Category Archives: General

Fire Alarms and Evacuations

Parkland College never performs fire drills, so any and all fire alarms that go off in our facilities are to be treated seriously. If an alarm goes off, safely and quickly find the nearest exit and proceed a safe distance from the building. Exterior speakers will advise when it’s safe to return inside.

Parkland has volunteer faculty and staff Floor Coordinators spread throughout our buildings and wings, who can be identified by their safety vests and flashlights. These individuals can assist you in locating the closest exit, as well as pass on information to emergency personnel if you require additional assistance.

Additionally, there are several Rescue Assistance Areas spread throughout the college that act as gathering points for individuals who need evacuation assistance in the event of a campus emergency. If you require assistance evacuating the campus in the case of an emergency, go to one of the following designated areas. Rescue personnel will check these areas in the event of a campus evacuation. If necessary, use the emergency phone to dial 911:

  • A wing: 2nd floor near the elevator
  • B Wing: 2nd floor, men’s restroom
  • C wing: 2nd floor near the C-3 stairway (West side)
  • D Wing: 2nd floor, restrooms
  • L Wing: 2nd floor, women’s restroom
  • M wing: 2nd floor near M109
  • X Wing: 2nd floor, men’s restroom
  • X Wing: 3rd floor, restrooms
  • U wing: 2nd and 3rd floors (East stairwells)
  • Library: Main floor (2nd Level), restrooms

[Ben Boltinghouse is a sergeant with Parkland’s Department of Public Safety.]

[Photo by Bill Friedrich for Champaign Fire Department.]

Flint Michigan Alternative Spring Break

This spring break, Student Life, in collaboration with the Construction Design and Management Program, organized a service trip to Flint, Michigan, with the Firestone Center. Thirteen Parkland students worked with five different nonprofit organizations over three days during the break.  Below, Emily Grumish, a psychology major from Champaign, recounts her experiences on the trip.

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“Thinking about doing a service-learning trip for spring break? Have you heard about the crime rate in Flint, Michigan?”
“You shouldn’t go there, it’s way too dangerous.”
“Emily, have you ever used a power tool before? How are you going to help construct a house?”
“They don’t need your help. You would just get in the way.”

These responses from my peers almost stopped me from going on one of the most life-changing experiences of my life! Around four weeks ago, I was offered the opportunity to head to Flint, Michigan, on an Alternative Spring Break service-learning trip hosted by Parkland College Student Life. I was nervous to sign up for this trip because I had never done construction work before, or even held a hammer.

The trip was initially focused toward college students with electrician and construction backgrounds. As a psychology major, I was worried that I didn’t have the skills to volunteer on a trip like this one. Before this trip, I also had a limited knowledge of the turmoil that resulted from the Flint Water Crisis.

On April 25, the town of Flint will have been without clean water for four years.

The first time I heard about Flint, Michigan, was in my Child Psychology course I’m currently enrolled in. I remember hearing about some of the children having unexpected cognitive and behavioral difficulties due to the lead pipes that have been poisoning their citizens for years. This honestly sickened me. Full of questions, I started researching the history of Flint using different books and journal articles.

I was surprised to find that Flint is one of the poorest cities in the United States. I noticed a common thread while looking at different news articles. These news articles failed to explain the great work being done to give hope to the city and missions. This work was providing strength to citizens who were beginning to give up faith because they could not even support their families. I decided that a great way to learn about these missions was to actually go volunteer at them.

After meeting and discussing the hard work being done in Flint with Student Life Activities Program Manager Josh Clark, who was also one of the coordinators and chaperones for the trip, I was ready to embark to Flint, along with Josh’s co-chaperone, Parkland Marketing and Public Relations Staff Writer Ruthie Counter, and 13 other Parkland College students.

On the way to Flint.

Going into the trip, I made the quick assumption that the students going would mainly be young men in construction majors. I was happily proved wrong. Our team included a mix of men and women who varied in ages, background, culture, and college majors. However, we all shared one common goal: We all wanted to give back and make a difference in any way possible.

Accommodations and Tour. We stayed at The Firestone Center in Flint. The Firestone Center was created by Social Impact Philanthropy and Investing (SIPI for short) to continue the impact made by Father Tom Firestone, who helped form the Alternative Spring Break Program that houses researchers, students, and families that want to help the community there.  SIPI provided us with a platform to get to know many of the different organizations so we would be able to provide our services in multiple ways. The Firestone Center provided us with a place that felt like home, with warm beds to sleep in and a hot shower, after putting in a day of hard work. We were also provided three meals a day. Did I mention that the two chefs, Melissa and Crystal, prepared some of tastiest meals I’ve ever had?

On the first day, we went on our bus as Firestone Center manager and coordinator Annie Stoltman gave us a tour of the city. First, she showed us the pretty parts of Flint that included well-constructed homes. As we passed the buildings, we heard about the University of Michigan–Flint, Kettering University, and Mott Community College. I had no idea Flint was even a college town. We were shown a building that is being turned into an early childhood development center. Annie made the comment that it’s very interesting that it took a water crisis for Flint to start focusing on creating these centers. I found her thoughts on the topic showed that some powerful transformations can occur after hardship or tragedy.

As we started heading to the east side of Flint, I started to notice how many houses were caving in and/or had broken windows. As we reached the city’s north side, the houses looked like they were hit by a tornado, because many of them were collapsing. I started noticing that CP was written on almost every house, which stands for “cut power.” There were also spots where there were no houses at all, because they had been demolished. Annie explained that Flint was the city with missing teeth.

The missions we worked with in the next following days, are helping to fill some of those missing teeth. Some of the organizations we volunteered with, included Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, Franklin Ave. Mission, Flint Eastside Mission, St. Mary’s, and Habitat for Humanity. We decided to split into two groups, so we could accomplish work with all of the organizations.

Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village and Franklin Avenue Mission. While volunteering for two days at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, I learned about the afterschool problems that are challenging education and leadership in the city, and how the Broome center would help address them. I helped paint a classroom and clean up a gym that had been fully painted in only two days. One memory from that place, that will remain stuck in my mind forever, was seeing a smiling little girl walk into the center, with her mom in hand, to tell us about how excited she was to be able to take dancing lessons there. She was provided an outlet to explore her love of dancing through the help of this center.

The other half of my group was at Franklin Ave. Mission that first work day, where they were building walls in the church. I felt empowered when I witnessed the women using power tools with confidence, as they developed new skills constructing the wall. Many women in our society today are held down by gender stereotypes that say that women are too delicate for construction work. I’m happy that our group could crush those assumptions.

Eastside Mission and St. Luke’s Rennovation. I was later given the opportunity to learn about the Flint Eastside Mission as we worked on their future women’s alcohol and drug treatment facility. It was incredible to see the impact we made in such a short period of time. The group that worked inside the house finished early and then helped the rest of the group pick up the trash and sticks off the lawn. While we were helping at the Eastside Mission, the other half of our team helped St. Luke NEW Life Center fix up a house on the east side that a family will be able to move into in a few more weeks.

Habitat for Humanity Build. On our last full working day, while at the Habitat for Humanity house build, I had the chance to bond with all my fellow coworkers, all construction volunteers from the community, as they shared stories and jokes.

They were great at teaching us how to use the tools to help us gain skills that we never had before. I was so happy to hear that the Parkland College group accomplished everything on the daily check list during the house build.

Hearing Presenters and Making Friends. Some of my favorite memories included our dinner time at Firestone, where we had an outside speaker come in nightly to shed light on the work being done in Flint. This inspired me to pursue future service work. With each speaker, we went around the table introducing ourselves and sharing what we learned that day. Everyone had a different perspective. I was never expecting to form such a strong connection to students who were strangers to me just the week before. They were some of the most positive and open-minded people I had ever met, so knowing that we would be leaving Flint soon and going back to our busy lives made me feel kind of sad.

On our last night, we sat around in a circle to reflect on the trip. We were asked to explain our experience in one word. I said “perseverance”, because that is exactly what the people of Flint have shown. They were able to come together, despite their hardships, and begin the process of repairing this city. I could not have chosen a better place to spend my Spring Break, and I look forward to returning to Flint soon. As quoted by SIPI founder Steve Wolbert, “if you’re interested in making a difference and adding value to a community, there’s no better place to do it in than Flint.”

[Josh Clark is the activities program manager for Student Life at Parkland College.]

Year-Round Pell Grants Available for Summer!

While making your summer plans, you may be considering taking a summer class to move closer to your degree or certificate. If you’re eligible for the Pell Grant, paying for that class may just have gotten a bit easier.

Parkland College students may be able to receive a third disbursement of the award, based on a recent Department of Education announcement.

If you’ve already received a full Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters, you may now qualify for “Year-round Pell” and so receive a full Pell Grant during the summer 2018 semester as well, the DOE reported.

Year-round Pell allows students to receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year so they can continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise. With careful planning, Pell Grant recipients may take advantage of this new regulation to earn their degree faster.

You should be aware, though, that any Pell Grant you receive over the summer will be included in determining your Pell Grant lifetime limit.

To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, you:

  • must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period
  • must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) during the summer term
  • must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress

You’re going to have to fill out a Summer Information Form, available on our forms web page, to get started. And remember, you should always speak to an academic advisor about the classes you should take.

If you were awarded Pell Grants for the 2017‐2018 academic year, contact the Financial Aid office at 217/351-2222 or finaid@parkland.edu for help with summer 2018 financial planning.

Registration for Parkland College Summer Session 2018 starts March 26, so don’t delay!

[Patricia Murbarger is an advisor with Financial Aid and Veteran Services.]

Top Four Reasons to Earn an Online Business Degree

Thinking of studying to earn a degree in business? You might consider the benefits of taking your classes online! Parkland College offers business degrees, certificates, and classes you can take completely online. Here are the four top reasons an online business degree might work for you:

Flexibility. People are busy and their time is valuable to them. Online courses allow students to work at times that are convenient for them and stay on schedule to graduate, so they can advance their careers. Here is what a couple of our students had to say:

Parkland allows me to complete an entire degree by taking online classes. This is important to me as an adult with a full-time career.Robert M.

I only needed a few courses to complete my degree, and Parkland online courses have fit my busy schedule perfectly. I will be graduating this spring rather than having to take summer classes. I appreciate the freedom that online classes provide! – Julie P.

Opportunity. Parkland College prides itself with transferring students to top universities to continue their degrees, and with preparing students to move directly into the workforce. Local employers tout the quality of Parkland graduates.:

It has been my pleasure to hire many Parkland students over the last five years for the U of I Community Credit Union. These students possess the ability to adapt and learn their environment along with contributing to the team in their departments. Parkland students accept the challenge of learning and appreciate the environment in a workplace that allows them to excel. – UICCU staffer

Support. Parkland offers the same quality education and support to its online students that it offers at its campus. Our online students notice our commitment to our systems; they also notice our employees’ commitment to them.

They [Parkland] are continuing to update their systems for students to stay up on what is going on in the world.

Parkland staff is always helpful and knowledgeable whenever I have questions. When taking classes, I always feel as if the professors want you to succeed.

Affordability. Last, but certainly not least, Parkland students have the business savvy to notice a good deal when they see it.

I feel that the tuition is reasonable for all that a student really gets at Parkland, which includes the right education and tools I need to succeed in the workforce.

Parkland College’s online business apply to a variety of degree and certificate programs that can be completed without coming to a campus classroom. So, GO AHEAD, invest in yourself!

[Lori Wendt is the learning management system specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland College.]

Connect with Employers

Parkland Career Services hosts a variety of employers on campus throughout the semester in the Student Union cafeteria hallway between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Employers are looking for Parkland students and alumni!  Register for free on the College Central Network to view local, state, and national job postings in a variety of disciplines.

Don’t think you’re qualified for a position? The key skills listed below are qualifications you may not have thought about. You’ve likely had a chance to practice several of these in the classroom, through volunteer experience, or with jobs you’ve held.

  1.  Communication skills that demonstrate verbal, written, and listening abilities.
  2. Computer aptitude based on the level required for the position being filled.
  3. Team spirit, which involves working cooperatively with a variety of people and treating others with respect.
  4. Basic math and reading skills.
  5. Interpersonal skills, allowing you to relate to diverse coworkers and manage conflicts.
  6. Organizational skills, so that you can plan and complete multiple tasks in a timely fashion.
  7. Problem-solving skills, including the ability to think critically and identify and solve problems.
  8. Flexibility and adaptability, to handle change in the workplace.
  9. Personal traits such as a positive attitude, motivation, integrity, honesty, and leadership potential.
  10. Dependability and a strong work ethic!

Career Services is located within Counseling Services in Room U267, Follow us on Pinterest and check out our website.  Call us at 217/351-2219 or email careerservices@parkland.edu.

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Career Services.]

 

Shopping by Classified Ads? Think Safety

If you submitted your tax return early, have some extra money in your pocket, and want to replace your couch or TV,  looking through the classified ads or going on a site like Craigslist can be an easy and affordable way to make some new additions to your furniture or entertainment options.

After you’ve gotten in touch with the seller and  agreed on a price, however, setting up a place to meet and complete the purchase can be a dangerous situation if you’re not careful. Use the following tips to help ensure that you’re as safe as possible when setting up an exchange.

Meet in public places. Whenever possible, set up the exchanges in a public place, as opposed to meeting at someone’s house. You’re much safer in a busy restaurant or parking lot than at a stranger’s house.

Don’t go alone. You should always bring someone else with you when you meet to exchange, especially if you’re not able to meet in public. At the absolute minimum, make sure a friend or family member knows where you’re going and how long you should be.

Don’t bring any extra cash. Carry with you only the exact amount of money you’ve agreed upon with the seller. There’s no need to risk having anything else taken if things go poorly.

Meet during the day. On top of meeting out in public, meeting when it’s light out is another way to ensure you stay as safe as possible.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a sergeant with Parkland’s Department of Public Safety.]

Degree Completion Day

Are you a new Parkland student taking a few classes but not sure where those classes might take you?  Are  you a first-year student who hasn’t made a solid plan to get to graduation or a second-year student wanting to confirm you are in the correct last few courses?

ALL of you should attend Degree Completion Day.

Degree Completion Day takes place Wednesday, February 21 in the U building (Student Union) between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Here are some features of this great event:

  • You can learn about transferring to another institution for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Academic advising will be available.
  • Learn how to track your progress toward your degree or certificate.
  • Confirm your degree program.
  • Complete a Graduation Petition and turn it in for a formal degree audit.
  • Learn the difference between “graduation” and “commencement.”
  • Find out what General Education courses are and why you might need them.

Finally, come and get some giveaways and refreshments.  WPCD-FM will be streaming live!

Don’t spend any more time just guessing how to get through college or wondering why you’re here. Get real answers and get on track!

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

 

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.]

 

50th Annual Agriculture Banquet Celebrates Student Award Winners, Alumni

 

The Agriculture and Horticulture programs at Parkland College are excited to celebrate the 50th Agriculture Banquet on Tuesday, February 27, in the college’s Student Union.

All supporters, contributors, program alumni, and business partners are invited to join us as we recognize outstanding students, honor program supporters, and celebrate the past, present, and future of agriculture, horticulture, and precision agriculture at Parkland.

Contact Chris at 217/351-2481 or cmurphy@parkland.edu to RSVP.

 

[Aimee Densmore is program manager for Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies at Parkland College.]

Celebrating 10 years of the Pathway to Illinois Partnership!

For a decade now, hundreds of students have started at Parkland College through the Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program and graduated successfully from the University of Illinois.

Parkland Pathway to Illinois is a two-year program where you attend Parkland College for your general education classes but can also take one class a semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The program gives you the benefit of small classes with dedicated faculty from Parkland combined with the enormous opportunities available at a world-class institution like the University of Illinois. Plus, your tuition will be based on your Parkland residency rate. Parkland Pathway really is the “best of both worlds.”

At the end of your two years in the program, you are guaranteed a slot into the junior class in your major as long as you have maintained the college GPA for transfer.

Selection for the Pathway program’s 2018-2019 session is starting Feb. 15, and Parkland College is hosting its annual information session on Sunday, Feb. 11  for you to learn more.

If you are a soon-to-graduate high school senior or are a junior who would like more information, please sign up to attend the Parkland Pathway Information Open House, Sunday, Feb. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Student Union on the Parkland campus. In addition to an overall explanation of the program, counselors from each of the UIUC participating colleges will be present with their Parkland College counterpart. Come and get answers to both your Parkland and UIUC questions.

For more information and to RSVP for this event, please click here.

[Mary Kay Smith is a student services advisor in Admissions and Records.]

 

Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.

 

Our message this week:  National Stalking Awareness Month.

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January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affected 7.5 million victims in one year.

The theme, “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.”, challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. In one of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for femicide (homicide of women) in abusive relationships.

Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization.

Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause that person fear. Stalking may take many forms, such as assaults, threats, vandalism, burglary, or animal abuse, as well as unwanted cards, calls, gifts, or visits. One in four victims reports that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities.

Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes. Communities that understand stalking, however, can support victims and combat the crime.

As we work more to raise awareness and recognition of stalking, we have a better chance to protect victims and prevent tragedies. If you or someone you know is a victim of stalking, please don’t hesitate to approach any of the Parkland College police officers or call us at 217/351-2369.

For further information on this issue, please visit: stalkingawarenessmonth.org/about

 

This article was originally  posted in January 2017.

 

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Free LIFE Clinic Helps Those with Pain

Do you know someone who lives with pain every day or has difficulty completing simple to more complex day-to-day activities? Tell them about Parkland College’s Learning Information for Everyday (LIFE) Clinic, offered by our Occupational Therapy Assistant program, because we can help.

We started the LIFE Clinic two years ago as a FREE service to our community. That’s right, free. For those in our communities who come and see us, we can offer simple strategies to conserve energy or recommend or construct an assistive device to help them navigate their activities better.

What do people think about our LIFE Clinic services? One of our clients, who experiences pain in her right hand, had this to say last spring:

Modification fabricated by OTA students.

“I had no idea of what occupational therapy assistants did. They developed creative contraptions to help me be able to walk my dogs and pour water from gallon glass jugs with much less pain. The students were kind, professional, very pleasant ,and helpful. I was impressed! It was a good day when I met Michelle and her students! Thank you so much!”

If you or someone you know could benefit from the LIFE Clinic at Parkland College, just give us a call at 217/353-2782. For Spring Semester 2018, the LIFE Clinic will offer services Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., March 1, 8, 15, and 29.

[Michelle Roberts is the OTA program director at Parkland College.]

Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

The holiday season is the most dangerous time of the year for house fires, whether it’s cooking in an overly cluttered kitchen, lighting too many candles around the home, or stringing up old or damaged holiday lights. Consider the following tips from the U.S. Fire Administration on how to prevent house fires during the holidays.

  • Keep candles 12 inches away from things that can burn, and consider using flameless battery-operated candles.
  • Place candles in a sturdy candleholder that will not tip over, and never leave a burning candle alone.
  • Throw away holiday light strands with frayed or pinched wires, and turn off all your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Water your Christmas tree every day, as a dry tree can very easily catch fire. Get rid of your Christmas tree soon after Christmas or whenever it dries out.

We hope you have a safe and refreshing holiday break!

 

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with 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.]

World AIDS Day 2017

For this week’s blog post, we’ll be discussing an intersection between Public Health and Public Safety as we observe World AIDS Day today, December 1.

First, some fast facts about HIV:

  • At the end of 2014, the most recent year for which such data are available, an estimated 1,107,700 adults and adolescents were living with HIV.
  • Of those, an estimated 166,000 (15%) had not been diagnosed.
  • The number of new HIV diagnoses fell 19% from 2005 to 2014. Because HIV testing has remained stable or increased in recent years, this decrease in diagnoses suggests a true decline in new infections.

Although undeniable progress has been made in the fight to eradicate HIV/AIDS, the job isn’t finished; plenty more work has to be done, both domestically and abroad. If you’d like to get involved, here are ideas on how to help:

  • Reach out to a local HIV  service organization. Many organizations have support groups for people living with HIV and their loved ones. To find a local HIV/AIDS service organization near you, use HIV.gov’s HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator.
  • Get involved in your community. To get involved in HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy, contact your local HIV service organizations and/or community health department. These groups can help identify local volunteer opportunities. You can also visit the sites listed below to search HIV-related volunteer opportunities.
  • Engage with others. Social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat offer opportunities to connect with others who are interested and involved in HIV issues.

***This post was compiled using resources from hiv.gov and the CDC.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Home Security for the Holidays

Starting with Thanksgiving, the holiday season is typically a time when police departments see an uptick in burglary and theft reports.  Criminals know that many homes will be unoccupied for prolonged periods of time as people are away visiting family, making it a prime opportunity to break in.

Whether you’re headed out of town or just over to a family member or friend’s house for a few hours, here are a few ideas to keep your belongings safe while you’re away:

  • Secure all valuables in a safe; this includes credit cards, jewelry, cash, etc. While you don’t need a bank vault installed in your home, there are plenty of smaller safes that can be secured to the floor via screws or bolts that are perfectly suitable (if you rent, check with your landlord first).
  • Jot down the serial numbers of your consumer electronics. Save them in a safe space or on a secure cloud file. These will help the police recover your items if they’re stolen and someone tries to sell them at a pawn shop.
  • If you own your home, or your landlord will allow you to make modifications, consider installing security cameras and ample exterior lighting. Ensure that all exterior doors have both a handle lock as well as a deadbolt.
  • When ordering gifts online, consider being discreet as you dispose of the boxes they come in. A massive pile of cardboard next to your house can indicate a worthwhile break-in to an unscrupulous passerby. Break down the boxes as much as possible and don’t put them out until the evening before your recycling gets picked up.

If you do come home and find that you’ve been broken into, call the police immediately and don’t go inside if you have any suspicion that the burglar might still be present.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Putting the Spotlight on Sexual Assault

Victims of sexual assault have come forward with their stories in the past few weeks and months, making it a particularly active time in the headlines. As famous actors, executives, and politicians are falling under suspicion, it can be easy to lose sight of the everyday reality of most victims:

One out of every six American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed sexual assault in her lifetime.* And the rich and famous aren’t the only ones committing sexual assault and harassment; about 70% of assault victims knew their attacker.

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. First of all, please know that you are not alone. Below are some other things to keep in mind. If you are in immediate danger or have been seriously injured, call 911.

  1. Your safety is important. Are you in a safe place? If you’re not feeling safe, consider reaching out to someone you trust for support. You don’t have to go through this alone.
  2. What happened was not your fault. Something happened to you that you didn’t want to happen—and that’s not OK.
  3. Call the RACES (Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services) hotline at 217/384-4444 or 1-877/236-3727. They provide free, confidential services to anyone who has been affected by sexual assault, abuse, or harassment.

When you call the hotline, a staff member will walk you through the process of getting help at your own pace.

*The above post was adapted from rainn.org/ and cu-races.org/.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

12 Tips for Winter Driving

As we head into the winter months, conditions on the road can become more dangerous. We need to make a few adjustments to our driving habits to make sure we’re safely reaching our destinations.

As a reminder of those adjustments, we’ve republished our January 2017 post on winter driving, below, which includes tips from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation website. Please give it a read.

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How can you keep safe on the road this winter? Here are the top 12 tips:

12. Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights—even the hood and roof—before driving.

11. Leave plenty of room for stopping.

10. Pay attention; don’t try to outdrive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.

9. Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.

8. Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approaching road.

7. Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter, since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.

6. Don’t use the “cruise control” option when driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

5. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle’s traction. Driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle may help you get going quicker, but it won’t help you stop any quicker. Many 4x4s are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stopWinter Driving

4. Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second of extra time to react safely.

3. Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

2. Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows! Stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.

