Category Archives: Arts & Sciences

Science Olympiad: Welcome, Middle School, High School Students!

Watch out for flying objects and moving vehicles in the gym! Don’t worry; it’s just science. The regional Science Olympiad competition will take place at Parkland College on Saturday, February 17.

Teams from 18 area schools will participate in 23 events spread out across campus: Some will test roller coasters in the Flag Lounge. Others will operate helicopters in the gym. Still others will conduct forensic tests in the M wing. They will even study reptiles and minerals in the L wing.

Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students, working hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines including biology, chemistry, and technology. The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science!

Our awards ceremony will be held for the middle schools in the Miner Theatre at 3:15 p.m. The Dodds Athletic Center will host the high school awards ceremony at 4 p.m. The top teams will also compete at the state tournament at the University of Illinois on April 21.

***Volunteers are needed across campus to help run the competition. Find more information about the tournament as well as a link to volunteer at www.illinoisolympiad.org/parkland-college.html.

For more information, contact Erik Johnson at ejohnson@parkland.edu.

[Erik Johnson is an associate professor in astronomy at Parkland College.]

 

Heading to College? What’s Your ETA?

Parkland College is excited to offer District 505 high school and home-schooled students a great new opportunity to complete college general education courses while still in high school.

Parkland’s new Early Transfer Academy (ETA) is a fast track to college that gives students in their last two years of high school a new, structured opportunity to complete the general education courses required at nearly all four-year institutions. High school and home-schooled students age 15 and older  who meet Parkland’s reading, writing, and math placement requirements will be able to register for selected courses offered at times planned to fit their schedule.

  • Students in the first year of the two-year program will take classes with faculty who have incorporated learning skills into their curriculum. Students participating in the ETA will not only earn transferable college credit but will gain experiences that will increase their chances of success as they move on to a four-year university. While in the first year, students will gain experience in time management, online learning, academic planning, and organization of workload.
  • In the second year, ETA participating students will be able to choose from a wider range of general education courses that allow them take classes apart from the group. The two-year schedule helps students gradually become comfortable with the college environment, so that they are ready for the next step upon graduating from high school.

Courses offered through the ETA will fulfill the requirements of the General Education Core Curriculum as identified by the Illinois Articulation Act. This public act states that upon completion of the GECC, no student will be required to take additional lower-division general education courses at any public college or university in Illinois. All public colleges and most private institutions in Illinois accept the courses in the GECC. The GECC includes courses in humanities, fine arts, social sciences, mathematics, and physical and life sciences.

A high school student who enters the ETA as a junior could complete the entire GECC package by the time he or she graduates from high school. That same student could potentially complete an associate’s degree at Parkland in one year after high school and then transfer to a four-year institution with only two years needed to complete a bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, a student completing the GECC through the ETA could transfer those credits directly to a four-year institution and complete a bachelor’s degree in three years or less. Participation in the ETA could mean significant savings in college costs as well as a greater chance at college success because of the experiences gained on Parkland’s campus.

Who/What: The ETA is an early college program for high school juniors and seniors designed to help students move through coursework included in the General Education Core Curriculum requirements for college. Students will get a head start on their college degree/program completion and, at the same time, receive support from faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping students successfully navigate the transition from high school to higher education.

Where/When: ETA students will choose between a morning or afternoon track to complete three different courses each semester. Morning classes will meet 8–9:15 a.m. Monday–Friday, and afternoon classes will meet 4–5:15 p.m. Monday–Friday, at the Parkland College main campus in Champaign.

How: Registration is open to incoming juniors and seniors, 15 years of age or older. The registration window is February 1–June 1, 2018. Students will work with their high school counselors to complete the necessary registration requirements and determine dual credit eligibility. To register, students will need to submit:

  • a non-degree-seeking admissions form to Parkland College
  • a dual credit/dual enrollment request form
  • qualifying ACT or SAT scores, or complete the appropriate Parkland College placement test

Program Details:

  • Students can choose either the 8–9:15 a.m. track or the 4–5:15 p.m. track. Both have identical course offerings. Classes will meet M–F.
  • Students must meet the placement requirements for each course, either through Parkland placement testing, SAT, or ACT.
  • ETA Year 1 students will be in a cohort together.
  • Cost for the ETA will include Parkland College in-district tuition, fees, and books.
  • Payment plans will be available to help families distribute the cost throughout the semester. We are currently exploring scholarship opportunities but do not want to present that as an option until we are 100 percent certain funds will be available.
  • All courses meet the requirements set forth by the Illinois Articulation Initiative, meaning they are part of the General Education Core Curriculum and will transfer.
  • Friday classes are hybrid. This means that the class will meet every Friday, but 50 percent of the class will be conducted online, using Parkland’s online course management platform, COBRA. Through these courses, students will learn how to succeed in an online college course.
  • High schools will determine whether or not enrollment in ETA will simultaneously earn high school credit. The enrollment process will remain the same either way; the only difference is whether the student is granted high school credits.
  • ETA Year 2 classes will include life/physical science courses, mathematics, and communications.
  • Year 2 students will have more options for their schedule and will be mixed into classes with ‘general population’ students. Parkland will make every attempt to modify the Year 2 schedule if a student can earn dual credits through their home high school. For example, if a student is able to take a Year 2 class at their home high school, we will substitute another required course in its place.

***Parkland College is hosting an ETA Information Session on Monday, January 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Interested students and their parents are invited to attend to learn more about the program. Registration to the open house is available at parkland.edu/ETAopenhouse.***

[Nancy Sutton , Ed.D., is dean of the division of arts and sciences at Parkland College and one of the ETA coordinators.]

My Love Affair with April Greiman

It all started in college.

I was studying graphic design at the University of Illinois when I came across a copy of WET magazine (“gourmet bathing” according to the tagline on the cover). This was in the early 1980s and we’re deep in the minimalist modern “Swiss” era where any decoration in art was frowned upon. So this copy of WET that I held in my hands, well it looked like it came from Mars. It was funky, it was spicy, it smelled of something illegal and it was the opposite of the rational design thinking my professors were trying to instill in their students. It wasn’t until much later that I found out April Greiman was one of the people behind this magazine (even though her name was not on the masthead).

California-style postmodernism as envisioned by April Greiman et al (1979)

As an art student (yes, design was taught in the “art” department), I dutifully imitated what I saw in WET. What I copied was the surface qualities of April’s work. I was an excellent forger, but unfortunately my professors had already ruined me. My mind had already embraced their modernist philosophies, and I couldn’t unlearn what I had already been taught. Little did I know that modernism was already dying a quick death. April Greiman had killed it in California and kick-started the postmodern era in graphic design just as I was about to graduate.

Today, students get to read about April Greiman in history books. She is one of the few female graphic designers acknowledged in an industry dominated by men. When I saw her face in the new documentary “Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production,” I immediately sent her an email. I told her about our upcoming movie premiere event and begged her to join us for a panel discussion after the film. After a little prodding, she said “yes” to a Skype interview.

One of my favorite early April Greiman designs that I tried to rip-off.

“Graphic Means” is a brand-new documentary about the pre-digital period of graphic design known as the “cold type” era (you’ll have to see the movie to understand why the funny name). This is the same era glamorized in the “Mad Men” TV series. Fans of this period are in love with the fashion and furniture design of the “mid-century modern” style as featured in the TV series. But this was also the epitome of overt sexism in the workplace where women were literally worth half as much as men. Both sides of the story are told in great detail in “Graphic Means.”

Vintage retro promo graphic for the “cold type” era (circa 1975)

“Graphic Means” is Briar Levit’s first film and it hits all the marks of a great documentary. From her selection of offbeat on-screen characters she interviewed to her selection of ironic retro archival footage, “Graphic Means” is a rich and amusing visual experience. It’s also stuffed full of fascinating facts and stories not often told. I predict that in time, “Graphic Means” will rise to the level of “Helvetica” as one of the important must-see cultural documentaries of our time. And she made the film with Kickstarter funds and an all-female crew.


“Graphic Means” is currently making the rounds at film festivals, film societies, museums and specialty cinemas in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, and across the US (see full list). Champaign is lucky to be on the list of premiere cities and Parkland is very lucky to be able to host both the filmmaker and April Greiman via Skype for a post-screening discussion.

And what about that “love affair” with April? Well I did graduate from the University of Illinois with a BFA and a portfolio of fake postmodern projects (but it made me look “cool” and got me good jobs). Later, after I started teaching graphic design history at Parkland, I really got to know April’s work deeply (since I had to explain what “postmodernism” means to my students). Now my students make Powerpoint presentations about her and design T-shirts that pay tribute to her.

A tribute T-shirt design by Parkland Student Brandon Cherry

And then in 2004, it happened. I met April Greiman for the first time. I was on the board of the now defunct Ad Club of Champaign-Urbana and we had the money to bring someone big and important to town for a presentation. On a lark, we invited April and she came. She even made a stop at Parkland in L111 and chatted with the students.

In 2004, April Greiman visited Champaign-Urbana (click the image above to jump to our Facebook gallery)

As a souvenir, she handed out little “fortune cookie” strips that said “If thinking, think nothing” (it’s a Buddhist thing). Those are now collector’s items. I got to design the promos for her visit and this time I got it right. I was able to capture the joy of flying against convention and breaking rules just for the sake of breaking rules with this experimental web page:

Website promotion designed by Paul Young as a tribute to April Greiman (2004)

And then in 2015, it happened again. On a trip to Las Vegas, my wife and I decided to take a little detour to Joshua Tree National Park. We knew April Greiman owned a motel near there so we booked a few nights at her little hideaway called Miracle Manor. And what a little miracle it is, fed with natural mineral-rich hot springs right from under the motel directly into her pool. And on the day we arrived?April was there with her boyfriend and it was her birthday! Hanging out with April by the pool on this special day? Priceless.

Miracle Manor: April Greiman’s retreat in Desert Hot Springs CA

And now it’s going to happen for a third time. Tomorrow night, I get to moderate a panel discussion about “Graphic Means” with April Greiman participating on the panel live via Skype. Joining us will be four other local designers and educators as well as the director of the film (see complete list of panelists). Am I nervous? Nah not really. She’s a really cool gal and really easy to talk to. Besides, I’ve met her before.

Click the above image to jump to the movie premiere promo site for advanced tickets and all the details.

Discounted advanced ticket sales will end on Tuesday, November 14 at 12 noon, but tickets will still be available at the door. Here are the details of our one-night only movie premiere special event:

Thanks to our generous sponsors, 100% of the box office receipts will benefit Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.

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

In the Shadow of the Moon

I guess this is where I’m supposed to describe the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of August 21. The problem is, I can’t. I’ve been attempting to come up with words that would give the event its props and, I’ll admit, I’m coming up short.

Camp Ondessonk. Online photo from Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.

I’ve been asked many times “How were things in Carbondale?” I didn’t go to Carbondale. That venue was a bit overcrowded for me. My and CU Astronomical Society colleagues and I descended on Camp Ondessonk, near Ozark, Illinois. The Catholic youth camp was previously directed by my brother-in-law, and my kids spent a lot of time there. We set up telescopes in an impressive row in a horse pasture, meaning you had to pay close attention to where you erected your tent! We had numerous telescopes from CUAS, the twin city group from Bloomington-Normal, and University of Illinois students. And my daughter made the trip from Chicago to go with us.

We arrived Saturday morning to avoid traffic, and my wife and daughter took part in some of the camp’s amenities like archery, hiking, and craft-making. Carl Wenning (ISU) and I did three workshops each on Sunday, and Carl did a keynote after dinner. The food was awesome! They treated us well! Stargazing was a bit disappointing as we were greeted with heavy dew and clouds both Saturday and Sunday night. But the main event was Monday.

The observing field (half of it anyway). Photo by Dave Leake.

We all smiled as we opened our tents Monday morning, greeted by blue skies with a few clouds. I did two radio interviews via cell phone before breakfast and then spent the rest of the morning setting up equipment. Our camp director said that with the influx of “Monday only” traffic (no overnight accommodations), he expected 800 people in the camp. I used my telescope to project an image of the Sun, about a foot in diameter, on a poster board. It was here that I shouted, “first contact” to the group right at 11:53 a.m.

The partial eclipse as projected by a colander. Photo by Dave Leake.

We watched as the Moon seemed to consume a wonderful sunspot group on the Sun’s face. People used pegboards, mailing tubes, and even colanders to project the partial eclipse.

As the Moon overtook the Sun, everything seemed “weird!” It is difficult to articulate! Shadows became sharper and the countryside took on a pale appearance as if it were twilight, but it was everywhere (not just one direction) and the Sun was high in the sky! It got darker and cooler. At the first diamond ring, a roar came from the crowd and there was applause as we bathed in the Moon’s shadow. The horizons stayed relatively bright, but the sky overhead darkened and Venus became brilliant. Jupiter was visible east of the Sun.

Eclipse totality at Ozark, Illinois. Photo by Saiko Rosenberger.

Some colleagues began snapping photos. I did not. This was my first total eclipse and I was advised just to watch. That was great advice. It was an emotional scene:

  • My daughter was there, with whom I had shared telescopic views of Saturn when she was just a tyke. She spent seven years as a camper here, so this was a homecoming for her.
  • Chuck Greenwood was there from Florida; he was Staerkel Planetarium’s show producer when I started. We presented shows together for 12 years. Frank Oriold was there from St. Charles. Frank and I were in the UI Astro Club together in 1981 and I had not seen him in years. Mike Rosenberger was there with his wife. Mike and I co-founded CUAS back in 1986—a lifelong friend.
  • And I was wearing my dad’s eclipse T-shirt. I lost him in 2015. The coronal streamers were nothing short of spectacular and the Moon’s perimeter took on a pearl white color. He would have loved this!

My wife kept a timer on her phone and, at 2.5 minutes, I yelled “have your glasses ready!” The second diamond ring was more dramatic than the first. The Sun’s brilliant light appeared as a point that grew in size. Given the high ice crystal clouds in the area, the point was surrounded by brilliant colors and the crowd gasped. Afterwards, club members gathered and either hugged or provided a “high five.” It was only 2.5 minutes but it will be etched in our memories forever!

The next eclipse in the area will be April 8, 2024. I hope I’m around for it. What an amazing experience! I didn’t even mind the 6.5-hour drive home!

[David Leake is director of the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.]

Parkland Students Excavate at Allerton Park!

Authored by Erin Riggs, PhD student and Parkland Field Archaeology instructor

Parkland Students who participated in the archeological field dig.

Exotic settings, buried secrets, treks through the jungle—these are all things you (and the typical undergraduate student) might associate with archaeology. We make this association because that is how archaeology is portrayed by such pop culture icons as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. As Parkland’s field school students would be quick to tell you, there are usually snakes and spiders involved. Otherwise, this portrayal is not very accurate.

Actually, the majority of professional archaeologists in the United States are employed in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) and work domestically (Malloy 2017). CRM archaeologists survey areas that are about to be developed for construction. In these areas, they collect information on existing material heritage and steer development away from sites protected by law. Archaeology in America is primarily this: protecting and contributing to what we know about the the historic landscapes that surround us every day, under our streets, lawns, and public parks.

Students rarely learn about CRM archaeology when they attend a traditional archaeological field school. More often than not, field schools are located overseas and are marketed as study-abroad experiences (Boytner 2012). They also can be prohibitively expensive, ranging in cost from $1,000 to $6,000 (Perry 2006).  While these experiences can be incredible opportunities, they often leave students with little knowledge of the archaeological job opportunities and infrastructures here at home.

