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Shift in gut bacteria observed in fiber supplement study may offer good news for weight loss

Published November 17, 2014

URBANA, Ill. – Most Americans don’t get the daily recommended amount of fiber in their diet, though research has shown that dietary fiber can cause a shift in the gut toward beneficial bacteria, reducing the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases. A new study from the University of Illinois shows that two specific functional fibers may also have the potential to assist in weight loss when made part of a long-term, daily diet.

Kelly Swanson, a U of I professor of nutrition, and his team had previously been able to see a “snapshot” of what bacteria were present in the gut after a diet had been supplemented with polydextrose and soluble corn fiber. Using the samples from the same trial, Swanson and his lab used whole-genome sequencing to explore the full range of bacterial genomic information in the gut after fiber supplementation.

The new information is helping the researchers to understand more about the functional capabilities of the bacteria in the gut when these fibers are consumed as part of a regular diet.

“In the gut, bacteria have the capacity to do a lot of different things, such as fermenting proteins, carbohydrates, or other substrates,” Swanson said. “We have already been able to identify what bacteria are there and the changes that occur with diet, and now we are asking if we can change the machinery or the capacity of what functions the bacteria have. Knowing what bacteria are there may matter, but it may not matter as much as identifying their function.”

Hannah Holscher, a U of I postdoctoral researcher and registered dietitian in animal sciences, said what was most surprising and novel in the recent study was a shift in the Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes ratio toward more Bacteroidetes, something the researchers had not seen previously.

“This was of particular interest to us because other research has shown that having more Bacteroidetes may be beneficial because the higher that proportion is, the individual tends to be leaner. With higher Firmicutes, that individual tends to be more obese,” Holscher said. “We don’t know if there is any causality for weight loss, but studies have shown that having a higher fiber diet is protective against obesity. It’s an exciting shift and helps to drive researchers to study these fibers as part of a weight loss diet.”

Holscher added that the whole-genome sequencing data also revealed shifts in the functional capacity of the microbiome including modifications in nutrient metabolism. “We saw that there was a decrease in genes associated with protein metabolism, which correlated with the reduced protein fermentation that occurred in the study participants’ guts when they consumed the fibers,” she said “The information from this study, in combination with the results from the previous study, has allowed us to put together a more complete picture of what the bacteria in our gut are doing.”

The samples sequenced for bacteria genomic information were part of a study Swanson and his lab conducted in 2012. In that study, 20 healthy men with an average fiber intake of 14 grams a day were given snack bars to supplement their diet. The control group received bars that contained no fiber; a second group ate bars that contained 21 grams of polydextrose, which is a common fiber food additive; and a third group received bars with 21 grams of soluble corn fiber.

Fecal samples were collected from the participants, and DNA was then subjected to 454 pyrosequencing, which provided a snapshot of all the bacterial types present. The previous study examined only one gene used for identification purposes, while the current study used whole-genome shotgun 454 pyrosequencing to examine the full range of bacterial genetic information in the fecal microbiome.

Holscher stressed that though there were significant shifts in the gut bacterial populations with fiber supplements, when the supplements were stopped populations seemed to go back to where they were before. “The take-home is if people want to make changes to their diet and have a healthier gut they need to be everyday changes.

“We need more fiber in our diets from lots of different sources,” Holscher said. “These two fibers look like they could be beneficial when included in a balanced diet along with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.”

Holscher added that only 10 percent of Americans meet their daily fiber needs of 25 to 38 grams per day, with most only eating 12 to 14 grams per day.

Polydextrose and soluble corn fiber are often ingredients used in prepared foods such as cereals, cereal bars, baking mixes, and drinks. Holscher said food companies are interested in these fibers as ingredients in products because they are lower in calories and do not negatively affect the taste or texture of the product.

“These fibers also tend to be better tolerated, causing less gas, bloating, and discomfort. They can be provided at higher levels than other types of fiber, such as inulin,” she added.

The researchers hope to continue studying these fibers for their potential use in disease prevention and weight loss.