1. Most importantly, please, remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times; it’s the law.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

I’m a Cubs fan, and I’m glad they lost

Rattle the Stars Executive Director Kim Bryan has graciously shared with us her journey of suicide loss, below. She is one of many who have had to endure similar painful experiences. Join Kim and others Saturday, Nov. 18, as Parkland College recognizes International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day with a program and discussion, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room U140 of the Student Union.

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When the Cubs disappointingly dropped game five to the Dodgers, I breathed a small sigh of relief.  We’re a family of Cubs fans: my husband was sucked in at age 7 in 1984, I acquired fandom through 20 years of marriage to a die-hard, and my kids were all born into it.  We even named our youngest daughter after Ryne Sandberg (she has yet to decide whether she loves or hates it).  We made a regular pilgrimage to the Eden that is Wrigley Field, and even braved the cold to wish her a happy 100th birthday.  As much as I would have loved to see my beloved Cubbies repeat this year, I was glad to be spared the pain that comes with their success.

In April 2016, just as the magical season was getting underway, my 19-year-old son died of suicide.  Sam had battled depression for several years, and after the dreadful disease drained every ounce of his happiness, it moved on to those who loved him.  When Sam died, my world went dark.  For the entire regular season, the Cubs were the farthest thing from my mind.  Just getting up and functioning each day was exhausting, and every spare moment I had was spent questioning the last minutes, hours, days, years of Sam’s life trying to figure what I could have done differently, better, to save him.

By the time October rolled around, I was just beginning to pay attention to the rest of the world again, and the Cubbies were certainly demanding attention.  But with every win, I was secretly hoping they would lose.  The little voice in my head was begging them not to win, not now, not this year.  When they won Game 6 of the NLCS, I cried.  I cried, not out of happiness, but out of grief and loss.  It was really happening.  The Cubs were going to the Series, and he was missing it.  How could he miss this?  It was all he had wanted since Neifi Perez tossed his batting gloves over the dugout to him at his first Cubs game.  Despite my best efforts, they just insisted on winning.  When Rizzo made the final out, and the world erupted in celebration, I sat stone-face on my couch, not able to move.  I finally managed a hug to my husband, but no words would even come.  This was just adding insult to injury.  Six months after suicide stole my son from the world, his dream came true.

A few days later, my family made another pilgrimage to the Eden that is Wrigley Field.  I was determined that Sam was not going to miss this.  We put on all our Cubs gear and took the worn-out Cubs hat that Sam wore every day for years, and we joined countless others in writing our tributes in chalk on the brick.  Even though I know it was eventually washed away, it was comforting to know that his name was on that wall.  A piece of him was there at Wrigley celebrating his beloved Cubbies winning the World Series.  We hugged and cried and reminisced about the great times we had had there.  We stayed as long as we could, and then begrudgingly left for home, feeling the gaping hole in our lives that was left when Sam died.

The most difficult part of healing from the death of my son has been reconciling the simultaneous happiness and sadness that comes with times of joy.  When I first started to feel happiness again, I felt guilty for it.  I actually dreaded things that I would feel good about, things that would bring me joy, because I knew that they would also bring guilt and regret, and things that I knew Sam would enjoy were the absolute worst.  Before his death, Sam had written that he knew people would be sad when he died, but that they would get over it because they were better off without him.  Every time I felt happy, those words rang in my head.  Happiness meant I was getting over it, and how could I ever possibly get over losing my son?  If I was happy, did that mean I was better off without him?  How was I going to get through the rest of my life if I couldn’t find a way to experience happiness without being consumed by this turmoil?

Thankfully, I began to connect with other survivors of suicide loss.  Through AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk and Survivors of Suicide Loss Day I began to meet and talk with others who understood what I was going through.  I found a community of people that have both supported my personal healing and my new journey to prevent youth suicide with our organization, Rattle the Stars.

It’s now been over a year and half since suicide stole my son from me.  I’m still not great, but with the support of other survivors, I’m getting back to okay.  For me, okay is something to celebrate.

[Dennis Cockrum is a counselor with Parkland College’s Counseling Services department.]

Staying Safe on Halloween

This post was compiled from an article originally posted at http://www.ocm.com/blog/10-halloween-night-safety-tips-to-follow/

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Halloween is the favorite night of tons of college students, ready to enjoy parties and get-togethers in dorm rooms or clubs or even to do a bit of night trick-or-treating. However you choose to celebrate this spook-tacular day, be sure to play it safe by sticking to four Halloween night tips.

1.   Travel in Groups

If you’re going out at night, bring a buddy or travel in a group. If you leave a party early, wait until someone you know or trust is ready to leave with you so you don’t have to go it alone. Make sure you coordinate with friends so that someone always knows where you are, where you’re headed, and when you’re supposed to arrive.

2.   Check Your Goodies Out

Even as an adult, you should be particular about your candy and drinks. Don’t drink something you didn’t order and see prepared, and never eat candy that has already been unwrapped. If you have food allergies, carry an epinephrine pen or other medication just in case.

3.   Stay in a Public Area

Don’t take the shortcut a friend told you on Halloween. Stick to familiar walking paths, well-lit streets, or friend’s apartments. It may be tempting, but it’s better to be overly safe than to risk it.

4.   Avoid Dangerous Costumes

You’ve got a great costume, but can you walk in those heels? Can you see through the mask? Does your accessories look or could be labeled as a weapon? Before you go out, wear it around a bit to see if it causes any red flags.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Out of Gas? Locked Out? Call Vehicle Services

The Parkland College Department of Public Safety strives to be accessible and responsive to the community we’re a part of. Towards that goal, we offer a range of services that go beyond traditional policing in order to better connect and engage with students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the college.

This week’s post will be an overview of the various vehicle services we offer, which are completely free to anyone on campus regardless of affiliation to the college. Just call 217/351-2369, and one of our officers will come out to help.

Locked out of your car? 

In the rush to get to class, did you leave your keys locked in the car? Our officers are trained and equipped with vehicle unlock tools to access your door handles or unlock buttons.

Dead battery?

We carry battery packs in all of our squad cars to jump start your vehicle if your battery is dead. The officer will hook it up to your car battery and help start your car. If it turns out that you have a different mechanical issue, we can call a tow truck for you to get you to a mechanic.

Run out of gas?

If you cruised onto campus running on fumes and need a little gas to get back on the road, we can give you a ride to a nearby gas station where you can put a couple of gallons in a gas can we carry in the squad car. We’ll bring you back and you can refill your tank, at least enough to get on the road and make it back to the gas station for a fill-up.

Flat tire?

We have an air compressor to fill up your tire if it’s a little flat. Unfortunately, we can’t change your tire, but we can provide advice and stand by with you if you need to switch over to your spare.

What to Expect

If you’re having any of the above issues with your car, call 217/351-2369. The dispatcher will get some information to find out where you are ,and an officer will be dispatched to you as soon as possible. They’ll verify your driver’s license and vehicle registration, have you sign a liability waiver, and then get to work to get you back on the road. It’s totally free, and you don’t have to be a Parkland student or employee to receive this service.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season officially starts in October and lasts until April, but it is possible to catch the common cold or influenza any time of the year.

Not sure what you might have? Check your symptoms on the handy chart below from the U.S. National Institute of Health! In either case, you shouldn’t come to school if you’re experiencing a cold or the flu. Focus on recovery and try to keep from infecting anyone else. If you have to leave the house, consider wearing a face mask and be sure to wash your hands often.

Consult with your doctor if you have a health concern of any kind.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Papers Due? Try the Writing Lab for Help!

Do you have a paper to revise? Are you trying to figure out MLA and APA citations? Would you like to brainstorm ideas for a scholarship application essay?

The Writing Lab can help! Stop by the Center for Academic Success (CAS, Room D120), where the lab is located, to consult one-on-one with writing faculty:

  • Get help with everything from starting on your academic paper to citing sources correctly.
  • Faculty will not proofread for you, but we can help you learn how to proofread.
  • Sessions last 15 minutes on average. Bring your assignment instructions with you so that Writing Lab faculty can help you effectively.
  • You can also find many helpful writing handouts and tutorials online.

Take advantage of this FREE resource for Parkland College students. We’re here for your success.

Writing Lab Hours
Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–4:50 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m.–1:50 p.m.

[Dr. Umeeta Sadarangani teaches English 101, Humanities 109, and a variety of literature courses, and she serves as the CAS writing specialist and the Writing Lab director.]

Music, art, fun, and social causes at Pygmalion 2017

Parkland College students and staff enjoyed the 13th annual Pygmalion in late September, an event that has outgrown its “festival” label, continuously expanding its borders into the arts and technology, while showcasing outstanding local and national musical acts and so much more. And did we mention the food and beverage options? Only the best! Great job, Seth Fein (Parkland alumnus – yeah!), Patrick Singer, Justine Bursoni, and all who put their hearts and souls into making Pygmalion one of the reasons we are lucky to live in Champaign-Urbana.

Parkland highlights:

Tech Fest
Parkland digital media student Ryan Marshall demonstrated physics and fluid simulations that he and other students worked on in class using Autodesk Maya. Ryan was in illustrious company – other demos were from Beckman Institute, NCSA, and Volition.

Made Fest
Parkland Art Studio Collective participated in this curated marketplace featuring handmade and vintage items, selling works in a variety of media made by Parkland art students. Running the Parkland booth gave students the experience of participating in an art fair. Art students Daniel Quinn, Erin Rogers, Clare Margiotta, Joan Gary, Neda Sroka, Ray Irani, and Ruta Rauber sold their exquisite artwork—jewelry, painting, ceramics, textiles—and put in long hours setting up, staffing, and tearing down the booth. Lisa Costello, Denise Seif, and Laura O’Donnell were Parkland faculty Made Fest champs for coordinating and running the booth.

Lit Fest
Parkland English Professor and #1 Pygmalion fangirl Amy Penne was on the Lit Fest bill—along with mega literary superstar George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)—sharing her new short essay: “A Fluff Piece: Or, Where Does Sex Education End and an Oedipal Complex Begin? One Midwestern Mom’s Query.”

PygHack

New this year at Pygmalion, a 24-hour hackathon with the wide-open theme of engaging coders, designers, engineers, and dreamers with a challenge to come up with an idea that benefits the community. Sara Stone, Parkland’s Tech Services Desk coordinator, served as a judge alongside an illustrious panel of local tech rock stars.

Of 11 projects submitted, top awards went to a proposal for connecting surplus food at grocery stores with food pantries and a proposal for mapping safe routes in C-U using crime frequency data. The grand prize went to SpreadBread, an intuitive food-sharing app that connects eateries, restaurants, and grocery stores to local homeless shelters and foodbanks. Sara’s vote went to SpreadBread because it seemed to have the potential to make the most positive impact on the community. Check out all the entries at https://pyghack2017.devpost.com/submissions and prepare to be inspired by the passion, teamwork, and innovation you see there.

PygTech judge Sara Stone checked out the experimental sounds of Animal Collective on Pygmalion’s main stage on Friday night.

Thanks to all the Parkland peeps who participated, attended, and enjoyed Pygmalion! See you next year.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thanks to earlier detection  (via screening and increased awareness) and better treatment options, a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer has dropped significantly (38 percent between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the American Cancer Society). Another way of saying it:  over the last 25 years, 297,300 fewer people have died due to this illness.

Much more work must be done, however, as breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death among women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 37 (about 2.7 percent). Only lung cancer kills more women each year. A large racial /socioeconomic gap in breast-cancer mortality also remains, with African-American women having 42 percent higher death rates compared to whites.

If you or someone you love is concerned about developing breast cancer, have been recently diagnosed, are going through treatment, or if you are trying to stay well after treatment, please consult with your doctor and refer to recommendations set out by the American Cancer Society.

Interested in how to help? Visit the American Cancer Society’s “Get Involved” page for options on how to get involved:.

**The above information was compiled from resources available at the American Cancer Society. **

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Why Texting + Driving = NO

***A number of blog posts will be repeated throughout the year. This post was originally published on March 30, 2017.***

Here’s a stat for you: Use your phone for anything while you’re driving, and you QUADRUPLE your likelihood of crashing.*

That means, if you do this, you’re four times more likely to receive serious injury (requiring hospitalization) than if you didn’t. Why?

Driving and cell phone conversations both require a great deal of thought. When doing them at the same time, your brain is unable to do either well. For example, it’s nearly impossible to read a book and have a phone conversation. So driving and using a phone often results in crashes due to delayed braking times and not seeing traffic signals.

Cell phone use is particularly dangerous because of how often and how long we use our phones when driving. Applying makeup, adjusting the stereo, or reaching for an object that’s fallen onto the floorboards are also dangerous actions when behind the wheel, but they’re typically executed in short bursts throughout a car ride. Cell phone use, on the other hand, is something that can fill up a whole trip, adding a sustained level of risk over a long period of travel.

Texting and driving is a serious problem, and one that almost all of us are guilty of. Too many of us subscribe to the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Just remember that earlier statistic, though: While it may end up just being a fender bender, serious injury or death are probable risks as well.

Need some assistance keeping off your phone behind the wheel? You can download an app, like DriveMode for AT&T carriers, that prevents you from sending or receiving calls and texts when you’re driving. While it won’t prevent you from scrolling or checking social media, it’s a start.

*Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Alcohol Poisoning: When Drinking Turns Toxic

Alcohol poisoning happens when you drink a large amount of alcohol, usually over a short period of time. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is so high that it is considered to be toxic.

Alcohol depresses the nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing and the gag reflex (to prevent choking). A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually cause these functions to shut down. Since alcohol is an irritant to the stomach, excessive vomiting is also common. If the person is unconscious, this could lead to death by asphyxiation.

Some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Seizure
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute)
  • Unconsciousness or passing out
  • Vomiting

If you think someone has alcohol poisoning, call 911 right away. Illinois State Law provides amnesty from any criminal liability related to underage drinking if you call for yourself or a friend. So don’t worry about getting in trouble or getting a drinking ticket; the police care significantly more about your health and safety than about issuing a ticket.

While you wait for help, DO

  • ….Stay with them.
  • …Keep them warm.
  • …If they are unconscious, put them in the recovery position and check that they are breathing.
  • …If they are awake, try to keep them in a sitting position and awake.

If someone has drunk too much, DO NOT

  • …leave someone to sleep it off. The amount of alcohol in someone’s blood continues to rise even when they stop drinking.
  • …give them coffee. Alcohol dehydrates the body, as does coffee. Having both can lead to severe dehydration and permanent brain damage.
  • …make them throw up. Alcohol can interfere with a person’s gag reflex, causing them to choke on their own vomit.
  • …walk them around. Alcohol slows brain function and affects coordination and balance. Walking around might cause accidents.
  • …put them under a cold shower. Alcohol lowers body temperature. A cold shower could make them colder than they already are and lead to hypothermia.
  • …let them drink more alcohol. The amount of alcohol in their bloodstream could become even higher – which could put them in more danger.

***A number of blog posts will be repeated throughout the year. This post was originally published on March 2, 2017.***

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Suicide Prevention Week

This week is Suicide Prevention Week, and today’s post draws information from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

  • Did you know that more than 5 million people in the United States alone have been directly affected by a suicide?
  • Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing.
  • Experts also say suicidal crises tend to be brief. When suicidal behaviors are detected early, lives can be saved.

Services are available in our community that assess and treat suicidal behaviors and their underlying causes. If you or someone you know is experiencing serious depression and/or suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a friend, instructor,  counselor, or one of our campus police officers for help getting through this difficult time.

For this year’s National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 10–16), the theme is “Take a Minute, Save a Life.” Please join Parkland College in supporting suicide prevention. Together we can reduce the number of lives shaken by a needless and tragic death.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Planning for When Disaster Strikes

Putting together a disaster plan is something that is often overlooked but that can be of tremendous help in the event of a catastrophe. There are four basic steps you can take to help get you and your family ready. (These recommendations were compiled from resources available on The Disaster Center’s website.)

The first is to find out what could happen to you. Apart from the common  “anywhere” disasters such as a fire or gas leak, find out what kinds of things are region-specific that you may need special directions for.

Second, create a plan that includes instructions on where to meet outside of the home if there is a fire, as well as a dedicated out-of-town contact to check in with if your family gets separated (it’s often easier to make long-distance calls rather than local calls in an emergency).

Third, visibly post a checklist that includes emergency numbers as well as instructions on how to turn off water, gas, or electricity in the case of a leak or damaged lines if the authorities instruct you to do so.

Finally, it’s important to practice and maintain your plan. Review your plan and check on any disaster food/water/medical supplies every six months or so; doing this will ensure that all the hard work you’ve done won’t go to waste. Check on and maintain smoke alarms, CO alarms, and fire extinguishers on a regular basis.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with 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.]

Smoke Alarms Safety Tips

For those of us who are moving in at the  beginning of the semester or just haven’t checked in a while, the Department of Public Safety wants to remind you to make sure your apartments or homes are equipped with functioning smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives. The National Fire Protection Association offers the following tips concerning smoke alarms:

Properly installed and maintained  smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast; smoke alarms give you time to get out! Remember these important tips:

  • There are two kinds of alarms: Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in your house or apartment.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside immediately and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with 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.

Buckle Up: The Benefits of Regular Seat Belt Use

Now that we’re well into road trip season, this week’s post is going to discuss the importance of seat belt use. From a young age, we have had it drilled into us how crucial it is to wear a seat belt when we’re in a vehicle, but many people still decide not to buckle up before they hit the road.

The good news is that the CDC reports that Illinois is above the national average when it comes to regular seat belt use: 94% of Illinois drivers wear their seat belts as opposed to 86% nationwide. The bad news is that this still leaves over 750,000 drivers in the state who don’t regularly buckle up. Here’s what you should be aware of:

  • People between the ages of 21 and 34, particularly men,  are the most likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car accident, and many of those casualties are due to a lack of proper seat belt use.
  • On top of a mountain of statistics that show seat belt use saves lives is the fact that Illinois is a “Primary Enforcement” state. This means that you can get pulled over and given a citation just for not wearing your seat belt, as opposed to needing to observe a separate violation to initiate a traffic stop.

I think it’s safe to say that police officers would much rather everyone just wore their seat belt in the first place, however Primary Enforcement has been shown to be an effective tool to increase the rates of regular seat belt use. The Parkland College Police Department asks that you join us in committing to wear your seat belt, every time.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

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.]

Personal Safety Reminders

Our campus and local community continue to feel the impact of missing UIUC visiting scholar Yingying Zhang, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and loved ones.

This week’s post serves as a reminder of personal safety tips and habits that can help keep you from becoming a victim. We would like to note that you are not to blame if someone commits a crime against you; however, there are several steps you can take to safeguard against being victimized. Today’s set of tips is broken into two categories, communication and awareness. Both are important elements that work together to keep you safe.

Communication

Make sure someone knows where you’re coming from, where you’re going, and when you’re supposed to get there. This is particularly important if you’re going out to a bar or a party for the night, but can also be a good practice to generally incorporate. This person can be a roommate, friend, significant other, or relative.

Call the police. Police officers get paid to investigate suspicious circumstances. If something happens to you, or you see something that seems out of the ordinary or suspicious, pick up the phone and call. You’re not inconveniencing anyone. It’s our job, and it’s what we get paid to do.

Awareness

Recognize when you’re in a situation where someone is more likely to target you. This can be when you’re standing at an ATM, walking alone on a dark sidewalk/path at night, or fumbling with your keys before you get into your vehicle or enter your apartment. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious, and if something doesn’t look or feel right, consider choosing a different route, finding a public area, or possibly calling the police.

It’s also important to think critically about situations you’re presented with. When you’re at a party or a bar, be cautious about accepting drinks that you haven’t seen prepared. If someone asks you for help that requires you to get into a vehicle or enter a house or apartment, that should definitely set off some red flags in your mind.

No one wants to live their lives dominated by fear, and that’s not what we’re suggesting. Despite the sense that social media and the daily headlines may give you, it’s ultimately not very likely that you’re going to be the victim of a serious crime. Nevertheless, there are simple, relatively unobtrusive steps you can take to further drive those odds down. If we all work together to take a little better care of ourselves and each other, hopefully we can avoid the next tragedy.

 

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Safety in the Summer Heat

Parkland College’s summer session has begun, and the regular public safety messages will also be returning.

This week, we’re going to talk about dealing with the warmer summer temperatures, particularly as they relate to vehicles. If you’re going to be making long road trips in the summer, be sure to bring along extra bottles of water. In case of a breakdown, you don’t want to get dehydrated on the interstate.

Also, don’t ever leave children or pets inside an unattended car, even if you think you’re going to be quickly running in and out of the store. Temperatures inside a car quickly skyrocket, and the risk of serious injury or death is too high. Monitoring website kidsandcars.org estimates that 16% of nontraffic fatalities involving children are due to heat stroke when kids are left alone in vehicles.

Check out this story posted by WJBC Radio with advice from Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Jason Bradley on what to do if you come across a vehicle with a pet that’s been left alone inside: bit.ly/2tSmB5O.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

 

3 Reasons Your Child Should Try Blogging

This summer, I will have the opportunity to teach a blogging class for middle school students at Parkland’s College for Kids. I am so excited to share my own hobby with students in the Champaign-Urbana area. Since beginning my teaching blog in 2014, it has undergone lots of changes. Some of those changes were productive, and some were merely a reflection of my indecisiveness. However, it was all part of a creative journey that I had begun, which now serves as the basis for my top three reasons your child should try blogging.

1. Cultivate Creativity
As a middle school teacher, one of the biggest hurdles I face when beginning a new school year with my students is that they lack creativity. It is hard to teach kids to be creative because it requires that they start something of their own accord—a project, an essay, a presentation, a website, a design, etc. When they don’t have any initial inspiration, it quickly becomes a game of monkey-see, monkey-do.

A blog is your child’s body of work. It is a space for them to take creative risks and test out their ideas for design, writing, and photography, all under one domain that allows for pretty immediate change whenever your young blogger sees fit. In short, it gets the creative juices flowin’, and that’s never a bad thing!

2. Reflect on the Self
Kids (and adults, if we’re all being honest) who routinely narrate their thought processes are more prone to self-reflection and self-awareness. Blogging is an avenue that kids can use to explore their perspectives. Each post is an opportunity to identify a new viewpoint or explore thoughts. It’s a chance to organize the chaos that often plagues the adolescent mind.

Best of all, rereading old posts can be an experience in itself for kids. I know it is for me! That then becomes cause-for-pause to reflect on where I used to be and where I am now, in many senses of the idea.

3. Connect with Others
While it can be scary to think about allowing middle schoolers to connect with strangers on the Internet, it can also be a way in which students widen their own perspectives. In my classroom, my students explore the idea of an echo chamber. Online, this is often referred to as a filter bubble.

The concept is basically this: Everything we know we like and agree with surrounds us and reverberates back to us on a daily basis. Online, algorithms “get to know” our online presence by keeping track of what we like and interact with, and they fill our social media accounts and even the ads on the websites we visit with more content just like that. This creates a tiny bubble that is very difficult to burst without making a conscious effort to seek other perspectives.

As a blogger, kids have access to other perspectives from anywhere in the world, which can effectively burst that filter bubble and give kids a window through which to view the stories of other cultures and more. On top of that invaluable experience, bloggers then have the opportunity to write for different and authentic audiences with a unique diversity they probably aren’t getting from their classrooms throughout the school year. Imagine the possibilities! Lastly, it provides opportunity for conversation around safe practices online, and also the development of a digital footprint, along with the space to practice safe habits routinely.

