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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences
Dear AHS faculty and staff:

Welcome to a new semester! A new semester brings a new start, and hope for warmer weather and a return to normalcy. We continue to hear promising news about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. Please make sure you read the Chancellor's emails for news about where you can go to receive your vaccine, provided you meet the requirements.

We 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


AHS is excited to partner with Claro Healthcare and the Gies College of Business to present the sixth annual case competition on Friday, February 26, 2021. The competition will be open to all majors who are interested in careers in healthcare management consulting. Please encourage your students to compete for up to $5,000 in prize money split among teams of sophomores and juniors with four to five members. This is an opportunity to network with the Claro Healthcare recruitment team and collaborate with your peers to find innovative solutions to an actual hospital scenario. This competition offers a unique opportunity for students to sharpen their analytical skills, gain real world experience, and stand out under pressure. This is a major recruiting pipeline opportunity for future fall and internship recruiting cycles. Interested students can learn more about the event and register by visiting the Handshake Event Page. Registration deadline is February 15, 2021 at 1:00 PM,

For students who are in search of a team or for questions about the event, contact Charles Stephens,


Thirteen research projects, including two involving AHS researchers, are sharing nearly $970,000 in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program. The Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES) program is a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and its College of Medicine in Peoria and OSF HealthCare. The projects are:

Remote state anxiety detection and monitoring using multimodal wearable sensors. Investigators include KCH Assistant Professor Manuel E. Hernandez. In frontline health care workers, recent evidence suggests increased depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress 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 symptoms of stress and anxiety in physician trainees. The idea is to use information gleaned from sensors to monitor and potentially improve wellbeing before mental health disorders develop.

Soft and dexterous service robot configurations to support healthcare at home for older adults. Investigators include KCH Professor Wendy Rogers. An increasing number of older adults live independently but have health care conditions that must be managed—both chronic and acute. The goal of this project is 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 Professor David Strauser has two new publications. His first, "The Workplace Discrimination Experiences of Individuals with Cancer In the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act Era," was published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. Strauser and his colleagues looked at the discrimination toward people with cancer compared with people with other general disabilities and found the cancer group to have "substantially different" workplace discrimination experiences.

His second publication, "The Employment Discrimination Experiences of Younger and Older Americans with Cancer under Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act," in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, looked at the experiences of people with cancer over the age of 35, compared with those with cancer under the age of 35. Strauser and colleagues found that younger people with cancer were more likely to allege discrimination in the areas of promotion, training, reinstatement, and referrals to other employers, and the younger group also was significantly less likely than the older group to find that EEOC investigations of their allegations resulted in merit-based case resolutions, that is, discrimination had indeed occurred.

KCH Assistant Professor Sarah Geiger has a new publication, "Associations of maternal stress, prenatal exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and demographic risk factors with birth outcomes and offspring neurodevelopment: An overview of the ECHO.CA.IL prospective birth cohorts," in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The paper posits that infants whose mothers experience greater psychosocial stress and environmental chemical exposures during pregnancy may face higher rates of preterm birth, lower birth weight, and impaired neurodevelopment. The paper describes two prospective birth cohorts, including prenatal exposure to stress, PFAS, demographic information, birth outcomes, and cognitive outcomes at 7 months. Although the cohorts are diverse in race/ethnicity and geographic location, both cohorts have similar birth and cognitive outcomes.

KCH Associate Professor Synthia Sydnor published the book Social Theory for Sports Lovers (Kendall Hunt, 2021). Through the lens of respected intellectual traditions, the book unfolds around unique humanities concepts not often linked to thought about sport and social issues, challenging taken-for-granted notions and building anew understandings of sport and humankind.


Community Health PhD candidate Kristin Godlin, also a chaplain at Carle, talks about the intersection of religion and public health and her research on using religion in coping with domestic violence.

In her latest podcast, Jamie O'Connor, a teaching assistant professor in KCH, spoke with Tom Hess of Rantoul Township High School.

RST Assistant Professor Jules Woolf was interviewed by the website Living With Amplitude about the importance for amputees to be involved in sports.


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!


Well-planned and thoughtful video lectures can increase students’ learning and comprehension in an online course. Video can also be used to create buzz and excitement for your course. The AHS eLearning team can collaborate with you to craft a vision and marketing message for your online courses and programs. Check out the latest video created by Bradley Chatman, Instructional Media Specialist, in collaboration with Michael Raycraft and Ed Sherman for their course: RST 205: Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics: The Big Ten Conference.


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 at 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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