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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of ACES
Alumni Association
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May E-Alum Report

Award of Merit Winners Recognized

On April 8, 2019 the College of ACES Alumni Association recognized four outstanding alumni as the 2019 ACES Award of Merit winners who have made a significant impact in their careers and their communities. 

Carl Burkybile
B.S. ’69 Ag Education, M.S. ’75 Vocational Education of Urbana, IL
Director of Agriculture, Healing Hands International 

Doyle Karr
B.S. 86 Agricultural Communications of Des Moines, IA
Director of Consumer Insights and Social License, Corteva AgriScience

Becky Ropp
B.S. ’95 Agricultural Communications of Normal, IL
Director, Communications Division, Growmark

Rida Shibli
Ph.D. ‘90 Horticulture of Irbid, Jordan
Professor of Plant Biotechnology and Biodiversity, University of Amman, Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences

Tassel Turn 2019

Registration Due no later than May 6, 2019. 

It's time to celebrate! We are pleased to invite ACES graduates and their families to a complimentary reception at memorial Stadium's Colonnades Club. The ACES Alumni Association along with ACES administrators, faculty, and staff will be on hand to congratulate the College of ACES graduates and their families as well as welcome them to the ACES Alumni Association! Graduates, please wear your cap and gown! 

Great photo opportunities await you at Memorial Stadium! Premiere access to the columns and field view will be moments you don't want to miss! 

Graduates will receive a free ACES Alumni T-shirt and green screen photo as a gift from the ACES Alumni Association! 

Date: Sunday May 12, 2019

Time: 10:30 - 12:30pm 

Where: The Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium - on the corner of First Street and Kirby Avenue 

Graduation Information

Join us to celebrate our new alumni! The ACES Commencement Date has been set!

ACES Convocation will be held: 

Sunday, May 12, 2019 

1:30 p.m. State Farm Center 

Learn more:

Upcoming ACES in Places

The College of ACES Alumni Association invites you to join us for an ACES in Places event. 

Share your Illini Spirit in Springfield, IL at Engrained Brewery and Restaurant. You will have an opportunity to get a tour of the brewery by the owner, Brent Schwoerer, himself with dinner and a program to follow. 

Special guests include: Dean Kim Kidwell, College of ACES Dean

We hope you will join us for an evening to network and celebrate agriculture with the College of ACES. We look forward to an evening to share Illini Spirt! 

Date: June 19, 2019 

Location: 1120 W Lincolnshire Blvd, Springfield, IL 62711

Time: Registration 5:30 p.m. 

Cost: $25.00/per person

Special thanks to Engrained Brewery and Restaurant. 

Registration will be made available soon. 

Young Alumni, Family Spirit, Career Achievement Nominations Due

Know an outstanding young alum? Someone who graduated from the College of ACES and excelled in their chosen career? A family who has dedicated time and loyalty to the College of ACES for generations? Now is the chance to recognize them for all their hard work. Nominations are due for these awards by May 15, 2019.  For more information and nomination materials visit here.

ACES Career Achievement Award

The University of Illinois College of ACES Alumni Association Career Achievement Award was created in 2017 by the College of ACES Alumni Association to recognize graduates from the College of ACES who have had exceptional professional achievement and/or made extraordinary humanitarian contributions.  Distinctive from the Award of Merit, which recognizes an individual’s combined body of work, this award recognizes a more focused, exceptional contribution or achievement.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Is a graduate of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) or a predecessor college (College of Agriculture or the School of Human Resources and Family Studies/Home Economics) receiving a bachelors, masters and/or doctorate degree(s) AND
  • has contributed significantly to his/her profession, industry, and/or the greater community; OR
  • has a record of outstanding personal and professional accomplishments; OR
  • has made extraordinary contribution via volunteer or humanitarian efforts resulting in meaningful or life-changing impacts for a significant population.
  • Award of Merit recipients are not eligible for this award.

Nomination Procedure 

  • The College of ACES Alumni Awards committee will review all nominations and make selections.
  • Individuals selected for recognition will be contacted by the College of ACES Alumni Association and a date will be determined to recognize the individual.

Nomination Document

  • All nominations should follow the format of the nomination form to insure all relevant information is included.
  • Applications will only be considered for one year.  Applications may be resubmitted for up to three years.  If a nominee is not selected after 3 years, a new application can be submitted after 3 additional years.