“We’re hoping this study helps people realize that diet—what you eat every day—does affect the bacteria in your gut. We saw these dramatic shifts in bacterial populations with fiber supplementation, but then those shifts went away when people stopped using the supplements,” Holscher said.

“It’s an important concept because we are not at the point of giving someone a single pill to change the microbiome; it’s not like using an antibiotic to treat an infection. We want to make sure that diet stays in the conversation because there is a significant impact,” she added.

“Fiber supplementation influences phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of the human intestinal microbiome: follow-up of a randomized controlled trial” was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and can be accessed online at http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/11/12/ajcn.114.092064.abstract. Co-authors of the study are Hannah D. Holscher, J. Gregory Caporaso, Seema Hooda, Jennifer M. Brulc, George C. Fahey Jr., and Kelly S. Swanson.

Funding in part was provided by General Mills, Inc.

Consortium receives $7 million to empower women farmers

Published November 11, 2014
MEAS graphic

URBANA, Ill.  - A consortium led by the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) has been awarded $7 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to increase global food security and support effective rural development by empowering women to better contribute to higher household incomes, increase agricultural productivity, and improve nutritional outcomes for family and community members.

The new project, “Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services” (INGENAES), aims to strengthen gender and nutrition integration within and through agricultural extension and advisory services and ultimately reduce poverty, improve food security, and reduce malnutrition.

“This is a program of action,” said Paul McNamara, INGENAES project director and associate professor in the ACES Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.  “We will be working in these countries to help improve women farmers’ access to extension services. We will also be using extension services to improve women’s access to critical inputs and helping extension services address nutrition concerns through their programs. We have committed to not just thinking and writing about these issues but to actually improving the situation; it is action-oriented scholarship and outreach.”

INGENAES is the latest of three associate awards that have followed the $12 million, USAID-funded, ACES-led Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project, which serves to define and disseminate good practice strategies and approaches to establishing efficient, effective, and financially sustainable rural extension and advisory service systems in selected developing countries.

“During our MEAS work, we’ve seen that especially for poor farmers, many of whom are women, access to services is a problem; and access to extension services, which, for example, may be able to help women get better access to fertilizer or improved seeds, is simply not available,” explained McNamara. “An additional component to INGENAES is the intersection of nutrition and agriculture and how agricultural extension programs can help promote practices that help improve nutrition.”

The INGENAES team will be working in at least eight countries that will be selected over the next couple of months. Led by McNamara, the team includes three associate directors: Andrea Bohn from the U of I College of ACES, who is also the project manager for MEAS; Kathleen Earl Colverson from the University of Florida; and Kristy Cook from Cultural Practice LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm.

“It is most important to consider the multiple roles that women hold,” said Colverson. “It is critical that when you introduce a new technology you are not adding another responsibility to women’s already overburdened lifestyles. Women and children are generally responsible for repetitive household tasks (such as gathering firewood and carrying water), often without mechanization and electricity, so the question is how can we introduce innovations that will reduce their burden and not add a different burden, such as providing equipment that is too big, heavy, or dangerous.”

Cultural Practice LLC is a consultancy firm that will provide support to the management team and provide technical assistance to the program.  “We all know that agriculture is key to improved nutrition, but we don’t pay enough attention to the roles and relationships of men and women in agriculture,” said Cook. “These relationships determine what is produced, sold, purchased, and fed to children.” 

According to Bohn, the INGENAES project will focus on changing behavior at the individual and organizational levels with the goal of improving livelihoods.  “This is not about us going and telling people what to do,” she said. “It is about being a sounding board. It is about listening more than telling and engaging with organizations and individuals to help identify how changing behaviors is for their own profit and in their own best interest.”

Initially concentrating on four countries, the team will apply a multistep programmatic approach for 15 months and will later revise the program as needed for an additional four countries. The specific countries have yet to be selected, but they will be selected from among the existing  Feed the Future countries.

 

 

Koala study reveals clues about origins of the human genome

Published November 7, 2014
Mirra Li, a koala at the Vienna Zoo. Photo courtesy of Norbert Potensky and the Vienna Zoo.

