2018 Student Awards

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

The 2018 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

Collin LaFon
Collin LaFon

Collin will complete his bachelor’s degree in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism in 2020, with concentrations in Sport Management and Recreation Management. He will pursue either a Master of Business Administration or law degree, with the goal of working with a professional or collegiate sport organization. He is a member of the wheelchair basketball and track and field teams and was the 2017 F33 Shot Put National Champion.

Pamela Borelli & Family Achievement Award

Amanda Cowfer
Amanda Cowfer

Amanda graduated in May with dual degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry Sciences and Letters. She will pursue a PhD in Organic Chemistry as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and plans a career in academia. She received the Lubrizol Foundation Scholarship for Chemistry, the American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry’s Summer Undergraduate Research Funding Fellowship, and the DRES Mary Jane Neer Scholarship.

Hannah Thompson
Hannah Thompson

After graduating in 2020 with her degree in Bioengineering, Hannah will pursue graduate studies with the goal of preparing for a career in designing medical devices and medications for chronic illness. She currently serves as treasurer of the University of Illinois chapter of the College Diabetes Network. A Dean’s List honoree, Hannah is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Engineering and a Chancellor’s Scholar in the Campus Honors Program. She plays the clarinet and is a member of the Marching Illini and the Men’s Basketball Band.

Silvio and Loreta Corsetti Scholarship (renewals)

Grace Buenrostro
Grace Buenrostro

BFA Industrial Design, 2018

Kathleen Dowling
Kathleen Dowling

BS Speech and Hearing Science, 2020

Kelly Mack
Kelly Mack

BS Computer Science, 2018

Asura Osborne
Asura Osborne

BS Psychology, 2018

Ronald Dugan Memorial Scholarship

Gabrielle Rodriguez
Gabrielle Rodriguez

Gabby graduated in May with degrees in Psychology and Communication. She will pursue a Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations degree here at Illinois and plans a career as a human resources manager who focuses on leadership development. Gabby completed an associate’s degree at Joliet Junior College. She was an undergraduate research assistant in two labs on campus: Psychology professor Dr. R. Chris Fraley’s Attachment, Personality, and Emotion Lab, and the Vocational Interest Research and Application Lab. She founded and served as president of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chapter of the Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement National Honors Society.

John S. Fine Scholarship

Elizabeth Flora-Swick
Elizabeth Flora-Swick

Elizabeth will complete her master’s degree in Social Work next year. She plans first to work as a licensed social worker in the disability services and healthcare sectors. Her long-term goal is to work in healthcare policy research and advocacy, and she may pursue a PhD or law degree to do so. She completed her undergraduate degree in Child and Family Studies at John Brown University in Arkansas. As a disability advocate in her home state of Kansas, Elizabeth co-chairs a youth development taskforce for Paralympic boccia and leads a project to strengthen the legal protections against maltreatment for people with intellectual and development disabilities who reside in group homes in Kansas. She is designing programs to prevent maltreatment of individuals with intellectual and development disabilities and to raise awareness of the needs of individuals with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities within the disability service sector.

Kelly Hussey
Kelly Hussey

Kelly will complete her degree in Global Studies in 2019. She is studying abroad in Bilbao, Spain, this summer, and also has studied at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. She participated in the Disability Awareness event sponsored by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services and served on a social justice subcommittee for the Dean’s Student Advisory Council. A Dean’s List honoree, Kelly has received Enabled Abroad and Illinois for Illinois scholarships from Illinois International Programs.

Maxwell R. Garret Scholarship

Jenna Fesemyer
Jenna Fesemyer

Jenna will complete her degree in Kinesiology in 2019. She will pursue a master’s degree in Higher Education and hopes to continue working in residence life services in a university housing program. As a Resident Advisor on campus, Jenna works to ensure a healthy and safe living environment for students, assists in the development and administration of residential programs and services, and challenges students to develop their own communication and problem-solving skills through residence hall and campus involvement. She is a member of the wheelchair track team and enjoys teaching others about adaptive sports.

Emily Oberst
Emily Oberst

Emily has focused her studies within the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism on Sport Management. After graduating in 2020, she hopes to work with a sports-related organization such as Team USA, a professional sports team, or a university athletic program. During the academic year, Emily works in testing accommodations for DRES. This summer, she is volunteering with Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association to gain experience in running a sports program. A member of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team, Emily has been named a 2018 second team All-American, Intercollegiate Player of the Month for December, and Chicago Bash Most Valuable Player.

Glenn Hebert Scholarship (renewals)

Stephen Koziel
Stephen Koziel

BS Community Health and Social Psychology, 2020

Chloe Siegel
Chloe Siegel

BS Crop Sciences, 2018

Anne Hopkins Memorial Scholarship

Karen Juarez
Karen Juarez

Karen graduated with highest honors in May with a bachelor’s degree in Community Health focused on Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. She will pursue graduate studies and a career in Occupational Therapy. She worked as a personal assistant in the Beckwith Residential Support Services program and completed an internship with Jeannette Elliott, the physical therapist at DRES. Before coming to campus, Karen volunteered at the Association of Horizon summer camp for people with disabilities. She also has worked as a certified nursing assistant in a nursing home. Karen was a Dean’s List honoree and member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Carol Ann Kostka Award

April Wendling
April Wendling

April will graduate next year with degrees in Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability (ESES) and Geography. She plans to attend graduate school and hopes to pursue a career in environmental research.  She has been a counselor for the environmental engineering summer camp for high school students sponsored by the College of Engineering and also has worked in Dr. Jim Miller’s restoration ecology lab and Dr. Feng Sheng Hu’s plant biology lab. This summer, April will complete a research internship in a plant genomics lab in the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. During the 2018-2019 academic year, she will be an intern in the IPRH-Mellon Environmental Humanities Research Group.

Joseph R. Larsen Memorial Scholarship

Sarah Plimpton
Sarah Plimpton

Sarah graduated with highest honors in May with a degree in Kinesiology. She will begin her studies toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree this fall at the Ohio University and plans to specialize in men’s and women’s health. As a volunteer with DRES, Sarah worked with the men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams and other students with disabilities. During volunteer experiences at Carle Foundation Hospital, Christie Clinic, and Clark Lindsey Retirement Village, she had the opportunity to shadow physical therapists to learn more about her chosen career. Within the next two years, she plans to provide free physical therapy as a volunteer in a hospital in Botswana, Africa.

Jeffrey I. and Lisa Livovich Award

Gary Walker
Gary Walker

After completing his degree in Broadcast Journalism next year, Gary hopes to work for a nonprofit radio station. He has an associate’s degree in Business Management, which he earned at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois. An avid volunteer, Gary has donated his time and energy locally to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he worked with a database that tracked volunteer hours, and the Urbana Free Library, where he assisted with fundraising sales sponsored by Friends of the Urbana Free Library. He also volunteers on campus as a role model for younger students.

Irl H. Marshall Scholarship

Kurt Loeffler
Kurt Loeffler

Kurt will complete his master’s degree in Music in the fall with a focus on Jazz Studies. Prior to enrolling at Illinois, he had established a private teaching studio in suburban Chicago and hopes to continue growing this business. His bachelor’s degree in Music is from the University of Michigan. In addition to being a private music teacher, Kurt contracted with several schools in his home town region. He would like to continue to network with band directors in the Chicago area to provide group lessons or coach percussion section students in concert, marching, and jazz bands. For his master’s thesis, he is researching the life of Teo Macero, an accomplished musician, recording engineer, and producer who single-handedly issued many of the recordings by jazz history’s greatest and most important artists.

Avalon Ruby
Avalon Ruby

Avalon is pursuing a degree in New Media, which she will complete in 2020. After graduating, she hopes to direct full-length films. She works as a manager of technology services for Instructional Computing Services on campus. During the summer, she volunteers as a zone leader at the RTX convention in Austin, Texas, which focuses on gaming, animation, comedy, and internet culture. She is deeply involved with the New Revels Players student theater company, for which she has created advertisements, acted, and directed. A Dean’s List honoree, Avalon has displayed her art in three galleries within the last year.

Morse-Hedrick Scholarship

Joey Gibbs
Joey Gibbs

Joey will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Community Health. He plans to continue his education toward master’s and doctoral degrees in Occupational Therapy and hopes to focus his practice on spinal cord rehabilitation. This summer and fall, Joey is shadowing an occupational therapist at Carle Foundation Hospital. He is a member of the wheelchair track and field team and volunteers with the wheelchair basketball team. Joey was named a 2015 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field High School All-American for the 800-meter race. He participated in national level games that were qualifiers for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2017, he completed his first marathon in Chicago, and a second-place finish at a subsequent marathon in Columbus, Ohio, qualified him for the 2018 Boston Marathon.

