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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Jennifer Bessire


Assistant Professor

Physical Therapy

Health Sciences Center, CHS263
1320 W. Lombard St.
Davenport, IA 52804


Jen Bessire, PT, PhD

Education and Training

PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Kinesiology with emphasis in Motor Control

MS, ibid
Exercise Science with emphasis in Motor Control

BS, Bradley University
Physical Therapy


  • American Heart Association CPR for Healthcare Providers
  • APTA Certified Clinical Instructor
  • Blankenship FCE System, Certified Evaluator

Current Teaching Responsibilities in Entry-level Physical Therapy

DPT 530 - Kinesiology and Biomechanics, co-teach
DPT 560 - Physical Therapy Procedures I, co-teach
DPT 760 - Physical Therapy Procedures II, teach geriatrics module
DPT 670 - Orthotics/Prosthetics
DPT 570 - Physical Agents, Guest
DPT 700 - Issues in Research II
DPT 800 - Applied Anatomy & Physiology

Areas of Professional Interest

  • Geriatrics
  • Motor Control & Coordination in Adults
  • Role of the Upper Body in Human Movement

Recent Publications and Presentations

Baird JL, Umberger BR, Hamill JH, van Emmerik REA. Arm swing, thorax-pelvis coordination and angular momentum regulation during walking. World Congress of Biomechanics (WCB), Boston, MA, July 2014 (poster).

van Emmerik REA, Jones SL, Busa MA, Baird JL. A systems perspective on postural and gait stability: implications for physical activity in aging and disease. Kinesiology Review, 2013; 2:17-28.

Choe YK, Jung HT, Baird JL & Grupen, RA. (in press). Multidisciplinary stroke rehabilitation delivered by a humanoid robot: interaction between speech and physical therapies. Aphasiology, 2013; 2:17-28.

Miller RH, Chang R, Baird JL, van Emmerik RE & Hamill J. Variability in kinematic coupling assessed by vector coding and continuous relative phase. Journal of Biomechanics, 2010; 43(13): 2554-60.

Baird JL & van Emmerik REA. Young and older adults use different strategies to perform a standing turning task. Clinical Biomechanics,2009; 24(10): 826-832.

Joseph M, Tiberio D, Baird JL, Trojian TH, Anderson JM, Kraemer WJ, & Maresh CM. Knee valgus during drop jumps in national collegiate athletic association division I female athletes: the effect of a medial post. Am. J. Sports Med.,2008; 36:285-289.

Baird JL, van Emmerik REA, Hamill JH. Thorax and pelvis coordination across the walk to run transition. Progress in Motor Control VIII, Cincinnati, OH, August 2011 (poster).

Baird JL, van Emmerik REA. Postural control during a standing turning task in young and older adults. North American Congress on Biomechanics (NACOB), Ann Arbor, MI, August 2008 (platform presentation).

Baird JL, van Emmerik REA. Segment contributions to a standing turn in young and older adults under different task constraints. International Society for Posture and Gait Research (ISPGR), Burlington, VT, July 2007 (platform presentation).

Baird JL, van Emmerik REA. Performance of a standing turning task in young and old adults. Canadian Society of Biomechanics (CSB), Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, August 2006 (platform presentation).

Book Chapter

Baird JL & Edmondson JW. Management of the Patient with Osteoporosis. (2008) In Pathology and Intervention in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. Magee DJ, Zachazewski JE, & Quillen WS (Eds.), WB Saunders Co.

Download full curriculum vitae (pdf)