At Parkland College this summer, we wanted students to work on an archaeological project within their own community. We wanted our course  to be accessible to students who might not have the funds or time required to attend a field school abroad. We achieved these goals through collaboration with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS), the primary CRM group in Illinois. ISAS had recently surveyed Allerton Park in conjunction with a trail improvement project. Their survey work rekindled interest in a mound cluster existent on the property, Samuel’s Mounds. Allerton is a unique space within Illinois—an island of relatively undisturbed, unplowed forest land in the midst of a sea of agricultural fields.

Through our Parkland College/ISAS collaboration, students were able to assist professional archaeologists in excavating at this site in late July. They opened 1×1 meter square units around the mounds (leaving the mounds themselves undisturbed) to search for artifacts and features. We hoped to find something diagnostic that could help ISAS associate the mound group with a culture and time period. The materials are still being washed and inventoried. However, our first guess based on observations in the field point towards Middle to Late Woodland—meaning this site is likely 1,000 to 2,000 years old!

Parkland students worked hard and had a great time! In the process, they grew familiar with some of the quintessential features of CRM work—shovel testing, eating packed lunches in the field, the necessity of redundancy and precision in CRM paperwork, the tedium of a day without many artifacts, and the sheer joy of finally finding something of interest!

Here is what students had to say after completing the course:

“Although there were bugs buzzing around my ear every second, intense heat, and labor intensive digging, this field school allowed me to experience real fieldwork and gave me the satisfaction of unearthing an artifact which may help give context to these ancient mounds. I’m a bit sore, but I have greatly enjoyed this experience.” -Josh Boone (Senior, Anthropology)

“I never once thought I would be a part of an archaeological field school. But here I am, 5 days after leaving the field, and I am still thinking about the great experience I had! From our individual projects, to digging hand units, to shovel testing, I had a blast! It was tedious, and quite a few times I thought about backing down, but there is no quitting in archaeology! I learned so much over the past six weeks, and I’d do it all over again if I had the chance.” -Evyjo Compton (Senior, Animal Science)

“The experience I have gained from this field school has been excellent, and I plan to use what I have learned in my future. I have gained many valuable skills while also having a lot of fun. I am so very thankful that the Illinois State Archaeological Survey allowed us to assist them.” -Kaleb Cotter (Junior, Anthropology)

 

Cited

Boytner, Ran. 2012. “The Changing Nature of Archaeological Field Schools.” The SAA Archaeological Record 12 (1): 29-32.

Malloy, Maureen. ” Questions About: Archaeology As A Career.” Questions About: Archaeology As A Career. Accessed August 04, 2017. http://www.saa.org/ForthePublic/FAQs/ForAdults/QuestionsAboutArchaeologyAsACareer/tabid/975/Default.aspx.

Perry, E. Jennifer. 2006. From Students to Professionals: Archaeological Field Schools as Authentic Research Communities. The SAA Archaeological Record 6(1):25–29.

PRECS Summer Research “Invaluable” to Students

Ten science-focused students from community colleges across Illinois and two other states came to Champaign recently to participate in the inaugural summer of PRECS (Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students), a research experience for undergraduates program (REU) funded by the National Science Foundation. PRECS provides community college students with authentic research experiences in the area of phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon in which a single genotype produces multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Our summer program started with a two-week boot camp at Parkland College on May 24. The boot camp prepared participants for the eight-week research immersion portion of the program, where students became integrated into research laboratories at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The immersion portion ran through July 26.

PRECS is different from the NSF’s other REU programs in two ways. First, although most programs include research immersion experience, it is less common to have a boot camp. Second, many REU programs are designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior years, while PRECS is specially designed to meet the needs of community college students, who may not have had any research experience and relatively few college-level science courses. In fact, as far as we can tell, PRECS is the first NSF REU in the field of biology to be open exclusively to community college students and to have a community college faculty member as one of the creators and administrators of the program.

As our program wraps up, two PRECS participants,  Elliot Ping and Aaron West, share a bit about their experiences and what they are taking away from this excellent summer opportunity (below).

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“PRECS provided a platform for growth and learning, both academically and professionally, while also providing a candid look at what it’s like to be a part of a research lab. The program has been a whirlwind of learning opportunities (including the mistakes and frustrations that often come paired with them) from start to finish. These experiences, from the outright failures to the great successes, are all good preparation for what it means to be a person in research.

An average workday for me was 9 am to 5 pm, sometimes earlier or later depending on what we were doing. If we could only get a timeslot on the confocal microscope at 8 am or at 6 pm, for example, then the day would be adjusted differently. The specific project I was working on involved a lot of downtime between steps while things ran their course, so I had the opportunity to learn other skills (like R programming and other software skills), read papers, and shadow other members of the lab.

My favorite moment was when we finally got our antibodies to work. We were at the confocal microscope doing a continuous scan to get a look at the brain tissue, and we found real colocalized staining on the sample. It felt good to see my efforts come together and to get good images of something, especially after something like two weeks of repeated failure.

This summer, I have gained more perspective about science as an institution than I gathered through the entire course of my associate’s degree. Research is not the simple, straightforward thing many people think it to be. It is failing and trying again, or trying something else, until you get it right, and, like with most other things worth doing, it takes practice, patience, and outright stubbornness to gain the skills necessary to make success a possibility.

I will hold close to my heart for a very long time the relationships I have built and the education I have received, both formal and informal, from working and studying in the PRECS program. The opportunity to work, learn, and present, especially when coupled with the guidance of so many knowledgeable, experienced people, has been, and will likely continue to prove itself to be, utterly invaluable to my development as a student and as a professional-in-the-making in the sciences. I am so grateful to Parkland College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for working to make this opportunity for community college students possible. It has been a privilege to be involved with PRECS, and I would encourage any community college student who thinks research may be for them to look into this or other opportunities as something that can both broaden their horizons for the future and deepen their understanding and appreciation of the things they are learning in the classroom.”   — Elliot Ping

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“I am honored to have been picked to participate in PRECS (Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students). Coming from a community college located in the south suburbs of Chicago, I only had a vague sense of what being in a lab entailed. What PRECS would go on to teach me this summer is the community a lab has. Every lab is different, specializing in different fields, participating in different research.

PRECS has been a great program to participate in over the past 10 weeks. It has prepared a mindset geared toward graduate school. PRECS has exposed me to real-world scientific practices, and stresses. PRECS gave me a true experience, exposing me to what my life would be like after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. I feel more prepared moving forward with my education. Whether I go on to continue scientific research or not is not foreseen, but I know that it is a viable option.” — Aaron West

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For more information about PRECS, visit precs.igb.illinois.edu.

[C. Britt Carlson, PhD, is an associate professor of chemistry in the  Natural Sciences department at Parkland College.]

Graphic Design Students Earn $$ For Excellence

Last night at the 2017 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, eight students split $1,100 in cash awards for exhibiting excellent work.

Every year, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs have the opportunity to showcase their best work in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. This year, 207 entries were received and 137 entries were accepted by a jury of our design faculty.

Then, two industry professionals were invited to come in to judge the entries and to select the award winners. This year’s judges were Maria Ludeke, design studio manager at Neutral Design Studio and Ralph Roether, graphic designer at Champaign Park District. Their mission: Find the best 11 pieces in the show and then select the one piece that would receive the coveted “best of show” award.

“Judging this years show proved challenging as we had to pick just one best of show,” said Maria. “These students will do so well moving forward in their careers. They show great creativity, execution, and capacity to make beautiful, thoughtful work.”

“I was honored to be a judge for the Parkland Graphic Design Show,” added Ralph. “It was enlightening to see how many different aspects of design are being taught: print, packaging, logos, identity, history, web, digital, video titles, animation etc. I’m a little jealous. What a fantastic program to have available to our community.”

“I was thrilled to see the breadth of student work produced by Parkland’s Graphic Design program,” added Maria. “The professors at Parkland have prepared them well for transitioning into the professional world of design and marketing.”

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, and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO), who all donated cash awards. CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

More than 270 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

Motion Design by Jason Dockins (click image to view)

 

• Illustration Best of Show

Illustration by Shannon Martin

 

• Typography Best of Show

Packaging by Emily Gorski

 

• President’s Award of Excellence

Poster by Shannon Martin

 

• CUDO Award of Excellence

Packaging by Justin Klett

 

• Surface 51 Award of Excellence

Packaging by Brooke Armstrong

 

• Studio 2D Design Strategy Award

Web Mockup by Brooke Armstrong

 

• [co][lab] Award of Excellence

Calendar by Brielle Arnold (Designer), Nikolas Atwood (Copywriter), Jason Dockins (Art Director), Shannon Martins (Illustrator)

 

• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence

Poster by Justin Klett

 

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

Packaging by Kristy Lau

 

• Fine and Applied Arts Department Chair Award

Book Cover by Emily Gorski

 

The 2017 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery through June 1. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm (closed Saturday and Sunday).

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

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

Pathophysiology, the Bridge to Understanding

It’s one thing to know WHAT disease or injury a person suffers from. It’s another thing entirely to understand WHY he or she became sick or injured in the first place.

If you’re studying to be in a Parkland College Health Professions program, or even if you’re already in a health career, you may not yet have made the important connection that fits these two pieces of knowledge together.  In fact, most clinical programs in the U.S. acknowledge a slight disconnect between foundational health career courses and the applied clinical practice. What is needed, they recognize, is a ‘bridge’ of understanding that can answer the question: What has gone wrong within the basic anatomy and physiology of a particular patient to cause the disease or condition that they present with?

With a basic knowledge of pathophysiology, you can come to understand this link and be on your way to delivering better care for your patients.

Pathophysiology (BIO 225) is that bridge; this course describes the underlying disturbances in the basic homeostatic mechanisms that lead to the signs and symptoms of selected diseases. In other words, you can learn to determine what is it that causes the problems associated with congestive heart failure, glomerulonephritis, or a host of other maladies that we humans can get.  

Professor John Moore teaches BIO 225 this summer, and students find that he makes that health education-clinical practice connection lots clearer. One of his students commented:

I have learned some of the same material in my health career classes, but [Professor Moore’s] presentation of the subject matter makes it much more tangible. When he teaches, I get it. I never want to miss any of his classes.”

BIO 225 meets  Mondays and Wednesdays,  1–3:50 p.m., from June 19 to Aug. 10 in Room X104. For more information, visit Parkland College’s summer class schedule or go to the my.parkland student portal.

[Cindy Smith is program manager for Arts and Sciences at Parkland College.]

 

Internationalizing Parkland Curriculum: A Personal Journey

A few years ago, Parkland College Study Abroad Coordinator Jody Littleton challenged me to think about how my classes could be different and possibly even better through adding more cultural reflection. When teaching in the quantitative sciences, it is easy to overlook the power that curriculum infused with an international perspective can have on student learning.

I had fallen prey to the mindset that I just needed to “get through the material” as presented in the book and on the Course Information Forms. After ruminating on her suggestion, though, I realized that I might be able to teach specific topics better if I created well-thought-out assessments with a global outlook. Jody and I continued the conversation, and when several Parkland faculty partnered with Joliet Junior College to travel to China a month ago (March 2017), I joined in.

It was a trip of a lifetime that opened my eyes to what may have been missing from my teaching. For one, this trip made my feet itch with the desire to travel outside of the US for my professional development. How can I teach about unique nutritional deficiencies, different modes of physical activity in the world, living quarters’ impact on health, medical training, and more if I only have a book for reference? I also quickly realized that my perspectives on China had been missing critical pieces of information; once abroad, I was able to form a holistic picture of Chinese culture and better compare it to the US as well as other to countries I have visited. While many topics I had studied prior to my trip were “mostly correct,” visiting China clarified several misconceptions, gave me a new appreciation, and allowed me to better understand the full picture.

What I Learned During the Faculty Study Abroad

  • I was shocked to see how quickly China is becoming Westernized, to the point that McDonald’s delivers in many cities in China. At the train station waiting for the bullet train, there were two KFC restaurants as well as a McDonald’s in one moderate-sized train station.
  • At the farmer’s market, we saw many choices that we don’t see in the United States. Lamb intestine, cow stomach, chicken feet, and more were sitting out for purchase from morning until evening, with patrons bringing them home to cook for dinner. When we were invited to eat with the Nanjing Technical School faculty and deans, we were able to sample more of the local fair, including duck heads, a native delicacy. (In case you were wondering, you eat duck heads like oysters.)
  • Most places we ate at served food “family style” with a turntable in the center. Plates were significantly smaller than in the US. Because everyone is sharing, I didn’t want to take more food than would be socially appropriate, so, it encouraged me to eat more modest portions than I am accustomed to eating. I also learned that rice is often not served in China if the host would like to impress you with the quality of food offered. Rice is not the food of the rich. The rich eat a meat- and fish-based diet with significantly fewer vegetables than China has historically consumed. In turn, there is a marked rise in obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes.
  • Even on good days, the smog in some locations of China would impede my ability to see the sun and, possibly, my ability to synthesize enough vitamin D to meet my nutritional needs without supplementation/fortification.
  • Toilets in China are often similar to the stalls you see here.  We discussed that women would realistically need to retain the ability to perform a deep squat if they were to use a public toilet. However, it seemed of little concern as many older individuals in China had a greater range of motion than we see in the US. Possibly due to the toilets?
  • When we visited a local park at 10  a.m. during the weekday, we noted that many people engaged in exercise…dance, tai chi, fencing, badminton, etc. Retirees in China do not retire to the couch. They get out during the day to enjoy other’s company as well as keep active physically and mentally.

How What I Learned Changed My Curriculum

  • Now, in each module of my BIO 120 class (Fundamentals of Nutrition), students have the opportunity to present a module-specific cultural comparison between China and the US. During the digestive system module, students can discuss the incidence of specific GI disorders in China relative to the US. For example, a student researched and found a higher incidence of lactose intolerance/maldigestion in China due to both environmental and genetic factors.
  • My KIN 288 (Exercise Physiology) class is finding peer-reviewed journal articles comparing topics such as air quality impact on VO2max, changes in childhood obesity rates in response to Westernization, and the selection and training of Olympic hopefuls in China.
  • In all of my classes, students have the option of creating a video focusing on the cultural comparison between China and the US. We are partnering with our PCTV studio, and many of the videos will become available on YouTube mid-May.

Overall, visiting China was a surreal, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I constantly took pictures, spoke with locals, and absorbed all the nuances I could. Other Parkland College faculty who participated in this grant echo my sentiments, and we plan to collectively present  about our experiences this September. We look forward to sharing more of our perspectives then.

[An associate professor in  Natural Sciences, Toni Burkhalter was Parkland College’s Teaching Excellence Award winner for 2016].

2017 International Cultures Fair

20th Annual International Cultures Fair 
Thursday, March 30, 11am–4pm
Parkland College Student Union

Photo by Heather Coit/The News-Gazette
Zilkia Guzman, a second-year Parkland Student, shows off the Henna work, created by Mahomet-based Zainab Susi, at the 19th annual Cultures Fair at Parkland College’s Student Union in Champaign on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

Everyone is invited to attend the Cultures Fair at Parkland College this Thursday. The event is free, and will feature an exciting lineup of musical artists and speakers from around the world. There will be a jerk chicken lunch in U140 to raise money for a new international student scholarship. Student clubs and organizations will also have tables with information and fun activities, including henna tattoos!

