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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences

Dear AHS faculty and staff:

Hi, all. Welcome to Homecoming Week! There are many events, both in-person and virtual planned, so visit the Homecoming website for the list of events and full details.  I look forward to seeing you at some of these events. 

Also, I am happy to report that more than 90 percent of students across the University of Illinois system are vaccinated! However, I do understand that some might still have questions. If you know of students who are still weighing whether to get vaccinated, feel free to share this video with them. 

The Dean's List is now a bi-weekly publication, with the next delivery on Oct. 18. Continue to send your announcements and calendar items to Items will be reviewed and edited for style and grammar.

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences


In this News-Gazette feature, KCH Professor Marni Boppart talks about some of her favorite places on campus.

Whether you’re a parent or Popeye, you’ve been extolling the virtues of spinach for decades. Now, KCH Associate Professor Naiman Khan and his collaborators are prepared to study the effects of the leafy green vegetable.

An Illini alum and a KCH student found a common bond in caregiving and an internship.


Congratulations to KCH Associate Professor Naiman Khan and his wife, ACES Associate Professor Hannah Holscher, on the arrival of their baby boy, Noah. Congrats to all!

Congratulations to Harshal Mahajan and his wife on the arrival of their baby girl. Dr. Mahajan is the Assistant Director of Research for the Living in Interactive Future Environments (LIFE) Home research center. Congrats to all!


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


New tools developed by the DRES Accessible IT Group have helped to simplify reading websites. The SkipTo Landmarks & Headings browser extension implements a long-standing accessibility requirement for browsers, “2.5.1 Provide Structural Navigation”, that has been missing for many years. It does this by providing keyboard navigation to landmarks and headings on any web page. Your feedback on the extension is important to us. Please send email comments to Jon Gunderson.


KCH doctoral student Biniyam Melesse has been awarded the Fulbright-Hays fellowship. Melesse is a research assistant for KCH Associate Professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo. Congratulations, Biniyam!


KCH Assistant Professor Susan Aguiñaga has a new publication entitled, “BAILAMOS With mHealth Technology! Improving Physical Activity and Well-Being in Middle-Aged and Older Latinxs: A Pre–Post Feasibility Study” in the journal Health Education and Behavior. Dr. Aguiñaga and her collaborators looked at the physical activity and health outcomes of middle-aged and older Latinxs participating in BAILA TECH—an intervention that combines the BAILAMOS Latin dance program with mobile health technologies (such as a Fitbit Charge 2). The study found that participants in the intervention increased physical activity and fitness levels, social support, quality of life, and executive function.


On Sept. 16, AHS celebrated the promotions of seven faculty members during a dinner at Silvercreek restaurant in Urbana. Among the promoted were from KCH: Marni Boppart to professor; Neha Gothe, Naiman Khan, Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo and Laura Rice to associate professor; and from SHS: Fatima Husain to professor, and Marie Channel and Laura Mattie to associate professor. Congratulations to all!

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.


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. 


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 a bi-weekly schedule, every other Monday. 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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