David S. Mundy Scholarship

Adam Abdelhak
Adam Abdelhak

Adam will complete his degree in Applied Physics in 2020. After completing graduate studies, he hopes to work at NASA or the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. As a high school senior, Adam was a member of a team that completed a STEAM project at Argonne National Laboratory. He was active in fundraising for nonprofit agencies, participating in the Northwestern University Dance Marathon and soliciting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He has received an Al Hofeld Scholarship from Evanston Township High School District 202, an Illinois State Scholar Award, and a President’s Award.

Sarah McCabe
Sarah McCabe (renewal)

BS Communication, 2018

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Hugo Calderon
Hugo Calderon

Hugo is pursuing a degree in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences with a focus on agricultural business, markets, and management. After graduating in 2021, he plans to work for Pepsico. He would like to serve in the Peace Corps in the area of rural development and also wants to form a nonprofit youth soccer club. With research interests in rural poverty and education, Hugo will further his studies in food insecurity, with a concentration on food distribution networks and the role that economics play in rural development.

Cheryl D'Souza
Cheryl D'Souza

Cheryl will graduate in December with a degree in Advertising. She hopes to work in an advertising agency as a creative and/or art director. She also has studied at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, and Triton College in River Grove, Illinois. Over the last four years, Cheryl has worked as a brand ambassador for a variety of clients, including Keratin Complex, Wal-Mart, AT&T, and ZTE Smartphones. She also has been providing pro bono advertising services to a number of agencies. She is an active volunteer, having donated her time and energy to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, animal shelters, schools, and churches. A Dean’s List honoree, Cheryl received the 2017 James E. Seybold Scholarship from DRES.

Megan Finnegan
Megan Finnegan

After completing PhDs in Neuroscience and Clinical and Community Psychology in 2022, Megan plans to continue research into the complexity of the mind. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Merced. Her early PhD research used functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize the neural changes associated with a mindfulness-based intervention. She also has designed a web site for and organized a lab section of a MATLAB programming workshop for graduate students. Among the awards Megan has received are an Illinois Distinguished Fellowship, the Elaine Paden Award from the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, and the Irl H. Marshall Scholarship from DRES.

Hope Holland
Hope Holland

Hope will complete the coursework for her PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology in 2021. After a one-year clinical internship, she hopes to work in policy-related research focused on gender-based violence and other aspects of mental and behavioral healthcare. Working with Dr. Nicole Allen in the Department of Psychology, Hope’s research addresses such gender-based violence as intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. She volunteers as an overnight staff member in the winter women’s shelter in Champaign and as a research intern with a local political campaign designed to increase access to voting for marginalized

Katie Kern
Katie Kern

Katie will complete her degree in Economics in 2020. With a passion for technology, she hopes to apply and develop her communication and leadership skills through work in the tech world. As a member of the Business Council, Katie helps to raise funds for charity each semester. This semester, she co-coordinated a charity dance to benefit Autism Speaks, which supports individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support. The event raised $2000 for the organization.

Shelby Kosanovich
Shelby Kosanovich

After graduating with a degree in Advertising next year, Shelby will seek a position that will allow her to empower, encourage, create, and provide others with the motivation and insight to be their best selves. She will complete a certificate in media sales as part of her undergraduate program. She has been volunteering since high school with Our Place in Wilmette, Illinois, which provides support services to teens and adults with developmental disabilities. She is deeply involved in the philanthropic activities of Gamma Phi Beta and takes pride in having led the sorority’s freshmen to a first-place finish during Delta Tau Delta’s Deltona Beach philanthropy week to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Lucy Kovacevic
Lucy Kovacevic

Lucy will complete undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Communication before graduating in 2020. She plans to earn a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and hopes to become a clinical therapist. As a member of the 2018 cohort for the Counseling Center Paraprofessionals, Lucy takes part in outreach programs designed to inform students about issues related to mental health, academics, diversity and stress management. She volunteers for Down in the Southland, which fosters the development of lifelong education, social, and life skills among individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the southern suburbs of Chicago. She also has volunteered with Beds Plus in Oak Lawn, Illinois, which provides shelter and services to homeless individuals.

Maggie Phan
Maggie Phan

After completing her PhD next year in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, Maggie will pursue an academic career. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Nutrition and Health Sciences at Emory University in Georgia, and a Master of Public Health degree at Illinois. Working with Dr. Monika Stodolska, Maggie is investigating issues related to food consumption, food preparation, and eating behaviors as key components of leisure behavior. She has been a teaching assistant for four courses in recreation, sport, and tourism. As a volunteer Community Aide with the University of Illinois Housing Division, she helps new graduate students adjust to life in Urbana-Champaign. Maggie has received an Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation Scholarship and a National Recreation and Park Association Best Research Abstract Award for the Social Equity Pillar.

Jessica Ragsdale
Jessica Ragsdale

Jessica graduated in May with a Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature. She will continue performing classical music and opera. Her undergraduate degree in Music is from Pepperdine University in California. She has performed with the University of Illinois’ opera scenes program in the School of Music and the University Chamber Singers. She performed as the Second Spirit in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Pepperdine, where she also was a member of the chamber and concert choirs and the Pepperdine Improv Troupe, and participated in the Heidelberg Summer Music Program. She has participated in several training and conservatory programs, including the Youth Theatre Conservatory at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee, the Wesley Balk Opera-Musical Theatre Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the New York University Classical Voice Intensive.

Rodrigo Scofield
Rodrigo Scofield

Rodrigo will complete his degree in History with a minor in Secondary Education in 2020. He plans to go on to graduate school before becoming a high school teacher of US and world history, geography, and political science. In his senior year of high school, Rodrigo began volunteering in middle and elementary schools as a tutor and teacher’s aide. He participated in the program Invitation to Teach in high school and has continued his outreach efforts through the College of Education.

Jamal Hussain
Jamal Hussain (renewal)

PhD Molecular Human Nutrition, 2019

Meirav Malter
Meirav Malter

BS Global Studies and Jewish Studies, 2018

Eliza Sylvestre
Eliza Sylvestre

MFA Studio Art, 2019

Timothy J. Nugent Award

Joey Ramp
Joey Ramp

Joey will complete her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience next year. She will pursue graduate studies and research on relationships between mild and multiple traumatic brain injuries, psychological disorders, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma. She also studied Secondary Education at State College of Florida. She is an undergraduate research assistant in the Rhodes Laboratory at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. She has been an advocate for disability services since 2012, particularly for individuals with service dogs, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injuries. A Dean’s List honoree, Joey has received a Fred S. Bailey Leadership Scholarship, Congress of Women Legislators Scholarship, and Presidents Volunteer Service Award. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Society.

Matthew Allan Odelius Award

Amelia O'Hare
Amelia O'Hare

Amelia graduated in May with a degree in Urban and Regional Planning that focused on Community Development. She plans to attend graduate school in the same field. She completed an independent study of women with disabilities within the feminist movement, research she hopes to continue as a graduate student. Last semester, she worked with the City of Chicago and the Roseland community on a project related to the extension of the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line. She and her team met with the transportation department officials and grass roots organizers to generate ideas about protecting the Roseland community from undesirable development. She also worked with Habitat for Humanity to design a community center for a low-income neighborhood in Urbana.

William A. Olson Scholarship

Collin LaFon
Collin LaFon

Collin will complete his bachelor’s degree in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism in 2020, with concentrations in Sport Management and Recreation Management. He will pursue either a Master of Business Administration or law degree, with the goal of working with a professional or collegiate sport organization. He is a member of the wheelchair basketball and track and field teams and was the 2017 F33 Shot Put National Champion.

James E. Seybold Scholarship

Karli Paulson
Karli Paulson

Karli will complete her degree in Advertising in 2020. She also will complete a Business minor and a certificate in Media Sales, and will apply all the knowledge she gains to a career as a pharmaceutical sales representative. For almost three years, Karli has worked at Oak Trace Retirement Community in Downers Grove, Illinois, developing a deep understanding of and compassion for residents and their caretakers. The experience helped her identify her career goal and fueled her enthusiasm for medicine and health in general. On campus, she is a manager for the apparel company Greek House. Her primary responsibilities are to reach out to potential clients, process orders, and create brand awareness.

