Then she started work on her master's degree. She studied biomechanics, gait. And it dawned on her:
Why are all of these studies conducted on college-aged men?
What about women? Maybe they walk differently than men do. Do they? And what would that mean?
It opened up a new world. And since then, she's dedicated her research career to the study and improvement of women's health.
She was recently named the recipient of the School of Allied Health Professions' newest named professorship: The Karen Linder Distinguished Professorship for Women's Health.
This comes on the heels of Dr. Hageman having been named UNMC's first Distinguished Scientist from the School of Allied Health Professions.
In her Distinguished Scientist profile, she described her research this way:
"Our interdisciplinary team's research focuses on using web-based interventions to influence behavior change toward healthy eating and increased activity in rural women, midlife or older, to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight. I am particularly interested in examining the relationships of women's fitness and activity with their physical function."
She is a frequent collaborator with Carol Pullen, Ed.D., professor of community based health in the College of Nursing.
"We were interprofessional before we knew that was a buzzword," Dr. Hageman said.
The Linder Professorship was made possible in part thanks to a gift from Karen Linder, founding director of the School of Allied Health Professions cytotechnology program, and her husband Jim, an M.D. and the senior associate to the NU president for innovation and economic competitiveness and president of the University Technology Development Corporation.
The Charles R. O'Malley Charitable Trust Fund helped make it a reality with matching funds.
Dr. Hageman was chair of the physical therapy education department at UNMC for 19 years. But now she has more time to focus on her research.
Before telling her she was the Linder Professor, Dr. Hageman said, senior associate dean Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., and Pat Leuschen, Ph.D, assistant dean for research development, sat her down and asked for her five-year plan.
That made her think: "I'm rallying to really promote women's health," Dr. Hageman said. "And hopefully promoting the state of women's health research."
Thanks to her and her team, more and more people every day know what that is.
Congratulations, Pat! Your presence at UNMC is a benefit to the campus, and your work is pivotal to women everywhere. Thank you for what you have been doing and for what is yet to come. Ronda Stevens