The Extension & Public Engagement Connection Center is a portal for the University of Illinois community to connect with Extension for public impact-focused scholarship. We help individuals find partners with common interests to pursue applied research, teaching, and outreach through the deeply rooted Extension network, in order to deliver positive impacts for Illinois residents.

Extension operates through the nationwide land-grant university system and is a partnership between federal, state, and local governments. Using university research, Extension educators translate science for the public, engage the public to act, prepare people for a better life, provide rapid response in disasters, develop partnerships, and connect people online.

Nearly 700 Extension staff live and work in all 102 Illinois counties, engaging Illinois residents through more than 1.3 million educational contacts each year. Extension staff are experts on their communities’ needs, establishing lasting partnerships and offering programs across five critical issue areas – food, economy, environment, community, and health.


Established in 2019, planning for Connection Center services is currently underway. With financial support from Extension and the Office of the Provost, the Connection Center will begin offering training, grants, and fellowship opportunities in 2020 to support collaborations between University of Illinois faculty, students, and Extension.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the coordinator for:

  • Assistance finding collaborative opportunities with University of Illinois Extension
  • Information about Extension programs and opportunities
  • Participation in Connection Center planning, services, and scholarship