Image of a researcher and student collaborating

Engagement Initiatives

Working with our community to improve health and quality of life

In the College of Applied Health Sciences, we take the term "applied" very seriously. We refuse to allow our work to be in theory alone and strive to practically bring it to life.

This means that our faculty and our students are committed to engaging our community and our world. Below you will find some of the ways we are doing this.

Lifetime Fitness Program

The Lifetime Fitness Program at the University of Illinois is a community-based exercise program for Urbana-Champaign area residents ages 55 and over. The exercises and physical activity opportunities are designed to develop overall improvement in health, fitness and performance of activities of daily living. The program is directed by Professors Jack Senefeld and Emerson Sebastião and staffed by graduate students from the Department of Health and Kinesiology. In addition, undergraduate students help instruct group fitness courses.


The Department of Health and Kinesiology at the University of Illinois is happy to offer the Illinois Physical Activity and Life Skills (iPALS) Wellness Program in collaboration with Champaign Unit 4 Schools. iPALS is a free summer learning and enrichment program for children attending elementary schools in Champaign Unit 4. The Program specifically targets youth who are enrolled in the free and reduced school lunch program.

Exercise is Medicine

Exercise is Medicine® on Campus (EIM-OC) is a program calling upon universities and colleges to engage in the promotion of physical activity as a vital sign of health. EIM-OC encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community by:

  • Making movement a part of the daily campus culture.
  • Assessing physical activity at every student health visit.
  • Providing students, with the tools necessary to strengthen healthy physical activity habits that can last a lifetime.
  • Connecting university health care providers with university health fitness specialists to provide a referral system for exercise prescriptions.

Office of Recreation & Park Resources

The Office of Recreation and Park Resources channels the expertise and knowledge of the faculty and students of the College of Applied Health Science’s Recreation, Sport and Tourism Department, to positively impact people’s lives. This integrated, innovative and unique approach allows us to successfully address many of the health and wellness challenges we now face in our society. The solutions we develop will be the catalyst for boosting productivity and creativity, resulting in a more robust and dynamic economy.

Mobility and Fall Prevention Research Laboratory

The Mobility and Fall Prevention Research Laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment and assessment information provided by clients to develop individualized prevention strategies that meet their specific needs. The goal of the lab is to further our understanding of the volitional control of compensatory postural responses and contribute to the existing body of fall prevention research in older adults. We use state-of-the-art motion capture, equipment for biomechanical measures, and non-invasive brain imaging to simultaneously record movements and brain activity during functional whole body movements. 

Age-Friendly Champaign-Urbana

The Center on Health, Aging, and Disability is home to the Age-Friendly community network with the goals of making Champaign-Urbana more livable for community members across the lifespan. Champaign-Urbana joined the World Health Organization’s and AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communites in March of 2017. CHAD partners with our community stakeholders to focus on several domains including transportation, housing, outdoor spaces and buildings, community and health services, communication and information, civic participation and employment, social participation, respect and inclusion.

Speech & Hearing Clinic

Careers in Speech & Hearing Science are focused on making a difference in someone else's life. The University of Illinois Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Clinic provides care for those in Champaign-Urbana as well as surrounding areas in the state of Illinois. Under the supervision of licensed Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists, our graduate students provide skilled services for all ages, in person and through telehealth. These opportunities allow our students to connect classroom learning to clinical practice to serve the needs of our community.