Deborah J. Aaron Ph.D.
Born: June 13, 1956 Brookville, Pa.
Died: Wednesday, April 23, 2008



Deborah Aaron, Ph.D. We are sad to say that one of the first developers of the Supercourse, Deb Aaron just recently died.  She was my student.  It is not right to have  to bury a former student.  Deb was brilliant.  She did many things. She set the stage for the Supercourse as she may have been the first person to put a PowerPoint lecture on the web. Also, she was so funny and nice. When Peter Bennett got a major Diabetes award she created a tribute to Peter on the web. This was at a time as she said that the only tributes on the web were for Elvis and NASCAR drivers.  After graduating she became a one of the major researchers in the area of physical activity and also lesbian health.  We all will miss her. She was a pure researcher, teacher and sage.  

                                                                                                                  Ronald E. LaPorte and Supercourse Team 

If you would like to pay tribute to Deb, pleases send a note to 

Deb’s Supercourse lecture entitled “Application of Internet to Epidemiology and Public Health” can be accessed at


From the family:

Deborah had an impressive academic career. She graduated from Brookville High School in 1978. She obtained a Bachelors of Science (BS) degree in Health and Physical Education at Slippery Rock State College in 1978..  That she followed with a Master of Science (MS) degree in Exercise Physiology at Slippery Rock University in 1985. She wanted to expand her expertise to the area of public health and completed a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991.  As her interest in research grew, she obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh in the Graduate School of Public Health in 1994. She culminated her training with a Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997.

Dr. Aaron was an Associate Professor of Health and Physical Activity in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.  In that capacity, she was an exceptional educator, mentor and researcher always dedicated to her discipline and her students.

Finally, she contributed on a global scale serving as a grant reviewer at the National institutes of Health, participating in numerous committees for professional societies, serving as a consultant, and lecturing at scientific meetings both in the U.S. and abroad.

Daughter of Ambrose R. Aaron and Joyce A. Marshall Aaron (mother survives in Brookville, Pa.)

Survived by sisters - Sue A. Aaron of Brookville, Pa.; Teresa Fitzgerald (husband - Bruce) of Summerville, Pa.; and Becky Park (husband - Dalton E. Jr.) of Summerville, Pa.


Sat. April 26, 2008   7-9 PM
Sun. April 27, 2008 2-4 and 7-9 PM
McKinney Funeral Home
345 Main Street
Brookville, PA 15825
Phone: (814) 849-7375

Monday, April 28, 2008  11:00 AM

St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church in Crates, Pa.

Burial at St. Nicholas Cemetery, Limestone Twp., Clarion Co., Pa.

In lieu of flowers, family suggest donations in memory of Deborah J Aaron, Ph.D. to:
(1)   Pittsburgh Cancer Center's fund providing assistance to patients and families:

     UPMC Cancer Centers Patient Assistance Fund
     Development Department
     UPMC Cancer Pavilion, Suite 1B
     5150 Centre Ave
     Pittsburgh, PA 15232

(2)   Support for graduate students in Health and Physical Education, University of Pittsburgh. Checks should be made payable to:  University of Pittsburgh.  Indicate that donation is in memory of Deborah J. Aaron, PhD

     Office of Development
     University of Pittsburgh
     School of Education
     5613 WWPH
     Pittsburgh, PA  15260


I am especially indebted to my research advisor, Dr. Deborah Aaron, for
her dedication to mentoring me during a challenging time in her life. She
had always challenged me to continually improve as a researcher, by having
such high standards for my work as a student which has enabled me to
develop a strong research base from which I will continue to grow. She has
been and always will be someone that I look up to with great respect and
admiration. I will always keep her memory close to my heart. With Love,  Jill

What a terribly sad happening. A tragic loss to the
epidemiology fraternity. It must be a very sad time for you and the team.
Our thoughts are with you all and Deb's family, Paul

I am sorry you have lost your
colleague, Deb, and that you gave us her lecture  today- and lots of ideas
over the years , and we know you will continue to do so! As ever, Liz

Concerning Deb Aaron, please accept my condolences for the loss of someone
who sounds like she was very special.
As teachers, our students become our surrogate family and progeny.  You
are right to note that it is not right to have to bury one's children. Ismail

I am stunned to learn that Deb Aaron has died, in the prime of her young
life.  Her already-important contributions have been cut short.  Our
condolences to her family and also to all those who will miss her as a
friend and a wise and wonderful colleague.  Eugene

I was fortunate to serve on Deb's doctoral committee: Measuring physical
activity in the Woodland Hills School district was challenging but Deb did
it! . It was absolutely great to see her grow and mature into an
absolutely wonderful researcher.. She was the epitome of the saying that
Epidemiology had to be fun.  Her passion was evident in all she did.  I am
very sad to learn of her death, Jane

Dr. Aaron, more fondly known by the GSR’s as “The Doc” will be truly missed.  Dr. Aaron took a personal interest in her students for which I will be eternally grateful.  She set a standard that I will continually aim to reach.  I am so grateful that I have been blessed to have had her in my life. Love you  always “Doc”.   –L. Denise Edmonds

I can still see you sitting next to me on the Trees Hall bench patiently
explaining why I had to use the Mann-Whitney test with some of my
dissertation data. You asked,  "Am I frustrating you?" No, Dr. Aaron (who
is probably now patiently explaining to God the importance of
statistically  correct measures to more accurately understand earthly
outcomes data)--you  did not frustrate me. Your visible illness simply had
me thinking what a  tremendous loss your death would be to students who
would not have the  opportunity to absorb the knowledge you were always so
eager to teach,  share, elaborate. Your smile with the hint of challenge,
the down-to-earth  discussion of an issue are missed already. Thank you
for everything, Dr.  Aaron. My deepest sympathy to your family and
friends, Irene

World is viewing Deb's lecture