Sep 8
Kendall Herren, Senior in Agricultural Communications

I am SO sick of that word. And the disease. And the emails. And pretty much everything about it.

But, after Googling mumps and looking at photos of swollen glands, I don’t understand how people still have yet to get their shots. Mumps leads to a number of different things including meningitis, swelling of the brain, and can even cause you to go deaf.

As a 21 year old, with hopefully several decades of life ahead of me, my brain or spinal cord swelling, or the loss of my hearing is enough to get me to the doctors to get a shot.

So while you’re chilling in your room, binge watching Netflix, binge eating a bag of Doritos, or anything else the steryotypical college student does, take the 30 minutes to get your shot.

It’s simple.

Call McKinley Health Center: 217-333-2701.

Choose Immunization & travel office.

Ask to schedule an appointment.

Show up to appointment with student ID.

Check in.

Walk into the office.

They’ll ask you which arm, swab it, put it in.

And boom.

You’re done.


It’s REALLY that simple. 

Study Abroad Strategically

Sep 8
Meredith Blumthal, Director of ACES Education Abroad Program

This time of year we are surrounded by corn and soybean fields, living in the land of flat and fertile farmland. As you consider what you study, gear up for career fairs and your future career path, remember the walls of our great university do not confine you. Rather, they are your gateway to the world and perhaps the career you never thought was possible.

We don’t live in wine country, but if you want a career in that industry, study abroad can provide you with those skills. For example, consider spending a summer abroad in France learning about French and European agriculture, and then spend 4 weeks living and working on a winery. Or, spend a semester in Mendoza, Argentina, the center of Malbec wine production, where you will learn about Argentine wines, Spanish language, and then work for a winery such as Trapiche, whose name you might find in your local grocery store.

Although we are landlocked, study abroad provides an array of opportunities to study marine life. Spend a semester program in the Galapagos Islands, and study on one of the world's most beautiful and biologically diverse locations. Get hands-on experience in marine ecology. Or, you could spend the semester in Turks and Caicos with the School for Field Studies learning about marine ecosystems and conducting research techniques in the field. If you just can’t convince yourself to spend a semester abroad, then pay attention to faculty led programs in the Bahamas at the Cape Eleuthera Institute this winter break.

Interested in wildlife management and conservation issues? Study abroad in Botswana, Tanzania, or South Africa to gain experiential knowledge of various wildlife management and conservation issues in Africa and to attain proficiency in field research.

Illinois provides you with a vast array of programs and opportunities. To learn more visit

Meredith visiting the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Ready to find an exciting career?

Sep 1
Jean Drasgow, Director of Career Services

ACES is committed to getting their students career-ready! Don’t miss the following events taking place this fall that will cover key topics for job search success and culminate at the ACES & Sciences Career Fair where more than 100 organizations will be seeking ACES talent.

Dress for Success Workshop
Join us September 13 from 2-3:30 p.m. at Bergner’s at the Market Place Shopping Center in Champaign to learn tips on how to dress professionally on a budget from ACES alum Michael Ujcich.

Resume Rules Workshop
On September 17 from 6-7:30 p.m. in 161 Noyes Laboratory, learn how to develop a stand-out resume. After Q&A, employers will individually review resumes and provide advice.

Study Abroad Workshop
If you have studied abroad, meet us in the Heritage Room of the ACES Library on September 22 at 5 p.m. to learn how to translate your skills to employers.

Interviewing Free of Flub
Scared about interviewing? Have your interview questions answered by recruiters from our company sponsors on September 24 from 6-7 p.m. in 1002 Lincoln Hall.

Networking Prep
Practice your networking skills with professionals on October 1 in the Heritage Room of the ACES Library from 6-7 p.m. Representatives from one or more of our sponsoring companies will participate.

ACES & Sciences Career Fair
Get this on your calendar now! Join us at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) on October 8 from 1-5 p.m. More than 100 organizations will participate, including companies and non-profits. For more detailed information, visit I-link.

Learn more about these interactive events through I-Link. Can't wait to see you there!



ACES Week 2015

Aug 28
Laurie Kramer, Associate Dean and Professor, Office of Academic Programs

Welcome back students! I'd like to share a message from our ACES Week co-chairs below...

Hello! The College of ACES Student Council is pleased to host the week-long event, ACES Week, with the theme “Find Your Family in ACES!” Being a student in the College of ACES is like being a part of a family, and we want you to have the opportunity to connect with your fellow ACES students and learn about opportunities to help find your place in our college. Join us next week as we take pride in our college and participate in various activities from Monday, August 31 to Friday, September 4. Below is a flyer that lists information for each event.

