2017 Student Awards

More than 100 students received awards, scholarships, and fellowships from AHS’s instructional and service units this spring.

The 2017 student awards are listed by department. You can click on the following links to be taken directly to each department's awards:

DRES

I-HEALTH

KCH

RST

SHS

DRES Awards

Alumni Athletic Scholarship

Photo of Spencer Heslop
Spencer Heslop

Spencer will complete his bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology in 2018. He coaches young wheelchair athletes and volunteers annually at the Boise, Idaho, Youth Wheelchair Sports Camp as well as at camps hosted by the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball teams. He received the 2017 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Frank M. Brasile Sportsmanship of the Year Award.

Pamela Borelli & Family Achievement Award

Photo of Garren Schneider
Garren Schneider

Garren will graduate in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences. She volunteers at the University of Illinois Large Animal Veterinary Medicine Hospital. She also is involved in fundraising activities through Pi Beta Phi sorority for the children’s literacy initiative Read>Lead>Achieve.

Silvio and Loreta Corsetti Scholarship

Photo of Kathleen Dowling
Kathleen Dowling

Kathleen will complete her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science in 2020, with a focus on Speech-Language Pathology. She observed a speech-language pathologist who works with children with severe disabilities in the Essential Skills Classroom at Stratton Elementary School in Champaign. She also volunteers at Stratton as a tutor for a first-grade student who is learning English as a second language, and works with children with learning disabilities or ADHD at Urbana Middle School.

Ronald Dugan Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Kelsey O'Neill
Kelsey O'Neill

Kelsey will graduate next year with her undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences. She completed animal care internships at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, assisted Dr. Amy Fischer with a feline vaccination trial, was an intern for the Champaign County Humane Society, and worked at All About Animals Pet Clinic in Mahomet. This summer, she is participating in the African Wildlife Discovery Study Tour sponsored by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

John S. Fine Scholarship

Photo of Chelsey Baker
Chelsey Baker

Chelsey will complete her bachelor’s degree in Special Education in 2019. She has volunteered at the Circle of Friends Adult Day Care Center in Champaign, Urbana High School, and the West Tennessee School for the Deaf. For the last two years, she has served on the planning committee of the Disability Awareness Program on campus. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Education and previously received the David S. Mundy Scholarship.

Maxwell R. Garret Scholarship

Photo of Katrina Gerhard
Katrina Gerhard

Katrina will complete her degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2019. She is an undergraduate research assistant in a cancer biology lab and mentored an integrative genomic project for a general chemistry class. She is in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors Program and an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Last summer, she served as a facilitator for the New England Student Leadership Conference.

Glenn Hebert Scholarship

Photo of Stephen Koziel
Stephen Koziel

Stephen will graduate in 2020 with a dual degree in Community Health and Social Psychology. He is a teaching assistant for a business class in information technology and works at MakerLab, an accessible 3D printing facility. He also is assisting on research in the Department of Sociology that focuses on the state of minority rights in Russia and has joined Dr. Andrea Miller’s Psychology and Law Lab to do research on decision making within hospital ethics committees.

Anne Hopkins Scholarship

Photo of Carla Kochis
Carla Kochis

Carla will complete her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences in 2018. She worked as a personal assistant to a student with cerebral palsy through the Beckwith Residential Support Services program and has assisted the wheelchair basketball team and other students with disabilities as a volunteer with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. An Edmund J. James Scholar, she is a research assistant in Dr. Naiman Khan’s Body Composition and Nutritional Neuroscience Lab.

Carol Ann Kostka Award

Photo of Karla Del Cid-Ledezma
Karla Del Cid-Ledezma

Karla graduates next year with her bachelor’s degree in Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering. She is a research assistant in the Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Lab and a teaching assistant for two NPRE courses. A member of Engineering Ambassadors, she has received Illinois Engineering Achievement, University Achievement, Robert M. Stephens, and NPRE scholarships.

Joseph R. Larsen Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Bryana Peters
Bryana Peters

Bryana will complete her degree in Animal Sciences in 2019. She was an intern at the Imported Swine Research Lab. Last summer, she participated in a zookeeper internship that focused on reptiles and raptors. In her hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, she worked for more than four years on a replication of a 1920s dairy farm. As a volunteer, she helps care for horses at Crosswinds Equine Rescue in Sidell.

