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Dear AHS faculty and staff:


Hello, all. I hope you had enjoyable and restful Thanksgiving, spent with loved ones and friends. I trust you are recharged to finish the semester in good fashion. Now, onto some great news:

In August 2020, Dr. Pam Hadley was appointed to serve as the interim head of the Dept. of Speech and Hearing Science. In that time, Dr. Hadley has provided outstanding leadership in the face of unforeseen challenges and opportunities.  This fall, it was time to consider appointing a permanent department head.  After seeking advice from the SHS Faculty Advisory Committee and securing an overwhelming vote in her favor, it is with great pleasure that I inform you that Dr. Pam Hadley will become the new SHS Department Head as of Dec. 16.  Please join me in congratulating her.

The Dean's List is now a bi-weekly publication, with the next delivery on Dec. 13. Continue to send your announcements and calendar items to communications@ahs.illinois.edu. Items will be reviewed and edited for style and grammar.

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences



Retired Speech and Hearing Science Professor Kenneth Watkin died on Oct. 19. Born Nov. 17, 1943, in Manitoba, Canada, he immigrated to the United States and earned graduate degrees at the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin. He had a distinguished career on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin, the University of Michigan, McGill University, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Watkin was the founding director of AHS’s Center on Health, Aging, and Disability. Dr. Watkin is survived by his wife, Tanya Gallagher; his daughter, Laura Gallagher Watkin; his granddaughter, Ella Gallagher Watkin; and Margaret and Christopher Potter and grandchildren, Zoe, Lilou, and Kippy. He was predeceased by his son, Brandon, who served in the U.S. Army. Ken was a beloved professor, friend, colleague and mentor. He lived life with a positive spirit, a generous and joyful heart, an incredible intellect, and a warm smile that drew people to him, especially students, who sometimes referred to him as a “second father.” May his memory be a blessing.


Got a story to tell? Well, the office of communications wants to hear it! To submit ideas for consideration for stories that might populate the AHS website as well as college and departmental newsletters. Please note that not all submissions will end up as stories, but they could be used for The Dean's List and shared as social media posts as well. If you would like to submit an idea, follow this link.


RST Professors Monika Stodolksa and Kim Shinew received a Call to Action grant of $93,428 for their project entitled, "Combating Systemic Racism in Access to Nature, Open Spaces, and Parks and Recreation." Drs. Stodolska and Shinew plan to give a formal evaluation of previous efforts by the Urbana Park District to increase access to nature and recreation opportunities among diverse residents, as well as create a blueprint that can be shared on how to dismantle systemic racism and increase access to nature and recreation among people of color. Read more about their plans here.

new study examines the dynamics of long-term relationships through spatial proximity. The researchers, including KCH Assistant Professor Shannon Mejia, find that when partners are close to each other, their heart rates synchronize in complex patterns of interaction.

Our Alumni Spotlight focuses on Edward Harvey, who used his RST degree to springboard to a 38-year career in park district leadership.

The Chez Veterans Center and the University ROTC hosted their fourth annual Veterans Day Celebration to commemorate Veterans Day.

Learn more about Delaney Rummell, a softball player who is majoring in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism with a concentration in sport management.


KCH Associate Professor Naiman Khan has earned affiliate faculty status with the Beckman Institute. Congrats, Naiman!


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 new tool developed by the DRES Accessible IT Group has been released to support people with disabilities in navigating web pages using the keyboard. The SkipTo Landmarks & Headings browser extension implements a long-standing requirement for web browsers to provide structural navigation by headings and content sections. We encourage you to install it by visiting the extension's Chrome Web Store or Firefox Add-ons page, and to let us know what you think.


The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, in partnership with the Center for Social and Behavioral Science and with support from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, has announced that the 2022 Community Academic Scholars Project Application has opened.  In a video, Prof. Kevin Tan shared his experience with Community-Academic Scholars and offered to connect with potential CAS mentors. You can also find a Frequently Asked Questions section to the CAS Academic Mentor webpage. For more information, contact Kelsey Hassevoort.


The Department of Speech and Hearing Science is seeking a Visiting Laboratory Coordinator. You'll coordinate and conduct research for NIH-funded research projects, supervise and train students working on research projects, and more. Apply here.


The Human Factors and Aging Laboratory is recruiting participants for an IRB-approved research study. To participate, you must have the capability to use Zoom and be: 50 to 80 years old, African American and diagnosed with a chronic health condition. Participants will be compensated with an Amazon gift card. Contact Maurita Harris at maurita2@illinois.edu or 217-300-5445.

Researchers are exploring challenges encountered in daily activities by adults aged 60+. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty with thinking, memory, or concentration, we would like to learn from these experiences to develop solutions. Participants must be over 60 and identify as one of the following groups: Have experienced recent changes in thinking, memory, or concentration, or have a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, OR Have been diagnosed with a moderate to severe TBI and have persistent cognitive difficulties as a result of the TBI, OR Have experienced a stroke and have persistent cognitive difficulties as a result of the stroke Participants are NOT eligible if they: Have a history of significant psychological illness; Have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia. To learn more, please contact us at: 217-265-0885 or KCH-HFA-ENACT@illinois.edu

The Human Factors and Aging Laboratory is seeking research participants for an IRB-Approved research study. The research study is titled, "Understanding Attitudes and Opinions Towards a Health Technology." For this study, we are focusing on the use of a health technology to support the self-monitoring of African American adults’ health to manage their chronic conditions.  This study will last  2.5 hours and take place via Zoom. Potential participants must  be 50-80 years old, diagnosed with a chronic health condition, speak English, identify as African American, and have the capability to use Zoom. Participants will be compensated with a $50 Amazon e-Code. If interested in participation, please contact Maurita Harris.

Adults (18-35 years) needed to study the molecular mechanism through which exercise affects brain function in adults. Participation involves several visits to the lab to complete questionnaires, exercise tests, computer tasks, and blood draws. Compensation up to $100 (gift card) provided upon completion. Schedule a phone screening at or email bcnnlab@gmail.com.

We are seeking participants for a research study exploring the social engagement benefits of a video chat platform called OneClick. The aim of this study is to test how usable and enjoyable OneClick is for connecting with others. Participants will engage in fun, social events with other people to test and help develop a video chat technology. This study will last 4 weeks and take place on OneClick.  Potential participants must be aged 50-64, speak English, and have a computer with access to internet. Participants will be compensated for participation in the study. If interested in participation, please contact us at KCH-HFA-OneClick@illinois.edu or (217) 265-0089.  

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. If you are interested in being involved with the MS collaborative, please contact Laura Rice for additional details.

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: child-SRL@illinois.edu or call 217-300-8336.