Bill Stewart Memorial Award

Alicia Oladipo
Alicia Oladipo

Alicia will complete her degree in Speech and Hearing Science in 2020. She plans to go on for her master’s degree and certification in Speech-Language Pathology and hopes to specialize in pediatric and adult fluency and stuttering therapy and aural rehabilitation therapy. She trains and supervises volunteers as the student leader in Carle Foundation Hospital’s Orthopedics and Urology Department. She is a math tutor in the Office of Minority Student Affairs and volunteers as a teacher’s assistant and tutor for kindergarten and first-grade students at Carrie Busey Elementary School in Savoy. She also has volunteered at the Swann Special Care Center, a facility in Champaign for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and the Wesley Food Pantry. In the fall, Alicia will be an undergraduate research assistant in an aphasia lab, working with older adults who have lost their ability to understand or express speech due to brain damage. An active member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society, Alicia has received the Donald W. Swift Scholarship, President’s Award Scholarship, and Dr. Barbara Sherman Memorial Scholarship.

Donald W. Swift Scholarship

Jessica DeVries
Jessica DeVries

After completing her master’s degree in Social Work in December, Jessica plans to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and serve a Hispanic/Latino population in a nonprofit organization. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has been working with a diverse patient population and improving her Spanish language skills as a member of the Frances Nelson Health Center staff since 2015. She also volunteered as a reading buddy through SOAR, an after-school tutoring program that provides literacy support and homework help to second- through fifth-grade Latina/o emergent bilingual/biliterate students at International Prep Academy in Champaign. As a social worker, Jessica hopes to pursue her interests in advocacy and policy change.

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I-Health Awards

Academic Achievement Award

Natalie Noonan
Natalie Noonan

A student in the joint BS/MPH program, Natalie completed her undergraduate degree this year, graduating with highest honors, and will complete her MPH next year. She plans to continue her studies to become a physician assistant. As an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, she conducted research on the medical cannabis program of the Illinois Department of Public Health. She completed internships with Innovative Bracing and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. She also volunteered at Clark-Lindsey Retirement Village and the Wesley Food Pantry and hosted blood pressure screening clinics on campus. A five-time Dean’s List honoree, Natalie worked as a personal assistant with the Beckwith Residential Program for students whose disabilities require them to have assistance with the performance of daily living tasks.

Community Service Award

Nikta Athari Anaraki
Nikta Athari Anaraki

Nikta graduated with high honors in May and will pursue a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies, with a focus on gerontology. A certified nurse assistant, she was a research assistant in the Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory directed by former KCH professor Rob Motl, where she was the lead undergraduate assistant on a project that explored factors influencing participation in physical activity by people with MS. A Dean’s List honoree, Nikta presented a poster on her work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. She has volunteered with Carle Foundation Hospital, the Wesley Food Pantry, Books to Prisoners, and the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club. She also has been involved with UNICEF at UIUC for four years, as president, advocacy committee chair, and director of activities.

Interdisciplinary Award

Audrey Hoene
Audrey Hoene

Audrey graduated with high honors in May and is going on to medical studies at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford. Her goal is to serve a rural community as a family medicine physician. She obtained her license as a certified nurse assistant at Lake Land College in Mattoon. She applied her nurse assistant skills as an aide at Heartland Christian Village, a skilled nursing facility in Neoga, and as a home health aide. As a family specialist in the STRONG Kids research program, she assisted with studies about childhood obesity and presented her research on the relationship between hours spent watching television and childhood BMI at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. As a member of the cooperative sorority 4-H House, she helped to raise funds for Journey, an organization started by Jim and Barb Esworthy, whose two daughters were killed by a drunk driver. A Dean’s List honoree, she was an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Leadership Award

Mary Jones
Mary Jones

Mary completes her studies in I-Health next year, with a focus on Health and Aging. She will continue her education in the accelerated BSN program at the Goldfarb School of Nursing in St. Louis. After working as a nurse for a time, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Nursing, Health Education, or Public Health. She has honed her fundraising and leadership skills through a position with the University of Illinois Foundation. She served as vice president and president of I-HEAL, the I-Health student organization, and as the public relations coordinator of R.E.A.C.T., a chemistry outreach program. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career to date and is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Floyd and Etta McAfee Award (college award)

Hannah Fath
Hannah Fath

Hannah graduated with highest honors in May. She begins studies toward Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work degrees at Boston University in the fall, and hopes eventually to obtain either a PhD or law degree. Hannah was a sexual health intern in McKinley Health Center’s Health Education Department and had extensive training about sexual assault, birth control, and sexually transmitted diseases and infections through McKinley’s Sexual Health Peers program. She was active in Sistering CU, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent postpartum depression by providing new mothers with hands-on practical and emotional care. Through the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, she had the opportunity to shadow professionals in nutrition and served an internship with the Summer Meals program. She also volunteered with the Give Back Garden, which provides organic produce to low-income community members. A Dean’s List honoree, Hannah founded OKNow Ladies, the only all-women sketch comedy group on campus.

Rising Star Award

Peter Walker
Peter Walker

Peter will complete his degree in 2021. He is preparing for the possibility of attending medical school by completing pre-med requirements.  If he decides not to pursue a career as a physician, he may opt to pursue a PhD and become a researcher focused on disease prevention. In his first year of at the University of Illinois, Peter traveled to Santo Domingo Ecuador as part of a medical mission trip to provide health care services in poor communities. He volunteers in a biological research lab that is studying diseases associated with aging, such as osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes. He also worked with I-Health director Dr. Julie Bobitt on an investigation of perceptions of cannabis and usage habits among older adults. He is a Chancellor’s Scholar in the Campus Honors Program and an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Social Justice Award

Hannah Fath
Hannah Fath

Hannah graduated with highest honors in May. She begins studies toward Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work degrees at Boston University in the fall, and hopes eventually to obtain either a PhD or law degree. Hannah was a sexual health intern in McKinley Health Center’s Health Education Department and had extensive training about sexual assault, birth control, and sexually transmitted diseases and infections through McKinley’s Sexual Health Peers program. She was active in Sistering CU, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent postpartum depression by providing new mothers with hands-on practical and emotional care. Through the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, she had the opportunity to shadow professionals in nutrition and served an internship with the Summer Meals program. She also volunteered with the Give Back Garden, which provides organic produce to low-income community members. A Dean’s List honoree, Hannah founded OKNow Ladies, the only all-women sketch comedy group on campus.

Transfer Student Award

Daryle Howard
Daryle Howard

Daryle is focusing her studies on Health Diversity. She plans to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree after graduating in 2019. She is a research assistant to Dr. Margarita Teran-Garcia in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and is assisting with an effort to adapt a nutritional education plan for Hispanic/Latinx individuals and immigrants from other minority groups. Through the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, Daryle has volunteered at several local organizations. She also is a member of McKinley Health Center’s Sexual Health Peers. A five-time Dean’s List honoree, Daryle is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences. She received President’s Award Program honors and an Office of Minority Student Affairs Scholastic Award for academic excellence, and has been selected to participate in Global Medical and Dental Brigade’s mission to Honduras this summer.

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KCH Undergrad Awards

Jerry D. Burnam Student Scholarship

Darrien Rose
Darrien Rose

Darrien will complete his undergraduate degree next year in Community Health, with concentrations in Health Planning and Administration and Health Education and Promotion. He plans to become a nurse practitioner and work in underserved communities. He is a research assistant in Dr. Ken Wilund’s Renal and Cardiovascular Disease Research Laboratory and an undergraduate teaching assistant for a course in medical ethics. Last summer, Darrien participated in the Centers for Disease Control’s Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University in New York, where he was an intern for New York City Health + Hospitals, an integrated health care system of hospitals, neighborhood health centers, long-term care, nursing homes, and home care. He currently is an undergraduate research assistant in a mindfulness skills training initiative and an intern in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Darrien serves as vice president of student engagement for the Student Alumni Ambassadors. He has received a Google Scholarship and Helping Others Prosper through Education Scholarship from the Office of Minority Student Affairs, and a 2017 Inspiring Service Honor Award from the Office of Volunteer Programs.

Joanne M. Carraway and Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Kristi Escobar
Kristi Escobar

Kristi will complete her degree in Kinesiology in 2020. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy, with the goal of working with children with cognitive, physical, and intellectual disabilities as a pediatric occupational therapist. As a research assistant in Dr. David Strauser’s Work and Disability Lab, she analyzes focus group data, creates marketing materials, and seeks agency support for ongoing projects. She volunteers with Out of the Box, a pediatric occupational therapy clinic in Palatine, Illinois, assisting with its “Sensory Saturday” events.
As publicity chair of the Kinesiology Student Association, Kristi oversees the organization’s social media and creates promotional materials to encourage members to be active. She has made the Dean’s List each semester of her undergraduate career to date and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.

