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Department of Kinesiology and Community Health Student Awards

AHS E-News Spring 2020

Undergraduate Awards

Jerry D. Burnam Student Scholarship

Kortney Wilcher

Kortney Wilcher

Kortney will begin graduate studies in Community Health at Illinois after completing her undergraduate degree in May. She is a research assistant in Dr. Chung-Yi Chiu’s Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Lab and gained additional experience at Crisis Nursery, Carle Foundation Hospital, and Cunningham Children’s Home. A Dean’s List honoree, Kortney received the 2019 F. Patricia Cullen Scholarship.

 

Joanne M. Carraway and Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Kennedy Burrell

Kennedy Burrell

Kennedy will pursue a Master of Public Health degree at Illinois after completing her degree in Community Health in May. She interned with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and is studying pain-related emergency room visits and racial biases with Dr. Hyojung Kang. Kennedy is a Dean's List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar.

Joanne M. Carraway & Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Karina Chhatwani

Karina Chhatwani

Karina will pursue an MBA after graduating next year with a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. This summer, she will serve an internship with Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago, and has completed internships with the Mayo Clinic and Lurie Children’s Hospital. Karina is a Dean's List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar.

Joanne M. Carraway and Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Jade Gandhi

Jade Gandhi

Jade will pursue a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration after completing her degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences in 2022. A James Scholar and Dean’s List honoree, Jade conducted research on the effects of e-waste in developing countries, assisted sports nutritionists in planning meals for University of Illinois athletes, and helped organize Illinithon.

Joanne M. Carraway and Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Lina Hawari

Lina Hawari

Lina will attend medical school after completing her degree in Kinesiology next year. This summer, she will be a research fellow at the Mayo Clinic. A Dean’s List honoree, Lina works in Dr. Laura Rice’s Disability Participation and Quality of Life Research Lab and is a personal assistant to individuals with muscular dystrophy.

Joanne M. Carraway and Charles M. Carraway Scholarship

Elisha Li

Elisha Li

Elisha plans to become a physical therapist after completing her degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences in December. She has accumulated more than 350 hours of diverse field experience in six areas of specialization. A Dean’s List honoree, Elisha is president of Interdisciplinary Health Educators and Leaders and pursuing certification from the Illinois Leadership Center.

Carol L. Chittenden Scholarship

Minwoo Choi

Minwoo Choi

Minwoo will attend dental school after completing his degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences next year. He has volunteered in seven different departments of Carle Foundation Hospital and is a research assistant in the Molecular and Integrative Physiology program. A Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar, Minwoo volunteers as a dental assistant with Champaign County Christian Health Center.

Carol L. Chittenden Scholarship

Lindsey Norman

Lindsey Norman

Lindsey will complete her degree in Community Health in 2023. She is alumni relations chair of Gamma Phi Beta and active in Future Health Care Executives. A Dean’s List honoree and Edmund J. James Scholar, Lindsey assists with activities such as Homecoming as an advancement ambassador in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

F. Patricia Cullen Scholarship


Ben Rickenbaugh

Ben Rickenbaugh

Ben will pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree after completing his Kinesiology degree in December. He is a rehabilitation aide at Athletico Physical Therapy and a primary trainer and caretaker for Illini Service Dogs. A Dean’s List honoree, Ben assisted with research in Dr. Jake Sosnoff’s Motor Control Research Lab.

Helga M. Deutsch Scholarship

Jose Garcia

Jose Garcia

After completing his degree in Kinesiology next year, Jose plans to become a physical therapist. He has accumulated more than 130 hours of shadowing experience at ATI Physical Therapy, Athletico Physical Therapy, and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. A Dean’s List honoree, Jose volunteers with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services.

