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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of ACES
Alumni Association
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October 2018 E-Alum Report

ACES Alumni Recognized at ACES College Connection

The College of ACES College Connection was held on Saturday, September 8th at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center. Over 100 alumni and friends came together to celebrate the College of ACES and recognize several alumni receiving awards from the College of ACES Alumni Association. 

Listed below L to R
Listed below L to R

Outstanding ACES Young Alumni

  • Matt J. Barnard, B.S. ’01 Ag Finance | Owner & CEO, Crop Copter; Owner, Chief Agronomics; Partner, Barnard Farms
  • Karen M. Jones, B.S. ’04 Ag Comm | Youth and Young Producer Specialist, Corporate Communications, GROWMARK, Inc.
  • Sarah M. Potts, B.S. ’05, M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ‘14 | Cornbreeder, Corteva Agriscience  

ACES Career Achievement Award

  • Lynne M. Borden, Ph.D. ’97 HDFS | Professor of the Department of Family and Social Science at the University of Minnesota from Maplewood, MN.
  • David A. Hollinrake, B.S. ’92 Ag Economics | President, Syngenta Seeds, LLC and Syngenta Region Director of North America from Raleigh, NC 
  • John S. Kermicle, B.S. ’80 Ag Economics | General Manager of AgriGold from Olney, IL.

ACES Family Spirit Award
Richard and Frances Johnson Family of Kankakee, IL

Award winner acceptance speeches and photos can be viewed online. 

Many wonderful stories of their days on campus and how the College of ACES impacted their lives!

Thank you to Silent Auction Donors and Buyers!

Thank you to all donors and buyers that participated in our Silent Auction during the ACES College Connection Event, September 8th.

As part of the “With Illinois” campaign, the ACES Alumni Board of Directors launched an opportunity for alumni to help support the ACES Alumni Association on an annual basis.  With the decrease in funding sources, the association want to continue to see opportunities for alumni to engage with the College of ACES and the University of Illinois.  As one of the oldest alumni associations on campus, ACES has a strong history with over 60 years as an active alumni association program with the foundation of both the Ag Alumni Association and the Home Economics Alumni Association and now the ACES Alumni Association.

The College of ACES Alumni Association reaches over 37,000 alumni annually with the mission to inspire meaningful engagement and advocacy amongst the ACES family to advance the College of ACES.  Annually, the association supports many programs, including ACES in Places district alumni events throughout the state, ACES Family Academies, alumni awards and recognition programs, student engagement and leadership opportunities, and graduation events welcoming our new graduates to alumni status….just to name a few.  Proceeds from the auction and other future events will provide support to continue and expand programming efforts.

To view photos of the wonderful donations, visit here.

Thank you to our donors!

  • 4-H House
  • Alpha Gamma Rho Corporation
  • Ag Communications at Illinois
  • Bill Francis
  • Chad Yagow
  • Charleston | Orwig
  • Charlyn-Fargo Ware & Brad Ware
  • Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
  • Craig Pessman Photography
  • David L. Finnigan
  • Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • Department of Animal Sciences
  • Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Department of Illinois Athletics
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
  • Trent & Kate Shumway
  • Destihl
  • Funks Grove Maple Sirup
  • Game Day Spirit
  • Holly Birch Photography
  • Holly Spangler
  • Inneraq Consulting
  • Jacob Prather
  • Kirk Builta
  • Kim Morton
  • Larry Kanfer Photography
  • McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics
  • Randy & Susie DeSutter
  • Riggs Beer Company
  • Ropp Jersey Cheese
  • Sigma Alpha
  • Sue & Eric Gray
  • Trudy & Dean West
  • University of Illinois Meat Lab


Seeking NRES Vocational Director to serve on Board

The ACES Alumni Board is seeking three ACES Alumni Board positions on 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 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.

Open positions include (click link to learn more):

Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) Vocational Director
Nominees must have received a degree in a course of study or shall have pursued a vocation or profession which involves the course of study within the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Department from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. 

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 can be found online about these positions: 

Applications can be submitted until November 19, 2018 above to:
Tina Veal, Director of Alumni Relations
124 ACES Library, Information & Alumni Center
1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

ACES in Places IL Farm Bureau Meeting - Chicago, IL

Join us at the IL Farm Bureau Annual Meeting for an ACES in Places reception!

When:  December 2nd, 2018 

Where:  Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL.
            Champaign County Suite

Time:  6-8 p.m.

Join us for a evening to network!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Sue Gray Recognized as Outgoing President

Sue Gray was recognized at the ACES College Connection event on Saturday, September 8 for her tenure as the ACES Alumni Board President.  Sue has served the ACES Alumni Association for twelve years beginning in 2007, serving as the Crop Sciences Vocational Director, Secretary, Vice President and currently as President.  Sue has been instrumental in engaging our board, helped to establish the first ACES Alumni Board JBT scholarship, was an integral member of the launch of the ACES Round Barn Society, helped to establish the ACES Family Academies program, and the new ACES Career Achievement award and many more key initiatives we have created. Sue bleeds Orange and Blue.  You can find her attending most all of our ACES in Places events across the state, campus events and serving as an ambassador and recruiter for the College of ACES.  Sue will be completing her term as President in December and we want to thank her for her many years of leadership and outstanding service to the University of Illinois and College of ACES.