Yanqing Lyu
Yanqing Lyu

After graduating in 2020, Yanqing plans to become a physical therapist with a specialization in sports rehabilitation and movement science. She hopes not only to help her patients recover from sports injuries but also to promote injury prevention, or “prehab,” using therapeutic methods. As a volunteer with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, Yanqing assists the physical therapist in managing students’ therapy and exercise. She has observed practice in the Therapy Services unit at Carle Foundation Hospital. She also is active in the Illini Emergency Medical Services as an EMS-aide and is working toward certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. As an EMS-aide, she has volunteered as a first responder at football games and the Illinois Marathon. An Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Yanqing has been on the Dean’s List since beginning her studies in the fall of 2016.

Claudia Morawa
Claudia Morawa

Claudia will complete her degree in Community Health next year. She would like to acquire industry experience as a healthcare consultant before completing a master’s degree in Health Administration, Business Administration, or a technology-related field. Claudia has held internships at Promise Healthcare, where she assisted with the organization’s implementation of a new electronic medical records system, and in the Contracts Management Department of Carle Foundation Hospital. She currently is an operations analyst intern with Intelligent Medical Objects, where she analyzes and codes clinical data to improve the management of electronic health records. She also is interning in the Internal Consulting Department at Carle. This summer, Claudia will serve a healthcare consulting internship with Crowe Horwath, a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm. On campus, she volunteers with Student Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations, which provides pro-bono services within the local community. A five-time Dean’s List honoree, Claudia is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Samantha Noehre
Samantha Noehre

Sam came to the University of Illinois after completing an associate’s degree at Waubonsee Community College. She will complete her degree in Community Health next year and plans to pursue graduate study with a focus on maternal health. She worked last summer as a medical intern for World Relief, a refugee resettlement agency, where she connected new families with healthcare services. She also volunteered in the Family Life Center of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, providing respite care for patients and their family members. As an undergraduate research assistant with the I.D.E.A. research team, she is helping to coordinate the I.D.E.A. Women’s Health Coalition, a group of patients, providers, and researchers who are committed to improving maternal health outcomes. Sam also is volunteering in Carle Foundation Hospital’s Obstetrics Department, and is assisting in the teaching of a healthcare finance course. A Dean’s List honoree, Sam was selected to attend the first Training Day offered by the Obama Foundation.

Carol L. Chittenden Scholarship

John Hamman
John Hamman

Jack will complete his degree in Community Health in 2020. He plans to join the medical service corps and work as a healthcare administrator in the Army. In the future, he would like to earn a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and transition into civilian work as a hospital administrator. Jack has taken four mission trips to Haiti with his church. As a cadet in the Army ROTC, he has volunteered at the concessions stand for home football games. He serves on the executive board of the Interfraternity Council as vice president of membership development and is a member of the James Scholar Advisory Board in the College of Applied Health Sciences. He will spend this summer in Romania with an Army Cultural Understanding and Language Program. Jack has been on the Dean’s List every semester of his undergraduate career and is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

F. Patricia Cullen Scholarship

Rachel Weber
Rachel Weber

Rachel graduated with high honors in May with a degree in Community Health focused on Health Planning and Administration. She will join Mercer as a health and benefits analyst, and plans a career in healthcare consulting. She also plans to pursue dual master’s degrees in Healthcare Administration and Business Administration, with a future goal of being an executive with a healthcare system that focuses on women’s and maternal health. She was an undergraduate teaching assistant for a Community Health course on health service financing and served internships with the DuPage County Health Department and the neuroscience and orthopedic medicine departments at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. She also followed her healthcare interests abroad, taking a study abroad trip to Italy to learn more about the Italian healthcare system. Rachel was a member of the Sound Solutions team that earned first place in the 2017 Claro Group Case Competition, an annual competition for Community Health students sponsored by the Claro Group, a Chicago-based financial advisory and management consulting firm.

Helga M. Deutsch Scholarship

Nicole Alberto
Nicole Alberto

Nicole will complete her degree in Kinesiology in December. As a student in the combined BS/MPH program, she will continue her studies toward the Master of Public Health degree. She plans also to obtain a doctoral degree in Physical Therapy. She is a research assistant in Dr. Citlali Lopez-Ortiz’s Neuroscience of Dance in Health and Disability Laboratory and a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer. For the last four semesters, she has been an Advancement Ambassador in the College of Applied Health Sciences. A Dean’s List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Nicole is a former member of the advisory board of the Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program, serving as the head of the volunteer committee and mentoring incoming first-year students. She also was active in the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

Brent Blackwell
Brent Blackwell

Brent graduated with highest honors in May with his degree in Kinesiology. This fall, he begins studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and plans to become a trauma surgeon in an urban setting. He also hopes to be involved in Emergency Medical Services and would like to become involved in setting healthcare policy and protocols. Brent served as a medic in the US Army for seven years. He completed two rotations in level 1 trauma center emergency departments as well as the Special Operations Combat Medic Course and graduated from Ranger School. As a research assistant in Dr. Marni Boppart’s Molecular Muscle Physiology Laboratory, Brent helps to investigate the effects of exercise on skeletal muscle and mentors new undergraduate assistants in lab techniques related to cell work and tissue analysis. A Dean’s List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar in AHS, Brent served as president of Illini Veterans and was the director of the Memorial 5K race that raises money for the Chez Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education. During his three years of involvement with the race, more than $27,000 was raised for the center.

Beulah Drom Scholarship

Brittany Faurie
Britanny Faurie

Brittany will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Kinesiology. She plans to go on for a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and hopes to practice in an outpatient setting. Her passion for physical therapy has been fueled by her hands-on volunteer experiences. She has assisted physical therapist Jeannette Elliott in working with students with disabilities at the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. She previously volunteered at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, where she experienced both post-surgical outpatient rehabilitation and inpatient treatment in the Intensive Care Unit. A Dean’s List honoree, Brittany also shadowed a physical therapist at ATI Physical Therapy in Orland Park, where she observed a wider range of outpatient rehabilitation therapies with patients in their mid-teens to mid-eighties.

Aurelio E. "Joe" Florio Scholarship

Maria Climaco
Maria Climaco

Maria completed her degree in Community Health in May with a focus on Health Education and Promotion, and graduated with high honors. She plans to become a family practice physician in a rural area and may also pursue a Master of Public Health degree. During an internship with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District last semester, Maria facilitated discussions about sexual health with middle school students, developed smoking cessation campaign materials, advocated for Narcan education in surrounding counties, and demonstrated hand washing skills to children. She also has volunteered for more than 200 hours in six departments within Carle Foundation Hospital. Maria completed a medical mission in La Merced, Peru, where she created health education lesson plans and assisted with HIV and syphilis screenings. She also traveled to Italy to study the healthcare system. Here on campus, she is a facilitator for ACE-IT, an alcohol education program for incoming freshmen, and an undergraduate teaching assistant for a Community Health course on medical ethics. An Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Maria received a Christie Clinic Scholarship and a Carle Auxiliary Scholarship.

Ralph Geeseman Scholarship for Veterans (college award)

Hannah Wright
Hannah Wright

Hannah graduated with high honors in May with a degree in Community Health, completing all three concentrations offered by the program. She plans to attend graduate school in the future. In addition to a civilian career, she will continue her military career as an intelligence officer in the National Guard. Hannah works one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer as a member of the Illinois National Guard. She also was a cadet in the University of Illinois Army ROTC program. She combined her passions for healthcare and the military as an intern in the Chez Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education, and volunteered with a number of local organizations, including Crisis Nursery in Urbana. She also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for a course in Community Health and is the current president of the College of Applied Health Sciences Student Council. A Dean’s List honoree, Hannah has received an Alexander Montgomery Hallene Memorial Scholarship, a Daughters of the American Revolution Cervantez Scholarship, and a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship.

H.E. "Hek" Kenney Memorial Award

Anneliese Rund
Anneliese Rund

Annie will complete her degree in Kinesiology next year. She plans to become physical education teacher. Annie also studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Parkland College in Champaign. As a Kinesiology student at Parkland College, she was a member of a research team that investigated the effects of rap and classical music on heart rate and other physiological responses during exercise. She is an assistant teacher at Chesterbrook Academy, a private preschool in Champaign, where she helps to implement curriculums, care for the children, and maintain a positive and safe environment. She also is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and will work this summer with the University of Illinois Sports Fitness Program, one of the longest running summer youth fitness programs in the country. As a competitive speed skater from 2009 to 2015, Annie competed in American Cup and Junior Nationals events, and was first in her age group at the US Junior Long Track Championships in 2011 and 2012.