I hope you are excited by the idea of blogging for your child. I am certainly excited to be delivering such relevant content to our young writers in the area! To me, blogging is more than just a hobby. It’s a way to create, reflect, and expand my own perspective to include the stories of writers all over the world. I hope you’ll explore this class and the many others Parkland has to offer this summer. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

See you this summer!

Elizabeth Maske
College for Kids Teacher
How to Be a Blogger, Adventures in Stories and Snacks

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College for Kids registration is open now! Check out our classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister. Classes will be held Monday–Thursday, June 19–29 and July 10–20. Class times are 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159 and includes all supplies. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign. CFK inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

Ford ASSET Student Earns Gold at SkillsUSA

**UPDATE! Jacob won gold at the national competition!**

Parkland College Ford ASSET program‘s Jacob Greene will soon represent the state of Illinois in automotive service technology excellence after winning gold at the SkillsUSA Illinois Championship in Springfield late last month.

The freshman and 2016 Litchfield High School graduate is ready to compete with about 6,000 other state contest winners at the SkillsUSA National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, June 19-23. More than 16,000 people are expected to attend this exciting week of competition in career and technical education.

Upon graduation from Parkland College, Jacob has the opportunity to become fully certified as a Ford technician with an associate’s degree in automotive technology. As part of his program at Parkland, Jacob will have had over 32 weeks of hands-on training at his sponsoring Ford dealership, Victory Lane Ford in Litchfield.

Jacob’s high school automotive instructor, Eric Gray, and his Parkland Ford ASSET instructor, Thomas Fischer, are both 2008 graduates of Parkland’s Ford ASSET program! Fischer, a Mahomet resident, serves as Jacob’s SkillsUSA advisor.

Congratulations, Jacob! Parkland is proud of your accomplishments and wishes you great success at Nationals!

Art Rocks! at College For Kids

College for Kids has invited super-cool instructors to work with your kids this summer, like “Art Rocks!” instructor Kamila Glowacki. Kamila is pursuing her MA in Art Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her BFA in Art Education and Painting in 2013. Her drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures have been featured at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and local venues such as the Indi Go Artist Co-Op, the Art Theater, Common Ground Food Co-Op, and the Women’s Resource Center. And she loves getting kids excited about art! Kamila describes a bit about her work and the class below.

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Above: Jay Ryan poster for Polyvinyl Records’ 4-track single series. Featured image: Poster by Jay Ryan.

Over these next few days, I will be preparing screenprinted T-shirts, enamel pins, and other merchandise for an upcoming tour of the East Coast that my band is about to embark on. As an artist and musician, it has always been a fun challenge for me to design something that represents my music and put it on a shirt or CD. It’s an exciting feeling to see someone wearing something I drew!

Through this creative process, I have learned many practical skills that can be applied to artmaking as well as design. I’m excited to explore these skills with students who will soon take the “Art Rocks!” class at Parkland’s College for Kids summer enrichment camp.

In this class, we’ll design and screenprint T-shirts, create buttons, and zines, and design large-scale posters as part of the “Art Rocks!” class. As students participate, they will develop their own art skills as well as the freedom to create objects that can be duplicated and shared. Whatever T-shirt, storybook, or poster they might imagine will become an attainable item they are capable of creating themselves.

While many K-12 students have a chance to paint, draw, and sculpt, the opportunity to learn about specific artmaking methods and careers within the music industry is not likely to be found in school curricula. Throughout “Art Rocks!” we will look at the work of contemporary artists such as Jay Ryan who have made careers around concert poster or album artwork design. These encounters with contemporary artists will introduce students to the possible careers in the arts as well as encourage their interest in art and music.

I am looking forward to sharing these skills with students this summer, and I can’t wait to see what fantastic designs they create!

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College for Kids registration is open now! Check out our classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister. Classes will be held Monday–Thursday, June 19–29 and July 10–20. Class times are 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159 and includes all supplies. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign. CFK inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

 

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.]

Rest up for Finals Week…and Your Safety

Sleep is one of the most powerful indicators of student success, and with good reason. Sleep not only refreshes our organs and physical bodies, but it helps us consolidate and synthesize the information  we take in everyday. Many college students (and adults in general) find that they have trouble getting enough quality sleep at night.

Not only is sleep important for success in the classroom or the workplace, but getting enough sleep is critical for your safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.

I found some great tips for improving the quality and quantity of your sleep, from Middlebury College in Vermont:

Develop a routine. Routines signal to our body that something is about to happen—in this case, sleep! Starting a bedtime routine 30 minutes before going to sleep can help unwind the mind and body and release melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Starting the routine at the same time and trying to wake up and the same time everyday can improve sleep quality and quantity.

Reduce caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to cause people to take longer to get to sleep, cause more awakenings, and lower the quality of sleep. Many types of soda contain caffeine as does chocolate, coffee and many types of teas.

Limit alcohol. Consuming alcohol, even as little as one to two drinks can produce fragmented sleep, causing a decrease in deep and REM sleep.

Go screen-free. The light emitted from cell phones, computer screens, tablets, and televisions trick our bodies and brains into thinking that it is light outside and we should be awake. Adding screen-free time into your routine can help you fall asleep faster.

Make time for physical activity. Often at the end of the day our brains are exhausted but our bodies are restless after sitting in class all day. Making time for physical activity, even just a walk around campus or your neighborhood, can help the brain and body get on the same page at the end of the day.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

10 Tips for Nighttime Walking

Whether you’re walking out to your car through the Parkland parking lots or enjoying an evening out in downtown Champaign, Urbana, or Campustown, foot travel at night carries more risks than the daytime. As starts to get nicer outside, we’ve compiled the following list of tips to help you safely reach your destination:

  1. Stay away from poorly lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts down dark alleyways or paths. Choose well-lit, heavily traveled sidewalks.
  2. If you are in an emergency situation, call 911.
  3. Whenever possible, do not walk alone at night.
  4. Be aware of places along your path that could conceal a criminal (shrubbery, buildings, recesses, etc.). Avoid these areas.
  5. Do not use headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking alone at night as this reduces your awareness of your surroundings.
  6. If you think someone is following you, make your way to a populated area and consider calling the police.
  7. Carry yourself with confidence. If confronted, shout or use a whistle to attract attention.
  8. It is risky to travel under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. Drugs and alcohol can greatly alter your perceptions, reaction time, and judgments.
  9. Make sure to tell someone your plans and travel routes and when to expect your arrival.
  10. Wear clothing that will allow you to run if necessary. If you need to run, drop any heavy cargo you’re carrying (heavy books, packages, etc.) since these slow you down.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

It’s Plant Sale Week at Parkland

Parkland College invites the public to its 11th annual Greenhouse Spring Plant Sale, May 3 through 5 and May 8 through 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual sale is an opportunity to showcase the work that our agriculture and horticulture students have been doing over the course of the semester. We asked Theresa Meers, who coordinates the popular semiannual Greenhouse Plant Sale, a few questions to find out more about the sale.

Q: What is the difference between the Parkland plant sale and a local nursery selling plants?

A: The students have been involved in the planning, seeding, growing, and now the sale of the plants, so it’s been a learning experience from the beginning. We have a very small selection of plants compared to the local nurseries, so we are not competing with them. Some of the plants we tried did not even make it to the point of being able to sell, which is a learning experience in itself. The funds go into the Horticulture account to help pay for greenhouse and other horticulture-related expenses.

Q: What role do students play in the plant sale?

A: Students have been involved from the planning phase, specifically through the agri-business work experience courses AGB 191 and 291; HRT 270, Greenhouse Production; and a new class HRT 111, Sustainable Urban Horticulture. Selling the plants is the reward of all their hard work. They will act as salespeople and answer customer questions.

Q: What kinds of plants are available for sale?

A: Because the students choose which plants to grow, each year is different. This year, we have lots of hanging baskets and annuals, plus some veggies and tropical plants. There is a limited selection of perennials this year.

Q: What new initiatives are you planning for this growing season?

A: We are in the second year of our sustainable plot between W and T buildings, so we are hoping to harvest a wider grouping of plants this year.

The greenhouse is located on the west side of the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center on the west side of campus. Great vegetable plants, annuals, perennials, tropicals, hanging baskets, and other ready-made containers (great for Mothers’ Day gifts or your own yard) will be available.

Cash or checks only, please. For more information, contact Theresa Meers at tmeers@parkland.edu.

 [Hilary Valentine is associate director for Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations.]

 

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. During this month and throughout the year, Parkland College is dedicated to supporting families and reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.

Even if you’re not a parent, almost everyone knows or is somehow connected to children through family or friends. You don’t have to be a professional to spend time and offer appropriate affection and support to the kids in your life.

Being the best parent you can be involves taking steps to strengthen your family and finding support when you need it. Parenting is part natural and part learned; you can supplement your natural skills with questions for your family doctor, your child’s teacher, family or friends. Books, websites, and parenting classes can also be helpful for ideas on how to deal with new challenges as your child grows up. Parenting isn’t something you have to do alone. When you have the knowledge, skills, and resources you need, you can raise a happy, healthy child.

Find out more about activities and programs in your community that support parents and promote healthy families. Dial 2-1-1 from any telephone in Champaign County and you’ll be connected with trained specialists who can help refer you to the variety of assistance programs available in the area.

A comprehensive tipsheet for parents and caregivers can also be found at: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/tipsheets_2017_en.pdf

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

New Workshops to Spark Kids’ Passion for Hands-on Careers

This summer, Parkland College is offering a new series of technology camps for kids ages 13 to 18 years old, camps that will spark their interest in what could be in-demand, hands-on careers in their (not-too-distant) future.

A longtime provider of summer educational experiences for the area’s youth, Parkland’s Business Training and Community Education department will hold its Machining/Welding, Automotive, and Mapping Technology camps in June. All taught by experienced Parkland College faculty members, each camp will feature Parkland’s state-of-the-art facilities and and high-tech equipment, giving students a taste of real-world work experience in each of the fields.

Machining and Welding Camp, June 19–29
In this new camp, youth will learn to use a manual lathe and manipulate metal in a safe and supervised environment, making really cool (or should we say, hot!) projects to take home. Along with creating great summer memories, this camp is sure to provide students with a one-of-a-kind experience, working in a high-tech lab using the latest manufacturing industry technology. As they develop “mind over metal,” kids will gain tangible skills, igniting a sense of confidence. Well-suited to the “maker minded” student, this camp may even inspire them to consider welding as a possible career option.

Mapping with Technology Camp, June 5–8
Do you know where your backyard ends and your neighbor’s yard begins? Have you ever wondered how maps are designed? A surveyor can tell you! Surveyors measure and draw what the earth’s surface looks like. Using special tools, survey technicians collect facts about the land, draw sketches, take GPS readings, and enter this information in a computer to determine the elevation and curvature of a plot of land. In this camp, students will learn how professional surveyors use the latest high-tech tools to create maps and use them to make decisions to build structures and develop land.

Automotive Summer Camp, June 12–15 (16–18 years) or June 19–22 (14–16 years)
Back by popular demand! The Automotive Summer Camp is designed for kids who consider themselves gearheads and love being around cars. Students will learn basic automotive technology: the proper way to change oil, common engine malfunctions, and how to keep a vehicle running in top-performing condition. Youth gain practical, real-world skills that could accelerate their future careers in the automotive industry!

***To register for any or all of the technology camps in this new series, please visit www.parkland.edu/btceRegister and use the “search for a class” feature at the upper right.***

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

 

Cyber Safety, Part 2: Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying isn’t just a problem for adolescents; it often impacts those who have long since left high school behind. If you find yourself being bullied or harassed online, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the situation.

  1. Document all evidence of the bullying, taking screenshots or pictures of any messages, posts, or comments that are made. You should also block the person who is cyberbullying.
  2. Next, report that evidence to the online service providers. Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and Internet service providers, and they can take action against the users who are abusing their sites. This not only protects you but stops others from being bullied as well.
  3. Finally, depending on the severity of the bullying, bring the evidence you have to law enforcement as well. This should definitely be done when the bullying involves threats of violence, sexually explicit messages or posts, stalking and hate crimes, or taking photos or videos of someone where they would reasonably expect privacy.

The Pew Research Center estimates that 40% of adult Internet users have personally experienced some form of online harassment. If you or someone you know is the victim of online bullying, please reach out and start the process to freedom from cyberbullying.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

 

Cyber Safety, Part 1

For the next two weeks, we’ll be talking about cyber safety. Today’s post discusses three of the most common forms of theft and fraud that you’ll find online, and next week will be all about cyber bullying.

Phishing

Phishing is a common trick used by identity thieves to gain your personal information. This crime involves sending email or creating sites that appear to be from a legitimate company and asking you to confirm personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, birth dates, or addresses. PayPal and eBay are two of the most common targets for phishing scams. Before adding any personal information, contact the supposed site directly to see if they have been trying to contact you. Most reputable sites will not contact you in this way.

Identity Theft

When they think of Internet safety, adults most often consider identity theft a top priority. Identity thieves can use the information they find online to drain your bank account and ruin your credit rating. In some cases, the damage caused by identity theft may even harm your future employment prospects, especially if you work in an industry that regularly does credit checks for all job applicants. Should you find yourself to be a victim of Identity theft, visit https://identitytheft.gov/ for easy instructions on how to report the crime and form a recovery plan.

Watch for Fraud

The global nature of the Internet has brought new life to scams. Some of the most common forms of Internet fraud include the following:

  • Online auctions site postings that feature nonexistent or falsely represented merchandise
  • Nigerian money offers promising large sums of cash in exchange for assistance with bank account transfers
  • Financial scams targeting consumers with poor credit who are tricked into paying upfront fees in hopes of receiving credit cards or personal loans
  • Phony sweepstakes offers asking for payment to claim a prize that doesn’t really exist

Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of on the Internet! Think critically about anything that sounds too good to be true.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

 

Join the College for Kids Fun!

Make College for Kids a part of your family summer plans!
Looking for that really awesome, one-of-a-kind summer camp experience for your kids? Do you want your child’s summer to be filled with fun activities, new and enriching experiences, and opportunities to make new friends? Look no further – we’ve just described Parkland’s very own College for Kids!

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer enrichment camp for students, ages 8-13 years. For over the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, TV broadcasting to cooking, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on and interactive and put the fun in learning!

We’ve got a lot of new classes this summer that offer tons of fun for your children. They will be learning and challenged at the same time! You child will be able to:

• design an app
• create short animations
• learn Photoshop or design objects
• explore world cultures and art as they learn various forms of
Zumba dancing
• learn to fly a drone with Parkland’s own Jennie Fridgen
• learn to make prints, jewelry, and a 5-course dinner!

Classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and CFK students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides state-of-the-art facilities for classes such as Paint Like the Masters, Pocket Sketching, and Art Rocks, a printmaking class that combines students’ love of art and rock music. Students will be exposed to many of Parkland’s amazing resources, including science and computer labs, the hospitality kitchen, and even the library!

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister.

Registration is open now! CFK will be held Monday through Thursday, June 19 through June 29, and July 10 through 20. Classes are held from 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159, and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time when we recognize and focus efforts to combat the damage that sexual violence has on our society.

Sexual violence occurs when someone is forced or coerced into unwanted sexual activity without agreeing or consenting. Reasons someone might not be able to consent include fear, being underage, having an illness or disability, or being incapacitated due to alcohol and other drugs. Consent initially can be given and then later withdrawn.

Sexual violence is a crime that comes in many forms, including forced intercourse, sexual contact or touching, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and exposure or voyeurism. Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. It doesn’t matter what the victim is wearing or doing, whether the victim has been drinking, or what type of relationship the victim has with the person who is committing the abuse.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual violence, Parkland College has a fully trained team of counselors who can help you process the situation, as well as police officers to pursue criminal charges.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Spring Graduation: Get What You’ve Earned

So, you have earned your Parkland College degree or certificate, AND you are not walking in the commencement ceremony this May; you’re moving on.

However, you can still graduate and receive the credential you’ve earned…and you SHOULD. Here’s why:

• You never know how soon your life may change. Get that degree awarded to your Parkland College transcript.
• You have no idea how proud your family will be seeing that diploma on the living room wall.
• Your children follow in your footsteps. Knowing you’ve graduated will increase their chances of graduating from college as well.
• It is an excellent accent to your growing resume.
• Many jobs require at least a two-year degree, so why miss that opportunity?
• Haven’t you always been told to finish what you started?

Stop by Admissions and Records today to fill out a Petition to Graduate! The deadline is Monday, April 10! You can find the petition in Admissions and Records under Forms or in the my.parkland portal. It’s not an automatic thing to receive your degree; the petition lets us know you’re finished.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

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.

Mayo Clinic to Visit Parkland Surgical Tech

Exciting opportunities are happening this spring for Parkland College Surgical Technology students!

The world-renowned Mayo Clinic is flying a recruitment team in later this month to pay a visit to our students, just one of several companies that have contacted us this month for access. Others include UnityPoint Health Group, which owns nine hospitals including Methodist, Proctor, Pekin, and others throughout Illinois and Iowa. Next week, our students will meet with Vantage Outsourcing, which outsources eye surgical equipment and techs from its base in Effingham and 10 satellite locations across the country.

It’s no surprise that top clinics and medical suppliers are seeking out Parkland College Surgical Technology graduates to fill their in-demand jobs. Our program is among the top in the nation for graduate success rates on the National Certifying Board exam. For four years running, Parkland has achieved a 100 percent pass rate, while the national pass rate for this exam is around 70 percent!

Graduates passing the national exam to become a certified surgical technologist (CST) demonstrate an understanding of the basic competencies for safe patient care in the operating room. These companies want highly skilled surgical technologists, and they know they can get them from Parkland College. Mayo Clinic already has one of our grads on its transplant team.

The surgical technologist serves as an integral part of the surgical team, standing next to and across from the surgeon during all surgical procedures. He or she is either

  • handling the instrumentation and the medications for the patient
  • helping handle tissue, or
  • troubleshooting anything that may arise.

We are credentialed professionals and vital surgical team members.

Guess what? This career field can offer a great job for you, too! In fact, Parkland’s Surgical Technology Program has a 100 % job placement rate. A lot of jobs are out there for these skills, both locally and nationally.

If you would like to learn more about a career as a surgical technologist, just let me know!

Carolyn Ragsdale, Program Director and Faculty
Surgical Technology at Parkland College
cragsdale@parkland.edu
217/373-3746

Five Tips for Enjoying Spring Break…Safely

Parkland College’s spring break is just around the corner, so here are five tips for staying safe during the break:

Stick together
If you’re going on a trip with a group of friends, you’ll all be safest if you stick together. Should one of you decide to leave a party early or go on a solo shopping trip, make sure others in your group know where you’re going and how long you’ll be.

Keep an eye on your money
You don’t want to get stranded in a new and unfamiliar place without any money, so be sure to bring enough to last you the whole trip. If you carry cash, try to keep the amount you take with you on routine excursions to a minimum. Try distributing your money in various places among your belongings and accommodations so that if by chance you lose some or it’s stolen, you’ll still have more elsewhere.

Alcohol and you
Most spring break trips involve some level of alcohol-related activities, and while you may be safest if you don’t partake, the reality is, that will probably not be the case. Being smart about the way you drink is the next best thing, and that involves being cognizant of the risks of alcohol poisoning, selecting a designated driver if you’ve got to travel, and being wary of accepting drinks from strangers.

Safe sex
Should you decide to have sex during spring break, take the necessary precautions to protect against unwanted pregnancy and STDs/STIs. Make sure that consent has been explicitly and freely established between all parties before engaging in sexual activities.

Use proper activity gear
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that accidental injuries kill more Americans age 30 and under than any other cause of death. With this in mind, be sure to wear those seat belts and use life vests, knee pads, and other appropriate gear, especially before venturing out to some high-risk activity.

Have a fun—and safe—spring break!

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Get Advised Early!

Registrations are coming…avoid the lines!

Did you know that you can see your advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center before registration even begins? Even before our class schedule is released, we can recommend the courses you should take for the next semester. We have a general idea of what is offered during certain semesters and would be glad to get you cleared for registration in advance. (Remember, until a degree-seeking student has earned 30 credit hours at Parkland, he or she must see one of our advisors to be cleared to register for the semester.) 

For continuing Parkland students, summer registration begins the week of March 27 and fall registration begins the week of April 3. You will receive an email from Admissions to your student email account prior to these dates, telling you the exact day and time you can register for summer and fall courses. If you see your advisor before those dates and get cleared for registration, then you will be able to go online when it is your turn and register for your courses.

Counseling and Advising is located in U267; you can also reach us at 217/351-2219. Be prepared to be asked if you are a current student at Parkland. If you are not, then there may be other things you need to do, like placement testing and new student orientation before we can see you. Some departments do their own academic advising, so one of the questions you will be asked when you call or stop by is what your major of study is at Parkland. If you are in a program that we do not advise, then our front desk will give you the contact information of the person you need to see for advising.

Counseling and Advising is doing same-day appointments and advanced appointments through March 23. After that, we will only be doing same-day appointments. To make a same-day appointment, you will need to call or stop by the front desk after 8 a.m. and put your name down for the hour you would like to come in for advising.

[Myriah Benner-Coogan is an academic advisor in Counseling and Advising at Parkland College.]

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month, celebrated annually during March in the U.S., highlights the contributions of women to events in history and society. Today, we highlight five inventions by women that have had an impact in the fields of police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) that make all our lives safer.

1. In 1887, Anna Connelly patented the first fire escape bridge, allowing people who escaped to the rooftop to make their way to a neighboring building during a fire. Fire escapes are essential to residents’ and first responders’ rescue efforts in the event of a fire.

2. In 1969, Marie Van Brittan Brown, a nurse, was the first person to develop a patent for home closed-circuit television security. Her invention became the framework for the modern closed-circuit television system that is widely used for surveillance, crime prevention, and traffic monitoring.

3. Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and computer scientist, invented COBOL,  the first user-friendly business computer software system in the 1940s. Thanks to Dr. Hopper, her program was later adapted by other computer scientists and modified for fire and EMS programs.

 

4. DuPont chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar in 1966 while she was trying to create a material to make stronger tires. She wove the material into a fiber, and the forerunner for firefighter gear and ballistic vests was born.

5. In WWII, to aid in the deployment of radio-controlled torpedoes, Hedy Lamarr made significant contributions to the field of frequency hopping in radio technology. This development paved the way for everything from Wi-Fi to GPS.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Celebrate 10 Years of the Garden Hills Homework Club

The Garden Hills Homework Club is an afterschool program in which Parkland students, faculty, and staff tutor 3rd–5th graders to improve their reading skills, support their academic success, and act as positive role models. The Garden Hills Homework Club was co‐founded in the fall of 2007 by Brian Nudelman, English faculty and director of Service Learning at Parkland College, and Lauren Smith, community outreach coordinator for Champaign Unit 4 Schools.

Garden Hills Elementary School was selected because of its proximity to Parkland and because of Garden Hills’ high percentage of low-income and limited-English-proficient students. Initially the focus of the Homework Club was on helping Garden Hills students  complete their homework but has since transitioned to improving reading and literacy skills. Volunteers tutor students on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3–4pm and they work with the same student throughout the entire semester in order to provide a consistent, positive college role model.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Garden Hills Homework Club. On Wednesday, March 8, The Garden Hills Homework Club is hosting an open house at Parkland College in room D244 from 3 to 3:45 p.m. It will also be a demonstration of the Homework Club, including mindfulness meditation, the PALS (peer assisted learning system) reading program, and snacks for all attendees.

For more information about the Garden Hills Homework Club, how to volunteer, or to RSVP to the Homework Club Open House please contact Josh Clark at jclark@parkland.edu or 353-3302.

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.]

