Becca Jordre, associate professor in the University of South Dakota's Department of Physical Therapy, is the recipient of the 2015 Faculty Research Achievement Award by the School of Health Sciences.
Jordre’s research deals with older-adult athletes and involves unique studies of the fitness levels of senior athletes who compete in senior game athletic competitions. Since 2009 Jordre, PT, DPT, and groups of USD physical therapy students have visited various senior games at local, state and national venues to test the physical fitness levels of competitors. Thousands of athletes have been tested.
One feature of the testing and research that most pleases Jordre is that her students participate and contribute. “This is a terrific experience for the students,” she said “They gain experience with a unique population, and I think it changes their views on aging.”
In addition to providing the athletes with important information about their own health, Jordre has published papers and presentations detailing the results of her assessments, and a handful more are in various stages of preparation. Her students assist with publications and presentations.
“We’re discovering significant information as we compare senior athletes to the general population and observe the advantages of exercise and fitness while aging. This project not only provides increased health awareness and information to senior athletes that can help them stay healthy, it also helps us learn more about a very unique population," Jordre said.