Productive, Empowered Communities

Imagine...Productive, Empowered Communities

Communities thrive when their members do. Learning what’s needed for individuals, families, and society to flourish is the cornerstone of social science scholarship in the College of ACES. We study the complex interactions in families and foster their resilience among the stresses of modern life. We are discovering how children and young people can best grow to become adults who contribute effectively to society.

Scholarly knowledge becomes action in ACES, through work in educational settings, youth development programs, and community services touching thousands of young people and families. ACES develops leaders at all stages of life, starting with 4-H members and the students we prepare for successful careers. The innovative new leadership studies program at the University of Illinois makes its home in ACES.

Decision makers come to ACES for expertise that influences social policies and economic prospects, extending from local communities to the global stage. An array of disciplines, including policy, law, economics, leadership, vocational education, and communication converge here, facilitating problem solving from multiple perspectives. Scholars focus on finding solutions to help improve quality of life.

In ACES, we are applying science and technology in smarter and more sustainable ways, teaching people to effectively manage relationships and finances, and bringing to light new ways to nurture communities.

Other Features

Highlighted Research

Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski
Community nutrition
Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski

Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski studies best practices and most effective educational strategies to help children and adults prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Currently, she is studying the transitioning food environment in kindergarten through second grade in order to support children, teachers, administrators, and parents most effectively in achieving healthy lifestyles. She also is investigating the motivating and distracting aspects of healthy lifestyles apps from the perspective of the user, the technology developer, and the topic experts to move nutrition education into this arena.


Michael Ward

NRES 348, Fish and Wildlife Ecology, explores the conservation and management of wildlife in various habitats, ranging from urban areas to large tracts of forest. Because conserving and managing species can be difficult, NRES 348 covers many of the management tools used with mammals, birds, and fish.

“I try to convey that in much of the world, active management is needed if we