 

Tax Time! Benefits for Students

It’s officially tax season! Have you received a 1098-T form from Parkland and are wondering what to do with it? If you are a college student who files taxes, there’s a good chance you can benefit from one or more tax programs for students. Read on to find out how you can save some money (and maybe even get a bigger refund!)

There are two main types of tax benefits available to students: tax credits and deductions.

Tax credits reduce the amount of income tax you pay. If you are receiving a tax refund because you had excess funds taken out of a paycheck for taxes, an education credit can increase this refund. Alternatively, if you owe money for underpaid taxes, a credit can reduce or offset this balance. Tax credits are a great way to offset what you pay for school (including payments that you make with money borrowed as student loans). There are two education credits available to college students: the American Opportunity Credit (AOC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). The AOC is available for students who are in their first four years of college (at least half time), and the LLC is available to students who may not meet the qualifications for the AOC. Students who are part time, already have a degree, or who have already used four years of AOC may benefit from the LLC.

Deductions reduce your total income for the purposes of calculating your tax bill. If you don’t qualify to receive an education tax credit, you can deduct the amount of money you paid for school (again, including money that came from student loans) from your income, which in turn will reduce the amount of income taxes owed to the government. Deductions result in proportionately smaller tax savings than credits, but can still increase your refund.

Speaking of student loans, if you made any student loan payments last year–even if you were just paying the interest accruing on an unsubsidized loan–you may be eligible for the Student Loan Interest Deduction. This allows you to deduct the amount of student loan interest paid from your income, resulting in a lower tax bill. Your loan servicer (the company that collects your student loan payments) should provide you with a statement indicating the total loan interest you paid in 2016.

For more information about each of these benefits, as well as a list of all eligibility requirements, check out this article: www.nasfaa.org/2016_tax_year.

Are you a new tax filer? Learn how to file your own taxes with SALT. Parkland has partnered with SALT, a nonprofit organization that helps student take control of their personal finances. They have informational articles, videos, and even an entire course on how to file your taxes. Get your free account at www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege.

[Julia Hawthorne is an advisor with Financial Aid and Veteran Services at Parkland College.]

 

Parkland, Lewis U.: New Flight Transfer Accord

Parkland College Aviation graduates have gained a new bachelor’s degree opportunity through Lewis University.

Representatives of Lewis University and the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College signed an articulation agreement Feb. 3 at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to continue their studies and complement their flight training in other aviation fields.

The agreement allows Parkland graduates the opportunity to transfer into one of Lewis University’s seven aviation undergraduate programs to complete a bachelor’s degree. These programs include Aviation Administration, Aviation and Aerospace technology, Aviation Maintenance Management, Air Traffic Control Management, Aviation Flight Management, Transportation Administration, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Dr. Stephany Schlachter, provost of Lewis University, said his school “welcomes graduates of Parkland College as they continue on their flight path to success.”

Lewis University has the oldest aviation program among universities in Illinois. It is the only aviation program in the state that has an airport on campus. The university also offers a graduate degree in Aviation and Transportation on campus and online.

 

New Flight Agreement: Trans States Airlines

Parkland College flight students will soon get a great new option for advancing their training toward commercial flying.

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College will sign an agreement with Trans States Airlines, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, that would accept our qualified flight students into its Aviators Program.

Parkland will sign the agreement during a ceremony at the institute this Saturday (Feb. 25) at 11 a.m. Join us for this important event.

Created last June for aspiring commercial pilots, the Trans States Airlines Aviators Program is a long-term internship for student pilots enrolled professional pilot training programs. The program identifies promising pilots early on in their flight training and begins preparing them for the Trans States Airlines flight deck while they are still in school through immersive, real-world experiences.

Students completing the program are eligible for a $10,000 tuition reimbursement as well as any recruiting bonuses offered by Trans States. These funds can be used to offset the cost of earning their certified flight instructor (CFI) designation.

This new agreement will help create certified flight instructors for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation and pilots for Trans States. We will join a selected group of aviation programs that will have this partnership, which allows our current students a pathway to commercial flying. The idea is that students complete their certified instructor training with the Institute, and then they continue to work for the Institute until Airline Transport Pilot certification minimums are met but still are very involved with Trans States.

[Wendy Evans is the aviation recruiter for the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.]

Racing Toward a Bright Future

Parkland graduate Kyle Bemount is going places, FAST! Bemount, who earned his associate’s degree in Industrial Technology in 2011, is making a name for himself, both in racing circles and through the efforts of his business, Bemount Performance. I recently caught up with him and we talked about his experiences at Parkland, including his role as a part-time instructor, in addition to his ventures outside of school.

 

****

T: What did you study at Parkland?
K: I originally enrolled in the Industrial Technology program at Parkland in the fall of 2008, right after I got out of the Marine Corps. I wanted to do welding and fabricating and that sort of thing. I had some hands-on experience and liked it, so I wanted to further educate myself.

T:  Thank you for your service! Where did your degree in Industrial Technology lead you?
K: While I was earning that degree, I also worked pretty much full time at my stepdad’s shop, painting and fabricating. When I graduated, I used the tools I learned and kept heading in that direction. I had never really given motorsports a chance to reach out and grab me. Then, Parkland built the new facility, and I was here for a car show and thought maybe it was worth checking out. I scheduled a meeting with Jon (Ross, director of the automotive program) and he gave me all the information I needed. I liked what he had to say, so I decided to try for another degree in Automotive Motorsport technology.

T: Where did your interests outside of Parkland take you?
K: I finished the motorsport classes, and it was a year ago, almost to the day, that I made the decision to open my own business. I do have a passion for working on cars and making them go faster, and working on FRIENDS’ cars especially is what has led me to this! Last October, I moved to a shop in Champaign, at 4102 Colleen Drive off of Staley Road.

T: Did your Industrial Technology training come together with the auto training?
K: It all kind of pieced the puzzle together. You might have previous car experience or have a relationship with someone who taught you about cars, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I had it too; I was already into cars and I had a fast vehicle, but there were a lot of gaps. I would be in class with Jon going over wheels and tires or brakes and suspension or something, and I would think I knew it, but by the end of class, I’d be like, “I didn’t know ANYTHING about that!” Parkland’s instruction bridges a lot of gaps for people who haven’t been taught in a structured manner like a classroom environment. You aren’t going to get that know-how by working on one specific vehicle. Here, you’re taught that this is how they all work and the situation dictates which one you can use it on.

T: You get a good, broad understanding of why this works, and that can help you diagnose whatever rolls into your shop?
K: Exactly. You need to crawl before you can walk. A lot of times, I ran before I even walked! I went right into it and did it. I got lucky and made it work, but if someone asked me a generic question about it, I might know the answer. Now, I try to be more able to find you a basic answer.

T: Was your Marine Corps training related to mechanics at all?
K: In no way, shape or form! I was an infantry marine.

T: You were a ground pounder?
K: I did infantry and security work. I had an option to become a police officer when I got out, but I really didn’t want to do it. I wanted to do something I was really passionate about.

T: You’ve started Bemount Performance, and from that the race car came about?
K: I actually bought that car when I was still stationed in Okinawa. I had my mom go to Missouri and pick it up. I had it for months before I even saw it! I had it all through industrial tech school, all through my motorsport classes.

T: What car are we talking about here?
K: It’s a 2000 Trans Am with a WS6. It has undergone multiple surgeries to become what it is now! Every winter, it gets some new “go fast” parts. It’s a 4-way LS motor with a Garrett 5594 turbo. It’s a pretty quick car. It’s been as fast as 8.35 in the quarter mile, at 168 miles an hour.

T: Is it a pro stock drag car? What classification is it?
K: It drives on the road more than it is on the track, so it’s a street class.

T: What advice would you give someone interested in chasing the dream of opening their own business?
K: To be honest with you, it was totally terrifying. I went from having a 40-hour-a-week job that makes decent money and was very secure and we had a certain living standard, and we realized that it was all about to change. I had a good feeling about it and I had backing from a couple of friends, so I didn’t have that concern.

T: What do you think about a nontraditional student coming back to Parkland? What sort of advice would you give that person?
K: You can always come back to Parkland. I’ve wanted to come back and do the upholstery class. It’s not really a part of what I do, I consider myself a go-fast guy, but nevertheless it’s a part of the world that I know zero about and that bothers me. You’re never too good to come back and learn. Technology evolves. I’m always wanting to learn.

T: Where did you go to high school?
K: I went to Rantoul. I had a fantastic shop teacher named Bill Wiley. Mr. Wiley actually made me interested in automotive. He was hands down the best shop teacher ever. He was very straightforward, but not by the book at all. He helped me out a ton.

T: Do you to build race cars for other people?
K: I do turbo kits, exhaust work, plumbing work, brake kits, and brake lines. I do almost anything, even build motors. My business is almost 100 percent building race cars. When I was starting out, I was as nervous as I could be and I took in jobs that had nothing to do with performance, just because I had to pay bills. Now, I don’t take in a job that doesn’t at least spark my interest or is a specialty of mine in the performance world. I very much try to stay to my field. I don’t want someone bringing their hundred-thousand-dollar race car into my shop and seeing a minivan on one of my racks.

T: What you would like to add?
K: I can’t emphasize taking classes enough. I love helping people out. This past fall, we took nine students to the track for the first time and after they had run down the track, they were grinning from ear to ear. To bring nine new guys into the thing you love is big to me. I want to show students that this is the right way to do it. That’s the big payoff.

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[To get started finishing your degree, contact Tony Hooker with the Parkland College Adult Re-entry Center at ahooker@parkland.edu or 217/351-2462.]

Drunk Driving: Get the Facts

****This post has been edited to provide the most up-to-date information.***
FACT:   An estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. *

FACT: Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver. **

FACT: On average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.*

Alcohol, drugs, and driving simply do not go together. Driving requires a person’s attentiveness and the ability to make quick decisions on the road, to react to changes in the environment and execute specific, often difficult maneuvers behind the wheel. When drinking alcohol, using drugs, or being distracted for any reason, driving becomes dangerous—and potentially lethal!

Consuming alcohol prior to driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents, highway injuries, and vehicular deaths. The greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the more likely a person is to be involved in an accident. When any amount of alcohol is consumed, many of the skills that safe driving requires—judgment, concentration, comprehension, coordination, visual acuity, and reaction time—become impaired.

Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impact your life in ways you may not be aware of, including loss of employment, prevention of employment in certain jobs, higher insurance rates, serious financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment, and possible incarceration.

Americans know the terrible consequences of drunk driving and are becoming more aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Drugged driving poses similar threats to public safety because drugs have adverse effects on judgment, reaction time, motor skills, and memory. When misused, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal drugs can impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Roadside Survey, more than 16% of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications (11% tested positive for illegal drugs). In 2009, 18% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one drug (illegal, prescription and/or over-the-counter).

*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
**Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
     Administration (SAMHSA)

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

The passing of notes

This story was previously published in the Feb. 12 edition of The News-Gazette.

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We didn’t have Facebook or even email; rather, we ’80s teens communicated through written notes passed in class, slipped into lockers, and mailed to homes over the summer.

I feel sorry that kids don’t write notes now; recently, text-generation students of mine gave me the “What the heck?” look when I asked if they had passed notes in school when they were young. Nope. They didn’t have to. Electronic fairies did it for them.

Those students, however, did reminisce with nostalgic “do you remembers” about the ancient, bygone system called MySpace!

Too bad for them, because I still remember the way a note with a girl’s handwriting — maybe neatly folded in a triangle — tingled my fingers when it fell into my hands from an open locker or geometry book. A note was a kiss, really — maybe on the lips or on the cheek (depending on the contents) — or maybe even a slug in the stomach — if the author were really mad. Whatever — a note meant human touch. I don’t think I would say the same of a text. What vivified notes was the human contact needed to create them.

A note in the locker meant warm hands pressed pen to notebook paper, trimmed paper tabs neatly off, folded it cleverly, and slipped it — perhaps with a tremble — into an orange locker in eighth grade hall. A note took commitment. Letters even more so.

I remember long summers far away from home living with my divorcee Dad and coming in the house to see a letter — a letter! — with Jenny’s handwriting on it, hanging from the top trim of a bedroom door by a 2-foot piece of tape, dramatically placed by my stepbrother who knew I would be ecstatic to receive it; I was. A letter! A note!

Every single word could be analyzed because someone had taken the time to find a pen, some stationary, an envelope, a stamp — because someone meant business: If a girl signed the letter “Love Dana” or “Your Friend Dana” or just “Dana” it made a BIG difference, because likely she had taken the time to think it through.

You see, you can punch out a text and press send with a shaky hand and frowny emoticon, and quite reasonably claim later you didn’t really mean it. But, a letter? How could you not mean a letter! You could rethink it a hundred times as it sat in the mailbox waiting to be picked up the next day. A letter? The medium itself was a message, to paraphrase McLuahan.

Even opening a letter was a ritual: I would savor the envelope, flipping it over in the hands (the best letters even had messages on the back), unwrap it slowly like a Christmas present, read it over and over, and then place it in a shoebox for later. Over time the shoebox would grow full.

My favorite school note I ever received may have even given me a break. A girl slid a note to me in Algebra class, with the question, “Do you know what ‘ubiquitous’ means?” scribbled on it. My breath stopped. She was a brainiac, and this was a chance to impress her, and — not actually knowing the word — I decided to go with humor, so I wrote: “It means ‘You look like a French pastry dish: pronounced U — Be — Quicheous!'” She returned, “Gee, I thought it meant ‘omnipresent’ or something!” All this with the math teacher’s back turned. I missed the word, but I won her heart for a few months with that one.

Years later, one of my grad-school professors off the cuff asked us, “Does anyone here know what the word ‘ubiquitous’ means?” I called out, “OMNIPRESENT!” and I had a friend and a note passed daringly up and down the aisle by four people to thank for it. That professor later served on my dissertation committee, and you just never know.

Life has moved on, and a few years ago I had to clean out my mother’s condominium and there in a closet like it had been waiting for me, tapping its fingers, sat a large box filled with my notes and letters from junior high through college: Some were from girls I hurt; others from girls who hurt me. One was even an unopened Dr. Pepper can two girls had given me because they thought I was cute. A type of note.

I gazed at the cardboard box, unsure, and then … I threw them away. All of them. Just gone. Why? Because they didn’t mean anything to me? Because the whole thesis of this piece is wrong, and that notes and letters are just as erasable as a crowded in-box? No. Quite the opposite. Because these words — carved by sharp number two pencils — still cut me to the quick. I realized, I didn’t want or need them anymore. They had to go.

The few notes I cared to remember, I knew by heart, anyway. It was time now to write new chapters to my wife and children, new friends, and a few old friends I have managed to keep up with. In fact, after drafting this piece, I wrote my wife an honest-to-goodness, sent-through-the-mail letter, because a letter means love.

[Steve Rutledge is a lifelong resident of Champaign-Urbana and teaches developmental English at Parkland College. He can be reached at drfreebird777@gmail.com.]

Learn CPR. Save a Life.

The American Heart Association reports that in the case of a sudden collapse, immediate CPR can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival. Learning CPR can save lives and is an easy way to keep you from feeling powerless if disaster strikes.

Act Fast
Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, at work, or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, don’t be afraid. Your actions can only help. When calling 911, you will be asked for your location. Be specific, especially if you’re calling from a mobile phone as that is not associated with a fixed address. Answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

Take a CPR Class
Parkland College offers a CPR course through Community Education that’s geared towards Health Professions students but is still accessible to community members. More information is available here.

Classes are also available at both Carle and Presence Hospitals that are more directed toward general community members. Further information on those classes can be found at their sites:

CPR at Carle

CPR at Presence

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

The Parkland College Department of Public Safety is here to provide a safe and secure campus environment conducive to learning. Every week throughout the year, we’ll be releasing a new public safety message, providing applicable information that you can use to stay safe and have a successful experience here at Parkland.

Our message this week:  Teen Dating Violence Awareness.

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, when we collectively recognize that abuse can happen to anyone at any age, and shouldn’t be overlooked. The 16 to 24 female age group experiences abuse at the highest level of frequency, at almost triple the national average, and 43 percent of college-aged women report experiencing violent and abusive dating relationships.

If you or someone you know feels caught up in an abusive relationship, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and that there are a wealth of resources here at Parkland College to help. Here are a few:

  • Most obviously, you can make a report with the Parkland College Police Department if the abuse is happening here or involves another student. Our officers are also available to talk about it and offer advice, even if it’s not happening on Parkland property.
  • The Parkland College Counseling and Advising Center is staffed with trained counselors who can also provide assistance,
  • You can go to the Dean of Students to get help.

Other resources are available at loveisrespect.org, where you can chat with a live advocate, or call 1-866/331-9474.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Are Your Firearms Safe? A Couple of Reminders

 

The Parkland College Department of Public Safety is here to provide a safe and secure campus environment conducive to learning. Every week throughout the year, we’ll be releasing a new public safety message, providing applicable information that you can use to stay safe and have a successful experience here at Parkland.

Our message this week:  Firearm Safety.

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About 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in a way that makes them available to the wrong hands—children, at-risk youth, potential thieves, and those who intend to harm themselves or others, according to a study by the RAND Corporation using statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you choose to exercise your rights to own a firearm, make sure you also keep that weapon safely out of the wrong hands. Proper firearm storage and reporting are essential to keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Storage Options. The most basic options for securing a firearm include a trigger lock, a cable lock, or a locked storage case. When used properly, these will prevent a gun from firing, but won’t keep it safe from theft. A lock box or safe that you can secure to the ground or wall will more likely keep your firearms from walking away, however.

Reporting. In the event that your firearm is lost or stolen, immediately reporting the theft or loss is of the utmost importance. You will also want to have firearm records on hand that you can provide to law enforcement, which will assist in locating and returning your firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) provides a downloadable form that you can use to properly catalog your firearms.

Gun ownership comes with rights and responsibilities, and we hope you will join us in working to ensure that a firearm never gets into the wrong hands. For more information, please visit safefirearmsstorage.org.[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

 

 

Applied Technology Student/Parent Information Night

Parkland College’s state-of-the-art technical training programs lead to high-tech careers! Some programs even guarantee 100% job placement for successful graduates.

Want to learn more about these cutting-edge programs and the careers available?

Attend our Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies Student/Parent Information Night on Wednesday, February 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Parkhill Applied Technology Center (T building).

This event is free to attend and open to high school juniors and seniors. Bring your families to check out our hands-on instructional labs, meet our faculty and area employers, and learn how you can begin a well-paying career you love with just two years (or less!) of training. Featured career areas include:

  • agriculture
  • collision repair
  • diesel power
  • HVAC
  • precision agriculture
  • land surveying
  • automotive technology
  • construction
  • horticulture
  • electrical control systems
  • industrial technology

Ready to sign up? Visit the Ag/EST SPIN website. Contact Aimee Densmore at agest@parkland.edu or 217/373-3838 with questions.

[Aimee Densmore is program manager for Parkland’s Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies department.]

Why Go On A College Visit? Four Reasons

What’s so valuable about actually visiting Parkland College before you consider attending the school? Here are four good reasons:

  1. You can really visit the campus. Let’s be honest: the pictures you see in brochures are not always an accurate representation of what every part of a campus looks like.  Attending a campus visit allows you to see every part of campus, from the classrooms, to the cafeteria, to the library, and even parking.  You can see for yourself where students like to spend their time between classes, where the computer labs are located, or what clubs you can join.  You will learn so much more than you ever could from a college brochure.
  1. You can get your specific questions answered. What about this particular major?  What’s my financial aid status?  What tutoring opportunities are on campus for me?  Trust us, we have been asked some very interesting questions during campus visits!  Come armed with your list of questions, and we will make sure to answered them before you leave.
  1. You can talk with current students about their experiences. Learn what students like to get involved in, their favorite places to eat in the area, or what some of their favorite electives are.  Talking to Parkland College students is a great way to get honest feedback about the institution.
  1. You can see what campus is like on a regular day. Sure visiting the campus over the summer might be easier since you are on summer break, but the campus has considerably fewer students around then.  This might give you a false sense of what to expect campus life to be like.  Attending a campus visit day allows you to truly see how many students are on campus, how the parking can be, and even how long it might take you to get from one class to another.

Ready to come out for a Campus Visit Day?  RSVP here.

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Parkland Pathway to the U of I: Is It for You?

You’ve always wanted to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but you find the size of the place huge, the cost seems overwhelming, or perhaps your grades aren’t quite what they need to be. Parkland Pathway to Illinois could be an option for you!

Parkland Pathway is a two-year program where you attend Parkland College for your general education classes but can also take one class a semester at the UIUC. At the end of the two years, you are guaranteed a slot into the junior class in your major as long as you have maintained the college GPA for transfer.

You would get the benefit of small classes with dedicated faculty  from Parkland combined with the enormous opportunities available at a world-class institution like the University of Illinois. Plus, your tuition will be based on your Parkland residency rate. Parkland Pathway really is the “best of both worlds.”

If you are a soon-to-graduate high school senior or are a junior who would like more information, please sign up to attend a special Parkland Pathway Information Open House coming up Sunday, Feb. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Parkland campus. In addition to an overall explanation of the program, counselors from each of the UIUC participating colleges will be present with their Parkland counterpart. Come and get answers to both your Parkland and UIUC questions.

For more information and to RSVP for this event, please click here.

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

Night in the Middle of Day

***Accommodations in southern Illinois are a hot commodity right now, filling up fast to see the August solar eclipse described below! Securing your reservations now at the Ondessonk Camp might be a good idea (It’s first come, first served), so we’re giving this blog post a very early send-out.***

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There are many experiences in nature that make you go “wow!” Maybe it is your first view of the Grand Canyon, or the ocean, or even a rainbow. But what is it about an eclipse of the Sun that draws so many people? Why do some “eclipse chasers” travel thousands of miles to see an event that can, at most, last seven and a half minutes?

If you are curious, you will get your chance this August, with very little travel required. On Monday, August 21 at 11:53 a.m., the Moon will begin to cover the Sun. The Moon will be completely in front of our Sun at 1:20 p.m., and “totality” will only last two minutes and forty seconds.

However, to see this total solar eclipse, you must travel southward. You need to be in the Moon’s shadow, which begins in Oregon and travels through the Midwest, on to South Carolina. This is the first coast-to-coast eclipse in our country since 1918! It is estimated that over 12 million people will either be in the eclipse’s path (including Kansas City and St. Louis) or will travel to the path.

Eclipse Explained
But what’s going on in August? Why is this happening? The Moon takes 29.5 days to orbit our Earth, which is our basis for our month, or “moonth.” During New Moon, the Moon is in the same area of the sky as our Sun, hence we only see the dark, unlit side of the Moon. The Moon’s orbit, however, is tilted five degrees to the Earth’s orbit.

To put this in perspective, if you hold out your fist at arm’s length and close one eye, one fist is about ten degrees. So a “half-fist” doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough that the Moon usually appears to pass above or below the Sun each month. This is why we don’t have solar eclipses at every New Moon and lunar eclipses at ever Full Moon. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun but it is also 400 times closer to us. Thus the Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size in our sky.

During times that the Moon does cut across the face of the Sun, the shadow of the Moon crosses the Earth, and those in the path will experience this grand event. There will be an eclipse this coming February 26 but you have to be in far southern South America or South Central Africa to see it. Which bring us to August 21.

How to View the Eclipse
If you want to see the eclipse, you must take precautions, as the Sun exhibits a blinding light. If you stay in Champaign County, 93 percent of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. While this is significant, 7 percent of the Sun will still blind you. There are several safe ways to observe the eclipse. The easiest is to locate some mylar eclipse glasses. The Staerkel Planetarium has these glasses for sale at $1 per pair. You are also safe if you have a #14 welder’s glass.