Peter J. and Ella Montaleone Scholarship

Andrea Carlson
Andrea Carlson

Andrea will complete her degree in Community Health in December, with a concentration in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She is a personal assistant with Beckwith Residential Services, a program for students with physical disabilities who require assistance with the tasks of daily living. She also is an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Wendy Rogers’ Human Factors and Aging Laboratory, where part of the focus is to enhance the quality of life of older adults and people with disabilities through the use of assistive technology. Andrea helps graduate students in the lab by transcribing research participant interviews and conducting literature reviews. She is the current president of Illini Service Dogs, a student organization dedicated to training service dogs for people with disabilities. She organizes events, monitors the dogs’ progress, makes community presentations, and oversees the dogs’ transitions from training to working.

Roger Winfield Morse Memorial Scholarship

Brigette Boyle
Brigette Boyle

Brigette graduated with highest honors and as a Bronze Tablet Scholar in May. Her Community Health degree focused on Health Planning and Administration. She will remain at Illinois to obtain a master’s degree in Health Administration. She hopes to work in a hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area. As an intern at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana, she was able to observe the transition of the hospital from Presence Covenant to the OSF system and gained insight into the true extent of interconnectedness among hospital departments. Her responsibilities included researching OSF HealthCare facilities, including the five locations the regional director will oversee, as well as conducting demographic analyses of the surrounding communities. She also gained skill with COMPdata, or Comparative Health Care and Hospital Data Reporting Services, and the ways in which reports can be used to identify hospital trends. Brigette was on the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career.

Nicholas Carlson
Nicholas Carlson

Nicholas will complete his degree in Community Health next year, with a focus on Health Planning and Administration. He plans to pursue a master’s degree either in Business or Health Administration. He has worked at the University of Illinois Foundation for almost two years, and is in training to become part of the student management team. In his time there, he has raised more than $60,000 for the University. He also volunteered in the sports medicine and orthopedic departments at Carle Foundation Hospital. Nicholas is a member of the professional development committee of the student organization Future Healthcare Executives, and will serve as vice president of finance next year.

Caroline Halsted
Caroline Halsted

Caroline will complete her degree in Community Health next year. She plans to earn a master’s degree in Public Health Policy and will apply to graduate programs and the Peace Corps in the fall. As a 2018 Illinois in Washington fellow, she worked as a research and policy intern at the National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC. She also works with the Chicago-based volunteer program Roses for Austin, which provides after-school activities to children in the city’s Austin neighborhood, one of the poorest. Seeing the program as a great public health opportunity to teach the children healthy habits, she recently developed and implemented a nutrition and physical activity curriculum. A Dean’s List honoree every semester of her undergraduate career to date, Caroline is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Annabel Olson
Annabel Olson

Annabel will graduate next year with a degree in Kinesiology. She has her sights set on a top doctoral program in Occupational Therapy and hopes to start her career in a Veterans Administration hospital. She worked in Dr. Jake Sosnoff’s Motor Control Research Laboratory, focusing her research on using virtual reality systems to improve the walking ability of individuals with multiple sclerosis. She also volunteers at Clark-Lindsey, a retirement community in Urbana, where she visits with residents, assembling puzzles and sharing life stories. A Dean’s List honoree, Annabel works part time with Adventure Recreation in the Activities and Recreation Center. She assists ARC members in climbing the rock wall and renting camping gear.

Carita Robertson Physical Education for Women Scholarship

Sydney Johnson
Sydney Johnson

Sydney will complete her degree in Kinesiology with a focus on Physical Education in December. She will seek a position as a physical education teacher in a K-12 setting and also hopes to teach Health Education. In the future, she will pursue a master’s degree in education. She has volunteered at Clark-Lindsey Village, a retirement community in Urbana, the Champaign County Humane Society, and The Walking School Bus, an international program that fights childhood obesity and improves school attendance by having children walked safely to school by adult volunteers. Here on campus, Sydney helped an instructor who needed assistance in setting up her classroom. A member of the Kinesiology honors fraternity Alpha Sigma Nu, Sydney has been on the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career.

Seward C. Staley Scholarship

Gabrielle Schweitzer
Gabrielle Schweitzer

Gabby will complete her degree in Kinesiology in December. In June, she will apply to medical school in hopes of securing a spot for the fall of 2019. She worked with former KCH professor Charles Hillman on the FITKids program, which investigated connections between physical activity and cognitive performance. She currently is an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Ken Wilund’s Renal and Cardiovascular Disease Research Laboratory, where she guides dialysis patients through basic exercises using resistance bands and stationary bicycles. She also volunteers in the Critical Care Unit of OSF Healthcare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana. Gabby is active in her sorority, which raises funds for kidney cancer research at Loyola University Medical Center, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Red Heart Association. Through membership in the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon, she also helps to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. A Dean’s List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Gabby received the 2017 F. Patricia Cullen Scholarship.

Marianna Trekell Scholarship

Casey Cushing
Casey Cushing

Casey will complete her degree in Kinesiology in 2021. She plans to pursue a PhD in Occupational Therapy, specializing in pediatric therapy, and hopes to work with children in schools, hospitals, or clinic settings. She discovered her passion for working with children as a day camp counselor and babysitter. Last summer, she also took charge of Buffalo Grove High School’s freshman cheerleading team as assistant cheer coach. She taught them proper techniques for doing stunts and tumbling, as well as guiding them in conditioning exercises to build muscle strength. She is excited that this summer, she will have a year of course work in Kinesiology and her growing knowledge of nutrition and physiology to apply to her work with the day camp and cheerleading squad. A Dean’s List honoree, Casey is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Madeline Wohl
Madeline Wohl

Maddie graduated with highest honors in May with her degree in Kinesiology. She will go on to doctoral studies in Occupational Therapy and hopes to practice with underserved populations in Chicago. As a volunteer in the Ability Lab of the Rehab Institute of Chicago, she assisted with therapy for stroke patients. She was elected to the executive board of the Kinesiology Student Association, through which she had the opportunity to provide one-on-one exercise classes for residents of Clark-Lindsey Retirement Village who were interested in increasing their physical activity. Having the desire also to work with children, she became an inclusion aide for a child on the autism spectrum. A Dean’s List honoree, Maddie served as the 2017-2018 president of the Kinesiology Student Association.

Agnes Radich Vidovic Award

Ariel Bohm
Ariel Bohm

Ariel will complete her degree in Community Health in December, with a concentration in Health Planning and Administration, and will return to the University in 2019 to pursue a master’s degree in Health Administration. She hopes to secure an administrative position at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She volunteered in the Emergency Department of OSF St. James Medical Center in Pontiac, Illinois and was an undergraduate teaching assistant to Dr. Steve Notaro for a course on medical ethics. A Dean’s List honoree, Ariel also worked part time for the Illinois Ticket Office.

KCH Graduate Awards

William H. Creswell Jr. Graduate Student Award

Crina Cotoc
Crina Cotoc

Crina plans to join the faculty of a research university after completing her Ph.D. in Community Health next year. She earned a Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and a psychiatry observership at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Working with Dr. Chung-Yi Chiu and Dr. Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, she is investigating issues related to the prevention and treatment of cancer, as well as supportive care and survivorship. She is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic on a study of early stage breast cancer and was an invited presenter at the 2017 Masterclass in Oncology sponsored by the European Society for Medical Oncology. She has served as a teaching assistant or co-instructor for courses on health behavior, health administration, interdisciplinary health, community health organizations, drug use and abuse, and technology, health, and aging. Crina founded an Eastern European nonprofit organization for breast cancer survivors. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, Illinois Public Health Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and International Society of Paediatric Oncology.

T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Award

Grace Niemiro
Grace Niemiro

Grace completed her PhD in Kinesiology in May. After completing a postdoctoral position, she plans to join the faculty of a research-intensive university to study the effects of diet and lifestyle on neuro-inflammation via the immune system. Her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry also is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focused on the role of the immune system in inflammation. Working with Dr. Naiman Khan, she investigated the response of stem and progenitor cell populations to acute and chronic endurance exercise and nutrition. She obtained a grant to study the acute effects of feeding on inflammation in children. During her doctoral studies, Grace was an author on ten scientific papers. In addition to Dr. Khan’s Body Composition and Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory, she also worked in a lab that focused on exercise and stem cells.

