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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences

Dear AHS faculty and staff:

I hope you had a chance to get outside and enjoy the weather this weekend.  I know that some family celebrations are still disrupted, but it feels like we are starting to see the other side of the pandemic.  This weekend’s sunshine and warmth, and the numbers of people getting vaccinated give me hope for the days to come.  Once children are vaccinated, too, we’ll start to figure out what our new normal is.  I know we are forever changed, but I remain optimistic about the future. As much as you want to do so, please don’t let your guard down yet.  Please be patient.  We are not yet safe enough to go without all of the COVID-19 safety precautions.  

We still want to hear all about your accomplishments and successes to publish in The Dean’s List. Be sure to submit your information. 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


With an increased focus on student mental health during the pandemic, learn about the service the AHS embedded counselor, Kim Peters, provides in our latest podcast.

In our latest Alumni Spotlight, Oakland A's Director of Partnership Development Andy Szabo talks about why he picked AHS and the RST program and the instructors who impacted him the most.

Ahead of his invited talk on April 7, Montgomery County (Md.) Chief of Public Health Services Travis Gayles appeared on WDWS radio to promote the event.


Congratulations to the Fall 2020 Jump ARCHES awardees in AHS.

KCH Assistant Professor Manuel Hernandez is one of the investigators for the project titled, "Remote State Anxiety Detection and Monitoring Using Multimodal Wearable Sensors." Recent evidence suggests increased depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress in frontline health care workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without COVID-19, physician trainees face mental health challenges as they provide care and learn clinical best practices. This project will integrate data from a suite of wearable sensors to quantify stress and anxiety symptoms in physician trainees. The idea is to use information gleaned from sensors to monitor and improve well-being before mental health disorders develop.

KCH Professor Wendy Rogers is one of the investigators of "Soft and Dexterous Service Robot Configurations to Support Healthcare at Home for Older Adults." An increasing number of older adults live independently but have health care conditions that must be managed—both chronic and acute. This project aims to investigate the effectiveness of soft robotic configurations in offering effective telehealth solutions and understanding the social and behavioral aspects of how a robot builds trust with its user.

KCH Assistant Professor Hyojung Kang is one of the investigators of "Optimal Deployment of Cancer Prevention through Digital Health Workers." This project proposes to develop a Digital Health Worker (DHW) program to use multiple varying digital modalities to decrease the socioeconomic and racial disparities in cancer screening and mortality, specifically with breast cancer. Through data science, this project will explore the most effective ways to deploy digital interventions for the promotion of cancer screening among populations with historically low screening rates and high mortality rates. Data analysis will also help optimize the DHW program to maximize screening rates and provide an understanding of how to apply these practices to other types of cancers—especially among underserved populations.


To address the rehabilitation needs of cardiac patients, KCH Professor Weimo Zhu and Dr. Barry Franklin at Beaumont Health (Mich.) developed a booklet entitled “Home-based cardiac rehabilitation: Helping patients help themselves.” The booklet was published by Healthy Learning and sponsored partially by a gift to UIUC. It can be purchased here.


Our Advancement staff reminds you that if you or a family member plan to make a donation to AHS, please review and submit this form to Liz Clawson.  The Employee Donor Agreement is required by the Conflict of Interest Office to address potential tax deduction implications.


Three Kinesiology majors were honored by the American Kinesiology Association. Masters student Veronica Garcia is the recipient of the AKA Masters Scholar Award. Allyson G. Box is the recipient of the AKA Graduate Student Writing Award, and Christopher J. Kinder has been named the Honorable Mention for the AKA National Doctoral Scholar Award. Congrats to all!


KCH Associate Professor Marni Boppart leads the Beckman Institute Extracellular Vesicle Imaging and Therapy (EVIT) Working Group. She will be hosting the 2021 UIUC EVIT Workshop, "New Discoveries in Extracellular Vesicle Biology and Technology," on April 23. This workshop will showcase several national and international investigators in the field of extracellular vesicle biology, highlighting new discoveries in the areas of cancer, reproduction, therapy, imaging, and manufacturing. The agenda and link for registration can be found here.