URBANA, Ill. - Eight percent of your genome derives from retroviruses that inserted themselves into human sex cells millions of years ago. Right now the koala retrovirus (KoRV) is invading koala genomes, a process that can help us understand our own viral lineage and make decisions about managing this vulnerable species.  

In a recent study, published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, scientists from the University of Illinois discovered that 39 different KoRVs in a koala’s genome were all endogenous, which means passed down to the koala from one parent or the other; one of the KoRVs was found in both parents.

Koalas are the only known organisms where a retrovirus is transitioning from exogenous to endogenous. An exogenous retrovirus infects a host, inserts its genetic information into the cell’s DNA, and uses the host cell’s machinery to manufacture more viruses. When an exogenous retrovirus infects an egg or sperm cell and the viral genetic information is then passed down to the host’s offspring, the virus becomes an endogenous retrovirus (ERV).

Becoming part of the koala genome

Like humans, koalas have evolutionary defenses against endogenization.

“During the early stages of endogenization, there are huge numbers of retroviruses. KoRVs are present all across koalas’ genomes, with many thousands or tens of thousands of KoRVs in the population,” said Alfred Roca, a Professor of Animal Sciences and member of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Over time most of them will disappear because these copies of the virus may be present in as few as one individual chromosome. If that one individual happens to not reproduce, or if it reproduces and the other chromosome is passed down, then that ERV will disappear.”

In order to end up with 100 ERVs in an organism, the species may have to start with 10,000 ERVs in its ancestors, Roca said. It takes retroviruses, like KoRV, many thousands of years to become a fixed part of the koala genome, like the eight percent of retroviral DNA that all humans share.

The ERVs that are successfully passed down are protected by the koala’s DNA repair mechanisms so that their rate of mutation is extremely low. Based on the dearth of mutations in the endogenous koala retroviruses, Roca’s team was able to estimate that the KoRVs integrated into the host germ line less than 50,000 years ago. “This is quite recent compared with other ERVs that are millions of years old and have accumulated mutations,” said first author Yasuko Ishida, a research specialist in Roca’s lab.

Overcoming retroviral fitness effects

In koalas, KoRV has been linked to leukemia, lymphoma, and immune suppression, which can lead to increased susceptibility to chlamydia.

“It seems likely that for thousands of years since this virus integrated, the koala host has suffered fitness effects,” Roca said. “It is possible that across species, when a host lineage has been invaded by ERVs, it had to go through this process of adaptation between host and virus, which is a very sad finding. It may be a very long, slow, painful process for the host species, one which human ancestors have gone through and overcome many times in the distant past.”

In mammals, retroviral DNA is associated with placental development and has been found to protect hosts from harmful exogenous retroviruses.

“But once retroviruses become part of the host, they begin to help the host because that is how they survive,” Roca said. “They will be better off if they evolve to protect the host. Over time, the detrimental effects go down and the beneficial effects go up.”

Conserving koala populations

In the 1900s, koalas were extensively hunted for their fur. In an effort to preserve koalas, a few individuals were moved to an island off the coast of Australia. Years later, the inbred island population was reintroduced to southern Australia. Today some of the southern koalas remain uninfected while almost all northern koalas have dozens of KoRVs in their genomes.

“Which is the lesser of two evils?” Roca said. “Do you try to conserve genetic diversity, which is present in the northern populations along with the retrovirus or do you conserve southern populations that don’t have the retrovirus but are horribly inbred?”

Roca’s research team included research specialist Yasuko Ishida, graduate student Kai Zhao, and scientific collaborator Alex Greenwood of the Leibnitz Institute in Berlin. Their work was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The San Diego Zoo, Columbus Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, and Riverbanks Zoo provided the koala samples.

News Source:

Alfred Roca, 217-244-8853

News Writer:

Claire Sturgeon

Funding to support new Feed Technology Complex

Published October 31, 2014
Governor Pat Quinn

URBANA, Ill. – Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the University of Illinois will receive $3.5 million for a new Feed Technology Complex on the U of I’s South Farms. The state-of-the-art complex will replace the university’s century-old feed mill.

“The Feed Technology Complex will help the University of Illinois maintain its reputation for excellence in animal science research and education,” Governor Quinn said at a press conference. “The world-class research conducted at the University of Illinois is key to attracting businesses and supporting agricultural and economic growth in Illinois.”

