What We Do & Why It Matters

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Agricultural Communications at Illinois interweaves the study of agricultural and environmental sciences with that of journalism, advertising, marketing, multimedia communications, and more. The program is presented jointly by two colleges: the College of ACES and the College of Media. Students develop expertise in agriculture and related topics taught by world-class ACES faculty while learning the principles and practices of the communications profession from award-winning faculty in the College of Media.

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Lulu Rodriguez (director)

Dr. Rodriguez leads the only program in the country that entwines the study of agricultural and environmental sciences with that of journalism, advertising, and public relations. She designs, implements, and evaluates the impact of communication campaigns related to food safety and food security, renewable energy, and the environment..

Heather Cupps-Miller (full-time instructor)

Ms. Miller teaches courses that strengthen journalism and communications involving the food complex, natural resources, rural-urban interactions, and other dimensions of agriculture and the environment. She cultivates students skilled in communicating across multimedia platforms.

Rick Danzl (part-time instructor)

Mr. Danzl brings 25 years of experience as a photojournalist to cultivate visual communicators who can make the images of agriculture and the environment come alive to a variety of audiences. He teaches students photographic skills that can be applied in developing visuals for a variety of multimedia platforms.

Alania Kanfer (clinical assistant professor)

Dr. Kanfer teaches classes and has published scholarly articles on the sociology of science and on the social impact of emerging technologies. She is a public relations expert with passion for learning about cutting-edge science and sharing it with others to advance the effective adoption of new technologies in society.

Taylor Ruth (assistant professor) 

Dr. Ruth teaches courses that help students develop strong writing skills across the subject interests of the College of ACES. Her research lays groundwork for promising advances in communicating strategically and successfully about contentious issues in agriculture-related science in a new media landscape.