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New STEM Masters Programs

Anderson University provides affordable and easy access to innovative, I-17 approved and STEM-focused programs designed specifically for international students.

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Departments: Department of Human Performance

Martinez Named to AnMed Board

Martinez is a vice president/commercial relationship manager for SouthState Bank in Anderson. He also serves on the Anderson City Council. He and his wife Hollins were co-chairs of the 2023

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Making Anderson a Family Tradition

Mom Terrie Brendle attended Anderson and among the children are numerous Anderson University graduates; the two youngest are current students. Pictured from left are Seth Brendle, Susanna Brendle, Sadie Brendle,

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Pictured from left are Dr. Matthew de Ruig; Maci Hollifield; Mary Elise Price; Maleah Kelley; Avery Craig; and Dr. Vanessa Rettinger. Not pictured is student Emma Dube and Dr. Michael Kopscik, a physician resident from AnMed, who helped in the early stages of the research.


Students from the Anderson University College of Health Professions received first place for their 5×5 (five slides in five minutes) presentation at the South Carolina Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) 2024 conference, which took place March 22 and 23 in Columbia.

The research, titled “Ultrasound screening for patellar tendinopathy in college athletes: A quasi-experimental cohort study,” came together through a collaboration between the School of Physical Therapy, the School of Human Performance, the seniors in the research elective course and the Athletic Department. Anderson University faculty members involved in the research were Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and School of Physical Therapy Admissions Coordinator Dr. Matthew de Ruig and Program Director of the School of Human Performance and Kinesiology Department Chair Dr. Vanessa Rettinger. 

Patellar tendinopathy is the leading injury among women playing collegiate volleyball, accounting for nearly 19.3 percent of all injuries. Chronic knee injuries, including patellar tendinopathy, accounts for 15.9 percent of all injuries among women playing collegiate soccer.

“One of the most rewarding things for me was that it was a collaborative project that brought together a lot of different entities and really had something for everybody,” Dr. de Ruig said. “These 5×5 presentations are just a way to disseminate your work in a pretty rapid format… Each person took ownership over a particular slide and topic and so it was a pretty rapid exchange of a presentation, but I liked it because everybody got to speak and be involved in the discussion of the information.” 

The student team analyzed members of the Trojans Women’s Soccer and Volleyball teams. They examined the student-athletes pre-season, mid-season and postseason. 

“We met with all of the soccer and volleyball players to do the scanning of their patellar tendons,” said Senior Kinesiology major Maci Hollifield of Chesnee, South Carolina. “We measured specific degrees down from the patella and inserted all of the data… We were able to put a PowerPoint presentation together of our findings about just the methods and clinical applications for what we found.”

“If you screen people to begin with and you find out they’ve had previous lower extremity injuries, they were more likely to see significant changes in the patellar tendon than people who had not had any kind of orthopedic injuries,” Dr. de Ruig said. “If you’re a coach or an athletic trainer, or on the strength and conditioning and nutrition side of athletes’ support, it would be useful to know who is maybe at higher risk for developing tendon pathology and then using the information to make decisions about how you train or how you might be a little more preventative going into the future for that season.” 

“It held true in both sports that people with previous injuries both showed significant changes in thickness of the tendon, which is associated with early development of tendinopathy or tendon problems,” said Dr. de Ruig. 

Dr. de Ruig feels that the students went above and beyond in their research.

“These are undergrad seniors, three of which are going to be joining our program in physical therapy in a matter of three months or so; but they got an opportunity to present at a state conference a little ahead of the curve,” Dr. de Ruig said. “It’s really a feather in their cap to be kind of on the leading edge of student involvement in a professional program.”

“All of us being Kinesiology majors, we have tons of athletes within our major,” Hollifield said. “A lot of the soccer and volleyball players that we were able to scan, we’re classmates and friends. It was super special that we were able to bring them into the research and the work we had been doing.”

“One of the main questions that would be interesting to look at in the future would be to see if there is a difference in patellar tendon response depending on the playing surface. Continued studies comparing the soccer athletes that play on turf versus volleyball players that perform on a hard court could help to answer this question,” Dr. de Ruig said. 

Another award winner from Anderson University was Dr. Jessica Jacobs, who won the Emily Cate award for Outstanding Achievement.

“What an exciting time when outstanding faculty and stellar students come together to provide academic research,” said Anderson University College of Health Professions Dean Dr. Donald Peace. “At this event our faculty and students provided a truly impressive presentation. Accolades to Dr. de Ruig and Dr. Rettinger on steering our students that provided an impressive body of knowledge. It is the connection of clinical medicine and academics that provides a future of good quality care for the benefit of patients in our community.”