ACES faculty and labs provide exceptional experience for ISIP students

September 28, 2017

Nineteen students from China’s Zhejiang University successfully completed the 2017 International Summer Immersion Program (ISIP) on August 11.  

During the six-week ISIP program coordinated by the ACES Office of International Programs, the students completed a research apprenticeship with an ACES faculty member and participated in a series of educational seminars and cultural field trips. The program culminated with a poster session, where the students had the opportunity to showcase their research.  

The students left with new skills, strong friendships, and great appreciation for the University of Illinois. Many of them hope to return to the Urbana-Champaign campus for graduate study.

“ISIP is a wonderful program full of challenge and exploration, struggle and progress, warmth and happiness,” summarized participant Xiaotong Jiang who was mentored by Prof. Matthew Hudson.

“This is a great program to experience college life in America. I recommend and appreciate this invaluable opportunity to work with excellent mentors, gain friendships, and to grow personally,” said participant Sijian Fan, who was mentored by Prof. Tiffany Jamann.

In the past eight years, 179 students have graduated from this unique program. Each year’s students have especially appreciated the relationships they were able to cultivate with ACES faculty mentors and their graduate students in the research labs.  The experience helps these students find their way into graduate programs in the U.S. and helps ACES faculty identify students to recruit into graduate programs.  Since 2011, at least 29 ISIP participants have entered graduate programs at the University of Illinois.

“I'll always appreciate the mentors and professors for introducing me to laboratory life and providing me a lot of encouragement to adapt to a new situation. I feel more confident to solve problems in my future studies,” said participant Yuxin Guo who was mentored by Prof. Alexander Lipka.

The program also serves as a bridge for cultural understanding.

“Thank you to this program for providing me such a precious opportunity to have a better understanding of America. From this program, I value the friendships I made with Americans the most. Those memories make America a special place to me,” said Yuanzhi Chen mentored by Prof. Glen Hartman.  

ISIP continues to facilitate strategic partnerships with Zhejiang University and other universities. Past programs have included students from South Korea’s Chungnam National University, and future programs may expand to include students from additional countries. 

The Office of International Programs would like to thank our ACES faculty mentors and their graduate students without whom this program would not be possible:

Agricultural & Biological Engineering: Luis Rodriguez, Girish Chowdhary, Yuanhui Zhang

Agricultural & Consumer Economics: Hayri Onal

Animal Sciences: David Miller

Crop Sciences: Glen Hartman, Tiffany Jamann, Alexander Lipka, Patrick Tranel, Matthew Hudson, Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, Martin Bohn

Food Science and Human Nutrition: Juan Andrade, Elvira de Mejia, Michael Miller

Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences: Yuji Arai, Jennifer Fraterrigo, Michelle Wander


For more information about the ISIP, visit:

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