ACES Outstanding Young Alumni

Each year the College of ACES Alumni Association honors up to three outstanding graduates of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, or through outstanding leadership or service have significantly enhanced or improved the lives of others.

Guidelines for Nomination

  • Nominees must have received a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree from the University of Illinois College of ACES.
  • Nominee must be under the age of 40 on January 1, 2019
  • Nominee must be able to attend ACES College Connection Weekend activities in the Fall 2019 to accept the award. 
  • Submit the completed nomination form. Complete applications should include all relevant information within the nomination form and letters of support should only support the nomination, they are not scored.
  • Provide a biographical sketch (1 page maximum) about the nominee. (included in nomination packet)
  • Nomination information is limited to text box area provided in each area. Do not attach extra pages.

Please attach

  • Attach a minimum of two letters of reference and a maximum of four, in support of this nomination. One letter of reference should be from a University of Illinois faculty or staff member. Names and addresses must be included on reference letters.
  • Attach resume of nominee (no vitas please).
  • All nominations are kept on file for three years to be reviewed for the ACES Young Alumni Award, however nominators are encouraged to update forms if they are re-considered after the initial year of application.
  • All materials received for a single nominee will constitute that person’s nomination. It is the responsibility of the nominator(s) to insure that all materials have been received by the College of ACES Alumni Association office.

Nomination Process/Timeline
A call for nominations will be made in coordination with ACES College Connection fall events.

Selected individuals will be recognized during ACES College Connection if they are able to attend. If the recipient is unavailable to attend, another appropriate time and location for recognition will be determined. The selected individuals will also become Round Barn Society members and will be pinned when receiving their recognition.

Scoring will consist of 85% professional accomplishments and 15% service to community.

ACES Family Spirit Award

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Family Spirit Award recognizes those family members who have demonstrated their support of the College as alumni and/or current students. Selection will be based on, but not limited to a display of sincere dedication to the College of ACES and significant connections to the College and University. Awardees will be honored during the ACES Alumni Weekend activities in Fall 2019.

Guidelines for Nomination

  • Nominee should be able to attend ACES Alumni Weekend activities during Fall 2019.
  • Complete and submit the nomination form.

Please attach

  • Attach a minimum of two and a maximum of three letters of reference, in support of this nomination. Either the nomination or one letter of reference must be from a University of Illinois faculty or staff member. Name, addresses, and email addresses must be included on reference letters.

All nominations are kept on file for three years to be reviewed for the ACES Family Spirit Alumni Award.

Nomination Submission

All nomination materials must be submitted to:

Tina Veal
Director of Alumni Relations
College of ACES Alumni Association
ACES Library, Information and Alumni Center, Suite 115
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL  61801

Nominations may be submitted by fax to:  217-333-0354

Electronic submissions may be sent to:

Click here to nominate an alum! 

Welcome new SAC Members!

Congratulations to our newly selected Student Advancement Committee for the 2019-2020 school year!

  • Cole Arnett, Crop Sciences from Hettick, IL 
  • Emily Bluhm, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from St. Joseph, IL
  • Mikayla Busby, Agriculture Science Education from Monticello, IL
  • Subhiksha Chandrasekaran, Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Constance Chrones, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Glenview, IL
  • Mitchell Clodfelter, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Sterling, IL
  • Tyler Dambman, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Milledgeville, IL
  • Katelyn Eathington, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Avon, IL
  • Abigayle Endress, Agriculture Leadership Education from Pearl City, IL
  • Eileen Foerster, Food Science and Human Nutrition from Florham Park, NJ
  • Vanessa Gould, Agricultural Science Education from Elburn, IL
  • Corrine Harding, Agricultural Leadership Education from Trivoli, IL
  • Hannah Hawkinson, Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Galesburg, IL
  • Madelyn Heidtke, Animal Sciences from Woodstock, IL
  • Carly Hopkins, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from Marion, IL
  • Lia Idrizi, Human Development and Family Studies from St. Charles, IL
  • Andrew Johnson, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Mahomet, IL
  • Deborah Kim, Food Science and Human Nutrition from Morton Grove, IL
  • Samantha Koziol, Animal Science from Marengo, IL
  • Kylie Lindley-Bohman, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Yorkville, IL
  • Mary Marsh, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from Ames, IA
  • Emily Martin, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Mason City, IL
  • Callie McClay, Agriculture Communications from Oakdale, IL 
  • Marissa McNicholas, Food Science and Human Nutrition from New Lenox, IL
  • Abigail Mongan, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Oregon, IL
  • Alexis Ruemker, Agriculture Education from Waterloo, IL
  • Austin Schorfhide, Agriculture and Consumer Economics from Hoyleton, IL
  • Hannah Spangler, Agriculture Science Education from Avon, IL
  • Kristine Stewart, Crop Sciences from Yorkville, IL
  • Cassidy Thomas, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Fisher, IL 
  • Eileen Urish, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Kilbourne, IL
  • Natalie Vujanov, Crop Sciences from Princeton, IL
  • Isaac Werries, Agricultural and Consumer Economics from Chapin, IL 
  • Oakley Whalen, Agriculture Leadership Education from Sheridan, IL
  • Trevor Wojtyla, Agricultural Communications from Naperville, IL