Jeffrey I. and Lisa Livovich Award

Photo of Kelsey Barnett
Kelsey Barnett

Kelsey is working on her undergraduate degree in Social Work. Believing in the importance of breaking the silence and stigma surrounding mental illness, she helps to educate people as a volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She also is a certified crisis intervention responder. An Edmund J. James Scholar in the School of Social Work, she is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Irl H. Marshall Scholarship

Photo of Dawn Cronin
Dawn Cronin

Dawn will complete her degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2018. She is a builder of battlebots, and recently led a team that designed and constructed a robot that placed in the top half of competitors at Engineering Open House’s Robobrawl. She served as president of Phi Sigma Rho, an engineering sorority focused on philanthropy and sisterhood, and led efforts to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Morse-Hedrick Scholarship

Photo of Jenna Fesemyer
Jenna Fesemyer

Jenna will complete her degree in Kinesiology in 2019. She manages a golf league for people with cognitive disabilities and has assisted with the holiday party for people with disabilities hosted by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. A member of the Illinois wheelchair track team, she served as a resident advisor with St. John’s Catholic Newman Center on campus.

David S. Mundy Scholarship

Photo of Sarah McCabe
Sarah McCabe

Sarah will complete her degree in Communications next year. As a student technology liaison intern for ATLAS, Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts and Sciences, she interviewed technology experts across campus and wrote stories for the newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. At home, she volunteers as an information specialist and receptionist at a botanical garden and sculpture park.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Photo of Amanda Cowfer
Amanda Cowfer

Amanda will graduate next year with undergraduate degrees in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Chemistry. She has served as a General Chemistry Merit Teaching Assistant and as tutoring and mentoring chair of the American Chemical Society Student Chapter. She received Outstanding Poster awards at the Illinois-Iowa American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Conference and the East Central Illinois American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Conference. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar and participates in the Campus Honors Program.

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Scholarship

Photo of Tim Culbertson
Tim Culbertson

Tim will graduate in 2021 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. For the last seven years, he has been an activity leader at the Maramech Hill Cub Scout Day Camp in northern Illinois. He also is a group leader for Vacation Bible School in his hometown church. An Eagle Scout, he has volunteered as a Boy Scout Troop Leader for a summer camp in Pioneer, Ohio.

Timothy J. Nugent Award

Photo of Samantha Blumenthal
Samantha Blumenthal

Samantha graduated in May with a degree in Learning and Education Studies focused on Educational Equity and Cultural Understanding. She served a marketing internship with the State Farm Center and participated in a volunteer teaching program in the Champaign schools. As vice president of student engagement in the Student Alumni Ambassadors, she helped to plan and carry out a variety of campus events. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Education.

Matthew Allan Odelius Award

Photo of Kathleen Downes
Kathleen Downes

Kathleen will complete her master’s degree in Social Work next year. She served on the Director’s Advisory Council of the Beckwith Residential Support Services program in Timothy J. Nugent Hall. She has participated in several panels on disability around campus and maintains a blog called Squeaky Wheelchair. She also volunteers at Crisis Nursery in Urbana and served an internship with Champaign County Healthcare Consumers.

William A. Olson Scholarship

Photo of Nicholas Miller
Nicholas Miller

Nicholas will complete his Master of Social Work degree in December. He focused his studies on healthcare. He volunteered at InTouch Adult Day Care Services in Moline, which serves older individuals with dementia, traumatic brain injury, and other chronic conditions. He also volunteered at Hope Creek Care Center, another facility for older adults in the Quad Cities. He has worked with youth as a volunteer with the Mississippi Valley Boys and Girls Club.

Steven D. Serio Men's Wheelchair Basketball Scholarship

Photo of Michael Mitchell
Michael Mitchell

Michael graduates next year with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has served as a volunteer tutor in local high schools and helped to provide meals to people in need. He also has volunteered extensively on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and was named an Academic All American in the 2016 and 2017 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournaments.

