Voices of ACES

December 16, 2021
By Vanessa Cahill
Vanessa Cahill, an ACES graduating senior in ACE, majoring in policy, international trade and development, delivered this December’s ACES convocation speech. She said, "Due to the pandemic, I was unable to study a semester abroad as planned during my time at Illinois. This pushed me to buckle down and finish my degree by December to take a few months and explore new parts of the world before starting work. If ACES has shown me one thing, it is the endless opportunity in this industry. That being said, I am not limiting myself to working in America. Traveling to different countries around the world will expose me to new sides of agriculture that I have never considered. Internships in agricultural supply chain and digital technology (precision agriculture) have shown me that these are areas where I strive to make an impact. My goal is to have a job secured by the end of the summer that allows me to work on the efficiency of global agricultural supply chains or develop agricultural technology."

November 2, 2021
By Lauren Moy
My name is Lauren Moy and I am a first-year pharmacy student at University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy. I am from the city of Chicago, so going to this school meant I was able to come home. I graduated from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2021.

October 5, 2021
By Nicole Park
Over the summer of 2021, I was able to participate in a virtual internship in Cape Town, South Africa with VA Corps, where I collaborated with public health leaders and nonprofit organizations in the field of HIV/AIDs relief and education.

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.