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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of ACES
Alumni Association
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August 2019 EAlum Report

ACES College Connection

Join the College of ACES Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding ACES Alumni who have made a significant impact in their careers and their communities at the 2019 ACES College Connection.

The 2019 ACES Alumni Award Winners include:

Outstanding ACES Young Alumni
Amy Rademaker, B.S. '01 ACE
Rural Health and Farm Safety Program Coordinator, Carle Foundation Hospital
 Rantoul, IL

Camille Range, B.S. '14 FSHN
Manager, Programming and Operations of Interdisciplinary Student Community-Oriented Prevention Enhancement Service,
The George Washington University School of Public Health
Washington, DC

Daniel Szczesny, B.S. '12 ACE
Patrol Officer, River Forest Police Department & Entrepreneur
Brookfield, IL

ACES Family Spirit Award
Clarence and Mabel Ropp Family, Normal, IL

ACES Career Achievement Award
Anne Hathaway, B.S. '82 Interior Design
President, Hathaway Strategies, Inc.
 Indianapolis, IN

Greg Heckman,  B.S. '84 ACE
Chief Executive Officer, Bunge Limited
Omaha, NE

Pam Cole Smith, B.S. ’77 Ag Communications
Crops Technology Editor, DTN and The Progressive Farmer
Decatur, IL

John Kermicle, B.S. '80 ACE 
2018 Career Achievement winner 
General Manager, AgriGold
Olney, IL

The ACES College Connection will be held:

Date:  Friday, September 13, 2019

Location:  Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center
                  1501 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL  61820
                  Legacy Ballroom

6:00PM - Social
6:45PM - Dinner
7:30PM - Program 
Cost:  $30.00 

Round Barn Society will also be pinned if they have not been recognized yet.

Deadline: September 4, 2019

Register Now

Join us for Celebrate Food and Agriculture Day!


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Location: Stock Pavilion, 1402 W Pennsylvania Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Start time: 8:00 a.m.

End time: 11:00 a.m.

Tailgate Entrance Passes: Student (0-21) $7.50, Adult $15

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) invites you to attend Celebrate Food and Agriculture Day at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Saturday, September 14, prior to the Fighting Illini taking on Eastern Michigan University.


  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Seasoned Home Fries
  • Fresh Fruit Salad
  • Assorted Pastries
  • Coffee & Decaf & Assorted Hot Teas included with package
  • Chilled Orange Juice
  • Chilled Cranberry Juice
  • Cash bar

Tailgate Entrance Passes can be picked up at the Stock Pavilion prior to the start of the event. Passes can also be picked up through Thursday, September 12 at the ACES Library, Information and Alumni Center, Suite 115, 1101 S. Goodwin Ave (map).

To purchase football tickets, please contact the Illinois Ticket Office.

Questions: Please contact Kendra Courson at 217 333-2728 or

Register here!

Celebrated 5 Years of ACES Family Academies

The College of ACES Alumni Association hosted the fifth ACES Family Academies program at the University of Illinois on July 13- 14, 2019.  Over 130 alumni, youth and volunteers attended the event to be part of educational sessions, live in the dorms and eat in the dining halls!  Youth ages 8-13 years of age were comprised of children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews of our ACES alumni!  Sessions focused on topics such as students participating in their own Bird Netting, Drones in Agriculture, Companion Animals, Honeybees, Beef, Pigs, Video Games vs. Board Games....just to name a few! This was a great opportunity for alumni to share their "ACES Story" with the next generation!

Thank you to all of the presenters and volunteers that made this event a success - from our faculty and staff presenters, students, alumni board members and alumni volunteers! 

Special thanks to our event sponsors, Farm Credit Illinois for their support of this program!  

Many photos have been posted on social media.  Please visit the links below.

Save the Date for ACES Family Academies 2020

Maybe you couldn't make it this year, or you're already excited about next year?? Well, mark your calendars now!