James E. Seybold Scholarship

Photo of Cheryl D'Souza
Cheryl D'Souza

Cheryl will complete her undergraduate degree in Advertising in 2018. She has been working as a brand ambassador for various marketing and advertising agencies for the last three years, promoting such brands as AT&T, Wal-Mart, ZTE Smartphones, Goldfish, Cricket Wireless, and Grubhub.

Bill Stewart Memorial Award

Photo of Jill Moore
Jill Moore

Jill graduated in May with a degree in Industrial Design. She is particularly interested in medical design and in improving the quality of hospital environments. She was involved in a project that focused on the human-centered design of BioStamp, a wearable device that monitors muscular efficiency for both rehabilitation and athletic situations. She volunteers at wheelchair track camps and with Stay-Focused, a nonprofit that certifies teenagers with disabilities in scuba diving.

Donald W. Swift Scholarship

Photo of Alicia Oladipo
Alicia Oladipo

Alicia just completed her first year of studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She worked at the Activities and Recreation Center as a facility assistant and volunteered in the Cardiopulmonary Department of Carle Foundation Hospital. She is a participant in the President’s Award Program, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Access and Achievement Program, and the Chemistry Merit Program for Emerging Scholars.

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I-Health Awards

Academic Achievement Award

Photo of Julia Ghering
Julia Ghering

Julia will pursue a medical degree after completing her undergraduate studies, with the goal of becoming an obstetrician/gynecologist. She volunteers with Illinois Emergency Medical Services and will serve as its president next year. She has also received two scholarships from the Phoenix Illini Club.

Community Service Award

Photo of Anessa Anand
Anessa Anand

Anessa plans to attend medical school. She has volunteered with the Daily Bread soup kitchen and the Illinois/Christie Clinic marathon. An Edmund J. James Scholar, she is a member of the freshman honors society Phi Eta Sigma.

Interdisciplinary Award

Photo of Carla Kochis
Carla Kochis

Carla will pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree after her undergraduate studies. She works with students with disabilities as a volunteer with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services and is employed by the Beckwith Residential Support Services program as a personal assistant. She also volunteers at Carle Foundation Hospital and is a research assistant in Dr. Naiman Khan’s Body Composition and Nutritional Neuroscience Lab. This year, she also received the Anne Hopkins Award from DRES.

Leadership Award

Photo of Jessica Blunt
Jessica Blunt

Jessica plans to become a physician assistant and hopes to work with people with disabilities. She has been a personal assistant in the Beckwith Residential Support Services program for three years, and is a homecare provider through the Illinois Department of Human Services. An Edmund J. James Scholar and Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program Scholar, she also has received the prestigious Margaret A. Secondino Scholarship.

Rising Star Award

Photo of Niquan Dawson
Niquan Dawson

Niquan's goal is to attend medical school to become a surgeon. He has volunteered on the surgical telemetry floor of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, and will participate this summer in Research Training and Career Development program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also is a Gates Millennium Scholar.

Social Justice Award

Photo of Ami Deshpande
Ami Deshpande

Ami plans to obtain a Master of Public Health degree and work in the health care field before pursuing a medical degree. She volunteers with Crisis Nursery and has been a research assistant in the Cultural and Social Behavior Lab in the Department of Psychology. An Edmund J. James Scholar, She also works with Dr. Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, director of the Master of Public Health program. This summer, she is participating in the National Center for Rural Health Profession’s Summer Preceptorship program at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Centralia.

Transfer Student Award

Photo of Megan Jorgensen
Megan Jorgensen

Megan plans to become a nurse practitioner, and hopes to work at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She is a certified nurse assistant and has worked in an assisted living facility. She has volunteered at Carle Foundation Hospital and worked as a personal assistant for the Beckwith Residential Support Services program.

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KCH Undergraduate Awards

Reginald Alston Award for Excellence

Photo of A'Keisha Lee
A'Keisha Lee

A’Keisha will graduate next year with bachelor’s degrees in Community Health and Psychology. She plans to serve in the Peace Corps before pursuing a graduate degree in public health policy and management. She volunteers with the Women’s Resource Center and the Rape Advocacy Counseling Education and Services Center. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Office of Minority Student Affairs Academic Excellence Society.