U140
11:30–1: JERK CHICKEN LUNCH, catered by Caribbean Grill (tickets $6; all proceeds go to a new International Student Scholarship).  Until the food runs out!

1:30–2:10 Japanese Tea Ceremony.  Japan House from UIUC will present Chado, the Way of Tea, which is one of the most time honored Japanese traditional arts. It encompasses all of the different Japanese art forms, aesthetics, and philosophy. Codified almost four hundred years ago by Sen Rikyu, the greatest tea master, the four spirits of tea signify the highest ideals of the Way of Tea: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.

3–4 pm: Campus Talk:  Professor Hua Qin from the University of Missouri-Columbia uncovers the relationship between migration and the environment in China and how this information may lead to better sustainability and policies in China.

Main Stage Student Union
11:00–11:45: Super Mazumzum: Playing Afro Beat, Soukous, Township Jive, Malawian Afroma, and more, Super Mazumzum is Champaign-Urbana’s premier African Jazz band performing music from artists ranging from Manu Dibango to Mafikizolo.

Noon–12:45: Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi: Congolese rumba with flavors of gospel, jazz and African rhythms. Bomoyi means “life” in the native language of Lingala. In addition to Lingala they sing in English, French, Kikongo, Swahili, and Tshiluba.

1:00–1:30: Gah Rahk Mah Dahng: Korean Traditional Percussion student club at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They play a genre called Samulnori, featuring four different instruments. These instruments were traditionally played together in prayer for good harvest. Nowadays they are often played for both musical performance and social protest.

2:00–2:45: Los Guapos: an instrumental quartet specializing in folk and popular music traditions of Latin America. The group performs a unique blend of Cumbia, Peruvian Chicha, Conjunto Cubano, and psychedelic rock styles.

Parkland Student Club Tables
English Conversation Club, German Club, Spanish, Study Abroad, Japanese Culture Club, Club Latino, henna tattoos, and more!

The fair is being sponsored by the UIUC’s Center for Global Studies, through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC program. Additional funding has been provided by the UIUC Center for African Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies as well as the Division of Arts and Sciences, the Counseling and Advising Center, and Student Government at Parkland College.

Middle, High Schoolers Coming to Science Olympiad at Parkland

Towers will be tested, robots will be reaching, and hovercraft will be hovering for science! The regional Science Olympiad competition will take place at Parkland College this Saturday, March 4.

The Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students from over a dozen area schools. Students will work hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and technology. Our awards ceremonies will be held in the Dodds Athletic Center beginning at 3:15 pm;  top teams will then compete at the state tournament, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 29.

During the regional tourney, each team will participate in 23 events spread out across campus. Our X wing will have students testing Rube Goldberg devices. Our gym will host students operating helicopters. Students will be using their wind turbines in our M wing. Others will be studying microbes in the L wing or looking at constellations in the Staerkel Planetarium.

The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science! Campus volunteers will be helping to run the events in this competition. For more information, contact Erik Johnson at ejohnson@parkland.edu.

[Erik Johnson is a full-time faculty member in Parkland College’s Natural Sciences department.]

 

Seville Spain Street Performers

Enjoy some Seville, Spain, street music today, compliments of Scott Barnes, one of our study abroad students in Spain. Sign up for study abroad and you can experience these wonderful performances in person!

Contact Jody Littleton at jlittleton@parkland.edu or 217/351-2532 today.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/oM4m0c8p1GI

PRECS: A new opportunity for community college students

How does the environment affect plant and animal development? An exciting new research opportunity for community college students coming to Parkland College this summer will give students a look at some of the answers.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-12-27-14-pmCalled PRECS, or Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, the program is designed to provide community college students with authentic research experiences in the area of phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon of a single genotype producing multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Parkland’s Dr. C. Britt Carlson and Dr. Nathan Schroeder of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the program’s creators, recently announced that PRECS will be up and running May 24 to July 26, 2017. PRECS was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Overview

The 10 community college students who will be chosen to participate in PRECS will be paired with research mentors at the University of Illinois, working on such projects as:

  • the interaction between genotype and ozone pollution on maize growth
  • the effect of environmental stress on neuroanatomy
  • the interactions of genes and environment on fish behavior

1) Boot Camp
To tailor to community college students, who may not have had any research experience and relatively few college-level science courses, PRECS starts with a 2-week “boot-camp” to prepare students to conduct research at the University of Illinois.

2) Research Immersion
After this preparation, students enter an 8-week research immersion program at the University of Illinois.

3) Presentations
Students will then present their research at their home community college as well as at an undergraduate research symposium on the University of Illinois campus.

Program Benefits

Participation in a program like PRECS is a great way for students to gain experience, create new contacts, explore future careers, and build their resumes:

  • Throughout the program, student participants will gain hands-on experience, learning while they explore the world of research science. PRECS provides students with the background needed to be successful in a research laboratory and an opportunity to use those skills doing real science at the University of Illinois.
  • Participants will work closely with UIUC researchers and other community college science students, creating a network within their professional field.
  • Participation in this program will be a great resume-builder, as students will be able to show future academic institutions and employers evidence of their expertise in the sciences and their ability to take initiative, work independently, and work collaboratively.

PRECS also provides students with a $5,500 stipend for participation in the program. Housing, food, and travel (if needed) allowances are also available.

Eligibility

Students interested in participating in PRECS must be attending a community college, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and have completed General Biology I (General Chemistry I is also preferred). PRECS encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups.

Applications for summer 2017 are due March 15. For more information on PRECS, please visit precs.igb.illinois.edu.

[Dr. C. Britt Carlson is an associate professor in chemistry at Parkland College.]

Open House: Time to Check Out Parkland College

So many exciting things are happening at Parkland this fall, we just have to have an Open House to show the place off!

Friday, October 28 is a perfect time to come and check out Parkland. From noon to 2 pm that day, there will be student services and academic members at tables in the Student Union atrium to explain their programs.

Plus, new this year, the Anatomage and new Earth Science Labs will be open to show what cutting edge tools look like. Anatomage is a digital dissection table that medical schools are beginning to use to train students. The touchscreen monitor provides three different individuals that students can explore in the 3D environment. Meanwhile, the Earth Science lab will feature an augmented reality sandbox (ARS), where students can learn how to read and interpret topographical maps in 3D.

From noon to 3 pm that same day, our Health Professions department is featuring all their programs, both in the L and H wings. The H wing on Mattis Avenue includes our Massage Therapy, Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paramedic, Medical Assisting, Certified Nursing, and Nursing programs. Back at the main campus, the L wing will best suit those students interested in Vet Tech, Dental Hygiene, Radiologic Tech, Surgical Technology, and Respiratory Care. It’s definitely possible to visit both locations in the same day if you are interested in more than one program.

The Open House is a low-stress way of exploring Parkland College, with tours every 20 minutes and plenty of people on hand to answer your questions. In addition, there will be breakout sessions for financial aid, the Parkland Pathway to Illinois, and the first-year experience at Parkland.

You can RSVP for the Open House at right here and let us know you’re coming!

[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

Parkland Study Abroad: Meet Scott Christopher

What’s the first thing a student tells me when they come back from study abroad? This was the best experience of my life and has changed my life forever.” I encourage you to follow Communication major Scott Christopher Barnes on his life-changing experience abroad and live vicariously through him until you can go on your own Parkland study abroad! In this first video, Scott introduces himself and a few new friends.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.


***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

5 Reasons Why Everybody Should Play Guitar

1. It’s one of the world’s most popular instruments. Millions of people play guitar, so you’ll always have a friend to play music with or somebody to help you learn to play a little better.

2. A little guitar goes a long way. Learn how to play a few chords and a basic strum, and you’ll be able to play hundreds of songs.

3. It’s incredibly versatile. Guitar styles range from classical to heavy metal to country to jazz. Almost any music that you enjoy can be played on the guitar.

4. You can progress quickly. You can go from playing just a few chords and scales to more challenging music in a short period of time.

5. It makes you instantly more attractive. Just kidding, but according to the Internet, there might actually be some truth to that!

 

Are you ready to play guitar? MUS 164, Class Guitar, starts September 13 and meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 through December 9. Beginners are welcome, as are more seasoned players who want to improve their playing.

We’ll explore a variety of musical styles from folk to rock to jazz, and build a solid foundation of overall musicianship studying guitar playing technique and music theory.

Register for MUS 164 at my.parkland.edu or contact Admissions at admissions@parkland.edu or 217/351-2482, or visit the Admissions Office in U214.

Young Kim teaches class guitar at Parkland and leads the Parkland Guitar Ensemble.

Do You Write Well? Submit Your Essay and Win $500!

Want to improve your writing skills, while having a chance at winning $500? Consider entering the Diana McDonald Award for Outstanding Achievement in Creative Nonfiction!

This semester, we have redesigned the Writer’s Challenge: We seek essays from any student enrolled in a Humanities Department course (English, Critical Comprehension Skills, English as a Second Language, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Literature, Philosophy, Humanities, Religion, Spanish, German, French, Japanese). Ideally, we are looking for an essay that connects your personal experiences, insights, and observations to larger ongoing conversations in our world—about politics, philosophy, science, media, justice, family, race, happiness, the environment, or whatever else you are interested in.

You may revise and submit an essay that you have written for a course or you may write an essay specifically for this contest.

To give some background: Several years ago, a retired Parkland English faculty member, Diana McDonald, began The Writer’s Challenge. Diana feels passionately about good writing and has fond memories of working with students who were eager to work hard to polish their writing. So she began this award as a way to give students some extra incentive to polish their essays. Her hope has been that her award will generate, among students, enthusiasm for writing well.

Do you have an essay of which you’re particularly proud? Or do you have something you are particularly interested in writing about? Please see these two attachments—the Writer’s Challenge information and our Writer’s  Challenge application form—to get started.

By the way, we will post the winning essay on Parkland’s open access repository, SPARK. If you would like to read the essay that Diana McDonald awarded last fall semester, you can go to: http://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/ and click on the little PDF icon on the left.

[Seth Mendelowitz is a full-time faculty member in Parkland’s Humanities department.]

UIUC Student Touts Parkland Transfer

Hundreds of University of Illinois students, like marketing senior Brent Loth, take Parkland College classes each year to shorten the road to their Illinois degrees. Below, Brent shares why university students should explore Parkland transfer options.

*************

As a University of Illinois student, I sometimes find myself in a bind. I want to get my degree as soon as possible, but it can be hard to get in all the courses I need throughout the school year. I also have additional pressures, like being financially responsible and finding the right learning setting to prepare myself for life after college.

Luckily, I have lived in Champaign for most of my life and know that Parkland College carries a fantastic reputation for its education and atmosphere. After talking with my academic advisor, we decided Parkland would be a great fit for my college objectives, and I found some classes I could take during the summers to earn my degree in a timely way and stay productive during my time off from the U of I.

I was able to transfer classes with ease and had a smaller learning environment, getting individual attention that helped with classes I found difficult. I got to know my teachers on a personal level while getting the same credits I could earn at the U of I for a fraction of the cost.

So far, I have taken Intro to Marketing, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Spanish 1. Now, as I prepare to graduate this upcoming year, my positive experiences influenced me to also finish language requirements with Parkland this fall. I plan to do so along with my other U of I classes.

I recommend Parkland classes for the following reasons:

1. Taking classes at Parkland can help you earn your degree faster, especially during summer and winter breaks.

2. You get more individual attention to narrow your focus for class, which helps with subjects you find challenging.

3. It helps ease financial stresses for yourself and your family.

4. Many classes transfer and have equivalency toward your degree.

I encourage you to talk to your academic advisor to see if Parkland would be a good fit for you. It turned out to be an amazing resource for me, and I know you will be happy with what the school has to offer. – Brent Loth

***Visit the Parkland College website for more information on concurrent enrollment for UIUC students.***

[Hilary Valentine is the associate director of marketing at Parkland.]

 

 

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

klinger_packagingwine
Packaging by Christie Klinger

 

• Illustration Best of Show

klinger_orchidposter
Poster by Christie Klinger

 

• Typography Best of Show

hilary pope herblubalin
Editorial spread by Hilary Pope

 

• President’s Award of Excellence

martin-seven-samurai
Poster by Shannon Martin

 

• CUDO Award of Excellence

klinger_packagingme
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

rogers-businessapps
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!

presentationcenter1

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.]

169 Entries, $1400 in Awards, One Night to Celebrate

Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs feature intensive hands-on studio classes that are rooted in real-world problem solving. Students start building portfolio samples in their first semester and then keep building them throughout the two-year program. The best of these projects are featured every year in a juried exhibition in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery.

Poster by Bethany Manalo

Solving visual communication problems is not easy. Students have to communicate a concept, utilize design principles to make it look good, learn to embrace centuries-old typographic traditions, master powerful digital tools with steep learning curves, and then justify their design decisions to the client.

jason dockins
T-shirt design by Jason Dockins

Despite these and many other challenges, our students rise to the challenge and embrace creative problem solving as a way of life. When they succeed, they are very proud of their work. As instructors, so are we. That’s why every spring, we take the best examples from our studio classes and put them in our art gallery for the world to see.

Book cover by Cayden Bergschneider

Every year, we also invite two industry professionals to come in to judge the show and to select the awards. This year’s judges were delighted with the results. “I was thrilled to be a judge for this year’s show,” said Kelly White, the executive director of 40 North. “The graphic design program at Parkland is outstanding and it was impressive to see the students’ resolutions to such a variety of concepts, applications, and current trends. They are exploring the critical foundations of typography while also creating some amazing illustrations and experimenting with what is successful communication and impactful marketing strategies. It was a blast being a judge and this will be a fantastic show!”

Matt Wiley, a well-renowned local illustrator and graphic designer at Taylor Studios added, “I loved seeing the variety of work this year and am honored to be involved in encouraging upcoming artists in Champaign-Urbana.”

Map by Martha Henigman

Special thanks for the generous support from the people at 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 is also the co-sponsor the opening reception.

Come out and help celebrate another year of dedication, passion, sweat and tears. Expect to see great examples of advertising, branding, packaging, posters, brochures, T-shirts, motion graphics, websites, illustration, and other examples of commercial work. Be sure to RSVP on Facebook to see sneak peaks leading up to the event.

Poster by Brielle Arnold
Poster by Brielle Arnold
THE DETAILS
  • Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 11, 5–7pm
    (RSVP on Facebook)
  • Awards ceremony at 6:30pm
  • Musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble
  • Exhibition dates: May 9–28, 2016
  • Summer gallery hours: Mon–Thurs 10am–7pm; Sat noon–2pm
  • Location: Giertz Gallery at Parkland College,
    2400 W Bradley Ave., Champaign

Parkland’s Illustration instructor Liza Wynette will give a gallery talk titled “The State of Contemporary Illustration” immediately after the awards ceremony. Her gallery talk will feature recent student and professional art commissioned for editorial, advertising, and other commercial applications.

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

Middle and high school students come to Parkland for the Science Olympiad

Rockets will be launched and bridges will be destroyed for science! The regional Science Olympiad will take place at Parkland College on Saturday, March 5.

The Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students from over a dozen area schools. Students will be working hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and technology. The top teams will get a chance to compete at the state tournament, which takes place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 16. The awards ceremonies will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre beginning at 3:15 PM.

Each team will participate in 23 events spread out across campus. If you check out the Student Union, you may find students testing gliders or operating robot arms. The X wing will have students testing Rube Goldberg devices. Students will be using their wind turbines in the Dodds Athletic Center. Others will be studying invasive species in the L wing and looking at constellations in the Staerkel Planetarium.

