Rebecca Busanich brings a strong qualitative research background and academic expertise to her role as Associate Director of Plymouth State University’s Center for Active Living and Healthy Communities.
As a young scholar who joined the university’s Health and Human Performance Department in the fall of 2011, Busanich already holds extensive practical and academic experience in the fields of sports medicine and exercise and health psychology.
After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports medicine from the University of Michigan and the University of Oregon respectively, Busanich went on to receive her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa, in the area of exercise psychology and health and physical activity promotion.
In line with the Center’s mission—to enhance active living, health and wellness of rural residents in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and North Country—Busanich’s research interests are in examining the socio-cultural determinants of health and physical activity and how these can be used to promote healthy and positive eating and physical activity experiences along with exercise adherence in underrepresented populations. In exploring these ideas, Busanich draws upon alternative (i.e., constructionist and critical) theories and social ecological frameworks, along with qualitative methodologies and innovative visual and creative methods, such as photography, journaling and visual narrative.
In addition to her role as a researcher, Busanich also teaches courses in nutrition, exercise psychology, sport psychology and health promotion for the Health and Human Performance Department. Her passion for the field is also demonstrated in her own active lifestyle, as a distance runner and yoga/pilates enthusiast.