Joanne M. Carraway and Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Photo of Lauren Bline
Lauren Bline

Lauren will complete her degree in Community Health in December. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Health Administration and hopes to work in an urban hospital. She had an internship and then part-time employment as a business analyst with Intelligent Medical Objects, a healthcare technology company based in Northbrook. Next year, she will serve as president of Future Health Care Executives.

Carol L. Chittenden Scholarship

Photos of Matthew Kerr
Matthew Kerr

Matthew graduated in May with a degree in Kinesiology and will go on to a physician assistant graduate program. He was a research assistant in Dr. Sean Mullen’s Exercise, Technology, and Cognition Lab. He also worked with underrepresented students in the Office of Minority Student Affairs as a chemistry and biology tutor. He received Emergency Medical Technician-Basic certification through Presence Covenant Medical Center.

Community Health Leadership Award

Photo of Kevin Geary
Kevin Geary

Kevin will complete his degree in Community Health next year. He hopes to work as a healthcare consultant in Chicago for a time before pursuing a master’s degree in either Healthcare Administration or Business Administration. As the senior clerk in Ikenberry South student housing, he supervised more than two-dozen desk clerks. He also worked as a teaching assistant to Dr. Susan Farner. An Edmund J. James Scholar, he will serve next year as vice president of administration for Future Health Care Executives.

F. Patricia Cullen Scholarship

Photo of Gabrielle Schweitzer
Gabrielle Schweitzer

After completing her Kinesiology degree in 2019, Gabrielle plans to pursue a medical degree with a focus on pediatrics. She has been a research assistant on the FITKids program, which works to improve cognitive performance in elementary school children through exercise. An Edmund J. James Scholar, she also is a research assistant in Dr. Naiman Khan’s Body Composition and Nutritional Neuroscience Lab. She is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, a pre-medical fraternity that raises funds for St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield.

Helga M. Deutsch Scholarship

Photo of Sarah Brennan
Sarah Brennan

Sarah will pursue a Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy after completing her Kinesiology degree in 2019. She works with children and adults with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and Down syndrome through the organizations Swimable and Best Buddies. She also assisted worked with individuals with multiple sclerosis as a research assistant in the Exercise and Neuroscience Research Lab.

Beulah Drom Scholarship

Photo of Maria Corazzi
Maria Corazzi

Maria will graduate in 2019 with a degree in Kinesiology. She plans to become a physical therapist. She was a youth soccer referee for more than seven years. On campus, she worked with the FITKids project and volunteered with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, where she assists physical therapists with stretching and moving students with physical disabilities. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Aurelio E. "Joe" Florio Scholarship

Photo of Samantha Gorlovetsky
Samantha Gorlovetsky

Samantha graduates next year with a degree in Community Health and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She has shadowed occupational therapists providing inpatient and outpatient care at Carle Foundation Hospital. She volunteered at Heartland, a long-term care and hospice center in Champaign, and at the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield.

Ralph Geesman Scholarship for Veterans

Photo of Brent Blackwell
Brent Blackwell

Brent plans to attend medical school after completing his degree in Kinesiology next year, with a focus on trauma surgery. He served as a medic in the US Army for seven years. He is a research assistant in Dr. Marni Boppart’s Molecular Muscle Physiology Lab. As a volunteer with Illini Veterans, he has helped to raise money for the Chez Family Foundation for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education. An Edmund J. James Scholar, he also has received a Carol L. Chittenden Scholarship.

MidAmerica Healthcare Executive Recognition Award

Photo of Justice Hammers
Justice Hammers

Justice completed her degree in Community Health in May and will work as a healthcare consultant before returning to academia to obtain either a Master of Business Administration or Master of Healthcare Administration degree. An Edmund J. James Scholar, She served as a teaching assistant for an upper-level course in health services financing, and conducted research on the financial strength and utilization rates of Critical Access Hospitals in Illinois. She served on the Patient and Family Advisory Board of Presence Covenant Medical Center and was an administrative intern at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Carita Robertson Physical Education for Women Scholarship

Photo of Jazmon Carroll
Jazmon Carroll

Jazmon completed her Kinesiology degree in May and has gone on to St. Louis University to begin studies toward a master’s degree in Athletic Training. She was a facilitator for the alcohol awareness program called Ace-It and assisted with the FITKids program, which uses aerobic activity to improve cognition in school-age children. She was an Edmund J. James Scholar, a University of Illinois Matthews Scholar, and an Office of Minority Student Affairs Academic Excellence Scholar.