The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science! Volunteers for this event will be provided with breakfast and lunch. If you are interested in helping us run these events, you can sign up to volunteer here: http://vols.pt/pd3zs8.

Pink Floyd is Back! Well . . . Sort of . . .

laser_posterThe William M. Staerkel Planetarium, being a science facility, is going to try an experiment: On the weekend of February 19/20 and again February 26/27, we will offer laser shows in the dome at 9:30 and 10:30pm.

The cost is $8 per person per show, with all tickets being sold at the door. You can find a full lineup of programming if you check out the planetarium website.

Now. some folks may dispute this fact, but this is the first time laser shows have been offered to the public beneath Staerkel’s dome. We’ve come close to it before: Back in 1990, members of the Parkland Astronomy Club met to discuss new projects, and someone mentioned doing a musical show at the planetarium as a fundraiser. We chose Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as the classic soundtrack for the new show. The planetarium staff proposed creating it as a laser show, but the college refused the request, so club members began looking for different ways to depict the show visually.

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Chuck Greenwood and Dave Leake develop the first light show.

Developing the First Light Show
One of the items we looked at were light beams. At that time, the planetarium sported 70 computer-controlled slide projectors. By placing a few holes at the bottom of a 35mm slide frame that’s all dark and then putting it through a projector, light would only come out through those holes. Then, with chemical fog in the room, you could see the beams. Turning on several projectors at once made it look like we had a multiple-projector laser system! This was evident during the opening of the song Time, where the clock’s tick-tocks were synced visually using one slide in each panorama projector and only one dot in the corner of each frame. By cross-fading the dots back and forth, we had beams crisscrossing in time to the music.

Our Carl Zeiss star projector looked great in the fog, too. As we spun the machine on its three axes (diurnal, latitude, and precession), you could see all the star beams as they left the machine and headed for the dome, again appearing like laser beams (though they weren’t). The original show’s creator, Chuck Greenwood, used a special projector called a “revealer” to perform a classic prism effect as well. Using a motor, he pulled an occulting frame across the focal plane of the projector, basically revealing from right to left whatever image is placed in the projector. So one regular slide projector projected the prism and the revealer allowed the image of a light beam to appear to enter the prism and split into the classic spectrum. We had to align this effect before every show, mounting the revealer upside down so as to display the image with the correct orientation.

2010 reunionOur Premiere Weekend was Hot…in More Ways than One!
Oddly enough, our light show debut was supposed to have a laser in it! Chuck had bought a laser and built the effects to go with it for the show. It failed literally right before our premiere, so we scrambled to put a short section of film in that spot. That section of film worked so well, it stayed in the show all the way to 2010!

On our opening weekend in May 1990, we sold out all four shows! We even had some “special guests” attend our late show one evening. During the spinning of the Zeiss in one song, we had strobes go off, which was an awesome effect. I told Chuck at the time that those looked really cool. He replied that he didn’t do those! It was the fire alarm! The fog had evidently become too thick, which had set off the alarm. Then we had to convince the audience that this was real.  I don’t think the fire department was all that happy to see why they had been summoned.

(Chuck later presented a paper at a regional conference titled “Laser Shows Without Lasers.” It raised a few eyebrows since no one was doing anything like this.)

End of the Light Show Run
Unfortunately, we had to stop doing our light shows (we never advertised them as laser shows) in 2010 when the Staerkel Planetarium went digital. We had to remove all the former slide projectors from the dome, thus making it impossible to do the lightbeam effects. The last light show we did was naturally Dark Side. I had tears in my eyes performing it for the last time. And Chuck flew all the way from Florida to attend the last show. I still have one of the 1990 posters framed in my basement. It had been quite a 20-year run!

Of course, our new Digistar 4 system is phenomenal. We can do so many more things with it than we could with slide projectors … but it won’t play the old shows.

Pink Floyd…Again!
Nearly six years later, I still get asked probably twice a week, “Hey, when are you going to do Floyd again?” The interest that remains for those shows is amazing. This brings us to the last two weekends of February 2016. With the help of Audio Visual Imagineering, we will be renting a laser system for these weekends. And on February 19, night number one of four, I’m insisting on a “Pink Floyd Night.” It will be Dark Side followed by The Wall. True, it won’t be the same show, but it will be nice to hear that classic lineup of songs in the dome, once again. I hope you’ll enjoy it with us!

[Dave Leake is director of the William M. Staerkel Planetarium.]

Taking UIUC Nano Research to Parkland Science

I closed out our fall semester pleased with how an opportunity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had shaped my Parkland College chemistry instruction for the better.

This past summer, I participated in the UIUC’s nano@illinois RET, a six-week professional development and research experience for teachers. The 12 participant-teachers had diverse experience and backgrounds, including middle school to community college math and science teachers, teachers from different states, and experienced and novice teachers. These differences made for a really interesting group of participants, and we ended up learning a great deal from each other.

Our group photo (from the nanoRET website).
Our group photo (from the nanoRET website).

We spent Mondays and Tuesdays in professional development sessions, learning about cutting-edge nanotechnology research, touring laboratories and facilities at UIUC, and discussing ways to translate nanotechnology research into the classroom environment. We spent the rest of our week on our individual research projects. The participant-teachers were assigned to a laboratory, a faculty mentor, and a research mentor, typically a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow.

Research projects included studying transmembrane proteins using nanodisc lipoprotein complexes, creating thin films with specific properties, manipulating graphene, and other topics. My project, conducted in Prof. Lynford Goddard’s Photonics Systems Laboratory, involved using light to etch a specific pattern into the surface of a silicon chip.

chipSilicon chips are important parts of modern computers. They are semiconductors and form the basis of integrated circuits. To create the circuits, specific patterns must be etched into the surface of the Si. The normal procedure for etching silicon to create these circuits with the correct design involves many steps and is time- and material-intensive, so if this project were successful, it could provide scientists with a faster and more straightforward process. This process also would be cheaper to conduct and chips could get to market faster. In the end, we were pleased that we were able to get the process to work. All in all, it was a successful summer.

I gained a lot by participating in this program. Before the summer, I had only limited experience with nanotechnology and even less experience with electrical engineering. I gained a lot of knowledge about the interface between chemistry and these other fields. This is something that I have brought into my classes already. For example, I now include discussion of the molecular differences between conductors, semiconductors, and insulators into my General Chemistry I (CHE 101) lecture.

I also made some great connections beyond Parkland. I learned a lot more about the UIUC and made many personal contacts. I also met and learned a great deal from some terrific STEM teachers from the local area and beyond.

Metalwork and Jewelry: Explore a Fascinating Art Form

While many Parkland students were finishing up the semester with papers and final exams, students in the metalworking/jewelry class were completing their final projects and discussing their work in an end-of-semester critique. Students who take ART 185/186, Metalwork and Jewelry I and II, work in a variety of different materials, processes, and designs as they learn technical skills including riveting, annealing, silver soldering, patinas (a chemical and/or heat reaction to the metal that produces color changes color), and texturizing.

One assignment was stone setting, where students learned to set a cabochon stone. They selected their own stone and each inspired a different kind of creativity. Here are some of the Metalwork and Jewelry I student projects:

circular pendant necklace
circular pendant necklace
Family heirloom stone set pendant (front)
Family heirloom stone set pendant (front)
Family Heirloom stone set pendant (back)
Family Heirloom stone set pendant (back)
Beveled stone set ring
Beveled stone set ring
Deer antler ring with pink camo stone
Deer antler ring with pink camo stone
Shield ring with stone setting
Shield ring with stone setting
Architectural Bracelet
Architectural Bracelet
Architectural Bracelet (knit)
Architectural Bracelet (knit)

This class is an elective, and is open to art and design majors and non-majors alike. This semester’s students included a sculpture major, someone preparing to transfer into fashion design at a four-year college, a retired engineer, a graphic designer, a homemaker, and a construction technology major. We welcome the new insights and fresh perspectives these students bring.

Another assignment for advanced students was to create reliquaries involving personal meaning and reflection along with technical challenges and instruction. Brooches were also explored for their historical meaning as well as the concept of a series through incorporating design elements. Here are some of those pieces:

Silver Fibula brooch with stone
Silver Fibula brooch with stone

Historic Fibula Design

Stick Pin Brooch series
Stick Pin Brooch series
Rabbit and the Hare Reliquary
Rabbit and the Hare Reliquary
Bird Skull Reliquary
Bird Skull Reliquary

Metalwork and Jewelry I (ART 185) and Metalwork and Jewelry II (ART 186) are both offered on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 9-11:45am OR Mondays/Wednesdays from 5:30-8:45pm**. Class sizes are limited but a few seats are still available for spring 2016. Current students may register at my.parkland.edu; new students should go to parkland.edu/getstarted.

**The Monday/Wednesday sessions are now available as a LATE-START option, starting Feb. 1. Last date to register (new degree-seeking students) is Jan. 26.

 

 

New Heart-Rate Tech Helps Teams, Trainers

Parkland College’s new Polar Team Pro heart rate telemetry system contains technology primarily used by professional and collegiate sports teams to track training volume.  Parkland acquired the system when it was released internationally this summer; we were the first to have the system in the United States.

Our Cobras Women’s Soccer team is currently using the system to make sure they are not over- or under-training during their competitive season. But they’re not the only ones benefiting from this new technology. Dalton Swenson, one of our student trainers, explains below.

 

Training Tool. The athlete wears the transmitter during games and competitions, and it records multiple data points for that person. Inside the transmitter is an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, and GPS, as well as other technologies. As the athlete trains outdoors, Polar has 13 satellites that look for the signal. When four satellites pick up the signal, the athlete’s position on earth is monitored, as well as her speed of movement, change of direction, etc.

So, the athlete/coach can review the practice/game and see exactly where the athelete was during every second of that session, what their heart rate was at the time, how fast they were moving, etc. All of the data points objectively help tell the athlete how hard the session was for her on that day, and how long she will need to recover from it. It will also give total calories burned during the session so the athlete knows how much food she needs to refuel.

Learning Tool. Our Parkland Kinesiology students are learning the system and are helping the intercollegiate coaching staffs here interpret the data to give practical advice to student athletes on training intensity, training volume, nutrition, and recovery strategies. It gives our students experience with a product that is typically seen with world-class soccer programs (such as our United States women’s team), the NBA, NFL, and Division I football and basketball.

If they want to become a strength and conditioning coach, or work in the growing field of analytics, this technology gives them a huge leg up on the competition. It also aids the personal trainer or physical education instructor who is going to work with a different clientele, but where heart-rate telemetry can be highly effective in aiding the client.

For the regular person, there are inexpensive heart-rate transmitters that an individual could use to get similar information on their own workouts. Obviously they won’t be as fancy or intricate as this system, but they will help you make important training decisions and get a clear understanding of how hard a session really was.

[Chris Warren is director of the Parkland Kinesiology program.]

Holiday Faves in “Food-Raiser” Choral Concert

As we quickly approach the holiday season, the Parkland College Chamber Singers have been busy organizing their second annual “Night of Readings and Carols,” a concert and food drive for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

dec12concert

Idea, Goal for the “Food-raiser”
The idea for this type of performance and “food-raiser” came in fall 2014, when we were planning to schedule our first-ever Chamber-Singers-only performance. Our students discussed ways in which we could help give back to our community, and we came up with the idea of collaborating with EIF, setting up donation boxes at our concert. Last year’s event raised over 100 pounds of food and brought in at least $100 to help this great service. Our goal this year is to fill at least three boxes with items for the foodbank and collect 200 pounds or more of nonperishable food items.

Ensembles Performing at Event
In addition to our choral performance, we will also be joined by a brass trio comprised of students from Parkland College as well as a guitar duet of local musicians and teachers from the Upper Bout, Champaign’s sophisticated music shop.

The Chamber Singers will perform many sacred works, including traditional chants such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, There is Faint Music, and Amen! Tell it on the Mountain.  Not only will our group, 12-members strong, be performing, but many smaller ensembles from our community will also join us. We will hear madrigals by a quartet, O Holy Night by a trio conducted by a wonderful student conductor, and a song from the female members of this ensemble, who will take us to Spain by singing a traditional Christmas carol about the baby Jesus. This concert will include audience participation in singing four carols, and members of the ensemble will give both sacred and secular readings to get us in the holiday spirit.

Date, Time for “Night of Readings and Carols”
Our concert will take place Saturday, December 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 309 W. Green Street in Urbana. The concert begins at 7pm, with the doors’ opening and food drive beginning at 6:20pm. Pre-concert music will be provided by the aforementioned brass trio and guitar duet.

Please bring any and all nonperishable food items to make your donation upon admission. Of course, this is not required to attend the performance, but every little bit helps. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Coffee and Tea: Cups and Dessert Benefit

 

Coffee and Tea: Cups and Dessert Benefit 
for the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
Thursday, December 3, 4 -7pm
Tickets are $30 each or two for $50
Silent Auction ending at 6:30pm
Traditional Irish music by Fair Play featuring Lisa Boucher

DSC_0019Come join us in the Art Gallery Lounge for an evening of fun and the opportunity to support the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. Each ticket includes selecting a beautiful handmade cup thrown by our very own Parkland students and faculty in the Ceramics classes.

While you’re there, enjoy a large selection of desserts baked fresh by the Parkland College Hospitality program; Columbia Street Roastery will provide hot tea and freshly brewed coffee. The event will also feature traditional Irish music by Fair Play featuring Lisa Boucher.

You can also peruse our silent auction with over 30 works that include bowls, vases, serving dishes, and pitchers. Also included is a lithograph donated by Gerry Guthrie, professor emeritus from the University of Illinois Art and Design program, as well as a photograph by Craig McMonigal, an award-winning photography instructor at Parkland College who is retiring this year.

Live music, floral centerpieces designed by the Floral Design class at Parkland, and white tablecloths transform the Gallery Lounge into a festive location to celebrate the arts and support the gallery.

rutile green lidded jar

This event occurs every other year to raise money for the Giertz Gallery. It is held at the same time that the gallery hosts the State of the Art: Biennial Ceramics Invitational. This year the exhibition is curated by no other than Chris Berti, Professor of Art and Design at Parkland College. The exhibit includes artwork by eleven contemporary ceramic artists from all over the country and features work by Randy Carlson, Sunshine Cobb, Michael Corney, Paul Eshelman, Meredith Host, Doug Jeppesen, Beth Lo, Jan McKeachie Johnston, Randy Johnston, Joseph Pintz, and Luba Sharapan (AKA Darn Pottery).

DSC_0016DSC_0007

View many of the Silent Auction works online by visiting the Giertz Gallery Facebook Album or website . Guests are able to place bids on various artworks and the bidding will end at 6:30pm.

Tickets to the gallery benefit are $30 or two for $50, with advanced purchase recommended; cups will be chosen on a first come, first serve basis. To purchase tickets, please contact the Giertz Gallery office at 217/351-2485, visit our website or stop by the Giertz Gallery.

Our hours are Monday through Thursday from 10am to 7pm and Saturdays noon to 2pm. Please check ahead of time for our hours over the holidays. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Go Ahead, Go Global!

Global Cultural Competence (HCS 236-201) is an exciting new course being offered at Parkland College in the spring! It promises to be a fun course in which to learn about other cultures from around the world.

