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ACE is International

Economics is a global discipline, and the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics' faculty, staff and students are actively engaged in leading activities globally to advance our students and research programs.  Below are some examples of our international programming for undergraduate, graduate and faculty research.

Student Programs

IBIP students in Brasil International Business Immersion Program:  This course based program is designed for undergraduates in their sophomore and junior year.  Students are selected to participate in a semester long course as a part of Dr. Pete Goldsmith's class to learn about the food supply chain in an area of the world, then spend two weeks on an immersion program in mid-May to that part of the world meeting those influencing food value systems.  The program is a great way for students to find an international career, interact with leaders in the food industry globally, and learn firsthand what issues are affecting our food.  The class, now in its 16th year, has travelled to China, Brazil, and Europe.  The 2015 program visited Europe.  For more information visit:

Studying Abroad:  There are 27 students in ACE studying abroad during the Spring 2016 semester.  Students are abroad in Belgium, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, England, Germany, Italy.

During winter break 2016, 8 of our ACE freshmen took study tours to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, learning firsthand with a faculty member about food systems in these countries.  This faculty-led study tour concept for freshmen helps students get a taste for studying abroad, meeting other freshmen in the college, and discovering more about the concepts important to students studying in our discipline.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers over 400 different programs in more than 60 different countries, encouraging students from all disciplines to study abroad. Opportunities are available through the ACES Education Abroad Office and through the campus-wide office, Illinois Abroad & Global Exchange.

Students participate in study abroad at Njala University in Sierra Leone.

The University of Illinois offers unique opportunities for students to study abroad in West Africa. Our programs are affiliated with Njala University in Sierra Leone. They offer hands-on experiences with international development practice and authentic engagement with the vibrant Sierra Leonean culture. Our semester programs are open to sophmores, juniors and seniors from Illinois and other US institutions.

The International Development and Agribusiness Program is a Spring Semester program, offering coursework focusing on agribusiness management and international trade and development as well as service learning experiences and collaboration with Njala students. 

The Global Health and Nutrition Program is a Spring Semester program, focusing on issues of nutrition, health, service learning experiences, and for collaboration with Njala students. 

The Winter Study Tour provides students the chance to explore international development in Sierra Leone through immersion in agricultural development. 

All courses are taught in English and have been pre-approved for UIUC credit hours. For more information or to apply, visit the Illinois Abroad & Global Exchange website or the Sierra Leone website, contact Oliver Ferguson, or like their page on Facebook.

Faculty Activities

Leadership on Campus and Around the World:

  • Paul McNamara, ACE Professor, is leading a $9 million project funded by USAID.  The Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project was granted in 2010, and is working on evaluating and creating mechanisms to modernize extension systems in the poorest countries in the world.  For more information see the MEAS website.
  • Craig Gundersen leads the National Soybean Research Laboratory.

ACES Academy of Global Engagement

ACE faculty have been integral parts of the college Academy of Global Engagement, a year-long introductory program designed to assist in launching faculty international careers.  Members of the Academy include:

  • Barrett Kirwan, 2012
  • Mary Arends-Kuenning, 2010
  • Mindy Mallory, 2010
  • Craig Gundersen, 2009
  • Kathy Baylis, 2009
  • Bryan Endres, 2007
  • Urvi Neelakantan, 2006

Ongoing International Research Programs by Faculty:

  • Kathy Baylis is researching social networks and farmer adoption practices with traders in India.
  • Nick Brozovic is analyzing cost-effective strategies for management to test salinity for a private water treatment company that provides drinking water in Barcelona Spain.
  • David Bullock is researching the political economy of Norway with the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute.
  • Bryan Endres incorporates a comparative food law blog between students in his ACE 306 course and students in a similar class at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
  • Bryan Endres researches trade liability issues related to genetically engineered plants in the EU environmental rules and WTO litigation.
  • Pete Goldsmith is researching grain losses in continuous cropping systems in Brazil in on-farm or cooperative storage.
  • Rob Hornbaker conducts research on preventable post harvest losses in India and Brazil.
  • Madhu Khanna works on the economics of biofuel production in India and implications for food and fuel prices.
  • Barrett Kirwan is researching impact of regulation compliance on gas station compliance issues in Mexico.
  • Paul McNamara is working on sustainable financing mechanisms for extension services in developing countries.