Seward C. Staley Scholarship

Photo of Morgan Johannes
Morgan Johannes

A first-year student in Kinesiology, Morgan plans to obtain a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. This summer, she is pursuing certification as a nurse’s assistant. A longtime volunteer, she has mentored high school students, worked at a shelter for women with children, and coached in a softball camp for girls. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and the Pre-Physician Assistant Club.

Marianna Trekell Scholarship

Photo of Marija Kosanovic
Marija Kosanovic

Marija completed a degree in Community Health in May, with concentrations in Health Planning & Administration and Health Education & Promotion. She will pursue a master’s degree in Community Health at Illinois, focusing on Health Policy and Administration. She worked at Triton College in River Grove as a manager and program coordinator for the Continuing Education Center for Health Professionals. She holds certificates in Occupational Safety and Health, Complementary and Integrative Health, and End of Life Care, and is a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Agnes Radich Vidovic Award

Photo of Jeenal Mehta
Jeenal Mehta

Jeenal will complete her degree in Community Health next year and plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree. She was an outreach volunteer with the Avicenna Community Health Care Center in Champaign and served as a classroom leader for the Student Opportunities for After-School Resources (SOAR) program. She also has assisted Dr. Flavia Andrade with research on the relationship between postpartum depression and obesity and presented her work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. She traveled with the nonprofit organization MEDLIFE to Lima, Peru, to assist in providing medical care to poor families.

KCH Graduate Awards

William H. Creswell Jr. Graduate Student Award

Photo of Lyana Delgado
Lyana Delgado

Lyana will complete her Master of Public Health degree in August. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a PhD and conduct research on accessibility and quality of care in underserved communities. In collaboration with La Casa Cultural Latina, she developed a workshop series on sexual health for the 2016-2017 academic year. She also coordinated a series of cooking classes in Thailand focused on healthy eating that were rolled into the intervention curriculum of Khon Kaen University’s Public Health program.

T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Award

Photo of Yi Sun
Yi Sun

After completing her PhD in Kinesiology next year, Yi will pursue a faculty position and conduct research on exercise physiology. She works with Dr. Jeff Woods in the Exercise Immunology Lab, where her research focuses on the effects of exercise on immune responses to vaccination. Because air pollution is one of China’s biggest problems, she also is investigating the effects of exercise and diet on immune function within high levels of air pollution. This summer, she will present her research at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Howard S. Hoyman Award

Photo of Sulagna Chakraborty
Sulagna Chakraborty

Sulagna expects to complete her PhD in Community Health in 2020 and plans to work in the area of public health. Her research interests include infectious disease surveillance, prevention and treatment strategies for chronic and infectious diseases, and interventions to promote health in diverse communities. She has worked with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on projects related to flu vaccine awareness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to overweight and obese children. She is a graduate assistant at McKinley Health Center.

Laura J. Huelster Award

Photo of Elizabeth Awick
Elizabeth Awick

Elizabeth completed her PhD in Kinesiology with a focus on Exercise Psychology in May. She has gone on to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health to pursue a Master of Public Health degree as a National Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention Fellow. Her research focuses on the relationship between physical activity and cancer-related cognitive impairment. She received 2015 and 2016 Cancer Scholars for Translational and Applied Research Awards from the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative at Illinois.

H.E. Kenney Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Chad Killian
Chad Killian

Chad will complete his PhD in Kinesiology next year. He will seek a faculty position at a research university to continue his work on improving school-based physical activity and health literacy for K-12 students through the innovative use of technology. He has been an instructor with the Graduate Academy for College Teaching, offered through the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of Illinois, and has conducted professional development workshops in local school districts. This year, he received both the college and campus Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Benjamin H. Massey Memorial Award

Photo of Matthew Haugen
Matthew Haugen

Matthew plans to complete his PhD in Kinesiology in December 2018. He hopes to work in academia as a professor of sport sociology and as a tennis coach. His research examines the intersection of education and athletics within the cultural context of China. He hopes to design and implement sport for development programs that assist Chinese athletes in studying academic, professional, or technical subjects while engaged in elite-level sports training. He will spend the 2017-2018 academic year pursuing his research in China as a Fulbright Scholar.