Helga M. Deutsch Scholarship

Megan Kalinowski

Megan Kalinowski

Megan will attend medical school after completing her degree in Kinesiology next year. A Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar, she is a research assistant in Dr. Marni Boppart’s Molecular Muscle Physiology Lab and volunteers at Carle Foundation Hospital. Last year, she volunteered in a public health clinic in Cape Town, South Africa.

Beulah Drom Scholarship

Yiting Du

Yiting Du

Yiting will enroll in Northwestern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program after completing a degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences in May. She works in Dr. Laura Rice’s Disability Participation and Quality of Life Research Lab, is a personal assistant in the Beckwith Residential Support Services program, and volunteered in OSF Healthcare’s Rehabilitation Department.

 

Beulah Drom Scholarship

Abigail Hunter

Abigail Hunter

Abby will complete her Community Health degree in December. She has a summer internship with Glanbia Performance Nutrition’s Amazon e-commerce sales team and will continue working with the company after graduating. A Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar, Abby conducts workshops as a leadership paraprofessional in the Illinois Leadership Center.

Aurelio E. "Joe" Florio Scholarship

Ysabel Floresca

Ysabel Floresca

Ysabel will complete her degree in Community Health in December. Her future plans include graduate study in Public Health or Health Administration and Policy. A Dean’s List honoree, she volunteers with McKinley Health Center, which gave her the 2019 Outstanding Leadership Award. She also is a residential advisor for University Housing.

Ysabel also received the 2020 Floyd and Etta McAfee Award.

Aurelio E. "Joe: Florio Scholarship

Magdalena Hamielec

Magdalena Hamielec

Magdalena completes her degree in Community Health this year and, as a student in the BS-MPH program, her master’s degree in Public Health in 2021. She is active in FYCARE, a sexual assault prevention organization. A Dean’s List honoree, Magdalena is a research assistant in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Ralph Geeseman Scholarship for Veterans

Jonathan Briick

Jonathan Briick

Jonathan will become a high school physical education teacher after completing his Kinesiology degree in 2021. He has been a member of the U.S. Marine Corps for almost 16 years and currently teaches martial arts to Navy and Marine ROTC students as a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant and is himself a third-degree black belt.

Jonathan also received the 2020 Carita Robertson Physical Education Scholarship.

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Scholarship

Tracy Wohlever

Tracy Wohlever

Tracy plans to get a master’s degree in Nursing after completing her degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences next year. She served an internship in the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Lurie Children’s Hospital and worked as a personal assistant in the Beckwith Residential Support Services program. She also volunteers in the Carle Auditory Oral School.

H.E. "Hek" Kenney Memorial Award

Danielle Fuller

Danielle Fuller

Danielle, a first-year student in Kinesiology, will pursue studies in Physical Education. A longtime dancer, she is a member of the Illinettes Dance Team and uses dance activities as a teacher in a daycare facility. She is a James Scholar and Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program Scholar.

MidAmerica Healthcare Executives Forum Award

Simran Mainri

Simran Maini

After graduating in May with a degree in Community Health, Simran will join Claro Healthcare as an analyst. She completed an internship as a supply chain analyst with The Resource Group and was the executive intern to the Chief Operating Officer of Carle Foundation Hospital. She is a Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar.

 

Roger Winfield Morse Memorial Scholarship

Casey Cushing

Casey Cushing

Casey plans to become an occupational therapist after completing her Kinesiology degree in December. She volunteered at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and is a research assistant in the Pedagogical Qualitative Research Lab of Drs. Kim Graber and Amy Woods. A Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar, Casey has received many scholarships, including the 2019 Carraway Scholarship.

Roger Winfield Morse Memorial Scholarship

Michal Dymarsky

Michal Dymarsky

Michal will pursue studies in Physical Therapy after completing her Kinesiology degree next year. She worked at Athletico Physical Therapy and observed physical therapists in outpatient, inpatient, vestibular therapy, home care, and assisted care settings. A James Scholar, Michal is a research assistant in Dr. Ken Wilund’s Renal and Cardiovascular Disease Research Lab.

