Sunny and Warm: Study Abroad in Morocco

Sophomore Del Jacobs, one of several Parkland students immersing themselves in Arabic culture during a two-week trip to Morocco this month, shares her Week One adventures below. This opportunity came about due to a three-year federal grant Parkland has obtained to boost foreign-language study. In year one of the grant (AY 2015), students taking Portuguese classes were able to study abroad in Brazil last summer.


May 16
We arrived in Tangier by ferry in the afternoon. The weather is similar to Southern California, warm (about 77 degrees) and dry with a slight wind. We transferred by bus to the American School of Tangier, where we were met by our host families.

May 18
Our host family consists of the father Saad, mother Nisrin, oldest daughter Lina, youngest daughter Ritaje, and two-year-old son Islam. They are a happy family, and Nisrin is a very pleasant woman. She has been making us traditional meals and they are really tasty.

stairwell - MoroccoThey live in a four-story house. The first floor is a combination garage and den. The second floor is where our family lives; another related family lives on the third floor,  and they rent the fourth floor to a single woman. The two families leave their doors open and run between the two homes.

This picture is the staircase leading from the front door to the second floor home. As you can see, it’s lined with beautiful tile. There is no air conditioning, but the house is cool to cold, and you forget how hot it is outside.

May 20
This is my new djalaba and head scarf. The djalaba is basically a coat that the women wear when they go outside. It slips over your clothing; if it has a zipper, it’s not authentic. The djalaba comes in a rainbow of colors and designs. It can be embroidered in many different patterns, and it may or may not have crystals. It comes in various weights suitable for any time of year.

My djalaba and scarf
My djalaba and scarf

May 21
Today all the girls went to the local hammam. A hammam is a spa-like experience.

Doors to the hammam.
Doors to the hammam.

Everybody sits in the sauna for 10 minutes. Instead of sitting on wood, you sit on marble. It’s very hot. Then the woman comes in and rubs a form of henna all over your body. Off to the next room; you lie down on a heated marble table and they scrub your whole body until you’re raw. You move over to a stool and they rinse you off and wash your hair. Then, back on the table, they cover you in a light mud and give you a massage. They rinse you off again, you get dressed and then get your hair blow dried.

The whole process is wonderful. I feel clean and soft and all for $10. Moroccan women go to the hammam once a week.

Henna tattoos
Henna tattoos in Morocco.

Henna is best applied after you have been to the hammam. Our host mother arranged for a professional henna artist to come to the home and tattoo all five women on our trip.

The artist applied the henna with a syringe and the process took about 30 minutes. We all had both hands and one foot done. After the henna has been applied and dried for about a half hour, the tattoo is dabbed with a mixture of sugar and tea. It takes about an hour for the henna to dry and set. The longer you let the henna stay on your skin, the darker the stain. Typically it’s best to wait three hours.




***For the upcoming academic year (2016-2017), Parkland’s foreign-language grant program focuses on learning Chinese, with an opportunity to visit the country of Taiwan in summer 2017. Study abroad scholarships will be offered for this country, too, for degree-seeking students finishing the language course. For more information, give me a call!

Jody Littleton
Associate Professor, Communication
Study Abroad Coordinator
Parkland College

‘State of Contemporary Illustration’ Highlights

During the Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show reception on Wednesday, May 11, I gave a brief lecture highlighting professional and student illustrators. Below, I’ve provided some highlights from my lecture.

I discussed the exciting world of commercial illustration created for product, book, editorial, concept, product, and advertising.  Visit Giertz Gallery from May 9–28 to view more great examples of student illustrative work.

Professional Illustrators

Victo Ngai
The New Standard



Red Nose Studio
The New Yorker



Sung Choi
Self Promotion



Ink Dwell
Wall of Birds
Cornell Lab of Ornithology




Parkland Student Illustrators

Hilary Pope
Client: Scribner




Shannon Martin
Client: Red Vox



Christie Klinger
Client: CKKM Winery



***Parkland College is one of the few community colleges that has a professional illustration class. Illustration I will be offered fall 2016. Interested in the course? Contact me, Illustration instructor Liza Wynette, at for more information.***


2016 Graphic Design Student Show Awards Announced

Last night at the 2016 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, 10 very proud students received $1,400 in cash awards for submitting excellent work.

Every year, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs submit their best work for jurying by the faculty. This year, 169 entries were chosen by the faculty to be showcased in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery. Then two industry professionals were invited to come in to judge the entries and to select the award winners. This year’s judges were Kelly White, the executive director of 40 North, and Matt Wiley, a well-renowned local illustrator and graphic designer at Taylor Studios. Their mission: find the best 14 pieces in the show and then select the one piece that would receive the coveted “best of show” award.