Robert L. Sprague Thesis Award

Photo of Yaejin Moon
Yaejin Moon

After completing her PhD in Kinesiology in 2018, Yaejin hopes to join a university or clinical industry where she can continue her research in movement science. She is particularly interested in the neuromuscular control processes that underlie complex adaptive human movements. Working with Dr. Jake Sosnoff in the Motor Control Lab, she has assisted in research to reduce shoulder pain in individuals who use wheelchairs, reduce fall risk in people with multiple sclerosis, and measure gait characteristics of individuals with neurological diseases. She previously received the T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Award.

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RST Undergraduate Awards

Charles K. Brightbill Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Katherine Trchka
Katherine Trchka

Katie graduated in May with a degree in Recreation Management. She has worked at YMCA camps as a residential camp counselor and completed an internship with the US Navy’s Child and Youth Program in Rhode Island. She also served an internship with the Urbana Park District. She previously received the Margaret K. and Edward W. Harvey Scholarship and in 2016, was voted the most likely to make an impact in the field by the RST faculty.

Chicago Knight Life Charities Scholarship

Photo of Bailey Branch
Bailey Branch

A junior in RST, Bailey is focusing her studies on Sport Management. She plans to go on for a master’s degree before pursuing a career in college athletics. She works for the Sports Camps and Clinics Office of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and has served as a summer day camp leader at Allerton Park and Retreat Center. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Margaret K. and Edward W. Harvey Scholarship

Photo of Margaret Olofson
Margaret Olofson

Maggie will graduate next year with a degree in Recreation Management. Her goal is to work with aquatics programs, something she has done with her local park district for the last four summers. On campus, she works in the Sports Information Department of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. She was the 2016-2017 student representative to the RST Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

George and Mary Lowrey Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Ryan McGrath
Ryan McGrath

Ryan will complete his degree in Recreation Management in August. He hopes to obtain a position with a parks and recreation department that allows him to create and work with youth sport and exercise programs. As a research assistant in the Office of Recreation and Park Resources, he assisted with an investigation of the social and personal values of open space for the Illinois Association of Park Districts and created a webinar for RiverWatch Illinois. This summer, he is completing his internship with the Skagit County Parks and Recreation Department in Washington.

Karen Martin Luetje and Robert E. Luetje Applied Health Sciences Scholarship

Photo of Angela Tzortzis
Anglea Tzotzis

Angela completed her first year of studies in May, but already has planned to pursue graduate education. She is a longtime participant in recreation and sport programs and hopes to bring the participant’s point of view to bear on her studies. She is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies.

Floyd and Etta McAfee Award

Photo of Alexxis Franklin
Alexxis Franklin

Alexxis graduated in May with a degree in Sport Management. She is beginning her career in the media and entertainment industry in New York City. She was the student coordinator in the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations and was one of 300 students nationwide selected to participate in an 18-month professional development program by Management Leadership for Tomorrow. She completed an internship in marketing with ESPN.

Mary and Duke Regnier Scholarship

Photo of Maddison Lewis
Maddison Lewis

Maddi will graduate in the summer of 2018 with her degree in Sport Management. She plans to go on to graduate studies, possibly in law. She has worked in marketing, equipment management, and pool management for the Outdoor Recreation Unit at Scott Air Force Base. She also works for the film division of the University of Illinois football team.

Allen V. Sapora Research Award for Undergraduate Student Research

Photo of Brenda Valyo
Brendan Valyo

Brendan graduated in May with concentrations in Sport Management and Tourism Management. He will serve a summer internship at a luxury resort. He assisted Dr. Nuno Ribeiro with a study of Chinese tourists’ perceptions of the United States and also worked with Dr. Liza Berdychevsky on a study of sexual risk-taking in tourism. He served as vice president of the student organization S.T.A.R. and as special events coordinator for the Varsity Men’s Glee Club.