If you own a telescope, you can point the telescope at the Sun by using the telescope’s shadow. When the telescope is roughly aligned with the Sun, the shadow of the tube will look like a circle on the ground. Do NOT look through the telescope, but put a white index card roughly 6-8 inches behind the eyepiece and project an image of the Sun. Be wary of solar filters that thread into the telescope’s eyepiece! Here you are filtering the Sun at the point where the Sun’s brilliance is being focused. If the filter cracks, your eyesight is at severe risk. Appropriate solar filters attenuate the Sun’s glare before it enters the telescope.

There is also the age-old method of a pinhole camera. Hold two pieces of cardboard roughly 2-3 feet apart and put a pinhole in the sheet nearest the Sun. You should see an image of the Sun on the second sheet. Better yet, use a peg board!

Seeing the Total Eclipse: An Observing Opportunity
If you want to see the total eclipse and not a partial, you will have to head south. But where do you go? The maximum duration of this eclipse occurs near Carbondale. Good luck finding lodging in Carbondale! Any that might be available will be sold at an, shall we say, “inflated” rate. The University of Illinois Astronomy Department will set up shop in Goreville, south of Marion, Illinois.

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium is partnering with the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society and Twin City Amateur Astronomers (from Bloomington-Normal) to offer a weekend of observing from Camp Ondessonk (https://ondessonk.com), a Catholic youth camp located southeast of Marion and just south of Ozark, Illinois. The camp can provide rustic lodging and all meals for $115 per person. CUAS and TCAA will provide educational workshops on Sunday, the day before the eclipse, plus a dark-sky star party on Sunday night (weather permitting). Meals will be served in the camp dining hall. Tent camping is also allowed. If you would like to join us on our eclipse trek, you need to register by August 1. Point your web browser to https://ondessonk.com/event/2017-great-american-eclipse-event/ for more information. The planetarium will not be accepting registrations and there will be no event at the planetarium on the day of the eclipse.

Let’s hope for clear weather! IF we miss this event, the next “Great American Eclipse” will be on April 8, 2024!

The planetarium will be including information about the eclipse during our Friday night “Prairie Skies” star show. For more information on this event and how to observe it, go to the Staerkel Planetarium’s website and click on the image of the solar eclipse.

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

Image from NASA.gov, with credit: Steve Albers, Boulder, CO; Dennis DiCicco, Sky and Telescope; Gary Emerson, E. E. Barnard Observatory

“The Stargazer” Returns to the Dome . . . Sort Of

A “new, old” planetarium show returns to the dome of the William M. Staerkel Planetarium for the first time. Granted, this sentence doesn’t make much sense, but maybe a little history is in order, as the background for the show actually begins with our planetarium.

stargazer
The Stargazer

Dr. James B. Kaler is professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Now retired, Kaler has published over 120 papers and over a dozen popular books all concerning his first love—the sky. His appearances on television, in lecture halls, and in our planetarium dome for our “World of Science” lecture series make him a community icon when it comes to skywatching.

The Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) is the largest of seven regional organizations in the country. Members from the Big Ten states meet annually in the fall to exchange ideas, sample the latest technology, and see the newest shows.

Kaler was introduced to GLPA when he was asked to give a talk by then director David Linton when Parkland College hosted the conference in 1989. Jim gave the first Astronomy Update talk, a summary of the astronomical discoveries from the previous year. Little did he know that he’d be asked to give the update for the next 19 years thereafter! It is now an annual conference tradition.

In 1999, Kaler was GLPA’s Spitz Banquet speaker. His talk was so inspiring that two planetarians, Dave DeRemer from Waukesha, Wisconsin, and Bob Bonadurer, who then was working in Minneapolis, decided to build a show around it. They applied for and received a NASA IDEAS grant to produce the show in 2001, and The Stargazer premiered to delegates at the 2002 GLPA conference in Menasha, Wisconsin using 120 35mm slides. Does anyone remember slide projectors? The show was distributed as a slide set for a short time and then included digital images not long after that.

Thanks to a team led by Ken Murphy at Southwest Minnesota State University and funding from GLPA, The Stargazer is now available as a fulldome show using the latest technology in the field. Initially we thought Ken would merely digitize the images from the show and render it out as a fulldome production, but he has completely re-envisioned the program, with different scenes not included in the original program.

Kaler himself and Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura from the original Star Trek) narrate this personal look at skywatching. The show begins with a child’s curiosity, moves on to the science of gravity, light, the spectrum, and how they help us decipher the lifestyles of the stars. This is the best treatment of the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (central to stellar astronomy) I’ve ever seen in any planetarium program! The show ends with reflections on the deeper meanings of astronomy in our own lives. The 37-minute program is aimed at 4th grade and up but it also serves as a wonderful public show.

The Staerkel Planetarium will open The Stargazer in our 8 pm time slot beginning January 20.

There are many aspects of this “new, old” show that involve the Staerkel Planetarium:

  • First, as A/V curator for GLPA, I am in charge of distributing the show to planetariums who want to purchase it for their own facility.
  • Second, part of the video included in the show was shot in the Staerkel Planetarium dome. See if you can see our Zeiss star projector in the show!
  • Third, in the show, Dr. Kaler refers to a planetarium he built himself as a teenager. With his homemade device, he can project roughly 500 stars in a room using an old Crisco can! That unique homebuilt planetarium appears on display in our lobby.
  • Fourth, this is the first planetarium show that we know about that comes with captioning for the hearing impaired. On one weekend per month, we will be running the captioned show (see our schedule for these weekends).

This is GLPA’s first show offered to other planetariums on a short-streaming contract. Interested planetariums can live stream the show on a three-day license.

We hope you will come see The Stargazer again . . . .for the first time!

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

 

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

Phi Theta Kappa: Exploring Innovation in the Local Community

Below, Phi Theta Kappa honor society invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to attend next week’s FREE innovation events. LaTianna Dumas, a 2015 Urbana High School graduate and president of Parkland’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, extends the invitation.

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Are you interested in learning how local innovators developed unique and successful business ventures? Do you dream of a nontraditional career path that will allow you to go where your passion and creativity can take you? Phi Theta Kappa can help you explore these concepts of innovation, to help you turn your dreams into reality and success!

Phi Theta Kappa, the official international honor society of two-year colleges, recognizes the academic success of community college students and builds the leadership and professional skills of its members. In addition, Phi Theta Kappa builds camaraderie and compassion within community colleges. Parkland’s local chapter, Alpha Psi Eta, features a student-run officer team overseen by their advisor, Professor Lori Garrett. Their current focuses are engaging Parkland students from different backgrounds, contributing to the local community, and exploring their current Honors Study Topic, “Global Perspectives: How the World Works.”

Parkland’s chapter is researching the roles of individualism and collectivism in fostering business innovation. There are numerous facets to innovation, and the innovative process varies greatly depending on the creators and the corporate and societal structure around them. As a culmination of their research process—a model called “Honors in Action”—Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a series of three presentations featuring local business innovators from right here in Champaign-Urbana!

The series, “How to Build a Business,” runs from Monday, December 5 through Wednesday, December 7 at noon each day in Room D244. Attendees will hear local entrepreneurs discuss their businesses, their inspiration, how they got started, and how they turned their ideas into success. Everyone is invited to attend these one-hour talks and perhaps gain some inspiration of your own.

Here is the lineup:
Monday, December 5 PandaMonium Doughnuts: fueling Champaign-Urbana’s doughnut cravings (free doughnuts to the first dozen attendees!)
Tuesday, December 6 CU Community Fab Lab: creativity through collaboration
Wednesday, December 7 Cracked Food Truck: created for students, by students

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa or this series, contact chapter president LaTi Dumas at latianna.dumas@yahoo.com. You may also contact chapter advisor Lori Garrett at lgarrett @parkland.edu.

 

[Hilary Valentine is associate director for Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations.]

 

 

Come out to the Early Bird Enrollment Event

While you may be still snacking on your Halloween candy, we are gearing up for Spring 2017 registration, which opened Monday, Nov. 7 for all students. To help you register for those classes, we are hosting an Early Bird Enrollment Event:

Tuesday–Thursday, November 8, 9, and 10
10 am–2 pm
Registration Central @ Student Union (2nd floor)

Students can:

  • Confirm their academic program, address, and phone number
  • Register for Spring 2017 classes – students with less than 30 hours will need to see an academic advisor prior to registration
  • Set up tuition payment plans ($0 down payment until December if enrolled by Nov. 14; $25 setup fee and 2.7% fee for credit and debit card transactions)
  • Get a free pizza coupon if registered with payment arrangements

View class offerings and make your selection today by visiting parkland.edu/schedules! Once your classes are selected, be sure to make payment arrangements in order to not be dropped from your classes. Tuition due dates are Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Parkland College’s Spring 2017 semester starts Tuesday, Jan. 17. We look forward to having you here!

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

Morocco: Gateway to Another World

Scott Barnes, a Parkland student, is living in Seville, Spain for a semester study abroad. As part of his study abroad experience he visited Morocco. I am looking forward to what he has to say!

Remember YOU can study abroad too.  We have lots of different experiences. Check out our study abroad options at http://www.parkland.edu/international/studyabroad

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When I first arrived in Europe, I knew very little about the history of the various countries in it and had very little knowledge about the many cultures that exist here. Other than the secondhand information I received via the media throughout the years, I didn’t have much of an idea about libarnes-blog-2016fe abroad.

The differences are what I noticed first and foremost, and those differences are what most students struggle with, initially. Changing mealtimes and sleep habits as well adjusting to the foreign way in which people greet each other and conduct themselves requires some time to understand and get comfortable with.

Despite the differences, there is a lot that Americans and Europeans have in common. Those similarities were brought to light after I took a trip to Morocco.

I hadn’t realized how much the way in which I live echoes the European way of life until I spent some time in the Rif Mountains. The social norms that westerners share exist to a lesser degree in northern Africa. For example, it is uncommon to see men and women together in a public setting and much of the daily routine is centered around practicing religion.

barnes-blog-3Although my visit to Morocco was very short, it had a significant impact on me. Rather than providing a detailed, firsthand account of the various activities that the International College of Seville planned out for our trip, I prefer to share with you what I found to be truly rewarding about the experience. It is wonderful to have pictures of riding camels and eating in authentic Moroccan restaurants, but what is more valuable is the perspective that is gained from visiting different countries and meeting new people. The stimulation that comes from trying to understand a different way of life or to see the perspective of things through another cultural lens has been life-changing for me.

The name of the game in the touristic areas of Morocco is buy and sell, and merchants love to engage in the act of negotiation. There are no set prices and the bargain to be had is largely determined by the ability of the buyer to be resolute. The confidence of knowing a low price has been paid may be confirmed by the statement, “you haggle like a Berber!” The country is a great place to purchase gifts for friends and family back home and that seems to be the objective for most of the tourists who visit. The products offered vary from handmade gifts and food to just about anything they think people might want to buy.barnes-blog-5

To my surprise, many Moroccan people know English and speak it very well. It is necessary when dealing with foreigners, and their linguistic capability is impressive. Many of them learn English at a very young age and likely have been speaking more than one language since they were children. In fact, it is normal for Moroccan people to speak three or four different languages; English, French and their own dialect of Arabic are the most common. I found that after the exchange of money was complete, the sellers were more open to conversation. A lot about their culture was conveyed in those brief interactions, and it was easy to feel their affection and see the kindness in their eyes.

barnes-blog-4Superficially, consumerism is obviously a part of their way of life, and tourism certainly supports the economy, but there is much more to the culture and history of Arabian people. There are stories behind the faces in the shops of the medina, or “Old Town,” district of Tetouan, or within the painted blue walls of Chefchaouen. There is a way of greeting people, of falling in love, of raising children, and of experiencing life that is unique to the culture.

I have found that tasting the different flavors, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, and smelling the scents of various cultures is enlightening. The best way to learn about other countries is to visit them. Sharing face to face conversations is rewarding, even if the interaction is minimal.

barnes-blog-2Moving beyond being a tourist and finding commonality with people of another race is what is truly beneficial about traveling. Also, to tell the story of the person who sold you the gift makes the act of giving it more enjoyable. I may have left with a pair of high quality, handmade Moroccan leather sandals, but the real present is my new found view of the world and my life.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of studying abroad is the easy access to other worlds and the subsequent comprehensive understanding of culture that results from those adventures.

Three Good Reasons to Take an Online Course

Usually, when you see this headline, you expect to see reasons like “greater convenience” or “lower costs” or “a more comfortable learning environment.” And while all of these are true, here are three reasons to take an online course you might not have considered.

1. Technology education. Most, if not all students will be working with “others” sometime in their future careers. To be successful, the use of technology is very important. Taking online courses now at Parkland College helps prepare you to communicate with others using today’s technology, including virtual meetings and collaborations through email and social media devices. Business and management instructor Mark Kesler says he encourages all of his students to be comfortable in the online learning environment: “I highly recommend all my students take at least one online class before they leave Parkland.”

2. Cultural diversity. Students all around the world take Parkland’s online courses. By enrolling in an online course, you get the chance to meet students from other countries. Students benefit mutually from learning about each others’ cultures and educational and life experiences. Often, you can get a “study abroad” experience without leaving the comfort of your own home.

3. Career skill-building. Taking an online class requires discipline, punctuality, and self-motivation, all excellent skills to have in the workforce. Online courses create a solid foundation that prepares you for your next step, whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution or starting your career.

So, while online courses are recommended for their quality instruction, transferability, and affordability, they offer so much more than just that for students. Online courses can provide a broad experience that shapes the future of your employment and life goals.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead, sign up for an online class today!

[Lori Wendt is the learning management system specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland College.]

***Parkland celebrates National Distance Learning Week, Nov. 7-11.***

“For the education you receive, Parkland is worth it”

Hundreds of University of Illinois students take Parkland College classes each year to shorten the road to their Illinois degrees. Below, Daniel Ito shares how Parkland helped him achieve his educational goals.

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Two classes shy of a full-semester transfer from the University of Michigan to Illinois, Daniel Ito chose Parkland College to fill in the gaps in his education and graduate on time.20160922-ito_daniel-for-web

A Champaign native, Daniel had known about Parkland since his youth as a College for Kids student on campus. As a spring 2008 freshman, he was back, this time taking microeconomics and macroeconomics courses.

“Being a business student, I guess I just appreciated the cost effectiveness of it,” Daniel said about his Parkland experience. “The quality of learning wasn’t sacrificed for the cost.”

So Daniel took other Parkland classes after entering the UIUC in fall 2008, such as music appreciation, introduction to psychology, and Japanese.

“Many of these classes were online, which required a different mindset for me,” he said. “I learned time management because I was on my own schedule rather than sitting in a classroom, and I enjoyed them.”

Daniel graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Finance in 2011. A few months later, he moved to New York and worked for two years in mergers and acquisitions for a multinational accounting firm.

Since returning to the Champaign area, these days Daniel focuses on art, freelance video production, and working on his own peace project, Crane Cloud, through which he has folded more than 4,000 origami cranes for peace. He believes his Parkland experience as well as volunteer opportunities in New York helped him better discover the kind of life he wants to live.

“If I’m doing work that’s not really helping others and I’m not really happy myself doing it, then what’s the point, really?” he asked. “Figuring out what you’re really passionate about learning, without the pressure of having to pay back a lot of school loans—that was a major benefit of coming to Parkland.”

Daniel Ito
’08 Parkland student, Business
’11 U of I graduate, Finance

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

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

Study Abroad Spain: The Experience is Sinking In

Communication major Scott Barnes’ new study abroad acquaintance Corey Davis learns he should live life back home like he’s living it in Spain. “Get off the couch and quit watching Netflix,” I think, is a great message for all of us! Check out Corey’s interview below.

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.

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The experience of living in another country is really beginning to set in, and most of the students at ICS are starting to understand how this program is changing the way they think and live. Corey Davis provides some wonderful insight into that phenomenon in this short interview.

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***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.

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

China Study Abroad: The Dining Experience

I asked Ryan Mills, a study abroad student from Parkland College who is currently in China, to send me some reasons why students should study abroad in China. Ryan is so enthusiastic that he sent me quite a list! The first reason to go to China, according to Ryan? Food!

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.

Plus, travel to China through two study abroad options:
Summer 2017 travel to Nanjing, Beijing, and Shanghai (June 1–15)*
Fall 2017 option available in Xian, home of the Terra Cotta Warriors.

Scholarships available for summer 2017 to degree-seeking students if they take 8-week WCE 364 001 (Conversational Chinese), which meets March 27–May 15 (M 6:30–8:30; cost is $139 with textbook  included).

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Who doesn’t like food? Imagine eating at your favorite Chinese restaurant almost every day but ten times better. The food is fantastic and very affordable.

china-foodGet ready to put the fork down and pick up the chopsticks. If you get tired of Chinese food, there is always Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC to reach your inner American, (all chains actually taste way better in China than they do in America).

Eating at a restaurant with friends is different than back in the States. Part of the culture in China is to share everything you have with others, especially the food. When you order food, you don’t get a single dish for yourself, you share all dishes with the people at the table, get a little piece of everything, and split the fare evenly. It’s awesome.

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***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.

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

 

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.]

Study Abroad Spain: Morocco, and a Friend

Communication major Scott Barnes’ introductory video to  his life-changing educational experiences in Spain happened more than a month ago now. In his latest video, Scott gets ready to visit yet another country and lets you meet a new friend he has made from the states.

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.

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My study abroad program is in its fourth week, and the weather is still quite warm in southern Spain. There are multiple trips that take place throughout the semester, and one of the most exciting excursions is this weekend – Morocco!

 

***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.

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

Top 6 Reasons to Activate Your SALT Account

new-salt-logo

Your free SALT account from Parkland College is waiting, and if you’re still skeptical about joining, here are six awesome reasons to get off the fence and start getting money-savvy.

  1.  It’s FREE – Like, really free. Parkland College hooked you up, so all you have to do is activate.
  2. It can find you free money – Want to tap into millions in scholarship money? Yeah, SALT can help with that.
  3. It builds your skills – Learn budgeting skills that will keep you in control of your cash for life.
  4. It can help you land a job – Get inside tips to grab an internship now and a job after graduation.
  5. It’ll tell you how to own your loans – Show your student loans who’s boss with easy tools to track and manage them.
  6. It’s FREE – Did we mention it’s totally free?

To activate your SALT account join now at:

What does “SALT” mean, anyway?
Back in the day (way, way back in the day), salt was the universal currency. It’s why SALT goes back to the basics to give you universal information, neutral advice, and smart strategies to help you take control of your money.

[Dawn Kamphaus is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

Don’t Let a Good Degree Go to Waste

Many transfer students leave Parkland College before receiving their transfer degree. They often tell us 1) they thought it was done automatically or 2) officially graduating didn’t matter because they were pursuing their bachelor’s degree.

Here are our replies to those thoughts:

  1. Unfortunately, there is no way for Parkland College to graduate you “automatically,” because we need to know when you’ve finished and then perform a degree audit to make sure you’ve completed all the required course work.
  2. The idea that your transfer associate’s degree doesn’t matter couldn’t be more wrong. For example, your Parkland degree can make your transition to a university much easier by expediting your general education credits. Plus, you’ve earned this academic credential!

So, do you think you’ve earned enough credits at Parkland to receive your degree?

To be sure, login to my.Parkland and select Academic Profile (under “WebAdvisor for Students”). From there, you can conduct a degree audit yourself. Alternatively, you can contact Counseling and Advising to assist you.

It’s not too late to see if you “forgot to graduate!” Contact Dennis or Beth in the Admissions office, at 217/353-2634, or call 217/351-2887 for any questions.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland College Admissions and Records.]

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad

Hopefully you’ve already seen Communication major Scott Barnes’ introduction last week, as he began his life-changing educational experiences in Spain. In this latest post, Scott entices all students to try study abroad, listing some fabulous reasons for doing so.

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.

Enjoy some tapas for me, Scott!

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I now have firsthand knowledge of what culture shock is! But I also know that it just takes a few deep breaths and a little bit of time to overcome it. Despite the difficulties of living day-to-day life in a foreign country and speaking a language that is relatively new to me, I have survived. I have just completed week number two of my first semester studying abroad, and the experience has been all I thought it would be and more.

I have been in Seville, Spain, for 14 days and am already beginning to see how this experience will impact the rest of my life. I have spent the last year of my life contemplating pros and cons, researching Spanish culture, practicing the language, and wondering if the investment is worth it. I can say with confidence that it is!  I made a serious commitment and left behind the comforts of home in order to further my education, and I recommend every college student do the same. There are many reasons why studying abroad is a wise decision. Here are just five of them.

Resume. Students whose main objective for pursuing a college degree is to increase employment opportunities should put study abroad at the top of their list. The workplace is becoming increasingly diverse, and companies are looking for employees who have an understanding of other cultures. Therefore, a solid candidate is one who possesses intercultural competency and an ability to speak multiple languages, two skills that are immediately put to the test when studying in a foreign country.

Immersion. There is only so much a student can learn sitting at a desk. The classroom is a great setting to gain knowledge about any given field of study but, as many students already know, learning how to apply that knowledge is essential to developing a career. The process of learning a new language is much the same. I have taken three Spanish courses at Parkland and have spent hours memorizing vocabulary and verb conjugation. I’ve learned more about the language in the last two weeks than I did during those three semesters. Studying was a great way to prepare myself but actually being immersed has forced me to understand the nuances and begin to think in a “Spanish” way, which has been a truly stimulating experience for me.

Networking. In the short amount of time I’ve been here in Spain, I have already made new friends as well as professional acquaintances. In my opinion, meeting new people and increasing the Rolodex is just as important to career ambitions as developing a well-rounded portfolio or an impressive resume. To have contacts in other countries increases the reach of my social circle. It also fosters more global awareness and provides different perspectives on worldly issues. My social and professional life will be forever changed because the connections I’ve made here.

Culture. Spending a significant amount of time in another country gives students the benefit of moving beyond the limitations of being a tourist and helps them adopt new ways of thinking and living. I began my journey in Paris, France, and have been to multiple cities since then. I have been lucky enough to spend time in different houses and hostels around France as well as in Madrid and Barcelona. I spent at least a few days in each location and made an effort to interact with the locals, which has actually been pretty easy to do! Studying outside of America has helped me realize what it’s like to be a foreigner as well as develop a better understanding of my own culture. I’ve also gotten an outside perspective on the United States and how American culture is viewed here in Europe. I think that this insight and knowledge is very beneficial to my intellectual development and is valuable to me no matter what career path I choose to take. Interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds has been enlightening in many ways for me.

Experience. Studying abroad has presented me with a myriad of challenges. Whether it was dealing with the feeling of being homesick or confronting the uneasiness of culture shock, these adverse situations provided me an opportunity to grow and have boosted my self-confidence. I have bonded with travelers from all over the world as well as other American students who have had the same kind of experiences. In many ways, studying abroad is a good excuse to visit new lands and learn about new cultures. Once inside Europe, it is relatively cheap and easy to travel to multiple countries and experience multiple cultures. There are many new activities and customs to experience that aren’t available in the States. All of this adds up to a rewarding and enriching experience for those who are curious about the world and a new way of life different than what they are accustomed to.

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***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.

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

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.

Why Parkland Land Surveying is Top Trainer

If you’re looking for one of the nation’s top land surveying educators, look no further than Parkland College. We recently earned the 2016 NCEES Surveying Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Just 10 universities or technical institutes across the country won this inaugural award, and Parkland was the sole Illinois school earning the distinction.

So what makes our Construction Design Management: Land Surveying program an important choice for those pursuing professional licensure in surveying? I asked 2014 program graduate and Army veteran Jim Harpole, now project manager at JLH Land Surveying Inc. in Plainfield, to share his perspective on that. Here’s what Jim had to say.

