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About Rebecca Busanich, PhD

Dr. Rebecca Busanich is an Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Studies (EXSS) at St. Catherine University. She holds a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Iowa (’11), a Master's degree from the University of Oregon (’05), and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan (’03).
As a cultural sport psychology scholar, Dr. Busanich’s research explores the social and cultural narratives around physical activity, eating and the body and translates her findings to promote healthy/positive eating and physical activity experiences, along with exercise adherence, for underrepresented populations. In exploring these ideas, Dr. Busanich draws upon social constructionist and critical feminist theoretical perspectives and narrative methodologies to further explore the ways in which gender and sociocultural positions impact health behaviors and the meaning-making process underlying these behaviors. In doing so, her work helps to bridge the gaps between the fields of exercise/sport psychology, cultural studies, public health, and health promotion.
At St. Kate’s, Dr. Busanich teaches courses in research methods, sport psychology, health behavior psychology, and serves as EXSS Fieldwork Coordinator and supervisor. She is committed through her teaching, research and service to enhancing the health and well-being of others, and extending her work into the community. Her passion for the field is also demonstrated in her own active lifestyle, as a lifelong runner. Additionally, Dr. Busanich enjoys working with female athletes & exercisers to empower them to excel in all aspects of life, both on and off the field. Her professional work includes serving on the Diversity Committee for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and serving on the Editorial Board for Case Studies in Sport & Exercise Psychology (CSSEP).


Present Associate Professor, Exercise Sciences, St. Catherine University Exercise Sciences Department

Curriculum Vitae


2018 - 2019 The Ripple Effect: A sociocultural exploration of narrative reproduction on the exercise experience and adherence across the lifespan
St. Catherine University GHR Innovative Scholarship Grant
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2016 - 2021 Diversity Committee Member, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
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Honors and Awards

  • • Finalist for Patricia O’Connor Myser Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award, St. Catherine University, Spring, 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021
  • • Finalist for Excellence in Teaching & Advising Award, St. Catherine University, Spring 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2021


  • The Reflective Woman
  • Capstone
  • Introduction to Exercise & Sport Science
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Exercise Science
  • Foundations of Sport Psychology
  • Health Behavior Psychology


2011 Ph.D., University of Iowa ‐ Ph.D., Sport and Exercise Psychology
2005 MS, University of Oregon ‐ Master of Science, Sports Medicine
2003 BS, University of Michigan ‐ Bachelor of Science, Athletic Training

Contact Information

Phone: 651-690-6411


Publications (9)

Presentations (2)