RST Graduate Awards

Charles K. Brightbill Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Delaney Cherveny
Delaney Cherveny

Delaney completed her master’s degree in May. During her graduate studies, she was a graduate assistant for student development for Campus Recreation. She also served as the State of Illinois student leader for the Illinois Intramural-Recreational Sports Association. She was a member of the Region III Student Lead On Planning Committee of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, from which she received the 2017 J. Michael Dunn Endowed Scholarship and the William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award.

Christine Ziebarth Howe Graduate Student Award

Photo of Wonjun Choi
Wonjun Choi

Wonjun will complete his PhD next year. Working with Dr. Chris Green and Dr. Matt Browning, he examined the effectiveness of recreation, sport, and nature in creating positive changes in character, student adaptation to college, and life satisfaction. In 2016, he coordinated the Young Olympians program sponsored by the student organization Play for Change, through which children in the Boys and Girls Club of Champaign learn about Olympic values through organized activities.

Outstanding Online Master's Award

Photo of Skylar Peters
Skylar Peters

Skylar completed her degree in May. She currently works as a Centre County 4-H program assistant at Penn State Extension, where she founded an archery club that has enrolled more than three-dozen children. She sits on the Livestock Committee and Youth Advisory Committee of the Centre County Grange Fair. She recently served as a National Leadership Seminar Facilitator for the professional agricultural fraternity and sorority, Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha.

Mary and Duke Regnier Scholarship

Photo of Wonock Chung
Wonock Chung

Wonock is engaged in doctoral studies in RST. His main research interest is athletic burnout, especially among young athletes. As a personal trainer in Korea, he developed a passion for sport marketing and the use of sport for development. His master’s thesis examined the conflicts that arose during the integration of the Korean Olympic Committee with the Korea Council of Sport for All.

Allen V. Sapora Research Award for Master's Student Research

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Leslie Camarillo

Leslie will complete her master’s degree in 2018. She plans to remain in RST to pursue a PhD. She worked with Dr. Monika Stodolska and Dr. Kim Shinew on a study funded by the Urbana Park District to increase involvement in parks and recreation programs among underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. She is generally interested in the effects of intergenerational family dynamics on participation in recreation programs and constraints on leisure among ethnic and racial minorities.

Allen V. Sapora Research Award for PhD Student Research

Photo of Na Ri Shin
Na Ri Shin

Na Ri expects to complete her degree next year. She will seek a faculty position at a research university where she can continue to examine issues in sport and sport management from a critical social science perspective. She is particularly interested in the sport experiences of marginalized populations such as Asians and Asian Americans and hopes to develop more inclusive and supportive sporting environments for participants and spectators. She serves as the international relations chair of the student board of the North American Society for Sport Management.

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SHS Undergraduate Awards

Nanine S. Breon Scholarship

Photo of Carissa Ernat
Carissa Ernat

Carissa completed her undergraduate degree in May and begins studies this fall toward a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She hopes to focus her practice on children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She studied the application of social intervention in the treatment of adults with aphasia in Dr. Julie Hengst’s Discourse Analysis Lab and worked with Dr. Laura DeThorne on studies of augmentative and alternative communication. An Edmund J. James Scholar, she has presented her research findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention.

Joan Good Erickson Scholarship

Photo of Savannah Hubly
Savannah Hubly

Savannah is continuing her education toward a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology after completing her undergraduate degree in May. She has volunteered in Cape Town, South Africa, at an orphanage that housed children with severe physical disabilities. Here at Illinois, she completed a Leadership Certificate and received a Katie Walsh Memorial Scholarship. She is a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society.

Sylvia Wacker Herzog Scholarship

Photo of Stephanie Smolen
Stephanie Smolen

Stephanie will complete her degree in December. While continuing her studies toward a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, she also hopes to continue her research in dance-movement speech therapy. As a volunteer, she has worked with children with special needs at the JCC daycare center and served as a supportive living assistant to a young boy with autism spectrum disorder. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar and serves on the advisory board. She also received the 2017 Peter J. and Ella Montaleone Scholarship.