Outgoing Board Members

Five ACES Alumni Board members were recognized at the ACES College Connection events for completing their board terms in December.  They were recognized on Saturday, September 8 with an Orange and Blue award presented by Jennifer Neubauer, Illinois Alumni Association President and pinned as members of the ACES Round Barn Society.

  • Randy DeSutter – Randy has served on the board for 7 years as the Ag & Consumer Economics Vocational Director since 2012 and most recently as Secretary.
  • Bill Francis – Bill has served on the board for 12 years.  He served as the District 4 Director, Vice President, President and currently serving as Past President.  
  • Jim Endress – Jim has served on the board for six years as the District 1 Director since 2013.
  • Holly Spangler – Holly served as the District 3 Director since 2013. 
  • Chad Yagow – Chad served as the Ag & Bio Engineering Vocational Director since 2013. 

Thank you to each of these ACES Alumni for their dedication and commitment to the ACES Alumni Association, to their departments and to our alumni constituents.

Save the Date for the 2019 ACES Family Academies.


When:  July 11th & 12th, 2019.
Check in will be available on the evening of July 10, 2019.

Cost:  $195 per person

Watch for registration information in early March 2019!

Looking for a Holiday Giving Idea?

Looking for a special Holiday gift option?  We will provide Holiday gift certificates if you are interested in gifting ACES Family Academies registration as a holiday gift this season!

A special online registration will be availalbe on the ACES Family Academies page beginning November 15.  Watch for more info on social media.

Looking forward to celebrating 5 Years of ACES Family Academies!

Welcome to Adam Davis

Adam Davis has been named head of the Department of Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois. Davis assumed the position on Sept. 1, 2018.

Davis comes to this role after a 14-year career as a member of the USDA-ARS Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He leads a highly visible research program designed to advance understanding of the interactions among weed communities, crops, and the environment, and weed management strategies. 

He held an adjunct appointment in the Department of Crop Sciences while serving in his ARS role, where he participated in teaching, Extension, and student mentoring. He is well known in the ACES community as an excellent teacher and graduate student advisor.

“Dr. Davis brings a unique perspective to the position as an external candidate who has already experienced many aspects of the internal landscape of the department and university. This experience will serve him well as he steps into the role of department head,” says Kim Kidwell, dean of the College of ACES. “He brings an excellent vision for success, a fresh perspective, and an inclusive approach to leadership that will help propel the department toward new levels of success.”

Davis received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University in 1990 and a master of arts in teaching and high school certification in biology from Brown University in 1993. He then went on to receive his master’s in ecology and environmental science in 1998 from the University of Maine and his Ph.D. in crop production and physiology – weed science in 2002 from Iowa State University.

Welcome to Susan Coppess

Welcome to Susan Coppess, B.S. '99 FSHN, as the new Undergraduate Coordinator for Recruitment in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Susan is an alumna of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She grew up on her family’s farm in Rock Island County and is very familiar and comfortable with engaging with people in the agricultural community and beyond. She has managed her own consulting company for the last several years, and is returning to academia to ensure that young people are aware of the fabulous career opportunities available to them with a degree from the College of ACES.

Please join me in welcoming Susan to her new role with the College of ACES!

ACES Students on Homecoming Court

Congratulations to College of ACES students for being chosen to be on the 2018 University of Illinois Homecoming Court! 

  • Adam Rosentreter
  • Rachel Recker
  • Isabelle Ausdal
  • Kassidy Kimpling
  • Nia Gipson
  • Jordan Johns

They represented the College of ACES well during U of I Homecoming weekend!


Illini Days Chicago 2018

Join fellow Chicago Illini for alumni gatherings, networking receptions, and the annual Illinois Luncheon held this year at The Ritz-Carlton.

For more information visit: 

Upcoming Events

  • October 26-27 - DNS Anniversary Celebration
  • November 12-16 - Illini Days (including annual lunch)
  • December 2 - ACES in Places: IL Farm Bureau Meeting, Chicago
  • December 7 - ACES Alumni Board of Directors Meeting
  • December 7 - JBT Banquet
  • December 21 - ACES Commencement; Krannert Center, Foellinger Great Hall 5:00 p.m.
  • March 4, 2019 - Big Ten Ag Alumni Event, Washington DC
  • April 8, 2019 – ACES Award of Merit Luncheon
  • April 8, 2019 – FUNK Awards Banquet
  • April 15, 2019– ACES Alumni Board Meeting
  • 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.**

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 Email Address

Do you have an updated email address on file? Do you have an email you prefer to receive correspondence too? 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.

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!

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 -