ACES International Lecture features Lenton to highlight water insecurity on April 17

Apr 14
Leslie Sweet Myrick, Office of International Programs Media Communications Specialist

Since its inception in 2002, the ACES International Lecture series brings distinguished speakers to discuss international experiences and issues at the University of Illinois. Keeping with this tradition, this semester’s lecture on April 17 will feature one of the world’s foremost experts in water management and development, Dr. Roberto Lenton, who serves as the founding executive director of the Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska.

Water scarcity is a growing constraint on production and an increasing source of conflict around the world, so the Lenton lecture is extremely timely. Agriculture now consumes 70 percent of the world’s freshwater resources and up to 90 percent of India and China’s freshwater resources. Not surprisingly considering these percentages, the quantity of water is insufficient to sustain current rates of use in many regions of the world, and poor water quality frequently contributes to losses in human and environmental health.  

A citizen of Argentina with degrees from the University of Buenos Aires and MIT, Dr. Lenton is a co-author of Applied Water Resources Systems and a co-editor of Health, Dignity and Development: What will it take?–the final report of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, which he co-chaired. He has worked for the World Bank, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the United Nations Development Programme.  

Lenton’s Water for Food Institute is “committed to ensuring a water and food secure world without compromising the use of water for other human and environmental needs.”

Positioned as another global leader in this arena, the College of ACES shares the same goals as Lenton and his institute in combating issues of water insecurity, using interdisciplinary and international collaborations to find innovative ways to solve real-world problems.

We in OIP look forward to hearing Lenton’s insights, gained over his more than 40 years of experience, on water, food, and international development. Please join us at noon this coming Thursday in the College of ACES Library’s Heritage Room to learn more about this critical topic.   


Dr. Roberto Lenton

Dr. Steve Loerch joins the ACES family

Apr 10
Robert Hauser, Dean of the College of ACES

Dr. Steve Loerch just finished up his first month on campus as the Professor and Head of the Department of Animal Sciences. He is a Pennsylvania native who received his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and his master’s (1978) and PhD (1981) degrees from the University of Illinois. He was a member of the faculty at The Ohio State University for 30 years, where he had a distinguished career in teaching and research.
Steve Loerch’s research career at Ohio State featured more than 132 peer-reviewed publications and over $3.5 million in funding from federal and industry sources in the last 10 years. He has received numerous awards and honors for teaching and research, culminating in 2013 with the American Society of Animal Science Research Fellow Award.  His ability to investigate basic biological processes and apply them to industry production scenarios has been a strong point of his research.

He has distinguished himself in his instructional programs with extremely high and consistent reviews over a variety of courses for many years; the development of capstone learning activities for undergraduates in Animal Sciences; and a strong contingent of graduate students who have continued with great success in academia and commercial companies in agriculture.

Off campus, he is an instrumental member of national research committees and has been an invited speaker throughout Central and South America.

Please help me welcome Dr. Steve Loerch into the ACES family.

Dr. Steve Loerch

ACE 199: Spring Break in Washington D.C.

Apr 3
Lucas Frye, Senior in Agricultural and Consumer Economics

Last week, myself and 18 other College of ACES students took off towards a nontraditional spring break destination- Washington D.C.  Over the course of seven days, we were immersed within the scenery and lifestyle of our nation's capital through the Ag Policy and Leadership class.  Leading up to the trip we had been researching and providing mock testimonies on many of the current issues surrounding agriculture.  

Upon our arrival we made stops at regulation agencies from the EPA to the USDA, business governmental affair offices from Monsanto to Mondelez, and trade organizations like the American Farm Bureau and the Renewable Fuels Association.  Midweek we battled snowy conditions while waiting for a tour of the White House- it was well worth it though.  

We were also fortunate to meet with numerous past and present congressional and cabinet leaders including Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.  We wrapped up the week by visiting our own congressional district offices.  

One of the highlights, for many, was the opportunity, Monsanto afforded us, to attend the premiere showing of the documentary Farmland- which will hit theaters later this month highlighting the challenges of young farmers and ranchers across the country. 

As a class, we certainly have to give a big shout-out to our instructors: Mr. Jon Scholl and Jessa Barnard as well as Professor Jonathan Coppess for utilizing their own personal connections as well as the University of Illinois network to put together the packed and eye-opening agenda we experienced.  

I have been blessed, over the last couple years, to be involved with a few of these experiential learning courses that the ACE department offers, and every time I find myself taken aback by the places and people we are able to meet with- a definite testimony to the phenomenal opportunities in ACES. 

ACE 199 students with Farm Bureau President, Bob Stallman

Mom's Weekend & Graduation

Apr 2
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES

April is quite possibly my favorite month of the year. Not only is my Birthday in April, but Mom’s Weekend also falls during this wonderful month. Hopefully it’s safe to say that spring has finally arrived too!

It’s hard to believe that this will be the last Mom’s Weekend that we participate in. I’m bound and determined to make it the best one yet! In past years, we’ve shopped, attended awards banquets, visited wineries, gone to the flower show, attended Sigma Alpha sorority breakfasts, and had a lot of fun during the in between time!

This year, our schedule looks pretty jam-packed because there is so much to fit in during this last weekend on campus together. I’m not sure who is more excited for Friday to get here, my Mom or I?

As I continue to count down the days until graduation, it's hard to believe that after Mom's Weekend is over there are only 40 days left on campus. These next two months are full of formals, final projects, friends, and a trip to Florida with NAMA. The reality of how close graduation is didn't really hit me until I was putting things away after buying groceries. The fact that items in the fridge share the same expiration date as graduation is just a bit unreal to me. I'll be sad to see it go, but I'm excited to start a new chapter!