U of I Agronomy Day

Agronomy Day is a collaborative field day hosted by the Department of Crop Sciences in partnership with several academic units in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). From weed management to drone demonstrations Agronomy Day shares cutting-edge research with practical implications for your farm or business. CEU and CCA credits are available during tour stop. 

Date: August 22, 2019 

Time: 7am - 2pm 

New ABE Department Head

Dr. Ronaldo Maghirang has agreed to serve as the next head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.   

Over his 25-year career at Kansas State University, Dr. Maghirang has generated incredible impacts as a researcher, student mentor and instructor, which resulted in several university and national awards. He maintains an acclaimed research program focused on improving the scientific understanding of air quality issues associated with animal feeding and grain handling operations.  He also pioneered a leadership and innovation program for students in the College of Engineering at KSU. Since 2016, he has served as the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs for the College of Engineering where he has gained extensive administrative experience that will serve him well as he transitions into the role of department head. Based on his ability to articulate a thoughtful vision for the department, his demonstrated long-term success as an effective administrator and faculty member, and his enthusiastic yet calming demeanor, Dr. Maghirang has the ideal skill set to bring to this position. His external perspective and extensive collaborative experiences will be valuable assets as he works with faculty, students and staff to shape the future of the department. I am thrilled that Dr. Maghirang will soon be a member of the ACES leadership team.  Please join me in welcoming Dr. Maghirang to the helm of the Department of ABE.

Dr. Maghirang will begin serving in the role of head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering on May 1, 2019.

New College of ACES Assistant Dean of Marketing & Communications

A proven higher education, marketing and communications leader, Jodi Silotto is Assistant Dean for Marketing and Communications for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. She works to collaborate with members of the ACES community to set strategic direction for marketing, communications and web development to advance the mission of the College.

Utilizing her diverse skill sets, she has led marketing teams as the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for Millikin University, Decatur, IL, and the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, and consistently incorporates new trends and techniques to address challenges.

Jodi received her bachelor's degree from Millikin and her master’s degree from Illinois State University. She and her husband Brian live in Champaign, IL.

Honoring Dean Charles Olson

Charles "Chuck" Olson (1946-2019)

For Charles “Chuck” Olson, being assistant dean for student development and career services in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) was his passion, what he would call a service project that happened to pay his salary. Olson passed away on April 14, 2019.

During a 30-year tenure in ACES, from 1979 to 2008, Olson advised students and student groups, coordinated recruitment efforts for the college, administered scholarship programs, including the Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholarships; and provided opportunities for students to gain internships and experience.

Students often visited Olson’s office for advice and wisdom, especially when it came time to graduate and begin a career. With time, Olson and his staff built one of the most effective job placement programs on campus.

Olson received a B.S. in agricultural economics in 1968, an M.S. in higher education in 1973, and a Ph.D. in higher education in 1979, all from the University of Illinois. For 20 years, Olson also served as secretary for the Agricultural Alumni Association. His expansive memory for names made thousands of people feel welcome in coming to campus.

The family has requested that memorials be directed to the charitable cause of the donor’s choice or the University of Illinois Foundation for the Charles E. Olson JBT Scholarship Endowment (776058).

Full obituary from The News Gazette.

ACES Family Academies Registration Deadline

The College of ACES Alumni Association will once again host the ACES Family Academies program, July 11-12, 2019, on the College of ACES campus!  Alumni may bring youth ages 8-13 years old age with them to this hands on educational event at the University of Illinois.