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Strong foundation, ideal environment. The Land Surveying AAS program gave me the strong foundation I needed to succeed in my surveying career. Thanks to the wide range of topics and challenging curriculum, I was given an opportunity to experience different survey applications and an insight into the possibilities that a career in land surveying offers. The Parkland College campus is well-suited for the application and practice of land surveying.

Parkland Land Surveying students work on equipment.
Parkland Land Surveying students work on equipment.

Real-world experience. I especially benefited from the many off-campus projects that the program undertakes, projects like creating topographic surveys for the Monticello Railway Museum and establishing the photogrammetric control network for Champaign and Piatt counties. We even did the property boundaries for a few Habitat for Humanity projects in Monticello.

Students in the program also work with various types of software platforms and surveying equipment in current use. The experience that Parkland graduates possess greatly improves their marketability and brings recruiters from all over the Great Lakes region.

Reaching out, giving back. With the average age of licensed surveyors somewhere in the upper 50s, the land surveying profession is currently facing a large age gap, due to both the increase in educational requirements and a lack of public outreach to bring in more young people. The Parkland College Land Surveying program continues to play a vital and leading role in Illinois and the surrounding area by reaching out to high school programs; supporting the Boy Scouts of America by hosting a surveying merit badge; and assisting with logistics and judging for Illinois FFA sectional and state agricultural mechanics competitions, hosted annually on the Parkland campus.

Parkland also works with the University of Illinois’ Engineering program, which accepts CIT 255 Engineering Surveying course credit from Parkland as junior/senior engineering credit.

Helpful faculty and staff. I had such a great experience while at Parkland. Every instructor I had during the two years I spent on campus was always approachable and willing to set aside their time to assist me in understanding the coursework. As a student veteran, I was especially pleased with the service I received from the Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.

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***For more about the Construction Design and Management: Land Surveying AAS degree and certificates visit parkland.edu/academics/departments/est/construction.aspx***

[Todd Horton is program director for the Construction Design and Management programs at Parkland College.]

HS Students Invited to Try Ag/Engineering/Tech Jobs

Regional high school juniors and seniors will soon compete in pit crew contests, spark plug challenges, carpentry contests, and other hands-on events introducing future career options in agriculture, engineering, and related technologies.

The annual Parkland College Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies Open House is happening Friday, October 14.

Parkland’s state-of-the-art lab spaces will host the day’s events. The Parkhill Applied Technology Center, the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center, and the Construction Education Alliance (Parkland on Mattis) simulate on-the-job conditions using industry-recognized equipment.

Students will choose two innovative sessions from automotive; collision repair; diesel power; electrical power; industrial technology and welding; construction management; engineering science; and agriculture, precision ag, and horticulture. Each session will last 40 minutes and provide a hands-on, career-exploration activity.

High schools are encouraged to bring groups of interested students. However, parents/guardians are also invited to bring their high schooler to the event should the local high school choose not to participate. Every participant will receive a free T-shirt and lunch.

Please visit www.parkland.edu/agestopenhouse for more information and to register. Registration is required by September 28.

Alum’s Career Has Gone to the Dogs (and Cats, Etc.)

From the time she was eight years old, Linda March wanted to be a veterinarian and had planned accordingly. “I applied to and was accepted to the University of Illinois as a graduating senior in high school,” she recently related.

But, as is the case for many students, life had other ideas in mind.

“I decided that I was going to get married instead,” she said, laughing.  “I was young and in love and didn’t go to school.”

The desire to pursue her lifelong passion never faded, however, although it was sidetracked for a while by the birth of her two children. “When they were young, I decided I still wanted to be a veterinarian,” Linda reminisced. “I started Parkland when Heather (oldest child) was about five.”

Parkland was able to help Linda coordinate her class schedule with her busy life as a mom. She was able eventually to complete her studies and graduate.

“I took one class at a time until the kids got into school,” she said. “Then I was able to go full time. Parkland took me five years instead of two.”

Linda transferred to the University of Illinois to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She said it wasn’t easy being a working parent of two rowdy kids, while going to school,

“They always seemed to fight when I had a paper to do!” she remarked.  Yet through dogged persistence and passion, she accomplished her goal: in 1996 this wife and mother became wife, mother, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine!

In 2003, after seven years of working at the Paris Vet Hospital in Paris, Illinois, Dr. March was able to realize another lifelong dream. She opened her own practice, the Red Barn Veterinary Clinic, LLC in Sidney, Illinois, where she is celebrating her twentieth year as a vet.

A passion for animals. A dream. The willpower to see it through to its conclusion. These are the tools that Dr. March brought with her. A flexible, convenient schedule of affordable classes. Instructors who matched her passion for knowledge. That’s what Parkland offered Dr. March as she began her academic journey, and it’s what Parkland still offers 30 years later.

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[To get started finishing your degree, contact Tony Hooker with the Parkland College Adult Re-entry Center at ahooker@parkland.edu or 217/351-2462.]

Top 5 Things to Do at Campus Visit Day

Seniors, still undecided on where to attend?  Juniors, wanting to get a head start on your college planning?  Here are the top 5 things to do while attending Parkland’s Campus Visit Day on September 23 or October 10.

Top 5 Things to Do While Attending Parkland’s Campus Visit Day

  1. Speak to students who are currently attending Parkland. Get an idea of campus life, student clubs and organizations, and much more! Do your parents have questions about safety?  Do you wonder where the best place is to live or just where to get the best cup of coffee? Ask our students! You will really get the inside scoop from students who made the decision to attend this amazing campus. Get an idea of why Parkland was the best choice for them.
  1. Worried about the price of college? Find out how much it is going to cost you to attend Parkland as well as residency information and learn how to finance college through scholarships, grants, and loans.  This will save you from any surprises down the road!
  1. Tour campus! Campus tours generally give you much more info than you could see if you walked a campus on your own.  Not only will you see classrooms, cafeterias, bookstore, labs, art gallery, and much more, you also learn about services on campus for you to utilize and fun facts you may have never known!
  1. Meet one on one with an Admissions advisor to get all of your specific questions answered! We know that you and your parents have many questions, and we are here to answer them and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
  1. Apply to be a student! Get a step ahead of your peers and fill out an application while on campus. That way, if you have any questions while filling out the application, the pros will be right there to answer your questions! Visit our Application Station and complete an application onsite!

Ready to visit?  RSVP here: http://www2.parkland.edu/forms/admissionsRSVP/campusvisit.html.

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Degree Completion Day, Sept. 27

Parkland College’s next Degree Completion Day event is coming Wednesday, Sept. 27.

But you might ask, “Why should I graduate? I’m getting my bachelor’s degree in a couple of years.”  Here why:

  • Who wants you to graduate? Your parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, favorite Parkland Instructor, advisor—all those that care about you, that’s who. It’s not always just about what you want.
  • You have spent countless hours in class and trip after trip to Parkland. Why wouldn’t you want to graduate?
  • It looks good on your Parkland transcript, shows accomplishment on your resume, and can enable you to move up in the workplace. If you are transferring to a university, it can make for a smoother transition and save you from having to take extra general education courses at that university.
  • If you are completing a career program, graduation may be required to verify with future employers. Probably most important of all, you’ve earned it!

Come out to Degree Completion Day in the Student Union (U building) from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and find out more about graduating and how it could benefit you.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

 

New Tech at 2016 IL Regional College Fair

For thousands of people like you who are just starting the college search, the Illinois Regional College Fair has been an excellent way to begin.

But new technology at this year’s fair will offer visitors an even better way to stay connected with the university and college reps who will be there than this one-time, face-to-face meeting.

Parkland College will again host the Illinois Regional College Fair on Wednesday, September 21 from 6 to 8 pm in the Student Union. One of the most well-attended college fairs in east central Illinois, the IRCF is sponsored by the Illinois Association for College Admissions Counseling.

Last year, we had more than 80 schools from all over the country in attendance at the fair. You can ask questions about programs, campus life, admissions requirements, and much more! This is a great way to feel out different schools and see what may be the best fit for you and your interests.

For the first time ever, the Illinois Regional College Fair will be using StriveScan, which is a great way for students and institutions to exchange information. Admissions representatives can scan your barcode to get your contact information in a much more efficient manner and so that they can send you additional materials about their school.  Students should go to www.strivefair.com and register, and then they will be sent a barcode for use at the fair. Don’t wait! Be sure to register before you come to the fair!

To see the current list of schools registered for the fair, go to http://www.usd116.org/uhs/guidance/ircf.htmlAlso, engage on social media with the #ParklandFair and we hope to see you on September 21st for the 2016 Illinois Regional College Fair!

The event is free and open to the public. Whether you are still in high school, or a community college student looking for your next stop, come out to the Illinois Regional College Fair and see what options you may have. Going on college visits can be expensive and time-consuming, so let them come to you!

Fall Means…FAFSA!

A change is in the air! It’s time for falling leaves, new school supplies, pumpkin spice lattes, and… FAFSA?

That’s right! The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is changing this year. Now you no longer have to wait until January 1 to complete next year’s application (sorry if I’ve ruined your New Year’s Day plans)! Starting October 1, you will be able to complete your FAFSA application for next school year (that’s fall 2017–spring 2018).

And not only can you now do the FAFSA sooner, but it should be easier to do as well.

In the past, the FAFSA has required information about your income from the previous tax year. For example, if you complete the FAFSA for the current school year (fall 2016–spring 2017) you would have needed your income and tax information from 2015. The new FAFSA will require tax information from two years prior. So when you fill out your 2017-2018 FAFSA (on October 1, of course) you will use your income and tax information from two years ago… as it happens, from 2015. The 2017-2018 FAFSA is the only FAFSA that will use the same income information as the prior year’s FAFSA.

Why is this so great? Because hopefully by now, especially if you have already done a 2016-2017 FAFSA, you already have all the 2015 income and tax information you need to complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA. In the past, the new FAFSA became available on January 1, but most applicants weren’t able to finalize the process until they completed their tax returns, generally at least a month or two later. So not only can you start the FAFSA earlier, but you will be much more likely to have all the information needed to complete it in much less time than previously.

Parkland’s Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services would like to encourage all students to fill out the FAFSAs as early as possible. There are a number of great reasons to do so:

  1. Getting your paperwork done early means you’re in less of a rush to complete everything when school is starting and deadlines are looming. Save yourself the stress!
  2. Get a head start on finding out what you qualify for. When you complete a FAFSA, the application provides an estimate of what types and amounts of awards you may be eligible to receive. This can help you plan in advance how to afford college.
  3. Filling out a FAFSA early may qualify you for more financial aid funds. Some financial aid programs, such as Federal Work Study and the Illinois MAP grant, can only be awarded to a portion of the students who are eligible. The students who submit their FAFSAs to Parkland the earliest are more likely to receive these awards.

So take a break from enjoying the changing weather and the thrill of a new semester, and set a reminder to complete your FAFSA on (or as close as possible to) October 1.

Complete the FAFSA online here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

Questions? Contact Parkland’s Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services at 217/351-2222 or visit our webpage.
[Julia Hawthorne is an advisor with Financial Aid and Veteran Services at Parkland College.]

Hospitality a Bigger (and Better) Fish to Fry

Hospitality is just one of many great options for adults returning to school to find a new career. Read Tiffany’s inspiring story and contact Tony Hooker at the Adult Re-entry Center (ahooker@parkland.edu) to start your own journey.

Early motherhood may have halted Tiffany Fry’s plans to complete her Parkland education 24 years ago, but it never stunted her dreams of doing so. Back then, the one-time Cobras track standout chose dedicating her life to raising her new son, and later, his brothers, over academic pursuits. The two decades of life away from Parkland only sharpened Tiffany’s career passion; upon returning, she knew just what she wanted to study: food.

Deciding to go back to school was a “leap of faith,” however, as she had to leave an eight-year management job to do so. “Facing your fears head-on is the best way; the challenge is yours to make, but you have to want it enough to take it on.”

Tiffany, a straight-A student, graduated from Parkland in May with degrees in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts Management plus several Hospitality certificates including Hotel/Motel Management. She called the two-year journey to get where she is today “incredible and eye-opening at the same time.”

“I have changed in so many ways,” she explained. “Most of all, I believe in myself more now than ever before. Parkland has given me the tools to make the educated decisions I didn’t make before.”

With her post-graduation sights on a position as a food and beverage/banquet manager or director, Tiffany ultimately hopes to own her own restaurant and bar—”nothing fancy, just something that is my own.” She feels equipped to the task now, both because of her personal traits and her new Parkland training. “I know I am a people person, so this industry was just what I was born to do; it took me some time to get here, but nevertheless, I’m here and I never gave up,” she said. “My Parkland instructors were real people, meaning they have lived life and seen the struggles that go on with juggling school, work, family, etc. They are understanding, and as long as you communicate with them they will do what they can and will go above and beyond to help you.”

 

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.

It Only Matters How You Finish!

Parkland College Student Trustee Crystal Bates (above, third from right) details below her determined journey to get to, and succeed at, Parkland College.

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Life threw me a couple of curve balls long before I had ever chosen to take swing at bat:

I was recruited by the US Navy at age 17 and spent two years doing secure communications in a foreign land. I had joined because my options were to go to college, join the military, or enter the workforce with zero training or experience.

I came back home and the years slipped away from me; I was busy trying to have fun with the least amount of responsibility possible. I worked retail for almost 10 years before retail took a big hit because of the tight economics. The job was not fulfilling, and each day I dreamed of how I could escape this tedious work that made me feel so mundane. Soon, I was laid off from my job and so worked various short-term jobs to pay the bills and take care of my daughter.

Next thing I knew, four more years had passed, and I was pregnant with twins! This was a shock; I believe that most of that pregnancy I really thought the doctors were kidding. After 34 weeks in, we found out that one of the twins was in distress and had to be delivered immediately. Realization set in when I was holding two healthy, and happy babies. Now I was a mother of three. This was my title, my work. But all the while, I’m dreaming of a better life for my children and me. How was I ever going to accomplish anything with three small children? With passion and unbridled determination.

I had a fire burning inside me, and the only way to put it out was to invest in myself for the benefit of my children, myself, and others. Dreams that I was in school, receiving an education that no one would ever be able to take away from me, drew me to Parkland College, where I knew they held the keys to my dreams.

Application for admission, assessments, orientation, student ID—before long, I was officially a Cobra! Upon meeting with a counselor, she revealed the degree of my dreams: Associates of Arts in Psychology. I signed up for fall classes immediately. Was I nervous? Super nervous.

As a matter of fact, I would come early just so I could find friends to keep the panic attacks at bay. The circle of friends I have made have been some of the best friends a person could ask for! We help each other with assignments and are there for each other for social and emotional support. These connections with students and our professors has kept me at Parkland for my (now) fifth year, as a nontraditional student.

I have had to take longer than most, but I graduate in the spring of 2017. Has it taken me longer than that of traditional students? Sure it has, but I have a 3.2 overall GPA, all because I took considerable time on assignments and made sure that my grades were a high priority. Also, because I have determination and passion, I have held two offices in Student Government. I started out as a student senator and have currently been voted and sworn in as student trustee.

My time at Parkland is coming to an end, and I am so sad. This is such a great institution with amazing professionals who make it their personal goal to see each and every student succeed. I have been so fortunate to have built such amazing social connections because Parkland feels like an educational “family”. Besides fantastic professors, the Center for Academic Success has assisted me in ensuring that my GPA is as solid as it is. CAS is an amazing tool that each and every student has access to. I cannot speak highly enough about our tutors and our Writing Lab! Use these free tools that help make each one of us better students and extremely qualified professionals in our chosen field of study.

Has it been hard to go to school with little kids? Of course. It is a balancing act, just the same as daily life is. But I decided to tip the scales in my favor and invest in my personal academic path. Do I plan to transfer? Absolutely. I am not done yet. I have developed an addiction to learning as much as I can, as long as I can. The end result will be a mater’s degree in clinical psychology. Being a veteran, I feel I have a duty to help my brothers and sisters in their struggles to maintain normalcy, and this is whom I hope to work with, for the most part.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST WITH YOUNG EAGLES FLIGHT RALLY

 

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Area young people ages 8 to 17 will have a chance to take to the skies on September 24, as Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 29 hosts a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Willard Airport in conjunction with a Pancake Breakfast hosted by the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

The rally is part of the EAA Young Eagles Program, created to interest young people in aviation.  Since the program was launched in 1992, Volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 1.7 million young people who reside in more than 90 countries.

“Free airplane rides are just part of the Flight Rally,” said Dave Boyd, spokesman for the event.  “We hope to build one-to-one relationships between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation.”YE_logo_color-png

Pilots at the event will also explain more about their airplanes allowing young people to discover how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety is the prime concern before every flight.

Following the flight, each young person will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle. Their name will then be entered into the “World’s Largest Logbook,” which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The Logbook is also accessible on the Internet at www.youngeagles.org.

In addition to the certificate, the new Young Eagle will be given a logbook with an access code for a complete free online Flight Training course offered by Sporty’s Pilot Shop.

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College (originally founded at the University of Illinois in 1946) offers flight training and an Associate of Science in Aviation that can easily be transferred to a four-year institution. Alumni fly for all major US airlines and for military, corporate, cargo, and charter organizations worldwide. More than 3,000 Institute of Aviation graduates have gone on to train other pilots as instructors.

Those attending the flight rally and breakfast on September 24 are asked come to Willard Airport in Savoy, Illinois, between 8 am and 2 pm to register for their free flight.  Flights will begin at 8 am, with registration closing at 2 pm. All Young Eagles will be required to provide a parental consent form which will be available at the event. Breakfast will conclude at noon ($10 for adults, $5 for  those 12 & under). Proceeds will go towards to supporting scholarships for Institute of Aviation students.

Additional information about EAA Chapter 29 and the Young Eagles Rally is available on Chapter 29’s website at www.29.eaachapter.org.  More information on the international Young Eagles program can be found at www.youngeagles.org. More information on the Institute of Aviation can be found at www.aviation.parkland.edu.

 

Parkland, U of Cinti Sign Int’l Transfer Accord

The start of another academic year at Parkland College brings a new crop of international students arriving from all over the globe to begin or continue their studies in the United States. New for fall 2016, Parkland has recently concluded a transfer partnership agreement with the University of Cincinnati specifically for international students.

The UC International Transfer Degree program gives international students the opportunity to begin working towards a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati as soon as they arrive at Parkland College, with the guarantee of future admission and scholarships.

So how does the transfer partnership work?  Any international Parkland student can sign up for the partnership at any point during their studies and receive information about fulfilling the transfer requirements. Although the UC College of Engineering and the Art and Design programs are excluded from the direct-transfer partnership, students can seek transfer into more than 300 different UC academic programs. Once interest is indicated, the student(s) will be contacted by a transfer advisor from the University of Cincinnati, who will advise them in required coursework, regularly check in on students’ progress, and even facilitate a campus visit to UC!

Upon successful completion of the Parkland associate’s degree, the student will then be guaranteed admission to the University of Cincinnati, main campus. What is more, those students will automatically be eligible for a scholarship between $5,000 and $15,000, renewable for three years!

Transfer students from Parkland are also eligible to participate in UC’s Cooperative Education Program, ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. As a part of this program, students have the opportunity to take a paid job for a year as part of their academic program, gaining valuable experience while expanding and completing their education. In addition to positions in Cincinnati and all around the United States, the Cooperative Education Program places students in jobs around the world, including India, Germany, and Chile!

About the UC
Ranking among the top 150 National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Cincinnati has made clear strides, under Jon Weller, towards increasing its value among international students. More than 3,000 international students from 110 different countries around the globe call UC home.

Cincinnati itself possesses unique international flavor and celebrates a strong German heritage. Restaurants and nightlife drawing inspiration from all around the world are found in downtown, near campus, and along the Ohio River. Major international companies such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric Aviation, and Macy’s are also headquartered around the city.

Be on the lookout for upcoming events for international Parkland College students with the University of Cincinnati!

For more information about events or the UC International Transfer Degree, contact Chris Jackson (cjackson@parkland.edu) or visit the International Admissions Office, U234.

A Snazzy New Room

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I am incredibly excited to be teaching this semester in one of our new Innovative Learning Labs. Funded by Title III, these rooms were designed by faculty to be modern, collaborative, versatile, and awesome.

I am teaching in the larger of the two, with high ceilings and natural light. Six Apple TVs line the walls with another on a mobile cart, and the professor or the students can share their computer screens with one or all of the TVs. Versatile seating and tables can be rearranged in a million different ways. Color on the walls and in the upholstered furniture departs from the usual institutional classroom feel. Note the lack of a large board for lectures, and really, the lack of any natural front of the room.

What? A math class with no front board? Yes, that is exactly what I’m doing.

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I hope for this room to affect my class from two aspects:

  1. Super cool technology that I can harness in all kinds of creative ways
  2. An open, casual room that just feels different and has a subtle influence on the way students feel and collaborate

I must confess that I feel completely unqualified to harness the potential of this room, but I’m enthusiastic and willing to brainstorm with others. With the help of our instructional designer and other creative colleagues, I hope to use this opportunity to infuse my class with engaging activities and digital materials that enhance my students’ learning in meaningful ways.

And with the sound-muffling baffles, it sort of looks like the inside of the old Tardis. And that’s just cool.

[Erin Wilding-Martin teaches mathematics  at Parkland College. The article above is a repost from her Developmental Math Redesign blog.]

Parkland 13- and 8-Week Classes Still Available

You might have missed out on Parkland’s full semester classes that began August 22, but many classes that start later in the semester are still available.

If you are still considering taking a class, or need to pick up a few more credit hours to graduate on time, here’s what you need to know about late-start classes.

  • For 13-week classes that start the week of September 12, the signup deadline is September 8 for new and continuing, degree-seeking students. Tuition is due September 6 on reserved classes.
  • For 8-week classes that start the week of October 17 (midterm classes), the signup deadline is October 13 for new and continuing, degree-seeking students.  Tuition is due October 11.
  • Most late-start classes are financial aid eligible.
  • Need more time to pay? Our Tuition Payment Plan gives you an easier way to pay for college AND budget your educational expenses. For as little as $25 and 50% down (if you make your payment by September 6), you can extend the payment due on your reserved classes for weeks longer. Sign up online.
  • Check out available late-start class sections in WebAdvisor on my.parkland.edu, in the fall semester class schedule, or on the web.

Please visit Admissions and Records in U214 or email admissions@parkland.edu for help with choosing and registering for classes. No appointment necessary!

We are looking forward to seeing you in class this semester.

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

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.]

Drones for Business: Big Option in Small Package

If you use drones (or have thought of using them) for your business, you may not be aware of recently established federal regulations, known as Part 107, that could benefit you. These FAA UAS rules allow businesses to operate drones for commercial purposes.

What does Part 107 mean for you and your drone?

  • Drone operators must be certified under the new UAS Operator certification.
  • Drone operators no longer need to file a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)
  • All aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs.
  • Flight is allowed under 400 feet above ground level. If flying within 400 feet of a structure, flight can be up to 400 feet above the height of that structure.
  • Flight must take place within visual line of sight of the operator.
  • Approval is required from specific airports to fly within their airspace boundary.
  • Flight must only take place during daytime and twilight hours: flight is allowed 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Single-person operations are now allowed; a visual observer is no longer needed.
  • Drones must be registered with the FAA, a process that can be done online in about five minutes
  • Drones can carry an external load and transport property for compensation, allowing for package delivery.

To help residents comply with the new standards, Parkland College Business Training and Community Education is pleased to bring the UAS Certification Exam Prep to our area September 15–16.