Cooking the Sierra Leonean Way!

Apr 1
Oliver Ferguson, International Programs Coordinator

This post was contributed by Cortney Eisenmann, who is a junior in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Cortney is spending this semester at Njala University, participating in the University of Illinois’ Global Health and Nutrition Program.

Rosie is the head of the home science department at Njala University. Anne Kelly (ACE) went to her house to learn how to cook the Sierra Leone way. Anne and I are at Njala University as a part of the University of Illinois’ semester abroad programs. I am studying Global Health and Nutrition and Anne is studying International Development and Agribusiness.

We learned to make cake, rice, and fish stew. We had to descale and clean fish, cut and clean eggplant, and pound/grind the pepper and onions. The cake was baked in a charcoal oven, and the stew and rice were cooked over the fire. . We both learned a lot, and had fun doing it.

For more information about studying abroad in Sierra Leone, see

National Nutrition Month Celebrated

Mar 31
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

There are a lot of exciting things that happen on Campus in March. Normally spring will arrive, students get a week away from campus, people can be found outside enjoying the Sun on the quad, and more!  But in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, March was especially fun, thanks to National Nutrition Month!

Students and Faculty alike celebrated National Nutrition Month as a way to help spread the important message of eating right and eating healthy.  Our students also embraced the opportunity to educate others with what they know and have learned.  Students have been all around campus promoting healthy eating, creating unique and healthy meal options, hosting interactive booths and workshops, and sharing the importance of eating smart.

One exciting theme students have worked hard on is called “Be a Flexitarian”.  Over 60 students in the department worked with the Meat Sciences Lab, Student Sustainable Farms, Student Sustainability Committee, Alpha Phi Omega and the Campus Dining Facilities to offer a meal that emphasizes plant-based protein sources.  A flexitarian diet consists of mostly plants with meat in moderation.  Our students have hosted several of these events and wrapped up the celebration by hosting a “Be Flexitarian” food vendor show during dinner on March 31 at the Ikenberry Dining Hall.  This show served hundreds of healthy and plant-centric food samples to students on campus.

To learn more about National Nutrition month on campus, visit

You can also visit for tips and information surrounding National Nutrition Month.

Thank You

Mar 24
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES

Sometimes the people who deserve the most thanks are those who hear it the least. I’m a week late in writing this, but I’d like to send a special thank you to each and every person who donated their time to help with ExplorACES this year. It’s amazing to see the whole college come together to showcase how great the College of ACES really is.

Thank you to the students who worked at displays, the professors and advisors who answered questions and promoted departments, the Deans who provided accurate information and a friendly face, and especially the advisors and my fellow students on the steering committee.

It was so nice to welcome new students to the ACES family, just as I was welcomed to the family several years ago.

Thank you to everyone who made ExplorACES a success this year!

International Undergraduate Achievement Award Winner

Mar 19
Lun Ou, a junior in International Trade, Policy and Development, took studying abroad to a whole new level. Her involvement in ACES programs such as the International Business Immersion Program, ACES in Sierra Leone, and ACES in Purpan earned her the campus International Undergraduate Achievement Award. This award recognizes an undergraduate student for a significant service or contribution resulting from participation in an international study course, program or project. Ou is being honored for her commitment to understanding complex global issues such as food security and sustainable development from both life and social science perspectives through her extensive educational travel. She will be honored on April 3 at the campus International Achievement Award Banquet along with other winners: Dr. MuKeun Lee - recipient of the Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement, Dr. Thomas J. Bassett - recipient of the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement, David J. Krupa - recipient of the Charles C. Stewart International Young Humanitarian Award, and Yu-Kyung Kang - recipient of the Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award.
Lun Ou on the International Business Immersion Program trip

Women Changing the Face of Ag Conference

Mar 17
Kendall Herren, Senior in Agricultural Communications

Extracurricular activities available through the College of ACES are exceptional opportunities.  Last weekend, I had the chance to attend the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Conference through my involvement with the University of Illinois - Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Club (ACT).

Over the past few months ACT members have been helping Illinois Agri-Women representatives with public relation event details. Our club members assisted with writing press releases, designing new brochures for the event, and completed many other PR tasks in order to enrich the goals set for the conference.

At the event we were enlisted to take photographs; interview FFA members, professionals and FFA advisors. Personally, my favorite aspect of the conference was having the opportunity to interact with the professionals in attendance. I was able speak individually with authorities in multiple areas of agriculture and learn about their experiences. These women were eager to connect and converse with myself and my peers in a personal manner because of our shared passion for our chosen field of study. The advice ranged from career guidance, to college curriculum choices, to what were the best restaurants to dine at in the State of Illinois! Extracurricular activities can lead to future opportunities. College of ACES alumni are just one awesome result of these activities, so if you ever have the chance, be sure to engage and get to know one or two. You never know when a personal connection may change you college experience, career path, or life.

Lunch Dates

Mar 6
Ellen Reeder, Senior in ACES

When I was in grade school, teachers used to make us count off in numbers for the lunch line and they would try to separate my group of friends. We were smart and found ways to get around their evil teacher tactics. Later down the road, in Jr. High and High School we were finally able to choose where we sat at lunch and it was such a glorious time! My friends and I sat in the same spots every day and lunch was so much fun!  

Obviously college is a bit different because there is no lunch period, no assigned seats, and you have to pack your lunch or buy it.

My friends and I still eat lunch together. Every Thursday, you can find a group of us in Bevier Café catching up and just enjoying some time to be with each other. That half hour that we spend visiting every week is often a highlight of my day. My friends are the best and there’s no better place to grab lunch on this end of campus. Bevier Café is great and it’s part of this college that we all love so much!