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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences

Dear AHS faculty and staff:

Hello, everyone. Gov. Pritzker announced Friday that Illinois is moving into Phase 5, meaning fully vaccinated people will be able to forgo masks and social distancing in both indoor and outdoor settings. Great news! However, I hope you saw the Chancellor's email, which reminds us that those of us who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings and social distance, and that summer in-person classes will continue to require students and faculty to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing when they are in the classroom during the class period. Guidance on what the university will do in the Fall should be coming soon, but we are hoping to see everyone back on campus, in offices and classrooms. 

We are so very close to returning to a pre-pandemic campus life, and I encourage all of you to keep up your vigliance and great work.

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


Our latest Alumni Spotlight features RST graduate Tim Clary, now an educator and linebackers coach for a Class 6A high school near Austin, Texas.

Wheelchair basketball coach Matt Buchi recently interviewed Kim Pollock, who was a part of two national championship teams.


You are consistently using the Internet for your research needs, but did you know AHS has an Intranet? Using the AHS Intranet, you can get answers to questions such as 'How do travel expenses work?' Find out now! 


KCH Assistant Professor Mina Raj was awarded a 2021 CHAD Pilot Grant for her project, “Towards the development of guidelines for inclusive foods in long-term care.”  This project, focused on the sociocultural needs of racial and ethnic minority older adults in U.S. long-term care facilities (LTC) will (A) assess LTC personnel experiences with resident preferences for inclusive diets and identify the practice and regulatory barriers and facilitators to promoting inclusive diets into LTC facilities, (B) identify key considerations for new guidelines for inclusive diets and (C) develop guidelines for implementing inclusive diets in three states.

KCH Assistant Professor Jacob Allen was awarded a 2021 CHAD Pilot Grant for his project, “Gastrointestinal And Metabolic Effects from a Prebiotic, Lifting, and Aerobic iNtervention (GAMEPLAN).” This project, focused on the independent and combined effects of prebiotic fiber supplementation and exercise on the gut microbiome and human health, will determine whether exercise and prebiotics can 1) modify human gut microbiome and metabolic profiles and 2) improve body composition, endurance capacity, and systemic inflammation.

KCH Assistant Professor Manuel Hernandez was awarded a 2021 CHAD Pilot Grant for his project, “Artificial intelligence energy-regulation modeling to predict and classify fatigue levels and types in people with multiple sclerosis: A feasibility study.” This project aims to integrate data from wearable multimodal sensors in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and evaluate the feasibility of a novel machine learning (ML)/ artificial intelligence (AI) framework to detect and predict fatigue in PwMS.

SHS Associate Professor Raksha Mudar, KCH Assistant Professor Mina Raj and KCH Professor Wendy Rogers have received $144,258 in funding from the RRF Foundation for Aging for their project entitled, “Video Technology-based Social Engagement Intervention for Family Care Partners of Persons with Dementia." The overall objective of our project is to test the benefits of a video technology-based social engagement intervention for family care partners of persons with dementia (PwD). Mudar is the principal investigator and Raj is the co-PI.


KCH Assistant Professor Mina Raj has a new article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on "Redefining Caregiving as an Imperative for Supporting Caregivers: Challange and Opportunities," in which she and a collaborator discuss how uncoordinated state policies and narrow federal policies limit support for family caregivers. We present several policy opportunities that require redefining what it means to be a caregiver.


The Division of Disability Resources & Educational Services is hiring a full-time Career Services Specialist. The Career Services Specialist will be responsible for supporting the career/employment needs of students with disabilities registered with DRES through: (1) the development, implementation and evaluation of career readiness programming for DRES Students, (2) collaboration with UIUC career service units to create more inclusive campus career experiences, and (3) the establishment and maintenance of employment-related partnerships in industry. Read the full job description and find instructions for applying here.


Join us as we celebrate SHS Undergraduate Adviser Kathi Ritten as she heads off into a well-deserved retirement. Join us via Zoom on June 21 from 3-4 p.m. to share some of your favorite memories of Kathi from her time on campus. Good luck, Kathi!


If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the campus encourages you to upload your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to the MyMcKinley Portal by taking a few simple steps, which are outlined on our Vaccination Record Card upload page.


START, a research program focused on aging intended for AHS undergraduate students, has a website designed to showcase the program. AHS faculty members played a critical role in training these students. We encourage you to take a look at some of the fantastic research being undertaken through this program. Most START students recently presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Noteworthy, Chloe Maghinang from SHS who worked this year in the Aging and Neurocognition Lab, in collaboration with Human Factors and Aging Lab, received an award for Outstanding Presentation for her poster presentation titled Relationship Between Strategic Attention and Inhibition in Older Adults with Varying Hearing Ability.

AHS Faculty members: The program is now accepting applications for 2021-2022.  Train the next generation of aging researchers through the START Program. If you are interested in mentoring a START student, please complete this short surveyEncourage your undergraduate students to get involved and they can earn 2 credit hours per semester.  Students may apply to be a part of the START program here.


The Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Clinic is offering group and individual therapy this summer. Illinois residents can receive telepractice services over Zoom from June 14 to Aug. 6. For more information, visit, email, or call 217-333-2205.


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 of 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 use any of the following options to complete the brief online screener to determine if you are eligible. The online screener can be found here.

We are looking for 55- to 79-year-old adults who are looking to become more physically active. Join a free, six-month activity program consisting of stretching-toning, aerobic exercise and yoga. Participants will engage in free, supervised exercise classes and receive free exercise equipment. Researchers will gather data as part of the program, which begins Aug. 30, and you can earn up to $240. For more information, go to the Say Exercise website.

We are recruiting children for a paid research study about how facemasks impact speech understanding in noisy environments. We’re looking for children 8-12 years old who speak English as their first language. The study lasts one hour. Participants are paid $15. Free parking. Daytime, evenings, and weekends available. Email

Twenty-one-to-seventy-year-old adults with hearing loss  or normal hearing are sought for a two-hour behavioral study and one-hour brain imaging (MRI) study. If you are not sure about your hearing, you may still be able to participate. We will do a free hearing screening. Free parking and compensation provided. Email or call 333-7561.


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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