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

We are experiencing difficult times.  The tragedies and rage we’ve watched play out across the country fill us with sadness, anger, frustration, and fear for today and for the future. We are left with the question of whether or not the social fabric of our communities will ever change to be respectful of all people.  On top of the emotions we’ve been feeling because of COVID, it seems overwhelming.  I hope that all of you know that we will get through this.  With compassion and care for each other, and with strong leadership and increased communication in our towns and cities, the goal is to emerge stronger as individuals and communities.  

As you are aware from Chancellor Jones’ message, the campus is delaying our return to work in light of the unrest. As with the pandemic, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our campus community. I know that many of you have been looking forward to returning to your offices. That will happen as soon as campus leadership feels the time is right.

Until then, please let us all be respectful toward and understanding of our fellow human beings. Many of them struggle with a reality that others of us will never experience. Let us remember to be kind to each other. Remember, too, that while we are hearing good news on the coronavirus front, it is important to continue keeping yourselves and others safe by wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and observing social distancing guidelines. Take care of your emotional health as well as your physical health. If you are struggling, reach out and we’ll connect you with someone who can help or check the COVID-19 Coping Toolkit, here.

When we do begin to return to campus, we will do so with the utmost care. Our goal at present is to have nearly everyone back by August 16 but individual circumstances or changing conditions could alter that target. In any event, you should have received your unit/department and Dean’s office plans.  Researchers, you should have been contacted about safety plans.  Despite our best intentions, our lack of previous experience with such an unusual circumstance may mean mistakes will be made. Please be patient and flexible.

You can still get COVID-19 information and resources on the college and campus websites. Access these from the links in the SPECIAL NOTE section on the College’s home page ( and the campus’ COVID-19 website ( I’m hoping the campus site will start to include the campus’ return to on-site work information, including answers to questions.  

Finally, remember, we are still collecting information about accomplishments and successes to publish in The Dean’s List. We still have lots of successes to celebrate!  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. 

Stay well!

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences


The College of AHS has created an informational page that includes a collection of campus resources to help with migrating instruction online.  If you have suggestions for other resources to add to this page, please send a note to


Clinical faculty in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science are working hard to offer telepractice services to meet the needs of graduate students and the community. SHS students need to gain as many telepractice hours as possible this summer in order to be able to graduate on time. The goal is to recruit as many clients as possible, with services offered through Aug. 16. Please share this information with people you know who might need speech-language pathology or audiology clinic services. You can find more information here.


Three AHS students were the recipients of awards from the 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium. Due to COVID-19, the symposium took place online through Compass2g from April 27 to May 1. In the Health and Wellness category, SHS junior Kelin Mendoza won for her collaboration with two others students on a poster presentation entitled, "It Takes Two: Analyzing the Association Between Maternal Depression and Childhood Obesity." SHS senior Jessica Phillipp won for her poster presentation entitled, "It's Like Face-to-Face Talking: Thematic Analysis of the Feasibility of a Video Chat Social Engagement Intervention for Older Adults With and Without MCI." In oral presentations, also in Health and Wellness, Kinesiology senior Amber Lopez won for her project entitled, "Measles Reprogramming Vectors with Improved Efficiency and Safety for Regenerative Medicine." Congratulations to all the winners, who you can see here.


Four of our faculty members joined faculty across the campus who provided five-minute “HSRI Lightning Talks” related to their work and COVID-19.  Bill Stewart and Kim Shinew of RST, Jeff Woods of KCH, and Marie Channell of SHS volunteered to give presentations at this event for UI donors, moderated by Paulanne Jushkevich, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Health Sciences & Research Initiatives. You can watch the videos by clicking the person's name above.


Today, June 1, at 7 p.m., the Department of Recreation, Sport & Tourism and the Sport Business Association are hosting a second Professional Development Summit with RST alumnus Matt Meyer.  (Zoom Meeting ID: 453 887 0047). Meyer became an agent at AM Only at just 23 years old, and today he represents Machine Gun Kelly, among other musical acts.


Restaurants are re-opening in our area, and Harshal Mahajan, the Assistant Director of Research for the Living in Interactive Future Environments (LIFE) Home research center, appeared on WCIA to talk about best practices for restaurant restroom safety.

KCH assistant professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo's campus-level award for excellence in graduate and professional teaching was publicized in the News-Gazette.

KCH assistant professor Neha Gothe, who received a grant from the National Institute on Aging to fund a new project entitled "Yoga, Aerobic and Stretching Exercise Effects on Neurocognitive Performance: A Randomized Controlled Trial," will be interviewed on WAND-TV Tuesday, June 2.

Our Expert Q&A series continued this week with Master of Public Health graduate Libeth Rosas, who now works at Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and talked about her work as a COVID-19 contact tracer.

Our Alumni Spotlight Series focused this week on Lynn Bielski, who got her undergraduate, graduate, and PhD degrees in SHS and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Ball State University. 

RST's Laura Payne was part of a collaboration with two finance professors who studied the efficacy of workplace wellness programs and found only a modest impact on employee health, health beliefs, and medical utilization. That study was also publicized by United Press International.

Joey Peters, a PhD candidate in Kinesiology and Community Health, teamed with Gies College of Business alum Arielle Rausin on a successful grant to make COVID-19 masks for people with a spinal cord injury, were featured in the News-Gazette on Sunday


If you are conducting research related to COVID-19, or are otherwise helping to solve the coronavirus pandemic, we'd like to know about it.  Please send a brief description of your involvement to

We are also asking our alumni to share information related to how they may be helping to mitigate the pandemic.  We will continue to share these stories as we learn of them.

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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