Roger Winfield Morse Memorial Scholarship

Jaime Kahn

Jamie Kahn

Jamie plans to become a physician assistant after completing her Kinesiology degree in 2022. She volunteers with Carle Foundation Hospital and Illini Emergency Medical Services and is a research assistant to Dr. Kevin Richards. A Dean’s List honoree, Jamie is a University of Illinois Chancellor’s Scholar and an Edmund J. James Scholar.

Roger Winfield Morse Memorial Scholarship

Adriana Velasco

Adriana Velasco

Adriana will study Physical Therapy at Midwestern University after completing her Kinesiology degree in May. She has shadowed physical therapists in a variety of settings, assists with physical therapy in the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, and is a research assistant in Dr. Dominika Pindus’s Physical Activity and Neurocognitive Health Lab.

Carita Robertson Physical Education Scholarship

Alexis Jones

Alexis Jones

Alexis will complete her Kinesiology degree with a focus on Physical Education in 2021. She plans to pursue a master’s degree and become a physical education teacher and strength and conditioning coach. She has been a student teacher at Mahomet-Seymour junior high school. She earned Big Ten All-Academic honors in 2019.

Seward C. Staley Scholarship

Victoria Zervos

Victoria Zervos

Victoria will complete her Kinesiology degree with a focus on Physical Education next year and plans to teach at the high school level. She has coached gymnastics with Rise Up Academy and choreographed floor routines for Rolling Meadows High School. A Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar, Victoria completed a physical education internship with Holmes Junior High School.

Marianna Trekell Scholarship

Carly Frerichs

Carly Frerichs

Carly will study Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis after completing her Kinesiology degree in May. She was a research assistant in Dr. Jake Sosnoff’s Motor Control Research Lab and took part in the Rural Health Experience in southern Illinois. A Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar, Carly is president of the Pre-Physical Therapy Club.

Marianna Trekell Scholarship

Yanqing Geri Lyu

Yanqing Geri Lyu

Geri will attend medical school after graduating with her Kinesiology degree in May. She volunteers with Illini Emergency Medical Services and the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. She is a research assistant in Dr. Manuel Hernandez’s Mobility and Fall Prevention Research Lab. Geri is a Dean’s List honoree and James Scholar.

Agnes Radich Vidovic Award

Brittany Faurie

Brittany Faurie

Brittany will study Physical Therapy at Governors State University after completing her Kinesiology degree in May. She assisted with physical therapy and exam proctoring in the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. A Dean’s List honoree, she is a member of Dr. Citlali Lopez-Ortiz’s Neuroscience of Dance in Health and Disability Lab.

Graduate Awards

Reginald J. Alston Award for Excellence

Kristin Godlin

Kristin Godlin

Kristin is completing both a Master of Public Health and PhD in Community Health and expects to graduate in 2022. Mentored by Dr. Robyn Gobin, she investigates religious coping with domestic violence. She serves as a hospital chaplain at both Carle Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center. She completed two master’s degrees at Yale University.

Community Health Alumni Scholarship

Janeth Juarez-Padilla

Janeth Juarez Padilla

Janeth will pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology after completing her master’s degree in Community Health in May. Mentored by Dr. Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, her research focuses on mental health disparities among Latinas in the United States and Mexico. Her BS in Sociology is from San Diego State University, where she was a Cancer Partnership Scholar.

 

William H. Creswell Jr. Graduate Student Award

Marcela Vizcarra

Marcela Vizcarra

Marcela plans to continue research with an academic institution or government agency in Chile after completing her PhD in Community Health in May. Mentored by Dr. Andiara Schwingel, she researches Latin American parents’ role in eating socialization of preschool children. She is a two-time recipient of the Tinker Fellowship from the Center for Latin America and Caribbean Studies.