There is increasing need in the US to develop better global cultural competence so that citizens work and communicate effectively with people from around the world, especially in the workplace.

cherry-blossom-9110754This course will feature interactive learning projects that engage students in learning about global cultures and developing effective cross-cultural communication skills for the workplace.

Course curriculum is designed for Health Professions, Criminal Justice, and Education majors but is open to all students.

The course will be taught by Michele Spading.  It is a two-hour, hybrid, late-start course that meets Mondays, 3-4:50 p.m.

HCS 236-201 is part of a project sponsored by the Center for Global Studies at UIUC, through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC program.

Screeching Good Times at Parkland’s Giertz Gallery!

 

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“Ornithology” exhibit features works by artists Monique Luchetti (left) and Barbara Kendrick.

 

Ornithology: Works by Barbara Kendrick and Monique Luchetti
runs through Saturday, November 7, at Giertz Gallery.

This exhibition has been a hit at the gallery so far! A reception took place Thursday, October 1, with a brief gallery talk by both artists and musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble. People who attended the event were able to hear about the artwork firsthand.

Barbara and Monique have a fascination and sympathy with birds, but their work is divergent in concepts, material, and process. Although the artists take different approaches in their body of work, they both use images of birds to speak to the ways our lives are inextricably tied together, interdependent and bound to the earth for survival.

“We are alive in a world where the distinction between what we know to be human and what we believe to be animal is shrinking,” the artists have said about their exhibit.

And speaking of birds…

Owl-1
Quasi the Screech Owl from the Anita Purvis Nature Center.

In addition to the artist lectures, and in tandem with Parkland College’s Sustainable Campus Committee, there will be a special program titled “Owls and Avian Adaptations” on Tuesday, October 20 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. in the Gallery Lounge. Savannah Donovan from the Urbana Park District’s Anita Purves Nature Center will introduce you to Quasi the Eastern screech owl.

Savannah will show you the amazing adaptations that allow owls to thrive in darkness. You will also get to see other avian specimens for comparison. October is Campus Sustainability Month, and the Sustainable Campus Committee will be hosting a series of activities and events throughout the month at Parkland. Please visit the Parkland College website for more information.

Now, back to the “Ornithology” exhibit!

Barbara Kendrick is a local artist and a retired professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She admires birds’ ability to survive and adapt to new, sometimes hostile environments. The way they build nests in the alphabet of signs on storefronts, or gather cigarette butts to line their nests, informs her collages. As she makes her work, she tries to match her own sense of improvisation with that of the birds. Each collage opens up new questions about our connection to the way the birds live in our world.

Monique Luchetti, a Brooklyn-based studio artist, sifts through museums’ ornithology collections as if they were cemeteries, gleaning the identities of the birds for her drawings, preserved and tagged by humans for further study. Her drawings are a meditation of loss and remembering and on the contradiction inherent in humans: racing to collect, classify, and catalog species while continuing to haplessly destroy the same species through climate change and the devastation of the planet’s forests and oceans.

Barbara was recently interviewed by Melissa Merli at the News-Gazette; during the interview, she said, “In my own work, there has to be a sense of surprise and discovery or I get bored… Now I use found materials for the collages. I use everything. I grab images off the Internet. I use magazines. I use books. Lately I’ve been taking my own photographs. These are ink-jet prints. I read an essay about parakeets in the bare nerve garden and that was such an image to me. So I went on the Internet and found images of neurons and dendrites and printed them and took images of parakeets and put them in them among the dendrites.”

Giertz Gallery at Parkland College hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.

To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X-7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area.

Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/351-2505.

We hope to see you here soon!

Catch the Harvest Moon Eclipse This Weekend

The skies should be great for viewing the “harvest Moon” that will pass into the shadow of the Earth, resulting in a total lunar eclipse, this Sunday evening (September 27).

If you want to view the eclipse more closely, stop by the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College, beginning at 8 p.m. The CU Astronomical Society will have telescopes set up outside in the bus drop-off drive. Park in the M-1 lot and walk over.

Unlike their solar counterparts, lunar eclipses are very safe to observe. It is just like looking at a full Moon in the sky, but it will appear as if something is taking a bite out of the Moon! If skies are clear, anyone in the Midwest should be able to see the eclipse from their backyard.

The Moon will begin to enter the dark part of the Earth’s shadow at 8:07 p.m. The Moon will be completely inside the Earth’s shadow by 9:11 p.m. and will begin to emerge from the shadow by 10:23 p.m. The full Moon will appear back in the night sky by 11:27 p.m.

This full Moon will be closest to the autumn equinox, traditionally called the “harvest Moon,” with an eclipse midpoint occurring just 59 minutes after the Moon’s closest approach to the Earth, also called “perigee.” Some have called a full Moon near perigee a “supermoon.”

There are two things to look for while you’re watching this eclipse. The first is the curved shadow of the Earth. In ancient times, this was evidence that the Earth was, in fact, round and not flat. Second, after the eclipse is well underway, look for a reddish tint on the Moon. The red is from sunlight that bends through the Earth’s atmosphere. The blue is scattered out, which is why we have blue skies, leaving the red part of the spectrum to strike the Moon.

The next total lunar eclipse easily visible from central Illinois won’t be until January 2019, so I hope you get a chance to catch this one! (If the weather isn’t perfect, call the CUAS hotline at 217/351-2567 to see if the observing event at the planetarium is still occurring.)

New Technology at Parkland: Part 2

Below, Earth Science Professor Julie Angel shares how Parkland’s new Augmented Reality Sandbox (ARS) helps students “see the lay of the land” to improve map-reading skills. Julie also demonstrates the new system in an upcoming video to be shown during the Pygmalion Tech Fest.
**Parkland is a presenting partner of the Pygmalion Festival, September 23-27, which includes a Tech Festival on Friday, Sept., 25 at Krannert Center in Urbana. The Tech Festival is FREE for all Parkland students with a valid ID.**

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I am thankful to teach at an institution that values the use of innovative technology and the role it plays in student success! Collaboration between the Parkland College Department of Natural Sciences, Campus Technologies, and our Physical Plant during summer 2015 resulted in the construction and implementation of an “Augmented Reality Sandbox” (ARS).

Why the ARS Was Created and What It Does 
This recently developed, hands-on, real-time modeling system was designed and created by scientists at UC Davis’ W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES) in cooperation with UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Burlington, Vermont. The sandbox system was developed as part of an NSF-funded project to teach earth science concepts through 3D visualization applications. These institutions have graciously shared instructions for building the sandbox as well as the powerful software that produces a variety of graphic effects and simulations.

Earth Science will be using this technology to continue our practice of hands-on learning. We find that students understand difficult and sometimes abstract earth processes when they have the opportunity to use their visual and tactile senses to explore those processes.

Earth Science students work with the ARS during their topographic map lab, where learning outcomes focus on reading and interpreting topographic maps. These maps contain natural and man-made features such as rivers, roads, and towns, along with a second dimension: topographic contour lines. Contour lines show areas of equal elevation across the map and the rise and fall of the land surface, the “lay of the land.” Map reading is slowly becoming a lost skill, so many students have had little to no experience with maps, especially those that feature contour lines.

How Students Learn from the New Technology
The sandbox, and its ability to produce 3D topographic models, allows students and instructors to create their own landscapes and to see the overlay of contour lines on their custom land surface. Students engage critical thinking skills when creating their personalized landscapes, with the freedom to create mountains, valleys, streams, volcanoes, and other earth landforms. The opportunity to read and interpret the contour lines projected onto the 3D sandbox topography develops knowledge and skills that are transferred to more effectively reading and interpretating contour lines on a traditional 2D map.

Earth Science also focuses on the interaction between humans, the solid earth, and its atmosphere. In geology, we study surface streams and the potential for flooding in low-lying areas. Would you believe we are able to produce virtual rain with the ARS? The students can wave their hands above the surface (or use a “Storm on a Stick”) and produce rain over a specific region of the sand topography. This allows us to create models that include natural and man-made features (levees, homes, roads, etc.) to predict where flooding will occur and the effect it will have on human and natural landscapes.

Mass wasting is a process by which earth materials move downslope under the influence of gravity. Think landslides, slow creep of material down a hillside, falling rock, etc. As you can imagine, mass wasting occurs in most every landscape on earth, but can be catastrophic in areas where the terrain is steep. Here in Illinois, we don’t think much about the danger of landslides, but it’s on the minds of the people of southern California on a day-to-day basis! We can create models with the ARS to promote critical thinking by visualizing and predicting areas that are at highest risk for mass wasting.

The possibilities are endless for promoting student success by creating meaningful, realistic exercises that capitalize on the powerful modeling capabilities of the ARS!

New Technology at Parkland: Part 1

Below, Biology Professor Lori Garrett shares how Parkland’s new Anatomage table, with its high-tech virtual dissection technology, is helping students learn. Plus, check out an exerpt from her upcoming video to be shown during the Pygmalion Tech Fest.
**Parkland is a presenting partner of the Pygmalion Festival, September 23-27, which includes a Tech Festival on Friday, Sept., 25 at Krannert Center in Urbana. The Tech Festival is FREE for all Parkland students with a valid ID.**

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Parkland is amazingly fortunate to have an Anatomage digital dissecton table. These state-of-the-art, high tech tables were developed primarily for the medical field, and there are only about 500 in use worldwide, with only a little over 200 currently in use in the U.S. Those are primarily located in hospitals and medical schools. It’s such a high-tech piece of computerized equipment that I attended a two-day User Group meeting in San Francisco in August for in-depth training, and we’re just starting to really appreciate all we can do with it ourselves.

What the Table Does and What We Can Do With It
The Anatomage is like two giant, touch-screen computer monitors with highly sophisticated software behind them. The image banks were developed at Stanford University and are based off of real human CT scans and anatomical models. It provides us with life-size 3D renderings of three different individuals, and we can dissect through them. We can approach the anatomy from the surface and scroll down through the tissue layers, or isolate individual organs and organ systems. Various icons allow us to cut through, or section, any of the body parts, view X-ray images, isolate organ systems, see soft tissues, and more—and everything’s rendered in three dimensions, rotatable, and zoomable. We can add labels, place pins on structures for examinations, and add our own notes all on screen.

We’re really excited for the promise the software holds for advancing our science and medical instruction. With the Anatomage’s InVivo software program, we can take CT or MRI scans from anyone, anonymize them, and then have them digitized and rendered in 3D. This will let us use real-life case studies in a cross-curricular manner for our students moving into the health professions. We can also use the software to isolate any organs, save the digitized data, and then use 3D printing to develop our own anatomical models.

What Students Think about the Anatomage Table
Our students love the Anatomage table because of its technology. We’re integrating the table in our anatomy classes, where we already use plastic models and human cadavers. The table allows our students to learn anatomy from life-size renderings of real cadavers, which makes their cadaver study much easier. In the cadavers, we can’t isolate whole organ systems or rebuild the body like we can on the Anatomage. Being so tech-savvy, our students embrace it and need little guidance—they are used to touchscreen computers and phones.

We sometimes give tours for high school anatomy classes and let the students try the table after a brief introduction and demonstration. Being digital natives, they take to it with no effort at all.

The Anatomage allows us to bridge the gap between simulators and real people. It lets us visualize organs, vessels, tissues, and more without worrying about torn structures or extra tissues and clutter as we see in the real cadavers. The Anatomage is life-sized like our cadavers, but without the “delightful” aroma of the chemical preservatives, and we know our students really appreciate that!

A ‘Celestial’ Find for Harpist, Staerkel Director

The Staerkel Planetarium offered its first light show (featuring the music of Pink Floyd) in 1991. In the years since, other shows have graced the dome, and we’ve done a few live musical acts, too. We had the entire Bowdacious String Band in the dome, plus a guitar trio, a four-piece rock band, and even a laptop orchestra.

However, several years ago, Parkland’s Grants and Contracts Manager Josh Birky approached me about doing something different with our shows, something more classical. I thought, “That’s not a bad idea—maybe something more ‘out of the box,’ as they say.”

I contacted a few colleagues in Fine and Applied Arts and eventually made my way to the University of Illinois’ School of Music in search of a harpist. The first harpist wasn’t available, but she suggested doctoral student musician Ann McLaughlin. Ann and I exchanged a few emails after that. She was also interested in doing something new and different and was excited about the idea of her music being backed by visuals in a theatrical setting.

Ann and I didn’t meet until our first rehearsal in the dome. She immediately struck me as very outgoing, passionate about her craft, and interested in “pushing the envelope.”

mclaughlin
Ann McLaughlin. Photo by Bernard Wolff.

We did our first show in late January 2013 and, much to my surprise, we sold the place out! And, in my standard pre-show introduction, I discovered that a little less than half the crowd had never been in the planetarium before!

Shows like these are challenging, as I had to run the visuals live (nothing could really be programmed) and Ann had to learn how to play in nearly full darkness. I set up two spotlights to illuminate Ann so it wouldn’t be quite as dark and, besides, since she is the “star” of the show, people should see her. We also had to run a couple of microphones (one floor-mounted and the other on a boom) so the harp played through our sound system. Our production designer Waylena McCully set up a screen in our digital system for special effects, with some of the clips she created herself.

Since that first program, Ann has performed in our planetarium a couple of times, one being a wedding in which the bridal party hired her to play. More recently, Ann performed a song at the Illinois state meeting of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. The intent of this performance was twofold. First, we demonstrated what one could do with live music in a planetarium and, second, it got Ann’s name out there.

Now, as Ann finishes her doctoral degree, she will be leaving the area. But, before leaving, she has set up a “planetarium tour,“ with harp dates at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Illinois State University Planetarium. She’ll kick off her tour with a return to our dome on September 18 at 8:30 p.m. and then a special matinee on Saturday, September 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person, all sold at the door.

I’ll admit that I don’t have a crate of records at home of harp music, but Ann opened my eyes to a new style, a new sound. Some of the things she does on the harp are amazing! And I’d like to think that we showed Ann another venue for her creativity. I’m looking forward to her last shows beneath the stars. I hope you’ll join us for these special performances!

5 Reasons You Should Love Carter Family Music

The original Carter Family – A.P. and Sara Carter, and her cousin (and his sister-in-law) Maybelle Carter have been called “the first family of country music.” They recorded hundreds of songs in the 1920s–40s and Maybelle’s innovative style of guitar playing was enormously influential.

If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve almost certainly heard of Johnny Cash, who married Maybelle’s daughter June. Here are some other fun facts about the Carter Family and their music:

  1. Posters promoting Carter Family concerts featured the charming tagline, “the program is morally good.”
  2. Their concerts may indeed have been morally good, but there were plenty of juicy goings-on behind the scenes!
  3. The Carter Family back story includes the almost unbelievable tale of one Dr. Brinkley, purveyor of goat glands to a large and willing audience. No kidding!
  4. Maybelle Carter’s pioneering style, now known as the Carter scratch, changed acoustic guitar playing forever.
  5. Carter family descendants still run the Carter Family Fold in the location of the original homestead, featuring concerts and festivals year-round.

If you have any interest in early country or “hillbilly” music, we’d love to share the music of the Carter Family with you in an upcoming class offered by Parkland College Community Education. We will play and sing lots of their songs, and also talk about their history, why they were so popular, and why their music still endures today.

Mondays, September 14-October 5, 7 to 8:30pm, $45. Sign up by calling Community Education at 217/353-2055.

Feature image: Carter Family, the, Photograph, from Britannica Online for Kids, accessed August 28, 2015, http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-107922.

