University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
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Welcome to the ACES James Scholars Program

Celebrating Our Past — Building Our Future — Together

The University of Illinois established a James Scholar Honors Program in each of its colleges (including ACES) in the fall semester of 1959. Over the past 58 years, the ACES James Scholar Honors Program has been opening doors of opportunity and windows of insight for its students through undergraduate research projects, enhanced honors coursework (including an Honors Seminar each spring), special study abroad experiences, the James Scholar Activities and Communications Team (JS-ACT), field trips, writing competitions, workshops, special programming, and much more. We look forwad to building the future of our Honors Program, the College of ACES -- and our emerging global civilization -- with our exceptional ACES James Scholars!

Meet Dr. Prasanta Kalita, the ACES Honors Dean

On May 16, 2017, Dr. Prasanta Kalita, Associate Dean of ACES Academic Programs, became the fifth ACES Honors Dean, succeeding Dr. Soo Lee (2014-2017), Dr. Bill Simmons (2005-2014), Dr. Wayne Banwart (1995-2005), and Dr. Warren Wessels (1959-1995). Dr. Kalita, in addition to his role as Associate Dean, is also Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Dr. Kalita is eager to work with the Honors Council and James Scholars to provide continued excellence in programming for our students and to develop new ways to enhance our scholars’ undergraduate experiences as they prepare to build the future of our global civilization through the agricultural, consumer, and environmental sciences.

Meet Rob Chappell, Assistant to the Honors Dean

Rob Chappell grew up in Edwardsville, Illinois and enrolled at the University of Illinois as a freshman in the fall of 1986. He majored in Latin and obtained his B.A. degree in Classical Philology in May 1991 with Bronze Tablet Honors. He also completed an M.A. degree in Germanic Languages and Literatures at the U of I in May 1996.

Rob began his administrative professional career in May 1997 at the University of Illinois Graduate College, where he ran its Information Office for three years. He has served as the Assistant to the Honors Dean in ACES Academic Programs since April 2000. In addition to supporting ACES James Scholars as they make progress toward their B.S. degrees,  he maintains the Honors Program's websites, produces its publications, and oversees the development of its social media outlets.

With the support of a dozen enthusiastic students, Rob founded the James Scholar Activities and Communications Team (JS-ACT) on February 3, 2006 -- and he has been serving as the club's Advisor ever since.

Rob is an enthusiastic supporter of Japan House, the Center for Children's Books, the Spurlock Museum, and the UI Library Friends. His extracurricular interests include astronomy, medieval studies, the perennial philosophy, and speculative fiction.

He can be reached at in 128 Mumford Hall.