Voices of ACES

Kim Kidwell
Greetings, and happy fall semester! Campus is abuzz with excitement as students, faculty, and staff re-engage in face-to-face activities. It is wonderful to hear “I-L-L I-N-I” again.
By Kim Kidwell
August 11, 2021
By Adam Davis
A recent news item reported a “digital divide” between urban and rural high school students in Illinois due to few computer science course offerings in schools outside Chicagoland. Given the state’s workforce development needs in this area (around 14,000 unfilled positions requiring computer skills at the time of the study), it is concerning that the educational gap not only exists, but is growing.

August 2, 2021
By Carolina Garibay
Freshman year can be extremely stressful, especially when you’re at such a huge school like the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. My high school was relatively small compared to most, so the transition from 1,500 students to over 30,000 students during my freshman year was not easy at first. Being a senior now and having had time to grow accustomed to campus, I’ve learned a few things about college and campus that I wish I had known my freshman year.

June 28, 2021
By Katie Koprowski
Woah – you must have read the title of this blog post and thought, “Say what? Essential oils can kill bacteria?” Well, our Global Food Security Scholar Research Project – investigating the effectiveness of essential oils at inhibiting the growth of Salmonella in water – provides evidence to support this claim.

June 28, 2021
By Madison Gardner
My experience working with ADMI this semester was extremely eye-opening. When I took on this eight-week internship in March, I knew it would be a challenge. The final semester of my senior year was already filled with exciting and time-consuming activities. This included another internship with the Champaign 5th & Hill neighborhood rights campaign and a job working as a contact tracer with Champaign Urbana Public Health District. I was also volunteering as a research assistant with the African American Families Stress & Resiliency lab on campus, in addition to my course studies. In some ways, I was grateful for remote learning and remote activities because I can’t imagine trying to juggle my spring schedule in person.

June 28, 2021
By Makenzie Jarvis
My whole life I have lived in a suburban environment. When my family needed food, there was always a grocery nearby. While I knew that food insecurity was a world crisis, it was not an issue that I had experienced firsthand. I went on to pursue a degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and was fortunate enough to work with the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) and Erica Leles on their data team. With the help of SIL, I have had the opportunity gain a better understanding of and become more involved with the issue of food insecurity through research and world hunger conferences.

June 28, 2021
By Zoe Serelis
For as long as I can remember, I have been incrementally challenging myself where my curiosity can flourish. It led me to explore different career paths and discover my interests and what I want to do day in and day out. While this journey is still taking place, my acceptance into the Global Food Security Internship (GFSI) Program and my internship with the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) has allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the GFSI Program, I attended the Within Reach: Zero Hunger virtual conference to gain insight into the problem of world hunger and hear professionals discuss possibilities on how to alleviate it. Through SIL, I was exposed to the international agricultural sector to gain insight into the research being done to advance the soybean crop across Africa to increase the health and well-being of those residing in a number of those countries.

June 28, 2021
By Ian Joyce
In my time as an undergrad at the University of Illinois, I had been searching for opportunities to create a societal impact as I progressed in my education. Being a Global Food Security Intern has allowed me to create an immediate impact while allowing me to comfortably balance other aspects of my life. Increased global food demand paired with a depleting amount of available agricultural resources will only compound the issue of food insecurity. Combating global food insecurity will be one of the most substantial challenges of this century, and it will be imperative to continue to develop programs, such as the Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials (PATs), in order ensure a higher level of global food security for the future. I am extremely happy to hold a role through the Soybean Innovation Lab in assisting with agronomic data representation and visualization for the PATs.

June 16, 2021
By Zainab Alzoubi
I was honored to have been chosen for the Global Food Security internship here at Illinois. This internship was unlike the previous years. COVID-19 has massively changed our lives and impacted our experiences.

May 6, 2021
By Molly Stamm
Join ACES in celebrating the Class of 2021! Through a challenging year, these students have persevered and shown what it means to be part of the ACES family. Here, a few of our graduating seniors share the challenges and successes of their time in ACES, as well as advice for their classmates.