The facility will give students and faculty the ability to process customized animal feeds and will support world-class research and educational programs in crop and animal sciences, nutrition, and food science at the university. The facility will be used to develop and test new technologies that can be applied to the manufacture of animal and human foods, and will support research on safe food production, animal nutrition and sustainable livestock practices.

The total estimated cost of the project is $13.3 million.  Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has agreed to donate $1.5 million for the project.

 “This facility will support our programs in animal nutrition, bioprocessing, and bioenergy,” said Robert J. Hauser, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the U of I. “It will be the central, critical element that supports the research and training programs of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs in modern agricultural industries.

“Our graduates are aggressively recruited to fill positions in the food manufacturing, feed technology, bioenergy, and livestock industries,” Hauser said. “The Feed Technology Complex, designed to meet precise animal nutrition parameters and specialized feed preparation, is a linchpin of discovery research and education in the areas of food security and safety, alternative energy forms, and health issues such as obesity, cancer, and healthy aging.”

Hauser added that the project would not be possible without support from ADM, agricultural commodity organizations in Illinois, private donors, and this funding from the state of Illinois.

ACES Associate Dean for Research Neal R. Merchen echoed the importance of financial investment from partners to create the Feed Technology Complex. “This partnership will create a new paradigm not only for development of a capital project but for the kind of educational programming that will take place in the Feed Technology Complex,” Merchen said. “Collaborative research and student training involving both the university and ADM, which is one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, will address problems of great relevance to feed manufacturers and serve as exercises in training a new generation of feed technologists. The new Feed Technology Complex will be the centerpiece of a training platform that will create jobs and provide skilled workers to the industry.”

The funding is part of Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program.

 

Piglet brain atlas new tool in understanding human infant brain development

Published October 10, 2014
brain imaging
A map created using the MRI based averaged piglet brain atlas. University of Illinois.

URBANA, Ill. – A new online tool developed by researchers at the University of Illinois will further aid studies into postnatal brain growth in human infants based on the similarities seen in the development of the piglet brain, said Rod Johnson, a U of I professor of animal sciences.

Through a cooperative effort between researchers in animal sciences, bioengineering, and U of I’s Beckman Institute, Johnson and colleagues Ryan Dilger and Brad Sutton have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based brain atlas for the four-week old piglet that offers a three-dimensional averaged brain and anatomical regions of interest. 

This averaged brain atlas, created from images from multiple piglets, will serve as a template for future studies using advanced MRI techniques that can provide important information on brain macro- and microstructure during this critical period of development. The template, as well as tissue probability maps that were also created, are available online and are freely distributed.

“The piglet brain is similar to the human brain in that it is gyrencephalic and experiences massive growth and development in the late prenatal and early postnatal periods. We are concerned that environmental insults such as infection or poor nutrition during these early periods may alter the trajectory of brain development,” Johnson said.

“Pigs provide an excellent translational model for biomedical research. This is a new tool that may be useful to others in the biomedical community,” he added.

While an atlas did already exist for the adult pig, Matthew Conrad, a doctoral student in Johnson’s lab said the previous atlas was created from a single adult animal. “The benefit to using an averaged brain is that it will produce a template that is a better representation of the population. The more animals included the better.”

The atlas was created by taking MRI images of the brains of 15 four-week-old York breed piglets—nine females and six males. The images were then reconstructed into 3D volumes for each pig. Through a series of deformations and averaging of the data sets, the images were eventually aligned to create the final averaged brain.

Conrad explained that having an averaged brain template available will allow better use of the software needed for more advanced techniques in studying the volume of brain regions.

An example of these techniques includes voxel-based morphometry (VBM), which can be used to detect volume difference in the brain. Additionally, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which looks at white-matter track development and connectivity in brain regions, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which looks at white matter and neurochemical changes in the brain, are being conducted.

“The atlas will be used as the population average. When new data sets are brought in, you first line up the new brain images to this template,” Conrad said.

