AHS E-News
Fall 2009
Posted: September 23, 2009

Greetings from the College of Applied Health Sciences!
This is the inaugural issue of AHS E-News, our new venue for keeping our alumni and friends informed about the College.

Don't forget to register for Illinois Homecoming 2009!

In This Issue

AHS Adds Four Professors to Its Faculty

Matthew Dye
Assistant Professor, Speech and Hearing Science

Matt Dye

Hailing from Long Sutton, UK, Matthew Dye completed bachelor and doctoral degrees in psychology and a master's degree in neural computation. He was an assistant professor of deaf studies at the University of Bristol when he accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester to study the impact of deafness on the development of visual skills, an example of cross-modal brain plasticity.

His research has identified changes in visual processing among deaf people, in the form of enhancements in attention to the periphery of their vision. He is interested in whether the auditory cortex is involved in this process. In his new lab, Dr. Dye will continue to explore the potential for brain changes resulting from changes in sensory experience. His goal is to learn more about the perceptual and cognitive skills that deaf children bring to the classroom and other learning environments, so that appropriate accommodations can be developed and implemented. Read more about Dr. Dye.

Angela Black
Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health

Angela Black

Angela Black completed a Ph.D. in child and family development at the University of Georgia in 2006. She joined the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a postdoctoral fellow, where she conducted research in the area of African American women's health, minority health disparities, and the impact of racial discrimination on health outcomes. She was also named a Health Disparities Scholar by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Dr. Black has joined the faculty of the new Master of Public Health degree program at Illinois. She will continue to explore the relationship between racial and gender oppression and health, with the goal of illuminating the psychosocial and psychophysiological consequences of surviving in a racist and sexist society. She ultimately is interested in developing culturally-appropriate, family-centered programs to help African American women who are at risk for and who already have chronic mental and physical illnesses, by focusing on such modifiable behaviors as coping, role management, and self-care. Read more about Dr. Black.

Laura McCloskey
Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health

Laura McCloskey

Laura McCloskey is an internationally renowned scholar in the area of family violence. She has been investigating the causes and effects of domestic violence, and is particularly interested in how such violence affects women's health, as well as that of children and adolescents who witness continuous domestic violence against their mothers. She has identified a profound effect on teenage daughters of abused women, in the lowering of both their self-esteem and their IQ. She hopes to develop intervention and prevention programs for pre-adolescent girls.

A member of the faculty of the new Master of Public Health degree program, Dr. McCloskey received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan. She most recently was a Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, and has also held faculty positions at the University of Arizona, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Wayne State University, where she directed the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development. Read more about Dr. McCloskey.

Andiara Schwingel
Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health

Andiara Schwingel

Andiara Schwingel received her Ph.D. in Sports Medicine from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. For the last 10 years, her work has focused on aging and the life course, and the effects of lifestyle on health and chronic disease. Working with experts in the area of aging convinced her to pursue investigations into helping people increase not only the length of their lives, but also the quality and independence of their older years. Her primary research interests focus on how cultural, national, and international factors impact the process of growing older around the world.

In her doctoral research, Dr. Schwingel found that adults and older adults of Japanese ancestry who had never left Japan for a long period of time had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than counterparts who were born outside of Japan or who had left the country with their parents at a young age. Before joining the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health last year, she held a post-doctoral position at the National University of Singapore, examining the impact of transnational migration on a wide variety of health and quality of life outcomes. She co-directs the Aging and Diversity Lab, where she is investigating how to promote health in older Latino populations in rural and urban Illinois. Read more about Dr. Schwingel.