Tired of looking at the same four walls? Tune into Breaking New Ground on April 16 (9 a.m. to noon) for a first look at new campus instructional spaces nearing completion this Spring. Brought to you by the Reimagining the Classroom Symposium committee, this webinar will feature campus luminaries and others showcasing the new Siebel Center for Design and the new Campus Instructional Facility. Video tours, keynotes, campus trivia, prizes, and breakout conversation spaces will round out this fun and engaging webinar celebrating the great new things happening on this campus. Let’s reimagine a post-pandemic classroom and prepare for good things ahead. Please register today.


Dr. Travis Gayles, a 2010 Community Health PhD graduate and current chief public health officer for Montgomery, MD, will present the 2021 AHS Distinguished Lecturer talk at noon on Wednesday. His virtual presentation is titled “Disparities in Covid-19 Rates and Vaccinations: A View from the Frontline of the Battle Against the Pandemic." In separate meetings during the day, Dr. Gayles will talk with students who are members of the James Scholar Program and AHS Student Council and with KCH faculty and members of the AHS Executive Committee. Register for the event here, or watch it here.


The Health Technology Education Program has launched a speaker series for Spring 2021.  See below for speaker dates and topics. All talks are held on Zoom at noon. The next talk, titled “Hello World: Making Health Tech Innovation Real,” will be presented on April 30 by Janneke Ritchie, CEO of Orange Gate. You can register here.


The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health is hosting a seminar series this spring. You can the find the schedule and all the Zoom links to the seminars here. The next seminar is April 16, with Dr. Cheryl Cooky, Associate Professor, American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Purdue University.


The Chez Veterans Center is excited to announce the following research and educational development opportunity for students: the Chez Veterans Center & Illini Veterans Student Research Award. The purposes of the Student Research Award are to both encourage student-veterans to participate in research and to highlight research activities centered on veterans and military-affiliated communities being conducted by UIUC students. Two awards of $1,000 each will be awarded this spring. Deadline for applications is April 11. Read the call and instructions for applications here.


The Chez Veterans Center is looking for assistance in developing a new Veteran Community Health Education Program. This position is a part-time, hourly graduate student position designed to help CVC staff develop and pilot this new program. The position is for one year, with a start date of May, 2021. Read the job announcement and application instructions here.


Speaking of news, you can find more of our great content on faculty, staff, students, and alumni on the News & Feature tab on our website. Find our podcasts, AHS E-News, Moving Forward magazine, and more!


RST Assistant Professor Sharon Zou is seeking participants interested in a study of attitudes towards national parks. Participants will watch a VR video about a national park visit (five minutes) and take a survey about that experience (10 minutes) in a lab. All research procedures will follow COVID safety guidelines. Upon completion, you will receive an Espresso Royale coffee coupon. Click here for scheduling if you are interested in participating. You can also contact for more information.

The Human Factors and Aging Laboratory is seeking research participants for a study titled, "A Holistic Understanding of Domestic Robot Acceptance Among Older Adults." This study aims to learn more about how older adults think about robots to assist them in their homes. Participants will be compensated $25. Potential participants must be 65 years old or older, have internet service and a computer, and able to use Zoom and read size 14 font on a computer screen. For more information contact Megan Bayles or KCH Professor Wendy Rogers.

The Voice Lab is studying the voices of cisgender people who are misgendered. You will be asked to do simple vocal exercises, read a short passage over Zoom, and answer questions about being misgendered. Participation requirements: 18 years of age or older, fluent in English, gender identity same as sex assigned at birth, and gender misidentified because of your voice. Contact Colleen Wilkes in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science for more information.

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and this ongoing, uncertain, and stressful time, the Center for Social and Behavioral Science is launching the Spring 2021 Mental Health and COVID-19 Research Study. Their goal is to monitor the well-being of Illinois students, faculty, and staff. If you are interested in participating, please sign up to start the consent process.

KCH is recruiting for a study to evaluate older adults’ motivations and preferences in medication reminder apps. To be eligible to participate you must be: 60 years or older, take medication for a chronic condition/disease, use a medication reminder app for at least one month, and be willing to use Zoom. The study will last two hours, and participants will receive a $25 Amazon gift card for their time and effort. If interested, please contact Olivia Kupiec or call 773-615-1259.

KCH Assistant Professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo is seeking participants to learn about the needs and experiences of caregivers of veterans with TBI. Participants will be compensated for completing a virtual small group interview. Click here if you are interested in participating. You can also contact (217) 244-9363 or for more information.


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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