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Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences

Dear AHS faculty and staff:

Hello, all. You all should have seen the email from President Killeen in which he stated that the University of Illinois system will require that all faculty and staff be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the beginning of the fall semester of 2021. This should not be surprising news to anyone, as it follows similar guidance to our student population. You all have done a great job in keeping instruction and research humming during this time, and I expect you all will follow the appropriate guidelines to keep that happening in the fall.

Similarly, all AHS employees are expected to return to their Campus offices full time by Aug. 9. Please contact Jennifer Russell if you have any questions regarding return to work policies or procedures.

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


SHS Assistant Professor Justin Aronoff was awarded a $1.57 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for his project “The contributions of interaurally correlated signals and interaurally symmetric place of stimulation for the binaural auditory system.” He allowed the AHS communications staff to watch a simulation of one of his subject tests.

Jay Lopez, who recently earned his online master's in RST, talked to the Grad College about balancing work, family and his studies.

Through her experiences in the Community Health program, Cherish Recera has combined her love of the humanities with her passion for improving the health-care field.

As she prepares to take part in her sixth Paralympic Games, Tatyana McFadden talks about the importance of Paralympic athletes receiving the same pay as their Olympic counterparts.


Two projects led by AHS researchers received grants as part of the university’s 2021-2022 Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program. You can read more about both here.

The first, with KCH Associate Professor Andiara Schwingel as the principal investigator, entitled "Online Certificate Programs for Community Health Workers (CHW): From overlooked and under-researched employees to well-equipped frontline agents in the fight to reduce health disparities in communities of color." Using a community-based participatory research approach, Schwingel and her team—which includes KCH Assistant Professor Susie Aguinaga—plan to establish a coalition that includes CHWs, Illinois researchers, University of Illinois Extension, and the Illinois Community Health Workers Association (ILCHWA) to develop, evaluate, and disseminate online learning strategies through certificate programs that will train CHWs to address their community health needs. Funding for the project is $100,000.

The second, with RST Professor Monika Stodolska as the PI and RST Professor Kim Shinew as the co-PI, is entitled, “Combating Systemic Racism in Access to Nature, Open Spaces, and Parks and Recreation Resources.” Corky Emberson and Elsie Hedgspeth of the Urbana Park District are the community collaborators. The study will provide a formal evaluation of the steps undertaken by the Urbana Park District to better serve their residents of color, identify additional strategies UPD can employ to engage local residents of color, and create a road map for other public recreation and natural resource agencies across the U.S. on how to address systemic racism in access to nature and recreational resources among people of color.

KCH Assistant Professor Sarah Geiger received a $200,000 grant from the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Opportunities and Infrastructure Fund (OIF) for her study entitled, "Relationship Between Prenatal Chemical Exposure, Maternal Stress, and Child Sleep Outcome." The study, for which Geiger is the principal investigator, will examine the association between prenatal phenol exposure and child sleep outcomes in early childhood using a mixtures approach, estimate the association between prenatal maternal stress and child sleep outcomes, and evaluate the joint effects of prenatal phenol exposures and prenatal maternal stress exposure on child sleep outcomes. 


Please join us for a celebration for the Illinois Paralympians who will be competing in Tokyo. DRES will be hosting a sendoff party on Monday, Aug. 9 from 3-4 p.m. in the lobby at DRES (1207 S Oak St.) The Kona Ice Truck will be on-site with complimentary Kona ice cups!


KCH Assistant Professor Shannon Mejia has a new publication entitled, “The effectiveness of exergames on fear of falling in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review” in the journal Aging and Mental Health. Mejia and her collaborators, including graduate student Tai-Te Su, conducted a systematic review on the effectiveness of exergames in reducing fear of falling. They found promising evidence on the potential for exergames to reduce fear of falling. The authors also identified that an essential next step in establishing exergames as a scalable intervention will be to test intervention protocols in community settings and home environments.


Brynn Adamson, Matthew Adamson, Jeanine Bensken, KCH Teaching Assistant Professor Caitlin Clarke, Doo Jae Park, and KCH Associate Professor Synthia Sydnor presented “Keywords in Physical Cultural Studies: Figuring the Illinois School” at the 17th Annual International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. The presentation highlighted a component of a larger research project about the epistemological and ontological intersections of cultural and interpretive studies with kinesiology and health studies. Matt, Brynn and Doo Jae Park are all alumni of the KCH Ph.D. program, and Jeanine is currently a doctoral student in KCH.


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 "Who do I talk to about accounting?"


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.


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. Our group collaborates on grant submissions, publications, and other scholarly activities. We have developed a research registry and database to facilitate data collection and recruitment of participants. We also engage in community outreach activities to support the MS community and foster collaborations with other researchers outside of UIUC. The working groups meets on a monthly basis, and all are welcome to join. If you are interested in being involved with the MS collaborative, please contact Laura Rice for additional details.

The Human Factors and Aging Laboratory is seeking research participants for a study titled “Understanding Older Adults’ Willingness to Adopt a Health Application.” The goal of this study is to learn about older adults' perception towards adopting digital health systems. Furthermore, we would like to understand motivators or barriers to adopting new technology. This study will last 2 hours and take place on zoom. Potential participants must be 60 years old or older, currently have a smart phone, be willing to use zoom, have a device or computer that is zoom compatible, and have internet access. Participants will be compensated with a $25 Amazon Gift Card. For more information, please contact Mimi Trinh.

We are looking for adults aged 21-55 years with high weight for height to participate in a study into prolonged sitting and how adults think. The study involves three visits to Freer Hall, three Zoom calls, wearing activity monitors, and screening procedures. Measures include cognitive tests, electroencephalography, a body scan, maximal exercise test, and blood draws. Compensation up to $250. For more information, email Dominika Pindus.

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 seeking participants for a study focused on understanding the needs of those with a vision impairment when navigating through spaces. Specifically, we are interested in assistive technology aids. Requirements to participate in this study include: Able to Zoom call or phone call; Be 18 years or older; Have ‘severe’ vision loss (even with correction); 20/200 to 20/400 visual acuity. Participants will be asked to meet, via Zoom or phone, and work with a researcher for about one to 1 1/2 hours. During this time, the participants will answer a few questionnaires and engage in an interview. Participants will be compensated $25 for completing the study.  If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please send an email to the researcher, Megan Bayles, or call her at (217) 265-0248. 

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: or call 217-300-8336.


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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