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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences

Dear AHS faculty and staff:

Hi, everyone. I hope that you all got to watch our great Paralympians have their success in Tokyo! It's a great testament to the athletes, the DRES administrative staff, and the coaches. AHS is proud of all of you!

A new academic year brings new faculty, and questions about all manner of doing business. I encourage you to visit our AHS intranet, where you'll find answers to many of your questions.

I love seeing all the updates about media coverage, grants, and publications, so I encourage you to continue sharing your accomplishments to publish in The Dean’s List. To ensure inclusion in Monday's email, we ask that you send information by 5 p.m. the previous Friday to Items will be reviewed and edited for style and grammar.

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences


If you have received your COVID-19 vaccine, but haven’t yet uploaded your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to McKinley Health Center for inclusion in the Safer Illinois app, the Office of Information, Security, and Technology (OIST) help desk in AHS will assist faculty and staff with the technical process of uploading it. Instructions are available here. If you need additional assistance, please contact


Did you know the College of Applied Health Sciences has an Intranet? The webpage is meant to be a central hub for resources you need to conduct your business. Scan the menu to find the resource you need, and if you don't see it, let us know.


A diet that included an avocado a day reduced visceral belly fat in women in a randomized controlled study of adults with overweight and obesity, led by KCH Associate Professor Naiman Khan.

Our latest Alumni Spotlight focuses on Christian Perez, a 2015 Recreation, Sport and Tourism graduate who is now Senior Operations Coordinator, Fan Experience for the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.

The men's and women's wheelchair basketball teams praised the university and their coaches during their great run at the Tokyo Paralympics.

NBC Sports featured six-time Paralympian Tatyana McFadden this week in its online series, "Meet the Paralympian." 

The Illini football team includes 29 students—the most in any college football program—who earned their undergraduate degree before the start of the 2021 season. Several are AHS students, including Owen Carney Jr. (RST), Doug Kramer (RST) and Jake Hansen (RST), as well as Blake Hayes (KCH/MPH).


RST alum Alex Dam is looking to hire interns for spring and summer 2022 at NBC Sports. If you have students you think would be interested, please email Alex. He is looking forward to giving back!


Need help with Compass, Canvas, Zoom, Mediaspace, or any other eLearning tool? Drop into one of our eLearning Virtual Office Hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. If you can’t make virtual office hours, send us a message or schedule an appointment and we’ll be happy to assist you.


SHS Professor Fatima Husain has received $125,000 in seed grant funding from the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) for her proposal titled " Hearing Health Institute."  The main objective for Dr. Husain’s proposal is to establish an international center of excellence for hearing research that transforms the field by using AI and Big Data to translate research into practical clinical solutions. Dr. Husain’s team will develop AI and Big Data tools to address three main areas: (1) prediction of clinical outcomes to motivate early intervention, (2) biomarker development to accelerate development of new and effective treatments, and (3) developing patient-centered treatment strategies to restore healthy hearing especially targeting underserved communities.


KCH Associate Professor Neha Gothe and doctoral student Emily Erlenbach have a new publication entitled, “Feasibility of a yoga, aerobic and stretching-toning exercise program for adult cancer survivors: the STAYFit trial” in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. In it, Dr. Gothe and Erlenbach state that the yoga intervention for adult cancer survivors was highly feasible and acceptable. The findings also provide evidence to clinicians who can recommend up to 150 min of a combination of exercises—aerobic, yoga, or stretching-toning to their cancer patients in order to improve health and wellbeing during cancer survivorship.

SHS Associate Professor Laura Mattie served as guest editor for an issue of Seminars in Speech and Language titled, “Neurogenetic Disorders: Exploring the Role of Context and Communication Partners.” The issue provides translational research on two common neurogenetic disorders, Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome, including clinical implication to support treatment. This issue includes two articles from research teams in SHS. In  “Characterizing the Richness of Maternal Input for Word Learning in Neurogenetic Disorders,” Dr. Mattie and Professor Pamela Hadley provide clinicians with a new way to examine and enrich caregiver input to promote word learning for children with neurogenetic disorders by identifying the linguistic, conceptual, and interactive features of high-quality maternal language input. In “Mental State Language Use in Children with Down Syndrome and the Role of Caregivers,” Associate Professor Marie Channell and SHS doctoral student Rebeka Bosley, describe the active role caregivers play in the acquisition of mental state language use by children with Down syndrome.


Join alumni, friends, students, faculty, and staff on Oct. 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. as we celebrate the achievements of our 2021 AHS Distinguished Alumni, Harold Scharper, and Young Alumni award recipients. A reception will follow in 2001 Khan Annex at Huff Hall.


