Global Academy

The ACES Academy for Global Engagement (Global Academy) is a unique training program designed increase the capacity for international activity by ACES faculty and University of Illinois Extension professionals. The program includes a series of scholarly and experiential activities designed to enable participants to increase the impact of their professional work through global engagement.

2018-19 ACES Global Academy in South Africa.

Our mission is to:

  • Familiarize participants with campus-level and external resources that facilitate global engagement.
  • Create a team-building environment that allows members to meld interests and create synergies across departmental lines.  
  • Nurture collaborations between ACES scholars and researchers based in institutions abroad.
  • Provide participants with a capstone international immersion experience, which in turn creates and strengthens strategic partnerships.
  • Promote lifelong academic engagement in the global arena.


Participating in the Global Academy requires an academic-year commitment to the program, which consists of monthly meetings that focus on global opportunities at the college, campus, and national levels.

The themes, locations, and provisional goals for the Global Academy change each year. This information is posted and marketed so that potential scholars can apply to a program that most closely aligns with their own research, teaching, or outreach career objectives.

The program includes a visit to Washington D.C. and culminates with an international immersion experience. The goal of this capstone immersion experience is to build new partnerships, strengthen existing ties, and identify avenues for new collaborations. As a direct result of the Global Academy immersion trips, scholars have established ongoing research collaborations with partners in the numerous countries visited.

Upon the program’s completion, scholars are encouraged to play an active role in the continuing development of the Global Academy by serving as Fellows. For example, depending on their expertise and existing collaborations, Fellows may be requested to help mentor new participants, participate in the immersion program, or serve in other capacities during subsequent programs.

Application Process

The application process begins in the summer for the ensuing program during the academic year.

The theme for the 2019-2020 Global Academy is “International Partnerships for Digital Agriculture Research and Applications in BRAZIL"

View the current request for applications here. 


The Academy for Global Engagement is made possible through a generous gift from Arlys Conrad.

The Academy covers all basic costs associated with the program, with the expectation that each Scholar will participate in all Academy activities. These, of course, are designed to minimize interference with normal work duties and personal time.

Past Fellows

Academy Fellow is a title issued to those who have completed the Academy Scholar program. These Fellows serve as mentors to the academy scholars in subsequent program years.  This group of Fellows should be actively involved in the development of the program, serve as mentors to participants, lend their expertise to the formation of the immersion focus and design, and provide presentations to the scholars as applicable.

The Global Academy is currently in its 13th year.