And enjoy photos from this year's sessions

A great ACES Alumni Evening at Porter Kitchen & Deck in Chicago

Thank you to all who joined us at the ACES in Places event following Illini Fest on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at Porter's Kitchen and Deck at the Punch Stand.
We had a wonderful evening meeting many new faces and seeing some of our great Chicago connections! A beautiful evening!
Proud to be an Illini in Chicago!!

View photos

Illini Fest - Chicago, an Illini Kind of Town

Illini Fest brought thousands of Illini to Millennium Park in downtown Chicago on Thursday, July 18!  It was great to see so many Illini showcasing their Illini pride, visiting college booths, networking with alumni and having a great afternoon!

Photos from the event

Athletics Recap of Illini Fest Video

Seeking ACES Alumni to Review Student Resumes

Alumni volunteers needed on September 11 between 4-7pm at the ACES Library. We will be hosting an opportunity for students to bring in their resumes for review by alumni volunteers prior to the career fair.
Register by September 4 -

ACES Award of Merit Nominations Sought

The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences alumni bring honor to themselves and their alma mater through many ways. The ACES Alumni Association celebrates alumni who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, or through outstanding leadership or service have significantly enhanced or improved the lives of others. Nominate an outstanding alumni today! Nominations are due October 15, 2019. A new online application is now available.

Learn More

View videos of 2019 award winners

ACES Alumni Board Opening

The ACES Alumni Board is seeking a District 2 Director for the ACES Alumni Board of Directors.

Nominees must have received a degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

  • The nominee must also reside in one of the following counties: Cook, DuPage, and Lake.
  • The Board of Directors meets four times per year on a week day. Most of the meetings are held on campus, unless otherwise decided by the executive board. 
  • Board members are expected to serve on a committee(s) to further the mission of the ACES Alumni Board of Directors.  Standing committees are:  Nominating Committee, Alumni Engagement, Award & Recognition, Student Engagement, Fundraising and ACES Family Academies.  Additional committees are established on an as needed basis.  These committees meet via conference calls between board meetings.

The nominating committee requires the following information:

  • A letter outlining why the alumnus or alumna wants to serve in this capacity and the skills or experiences that the alumnus or alumna will bring to the Board of Directors.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • One letter of reference and two additional names which may be contacted.

More information and list of expectations for the position can be found online:  

Applications can be submitted until October 15, 2019 above to:
Tina Veal, Director of Alumni Relations
115 ACES Library, Information & Alumni Center
1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

See You at the Farm Progress Show

Be sure to stop by the University of Illinois tent at the Farm Progress Show August 27-29, 2019.

The College of ACES Alumni Association will be there to greet alumni with a new College of ACES lapel pin to show your ACES pride!  You may also stop by for a free green screen photo with a favorite spot on the College of ACES campus on Tuesday and Wednesday of the show from 8-5pm.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Join us for AGRONOMY DAY 2019


Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 7 a.m. | 4202 South 1st Street, Savoy, IL

Discover the latest research, technology, and industry data from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

This year, attendees can choose from seven tours and multiple hands-on demonstrations on topics including technology in ag; maximizing corn yield; dealing with insect pests and pathogens; optimizing fertilizer management; and more.

Tours start at 7 a.m. at the South First Street Facility, located at 4202 South 1st Street in Savoy; directions, Energy Farm Open House details, and additional information appear on the Agronomy Day website. Hosted by the Department of Crop Sciences.

Feed Technology Center

The University of Illinois is a global leader in research and teaching in animal nutrition, animal sciences, and feed ingredient utilization. With a newly constructed, state-of-the-art Feed Technology Center, the University of Illinois and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will be the national hub for new discoveries and advancement in animal management, nutrition, and production. The $20-million facility is located at the University of Illinois South Farms. 

For more information click here

College of ACES partners with Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center has been transforming lives in East St. Louis since 2000, fulfilling its mission to instill area youth with the dream, drive, and determination to succeed in academics, athletics, and leadership. Now, having entered a formal partnership with the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, the center can expose kids to a whole new world.

