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. Lulu Rodriguez
Science and risk communication
Dr. Lulu Rodriguez
These days, competing views about issues related to food, agriculture, energy and the environment vie for people’s attention and support. Different voices are heard about these complex topics, leading many to observe that “for every Ph.D., there is an equal and opposite Ph.D.” How do different audience segments perceive these controversial issues? How can they be made more informed decision-makers? Dr. Lulu Rodriguez researches audience reactions to the ways by which contentious issues with scientific and technological underpinnings are communicated. She investigates media performance in covering science topics and people’s basic mental models of hazard. She also designs, implements, and evaluates the impact of communication campaigns related to agriculture, renewable energy, the environment, food safety and food security.


Sarah Albert

ANSC 250, Companion Animals in Society, examines humans ’ relationship with companion animals in the United States. The class covers a wide realm of topics, among them pet overpopulation and animal sheltering, the importance of spaying and neutering, “neuter release programs” developed to control the overpopulation of cats, and ethical issues with puppy mills.

“Animal legislation, the