Rebecca Busanich

Rebecca BusanichRebecca Busanich
Assistant Professor of Applied Health Fitness
Associate Director of Center for Active Living & Healthy Communities

Phone: (603) 535-2043


Rebecca Busanich is a researcher in the field of exercise and health psychology. In addition to her role as associate director of the Center for Active Living & Healthy Communities, Dr. Busanich teaches courses in nutrition and exercise and sport psychology for the department of Health & Human Performance.

Degrees and Education
  • PhD, University of Iowa
  • MS, University of Oregon
  • BS, University of Michigan
Research Interests

Dr. 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, Dr. 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.

Recent Publications
  • Busanich, R. (2012, October). Express Your (Wo)manhood: The Use of Visual Methods to Explore Gendered Narratives around the Body, Food and Exercise in Distance Runners. In K. R. McGannon (Chair), Exploring Gender and Diversity through Cultural Sport Psychology and Diverse Methodological Approaches: Three Research Examples. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Association of Applied Sport Psychology, Atlanta, GA.
  • Busanich, R., McGannon, K. R., & Schinke, R. J. (2012). Expanding understandings of the body, food & exercise relationship in distance runners: A narrative approach. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 582-590.
  • Busanich, R. & McGannon, K.R. (2010). Deconstructing disordered eating: A feminist psychological approach to the body, food and exercise relationship in female athletes. Quest, 62, 385-405.
  • McGannon, K.R. & Busanich, R. (2010). Rethinking subjectivity in sport and exercise psychology: A feminist post-structuralist perspective on women’s embodied physical activity. In T. Ryba, R.J. Schinke & G. Tenenbaum (Eds.) The Cultural Turn in Sport Psychology (pp. 203-229). Morgantown, West Virginia: Fitness Information Technology.
  • McGannon, K.R. & Busanich, R. (2010). Enough about you, let’s talk about me: Using grounded theory to understand identity as a socio-cultural influence on rural women’s physical activity participation. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 32, S17.
  • McGannon, K.R., Blanchard, C.M., Busanich, R., McDonnell, L., & Reid, B., Rhodes, R.E., Spence, J.C., Morin, L. & Edwards, N. (2009). Understanding gender differences in physical activity participation during home-based cardiac rehabilitation: A grounded theory approach. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37, S84.
  • Verkerke (now Busanich), R.L. (April 2006). Athletic Trainers’ Confidence in Identifying and Effectively Managing Disordered Eating in Female Athletes Following an Educational Seminar. Kinesiology Abstracts Bulletin, 18(2).
Awards and Distinctions
  • National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health (NSPAPH) & Center for Disease Control (CDC) Physical Activity and Public Health Research Fellow, 2011
  • Vagina Warrior nominee, Plymouth State University, 2012
  • Margaret O. Osborn Memorial Scholarship, University of Iowa, 2009-2011
  • Graduate College Summer Fellowship, University of Iowa, Summer 2010
  • M. Gladys Scott Scholarship, University of Iowa, 2008-2009
  • Bell Scholarship, University of Iowa, 2007-2008, 2009-2010, 2010-2011
  • Michigan Higher Assistance Authority Competitive Scholarship, 1999-2002
  • University of Michigan Dean’s List/University Honors, 1999-2003
  • University of Michigan Shipman Scholarship, 1999-2003
  • Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award, University of Michigan, 2001-2003
  • Phoebe Martha Scott Award runner-up, University of Michigan, 2002
  • James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan, 2001-2003
Associations, Boards, and Committees
  • NATABOC certified athletic trainer (A.T.C.), 2003-present
  • Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), member, 2006-present
  • National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health (NSPAPPH), member, 2011-present
  • International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), member, 2011-present
  • USNH WELPAC Committee, member, 2011-present
  • Eco-Learning Gardens, member, 2012-present
  • Lower Grafton Community Council for Very Young Children & Their Families, member, 2012-present
Courses Taught
  • HE 3220 Applied Nutrition
  • PE 4010 Psychosocial Theories of Physical Activity
  • AT 5875 Applied Nutrition
  • HP 5200 Nutrition

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