“This partnership with ACES helps what we’re doing with the youth, not only introducing them to the agriculture space, but also exposing our kids to U of I,” says Joyner-Kersee, six-time Olympic medalist and founder and CEO of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.

On a grand scale, the partnership aims to introduce the kids to concepts and opportunities around metropolitan food systems, agriculture, STEM, entrepreneurship, leadership, and college readiness. It might sound like a tall order, but both the JJK center and ACES have been in the business of changing lives for decades.

The partnership will capitalize on existing resources and infrastructure within University of Illinois Extension, part of the College of ACES. For example, personnel from the East St. Louis Extension office will run youth-centered agriculture and leadership programs on site at the JJK Center. Further, ACES and Extension staff, faculty, and students will work with JJK center youth and staff to build a community garden, a vertical farming site, a test kitchen for food innovation, and small-business opportunities related to community-supported agriculture.


View the full article here

Montgomery County farmland gift provides opportunities for ACES students

Upon her death in 2002 at the age of 100, Sims gifted 318 acres to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), continuing a family farm legacy that has since benefited hundreds of ACES students. In her estate plans, Sims requested the name of the farm be recorded as the “Addie Colvin Sims Family Farm,” to recognize her mother, who had managed the farm, and her siblings who had all owned the farm, in part, at one time.

Recently, alumni and friends of the College of ACES, along with University of Illinois and Illinois Extension officials gathered at the Nokomis, Illinois, farm to celebrate the legacy of the Sims family and the gift that has supported 261 scholarships for ACES students, totaling nearly $700,000 since 2003.

View the full article here

Fulbright Scholars

Jordan Blake Banks recently arrived in Finland, where she’ll begin a two-year Master’s program in bioenergy systems at the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT). She is one of two 2019 graduates from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to receive a Fulbright scholarship for continued studies.

Read more about Jordan Blake Banks here


Krti Tallam recent University of Illinois graduate will depart in August on a Fulbright scholarship to Andhra Pradesh, India, where she will study the effects of climate change on zoonotic disease transmission, that is, on diseases transmitted between animals and humans. 

Read more about Krti Tallam here!

ACES contributes to new animal MRI at Beckman Institute

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, along with a generous gift from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and contributions from 17 other academic units at Illinois, are funding the purchase of a Bruker 9.4 Tesla preclinical animal MRI system.  

Read more here!

Upcoming Events

August 26-29, 2019 - Farm Progress Show
September 13, 2019 - ACES College Connection
September 14, 2019 - ACES Celebrate Food and Ag Day
October 4, 2019 - ACES Alumni Board of Directors Meeting
October 15, 2019 - ACES District 2 Nominations Due
October 15, 2019 - ACES Award of Merit Nominations Due
December 6, 2019 - ACES Alumni Board of Directors Meeting
December 20, 2019 - ACES December Commencement 
April 13, 2020 - ACES Award of Merit Luncheon & Funk Banquet
May 15, 2020 - ACES Career Achievement, Young Alumni and Family Spirit Nominations Due
May 17, 2020 - ACES Commencement (9-11am)
May 17, 2020 - ACES Tassel Turn (11:00-12:30 p.m.)
July 9-10, 2020 - ACES Family Academies 

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Share Your Class Notes

Check out Class Notes online -

Be sure to share any special times in your life with the ACES Alumni Association to keep your fellow alumni updated! Newly married? New job? Promotion? New book? New baby? We hope to hear from you.

Stay Connected on Social Media

Online social networking is a great tool to stay in touch with alumni and friends from the College of ACES! We want to stay connected to you!  We post regular updates about activities, alumni profiles, on campus happenings, etc!  Stay connected with us!

ACES Alumni Association hosts the following groups online:

ACES Alumni Facebook - 

College of ACES Facebook - 

Twitter - 

Linked In - 

YouTube - 

Flicker - 

Instagram - 

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The Illini opportunities await you! Get involved!