Summer Youth Internship at Giertz Gallery

giertz2logoThe Giertz Gallery Summer Internship Program is wrapping up its pilot year. Funded by a Summer Youth Employment in the Arts (SYEA) grant from the Illinois Arts Council, this paid internship offers two recently graduated high school students interested in the arts an opportunity to gain employment skills in an art-related setting to inform their career paths, build self-confidence, and provide a source of income for the summer.

We thoroughly have enjoyed working with our first summer interns, Katie Tabeling and Alexis Walter (above, l. to r.). Katie, a graduate of the High School of St. Thomas More, will be attending Eastern Illinois University in the fall. Alexis, just out of Champaign Centennial High School, will be attending Parkland College this fall.

Our interns assisted the gallery staff with installing artwork for the current exhibition, “Around the Block”; served as gallery monitors; curated and installed a mini-exhibition in the Hospitality corridor; and learned about the care and handling of artwork.  For the Hospitality corridor, they curated a group of artworks from the Student Art Permanent Collection, which has been compiled over the years through the purchase of student artwork to be used as a teaching tool for future Parkland students. The interns also met with art educators to learn about outreach and art education and with Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations staff to learn about graphic design and promotions. Lastly, the two students helped prepare gallery fundraising activities that will occur this fall.

Katie and Alexis recently shared their experiences of being part of the summer exhibition setup and curating the permanent collection display. I have included some of their reflections below.

———–

Katie

“Getting an internship at Parkland College has given me great insight into what it is actually like to work in a gallery. Working in an environment that allows me to focus my creative energies in a productive way is something I’ve always thought to be an important quality in my future career.

For the summer show, Giertz Gallery, in collaboration with 40 North, organized the exhibition Around the Block: Artists From our Neighborhood. Like the title says, this show embraces art made by local artists in the Champaign-Urbana area and beyond. Being able to meet the artists behind the work gave me insight to their art in a way that a viewer might not get just by looking at the piece. Along with meeting the artists, I was able to meet the juror of the show, Aron Packer. Talking to him and getting to learn about the exhibit gave me more insight into the selection process.

The works chosen complement one another and showcase the talent in our community. Something all the artwork has in common is a strong sense of color. Because of this, the works needed to be arranged in a way that they would enhance one another without overpowering the space. The pieces are arranged by similarities in color, shape, style, and subjects. This allows the viewer to fully enjoy each piece. All of the hard work that went into making the Around the Block exhibit was emphasized by how successful the reception was. It was a great experience getting to meet some of the many people who are keeping the art community in our region alive as well as learning about the process a gallery goes through when preparing for a show.”

interns2
Alexis and Katie prepare to mount the Hospitality corridor art works.

Alexis 

“When Katie and I were asked to help put up some newer artwork on exhibit at Parkland, we knew we had a lot of different locations to choose from. One of the areas available to us was a hallway near the Hospitality program area. So, because this area is close to a kitchen, we decided to look for food-related pieces to include in the exhibit.

After looking at so many different pieces, we finally narrowed it down to eight pieces that we liked and also thought went together. While we kept the theme of food, we were able to include works that were prismacolor, charcoal, graphite, and watercolor. With the help of art history instructor Laura O’Donnell, the collection coordinator for the Giertz Gallery, we got all the pieces matted and ready to hang on the wall. With the help of both Lisa Costello, gallery director, and Ms. O’Donnell, Katie and I managed to put together a cohesive mini-collection for all of Parkland to see!”

———–

There will be a small curatorial talk by our summer art interns on Wednesday, August 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Giertz Gallery. This event is free and open to the public. Programs at Giertz Gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Coloring? For adults?

Ready to relax, use your imagination, and revisit your inner child? Then spend a few hours coloring! Parkland College Community Education is offering a unique and creative outlet over three evenings this September.

You’ll have fun and explore the basics of visual art when you register for “Coloring for Adults.” When you do, you’ll join a current trend happening across the country–check out this article about adult coloring released just this past week.

During your first class, on Tuesday, September 1, visual artist Ella van Wyk will help you explore the materials, mark-making techniques, and basic color theory behind this experience. By week two, you will find your coloring abilities have reached a whole new level after a guided work session with the instructor.

At the end of your last class, you get to choose from a selection of original coloring pages by van Wyk to use as your final project and celebrate everyone’s finished pieces, with an informal critique of pictures and process.

Give yourself permission to enjoy this age-old method of stress relief. The fee for “Coloring for Adults” is $59, which includes all supplies for the class. To register, please contact Parkland College Community Education at 217/353-2055 or visit us at 1315 N. Mattis Ave. in Champaign.

In Love with Life: Study Abroad in Dijon

How can a Parkland College Study Abroad experience make you feel? Just ask Klairyn Karmazinas, a second-year Dietetics major (and International Studies minor) who has just returned from our Dijon, France, Study Abroad, June 25-July 25. She’ll make you want to pack your bags today.

******

Klairyn in Paris
Klairyn in Paris

“I’ve never been so truly happy in my life. I have absolutely no words for the past weeks I’ve been in Europe. The people, the memories, the confusion, the adventures, the laughter — I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything in the world.

I’m in love with life. I’m in love with the people I’ve met, the people I haven’t met, the places I’ve gone, the places I haven’t gone, everything I’ve experienced, and everything I’ve yet to experience. I am coming home an entirely different person.

Klairyn in Provence
Klairyn in Provence

I’ve learned that the beauty of language is that somehow we always make it work. It might not be pretty, but it’s a pretty amazing thing. I spent the last four weeks with people from every corner of the world, and if they’ve taught me anything, it’s that life is pure bliss. I was searching for something when I left the States; I’m not entirely sure what that something was, but I know I found it and I know that I’ve changed. It’s been such a blessing to do this, and I swear my heart could explode with the pure joy that’s inside me.

To the amazing people I’ve met, thank you SO much for the endless memories, and I can’t wait to make more. I miss you tons and love you bunches. You all hold a special place in my heart, so please don’t forget me.”

******

Ready for your life-changing moments in a different country? Check out our upcoming Study Abroad opportunities at:  http://www.parkland.edu/international/studyabroad. Spring semester’s Study Abroad deadline  is October 15, 2015.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton is Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

 

Expand Your World: Foreign Language Study

What are some benefits of studying a foreign language?

In addition to fulfilling the language requirement that some of Parkland’s 4-year partner institutions have, studying a foreign language is a great way to expand your mind and your world. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), language learning can benefit all students. Specifically, language learning boosts the development of reading skills, and it correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized tests.

Interestingly, research has also shown a correlation between language learning and students’ ability to hypothesize in science.

Parkland College offers instruction in 6 foreign languages:
Arabic
French
German
Japanese
Portuguese
Spanish

Don’t be afraid to try a new language; you’ll never know whether you like it unless you try it. Plus, as described earlier, even a small degree of language study has advantages. Check out Parkland’s class schedule for the upcoming semester to see when a language class you are interested in is being offered.

(For more research on the benefits of language learning, visit www.actfl.org.)

[Wendy Patriquin, interim director of the Humanities department,  specializes in English as a Second Language.]

Welcome to the Maker Movement

In one of his most famous speeches, Robert Kennedy spoke for innovators when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Like Mr. Kennedy, there have always been humans discontent with things “the way they are.” They have been called different names—inventor, scientist, artist, daydreamer—but they are all united under the burning question of “why not?”

Sculpture student using a Dremel tool to make a hand sculpture.
Sculpture

Today, many people asking that question have found a home in the Maker Movement. Makers imagine new things, experiment, and bring their ideas to life. They often complete this process in the company of others, as Makers recognize the value of sharing ideas and resources. An intentionally broad and inclusive label, anyone, from amateur to professional, is welcome to call themselves a Maker. According to makerfaire.com, Makers are a “growing community of creative and curious people,” and a “wellspring of innovation.” They are immersed in their desire to solve problems, to add beauty to everyday life, and to fashion a better future.

Parkland art student drawing a still life.
Drawing

Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts Department offers opportunities to participate in the Maker Movement. In this blog post, we highlight our Art Program, where faculty members—all working artists and definitely Makers—lead classes in which students paint, draw, compose photographs, solder metal, mold clay and otherwise transform lifeless materials. Students get hands-on, experiential learning in fully equipped workshops. They receive the space and time to think creatively and communicate visually. Like the Maker Movement, all students are welcome and encouraged to join.

Parkland student soldering in a metals class.
Metalworking & Jewelry

Giertz Gallery Director and Metals instructor Lisa Costello offers her take on the popularity of the Maker Movement, and its connection to Art courses.

“As human beings, we are not only built to be consumers, but we have a strong desire to be sensitive makers,” she said. “A huge part of our brains are geared toward small motor skills, attention to detail and the need for thoughtful creativity and problem solving. We offer classes that meet these needs.

“Some of our students are interested in eventually setting up their own studio, perhaps selling on Etsy or in galleries; some already have a degree and are looking to expand how they understand the world; and some take the classes as an elective to enrich their educational experience. It is a great time to take an art class and feed that creative desire, no matter where it stems from.”

If you’re intrigued and ready to discover how you fit in to the Maker Movement, or if you’re already a proud Maker, you’ll find the materials and support you seek in Parkland’s Art classes. Register at parkland.edu/admissions, or by calling 217/351-2482. The payment deadline is August 18 for classes beginning August 24.

Classes are available in the following subjects:
Metals,  Drawing, Ÿ 3-Dimensional  Design,  2-Dimensional Design, Photography, Ÿ Painting,  Sculpture,  Ceramics

[Kate Ross is the promotions assistant for Fine and Applied Arts.]

Plutopalooza at the Planetarium

The New Horizons spacecraft, launched in January 2006, will fly by Pluto tomorrow morning, passing within 7,800 miles of the surface of Pluto and traveling in excess of 30,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft’s antenna is scheduled to be pointed back towards Earth, and New Horizons will “phone home” with the signal, expected to arrive at Earth near 8 p.m. CDT.

Stop by the Staerkel Planetarium Tuesday, July 14, any time from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and help us commemorate the big event! All ages welcome! PLUS, we’ll have Pluto-related shows on Friday!

Plutopalooza Open House!
Tuesday, July 14 • 6-8:30 p.m.
The planetarium will project the NASA New Horizons press conference on the dome; the public is invited to attend this free, open-house-format viewing. Static displays in the planetarium lobby will depict Pluto’s size and distance from the Sun. Kids will be able to see if they can “discover” Pluto in the stars, to see how high they could jump on Pluto, and to take home New Horizons stickers, while supplies last. The planetarium will also display the locally-produced musical “Found and Lost: The Story of Pluto” in the lobby.

Friday, July 17 • 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Staerkel Planetarium’s regular Friday night show lineup will have a “Pluto twist” to it. At 7 p.m., “Prairie Skies” will show the audience the summer constellations and where Pluto is located in the sky. At 8 p.m., “New Horizons: Expedition to Pluto” will be shown on the dome. Both programs will display days-old high-resolution images from NASA’s New Horizons fly-by. Tickets will be sold at the door 30 minutes before each show and are $5 for adults and $4 for students, senior citizens, and children under 12. Those who purchase both shows receive the second show at half price!

[New Horizons image courtesy of NASA.]

New Music Recording Class Starts Up This Fall!

MUS 161 (Introduction to Music Recording) is an exciting new course coming to Parkland fall semester 2015.

The purpose of this course is to help students develop a knowledge and understanding of key recording techniques and apply them through hands-on practice in a multi-track studio environment, right here on Parkland’s campus!

Basic audio and recording concepts will be covered, including sound principles; perceptions of direction and space; microphone types, patterns, and placements; console features; effects processing; signal flow; and much more.

This project-based class will enable students to run real recording sessions on campus and learn how to do everything from setting up, tracking, and mixing to mastering a song.

MUS 161 will utilize a new recording space in Room C140 that is equipped with a top-of-the-line console and microphone collection. (Right now we’re in the beginning stages of building the studio.)

For any questions or more information on the course, please do not hesitate to contact instructor Adam Porter at aporter@parkland.edu.

Parkland Faculty Top Picks by State Trustees

Parkland students think they are stellar. Parkland’s faculty sing their praises. Now, the state of Illinois’ community college trustees have added their stamp of approval.

The Illinois Community College Trustees Association, or ICCTA, has just selected Math Professor Erin Wilding-Martin as its Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member Award winner for 2015. The ICCTA also selected photography instructor Craig McMonigal to receive its Outstanding Part-time Faculty Member Award. These amazing teachers received their awards June 6 during the ICCTA annual conference.

Our Faculty Professional Development Committee selected Erin and Craig to be Parkland’s 2015 ICCTA Outstanding Faculty winners earlier this spring, which nominated them for statewide selection.

Erin Wilding-Martin
Erin Wilding-Martin

Erin has been praised by her colleagues and students as an exemplary and engaging teacher who is a leader in mathematics education both within Parkland and beyond. For example, one of her students who entered Erin’s course intimidated by mathematics praised her “enthusiasm for teaching, dedication to her students, and innovative program design.”  She said Erin helped her overcome her fear of mathematics and gave her an appreciation for the “value of an active learning environment.”

Erin’s doctoral study in the philosophy of mathematics education in community colleges prepared her for the challenge of leading the algebra/math literacy redesign that Parkland began in 2011. As one colleague summarized it, “the success of this project, which has gained national attention, is largely a result of Dr. Wilding-Martin’s extraordinary efforts on behalf of our students.”

Erin is currently on the Developmental Mathematics Committee of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and has served on AMATYC’s Research in Mathematics Education for Two-Year Colleges Committee. She has an article published in the Philosophy of Education Society.

Craig McMonigal
Craig McMonigal

 

Craig is a 21-year faculty member who has been praised by colleagues for his commitment to the college, the program, and the students. Described as an integral part of Parkland’s Art and Design program, Craig developed new courses in photography, implemented innovative techniques, and worked to help create the Associate in Applied Science in Photography program.

One Art and Design colleague says Craig is “eager to accept new responsibilities, helping the Art and Design program, and the photography degree within the Communication program, to grow by actively supporting assessment and the development of new curriculum.”  Craig uses humor to keep students engaged and, as one student affirms,  he “was instrumental in making learning about photography— and myself— fun. He is a great teacher; if possible I would choose him for all my classes.” Craig is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education and has served as the Parkland representative on the Illinois Higher Education Art Association.

 

Congratulations, Erin and Craig— Parkland College is proud to have such fine faculty!

 

 

Men vs. Women Target Practice in Ballistics Lab

Learning to investigate manner of death is a part of criminal justice, but it’s not the doom-and-gloom process you might imagine. In fact, Professor John Moore and his Forensic Science II: Death Analysis class (SCI 208) had quite a ‘blast’ at it recently.

****

After searching unsuccessfully for a way to build “ping-pong ball cannons” for the ballistics lab section of SCI 208, Natural Sciences Administrative Assistant Karen Rocha stumbled across what are called “K-9 Kannons,” which are simply glorified tennis ball launchers. They work great—used incorrectly, they can actually launch ping-pong balls, too!

It's women vs. men in Forensic Science II: Death Analysis.
It’s women vs. men in Forensic Science II: Death Analysis.

Students were asked to hit a target (an open box on its side) at the far end of the lab, which requires a fast and flat trajectory (12–18” maximum ordinate). Following that, they were asked to “lob” a ball into the top of a box that is only a few feet away from the launcher, requiring a very slow and high trajectory (maximum ordinate approaching the ceiling). The goal was to adjust velocity and launch vectors to attempt to hit the target.