In addition to the average brain atlas, Conrad said they also created population averages for white and gray matter as well as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). “This is another data set that helps predict the tissue classification,” he said.

Previous studies using MRI imaging of piglets have looked at the effects of iron deficiency on brain development. “For that we did MRI imaging and manual segmentation, and with manual segmentation you are looking at volume changes within very large areas of the brain, but with VBM we can pinpoint smaller changes within discrete brain areas,” Conrad said. “We are now reanalyzing data from those piglets and replicating this study with new protocols, which will allow us to see changes that we didn’t see before.”

Another study is looking at the effects of postnatal infections, such as pneumonia, on brain development. “These types of infections are common in infants, and again it’s a period of time when the brain is undergoing rapid development,” Johnson said.

A third study funded by the National Institutes of Health is focused on maternal viral infection during pregnancy. “The goal is to assess how mom’s immune response to infection influences brain development and future behavior of her piglets,” Johnson explained.

Conrad added that the piglet brain is now being recognized for its potential as a translational animal model for neurodevelopmental studies.

“Much of the research on the effects of pre- and postnatal factors on brain development has been done in rodent models, but the rodent brain develops very differently.  Therefore, the piglet can provide a complementary model wherein results better translate to humans,” Johnson said.

The brain atlas project and related studies are funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The atlas and other resources created during this project are available online at http://pigmri.illinois.edu.

An in vivo three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging-based averaged brain collection of the neonatal piglet (Sus scrofa)” was recently published in PLOS ONE and is available online at http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0107650&representation=PDF. Matthew S. Conrad, Bradley P. Sutton, Ryan N. Dilger, and Rodney W. Johnson were coauthors of the study.

Oct08

ACES International in Action: Food Security Series

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Morgan-Caterpillar Room of the College of ACES Library, Information and Alumni Center

"The Impact of F2F Volunteering on Agricultural Education and Research in Ethiopia –A Field Report from the Haramaya University”
presented by Dr. Martin Bohn, associate professor in the Department of Crop Sciences

Dr. Bohn will present on his recent experience in the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program that connects farmers and agricultural experts in the United States with counterparts in the East African nations of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and other developing countries for training and technical assistance.

Funding for mobile digital labs brings technology to the public

Published October 2, 2014
DigiTech Hub
Photo courtesy of the C-U Community Fab Lab

URBANA, Ill. – DigiTech hubs, sometimes called “makerspaces,” will soon be available in Illinois due to special initiative funding from University of Illinois Extension. The mobile laboratories, which will rotate among U of I Extension sites throughout the state, will serve as high-tech inventor workshops equipped with tools for participants to learn about digital technology—from audio production to 3D printing. 

“Members of the community will be able to make podcasts, experiment with soldering, create small robots, and learn how to do 3D design using the latest digital tools,” said Jon Gant, director of the Center for Digital Inclusion, professor at the U of I’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and principal investigator of the project. “Enabling this kind of innovation and creativity is key to twenty-first century technological and economic development.”

The hubs are just one component of a larger Illinois Digital Innovation Leadership Program that is designed to increase opportunities for entrepreneurship, economic development, and innovation through the expansion of digital manufacturing, digital media production, and data analytics.

Digital Innovation Leadership staff will work with 4-H clubs, public libraries, and public schools to develop permanent community-based and -supported studios, creating a network that will build statewide capacity in digital design, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship.

This is one of six collaborative projects led by interdisciplinary faculty and staff from across the U of I campus to further Extension’s education and outreach mission. It is a special partnership between Extension, the dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, and the Office of the Provost. The six projects were selected from a pool of 71 pre-proposals from 16 different campus units. The Extension and Outreach Initiative is aimed at establishing new collaborations between Extension and departments and units across campus.

For more information, visit extension.illinois.edu or cdi.lis.illinois.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

News Writer:

University of Illinois Extension
Nov06

Gamma Sigma Delta ACES Graduate Fellows Awards Luncheon

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, Illinois

Join the College of ACES and Gamma Sigma Delta in celebrating scholarly excellence of their recent graduates. Faculty members will be in attendance to honor the graduates who will be recognized at the event.

