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Gardenia's interests in aging, community programs and exercise guided her search for the right PhD program. Her goal is to gain knowledge on overcoming barriers to participation in physical activity among the aging population. During her search for doctoral programs, she came across the "On The Move" website, which piqued her interest right away. Through the website, she discovered "On The Move" is an evidence-based program which was developed at the University of Pittsburgh by Dr. Jen Brach and her research team. This led Gardenia to dig deeper into the doctoral programs at the University of Pittsburgh. While investigating doctoral programs on the Pitt website, she came across the SHRS PhD program, and as she learned more about SHRS, she came across Jen Brach’s information and knew she wanted to work with her. After reaching out to Jen, she was eager to learn more about "On The Move," aging and community-based participatory research. Interacting with Jen solidified her decision to pursue her doctoral studies at Pitt SHRS.


Department of Physical Therapy


Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science

Research Interests

  • Aging
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based fall prevention programs
  • Exercise
  • Participant Perspectives