Barbara Williams Hodson Scholarship

Photo of Megan Roome
Megan Roome

Megan will enroll in a master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology after completing her undergraduate degree next year. Through the music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, she helped coordinate a benefit concert for Music and Memory, a program for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. A member and squad leader of the Marching Illini, she has played for the Boys and Girls Club of Champaign and the Carle Auditory School. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar and a Chancellor’s Scholar.

Frances L. Johnson Student Award

Photo of Katherine Schuelke
Katherine Schuelke

After completing her undergraduate degree next year, Katherine hopes to pursue her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. This summer, she is traveling with Special Hope Network to Lusaka, Zambia, to help a speech-language pathologist provide services to more than 140 children. During college breaks, she works with Northwest Special Recreation Association as a program leader. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Peter J. and Ella Monteleone Scholarship

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Stephanie Smolen

Stephanie will complete her degree in December. While continuing her studies toward a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, she also hopes to continue her research in dance-movement speech therapy. As a volunteer, she has worked with children with special needs at the JCC daycare center and served as a supportive living assistant to a young boy with autism spectrum disorder. She is an Edmund J. James Scholar and serves on the advisory board. She also received the 2017 Sylvia Wacker Herzog Scholarship.

SHS Graduate Awards

Bob Bilger Graduate Student Award

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Georgiy Yudintsev

Georgiy is pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience. He is generally interested in the neurobiological nature of top-down systems in the brain that play an important role in healthy hearing. His research focuses on understanding a group of neurons emanating from layers five and six in the auditory cortex that influence the inferior colliculus, a midbrain sound-integration center that may be directly influenced by memory and emotion.

Dean C. and Kathleen R. Garstecki Audiology Scholarship

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Yihson Tai

Yihsin is pursuing a PhD in Speech and Hearing Science. She earned a Doctor of Audiology degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the effects of tinnitus on quality of life. She is particularly interested in exploring the relationships among speech-in-noise performance, self-reported tinnitus, self-reported hearing difficulties, and cognitive function in people with tinnitus. She is a research assistant in the Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Lab of Dr. Fatima Husain.

Sylvia Wacker Herzog Scholarship

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Courtney Marcusson

Courtney completed her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in May. Her clinical practicum experiences included working with infants and children as a clinical program assistant at the University of Illinois Speech-Language Pathology Clinic and as a private caregiver. She volunteered in Dr. Laura DeThorne’s Child Language and Literacy Lab and Dr. Pamela Hadley’s Applied Psycholinguistics Lab. She received a 2015 Meritorious Poster Submission award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Frances L. Johnson Student Award

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Katherine Coobs

Katherine will complete her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2019. Her research focuses on idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss and the current guidelines for treatment. She also is interested in tinnitus and Auditory Processing Disorder. She has logged more than 500 hours as a graduate student clinician in the Audiology Clinic on campus and in hospitals, private practices, and government facilities.

H. William Porterfield, M.D., and Linda Obenauf Porterfield Speech and Hearing Graduate Fellowship

Photo of Zora McFarlane-Blake
Zora McFarlane-Blake

Zora will complete her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in August. Working with Dr. Pam Hadley, Zora investigated whether parents who receive toy talk instruction continue to use the strategies with their toddlers six months after instruction. She served as a teaching assistant for a service learning course about pediatric communication and has clinical experiences in a child development center, speech clinic, grade school, and Head Start programs. She completed an internship with the Urbana Early Childhood School and will intern this summer with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Ehud and Janie Yairi International Graduate Student Award

Photo of Macarena Barrera
Macarena Galvez Barrera

Macarena is pursuing a PhD in Speech and Hearing Science. She is interested in creating language-based early intervention programs for families with low socioeconomic status. She worked with socioeconomically disadvantaged children and preschoolers for three years as a speech-language pathologist in Chile. Her research examines the grammatical characteristics of caregivers’ linguistic input and how it impacts children’s grammatical competencies. As a volunteer with the Thirty Million Words Initiative, focused on using the power of parent language to develop children’s brains, she helped design a program for Spanish-speaking families.

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