Paul D. Doolen Graduate Scholarship for the Study of Aging

Yaejin Moon
Yaejin Moon

The objective of the Doolen Scholarship is to facilitate the study of aging. The scholarships are made possible by an endowment from the Retirement Research Foundation to honor the late Mr. Paul D. Doolen, a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the University of Illinois Foundation.
Yaejin completed her PhD in Kinesiology in May, with a focus on Motor Control. She has a post-doctoral position with the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Her Yaejin’s research focuses on improving gait and balance among people with neurological diseases. She also is interested in teaching older adults how to fall safely to reduce the risk of injury. During her time at Illinois, she received a Chittenden Fellowship, Robert L. Sparague Thesis Award, and T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Award. Yaejin has published scholarly articles in Human Movement Science, PloS one, and Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Howard S. Hoyman Award

Liliana Aguayo
Liliana Aguayo

Liliana will complete a Master of Public Health and PhD in Community Health in July. She will go on to an American Heart Association post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular health and neurological development at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital. Liliana’s undergraduate degrees in International Studies and Political Science are from Loyola University in Chicago. A fellow in the Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program, or I-TOPP, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Liliana is working with Dr. Andiara Schwingel to understand social and environmental factors that influence the risk of obesity among women and their preschool-aged children, either living in Mexico or of Mexican descent living in the United States. She is a two-time recipient of The Obesity Society’s Poster Award and also received the Mentored Poster/Platform Presenter Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Laura J. Huelster Award

Brynn Adamson
Brynn Adamson

After completing her PhD in Kinesiology in August, Brynn will remain at Illinois to teach courses in health behavior and promotion. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Working with Dr. Melissa Littlefield, Brynn studies the varied and contradictory roles ascribed to exercise by individuals with MS, and how this relates to navigating an identity as a person with a disability. Her goal is to develop alternative promotion paradigms that acknowledge the complexity involved in making use of exercise-related information, its impact on disability identity, and its relationship to depression. She has developed and delivered an exercise program for people with MS in partnership with a health and fitness center in Bloomington, Illinois, as well as a “crash course” of six exercise modalities, some of which are taught by certified instructors who have MS. In addition to her work with MS populations, she has taught high school students about biomechanics and elementary school students about exercise. Brynn received the 2018 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from both the College of Applied Health Sciences and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Yan Yang
Yan Yang

Yan graduated in May with a PhD in Kinesiology. She will pursue a career in measurement and statistical analysis. Yan earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Shandong University of Technology in Zibo, Shandong, China, and a master’s degree in Statistics here at Illinois. As a research assistant in Dr. Weimo Zhu’s Kinesmetrics Laboratory, Yan managed measurement projects and took part in health and physical activity data analysis. She also did statistical consulting with collaborating researchers throughout the campus. She authored or co-authored 14 papers published in refereed journals, a book chapter, and seven conference papers, presented at more than 10 national conferences, and served as a reviewer for nine journals. Over the last five years, she has grown from a teaching assistant to co-instructor of a 400-level course on measurement and evaluation in Kinesiology. Yan also has mentored three undergraduate students in the area of quantitative analysis and measurement theories.

Benjamin H. Massey Memorial Award

Slav Dvoretskiy
Svyatoslav Dvoretskiy

Slav earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Kinesiology at Illinois and is now engaged in studies toward a PhD, which he will complete in 2020. He will seek a university faculty position but also hopes to do industrial research in biopharmaceuticals or nutrition. Working with Dr. Marni Boppart in the Molecular Muscle Physiology Laboratory, his research focuses on the response of stem cells to exercise. He showcased his research during an open house at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He also teaches the laboratory and discussion section of a course on the bioscience of human movement. Slav has been invited to give presentations by the Regenerative Rehabilitation Sixth Annual International Symposium, the Western Illinois Biochemistry Club, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology Graduate Student Seminar. In 2017, he received conference travel awards from the Graduate College, the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, and the Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation Research and Training.

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RST Undergraduate Awards

Charles K. Brightbill Memorial Scholarship

Grace Merrett
Grace Merrett

Grace graduated with a concentration in Recreation Management in May. She is working this summer on a tulip farm in The Netherlands to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to combine her two passions of recreation and horticulture. Beyond that, she is thinking of pursuing graduate work in Landscape Architecture, joining the Peace Corps, or working with the National Parks Service. She worked with University of Illinois Campus Recreation and Western Illinois University’s Horn Field Campus, which comprises more than 90 acres of woodlands, natural prairies, hiking trails, rope courses, and a climbing tower. She previously received the Margaret K. and Edward W. Harvey Scholarship from the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism. She also received an Illinois Parks and Recreation Association Student Scholarship. She was named Campus Recreation’s Illini Spirit Award recipient and RST Student of the Month, and has been a member of the University of Illinois Homecoming Court.

Chicago Knight Life Charities Scholarship

Harper Albo
Harper Albo

Harper graduated in May with a concentration in Sport Management. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in youth sport development. Harper spent the fall of 2017 at the University of Stirling in Scotland, where she took coursework in Sport Management and Sport Policy. In her first year of college, Harper traveled to Nicaragua with the Foundation for International Medical Relief for Children, where she assisted nurses in community pediatric clinics. She has volunteered locally with Crisis Nursery and UniPlace Church, and with the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago. Harper also works as an event manager with Campus Recreation, planning and managing activities and events for students and faculty. A Dean’s List honoree, Harper received an Alderman’s Good Citizenship Scholarship, an Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation conference scholarship, and a British Universities Transatlantic Exchange Association Scholarship.

Gus Psimoulis
Gus Psimoulis

Gus graduated with high honors in May with his degree in Sport Management. He plans to earn a graduate degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism, with the goal of becoming the director of operations for a professional sports team. He worked for three years with Illinois Premium Seating, provider of luxury seating and amenities for Fighting Illini events at State Farm Center and Memorial Stadium. As an Illinois Athletics Student Ambassador, Gus worked in the Event Management Department for a variety of NCAA sporting events. For the last two summers, he has worked in the Event Operations Department of the Chicago Cubs. He is the proud owner of a World Series championship ring, gifted to him after his first season with the team, and is looking forward to working with them again this summer. During an Alternative Spring Break trip to Atlanta, Georgia, last year, Gus worked with the International Rescue Committee to help prepare refugees for a new life in the United States. A Dean’s List honoree, Gus was an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Jesse "Tony" Clements Scholarship in Campus Recreation

Kameron Marshbanks
Kameron Marshbanks

Kameron graduated with high honors in May with a concentration in Sport Management. He will pursue a master’s degree in Education and plans to become a secondary school teacher. He worked in the intramurals activities division of Campus Recreation for four years and officiated basketball, flag football, and volleyball games. He also officiated regional basketball and flag football tournaments for the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association. He held positions as a teaching assistant for a summer learning program in the inner city of Chicago and as a student teacher in physical education at Holy Cross Elementary School in Champaign. A Gates Millennium Scholar and Edmund J. James Scholar,  Kameron was president and co-founder of the Illinois Student Officials Association, and recently became certified in basketball by the Illinois High School Association. he was recognized as Intramurals Employee of the Year and Campus Recreation New Employee of the Year.

Margaret K. and Edward W. Harvey Scholarship

Phillip Hopper
Phillip Hopper

Phil is completing concentrations in both Recreation Management and Tourism Management. He will work as a Recreation Intern at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, California, this summer and hopes to secure full-time employment with the resort when his internship is completed. Last summer, he was a recreation intern at Sunriver Resort in Oregon, an opportunity that was made possible by RST alumnus John McCormick. In his senior year of high school, Phil coordinated a fundraiser in memory of his best friend’s late father, Scott Munroe. “Score for Scott” raised more than $11,000 for cancer research. A Dean’s List honoree, Phil is a member of the RST Student Advisory Committee.

Mary and Duke Regnier Scholarship

Anthony Bellanca
Anthony Bellanca

Anthony will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Sport Management. He plans to attend graduate school, with the goal of working in either marketing or baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. He began working in the industry as an event management assistant for Campus Recreation. In the summer of 2017, he gained experience working in minor league baseball as an intern with the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League. He also worked part-time for the Chicago Fire soccer club. This year, he has held two positions within the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, event management ambassador and marketing street team member. This summer, he will serve an internship with the Kane County Cougars, a Class A Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A Dean’s List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Anthony serves as vice president of events for the Sports Business Association.