​​​​Also, please enroll in the ACES excitement by joining the following events on Facebook:

ACES Week 2015: Find Your Family in ACES

- Monday: Words of Wisdom

- Tuesday: Meet Your Global Family

- Wednesday: Lunch with the Deans

- Thursday: Meet the Newest Generation

- Friday: Find Your Way Home

Let's make this year's ACES Week a well deserved "reunion"! We hope to see you there!

Your ACES Week Co-chairs,
Katherine Rola & Tom Poole

For further questions please contact us:
Katherine Rola (
Tom Poole (

Designate your dollars at Farm Progress Show

Aug 27
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

With a quick vote, visitors to the Farm Progress Show will be able to support the College of ACES and Illinois 4-H.

In celebration of the 100th year of the Farm Credit System, 1st Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit Illinois plan to distribute $100,000 to 10 different organizations with agriculture ties. The University of Illinois College of ACES and the Illinois 4-H Foundation are two of those organizations.

The proportion of the $100,000 that will be contributed to the College of ACES and Illinois 4-H is dependent on votes received at the Farm Progress Show, Sept. 1-3 in Decatur, Ill. “Designate the Dollars” allows Farm Progress Show attendees to vote for an organization via an electronic survey at the Farm Credit/1st Farm Credit exhibit. College of ACES and Illinois 4-H will receive $1000 for each percentage of the total vote they receive. For example – 10% of the vote equals a $10,000 contribution.

This is just one more way that Farm Credit continues their support of and partnership with Illinois 4-H and the College of ACES. They provide undergraduate scholarship, 4-H project grants and more in support of youth development and agricultural education.

Be sure to stop by the Farm Credit tent (#763) to cast your vote for the College of ACES or Illinois 4-H. Help us spread the word to other Farm Progress Show attendees, as well!

Countdown to The Farm Progress Show

Aug 26
Kendra Courson, Director for Special Events

Today was Media Day at Progress City in Decatur. The College of ACES works closely with Penton Media to provide many services to the several hundred thousand visitors. Services include traffic information, radio, and student translators from the college who greet international visitors in Portuguese, Spanish, and Mandarin. Rick Atterberry and I were happy to be a part of today's press conference, tour, and luncheon.

With this year's 400,000-square-foot expansion, the grounds now cover 90 acres and 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. There are multiple additions to this year's show. Some of these events will include UAV flights held daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a different manufacturer flying every 10 minutes. Also, this year’s main entrance features a bee habitat that will include bee facts and a picture prop. Since 2009, full field demonstrations have not taken place due to summer weather conditions. However, this year's growing season permits a full schedule of harvest, tillage, and planting demonstrations, including new high-speed planters. Corn harvested this week to make room for the tillage demonstrations checked in at 22.7% moisture content! And speaking of corn, visitors can look forward to a new beer tent featuring beer (Miller products) made with Illinois corn! The beer tent will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The University of Illinois tent will have a lot to offer this year’s visitors. With approximately 20 exhibits in the College of ACES tent, daily shows with WGN's Orion Samuelson, and daily market analysis with WILL's Todd Gleason. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all 50 states and 50 foreign countries.

Stop by our tent at 34 West Progress and say hello. Show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. See you next week!

Is this for real?

Aug 26
Jennifer Shike, Director for Communications and Marketing

"You aren't doing any service to anyone if you are always receiving and moving forward. The most important thing about life is that you can't truly live without helping someone else..." When ACES senior Dexter Smith shared those words with me during an interview last spring, I was taken aback for a minute. How many people get that figured out in life? Yet alone as a college senior? I had to learn more about this young man and I hope that sparks your desire to read Dexter’s story, too.

The Fall 2015 ACES@Illinois magazine is hot off the press this week. If you haven't picked up an issue yet or read it online, I encourage you to do so! I'm overwhelmed by the greatness of our students, our faculty, our staff, our alumni, and our donors when I flip through the pages of this little snippet of what's taking place around here. We’re proud of our ACES family and the stats don’t lie. But I hope this publication will make us all “a little more real” and show you that you get so much more than a great education from ACES.