Discover what commercial drone/UAS operators will need to know in order to pass the certification test.  Learn pertinent information regarding regulations, airspace, weather, and more with Mandy Briggs, Certified Flight Instructor at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

The UAS Certification Exam, available directly after the second day of class, is being handled by the Parkland College Assessment Center.  Testing will occur on a first come, first served basis at the center.  The certification exam is $150.  Click here for all testing and registration information.

[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert is a program manager with Parkland Business Training and Community Education.]

 

Pantry Produce Plot: More than Honors Work

To complete an A with Honors project for her Hospitality degree, Parkland College sophomore Del Jacobs has been working with Parkland Horticulture faculty this summer to plant a garden for the Wesley Food Pantry at Parkland.  She shares the process and her progress below. As a student, Del’s exemplary efforts in sustainability and feeding the hungry are well documented; the garden project is a continuation of her drive to serve. Parkland is proud to train those with a heart to help.

 

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I approached Theresa mid-spring about getting help from the Horticulture students to plan and plant a garden to feed 30 families. The Wesley Food Pantry at Parkland feeds an average of 30 families at each distribution.

Theresa’s class ran the numbers and figured out what to plant and how much to plant. In May, before my trip to Morocco, I helped Theresa and her staff plant the garden. Unfortunately, I was unable to monitor the garden for the first six weeks, and the weeds got very large and deep. Therefore, the garden doesn’t look pretty, which is why there are no pictures of it.

I began to coordinate volunteers to help me weed. We began by meeting every Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. to pull weeds. We weren’t making much progress, so I added another day. We now also meet on Tuesdays from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.  So far, I have had nine volunteers; most have joined me once. My most faithful volunteer is Thor Peterson, sustainability coordinator at Parkland.

In spite of the problems, I have been able to harvest approximately 450 pounds of produce!

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I am also providing recipes to the pantry clients. I try to furnish recipes that use more than one vegetable from the garden along with nonperishable
items available at the pantry.

As the season moves on and the summer vegetables are harvested, we will be planting vegetables to harvest in the fall.

Lastly, I began working with Dawn Longfellow, Wesley Food Pantry’s operations manager, on a name and graphic for the garden. Dawn is still working on the graphic, but we have decided on the name: “Parkland’s Pantry Produce Plot.” I’m hoping this project will continue for many years, and I plan to be involved past the end of my A w/Honors project.

[Theresa  Meers is an associate professor of ag/horticulture at Parkland.]

 

Parkland Women’s Soccer Prepares for 2016 Season

Parkland College Women’s Soccer is pleased to announce the incoming freshman class for the 2016 season.  Seven new recruits will join the 13 returning sophomores to start preseason on August 1st to defend the Cobras’ M-WAC title.  All seven hail from the state of Illinois and are expected to make serious contributions to an already successful team.

I am excited about this incoming group. It’s a fairly small class but filled with proven players who are going to step right into key roles on this team.  Having such a large, and successful sophomore class returning next season will help the incoming group get settled quickly and hit the ground running in August.

TozerBrooke Tozer joins the Cobras from nearby Charleston.  Primarily a defender, Tozer is really a versatile player, capable of slotting into a number of roles on the team.  “I wanted to be challenged and I know that Parkland is a great program and will help me to continue to get better,” she stated.

MerchantBrianna Merchant comes to Parkland from Troy, in southern Illinois.  An avid fan of the US Women’s National Team, Merchant is an experienced and imposing defender.  Prior to signing with the Cobras, she suffered a serious injury setback but has recovered unbelievably quickly and will be fit for the start of preseason training.  On her decision to join the Cobras, Merchant said, “I chose Parkland because I loved the atmosphere of the college, I’ve been looking forward to starting ever since I visited.”  She will be a part of the Parkland Pathways program as well.

HudspethDestiny Hudspeth joins Parkland from Springfield.  An attack-minded player, Destiny will be a strong addition to the Cobras’ offense, which has terrorized opposing teams for the past few seasons.  Describing Parkland as “a good school, with good soccer,” she looks forward to joining the team August 1.

YounkerClaire Younker, a native of Morton, joins the Cobras a versatile winger.  A strong and athletic player, Younker will be an asset to the team both defending and going forward.  On her decision to sign with Parkland, Younker said, “I chose Parkland because I like that it is a winning program and that I get the chance to be part of that tradition. I felt that Parkland was the place for me as soon as I visited the campus.”

BarriaAlso joining the Cobras from Springfield is Marissa Barria.  A true, box-to-box center midfielder, Barria is expected to make a major impact in an already strong center of the park for the Cobras.  She is a longtime fan of Catalan Giants and last year’s Champions League winner, FC Barcelona.

MossmanSydney Mossman joins the Cobras from Alton.  A very technical player, Mossman will make big contributions on the offensive side for the Cobras, and will play both as a center forward and an attacking winger.  Sydney had club success with St. Louis Scott Gallagher and is going to push for a key role behind the Cobras’ already established attackers.

MartinezAnd the Cobras’ last addition to the recruiting class, from Centennial High School in Champaign is Hannah Martinez.  Hannah just moved to Champaign last year, but was a key player in a very successful campaign for Centennial this past year.  A very athletic player, Hannah will play primarily in the holding midfield role, but will be expected to fit into a number of positions on the park.

Parkland College Women’s Soccer open their defense of the M-WAC title on August 28 at home vs. Maple Woods Community College of Kansas City, MO.

[Chris Jackson is the recently appointed head coach of the Cobras Women’s Soccer Team.]

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.

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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.]

 

 

Alumni Art Exhibition This Fall: Call for Entries!

alumni exhibit

Giertz Gallery at Parkland College is celebrating Parkland’s 50th anniversary by hosting its first-ever alumni juried exhibition, featuring the artwork of our most talented alumni! Are you one of them?

Giertz Gallery invites Art and Design alumni to show your creativity and talent by submitting artwork to the Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition.

All works to be considered for inclusion in the exhibit must be submitted by August 26. Visit parkland.edu/gallery for complete details and the online entry form.

Entry is open to all artists who have taken at least one class within the Art and Design program at Parkland. Submitted works may be in the following disciplines: painting, sculpture, ceramics, metals, drawing, printmaking, photography, textiles, video, and mixed media. Work completed under an instructor’s supervision is not eligible. Work must have been made in the last three years.

We are delighted that Barry Blinderman, director of University Galleries at Illinois State University, will serve as juror of the exhibition.

Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition will run September 26–November 5, 2016.

Parkland Students Dig Deeper into Archaeology

On the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, in Kennekuk County Park northwest of Danville, sits the Collins Archaeological Complex, home to a Native American site more than 1,000 years old. As part of an intense six-week field school, Parkland College students are examining the relationship of this important archaeological site to the Mississippian civilization who built the city of Cahokia near East St. Louis, Illinois.

The summer field school is led by archaeologist Amanda Butler, instructor of anthropology at Parkland. Below, University of Illinois anthropology majors Daniele Veign (pictured above) of Mahomet and Kristen Burtzos of Cissna Park share about their experiences at Collins. Both students are currently earning credit through Parkland for this class.

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Dani: Learning to Think Like an Archaeologist

The media sometimes portrays archaeology as an exotic activity where people find outrageous artifacts of a distant culture in a far-off land. Archaeologists can certainly have these experiences, but there is so much more involved in the process of archaeology. Most importantly, archaeology is everywhere, not just in distant places. Living the life of an archaeologist is far different than studying the field of archaeology. The Parkland College field school at the Collins Site is giving me the hands-on experience that one cannot get from a textbook.

The Collins site is a ceremonial mound center with connections to Cahokia, the largest pre-Columbian Native American city in the U.S. It was inhabited around 1080-1180 CE. The site, consisting of multiple earthen mounds, was previously excavated in the early 1970s by a team of archaeologists from the University of Illinois who attempted to salvage as much information as possible ahead of the (then) planned dam of Middle Fork River. Currently, we are trying to gain a broader understanding about the group of people who once inhabited Collins, while also testing a hypothesis that Cahokian missionaries attempted to convert local (east central Illinois) inhabitants to their Mississippian religion.

At Collins, I am learning the basics of archaeological excavation: digging techniques, how to identify features and artifacts, and how to map, but I am also beginning to see archaeology as so much more. This field school is teaching me how I can take several different puzzle pieces and think about how they all fit together to form a fuller picture of the past. I am learning to comprehend and view another culture far different from my own. I am learning how to look at the soil and to use color and texture differences to identify archaeological features. The field school at Collins is teaching me how to truly think and act like an archaeologist.

Kat Ceramic

Kristen: Finding Her Passion

The Collins site field school has given students an amazing opportunity to unearth the deep history within our own community. For me, an archaeology student, this class offers a unique hands-on experience in my chosen field of study. I am learning valuable skills and techniques used in the excavation process of an archaeologist, including surveying, excavation, laboratory analysis, mapping, and conservation.

Our instructor, Amanda Butler, challenges us to think deeply about what we are excavating and how it relates to our class readings. We are encouraged to keep daily journals so we can record our thoughts, ideas, and accomplishments throughout each day. We will use our journaled observations and class readings to discuss how our discoveries at the Collins site may correlate to the civilization that once existed at Cahokia.

We have met with visiting archaeologists and listened as they shared their own expertise and ideas about the Collins site and the field of archaeology. This field school has solidified my passion for archaeology. It has been is a great first step towards my career, and it gives me an idea of what I will be doing as I continue on my future path.

Heading Toward a Fiscally Solid Fall Semester

The recent announcement of a stopgap budget from Springfield provides welcome news for Illinois higher education. It also presents an opportunity to remind our community that Parkland College continues to maintain a fiscally strong position.

Parkland will receive $1.8 million for the first half of fiscal year 2017, July 1 through December 2016. The funds may be used to cover MAP financial aid grants that students received for the spring 2016 semester.

Our college continues to offer the programs that students and community employers need, and it is our hope that the funding news will reassure potential students and their parents that Parkland will be here to help them meet their academic goals, graduate, and achieve career success.

The uncertainty of the state budget in the last year has almost certainly contributed to an enrollment decline, not only here at Parkland, but at many Illinois public colleges and universities. As we approach fall 2016 in an enrollment deficit, now is the time for all Parkland employees to spread the positive news:

  • Encourage any potential students to register TODAY for best class selection.
  • Reassure them that Parkland College is fiscally solid and will be here for them.
  • Tell them there are scholarships and other financial aid options to help them pay tuition.

Finally, remind them that fall semester classes start August 22.

Parkland College, in its 50th year, remains strong and looks forward to a promising new academic year. Thanks to all of you for your ongoing hard work. Your dedication to Parkland and our students during these challenging times is most appreciated.

[Tom Ramage is president of Parkland College.]

You CAN DO Home Repair, and Parkland Can Help

For all you women out there (and perhaps a few men) who feel you can’t perform DIY home repair outside of changing a lightbulb, I want to encourage you: You CAN DO it.

I took a plumbing course at Parkland College in 2006 and have saved hundreds of dollars in potential (read: unnecessary) plumbing repairs ever since. It wasn’t easy being the only female (or 40+ year old) in that two-hour evening class. I surely earned the “Most Worn Out” award from cutting, reaming, and soldering pipe after a full day’s work! But I hung in there, learned a lot, and smiled all the way to my A grade. In the end, it was worth it, because that one class has made all the difference in my confidence about home repair.

Ruthie1Since taking the class, I have not only changed supply lines and valves on my home toilets myself, but I’ve also been able to confidently say “no thanks” to plumbers who’ve suggested that I replace entire faucet units when all that was needed to fix the leak was a new washer or packing. Yes, I said plumbers; this has happened more than once over the decade. Such triumphs encouraged me to buy a really good home repair book. I have since fixed non-plumbing-related areas of my home, too, including replacing the springs and cables on my garage door, buying and installing new insulation, and laying flooring.

Now, that’s pretty good savings from a one-semester, affordable class with a schedule that was flexible enough for a young working mother of two.

Look, ladies, if I could do this—someone who doesn’t do physical labor, nature, or bugs all that well—you certainly can. Sign up for Plumbing (CIT 114) or other Building Construction and Repair certificate courses at Parkland, and you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t take a Parkland class, then at least buy yourself (and read) a good home repair guide. You’ll be surprised at just how handy you really are.

Hmm…now that my kids are officially grown-ups, I think it’s time to get more Parkland construction classes under my belt. Perhaps I’ll take Construction Materials (CIT 111) or Rough Carpentry (CIT 115) next.

I bet my husband’s nervous just reading this. He should be. 😉

[Ruthie Counter is a full-time staff writer and part-time communication instructor at Parkland College.]

Budget Tuition Payments with Parkland’s Plan

When students and parents think about paying that college tuition bill, there are not too many alternatives. Quite often, I encounter students telling me that they “do not have the money available right now, but will have some of it in a couple weeks.” (Lots of other Parkland College staff members hear that, too.) When this is the situation, we do offer one pretty helpful solution.

We tell them to take advantage of the Parkland Tuition Payment Plan. Did you even know Parkland had one of those? Yes, we do.

Parkland College partners with a company called Nelnet Business Solutions (NBS) to offer our students a convenient way to pay that tuition bill. In fact, NBS is a tuition-management plan that gives students a low-cost option for budgeting all college expenses.

The Parkland Tuition Payment Plan is not a loan program, and there are no debt or interest charges you have to pay. We don’t even require a credit check for you to join the plan. You can get on our plan with only a $25 fee to start. That’s all. Then, on the fifth of each month, tuition payments automatically come out of the checking/savings account or debit/credit card you’ve set up.

One thing I encourage parents and students to do is to sign up early for the payment plan. The earlier you sign up for a semester, the less money you’ll have to pay up front in installments. For example, if you sign up now for our Fall 2016 classes, you have until June 29 to sign up for the payment plan, and then you would have four monthly payments that occur on the 5th of each month from August through November.

I recently talked with a Parkland student whose tuition bill for the Fall 2016 semester is $2,043. She signed up for our payment plan with her $25 nonrefundable fee, so her payments will look like this:

  • August 5             $510.75
  • September 5     $510.75
  • October 5          $510.75
  • November 5     $510.75

This plan works for her, because she works part time at an area hospital and gets paid every couple of weeks. Now she no longer has to worry about being dropped from her classes for Fall 2016 when tuition is due on August 2. She can just relax, finish out the spring semester, and enjoy her summer.

How about you: Do YOU need help budgeting tuition? Click here to sign up for the Parkland Tuition Payment Plan today.  It’s easy: All you need is your checking/savings account or debit/credit card and a couple of other pieces of information. You might just appreciate this way to pay for college.

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***Enroll in Parkland’s payment plan through Nelnet Business Solutions today and ensure your classes are not dropped. Learn more about the plan at http://www2.parkland.edu/nelnet/.***

[Dave Donsbach serves as controller in the Parkland College Business Office.]

Joining Forces: Business Training, Community Education

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Have you heard? Effective July 1, Parkland College Business Training and Parkland College Community Education will join forces, with the united goal of providing opportunities to transform lives through personal and professional development.

Parkland College Business Training and Community Education is positioned to be a “one-stop” for the community’s various demographics, interests, and needs. Through an array of high-quality, customer-driven programs, the department will provide professional growth, career-enhancing training, workshops, social and travel outings, and personal enrichment opportunities.

Services include workshops for individuals who want to upgrade their job skills or train for a new career; corporate and customized training and consulting for area employers; special programs for the underemployed and unemployed, including the Highway Construction Careers Training Program; the Traffic Safety Program; and enrichment classes for all ages, such as College for Kids, computer skills, health and wellness, home and garden, recreation and leisure, and travel classes.

By joining forces, the new department is positioning itself to be self-sustaining, expanding its team and services, and following best practices for the continuing education industry.  The department’s solid core values allow for collaboration, professionalism, diversity, progress, and excellence in all aspects of day-to-day operations and in the opportunities provided to the community.

If you want to learn specific skills to be more productive in your job, we offer workshops just for you!

Popular business training programs of Interest:

For a full list of workshops for your personal and professional interest, check out www.parkland.edu/businesstraining or call 217/351-2235.

Pride, Honor at 2016 GED Reception

Last Tuesday (June 7), six students participated in a reception honoring our 2016 GED graduates, held in Parkland’s student union cafeteria lounge.

Hosted by Parkland College Adult Education, the reception offered us a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of students who have passed General Education Development, the high school equivalency program, since last June at the Parkland campus.

Each GED recipient wore a cap and gown as they walked across the union’s stage, the action symbolizing the next step in their academic development. They were deservedly proud of their achievements and, in like manner, we were proud of them. Getting a GED is no small feat; a post about last year’s reception can attest to this. Reaching this moment was exciting, as it marked their transition to college or new career opportunities.

The GED reception concluded with refreshments and time to receive personal acknowledgements from friends, family, and Parkland administrators, including President Tom Ramage and Vice Presidents Pamela Lau and Seamus Reilly. The presence of our administrators emphasized the significance of this moment.

Parkland College congratulates our 2016 GED recipients and gives its best wishes for their successful futures.

Brooke Jean, Daniel Carnell, Brittany Coleman, Isabelle Seamon, Shannon Stoeckert, and Amanda Wyatt were honored at the 2016 GED Reception.
Brooke Jean, Daniel Carnell, Brittany Coleman, Isabelle Seamon, Shannon Stoeckert, and Amanda Wyatt were honored at the 2016 GED Reception.

***Interested in obtaining YOUR GED? Our free GED Preparation classes help qualified individuals learn the reading, math, and other skills necessary to pass the GED exam and are tailored to the individual’s level of readiness. Find out more at our web pages or call 217/351-2580 to schedule an appointment.***

[Tawanna Nickens is dean of adult basic education and workforce development at Parkland.]

Sunny and Warm: Study Abroad in Morocco Part 3

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

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May 30
MarrakechThis morning we went to the Majorelle Garden, a moorish villa and garden built by Jacques Majorelle in 1931. The garden has 1,800 species of cactus; some look like aliens. The house and grounds were bought by Yves Saint-Laurent. Saint-Laurent collected Berber crafts and household items while he lived in Marrakech. The small studio pictured has been converted into a Berber museum. Marrakech3The Berbers are Moroccan mountain people, some think of European decent, who specialized in crafts such as rugs, jewelry, and clothing.

Marrakech2This afternoon we visiterd the Saadian Tombs built between 1578-1603. They were discovered in 1917 and restored by the Beaux-arts service. There are 60 members of the Saadi dynasty interned there. The wood carving and stucco work is amazing.

Bahia3We also visited the Bahia Palace, which is located on the northern edge of the medina in the Jewish quarter. Bahia2Built between 1859-1873, this is an enormous palace covering 8 hectares. There was no plan; each part of the palace is very different because it was built section by Bahia1section by artisans from all over Africa. They used several materials including Carrera marble, glazed terra cotta tiles, blue and yellow ceramic screens, and painted cedar.

 

June 1
We traveled by bus from Marrakech to Fez and made a stop in Volubilis.Volubilis1

Volubilis is a partially excavated Berber/Roman city located between Meknas and Fez. It was founded in the 3rd century B.C. and is a UNESCO world heritage site. This was the most western part of Africa conquered by the Romans. You can see a family of storks on top of a pilar, the aqueduct, the victory arch, and a mosaic.

Volubilis3         Volubilis2This was the most interesting stop we’ve made so far. The country side is one of the most fertile agricultural areas in Morocco. In this part of Morocco some farmers use modern farming equipment. They grow olives, corn, wheat, grapes, sunflowers and pumpkins. They also raise sheep and use donkeys for transportation. This is a very pretty part of Morocco with gently rolling hills and cypress trees.

June 2
thumbnail_IMG_0319Today we toured Fez. The first picture shows the medina, which is the largest in the world. It has 10 miles of walls, 11 gates, 275 mosques, 400,000 people live there and 80,000 stores.

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The gate is called Bab el-Semarine, Gate of the Ferriers, also known as the blue gate. The entrance leads to the food section of the medina.

 

 

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The building shown is the Gregorian Mederssa Attarine dormitory for the nearby ancient university built in 1325.

I had a delicious lamb tagine for lunch. The rest of our day was spent visiting the leather, weaving, and pottery section of the medina. Fez is the most authentically preserved medina in Morocco. It’s certainly the most interesting, I really enjoyed watching all the artisans at workIMG_0333.

We were invited to the Embassy by the public affairs section. There are no pictures of the Embassy due to security issues. Embassies report to the U. S. State Department and employees work for the foreign service.

The Embassy just moved into a new building about a year and a half ago; there is a family of storks living just outside the walls. It’s a beautiful building and has been certified LEED gold. The building was constructed by local contractors to a certain stage, then certified cleared contractors take over. Certain construction jobs must be completed by US citizens. The walls, doors, and glass are extra thick, it takes muscle to open the doors. There is tight security, we could only enter with our passports, no bags or cell phones.

Working for the foreign service sounds like a lot of fun, but you have to like change. Employees must continually work their way up the ladder and must tenure in 5 years or they are out. Posts last 2-3 years and employees are expected to be interested enough to do their own research on the next country they will work in. Employees can and should transfer between sections; some of the sections are management, political, and economic. It’s hard on spouses because if they want to work they must find it on their own or telecommute. The State Department provides housing based on family needs such as size or pets. If you pay 50% of parents’ expenses, they can live with you. An employee should be outgoing, work well with others (teamwork is essential), and be able to network with known and unknown people.

We listened to three employees about their experiences in the foreign service. Although we didn’t get a tour of the building it was certainly an interesting day and an honor to be invited. Our picture will be on the U S Embassy Rabat Facebook page.

June 3
We have reached the end of our trip. I loved everything about Morocco.

The food was outstanding. There was only one thing I didn’t like, a dessert that was made with 14 spices, almonds, and raisins typically served by the Berbers.

The people were really nice; they are just like us in their private lives. The women do cover up in public, but I noticed that the younger generation seems to be modernizing; they wear western clothes. Some wear scarves, but a lot don’t. I never felt uncomfortable while walking, but I was always with someone after dark.

Morocco is an inexpensive country to visit. One US dollar equals ten Dirhams. You get the best deals on leather, pottery, and woven goods. The only difficulty I can see is transportation. To get from city to city, you must have a car. Morocco is putting in a high-speed rail system, but it won’t be completed for several years.

I recommend this country for anyone who is looking for a non-western cultural experience. There is so much to see and do, I think you should plan to stay at least 10 days.

Happy travels!
Del

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

Jody Littleton
Associate Professor, Communication
Study Abroad Coordinator
Parkland College
217/351-2532

 

 

 

 

Sunny and Warm: Study Abroad in Morocco Part 2

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

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May 23

Chefchaouen, the blue city
Chefchaouen, the blue city

Today, we traveled to Chefchaouen, also known as the blue city of Morocco. It’s located about 80 miles southeast of Tangier. The blue paint has a mosquito repellent in it. We walked from the top of the hill to the bottom. This is definitely a shopper’s haven. We spent the day shopping and stopped at Darkoum for lunch.

May 24
Moroccofood3Moroccan food is really good; so far everything I have tried here is excellent. The picture shows tajin, which is both the name of the vessel and the dish. Tajin can be made with beef, lamb, chicken, or fish. There are two kinds here, chicken and fish. The sides are a green salad, radishes, olives and bread. There is also a dish of pears and bananas.

Moroccofood1The bread is used as the utensil. You break a bite size piece off and scoop the food on to the bread and pop it into your mouth. Moroccans eat a lot of bread. We have been given at least 10 kinds so far, it’s eaten at every meal. I have had so much bread that I can’t eat anymore. I’ve asked to use a spoon instead.