Most of the awards were donated by local businesses and supporters of Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs. These friends include Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], Studio 2D, Six Demon Studio,Wesley Food Pantry and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO) who all donated cash awards. CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

Over 200 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family and students attended the reception. At 6:30 p.m., each of the winners were acknowledged with a round of applause, a certificate and a check. Here’s who won:

• Graphic Design Best of Show

Packaging by Christie Klinger


• Illustration Best of Show

Poster by Christie Klinger


• Typography Best of Show

hilary pope herblubalin
Editorial spread by Hilary Pope


• President’s Award of Excellence

Poster by Shannon Martin


• CUDO Award of Excellence

Packaging by Christie Klinger


• Surface 51 Award of Excellence

Map by Martha Henigman


• Studio 2D Design Strategy Award

sarah powers surplus
Brochure by Sarah Powers


• Six Demon Studio Award of Excellence

skyler reifsteck
Book cover by Skyler Reifsteck


• [co][lab] Award of Excellence

bethany manalo menurevisions4
Menu by Betta Manalo


• Wesley Food Pantry Award of Excellence

Brochure by Shannon Martin


• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence

Logo by Jordan Bidner


• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award

jordan bidner bottle
Packaging by Jordan Bidner


• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award

maiki bello etiqueta-vino
Packaging by Maiki Bello


• Graphic Design Program Director’s Award

Self-promotion by Abby Rogers


The 2016 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery until May 28. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm and Saturday, noon–2pm.

To see more examples of student work from Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs, please visit our virtual galleries.

IMG_9680                      IMG_9631


[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Talk the Talk, w/Help from the Presentation Center

Taking a Parkland College speech class this summer? Does your upcoming syllabus include a team project demonstration? No worries; let our Presentation Center help!


Stop by Room C151 with your individual or group presentation project! Trish Barker, one of our COM faculty, will be in the center to help Parkland students and employees with:

  • Organizing or creating oral presentations
  • Creating visuals
  • Overcoming public-speaking anxiety
  • Creating a presentation assignment (faculty)
  • Coaching students through practice sessions (faculty)

We’re open during the 2016 early summer session, May 16–June 2:

8–9 a.m. Monday–Friday
12:30–2:30 p.m. Monday–Friday

A full summer schedule soon will be available at the Presentation Center’s web page.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]


“Try Online!” Series: The Fundamentals of Nutrition

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, taught by Associate Professor Toni Burkhalter, Parkland’s 2016 Teaching Excellence Award winner.


Summer is an excellent time to learn something new at an accelerated pace that you can immediately put into practice with support from an online community. Whether your goal is to become healthier or merely to investigate foods in a new way, BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, may be worth checking out.

I have a passion for teaching nutrition; very few classes impact a person on a daily basis in such a pronounced way.

As lead instructor for BIO 120, I choose experts in the field to partner and teach with me so we can share accurate information in the field of nutrition. Our students have been an eclectic group of eager learners from across the globe. They are often a mix of practicing nurses sharing their experiences in the field, college students earning a life science credit, high school students anxiously taking their first college course, or seasoned community members wanting to set up a solid foundation of nutrition for their own benefit. Although students enroll in the course for a variety of reasons, most walk away achieving their goals from it, with us by their side.

What to expect
Because students are able to learn BIO 120 course material in various ways, the course appeals to different learning styles. It features 10 modules, each focusing on a different aspect of nutrition. For example, one of the modules, titled “Carbohydrates,” touches on sugars, starch, fiber, glycogen, and the impact of carbohydrates on diabetes. Within this module, students are encouraged to read one chapter from the textbook, watch a short video created specifically for the course, and interact with the module’s PowerPoint.

I assess students’ knowledge of a module by having them complete a discussion, an application-based assignment, and a module quiz. In addition to module work, students have a midterm project in which they reflect on personal dietary choices, a capstone calculation quiz, and a comprehensive final exam. The capstone calculation quiz covers nutrition calculations that were covered throughout the semester; for example, students may be asked to calculate the percentage of calories from fat in a given meal.

All assessments are completed online.

About the instructor: Over the past 14 years, Toni Burkhalter has taught classes that focus on the effects of nutrition and exercise on the body. She continues to keep abreast of the subject by attending conferences, engaging in experiential learning through her sabbatical, and returning to school whenever possible. Often, Toni is taking additional graduate classes at the University of Illinois while teaching full time at Parkland. Toni loves academics and the topics she teaches.

***BIO 120: Offered June 13-Aug 4 and Aug 22-Dec 9. Register online today for either section.***


[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]