From a military perspective, the two tasks are the equivalent to a sniper and a mortar. In both classes, “teams” were set up men vs. women.

I am SO glad we decided to keep the high ceiling in that lab!

One of the guys launches downrange.
One of the guys launches downrange.

This spring, students only dealt with projectile velocity and the departure vector from the launcher. Next year, I will likely alter the actual mass of the projectiles, thus throwing them another variable to deal with.

(By the way, the guys took one of the sections, and the ladies took the other!)

To learn more about Parkland’s Forensic Science courses or other courses and programs in the Natural Sciences, visit the Natural Sciences web pages.

“I wanna rock and roll all night…”

First Gig Rock N’ Roll Camp for Kids is a six-day camp for ages 10–18 years who love music and are ready for the full Rock n’ Roll band experience, including the thrill of performing live in front of an audience.

This summer’s camp at Parkland College will take place July 20–25, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.  Registration information available here.

First Gig was built in Danville in 2012, incorporating talent from central Illinois. While the notion is not original, the formula most definitely is. The resources and connections used here were developed over 20 years in the industry. The camp brings together local and regional artists in the field of music, overseen by members of the Chicago Blackhawks Band (the official band of the the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team). They not only teach students valuable knowledge but also guarantee a fun time for all.

More than 25 area musicians will serve as camp instructors, sharing years of stage experience and teaching children the difference between playing music and performing live in front of an audience. It’s a luxury for us not only to have talented people at our fingertips but to have these people share an appreciation for working with the next generation of musicians.

How it Works
First Gig staff members place all incoming students in a band, then assign each band a professional leader. The band then works as a team to choose a name and pick songs to learn.

Participants spend their time rehearsing as a band and studying individually with guest musicians from some of the area’s most popular bands, who excel in their field. Students develop their skills and talent in guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. They also participate in other hands-on activities, including photo shoots, studio recording, sound production, and merchandising.

Guest speakers from across the music industry will cover various topics of relevance, like management, talent buying, marketing, etc.

The week culminates with a live public performance by the bands.

For more information, visit www.parkland.edu/communityed/firstgig.aspx

Graphic Design Students Win $1400 in Awards

On Wednesday night at the Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, seven very deserving students received $1,400 in cash awards for excellent work.

I could not be prouder of these students who worked hard all year long and gave body, mind, and soul to create these amazing portfolio samples.

Special thanks must go out to this year’s judges who volunteered their time to select the winners: Matt Cho, owner and founder of [co][lab], an experimental collaboration/coworking space in downtown Urbana, and Kurt Bielema, creative director of Single Stereo, a local design studio.

Their job was not easy. Out of 228 entries that were juried into the show by the teaching faculty, their mission was to choose the 14 best pieces to award the cash prizes.

Over 200 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family and students attended the reception (see pictures). At 7 p.m., I took the podium and with microphone in hand, called up each of the winners and congratulated them for their excellent work. Here’s who won:

• Graphic Design Best of Show (Kelli Mikhail, $100):kelli mikhail packaging

 

• President’s Award of Excellence (Gloria Roubal, $100):

gloria roubal

 

• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award
(Catherine Yao, $100):

catherine yao

 

• Graphic Design Program Director’s Award
(Madelyn Witruk, $100):

madelyn witruk

 

• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award
(Liza Wynette, $100):

liza wynette

 

• Surface 51 Award of Excellence (Catherine Yao, $100):

catherine yao catalog

 

• Studio 2D Design Strategy Award (Jordan Bidner, $100):

jordan bidner editorial

 

• Six Demon Studio Award for Excellence in Digital Media
(Kelli Mikhail, $100):

kelli-mkhail-motion
View Title Sequence

 

• CUDO Award of Excellence (Kelli Mikhail, $100):

kelli mikhail

 

• [co][lab] Award of Excellence (Dustin Kinkelaar, $100):

dustin-kinkelar
View GIF Animation

 

• Brian Sullivan Award of Excellence (Josiah Peoples, $100):

josiah-peoples
View Website

 

• Golfview Village Award of Excellence (Liza Wynette, $100):whenever-bars-student-show-2015

 

• Heartland Science and Technology Group Award of Excellence
(Liza Wynette, $100):

liza-wynette-animation
View GIF Animation

 

 

• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence (Jordan Bidner, $100):
jordan bidner

The exhibition will be open in our art gallery until June 4. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.  to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College website.

You can also view the online version of this year’s exhibition by browsing to gds.parkland.edu/pages/exhibition.html.

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

Graphic Design Student Show Sets New Records

Graphic designers are a strange bunch. We’re creative because we make stuff, like fine artists do. We’re smart because we have to solve our clients’ problems. We’re passionate because it’s competitive out there and one cannot survive without passion. And we like to show off because we’re proud of our work.

So we get very excited every spring when it’s time for the Graphic Design Juried Student Exhibition in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. Starting May 11, Parkland’s graphic design students take over our art gallery to showcase their work for the world to see. This year, there will be 194 print entries, 22 web entries and 12 motion graphics entries in the show.

Logo design by Jonny Ashikyan
Logo design by Jonny Ashikyan

 

While this is not the largest show we’ve ever had in the gallery, we’ve set new records this year for the largest number of print and web entries to be showcased. This is a juried show, so only the best work is accepted. This year, the quality of the entries was rather high and we had a hard time editing the show down to the final 228 entries.

Because graphic design is often used for marketing communication, it must sell, inform, as well as entertain. The best graphic design work balances form with function, aesthetics with style, logic with intuition. In the jurying process, we look for examples that are imaginative, surprising, inspiring, distinctive, innovative, unusual, smart and memorable. Evidence of creative problem-solving and a high level of craftsmanship are often rewarded.

Web mock-up by Shannon Martin
Web mock-up by Shannon Martin

 

Last Friday, after the graphic design faculty finished jurying the show, two industry professionals came in and awarded over $1400 in cash prizes to the best work in the show. This year’s judges were Matt Cho, Owner and Founder of [co][lab], an experimental collaboration/coworking space in downtown Urbana and Kurt Bielema, Creative Director of Single Stereo, a local design studio.

“I was particularly impressed by the quality and range of projects, which made choosing projects to award very challenging,” Cho said. “All the students should be proud of their hard work, and I encourage everyone to keep stretching creatively.”

Kurt Bielema added, “I was blown away by the creativity and great concepts I saw. There are definitely some amazing talents graduating this year from Parkland.”

Packaging by Catherine Yao
Packaging by Catherine Yao

 

The winners of these awards will be announced at the upcoming opening reception on Wednesday, May 13 at 7pm. Here are the full details:

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

The Risks and Rewards of Innovation

kate2
Parkland Graphic Design student Kate Ross was on hand to receive a Champaign County Innovation Award for AMP, a student-run media production group.

Have you ever been in the right place at the right time? That’s how I felt last week when I attended the Innovation Celebration, an awards ceremony at Krannert Center hosted by the Champaign Economic Development Corporation. Somehow, little old me ended up at an event with important people and a mashed potato bar (YES). How? By taking some chances.

Last year, I took the chance to enroll in the Graphic Design program at Parkland. Last semester, I took the chance to start an internship with AMP (Applied Media Promotions), a student-run communications firm sponsored by the Department of Fine and Applied Arts. And last week, it paid off: AMP won the award for Innovation in Engagement at Parkland College. As I sat through the awards in awe of the visionary people that live and work in this community, I couldn’t believe that I was a part of the group.

To be honest, I felt slightly out of place. I just started as a graphic designer at AMP two months ago, and my most recent innovation? Getting my five-year-old to stop spitting indoors. However, when I considered the journey that landed me in a room full of amazing people, I realized that, like them, I had leaped into the unknown. The spirit of innovation is risk, after all. And the Innovation Celebration honors not only achievement, but courage, positivity, open minds, strength, wisdom and all the other abstract values that characterize innovation. That evening, I, my colleagues and our leaders at AMP were right where we belonged.

AMP is new, and there’s a lot of “Fail Better” happening in our little
space in the basement of the D building. It’s an invigorating,
collaborative atmosphere, and I’m so glad our hard work was honored publicly. If you’re looking for resume-building-experience and fun, and even some pizza here and there, we’re always looking for students who aren’t afraid of the exciting work of innovation.

Visit our Facebook page, or email coordinator Cindy Smith for information about joining AMP.

[Featured image: Faculty advisor Kendra Mcclure and students from AMP display their Innovation in Engagement Award at the recent Innovation Celebration. The event is hosted by the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. Photo by Cindy Smith. ]

 

New “Parkland Spotlight” on WPCD 88.7

WPCD 88.7, first and foremost , has always been a learning lab for students taking COM 141 and 142 classes and a place were student DJs hone their skills at a 10,500-watt, alternative-rock FM radio station.

But WPCD also wants to be a voice for Parkland College.

To that end, the students of instructor Adam Porter’s COM 142 class have created a new radio series titled “The Parkland Spotlight,” which will air each Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. now through the rest of the spring semester.

On the show (which is pre-recorded), students will interview various faculty and staff from around the college, to find out what is happening in their program or their department and to shine some light on people and events that you may not know much about.

We hope this series will continue from semester to semester with each new group of students in the COM 142 course and that it will not only provide a “spotlight” on those who make Parkland the great learning institution it is, but also create a closer connection between students and the faculty and staff here at Parkland College.

As always, feel free to stop by the WPCD studio and see if there is anything we can do to help you get more exposure for your programs, special events, and activities. We want to be a voice for Parkland College.

Come, Help at the Science Olympiad March 7!

Come and share your love of science with middle school and high school students! Parkland College will again host the annual regional Science Olympiad tournament Saturday, March 7.

Our Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students from over a dozen area schools. Students will be working hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and technology. The top teams will get a chance to compete at the state tournament, which takes place at the U of I on April 18.

Each team will participate in 23 events, spread out across campus. If you check out the Student Union, you may find students testing bungee cords or operating robots. The X wing will have students building bridges and Rube Goldberg devices. Students will be operating vehicles they designed to move on the ground or through the air in the gym. Others will be studying insects and fossils in the L wing and solving crimes in the M wing.

The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science! Volunteers for this event will be provided with breakfast and lunch on Saturday. If you are interested in helping run these events, you can sign up to volunteer here: http://vols.pt/GMJidW.  You can find a list of participating schools here.

What goes up must come down! New exhibition in the Giertz Gallery

Gallery helpers remove vinyl lettering to make room for new exhibit title.

The incoming work sits in gallery storage until it is time to install the show during installation week. The gallery puts a “Closed for Installation” sign on the door, and our tool carts appear along with our ladder. We “spot the show,” which is museum jargon for designing the exhibition and placing the artwork. We make measurements, let our hammers fly, place vinyl signage and labels, mount artist statements on the wall, and add lighting to the works. Hopefully, the dust settles before we open our doors on Monday morning!

Have you seen the latest exhibit in Parkland College’s Giertz Gallery? It features large-scale paintings by Wisconsin artist Tom Berenz. Berenz is a busy artist with a lot of exhibits on his resume. His artwork is full of contradictions, both in terms of formal elements and content. His artist statement says it best: “I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced—the cars (magic carpets/death traps), houses (castles/prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion).”

Art work being inspected
Large canvas in crate (upside down and wrapped in plastic) being inspected upon delivery

I look forward to giving tours and being able to hear interpretations coming from our students on the exhibits. I have already overheard some students analyzing Berenz’s work and disagreeing! One says, “The work captures the moment in time immediately after an explosion; you can see things settling in the aftermath!” and another says, “I see litter and the damage that we do to our environment. Also, it looks like a picnic. Is that a watermelon?” It will be interesting to read what they write in their papers!

I hope you are able to visit the gallery, enjoy the work, and draw your own conclusions.

Presently Absent: Works by Tom Berenz will be on exhibit at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College now through March 31. The gallery is always free, and everyone is welcome. For more information about the gallery visit www.parkland.edu/gallery and sign up for our email updates.

A with Honors Projects: Create, Achieve, Succeed!

Parkland students, I’m going to tell you about a great way to expand your special academic ability or creative interest while you’re here with us—and gain recognition (and even money) for it through a little extra effort.

Completing an “A with Honors” project in your Parkland class this semester can both challenge and encourage you. Students do not need to be a member of the Honors Program to complete an A with Honors project.

Those who complete an A with Honors project can receive a $100 scholarship,* and students who complete three Honors projects, have a GPA of 3.5, and participate in the Honors Symposium (spring semester) are awarded a $500 graduation scholarship.

You can see some of our projects on the award-winning SPARK (http://spark.parkland.edu/).

A with Honors Project Proposals for full semester classes are due by Friday, March 13.  Thirteen-week class Project Proposals are due no later than April 3.  You can find the Proposal Form at my.parkland.edu (look under Student Services>>Academics>>Honors Program>>Forms tab).

As you can see above, it is highly beneficial to join the Parkland College Honors Program if you are eligible. You may join the Honors Program with a GPA of 3.0, acceptable credentials from your high school or another college, or a unique academic ability or creative interest. Membership in the Honors Program and completion of Honors Projects expand student horizons, challenge students academically, and provide students with recognition on transcripts and resumes.

In addition, students who graduate from the Honors Program are eligible to participate in Honors at the University of Illinois (most of its colleges) and at other universities and colleges around the state.

Finally, I want to encourage you all to participate in Parkland Scholars, a student organization that fosters academic excellence and success. Parkland Scholars works in conjunction with the Honors Program to sponsor campus-wide events and participate in service learning projects and activities.

If you are interested in joining Parkland Scholars or the Honors Program, please contact me: mjones@parkland.edu.

*must also be in the Honors Program.

Harps and Stars in the Dome on Valentine’s Day!

Are you maybe looking for something different to do for Valentine’s Day weekend? How about offering that someone special the stars and live music?

The Staerkel Planetarium is pleased to bring harpist Ann McLaughlin back to the dome on February 13 and 14 for shows at 8:30 p.m. All you have to pay is $5/person at the door.

Oddly enough, Ann’s first trip into the dome to play in the darkness was a “blind date.” Josh Birky, who works at Parkland in grants and contracts, called us and said, “Have you ever thought about a live concert with something different than a rock and roll band?” I asked what he had in mind, and the harp came up. Ann responded to my “to whom it may concern” email, and the rest is history.

Ann was phenomenal to work with and was very open to different ideas about what visuals to sync to her music. The big question, of course, was . . . .is anyone going to come see a live harp concert? That question was answered quickly, as the first of two shows sold out and we had a standing-room-only audience!

Next came  the challenge of making the harp work in the dome. I was surprised as to how loud the harp sounded in the dome, but we decided to mike it anyway. One microphone is floor-mounted while the other is on a stand where Ann has the option of addressing the crowd. Running the visuals aren’t trivial either, as you can’t really program anything. Although scripts can be preprogrammed into the planetarium’s digital system, they have to be started and stopped manually. Plus, we’ll get to use some visuals that may not fit into our regular programming. It’s challenging, but fun.

It’s amazing how often I get asked if we’re going to do Pink Floyd again! We haven’t done our musical light shows since spring 2014. The digital system is wonderful in the capabilities for flying the audience through the universe, but it won’t play the old programs. We can’t control the old projectors that allowed us to do those old shows. Having live acts like these are the closest we can come to the days of old.

So when we discovered that Valentine’s Day 2015 would occur on a weekend, I immediately got on the phone to Ann, and she was game for a return engagement. We look forward to hosting her AND her harp on the 13th and the 14th.

