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.

A Southern Summer

Jul 16
Shelby Cooper, Senior in Agricultural Science Education

The Bluegrass State. Horse Capital of the World. Bourbon Country. Wildcat Nation. I have had the pleasure of living and working in Lexington, Kentucky this summer as an intern for the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) and all of these formerly unfamiliar terms have become a regular part of conversation.  While I may be living away from home, I’m comforted by those around me who share my passion for agricultural education. 

The NAAE headquarters are located in Lexington, on the University of Kentucky campus. The mission of the organization is to advance agricultural education and promote the professional interests and growth of agriculture teachers as well as recruit and prepare students who have a desire to teach agriculture. NAAE offers positions in Professional Development, Communications and Advocacy, and another student is working with the Teach Ag Campaign. The variety of positions gives interns a peek into the world of NAAE and all they do to support agricultural educators and pre-service teachers.

As a Communications Intern, I spend the majority of my time working on documents and projects to prepare for the annual NAAE National Convention. I have been able to read award applications from some of the best agricultural educators in the country and write news releases for the recognitions they earn. I have gained insight into national agricultural education programs, seeing the creativity and diversity that agriculture teachers are capable of. I am also working on convention presentations and scripts and preparing to work in the pressroom at the 2015 NAAE National Convention, held in New Orleans this year.

This role is preparing me for a career as a teacher by introducing me to the culture and community that is agricultural education. I’m also working in roles where I have very little experience, so this internship is teaching me to think on my feet and adapt to new situations, which is always useful in a teaching career.  I am responsible for award winners from regions on the West Coast, in the Midwest, and in the Southeast. Many of these programs differ greatly from programs in Illinois, so I am continually learning more about agriculture at a national level. These teachers are recognized as exceptional, and it is a joy to have the opportunity to learn from them.

This summer has been rewarding and refreshing. While working in Kentucky, I’ve been able to meet fellow students working toward an agricultural education degree. We have spent hours comparing campuses, student organizations, and our respective programs. Without a doubt, I am proud to be a part of the University of Illinois’ program and to have the opportunities I’ve had. It’s an exciting time to be in agriculture, and while I’m having the time of my life in Lexington, I can’t wait to return to campus for a final year as a pre-service teacher and an Illini!

A Southern Summer

Looking Toward Our Future

Jul 13
Jessica Telgmann, Senior in Agricultural Communications

The first ACES Family Academies took place July 9 and 10, and I was lucky enough to volunteer at the event. Nearly 100 participants came to campus--alumni and their children, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren.

The alumni and their “future Illini” learned about wellness, animal sciences, robotics, electricity, food science, and much more!

I loved watching the multiple generations interact together while they both learned new subject matter. The bonds formed were special, and ACES Family Academies allowed those relationships to become stronger.

All day long I saw smiling faces. Personally, my favorite session was the Magical Milk Lab where participants learned how curds are formed and even got to make and enjoy a sweet treat. Who doesn’t love ice cream?

This event was a great opportunity for alumni to bring their families back to the Illinois campus and share the special memories they have of this great place, as well as make some new ones!