We are excited to once again partner with the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to host the annual Fighting Illini Virtual Career Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Handshake virtual platform. We look forward to hosting graduate school and industry recruiters seeking the wealth of talent that AHS and the University of Illinois student-athletes have to offer. Please encourage your students to register for the event with the student link provided. Please feel free to reach out to contact Charles Stephens, Director of AHS Career Services, for questions about the event or with registration assistance.


On Friday, Sept. 17, the Department of Speech and Hearing Science will be holding a special event celebrating the contributions of Dr. Karen Kirk, Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor and former Department Head (2014-2020), to the field of communication sciences and disorders. Dr. Kirk will share a lecture entitled “The beginning of cochlear implants and beyond: My experiences in Communication Sciences and Disorders” during the SHS Proseminar from noon to 12:50 p.m. in Room 213 Gregory Hall. She will also be honored at a reception from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 114 Huff Hall. Please join us to congratulate Dr. Kirk on her retirement!


All AHS alumni, friends, faculty, and staff are invited to stop by the AHS tent at Lot 31 (directly west of Grange Grove, on the west side of First Street) on Oct. 9 from noon to 3 p.m., for complimentary food and drinks prior to the Illini's game against Big Ten rival Wisconsin. 


KCH Assistant Professor Shannon Mejia presents, "How do older adults understand their fall risk and can technology help?" We engage in activities with an understanding of whether or not we’ll be successful. But how accurate are our assessments, what are the consequences of getting it wrong, and how can technology help? This presentation offers insight on older adults’ awareness of fall risk in daily life, the personal processes of gaining feedback from daily experiences, and the potential for mobile fall prevention technologies to help. Join us on Sept. 10 from 3 to 3:50 p.m. in 1002 Huff Hall Khan Annex.


Are you interested in learning martial arts techniques? Participants (aged 18-45), who are low-active will be asked to complete a brief martial arts training plan, exercise plan or educational videos plan as part of our study into the effects of exercise on brain health. For more information, please visit or call us on 217-300-7484. 

Preliminary testing of therapy integrating peer-sharing, technology, aerobic and resistance training (TIPSTART) to reduce mental illness symptoms in first-generation college students will assess the effects of a new digital health program on mental health, utilization of services, physical activity, and related outcomes. We are looking for first-generation undergraduate students between the ages of 18 to 25, who do not regularly exercise, and who are not currently taking medication for a mental health condition but have received mental health services in the past two years (and can provide proof). For more information, please complete a brief interest survey by clicking here.

The Human Factors and Aging Laboratory is seeking research participants for an IRB-Approved research study titled “Online Robot Survey.” Participants will watch a series of videos of robots performing activities in home settings. This study will last 30 minutes and take place online. Potential participants must be 65-85 years old and reside in the state of Illinois. Participants will have the chance to win a $25 Amazon e-code gift card raffle for their involvement. If you are interested, please click the link.

The Wellness Research Collaborative in Multiple Sclerosis (Well-MS) is seeking to recruit faculty, staff, and students to join our working group. The mission of the collaborative is to support the health and well-being of individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis in Central Illinois and beyond through research and outreach activities. Our group collaborates on grant submissions, publications, and other scholarly activities. We have developed a research registry and database to facilitate data collection and recruitment of participants. We also engage in community outreach activities to support the MS community and foster collaborations with other researchers outside of UIUC. The working groups meets on a monthly basis, and all are welcome to join. If you are interested in being involved with the MS collaborative, please contact Laura Rice for additional details.

Investigators of the VetCareMind study are seeking a graduate hourly student certified to lead mindfulness-based training classes to help modify the curriculum from in-person to live stream. Investigators with the VetCareMind study will interview caregivers of veterans with neurocognitive disorders and/or posttraumatic stress disorder to ensure the modified training is responsive to caregivers’ technological needs. Please contact Dr. Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo if you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity.

Are you/were you a caregiver to a veteran with brain-related disorders, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and/or any other neurocognitive disorders? Are you 60 years of age or older? If the answer is yes, now is your chance to be part of the first-ever study that is trying to understand the needs and experiences of older caregivers of veterans with brain-related disorders to provide recommendations for new programs and services.  If you are interested in participating, please complete the brief online screener to determine if you are eligible. The online screener can be found here.

We are recruiting mothers and their children (8 to 12 years old) for a study about benefits of familiar voices in noisy places. Requires two, one-hour lab visits. Mothers record a list of sentences. Then children are tested on their ability to recognize the sentences in noise. Participants are paid $15 an hour. Daytime/evening/weekend availability. Free parking. Email: or call 217-300-8336.


The Dean's List is delivered on Monday. To ensure inclusion of your announcement, submit information by 5 pm the previous Friday. Please submit your announcements or calendar items to Items will be reviewed and edited for style and grammar.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
110 Huff Hall  |  1206 South Fourth St., Champaign, IL 61820 MC-586
Phone: (217) 333-2131 FAX: (217) 333-0404

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