Participants will enjoy the college experience living in a residence hall, eating in the dining facilities and having a tailgate and participating in educational classes on the College of ACES campus. This program will give you an opportunity to relive and share your college days as well as create new memories with your little Illini.

We hope you will take advantage of this annual opportunity to return to campus with your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews to share in this experience!

Registration deadline is May 31, 2019.

Registration will be on a first come, first served basis.

Cost:  $195.00 per person

Learn more at:

ACES Family Academies Volunteer Registration

The ACES Alumni Association will be hosting the fifth annual 2019 ACES Family Academies on July 11-12, 2019 to be held on the ACES campus at the University of Illinois! 

We are in need of many volunteers to help make this event successful in conjunction with our ACES Alumni Board of Directors. There are many opportunities to volunteer throughout the two days including assisting with check in/move in, moderating a session, being a bus guide, helping host our information tables, assisting with evening programs, check out/move out, etc. 

We also need many staff that can assist with driving the campus turtle top vans to and from sessions or evening programs off the ACES campus.  This is a great opportunity to be involved, meet and visit with our alumni and participate in a session or program.  You can volunteer for any session marked (STAFF ONLY).  Some of the locations will need one driver and some will need two drivers based on participants enrolled. Staff will need to complete or have completed the Turtle Top training with car pool to be eligible to drive.  If you have not taken this class, we can assist you to set up your training.

Finally, if you would like to stay in Bousfield Hall if you are off campus, there will be a fee of $25.00 per night to cover the lodging expenses. All other costs will be covered for meals, t-shirts, etc.  You can register by the item marked (FEE) for Wednesday or Thursday evening lodging.

Please register by June 14, 2019. All Volunteers will need to complete the packet of information and sign and mail or fax to the ACES Alumni Association by June 14, 2019.

Visit the ACES Alumni Association website for more details and to register! 

SAC Professional Development Trip

The ACES Student Advancement Committee traveled to Bloomington, IL, April 22, for their annual Professional Development Trip. The first stop was at Compeer Financial where students had to opportunity to learn about the company and network with Alumni. Then, they went to IL Farm Bureau. During their time there, students got to experience a little of each division of IL Farm Bureau. Ropp Dairy Farm, was the third stop of the day. Here the group got a tour of the Ropp Jersey Cheese processing facility and had tried some tasty samples! Finally, the group toured and had dinner with Alumni in the area at Destihl Brewery. 

We want to thank all the companies and alumni for all their hard work in hosting the students! Also, thank you to Compeer Financial for sponsoring the trip! Our students enjoyed the day!

Upcoming Events

May 12, 2019 – ACES Tassel Turn 10:30-12:30pm Colonnades Club

May 13, 2019 – ACES Alumni Board Meeting

May 15, 2019 - Young Alumni, Family Spirit, ACES Career Achievement Award Nominations Due

July 11-12, 2019 – ACES Family Academies

**Watch for more ACES in Places events to be announced soon.**

ACES News Subscription

Looking to stay connected to ACES News?  Subscribe today!

Click on Subscribe on the left side of the page! 

You will receive a weekly newsletter that features news highlights of the week.

Join the IL 4-H Alumni Association

Were you a member of 4-H?  The University of Illinois Extension, Illinois 4-H, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation invite you to join the newly formed Illinois 4-H Alumni Association. A free life-time membership is available online @ We hope your 4-H memories bring a smile to your face. We're creating memories daily with today's 4-H members.

Update Your E-mail Address

Do you have an updated email address on file? Do you have an email you prefer to receive correspondence to? Did your email address recently change?

We want to stay connected to you!

All invitations to events and college updates will be sent via email only. Please update your email address to stay connected today!

With the rising cost of postal mail, email communication is a cost effective way for the ACES Alumni Association to stay connected and provide updates, event announcements and invitations to you as our alumni. Please feel free to share your email address with us by sending it to

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 -

Looking for an Illini Network

Looking for an Illini Network? Join the University of Illinois Network! Stay up to date with the University of Illinois activities, events near you or join a local Illini Club!
The Illini opportunities await you! Get involved!

New Location for ACES Alumni Association

The College of ACES Alumni Association offices have moved to Suite 115 ACES Library!  Stop in and say Hello next time you are on campus!

Contact Information:

1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Suite 115 ACES Library, Information & Alumni Center
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone:  217-333-7744
Fax:  217-333-0354