RST Graduate Awards

Charles K. Brightbill Memorial Scholarship

Edward Horne
Edward Horne

Edward will complete his Ph.D. with a Sport Management focus in 2019. He hopes to build bridges between academia and industry as a scholar in sport and athlete development, with a particular focus on addressing deficiencies within youth and collegiate sport systems. He completed his undergraduate degree in Business Management and a master’s in Sport and Entertainment Management at the University of South Carolina. During his time as a player, coach, and employee of the International Tennis Federation, he was a Division 2 All-American tennis player and British Tennis Tour competitor. Mentored by Dr. Chris Green, he is pursuing research about the negative consequences to youth of focusing too intensely on sports. Funded by a North American Society for Sport Management Doctoral Research Grant, he conducted a pilot study of the relationship between sports parents and coaches and how the relationship is impacted by the environment. While collecting his pilot study data in Orlando, he coached at the United States Tennis Association’s National Campus.

Outstanding Online Master's Award

Daniel Steenrod
Daniel Steenrod

Danny completed his degree in May. He hopes to become the director of a community parks and recreation department or similar recreational organization. He also attended Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Danny plans, promotes, and executes special events and family and youth programs for the City of Janesville Parks and Recreation. He also oversees the operations of the city’s aquatics facilities and programming for a community pool, a wading pool, a splash pad, and a beach. He has been lead event coordinator on such events as the city’s Enchanted Forest and Hollywood Hayride, an award-winning special event that was recognized by the Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association. Before joining the Janesville organization, Danny worked with the Freeport Park District as a youth athletics coordinator and pool manager.

Amy Zengotita
Amy Zengotita

Amy completed her degree in May. Her ultimate career goal is to work for the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. She completed her bachelor’s degree in History at Flagier College in St. Augustine, Florida. As the Cultural Services Manager for the Town of Ponce Inlet, Florida, Amy oversees parks and recreation facilities, special events, historical preservation, the Ponce Inlet Historical Museum, and social media. Her true passion is outreach programming, and she develops and implements more than 30 programs and events a year within the community. She received the Rising Star Award from the Florida Recreation and Park Association for her current and future leadership in the field of parks and recreation. In February, she passed the Certified Parks and Recreational Professional exam.

Mary and Duke Regnier Scholarship

Racheal Weiland
Racheal Weiland

After completing her master’s degree next year, Racheal hopes to pursue a career in collegiate recreation, with a particular focus on developing aquatic programs. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Under the mentorship of Dr. Toni Liechty, Racheal is investigating the constraints encountered by university students when using campus recreation facilities, and how those restrictions impact students’ leisure satisfaction. She is a graduate assistant for aquatics with Campus Recreation. During her academic career, Racheal has received a Region III Scholarship from the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Foundation, a J. Michael Dunn Endowed Scholarship, also from NIRSA, and an NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar Scholarship. She also received the Phoenix Medal of Honor and Phoenix Scholar Athlete awards from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

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

Andrew Hanson
Andrew Hanson

Andrew will complete his master’s degree next year. He hopes to enter the field of fundraising for either athletics or higher education. He is working with Dr. Jon Welty Peachey on a study of the challenges faced by athletic fundraisers at NCAA Division II institutions. He worked as a media coordination staff member at the University of Nebraska, where he assisted with such events as the Division II Football Championship and the Cotton Bowl. He currently works as a graduate assistant for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics in Irwin Academic Services. Andrew received the 2016 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s Best Sports Talk Program Award. He was selected to attend the 2018 NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar.

Allen V. Sapora Research Award for PhD Student Research

Mi Ryoung Chung
Mi Ryoung Chung

Miry will complete her Ph.D. with a focus on Sport Management this summer. She will seek out a faculty position that will allow her to continue her research while teaching future sport administrators. She completed two degrees at Seoul National University in South Korea: a bachelor’s degree in Sport Science and a master’s degree in Sport Management. Her dissertation research seeks to understand volunteers’ motivations for working with nonprofit organizations that use sport as a means to promote social change at the individual and organizational level. Because the perception of volunteering varies from country to country, she is examining cultural influences on volunteering motives in South Korea and Argentina. Through her work, she hopes to help the nonprofit sport sector, which relies so heavily on volunteers, to improve their ability to attract and retain volunteer staff. Miry served as a teaching assistant for Foundations of Sport Management.

Christine Ziebarth Howe Graduate Student Award

Maggie Phan
Maggie Phan

After completing her PhD next year in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, Maggie will pursue an academic career. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Nutrition and Health Sciences at Emory University in Georgia, and a Master of Public Health degree at Illinois. Working with Dr. Monika Stodolska, Maggie is investigating issues related to food consumption, food preparation, and eating behaviors as key components of leisure behavior. She has been a teaching assistant for four courses in recreation, sport, and tourism. As a volunteer Community Aide with the University of Illinois Housing Division, she helps new graduate students adjust to life in Urbana-Champaign. Maggie has received an Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation Scholarship and a National Recreation and Park Association Best Research Abstract Award for the Social Equity Pillar.

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SHS Undergraduate Awards

Nanine S. Breon Scholarship

Caylie Kurtenbach
Caylie Kurtenbach

Caylie graduated with highest honors in May. She will continue her studies toward a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and plans to focus on early intervention for children with disabilities. Working with Dr. Laura Hahn, Caylie is examining the relationship between early social communication and risk of autism spectrum disorder in infants with Down syndrome. She joined Dr. Hahn’s Development in Neurogenetic Disorders Laboratory last year and conducted research on the relationship between maternal parenting stress and cardiac autonomic regulation in infants with Down syndrome, which she presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. She worked with a young child with autism spectrum disorder as a volunteer at University Primary School and was a research assistant in Psychology professor Dr. Renée Baillargeon’s Infant Cognition Laboratory. An Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Caylie was on the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career.

Joan Good Erickson Scholarship

Katherine Schuelke
Katherine Schuelke

Katie graduated with highest honors in May with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology. She will pursue a master’s degree and plans to focus her work either on pediatric acute care or on augmentative and alternative communication and dysphagia among children and adults with profound intellectual disabilities. She hopes to work in an underserved, multicultural setting, preferably southern Africa. She  served as a personal assistant to a graduate student and as a respite care provider for a boy with an intellectual disability. She also has been an inclusion aide for a boy with an intellectual disability at the Twin City Bible Church. As a speech pathology assistant in Lusaka, Zambia, last summer, Katie worked with approximately 80 children with dysphagia. She has been an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Marie Moore Channell’s Intellectual Disabilities Communication Laboratory for two years. A Dean’s List honoree, Katie was an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences. She received the 2017 Frances L. Johnson Student Award.

Sylvia Wacker Herzog Scholarship

Stephanie Cheng
Stephanie Cheng

Stephanie graduated with highest honors in May and will begin studies toward a Master of Speech-Language Pathology degree this fall. Her career goal is to work as a speech-language pathologist in prisons or juvenile detention centers. As in intern last fall with the Education Justice Project, a program that provides for-credit University of Illinois courses to inmates of the Danville Correctional Center, Stephanie delivered a lecture on the field of speech-language pathology. She was an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Laura DeThorne’s Child Language and Literacy Laboratory. Throughout her undergraduate years, she has volunteered in a variety of middle schools and early intervention classrooms, working with students with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds who have difficulty communicating cross-culturally.

Emily Demick
Emily Demick

Emily will complete her degree with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology in December. She plans to go on for her master’s degree, with a goal of working in school settings with children five years of age and younger as a speech-language pathologist. She is an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Marie Moore Channell’s Intellectual Disabilities Communication Laboratory, Dr. Keiko Ishikawa’s Automatic Speech Recognition Laboratory, and the Department of Psychology’s Infant Cognition Laboratory. She also volunteered at Chesterbrook Academy Preschool. Emily has been on the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career and is an Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences. She is a member of the Order of Omega honor society and recently received the Ada M. Henry Scholarship Charm from Phi Mu Fraternity in recognition of her 4.0 grade point average.

Barbara Williams Hodson Scholarship

Megan Roome
Megan Roome

A Dean’s List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Megan graduated in May with highest honors and as a Bronze Tablet Scholar. She will attend graduate school to obtain her master’s degree and clinical certification in Speech-Language Pathology and hopes to help children with developmental disorders. She worked with children with developmental disorders as a volunteer with the summer language program at Augustana College in Rock Island. She also helped kindergarten children in Carrie Busey Elementary School with their writing skills and designed a rhyming activity to improve their phonemic awareness. As a member of the Marching Illini and the music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, Megan helped raise funds for Music and Memory, an organization that assists individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. She was a Chancellor’s Scholar in the Campus Honors Program and also received the Hodson Scholarship in 2017.

