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

Greetings, AHS family. The recent announcement from Chancellor Jones that restrictions on undergraduates resulted in a drop in new COVID cases and our positivity rate is an encouraging sign of better days ahead. Anecdotally, I see most everyone on campus adhering to mask-wearing guidelines. Let’s stay strong and continue to engage in the behaviors that will keep all of us safe, and I believe we can successfully complete this semester on campus.

You might have received notice that Homecoming—which will be a virtual event, as is most everything else this semester—has been delayed until the week of Nov. 8. I am happy to note that college-wide plans such as the Chez Veterans Center's Veteran's Day event and RST's Sapora Symposium are on track as scheduled for the coming months. Stories about both of these events are in the recently disseminated fall issue of the AHS E-News. I hope you took the time to look at it.  While it highlights the great things going on in the college, this issue is particularly uplifting. In addition to new faculty introductions, it includes student profiles.  Also included are stories about how our programs and students shifted to the virtual world, overcoming the challenges posed in a COVID-19 world.  This issue will give you a sense of pride and the smiles we all need!  

Remember that you still need to be tested once a week, on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday. This website has a list of testing sites and other COVID-related information. You will need to have up-to-date test results in order to gain access to your building. Download the Safer in Illinois app, as it allows you to keep track of your testing schedule and results.

AHS continues to move forward and be productive! To that end, we are still collecting information about 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.

Stay well!

Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell
Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences


AHS has a new embedded clinical counselor, Kim Peters, who is located in Huff Hall, Room 245. As a Counseling Center employee, Kim offers time-limited counseling, connection to group counseling, referrals to community therapists, and outreach and prevention services. Students, faculty and staff can schedule appointments directly with Kim at or 217-333-3704.  More information about services provided by the Counseling Center can be found on this website.


KCH professor Jake Sosnoff has been recognized as an Expertscape World Expert in Accidental Falls.

AHS Associate Director of External Engagement Danielle Runyon has been selected to participate in the Emerging Women Leaders program. (She joins Wendy Bartlo, whom we recognized last week, in receiving this honor.) The focus of this program is to equip participants with leadership skills and strategies that will positively impact their departments, the University, and the communities in which they live and serve.

KCH assistant professor Jacob Allen has been awarded affiliate status in the Microbiome Metabolic Engineering Research Theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

Laura Hahn Mattie and Marie Channell, Assistant Professors in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, have been named recipients of Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence Fellowships to attend the 2020 Conference for Assistant Professors. The annual conference brings faculty, especially assistant professors, from across the country together to discuss, share information, learn strategies, and meet with others in an effort to especially raise women's success in earning tenure. This year’s keynote speakers will focus on leadership as well as diversity and inclusion efforts in turbulent times.


An interdisciplinary team of UIUC engineers, designers and disability experts have recently been awarded a $1.5 million grant by the National Science Foundation National Robotics Initiative to develop a wheelchair that will provide individuals with a physical disability a new and novel mode of mobility. The project, called PURE (Personalized, Unique Rolling Experience) offers users elegant, organic, hands-free movement using an interactive and adaptive robot that is uniquely personalized for each user. Designed to be discreet, minimalistic, lightweight and safe, PURE seeks to create life-enhancing opportunities for daily wheelchair users while preserving long-term health and wellness. The PURE team includes Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler (PI, Mechanical Engineering), Deana McDonagh (Co-PI, School of Art and Design) William Norris (Co-PI, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering), Joao Ramos (Mechanical Science and Engineering), Pat Malik (former director of DRES), Jeannette Elliott (DRES), and Adam Bleakney (DRES).


If you missed the recent issue of the AHS E-News, you can view it here.

Kinesiology graduate student Brett Burrows was the first author of a study that indicated a culturally appropriate exercise intervention for Hispanic older adults showed promise at helping people who were sedentary, with multiple chronic health conditions, to become more active and improve their mobility.

You might have seen Wellness Ambassadors around campus, handing out sanitizers, masks and information flyers. Several of the Wellness Ambassadors are AHS students, and the communications staff is periodically interviewing them. This week it’s Rachel Brokenshire of Kinesiology and Community Health. 

We are also speaking with AHS freshman about navigating campus in a pandemic. This week it’s Regan Toole of KCH.




A new study seeks individuals 18 and older to assess nutrition status. The study aims to examine relationships between various nutrition assessment techniques. There is one in-person session lasting approximately one hour, and one remote/virtual visit.  In-person we measure your anthropometrics, cognitive tasks, and simple eye tests and a skin test to understand your habitual diet. You complete surveys about your diet and physical activity habits remotely. Compensation is $40 via Amazon gift card. Contact Monica Kashi in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.


The Exercise Psychology Lab is committed to promoting exercise as an easy, fun and safe way to improve health and well-being. During this time when COVID-19 has disrupted our daily lives, we are offering free, Zoom-based group exercise sessions led by our research staff. Exercises are tailored toward middle-aged and older adults with moderate levels of fitness. Sign Up Here! Exercise classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m.


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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