Jean Driscoll and student

College of Applied Health Sciences Alumni Awards Nominations

AHS alumni are changing the world... the areas of Speech and Hearing, Kinesiology & Community Health, Recreation, Sport and Tourism, and Disability Advocacy. The College of Applied Health Sciences will recognize inspiring individuals this fall with the College of Applied Health Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, Harold Scharper Award, and Young Alumni Award. Learn more about the college's alumni awards below:

The College of Applied Health Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2007 to celebrate the diverse achievements of alumni of the College of Applied Health Sciences. The award recognizes high levels of professional and personal success that results in national or international renown.

Harold Scharper was the first paraplegic to attend the University of Illinois. Following his death in 1950, the members of Delta Sigma Omicron (Disabled Student Organization) and friends established the Harold Scharper Achievement and Service/Humanitarian Awards in his memory. These awards were merged into one in 2012, as one of the annual alumni awards presented by the College of Applied Health Sciences. The Harold Scharper Achievement Award commemorates Mr. Scharper’s contributions, alongside founder Tim Nugent, to the development of Disability Resources and Educational Services, which created and equalized opportunities for individuals with disabilities on the Illinois campus long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1991. Awardees are recognized for embodying Mr. Scharper’s groundbreaking achievements, advocacy, commitment to excellence, and selfless service in expanding opportunities for those with disabilities.

The Young Alumni Award was established in 2021 to recognize a graduate of the College of Applied Health Sciences who has achieved early success in their profession. The award recognizes leadership, community engagement, and contributions of time and talent to the university. The recipient must be thirty five (35) years of age or younger during the calendar year in which they receive the award.

Former Alumni Award recipients can be viewed here.

Guidelines for nominations:

• Complete the nomination form and upload two letters of support. You can also include a CV or resume, copies of written articles, or any other supportive documents.

• Nominees must be able to attend the awards activities the weekend of Homecoming.

• Nominations can be updated if a candidate is not selected after the first year.

• Award recipients will be selected by the Dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences. Recommendations from the Board of Visitors will be welcomed and carefully considered in the decision process.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Saathoff in the AHS Office of Advancement at or 217-244-8408.

Nominations are due by March 1, 2024


Nomination Form