Frances L. Johnson Student Award

Taylor Hoffman
Taylor Hoffman

Taylor graduated with highest honors in May with a degree that focused on Cultural-Linguistic Diversity. She will pursue a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and hopes to work with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders in either a hospital or school setting. As a member of Dr. Marie Moore Channell’s Intellectual Disabilities Communication Laboratory, she assisted with research designed to deepen understanding of how individuals with different types of intellectual disability learn to communicate. She also volunteered with the Champaign Early Childhood Center, where she worked with preschool-age children who had a variety of communication disorders. Taylor received the University YMCA’s Fred S. Bailey Scholarship, which is given to students who have made a positive impact as a result of their commitment to service, community involvement, leadership, and action.

SHS Graduate Awards

Bob Bilger Graduate Student Award

Kevin Stebbings

Kevin will complete his doctoral work in Neuroscience in August. He will continue doing research on the regions of the brain that detect changes in energy availability, molecularly and electrophysiologically, and how those regions modify the short- and long-term energy strategies and behaviors of the organism. As an Arnold O. Beckman Graduate Fellow, he worked with Dr. Daniel Llano, associate professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, to find consistent differences in the metabolic characteristics and susceptibilities of different brain areas in young and old mice. He also uses the PolG mouse model of mitochondrial aging to assess if markers of brain aging parallel body composition changes with age. He believes the auditory system may be particularly susceptible to metabolic aging because of the high energy usage in both peripheral and central auditory structures. His research may confirm this while further elucidating which auditory brain areas are the most susceptible and where disorders such as tinnitus originate.

Phyllis Ariens Burkhead Memorial Fellowship

Henry Angulo
Henry Angulo

Henry will complete his PhD in Speech and Hearing Science in 2020. He plans to become Costa Rica’s leading scholar on bilingualism, with a focus on foreign and second language learning among individuals on the autism spectrum and other clinical populations. He completed a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching and a master’s degree in Linguistics and is an associate professor in the School of Modern Languages at the Universidad de Costa Rica. He has been a teacher of English as a foreign language for 15 years at both the secondary school and university levels. Working with Dr. Laura DeThorne in the Child Language and Literacy Laboratory, Henry has conducted research on the clinical implications of working with non-mainstream dialect speakers. He also published an article on concerns among parents and professionals about bilingual upbringing of children on the autism spectrum. His work on the representation of autism among online video loggers on the spectrum was presented at both the 2017 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention and the 13th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.

Joan Good Erickson Scholarship

Macarena Galvez Barrera
Macarena Gálvez Barrera

Macarena will complete her PhD in 2021.Her previous degrees are from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago. She is investigating how toddlers’ single-word utterances influence parents’ use of contingent responsive behaviors as a graduate research assistant in the Applied Psycholinguistics Lab co-directed by Dr. Pamela Hadley and Dr. Matthew Rispoli. She also assists in the Department of Linguistics’ Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Laboratory, where she is working with Dr. Silvina Montrul on a study of the role of parental input in the syntactic achievement of school-age Latino bilingual children. Macarena worked with young children and preschoolers from low-income backgrounds who had speech and language difficulties as a speech-language pathologist in Chile. Macarena received the 2017 Ehud and Janie Yairi International Graduate Student Award and a 2016-2017 Block Grant from the Graduate College.

Dean C. and Kathleen R. Garstecki Audiology Scholarship

Shraddha Shende
Shraddha Shende

Shraddha will seek a post-doctoral position in the area of neurocognitive hearing science after completing her PhD in 2021. Working with Dr. Raksha Mudar, she is investigating the impact of age-related hearing loss on cognitive and neural functions. Her preliminary findings suggest that individuals with unaided age-associated hearing loss experience some behavioral cognitive changes, as well as changes in neural functions, indicating that their difficulties go beyond routinely reported hearing problems. As an audiologist and speech-language pathologist in India, Shraddha worked with a variety of clinical populations in hospitals, schools, and rehabilitation centers. She also has been involved in volunteer activities for older adults, including giving talks in the community to build awareness of hearing loss. In 2016, Shraddha received the Lady Meherbai D. Tata Education Trust Scholarship, a competitive award given to Indian women to pursue higher education abroad.

Nancy S. Hager Graduate Student Award in Speech and Hearing Science

Hannah Simmons
Hannah Simmons

Hannah graduated in May with her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. After completing an internship with the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria this summer, she will begin working in public schools as a speech-language pathologist. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science at Illinois as well, graduating as a Bronze Tablet Scholar. She has been a graduate research assistant in the Applied Psycholinguistics Laboratory of Dr. Pamela Hadley and Dr. Matthew Rispoli and is the co-author of an article titled “Simple Sentences Aren’t All the Same: Variation in Input and Acquisition,” which will be published in June in BUCLD 42: Proceedings of the 42nd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Hannah served an internship at Oakwood Grade School and gained clinical experience through positions with Carle Auditory Oral School, Urbana Head Start, and Meadowbrook Health Center, all in Urbana, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, and the University of Illinois Speech-Language Pathology Clinic.

Sylvia Wacker Herzog Scholarship

Monika Wasilczuk
Monika Wasilczuk

Monika will complete her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in August. She hopes to work as a bilingual Polish-English speech-language pathologist in the Chicago metropolitan area. Toward that end, she plans to network with Polish-speaking speech-language pathologists, create workshops for English-speaking speech-language pathologists, and conduct research on dialectical differences and variations between the two languages. Monika also earned her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science at Illinois. She gained significant clinical experience through placements with Carle Outpatient Pediatric Center, Eastlawn Elementary School, Champaign County Head Start, and the University of Illinois Speech-Language Pathology Clinic. She also was an academic coach at the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, working with students with disabilities that include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy, depression, and anxiety, helping them with planning, goal-setting, prioritization, and motivation.

Frances L. Johnson Student Award

Alice Schuermann
Alice Schuermann

Alice will complete her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2019. She hopes to work in schools or as an early intervention provider. She is especially interested in working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations as well as children with developmental delays. Her undergraduate degree in Education with a focus on Communication Sciences and Disorders is from the University of Georgia. She previously worked with children with physical and cognitive disabilities and communication disorders as a counselor at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Michigan. As a volunteer and counselor with Extra Special People, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Watkinsville, Georgia, that serves individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, she worked with clients who used augmentative and alternative communication and other nonverbal communication modalities. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked full time as a teacher in the infant classroom at Kids’ Work Chicago Too, an early childhood learning center.

Jodi Thomas
Jodi Thomas

After completing her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2019, Jodi hopes to work in schools. She also would like to work in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit to gain expertise in feeding and swallowing disorders, and plans to broaden her practice by becoming a lactation consultant. She has worked with children in a variety of settings, including a summer camp, early education daycare facility, and elementary school. Jodi completed her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, making the Dean’s List every semester and graduating with highest honors.

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

Nimra Burney
Nimra Burney

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science at Illinois, Nimra enrolled in the master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology. She hopes to work as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in a Chicago-area hospital after completing her degree in 2019. Motivated by her interest in the medical side of Speech-Language Pathology, Nimra hopes to conduct research on swallowing in patients with head and neck cancer and in pediatric patients with cranio-facial anomalies. As a graduate clinician in the University of Illinois Speech-Language Pathology Clinic, she has worked with individuals with problems related to stuttering and expressive and receptive language and soon will be working with individuals with Parkinson’s disease using cognitive stimulation therapy. She also works as an academic coach with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services and is an education and outreach coordinator with the College of Education.

Ehud and Janie Yairi International Graduate Student Award

Yihsin Tai
Yihsin Tai

Yihsin will complete her PhD in Speech and Hearing Science in 2020. She hopes to secure a faculty position at a research-intensive university and continue her work in cognitive hearing science, with a particular focus on tinnitus. Yihsin earned a Doctor of Audiology degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After obtaining her AuD, she worked as a clinical audiologist in the United States and Taiwan. She is a research assistant in Dr. Fatima Husain’s Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research on speech-in-noise recognition in tinnitus patients with normal hearing sensitivity resulted in a first-author publication in the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. For her dissertation research, she is examining psychoacoustic tinnitus measures, brain structural changes, and neural alterations of cognitive control in people with tinnitus. Yihsin received the 2017 Dean C. and Kathleen R. Garstecki Audiology Scholarship.

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