The scent of October

Oct 7
Kathryn Martensen, Assistant Dean and Director of Advising

Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer wanted to create a cologne that smelled like the beach? I think there should be one for October. It would smell like a combination of crisp leaves and grass (minus the mold allergens, natch) with a hint of bonfire and pumpkin spice cider undertones. A definite best-seller, because people love October! There’s even an RSO on campus called “October Lovers.” October is the host month to all kinds of good things: Cool fall weather with brilliant sunshine, the ACES Career Fair, Homecoming, and my favorite holiday, Halloween.

Here are pics from a couple years ago of my sons on Halloween a couple years ago and from our family’s annual football game. Classic fall good times!

Martenson family Halloween

Martenson Thanksgiving


ACES is a Family

Oct 3
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES

A lot of people say that the College of ACES is like a family. It’s a common answer when students are asked what they love most about the college, but it’s amazing how true that statement really is.

This morning, I took a little tumble on my way to class before the career fair. I fell down a flight of stairs, cracked my computer’s screen, and ripped the hem of my dress. The best part was my flying spring-loaded umbrella. I was a wreck.

I was on my way to math class and only had a 10-minute break between class and an interview at the career fair, but on top of that it was pouring down rain. Time was not on my side, and at that point neither were fashion or the weather.

I headed over the ARC for my interview and I was still a little shook up. The reality of a broken computer screen was just starting to sink in. When I walked into the ARC, the first people I saw were three ACES faculty/staff members. Clearly by the look on my face they could tell that I was not doing too swell. After hearing my sob story, one began digging for Advil, another tried to fix my dress, and the third tried to rebuild my confidence before the interview.

As a college student, I still have some moments when I just wish my mom was there to fix my problems, to sew up my dress, and to give me hug. It’s a great feeling to know that my College of ACES family will always be there, too. 

“Luck” of the draw

Oct 3
Jason Emmert, Assistant Dean, Academic Programs

Did you ever notice how some students seem to be so lucky, and good things just happen to them? Great jobs, awesome internships, exciting study abroad opportunities, bountiful scholarship support, and on and on. What’s the deal with that?

Well, the truth is, I’ve never met a lucky student. I have met many students, however, who create their own luck through hard work, perseverance, and the basic skill of paying attention! Today, hopefully all of our students in ACES have paid attention to the opportunity they have to attend the ACES and Sciences Career Fair, which will be held at the ARC this afternoon from 1:00-5:30 p.m. For freshmen, it’s a great chance to network with representatives from more than 100 organizations; for sophomores and juniors, it’s an opportunity to look for an internship; for seniors, the time has come to take action toward that first step after graduation.

The ACES and Sciences Career fair draws so many organizations to campus because of the quality of our students; our students are drawn to the event because of the outstanding internship and job opportunities. Together, students and organizations are drawn together to find matches that to some people look like pure luck. But we know the truth; you make your own luck!

Have a great day, and good “luck”!

Mike Carter (left) and Luke Rincker (right) are experiencing a reunion of sorts today in Suite 115 of the ACES Library. Luke is working this morning before heading over to the career fair, and Mike is back on campus to represent Hormel Foods at the fair. Mike and Luke worked together as interns in Suite 115. Networking at its finest!



Kraft Foods Day at the University of Illinois

Sep 30
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

What is one way to ensure that students know that Kraft Foods is visiting campus? Other than flyers and various promotional items, students across campus posted pictures of the 27-foot Oscar Mayer Weinermobile promoting #BornToBun and #Kraft on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as it drove around the University. They were also able to sit in the Weinermobile, receive some promotional items, and a few even got to ride in the vehicle. Weinermobile travel team members, Stephen and Alex, take this vehicle on the road for months at a time where they have been seen at air shows and 4th of July parades.

Earlier this month, Kraft Foods began their tour of campus by bringing some recent Food Science and Human Nutrition graduates to meet with several students in Bevier Hall to talk about their future internship and career opportunities with the company. They took their visit to the next level by bringing food samples and worked with Bevier Café to showcase some of their products for lunch that day. Additionally, Kraft Foods spent time with the College of Business and College of Engineering to promote their brand and opportunities for students in those Colleges.

We appreciate all that Kraft Foods provides to our classroom experiences as well as the quality internships in which some of our students participate!


Kraft Foods Day

Dad's Weekend

Sep 24
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES

During harvest on our farm, the combine doesn’t stop for very many reasons. There’s the occasional break-down, Sundays of course, and rain. That’s about it. This year, the combine stops for Dad’s Weekend!  I didn’t even have to do any arm twisting— my parents must really love me, or they must really love visiting U of I. I hope it’s both.

This will be the last Dad’s Weekend that my family attends, and it will be a pretty special one I’m sure. In the past years we’ve attended football games, Sigma Alpha breakfasts, and we’ve participated in our share of tailgating with friends and family. This year, the schedule looks a little different. My step-dad, Dick, is a finalist for the U of I Parent’s Association King Dad award.

I nominated him because I thought it would be a nice thing to do, but never in a million years did I think he would be a finalist. On Friday night, my family will attend the Dad’s Association reception and the King Dad will be crowned. I’m just a little bit excited!

I always love it when my parents have the opportunity to visit campus. It’s so fun to introduce them to my friends and to my ACES family. It’s almost like they get to experience college again, especially sitting in the student section and learning the football cheers. The weekend can’t come soon enough!