T.K. Cureton Physical Fitness Research Award

Amadeo Salvador

Amadeo Salvador

Amadeo hopes to join a research university after completing his PhD in Kinesiology next year. Working with Dr. Nicholas Burd, he is working to develop strategies for optimizing nutrition and exercise regimes to improve human health, and has published 18 peer-reviewed papers. He received a prestigious CAPES Graduate Studies Fellowship from the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

Paul D. Doolen Graduate Scholarship for the Study of Aging

Katherine Hsieh

Katherine Hsieh

Katherine plans to have an academic career after completing her PhD in Kinesiology this year. Mentored by Dr. Jacob Sosnoff, she is studying human movement with the goal of preventing falls in such clinical populations as older adults and people with disabilities or chronic disease.

Katherine also received the 2020 Laura J. Huelster Award and the 2020 Carol L. Chittenden Fellowship.

Howard S. Hoyman Student Award

Andrea Ramirez-Olarte

Andrea Ramirez Olarte

Andrea will complete her master’s degree in Community Health and May and plans to attend medical school. She is a research assistant in Dr. Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo’s Laboratory for Emotion and Stress Assessment and has presented her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and the Marcé of North America Conference.

Laura J. Huelster Award

Slav Dvoretskiy

Svyatoslav Dvoretskiy

Slav plans to take a research position in industry after completing his PhD in Kinesiology in May. Working with Dr. Marni Boppart in the Molecular Muscle Physiology Lab, his research investigates factors related to the recovery of skeletal muscle. He received a National Institutes of Health T32 Tissue Micrenvironment Predoctoral Fellowship and a NASA Space Physiology research grant.

Laura J. Huelster Award

Doo Jae Park

Doo Jae Park

Doo Jae will pursue an academic career after completing his PhD in Kinesiology in 2021. Mentored by Dr. Synthia Sydnor, his research examines the intersection of the racialization of Asian Americans and power relations in sports. In 2017, he received a Jeffrey S. Tanaka Asian American Studies Research Grant from the Asian American Studies Department.

 

Kinesiology Scholarship Fund Award

Libak Abou

Libak Abou

Libak hopes to join a research university after completing his PhD in Kinesiology in 2022. A former physical therapist in Brazil, his research seeks to improve the evidence-based practice of physical therapists. Mentored by Dr. Laura Rice, he recently investigated the effectiveness of clinical balance measures in predicting falls among ambulatory individuals with spinal cord injury.

Benjamin H. Massey Memorial Award

Samuel Lapp

Samuel Lapp

Samuel plans to continue his studies toward a PhD after completing his master’s degree in Kinesiology in May. Working with Dr. Marni Boppart, he uses flow cytometry and other molecular biology methods to develop cell-based therapies for recovering skeletal muscle following periods of immobilization. He is the graduate association outreach coordinator in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Benjamin H. Massey Memorial Award

Madhura Phansikar

Madhura Phanskikar

Madhura will pursue a position at a research university after completing her PhD in Kinesiology in 2021. Mentored by Dr. Sean Mullen, her research focuses on mind-body interventions and their effect on cognition. She has presented her work at annual meetings of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Madhura is a founding member of the AHS Graduate Student Association.

MidAmerica Healthcare Executives Forum Award

Rebecca Biernacki

Rebecca Biernacki

After completing her master’s degree in Community Health in May, Rebecca will complete master’s degrees in Public Administration and in Nonprofit Management at the University of Central Florida. She has studied the Italian healthcare system and worked in administration as the Van Vorst intern at Carle Foundation Hospital. She also has volunteered with Healing Horse Stables.

Robert L. Sprague Graduate Student Award

Yang Hu

Yang Hu

Yang will pursue an academic career after completing her PhD in Kinesiology in 2021. Mentored by Dr. Manuel Hernandez, she is conducting research on biomechanics and the neuroscience of mobility and currently is leading a study of osteoarthritis patients. She is a graduate assistant with the AHS Health Technology Education Program and is an ACSM-certified personal trainer.

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