Undergraduate Security Studies Group

Since its founding in the fall of 2014, the ACDIS Security Studies Group’s presence on the University of Illinois campus has grown exponentially semester after semester. The original idea came about because student interest in security-related topics was evident. Yet, it was difficult for students to connect with organizations that hire in the field. To combat this obstacle, a handful of students founded the group with the vision that it would offer interested students the networking and pre-professional training necessary to break into the security world and be successful.

Now, the ACDIS Security Studies Group engages in a variety of efforts designed to help students: regular newsletters, career prep, guest speakers, simulations, restricted networking events, and social events to name a few. The group and its events have proved useful and popular across a variety of majors, whether the students are interested in intelligence, diplomacy, academia, or policy.


  • For events and meeting times, and to speak with current members, reference the SSG Facebook page.
  • Active members are to adhere to the point system outlined on the SSG website.
  • Roles and responsibilities of the board and members can be found in the constitution.


Board member, officer and committee positions are offered for each full academic year beginning in fall. Positions include:

  • President
  • Executive Vice-President
  • Development
  • Academic Affairs
  • Events
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • Officer and committee positions vary by semester

Fall 2017- Spring 2018 Leaders

Autumn Langdon

President 2017-2018

Autumn Langdon has lived all over the United States before settling herself into college at the University of Illinois. Being the daughter of a veteran soldier, she has lived everywhere from San Antonio, Texas – her hometown and birthplace – to Washington and Michigan. Autumn is currently a senior, pursuing a double major in Political Science and Psychology, with a concentration in international security and comparative politics. Her primary role as the President of the SSG is to ensuring the smooth running of the group, while thinking of fresh and innovative ways to recruit new members for years to come. This includes building an interest among students whose majors stem from backgrounds other than that of Political Science, Global Studies and the likes.

Autumn has quickly moved up in the ranks due to her enthusiasm and passion for what she does. She believes that the SSG has helped her grow both personally and academically; it has brought her closer to like-minded students that are equally passionate about security studies, and given her the opportunity to network with distinguished academia in various related fields. In addition, she has been given the opportunity to conduct extensive research under said academia which has contributed significantly to her career goals.


Maxx Villotti

Secretary Treasurer 2017-2018

Maxx Villotti is a junior in the Nuclear Engineering program and is the current Secretary/Treasurer of the ACDIS SSG. Maxx is also enrolled in the ACDIS certificate program. Outside of ACDIS, Maxx is President of the Illinois Congressional Debate Society as well as a teaching assistant for the university’s Nuclear Arms and Arms Control course. After college, Maxx hopes to get a career in nuclear security dealing with the secure storage of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.


Jason Williams

Events Chair 2017-2018

Jason Williams is the Events Chair of ACDIS. He is a junior majoring in political science, minoring in public relations, and receiving a certificate in global security. As the Events Chair, he hopes to provide a range of professional events from various organizations across the security field. Jason also serves as the co-founder and Director of External Relations for the Illini Journal of International Security. Some of his interests include playing guitar, cars, and baseball. Jason plans on participating in the Illinois in Washington program before he graduates.

Chris Szul

Academic Affairs Chair 2017-2018

Chris Szul is the Academic Affairs Chair in the ACDIS Security Studies Group. He is entering his Junior year at UIUC in Computational Physics with a minor in Computer Science. As Academic Affairs Chair, he plans on reintroducing ACDIS simulations to high schools and improving the output of simulations and blog posts for the SSG. He plans on going into the computer security industry after graduation and to remain focused on research. His other interests involve travelling the world and SCUBA diving.

Chase Bloch

Development Chair 2017-2018

Chase is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying political science, economics, and philosophy and pursuing the ACDIS certificate. As the Development Chair for the SSG, Chase plans to bring students into the ACDIS department from all disciplinary backgrounds and make them feel welcome as they learn about international security. Along with being an executive member of the SSG, Chase helps the ACDIS department as Research Assistant and is the Editor-in- Chief of the Illinois Journal of International Security. In the future, Chase plans to use the knowledge he has gained from working with and for the ACDIS department to pursue his Ph.D. in international relations.


The ACDIS Security Studies Group is an independent, student-run organization affiliated with ACDIS through its constitutions. ACDIS staff coordinate and collaborate with these two groups to ensure success in their endeavors.