Veterans: Discover Your ‘Voice’ at New Book Group

I read a New York Times article last year by Iraq War veteran Phil Klay, winner of the National Book Award and one of the authors we will read from during the new Veterans Book Group, coming next week to Parkland College. A paragraph from Klay’s article speaks to the crux of this project:

“If we fetishize trauma as incommunicable, then survivors are trapped—unable to feel truly known by their nonmilitary friends and family. At a recent Veterans Day performance put on by Arts in the Armed Forces, Adam Driver, the organization’s founder, a former Marine turned actor, spoke of his feelings of alienation after leaving the corps. ‘Not being able to express the anger, confusion and loneliness I felt was challenging,’ he said, until theater exposed him ‘to playwrights and characters and plays that had nothing to do with the military, that were articulating experiences I had in the military, that before to me were indescribable.'”

Klay goes on to state, “It’s a powerful moment, when you discover a vocabulary exists for something you’d thought incommunicably unique.” We believe this is what literature can do, and it’s what we hope to provide book group participants: a safe place to read about others’ experiences about war and discuss their own.

John Fundator and I will serve as co-facilitators for the group.  A senior communications specialist with the University of Illinois Foundation, John served in the U.S. Army (1977–1981) and the Illinois Army National Guard (1981–1998).  He was a weekend soldier in the Guard when he was called up for a yearlong deployment during the Bosnia conflict of the early 1990s. John was part of a public affairs unit and wrote about the conflict for that year.

John had a wife (me!) and three small children (6-year-old twins and a one-year old) at home during that time. This gives us some understanding of the difficulty of separation many vets and their families feel. My position as full-time professor of humanities at Parkland will bring a literary background to the book discussions that we hope vets will also find useful.

No matter your age or military experience, as a veteran, you are welcome to take part in this free book group! We’ll read works from various eras, ranging from Stephen Crane’s Civil War-era short story, The Veteran, to Ernest Hemingway’s Soldier’s Home, a narrative of one young World War I veteran’s return to civilian life. We’ll even read recently published selections by Klay, whose writing reflects the wartime and post-war experiences of contemporary combat veterans.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has generously provided funding for this book group in conjunction with its initiative, Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War. The initiative aims to promote understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans.

We invite you to become part of the Veteran’s Book Group at Parkland by contacting the Illinois Humanities Council’s Matt Meacham at mwm@prairie.org or 312/422-5589.

****

“Standing Together: A Veterans Book Group”
January 27, February 10, February 24, and March 10
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Parkland College Student Union, Room U230
Hosted by the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), Parkland College, and Crosspoint Human Services

What is Parkland Pathway to Illinois?

The first time I walked into Parkland College was in 1994. I remember parking in what I now know to be the B wing and attempting to find the Admissions office (which resulted in me visiting the X wing and, somehow, the L wing). As a December ’93 graduate of Champaign Central High School, I knew that I wanted to transfer to a university, but I didn’t want to jump into that university life right away. Thank goodness for Parkland College.

While I made lots of wrong turns trying to find classes (signage is so much better now!), I never made a wrong turn in my course selection due to fantastic Parkland advising,  and I was able to transfer and successfully complete my bachelor’s degree.

UI-PC-roadsign

Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program
Parkland College has been a partner with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for almost 50 years and has successfully transferred thousands of students. Seven years ago, the two institutions came together to create a new initiative, the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. This program offers a selective group of students the opportunity to be enrolled at Parkland full time and also take a course at the University of Illinois every semester. Students receive individualized counseling at Parkland and at Illinois and can live in University housing.

Other benefits include guaranteed admission to the University of Illinois and paying a discounted tuition rate based on Parkland College tuition. The Parkland Pathway to Illinois program does not replace the traditional transfer programs that Parkland College offers, but it aims to enrich opportunities and open the door to the University of Illinois to more students.

How to Apply
Two separate groups of steps let a student apply to the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. The first is for high school seniors to first apply to Parkland College in a transfer program (they will have to reapply even if they took dual credit courses in high school). They can apply by clicking here and can find a list of transfer degree programs here. Once they are admitted to Parkland College, students then schedule an assessment test. This test, used for Parkland course scheduling purposes, must be completed by April 1.

The second group of steps begins February 15, which is the day that the University of Illinois Parkland Pathway to Illinois application opens. High school seniors would create their myillini.illinois.edu account and apply to the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. To apply, students must have the following:

  • Access to their high school courses and grades
  • ACT and/or ACT scores sent electronically to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 300-word (max.) essay related to their interest in the major they wish to study at the University of Illinois (a full list of undergraduate majors is available here)
  • Any other items required.

Once all parts of the University of Illinois application have been received, Pathway applicants will be reviewed for admission.

The Parkland Pathway to Illinois program is not the only way to transfer to the University of Illinois, but it is a way to slowly get used to the university environment while enjoying the benefits of the award-winning faculty, small class sizes, and personalized resources of Parkland College.

***Learn more at the Pathway to Illinois Informational Open House, Feb. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Parkland College Student Union***

Questions about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program can be directed to Beth Chepan, Parkland College Admissions and Records, 217/351-2887 or Holly Herrera, University of Illinois, holly10@illinois.edu

What can you do with an English degree?

It’s a question I’ve heard over and over again: “What are you planning on doing with an English degree?” This is frequently accompanied by derision and/or unsolicited advice to change my major to something more lucrative.

Perhaps there is more job security in nursing and more financial stability in a business or engineering degree, but I believe it is far more rewarding to study what you love and, personally, I am happier around words than I am around numbers.

So, getting back to that pesky question, here are some things you can do with an English degree:

Teaching

This one is pretty obvious—I think many people automatically assume this is what most English majors plan to do with their degree. And while teaching is certainly not all that is available to English majors, it is nonetheless an excellent option. Elementary and secondary school teachers require teaching certifications, and college professors need a master’s degree.

Pre-professional Programs

College students majoring in English tend to be very well-rounded in their educations. They are taught to write well, analyze ideas, and communicate skillfully. This is why many with an English BA further their studies in fields like law, medicine, and business.

Publishing

People with English degrees are conversant in researching, editing, reading, and writing, and this makes them a good fit for jobs within the publishing industry. While these kinds of jobs are a little harder to come by, it is possible to work your way up through jobs such as an editorial assistant or a proofreader/copyeditor, or through internships.

Writing

This is another occupation that English majors are naturally suited for, but as with publishing, these jobs can be difficult to secure. Writing is also a multifaceted field—it includes journalism, technical writing, scientific writing, creative writing, and copywriting. Any Parkland College English major interested in writing should look at all their college transfer options for Writing minors or concentrations to accompany their English major upon transfer.

Advertising, Podcasts, Public Relations, Research Assisting, Speechwriting, Travel Writing, Movie Critiquing

The list goes on! There are tons of jobs out there for English majors, and a great place to find out more about it is Parkland’s Career Center in the U wing. You can take a career test and find out exactly what you’re suited for. Make sure you know all your options, and have fun exploring them!

[Marnie Leonard is a Parkland College Student Ambassador.]

University of Illinois Students Take Classes at Parkland College

I will bet that most University of Illinois students are not aware of how many of their fellow students are taking courses at Parkland College while attending Illinois. The numbers might surprise you, because so many are taking our online courses; thus, they are almost in “stealth” mode.

In fact, about 400 Illinois students will take one or more Parkland College classes this spring. It is not unusual to see that number swell to around 2,000 Illinois students during the summer term.

The online course format allows students to complete their Parkland courses around Illinois classes, work schedules, and social activities; this is the most popular mode for taking our classes. Students who prefer the traditional course format take classes at our campus in the afternoon, late afternoon, and evening so they will fit in with their busy schedules.

Some Parkland courses traditionally have a significant number of Illinois students enrolled. Examples include online Physics 121 and 122 (the equivalent of Illinois’s PHYS 101 and 102) and basic general education courses like Psychology 101 (equivalent to PSYC 100) and History 105 (equivalent to HIST 172)—a nice choice to meet the Illinois Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative and Humanities and the Arts: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives requirements.

Of course, in order to enroll in any courses, you’ll need to complete some basic tasks. You can begin the process of applying to Parkland as a Course Enrollee (a person not working toward a degree or certificate at Parkland) online by going to http://www.parkland.edu/getStarted. As a current Illinois student, you would be considered a “concurrent enrollment” student at Parkland.

You can find procedures and forms for domestic students at the University of Illinois website, at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_domestic.pdf. Procedures and forms for international students are available at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_international.pdf. Please note the instructions very carefully. You must meet Parkland’s prerequisites for the courses and must verify this by bringing with you your Academic History from Illinois Student Self-Service.

If you are wondering how Parkland courses transfer to Illinois, check out the transfer course matrix at http://online.parkland.edu/transferpatterns/index.cfm.

So, if you are looking to squeeze in one more course or maybe looking for a different time or a format that you are unable to get  at Illinois, taking a class at Parkland College might just be for you. We would love to have you!

Parkland College is open until Dec. 23 to take your registrations.

Please note that all Parkland College transfer classes are freshman and sophomore level. For additional enrollment information, contact Parkland’s Office of Admissions.

John Sheahan
Director, Counseling and Advising Center

What’s In a Prairie?

You have heard Illinois called the Prairie State, but do you know what a prairie is? Hint: it’s NOT weeds!

Before the state was settled, 60 percent of Illinois (22 million+ acres) was covered by vast expanses of tallgrass. The deep  prairie plants’ roots (up to 15 feet!) make topsoils incredibly productive, and thus fertile for agriculture.  The invention of the John Deere self-scouring plow in 1837 made it possible to break up the prairie sod and change it into farmland. Many prairies still existed at that time, however, because there was too much water in many soils to farm well. By 1935, enough drain tile had been laid in Illinois to thoroughly drain off the soil water into drainage ditches, allowing the productive soils to be intensely farmed. 

Today, only 2,000 acres of prairie remain in Illinois (that’s .0001 percent).

You might be familiar with big bluestem, Illinois’ official prairie grass, but did you know there are about 150 kinds of grasses native to  prairies, including Indian grass, wild rye, and switchgrass? Native prairie wildflowers (forbs) include coneflowers, compass and cup plants with their bright yellow flowers, and milkweeds–the only plant species that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on. Prairies also provide habitat for hundreds of animal species. Check out the Illinois Plant Information Network database, which lists 851 species of plants native to Illinois prairies. 

Parkland’s prairie restoration, located due east of the Student Union, was started in the 1990s through the efforts of former biology professors Rich Blazier and Earl Creutzberg, along with community members and organizations and Parkland students. Today’s environmental and plant biology students learn about prairie and other ecosystems in Parkland’s natural land areas and regularly participate in prairie workdays, learning how to maintain prairies by collecting seeds, helping with prairie burns, and removing invasive plants.

Parkland’s Sustainable Campus Committee and Physical Plant hope to expand the prairie restoration by about 15 acres, including large tracts behind the Athletics track and small showy native flower beds by the buildings. This could eliminate hours of mowing, lowering the college’s carbon footprint by reducing fuel use. It also means beautiful flowers throughout the growing season. Planting tallgrass prairie costs less than planting turf grass, and requires little maintenance. Tallgrass prairie helps control drainage, prevents erosion, brings important pollinators to the area, and reminds us of our natural heritage.

 

Jonathan from Illinois Soil and Water Conservation
Jonathan from Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District loads prairie seed into the planter.

Parkland biology professor Heidi Leuszler recently worked with Pheasants Forever to establish a new one-acre tallgrass prairie across the Perimeter Drive in front of the union. The seed mix included about 75 species of prairie plants native to east-central soils.

Now that you know about Parkland’s prairie restoration, watch from the big windows in the welcome areaor better yet, walk right out the front door—to see how prairie changes over the seasons, and observe the wildlife that finds a safe home in Parkland’s prairie.

Listen. Learn. Live…on WPCD

Did you know Parkland College has its own radio station on the FM dial? I didn’t either, until I took COM 141 (Basic Broadcast Announcing) as an elective and now, the rest is history!

WPCD 88.7  FM blasts new up and coming alternative artists as well as the forefathers of alternative music 24/7 and allows Parkland students the chance to hone their radio skills live on the air. To go along with their on-air training, students are tasked with making promotional spots and writing their own copy for public service announcements, news segments, and weather spots. There is also a chance to do live on-air spots from shows happening throughout Champaign-Urbana.

As you progress in the radio courses, there is an opportunity to interview bands and artists live in the studio or over the phone, which then allows you to use the editing skills you learned in class to produce an interview segment you can play during your radio show.  Whether you are into the music playing on WPCD or not, the experience you gain from the course work and on-air spots is an amazing one. It has given me much more confidence in other courses and in life as well.

Being on air at WPCD brings loads of real-life experience and gives you the feeling that you are actually working at a radio station. Even if radio isn’t your thing or your dream, being in an environment that promotes creativity while teaching life skills is an invaluable one that I would suggest to anyone who is attending Parkland!

 

Aron Ammann is a Virgo who likes long walks on the beach and spending time in the kitchen whipping up culinary masterpieces. He also enjoys spending time on 88.7 WPCD as the co-host of “The Mid-Morning Mess” alongside Chad Myler.  Aron stumbled upon the COM 141 class as an elective for his program of study and found that he really enjoyed the art of radio. An Iraq veteran, Aron has found his time on the air to be a therapeutic experience as well.

How Clubs, Orgs AMP Up Your Student XP

paigesm

Hey guys! I’m Paige and I am majoring in communication here at Parkland. Have you ever thought about joining an organization or club at Parkland? Starting college, I never thought I would join any club or organization, but here I am.

I saw ads for “AMP” hanging all over Parkland, I but never thought about joining until it was brought up in one of my classes. Then all of a sudden, AMP sparked my interest.

AMP is a student-driven public relations firm, where we work as a team to do promotional work for clients. One thing that really made me want to pursue AMP was that I get to work with graphic designers, advertisers, and general education students. Knowing that I get to work with a wide variety of people with all different majors made me apply for AMP with full force. It is like working in a real-world firm.

Once I applied and got a position at AMP, the coordinators worked with my schedule and now I’m there two days a week working on projects for clients. I have already taken so much from this experience. I have learned about some do’s and don’ts of graphic design (something I knew nothing about before), learned how to compose a strategic plan, and right now I’m in the midst of learning to make a website.

All of these things will help me in my career once I am done at Parkland.

So, I guess what I’m trying to get at here is to give organizations and clubs a chance at Parkland. Don’t just pass by those signs in the hallway;  take the time to look at them and actually consider joining one of them!

Welcome to the MOOC

As many of you know, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are becoming quite popular as a new way for people to learn. We thought we might try a smaller version of some MOOCs here at Parkland College, but in a shorter, more quickly digested form. We also thought it would be a good idea to call these Mini-MOOCs. Not surprisingly, someone else thought that too and already took that catchy little name. So, for the sake of not stealing from others, we will call ours…I don’t know, Micro-MOOCs, Microscopic-MOOCs?

How about you just call it what you want for now.

In our first edition, we get an intelligent and entertaining look at a scene from the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, North by Northwest. If you have seen the movie, this is an awesome companion piece. If you haven’t seen the movie, this short lecture will probably make you want to watch it. Either way, it’s some fascinating insight into filmmaking.

This particular scene involves a conversation, a shooting, and a child who’s tired of hearing gun shots all the darned time. We’ll let Parkland College instructor Matt Hurt explain the rest.