Robert S. Gold

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Robert S. Gold is a researcher in the application of computer technology to health education and health promotion. His publications include: more than seventy research and evaluation articles; dozens of pieces of software for organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Department of Defense; commercially published software including HealthQuest and ABLEDATA; and several textbooks. Gold is Professor of Health Education and Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park.

He earned an Associate of Science from Orange County Community College in 1967, followed by a B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at Brockport in 1969. He earned his M.S. in health education at the same school two years later. Gold earned a PhD in health education from the University of Oregon in 1976, and a DrPH with a specialization in community health practice from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston in 1980.

He was an instructor in SUNY Brockport’s Department of Health Science (1970–1974) before earning his PhD and returned there as Assistant Professor from 1976 through 1978 after completing the degree. While working on his second doctorate, he served as an evaluator for the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. He next joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) in 1980 as Associate Professor of Health Education.

He received a leave of absence from SIUC in 1984 to serve as Director of the School Health Initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park as Professor of Health Education. From 1988 through 1989, he joined the World Health Organization where he was invited to help re-establish WHO's Division of Health Education/Health Promotion. In 1990, he began dividing his time between the University of Maryland and Macro International where he became Vice President and director of public health research in 1994.

In 1999, he returned to a full-time faculty position at the University of Maryland and became Chair of UMD's Department of Public and Community Health. Since July 2002, Gold has been Dean of the School of Public Health (College of Health and Human Performance prior to 2005) at the University of Maryland at College Park. He is also the director of the Public Health Informatics Lab at UMD, a research and evaluation lab that heavily emphasizes multimedia-based training and educational applications.

Gold works in the application of advanced technologies to health education, ranging from interactive video and computer software, to knowledge management, decision support, and expert systems technology. During his years at SUNY Brockport he partnered with David F. Duncan in offering a course on computers in health education. In 1980, Gold and Duncan published two papers on the use of computers in health education. The second of these explored the potential of personal computers. Several years later, at Southern Illinois University, Gold and Duncan taught the first course on PC-based health education. During his tenure at SIUC he spent several summers at the University of Cologne where he collaborated with Klaus Klein in developing applications of computers in health education. Beginning in 1983, Gold wrote a regular column in the Journal of Health Education entitled Computing Health.


  • Gold, R.S., & Duncan, D.F. (1980). Computers and health education. Journal of School Health, 50, 503-505.
  • Gold, R.S., & Duncan, D.F. (1980). Potential uses of microprocessors for home health education. Health Values, 4 (2), 69-70.
  • McDermott, R. J. (1999), Inside the Academy: Profiles Robert S. Gold, DrPH, PhD. American Journal of Health Behavior, 23, 5-8.
  • Schmoyer, M., Weiler, R.M., McDermott, R.J. (2003). A Profile and Annotated Bibliography of Selected Scholarly Works of Robert S. Gold, PhD, DrPH. The International Electronic Journal of Health Education (, 6:25-33.

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