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AHS Recognizes Four with Distinguished Alumni Award

The College of Applied Health Sciences will recognize the accomplishments of four outstanding alumni during Homecoming weekend. The recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award are:

Dr. Deborah Blue
Vice Chancellor, District-wide Planning and Educational Services
Contra Costa Community College District, Martinez, California

Deborah Blue

Dr. Blue completed master's and doctoral degrees in speech and hearing science at the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, she joined the Sonoma County Office of Education in Santa Rosa, California, as a program specialist in the Special Education Department, where she established a resource library of assessment tests and protocols for speech and language specialists in the county's K-12 schools. From special education, she moved into learning skills services at Sonoma State University. Her first position with the Contra Costa Community College District was as Assistant Dean of Community Education. In her current position as Vice Chancellor of Planning and Educational Services, she is responsible for three colleges in the Contra Costa Community College system. She provides leadership and administrative oversight for all aspects of planning, educational services, communications, international education, and technology services. Dr. Blue has also been Vice President of Policy and Research for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges-Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and President of Laney College in Oakland, California. She is a member of the Workforce Development and Education Task Force of the Contra Costa Council, the P-16 Academic Task Force of the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and the Tri-City NAACP.

Dr. Mary Ann Carmack
Department of Pediatrics
Palo Alto Medical Center, Palo Alto, California

Mary Ann Carmack

Dr. Carmack completed her bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology at the University of Illinois. She completed a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon before securing her M.D. degree from the University of Chicago. She completed her internship and residency in pediatric medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, as well as a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases. In addition to her medical practice in Palo Alto, she is a member of the clinical faculty in pediatrics at Stanford. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, the Board of Trustees of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Dr. Carmack has published several articles on infectious diseases in Journal of Infectious Diseases, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Infectious Agents and Disease, and Journal of Pediatrics, among others. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatrics Infectious Diseases Society, and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

James R. Gillespie
President and Chief Executive Officer
Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation, Parsippany, New Jersey

James R. Gillespie

Mr. Gillespie is a graduate of the Recreation and Park Management program of the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, earning both bachelor's and master's degrees. He began his career as a grade school teacher in Ludlow, Illinois, where he also coached track, baseball, and basketball. He also taught at a private boys' school in Memphis, Tennessee, and was the director of the YMCA in La Grange, Illinois, before entering the real estate business more than 30 years ago on the advice of a friend. He began his career as a sales associate for Gallery of Homes real estate in the western suburbs of Chicago, being promoted to the position of vice president and office manager after only six months. He then served in various management positions with Thorsen Realtors, which was acquired by Coldwell Banker. In 1981, Coldwell Banker began its franchise program, and Mr. Gillespie became one of the original ten executives chosen to run the residential affiliates. He has served as Coldwell Banker's president and CEO since 2004, and was previously the organization's Chief Operating Officer. He oversees marketing, operations, education, mortgage services, and field services for nearly 4,000 offices and more than 120,000 brokers and sales associates throughout the Coldwell Banker franchise in 26 countries.

Dr. John R. Seffrin
Chief Executive Officer
American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia

John R. Seffrin

Dr. Seffrin completed an M.S. in Health Education at Illinois and a Ph.D. in health education at Purdue University. His life was touched by cancer at an early age–he was 10 when his grandmother died of cancer. He also lost his mother to cancer, and his wife is a breast cancer survivor. Although he has been the CEO of the American Cancer Society since 1992, Dr. Seffrin began his affiliation with the organization as a volunteer. His leadership of the American Cancer Society has been described as visionary. He is credited with revolutionizing the organization by integrating the ideas of prevention and health education into its mission. He spearheaded the creation of the Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and is its chief executive officer as well. He is past president of the International Union Against Cancer, based in Geneva, Switzerland, served as chairman of the board of Independent Sector, the largest coalition of nonprofit groups, and helped to create the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, now called the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to joining the ACS headquarters staff, Dr. Seffrin was chairperson of the Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University.

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DRES Names Scharper Award Recipients

The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services will honor two of its alumni with 2009 Harold Scharper Awards during Homecoming Weekend.

James A. Kutsch

James A. Kutsch, Jr.
President and CEO
The Seeing Eye, Inc., Morristown, New Jersey

Dr. James A. Kutsch, Jr., is the recipient of the 2009 Harold Scharper Achievement Award. Dr. Kutsch is president and chief executive officer of The Seeing Eye, Inc., which provides specially bred and trained dogs to guide people who are blind, and instructs blind people in the use and care of these dogs. The school, located in Morristown, New Jersey, is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2009. Dr. Kutsch, who earned a Ph.D. in computer science at Illinois, is the first graduate of the school to serve as its president. He was a professor of computer science at West Virginia University before joining AT&T, where he served first as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs. There, he contributed to advances in PBX design, computer-generated speech, and the Unix PC. He also served as vice president of computing and network services, and as chief information officer. He went on to Convergys, where he served as vice president of strategic technology. He served on the Board of Trustees of The Seeing Eye, Inc., for 10 years, and has been its chief executive since 2006. He has lectured nationally on disability awareness, adaptive technology, and advocacy. In 2008, he was recognized with an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Rowan University for his lifetime service to people with disabilities, including designing the first talking computer.

