Productive, Empowered Communities

Imagine...Productive, Empowered Communities

Communities thrive when their members do. Learning what’s needed for individuals, families, and society to flourish is the cornerstone of social science scholarship in the College of ACES. We study the complex interactions in families and foster their resilience among the stresses of modern life. We are discovering how children and young people can best grow to become adults who contribute effectively to society.

Scholarly knowledge becomes action in ACES, through work in educational settings, youth development programs, and community services touching thousands of young people and families. ACES develops leaders at all stages of life, starting with 4-H members and the students we prepare for successful careers. The innovative new leadership studies program at the University of Illinois makes its home in ACES.

Decision makers come to ACES for expertise that influences social policies and economic prospects, extending from local communities to the global stage. An array of disciplines, including policy, law, economics, leadership, vocational education, and communication converge here, facilitating problem solving from multiple perspectives. Scholars focus on finding solutions to help improve quality of life.

In ACES, we are applying science and technology in smarter and more sustainable ways, teaching people to effectively manage relationships and finances, and bringing to light new ways to nurture communities.

Other Features

Highlighted Research

Dr. Ramona Oswald
LGBT Families and Communities
Dr. Ramona Oswald
Sexual and gender minority persons thrive when they live within supportive families and communities. The social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people has dramatically increased in recent years. At the same time, LGBT people continue to face anti-LGBT attitudes, behaviors, and social policies. Dr. Ramona Oswald’s research focuses on identifying what features of communities are associated with LGBT supportiveness, and how the community social climate influences the well-being of LGBT individuals and families. She is particularly interested in the social climate of nonmetropolitan communities for LGBT parents and their children, and how it can be strengthened.


Professor Heather Miller

AGCM 270, Sales and Persuasive Communications, explores traditional sales concepts and business communication techniques. Students review the role, dynamic, and principles of sales communications related to food, agriculture, and environmental systems.

“Students gain a good understanding of how the field of sales works. They learn from my personal work experiences as well as from other