And here are just a few of my favorite quotes in this issue…

"When students went to Morocco they saw what people of the Middle East are about. People are always kind if you go in with an open mind, an open heart, and a smile on your face. To see the students learn that was priceless. The quality of students in ACES is inspiring - their willingness to learn, their enthusiasm for traveling abroad, and their courage to take the first steps to experience something new." - Dr. Mosbah Kushad in “Planting New Perceptions” (Page 8-9)

“It’s a good model of multidisciplinary work bringing a lot of people to the table to look at a complex problem. It could make an important contribution to the problem of food security, particularly in a changing climate.” – Sarah Taylor-Lovell in “Integrating Ecology and Agriculture” (Page 26-28)

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – you will. Mistakes will grow your company as long as you learn from them.” – Daniel Krause in “Crazy for Food Trucks” (Page 21-23)

"{Hadley Read} is my biggest memory of the U of I – all the help, encouragement, and opportunities he gave me. The university was a warm, friendly environment, but to have someone be your champion and point you in the right direction, that was incredible.” – Glen Broom in “Posing the Question” (Page 32-33)

Read more at or e-mail me if you’d like a hard copy at

Fall ACES@Illinois 2015

Finding Family in AFA

Aug 20
Shelby Cooper, Senior in Agricultural Science Education

This week has been a transition period between a summer full of engaging work and travel and the return to classes on campus. I know I’ve been busy catching up with student organizations, preparing for senior year, and visiting my cooperating school during their first week of class. As I reflect on the summer, I can’t help but highlight my valuable experiences with Agriculture Future of America.
Agriculture Future of America (AFA) is an organization that works to identify, support, and encourage college men and women seeking careers in the agricultural industry. The AFA leader development model focuses on developing students who have talent, passion, and commitment, providing opportunities in leadership development and connections to influential people in agriculture. I am serving as one of nine Student Advisory Team members, assisting staff in the preparation and facilitation of our annual Leaders Conference and maintaining a healthy relationship between AFA and the University of Illinois.

My role this summer included traveling across the country to visit with partners in the agricultural industry, communicate our message, and thank them for their support. After flying to Sacramento, Omaha, and Minneapolis this summer, I am so thankful for the opportunities to serve this organization and promote agricultural education and literacy to the companies who will benefit from it the most.

I am sincerely thankful for the relationships that have been created through this organization. Being away from home this summer, I found I felt the most at home while engaging with these passionate students from anywhere between Yakima, Washington and Auburn, Alabama. I know when I return to the University of Illinois, I will be refreshed and ready to start the year, encouraged by my fellow leaders, staff, and partners of Agriculture Future of America.


Finding Family in AFA

Outstanding Students and Impressive Interships

Aug 7
Kendra Courson, Director for Special Events

I have always been amazed by the quality of the College of ACES students. Last night and today were both opportunities to see some of our finest students in the spotlight.

I had the distinct privilege of participating in the 2015 GROWMARK Intern Program. This 12-week intern program is quite extensive and included a great deal of hard work and effort from some of our students. The GROWMARK internships started with an orientation meeting in mid-May, followed by 12 weeks with a member company or division, and ended with last night banquet and today’s formal project presentations.  

Founded in 1959, this program has had 1,002 interns since the inception. Quite amazing when you think (or some of you may know!) of former interns who have gone through the program and are now at GROWMARK in very valued positions. This year’s program included 57 interns from 18 universities. The types of internships included accounting, agronomy, commodities, human resources, energy, grain, and precision agriculture just to name a few.

Cale Sims, senior in TSM, was one of the interns in this summer’s program and kicked off the morning’s schedule with a presentation on Grain Logistics Management. Cale spent the summer in a field that was brand new to him. His internship was based out of Gateway FS in Red Bud, IL. Cale will be in his fourth year as an intern in the ACES Library Special Events Office.

Other wonderful ACES students with GROWMARK internships included: Sarah St. Aubin, Kayla Bennett, Taylor Friedrich, Adam Gerdes, Josh Huber, Angela Kelley, and Darren Riskedal.

Being around such wonderful students always inspires me and gets me motivated for the beginning of another semester!

Cale Sims presents findings of his internship project.

Crop Sciences Wendy White (center) and students Sarah St. Aubin (right) and Kayla Bennett.

Cale Sims and his mentor, Kendra Courson.

Lessons Learned at Ag Media Summit 2015

Jul 30
Jessica Telgmann, Senior in Agricultural Communications

What a week! I returned to Champaign LATE last night from the Ag Media Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference is not just for students, as professional ag communicators from throughout the U.S. also attend. Five students and two advisors from our Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow chapter were able to make the 1,700+ mile trip. While in Scottsdale, we attended sessions presented by industry professionals on ways to ramp up our communication skills. It was incredible to watch students and professionals side by side as equals, learning new ideas, methods, and material. The conference also gave students time to meet and network with the professionals and make connections that will benefit them in the future. I truly enjoyed the experience to attend Ag Media Summit and want to thank the Illinois Agri-Women for helping fund our ACT chapter’s trip to this skill-enhancing conference.