding of others.