New web-based decision tools for dairy producers

Published August 28, 2014

URBANA, Ill. – In place of milk price and revenue support programs, the 2014 Farm Bill has created the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers (MPP), allowing a dairy operator to self-select coverage options to protect the farm against declines in national average production margins. A web-based decision support tool and companion educational materials have been developed to help dairy operators make key coverage decisions for both the MPP and the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance program.

The tool can be found at: www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool and www.farmdoc.illinois.edu/farmbilltoolbox.

Researchers at the University of Illinois led the National Coalition for Producer Education (NCPE) to develop the tools along with the USDA Farm Service Agency and the National Program on Dairy Markets and Policy (DMaP- www.dairymarkets.org).

“The MPP decision tool is designed with farmers in mind,” said U of I agricultural economist John Newton. “Tool users need only input their milk production history, and then in just four clicks of a mouse, farmer-specific MPP registration forms can be generated.” Newton said that the tool is also optimized to run on a wide platform of electronic devices.

“With the MPP decision tool, dairy farmers can use farm-specific milk production variables in conjunction with daily CME Group futures prices as part of the consideration for coverage-level choices under MPP and LGM-Dairy,” Newton said.

“To highlight the strategic thinking that needs to occur during the registration and coverage modification process, dairy farmers using the MPP decision tool have the ability to analyze historical U.S. milk and feed prices,” Newton said. “This feature is for research purposes only, but provides the opportunity for dairy farmers to go back in time to determine how MPP would have worked as a risk management instrument had it been in place during prior years.”

Newton said that for dairy operators who would like to use their own expectations of milk, feed, and margin price risk, the MPP decision tool will soon include an advanced interface that will allow dairy operations to self-select all 48 milk and feed prices to determine how MPP may function to smooth dairy production margins.

“Another helpful feature is that when dairy operators use the MPP decision tool, with one click of the mouse they can easily toggle between the MPP web tool and the LGM-Dairy Analyzer ©, which they can use to examine forthcoming insurance contract offerings and anticipated premium costs,” Newton said. 

In partnership with NCPE, DMaP will host five Train-the-Trainer workshops across the United States, including one on Sept. 11 in Chicago.

For more information and educational material, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool and  www.dairymarkets.org/MPP .

 

 

 

 

News Source:

John Newton, 217-300-1051

Free webinars help young adults get financially “$avvy”

Published August 26, 2014
Graphic dollar signs

URBANA, Ill. – Understanding available financial tools, how to use credit wisely, and investment strategies can help minimize debt and increase wealth. These and other money-management strategies will be presented in six free “Get $savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff” webinars, designed especially for the challenges faced by college students and young adults.

“Young adults need quality unbiased financial education to help them establish strong financial roots,” said University of Illinois Extension consumer economics educator Kathy Sweedler, who is coordinating the webinars. “Although this is true of adults at all ages, it’s especially true for those who have tried to enter the job force since the Great Recession. They’re up against high unemployment rates and saddled with significant student loan debt. The Project on Student Debt reported that the average amount of debt was $28,028.”

Registration is available at  http://go.uillinois.edu/GetSavvyRegistration. Individuals can register for one webinar or all six and “attend” from any computer with Internet access.

All six webinars will be offered on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. CST.

Dates and topics are:

Sept. 16 - Establishing your Roots

Explore the merits of various financial tools, such as a checking account, prepaid card, debit card, savings account, or a combination.

Oct. 21 - Staying on Good Terms with Credit

Learn how to choose the best credit cards and loans and how to avoid common debt mistakes.

Nov. 11 - Steps Toward Investing

Stocks, bonds, IRAs and other investing adventures

Jan. 27, 2015 - Life Transitions

Financial tools to help proactively manage life changes, such as moving, relationships, and new jobs

Feb. 24 - Job Benefits

Job benefits, such as retirement plans and health care, can significantly change an individual’s net worth. Learn how to make the most of the options.

April 21 - Love Your Loan

Student loans can be confusing and many repayment options exist. This webinar will explore some of the choices.

The webinars are hosted by University of Illinois Extension and University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operation’s Student Money Management Center.

 

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