Young alumni give back

Sep 16
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

Although the classroom and laboratory experiences that ACES students obtain is top-notch, and instructors are some of the best globally, there is still value to be added by interacting with some of the top professionals in the field. Each year, graduate students in Food Science and Human Nutrition have the opportunity to be matched with an external mentor. This diversifies the points-of-view they are exposed to and instantly deepens their professional network. Alumni and other professionals are encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences as mentors, guest speakers or internship supervisors.

We recently had the opportunity to recognize a few young alumni who have shared their knowledge and skills with ACES students. Susan Zaripheh and Nate Matusheski are both very accomplished alumni, who have taken the time to give back to this institution, specifically in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, making it a richer place for others. Congratulations to both Nate and Susan on receiving the 2013 College of ACES Alumni Association Young Alumni Award.

Nate Matusheski
Nate Matusheski

Susan Zaripheh
Susan Zaripheh


ACES Career Fair Advice

Sep 12
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES

When I was a freshman, an upperclassman told me that I should attend the career fair and hand out resumes like I was a senior on the job hunt. They told me that as a freshman I needed to get my name in front of as many companies as possible and get some practice under my belt for when the time came to really look for an internship and eventually a job after graduation. At the time I was quite lost, but looking back I think this is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received.

I went to The Limited’s annual suit sale, got my resume critiqued, practiced my elevator speech for my mom about a million times, and scoured the shelves of every office supply store for the resume paper that everyone seemed to be sold out of. I was ready.

The day of the ACES Career Fair arrived and I made my lap around the room full of displays. I found a small company that my family does business with and saw a familiar face, so I made that my practice company. It went alright, and I decided I was ready to start handing out resumes like it was my job.

After handing out about 12 resumes, I realized I only had a few left and at the end of the room was John Deere. There was a line of about 15 people long and they were all upperclassmen, but I knew that if I walked past I would regret it later.

When I got to the front of the line, I proudly rattled off my elevator speech. The recruiter took a glance at my resume and asked me a few questions, but he told me that normally only upperclassmen are offered interviews.

I left the career fair feeling a bit discouraged, but a little proud of myself for handing out so many resumes. Later that afternoon, I had several phone calls for campus interviews the next day, and one was from John Deere. I was ecstatic!

The summer after my freshman year, I ended up interning with Crop Production Services in Bloomington, Illinois. But, when career fair rolled around during my sophomore year, I already had a few interviews lined up and I was ready to take on the day with some experience under my belt. Since then, I’ve done three internships with John Deere and I owe it all to that upperclassman’s advice.    

I guess it’s my turn to be the upperclassman with some words of wisdom. I’ll state it simply with a few steps.

1. Get your resume together and have it critiqued by ACES Career Services.
2. Get a suit. You might not think you need one now, but trust me you will.
3. Practice your elevator speech and some interview questions even if it’s just with your mom.
4. Go to the career fair and hand out those resumes like it’s your job. Don’t spend your time there socializing with your friends. Force yourself to step out of your comfort zone and talk to the recruiters because they’re really nice people and some are even ACES alumni! They want to help you and they may even be your next boss.

Here’s to September

Sep 12
Kathryn Martensen, Assistant Dean and Director of Advising

September is a great month for the feeling of starting over—new school year, new students here on campus, breaking out your fall wardrobe…oh wait, it would have to be less than 95 degrees to do that. Crazy heat aside, this September has been awesome because it is the return of my favorite sport, college football, and I’ve been able to see not one but two Fighting Illini football wins at Memorial Stadium.  Hopefully we carry the momentum into Soldier Field for Saturday’s game! Go Illini!


Kathy Martensen

Beating expectations

Sep 11
Richard Vogen, Director, Planning and Research Development

When share prices rise on Wall Street, the reason usually involves beating the prevailing expectations of investors, analysts, and pundits. Last Saturday, something similar happened in Memorial Stadium. The odds makers in Las Vegas and even the faithful in Champaign gave the Fighting Illini little chance to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats. But Coach Beckman’s gridiron team defied the odds, executed better than anticipated, and won the contest, 45-17! There was a palpable sense of enthusiasm this weekend in the community and guarded optimism for the future. You might say the stock price of the Fighting Illini went up.

Likewise, when our students show up in board rooms and other professional venues, we often hear testimony that our ACES students are extraordinarily talented, poised, and prepared. That is no accident. Like the team that performs beyond expectations, students who excel in ways that add value to their own stock in professional environments do so because of their abilities and their hard work. Many of our ACES students tend to beat expectations. And that increases the value of their Illinois education over the long haul. Oskee-wow-wow!


Illinois football

Progression in Food Science

Sep 10
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

At this year’s Farm Progress Show, the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition took an unconventional approach of exhibiting the work of our students and researchers by handing out more than 3,000 puffed brown rice samples to many visitors over the three-day event. It was a basic illustration of the extrusion process, used to create many common food products. Our students are using the extrusion process to explore developing products that have an increased amount of proteins, varied starch, lower in calories, and even gluten free snacks. The sample was made from 100% brown rice and was run through a pilot plant size extruder on site at the Farm Progress Show. The samples had the appearance of a CHEETOS® and the taste of a rice cake. Many of the individuals that sampled this product were very intrigued by the research being done by our students and even wondered if they could buy this particular product at the grocery store. We would like to thank the many individuals that came to see us in the ACES tent and invite people to learn more about Processing at Illinois!

Puffed rice samples

FSHN at Farm Progress