Martin Morse

Martin Morse
Olympic and Paralympic Coach
University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois

Martin Morse is the recipient of the 2009 Harold Scharper Humanitarian Award. A former award-winning wheelchair athlete in track and field, road racing, and basketball, Mr. Morse completed both bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology at the University of Illinois. A certified strength and conditioning specialist, he has coached Olympic and Paralympic wheelchair track athletes, resulting in more than 50 medals and numerous world records. He revolutionized the sport of wheelchair racing when he developed the "Illinois Para Backhand," a method for pushing a racing chair more efficiently. This led to his creation of a composite glove that continues to enhance performances and prevent injuries in wheelchair track and road racing athletes. Coaches and athletes from six continents have come to the University of Illinois to train with him. Mr. Morse served as assistant technical director of wheelchair exhibition events in track at the 1984 Olympic Games, as head coach of the U.S. wheelchair track athletes competing in the 1996 Olympic exhibition events, and as head coach of U.S. wheelchair track and field teams in the 1988 and 1992 Paralympics. Mr. Morse collaborated with Adam Bleakney, who is now head coach of wheelchair track, field, and racing at Illinois, to build the first aerodynamic model of a racing wheelchair using high-tech carbon fiber and mylar. The working model was unveiled at the 2002 Boston Marathon. He went on to serve as a consultant on wind tunnel research and development of racing wheelchairs for the Center for Sports Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Read more about our awards.

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Exciting Learning Opportunities Await James Scholars

"The James Scholar Program is interesting because it allows for an opportunity to expand our learning horizons. Thus far, I've been able to conduct research with some of the most knowledgeable professors in the field. Working alongside them makes for an incredible experience, and I know this will benefit me greatly in the future."
Justin Neally
Recreation, Sport and Tourism, 2011


Named for the fourth president of the University of Illinois, the Edmund J. James Scholar Program recognizes undergraduates who have achieved academic excellence. The program provides students with an enriched educational experience through self-initiated projects and activities. James Scholars complete an honors activity each semester, and pursue one of three personalized, challenging, and unique tracks during their junior and senior years. Michelle Hochwert, a James Scholar student in the Community Health degree program, chose the Leadership Track as a junior, and is happy with her choice.

"I have found the many aspects of the track very appealing—like having a leadership coach, taking leadership classes, participating in i-programs [through the Illinois Leadership Center], and more," she said. "I like the idea that we showcase our experience with a portfolio that we can use in interviews, or simply to look back and reflect."

Michelle also enjoys the close-knit feeling of being involved with the James Scholar Program, and has found it to be a good way to meet people with similar interests and to become active in the College. Read more about the James Scholar Program.

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New Award Will Recognize Faculty Mentoring

The academic and personal growth experienced by James Scholar students can be heightened by the involvement of a caring and committed professor. In Spring 2010, the College of Applied Health Sciences will recognize the contribution faculty make to the James Scholar program with the Phyllis J. Hill Award for Exemplary Mentoring in the Edmund J. James Scholar Program.

Faculty mentors help to ensure that the scholarly experiences of our James Scholars are meaningful and rewarding. Those who have supported James Scholar student research efforts for at least one academic year are eligible for the award.

The award was established after Dr. Hill's death in August 2008 to honor her memory as an educator, coach, mentor, and friend to students and colleagues alike. The fund was fully endowed within a year of her death because of the generosity of alumni and friends of AHS, a fitting tribute to a woman who believed deeply in the importance of the James Scholar program and who was herself an outstanding exemplar of excellence in student-faculty relations. Read more about this gift.

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