The most popular drink is tea. It’s made in a pot that holds 5 to 6 small glasses. They add 8 tablespoons of sugar to the pot and a handful of mint. Our host mother told us that she goes light on the sugar and only adds 7 tablespoons. Their tablespoon is bigger than ours, so you can imagine how sweet it is. It’s so sweet that my ankles were swollen. I’ve had to ask that my tea be made without sugar, just the mint.

May 26
IMG_0145Today, we took a drive west of Tangier. We took a short camel ride, which was okay with me because the fun part is getting up and down. One day, I will return to Morocco and do a camel safari in the Sahara.IMG_0157

Next, we stopped at the cave of Hercules. It’s the most famous site in Tangier. The cave walls were carved out into small wheels that were used to grind grain.

Our last stop was a beautiful seaside town called Asilah. It would be the perfect place to retire. It’s quiet, and all the buildings are white with blue doors. As you walk around town, at almost every turn there is a mural. Many artists and musicians live in the town, and they hold art and music festivals every year.  IMG_0159

We had a lovely fish lunch before driving back to Tangier. It was a very nice day!

 

 

 

May 28
Saturday we drove from Tangier to Marrakech, an 8-hour drive.  The scenery was rural and we saw many subsistence farms which had various types of vegetables. The farmers were plowing the small fields with a single blade plow, pulled by either a donkey or a team of cows.Rabat

We broke the drive by stopping in Rabat to see the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. The mausoleum was commissioned by his son Hassan II and designed by Vietnamese architect Vo Toan who used Carrara marble. The candelabra is made of pierced and engraved copper. This was a beautiful stop; the entrance was guarded by two guards in ceremonial dress, on horseback.  Bouznika

We stopped in Bouznika for lunch. The road leading to town was loaded with restaurants. We ate at Restaurant Dayga and had several types of roast meat including lambDayga. All of us loved the food and we finished everything which must have been 16 pounds of meat. Lunch cost $160 for the 16 of us, including beverages.

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

Jody Littleton
Associate Professor, Communication
Study Abroad Coordinator
Parkland College
217/351-2532

Sunny and Warm: Study Abroad in Morocco Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

My djalaba and scarf
My djalaba and scarf

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

Doors to the hammam.
Doors to the hammam.

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

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

Henna tattoos
Henna tattoos in Morocco.

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

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

 

 

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

Jody Littleton
Associate Professor, Communication
Study Abroad Coordinator
Parkland College
217/351-2532

‘State of Contemporary Illustration’ Highlights

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

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

Professional Illustrators

Editorial
Victo Ngai
The New Standard
Plansponsor

victo-hgai

 

Editorial
Red Nose Studio
Explore
The New Yorker

rednose

 

Concept
Sung Choi
Parade
Self Promotion

sung-choi

 

Infographic
Ink Dwell
Wall of Birds
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

ink-dweel

 

 

Parkland Student Illustrators

Book
Hilary Pope
Client: Scribner

hillary_book_cover

 

 

Advertisement
Shannon Martin
Client: Red Vox

shannon-martin

 

Product
Christie Klinger
Client: CKKM Winery

Christie-Klinger

 

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

 

Women Aviator History: Film Viewing at Parkland

Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race is a documentary film about the first women’s cross-country air race in 1929 and the legacy of women’s air racing today. Parkland College will host a viewing of the film June 18 at 7 pm in Room C118 on Parkland’s main campus. Film commentary will be provided by Terry von Thaden, granddaughter of the first air race winner, Louise Thaden.

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1929 Women’s Air Derby pilots

The first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 was flown from Santa Monica to the finish line in Cleveland, kicking off the National Air Races. The eyes of the country watched as these brave women made history flying cross-country, breaking into a competition that was thought to be for men only. They encountered sabotage, death, and all the difficulties of flying at the dawn of aviation.

Today, the Powder Puff Derby continues as the Air Race Classic. The modern-day racers carry out the legacy of the original racers with their adventurous spirit. Showing that they were more than just their make-up, the original Derby contestants have inspired those flying today to push beyond the powder.

Beyond the Powder

This year the Air Race Classic celebrates its 40th anniversary and will include a stop at Willard Airport and the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College in Savoy, Illinois. The 2016 Air Race Classic runs June 21–24.

For more information about the film please visit Hemlock Films.

 

[Wendy Evans is the recruiter for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation.]

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!

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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.

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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.]

“Try Online!” Series: College Algebra

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 MAT 124 , College Algebra, taught by Erin Wilding-Martin. Erin was named the 2015 Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.

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Anyone planning to go on to take either Calculus or Business Calculus (so, lots of majors) needs to take MAT 124, College Algebra. These students have a lot of math ahead of them, so getting this course out of the way over the summer would really help them move forward on their path, and MAT 124 transfers easily to most schools.

What to Expect
The online format is convenient for summer learning. On-campus classes of MAT 124 meet 2 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 8 weeks. The online class only requires an in-person final exam, and the rest is online. Of course, this does require good time management to stay on top of things. But class sizes are small at Parkland, so you can easily get help from me, the instructor, by email.

MAT 124 is a pretty challenging course, but we use the ALEKS online system to personalize your learning experience. First,  we give you an assessment to see what you already know how to do. Then, you can skip topics you have mastered previously and spend more time on the ones you find challenging. ALEKS will guide you so you work on topics in an order that naturally builds on what you can currently do. You can’t jump to a topic you’re not ready for, so you will feel less overwhelmed as you learn.

About the instructor: Erin Wilding-Martin has taught at Parkland for 15 years. For 13 years she has been developing and teaching online courses in both mathematics, and in community college teaching and learning. Erin received an MS in Mathematics and a PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was also the 2015 recipient of the Association of Community College Trustees Faculty Member Award for the Central Region.

***MAT 124: Offered June 13 to August 4; August 22 to December 9; and September 12 to December 9. Register online today (these sections fill fast!).***

 

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

Thinking College? Club Latino Students Share Some Keys to Success

What are three key ingredients for success at Parkland College for Latino students?

The students themselves would probably tell you that: 1) family/friend support, 2) affordability, and 3) information is the trio to beat.

I recently sat down with members of Club Latino, one of the longest-running and most active student clubs at Parkland, for a Q&A session. These students come from various cities (Rantoul, Arcola, Tuscola, Decatur, and C-U) and are pursuing a wide range of majors (music therapy and neurology, psychology, computer science, criminal justice, surgical technology, Spanish, and sociology). Most of the Club Latino students work 30-40 hours a week as well as take classes, attend Club Latino meetings (free pizza!), and do volunteer/service work with the club.

As we chatted about their Parkland experiences and what has kept them motivated to learn, they also shared with me what they would like future Parkland students of Latino heritage to understand about college before they begin their journeys here.

What keeps you going?
  • My mom. She is so encouraging.
  • Support for our families; we don’t want to let them down.
  • We are hard workers—it’s in our blood.
  • We need a better future for ourselves.
  • I have goals—I want to achieve them.
  • I am a nursing major, and I’m getting closer to my goal of helping people.
How do you balance work and school?
  • It has not been easy. There are days I dedicate to school and days I dedicate to work.
  • I consider my Club Latino time my hangout time.
What made you decide to come to Parkland? Why is this place special?
  • I worked with my mom in a factory for two years. I saw how tired she was after working 60-hour weeks, and I knew I didn’t want to do that forever.
  • Parkland’s tuition is more affordable than other schools, and it’s closer to home.
  • Parkland feels safe to me. The environment is friendly and I don’t ever feel fear. I feel like it’s my home.
  • It’s a great place to start… a stepping stone.
  • I still don’t know what I want to do, but I will figure it out at Parkland.
How does campus involvement in Club Latino benefit you?
  • How important is it to be involved in college? 101% important. Students struggle with work and school, but being involved helps you realize how much more college has to offer and how worthwhile it is.
  • You’re also learning leadership skills, teamwork skills, accounting, planning. When you experience other things, you start to have a broader perspective.
  • I’ve met a lot of new people from new areas and made new friends.
  • It makes you more responsible because you see other people being responsible.
  • I never had much Latino culture growing up, so being in Club Latino connects me to my heritage.
  • We try to motivate younger Latinos to set goals and go to college. We do outreach to high schools.
What would you want a younger brother or sister to know about starting college?
  • Applying to college is not as hard as you think. When I first came to Parkland, I talked to Financial Aid and figured out how to pay for college. It seems like a lot of steps, but once you’re in, the only struggle is then getting through classes. Once you’re here, there are a lot of people to help you out.
  • Get started early for fall. Don’t wait. Fill out the FAFSA and use last year’s information. You want to be one of the first people to apply. You have to be persistent.
  • I think it’s important to find that support system before you come, and then once you’re here, find it here.
  • You don’t have to know what to major in before you come to school. The general requirements apply to a lot of majors, so none of it is wasted time.

    Thanks to Club Latino members who shared their meeting time with me: Kellyn, Jesus, Bree, Karina, Yulibeth, Chaz, Joey, Jennifer, and Lisette.

[Hilary Valentine is the marketing analyst for Parkland’s Marketing and Public Relations department.]

 

Community Day to help Parkland College Flying Team

Join the Institute of Aviation Flying Team for great pizza and to support a wonderful group of students Monday, May 9.

Supporters of the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College are invited to gather at Monical’s Pizza locations in either Champaign, Urbana or Mahomet for the Parkland College Flying Team “Community Day” fundraiser. “Community Day” is a perfect opportunity for you to support the team.

It’s simple: go online to www.monicals.com, click on fundraising, then “Community Day Calendar” and find this event. Print a flier for the event, and dine in or carry out.

Enjoy delicious pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches on Monday, May 9 and Monical’s will donate 20% of your check to the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College and the Flying Team. Just think, you will be supporting the team by simply going out to eat.

Since their start over 40 years ago, Monical’s Pizza has evolved into a community dining tradition for people in Central Illinois. Their continued dedication to the people and communities they serve enable groups like ours to succeed. For a flier or more information, please visit Monical’s website or email aviation@parkland.edu.

“Try Online!” Series: Introduction to Finance

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  BUS 264 , Introduction to Finance, taught by instructor Bob Meyer.

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Introduction to Finance (BUS 264)
 transfers to the University of Illinois as FIN 221, Corporate Finance. I have worked for years to make sure that this course is equivalent to what is taught at most major universities.

But rather than sitting in a lecture hall with several hundred students, Parkland College students in BUS 264 enjoy much smaller class sizes, where they learn about investing, the time value of money, and how to evaluate whether a project is economically feasible.

What to Expect
This course is spread over 13 weeks to give you plenty of time to learn the material. You’ll have many assignments including an Aplia homework manager, but the course offers flexibility on due dates. Some of the work will be group or team work, and the groups typically interact over the Internet. Typically, half of the class comprises out-of-state students, and a tenth of the class lives out of the country.

BUS 264 includes two tests and a stock project. You may take your tests at Parkland or at approved proctor sites.

About the instructor: Bob Meyer has taught five sections of BUS 264 each year for the past 25 years. He has also taught at the University of Illinois’ Finance department, in both its undergraduate and graduate finance programs. He has owned a business and has been an insurance agent and a stock securities agent. He enjoys finance as well as teaching this course.

***BUS 264: Offered June 13–Aug 4 and Sep 12–Dec 9. Register online today for either section (but these sections fill fast!).***

 

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

Get Involved: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Part of the college experience is becoming more aware of your contribution to society; you come to realize you can and do make a difference by serving the world around you. This month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, offers new opportunities for you to express that service. Here are two of them:

  • Our RACES Fundraiser takes place April 26, 11 am–1 pm, in the Student Union. All proceeds will benefit Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education Services (RACES), a community rape crisis center. RACES offers advocacy, counseling, and crisis intervention for survivors of sexual assault and provides educational programs in Champaign, Piatt, Ford, and Douglas Counties.
    While you’re at Parkland next Tuesday, buy and decorate a “I ♥ Consent” T-shirt. Take a selfie of yourself as you sign the “Empowering Words” wall, a new mobile assault and domestic battery awareness display. Make your own bracelets/wrist bands, Ultimately, make your voice heard, because it’s on ALL of us to say, “Not Anymore.”
    Shirts are available in white $10  or blue at $15. If you’re unable to attend, you can still order a shirt by contacting Chaya Sandler at 217/353-2627 or me, Dean Marietta Turner, at 217/351-2505. Tell us your size, color and please make the check out to RACES.
  • Take your group, club, friends or family and make a strong Parkland College showing at the 37th Annual TAKE BACK THE NIGHT walk:
    37th Annual TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
    Thursday, April 28, 6:30–10 pm
    Lincoln Square, 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
    Take Back the Night is aimed at raising awareness around sexual violence and calling for its end by bringing together survivors, community members, students, and other supporters. Everyone will gather on the west side of Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana (intersection of Race and Green Streets), and march to the Main Quad beginning at 7 pm.
    A rally and speak-out will follow the march. The speak-out will take place in room 217 in Noyes Laboratory (505 S. Matthews Ave., Urbana). This event is OPEN TO EVERYONE. We will march in inclement weather, barring dangerous conditions. For more information, call 217/344-6298.

On behalf of the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Committee at Parkland, I encourage you to get involved and make your voice heard.

Thanks,

Marietta Turner
Dean of Students
Parkland College

Inside the Minds of Artists: Art & Design Open House

Have you ever thought about pursuing a career in art or design? Do you want to learn to express yourself creatively? You’re in luck!

TODAY (Wednesday, April 20), Parkland’s Department of Art and Design will throw open its doors and invite prospective students with curious minds to tour the facilities and watch demonstrations. Faculty will be available to review student portfolios, discuss Parkland’s programs and answer questions about planning for the future.

Here’s a run down of all the activities at the Parkland Art and Design Open House, 5:30 to 8:30 pm:

Giertz Gallery talks
5:30 • 6:00 • 6:30 • 7:00 • 7:30 • 8:00
Sculpture demos
5:45 • 6:15 • 6:45 | Room C189
Painting demos
5:45 • 6:45 • 7:45 | Room C190
Ceramics demos
7:15 • 7:45 • 8:15 | Room C191
2D Design demos
6:15 • 7:15 • 8:15 | Room C186
Photography tour
5:45 • 6:15 • 6:45 • 7:15 • 7:45 • 8:15 | Room D017
Graphic Design demos
5:30 • 6:00 • 6:30 • 7:00 • 7:30 • 8:00 | Room D019
Metals class
5:30–8:45 | Room C187
Drawing class
6:00–8:45 | Room C188
Portfolio Reviews
5:30–6:00 | Room C183A

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WEB_IMG_4318

Prospective students will also have an opportunity to visit the Giertz Gallery and view the 2016 Parkland College Art and Design Student Juried Exhibition. 180 works of art in photography, painting, drawing, metals, sculpture, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design, color theory, and ceramics will be on display, showcasing the impressive talent that our students have. 

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WEB_IMG_8903

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The open house runs from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Classrooms are located in the C-Wing of Parkland College on the west side of the main building. Parking is available in the C4 lot; enter on the south side of the art wing (look for the balloons). 

No registration is needed.

Questions? Call 217/351-2270 or email dseif@parkland.edu for more information. 

Celebrate Earth Week at Parkland College

SCC 2016 Sustainabilty CV 1920x1080

Parkland College has celebrated Earth Day, Earth Week, and even Earth Month each April for a number of years, with activities planned and organized by members of the Sustainable Campus Committee. But this year, we celebrate this week with activities planned by Parkland students, in a group so newly formed, they are just undergoing approval for official student club status!

Read on to see how the upcoming Parkland Students for Sustainability Club hit the ground running. Students, staff, and community members are welcome to attend these events, all held in the Student Union, room U142, by the cafeteria stage.

Tuesday, April 19: Focus on Sustainable Transportation

As a commuter campus, a significant portion of Parkland’s carbon footprint is attributed to transportation impacts, primarily from car commuting. Learn about ways to lower your pollution contribution, and how Parkland can plan and build to reduce transportation impacts. Mass transit and bicycling are also good for you; learn about the health benefits of sustainable transportation alternatives.

9am-10am: Join Ben Leroy, associate planner with the City of Champaign, to learn about how Parkland connects to Champaign’s transportation infrastructure and what we can do to support both better connectivity and a larger percentage of bicycle and bus commuters.

11am-1pm:

  • Come provide your ideas and input on how Parkland’s campus can be more connected, accessible, and encouraging of outdoor activity for people of all ages and abilities. We’ll have a big map and idea board.
  • Bike maintenance and cycling safety demonstration with Neutral Cycle (12:30pm start time)
  • Strategies and financial implications of car-free living
  • Mapping out existing and desired campus features for fitness, access to nature, and universal design
  • Resources from CU-MTD to make bus riding to campus easy and economical.

Wednesday, April 20: Eat Local!

11am-1pm:

  • Try samples and browse a pop-up mini grocery store of local foods including produce, bread, cheese, and coffee from Prairie Fruits Farm, Blue Moon Farm, Sola Gratia Farm, Great Harvest Bread, and Columbia Street Roastery.
  • Learn how to make great seasonal meals with pointers and recipes from Community-Supported Agriculture businesses in our region.
  • Find out about the Champaign Farmers Market’s double-your-money purchasing incentive program for individuals and families who qualify for SNAP benefits.
  • Hear how the Wesley Food Pantry helps reduce food insecurity right here in Chambana, and about opportunities to both use this community resource and volunteer to support its mission.
  • Check out the sun using a solar telescope, and learn about the science of the seasons from the Parkland Astronomy Club.

Thursday, April 21: DIY Green

How can you make your day-to-day activities healthier and more environmentally responsible? Join us for a series of activities that will save you money, reduce your exposure to chemicals, and lighten your environmental impact all at the same time.

11am-1pm:

  • Green cleaning: learn about the simple, low-toxic products that can be used instead of commercial cleaning products. They’re effective and safer for family and pets.
  • Natural personal care products: store-bought personal care products and cosmetics can contain chemical toxins and hormone-disruptors. Find out how to make your own personal care products to save both money and the environment!
  • Receive a small dose of toxicology! Learn about the health impacts of home cleaning and personal care products from the Parkland Science Club.
  • Paper or plastic? Neither! Bring a used T-shirt and we’ll help make it into a one-of-a-kind reusable shopping tote!
  • Become water-wise at home: learn how to check your toilet tank for silent leaks that could be costing your household hundreds of dollars a year in unneeded water and sewer charges. And bring home water-saving faucet aerators and shower heads (while supplies last) that will lower your utility bills the minute you install them. We’ll give demonstrations on how to easily install these money- and resource-saving devices.

Attend these events to learn about living more sustainably, and if you are interested in learning more or joining the student club, please email tpeterson@parkland.edu.

 

[Thor Peterson is the sustainability coordinator for Parkland College.]

“Try Online!” Series: Accounting Classes

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  ACC 101/102 , Financial Accounting/Managerial Accounting, from instructor Judy Smith.

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 If Not Quite the Oldest Profession…

Did you know we may have the profession of accounting to thank for written language? This should come as no surprise, since commerce is nearly as old as civilization itself.

More than 5,000 years ago, accountants used marks to keep track of goods stored in warehouses. In ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, accountants kept meticulous records of the inventory kept in royal storehouses. Often, their lives depended on the accuracy of their records. Over time, their marks grew more complex and became the basis for written language. In a way, many academic disciplines we now pursue can be traced back to the practice of accounting.

Accounting has changed significantly over the centuries. One welcome change is that accountants who make errors today can make an adjustment entry instead of paying with their lives! The advent of double-entry accounting in the 14th century is probably the greatest single development in the accounting profession and is still in practice. Today, accounting is organized around financial statements, audits, and government-imposed standards.

One thing the history of accounting has taught us is that the world will always need accountants and systems of accounting. Those systems may change and grow, but the need will always be present. As global commerce continues to grow and systems become more standardized, the world will continue to need well-trained and knowledgeable accountants.

What to Expect
This summer, you can begin your accounting training online at Parkland by taking ACC 101, Financial Accounting, and ACC 102, Managerial Accounting. ACC 101 starts May 16 and ACC 102 starts June 13. You’ll learn the basics of handling financial statements as related to investors, creditors, and managers, and then practice managerial procedures such as classification of costs, standard costs and variance analysis, capital budgeting, and cost allocation.

Let your advisor know if you want to take both classes this summer, from the comfort of your home.

About the instructor: Judy Smith has been at Parkland since 2001. She started teaching part time and has been teaching accounting full time since 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in accounting from University of Oklahoma and her Masters in Accounting from Southern Illinois University. Judy is a CPA and worked in a CPA firm for five years before launching her teaching career.

***ACC 101: Offered May 16–Jul 1 (online) and Jun 13–Aug 1 (hybrid);
ACC 102: Offered Jun 13–Aug 4 (online). Register online today.***

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

Why Try a Job Fair? For More Reasons than One

You’ve seen the posters around campus, the emails, the notices on Parkland’s website.  But you still think: “Job fair? me?  Uh-uh. I’m already working” or “I’m going on for my bachelor’s” or “I still have a year until graduation” or “I get too nervous” or “I’m just not ready yet.”

But the answer should be “YES!” because there’s more than one way to utilize a job fair.  Think about it, wouldn’t it be great to make connections with employers you think you might want to work for?  They don’t know you’re out there unless you let them know. Are you working in the field you want to end up in?  There could be opportunity to find a “real” job (even part-time) or internship opportunity before you complete your bachelor’s degree in your field of study.

You know you want to go into business, but that’s so broad.  A job fair allows you to get out and talk with a variety of companies  in the industry to find out in what direction you want to focus when you’re done with school.  Not sure how to start conversations with employers? Go through the fair, observe, and make sure to approach just one or two employers, just to practice presenting yourself.

Need help with your resume? elevator pitch? LinkedIn account?  As a Parkland student, you can plan ahead and schedule a FREE  appointment with the Career Center so that you are ready to go on the day of the job fair.

***We will hold our final job fair of the 2016 spring semester Monday, April 11, from 10 am to 1:30 pm in the Student Union Atrium.  This fair will focus on careers in Computer Science, Information Technology, and Business.

Stop by the Career Center in U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website. Call us at 217/351-2536. Our hours are Monday–Friday, 8 am–5 pm. ***

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

“Try Online!” Series: Intro to Summer, Fall Courses

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 MKT 101 , Introduction to Marketing, from instructor Bob Meyer.

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When people think of marketing, they often mistakenly think of advertising. After taking this class, you won’t be one of them.

Students taking Introduction to Marketing, or MKT 101, learn about the 4 P’s of the marketing endeavor: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Yet in many ways, this online class is a blend of entrepreneurship and marketing; you will actually write a marketing plan about a potential “new” business for Champaign County. Think that’s an exercise in futility? Actually, it’s just the opposite.

In fact, over 100 businesses in Champaign have been opened after a marketing plan was written in this class. Some were opened by my students. Other businesses were opened by people who used the student’s marketing plan. To name a few, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a former Apple iStore, and Chipotle were among local businesses that opened 2–3 years after my students wrote marketing plans for them. Some of my former students have even presented their MKT 101 projects on a local business-related radio show.

What to Expect
Course work for MKT 101 includes five tests and five video reports. About 1/3 of the grade is writing a marketing plan and giving feedback to classmates on their marketing plans. So not only will you learn how to write a marketing plan, you will also learn how to evaluate the proposals of others. That makes this a great class for students, even if they do not pursue marketing professionally.

About the instructor. Bob Meyer was one of the first teachers at Parkland to teach online classes. He has taught over 100 online sections, including over 50 online classes of MKT 101.  He uses his background in investments and marketing to evaluate students’ marketing plans and give them suggestions on the feasibility of their plans.

***MKT 101: Offered June 13-Aug 4 and Aug 22-Dec 9. Register online today for either section (fall semester classes open to the public April 11).***

 

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

Gen Ed Classes: Busy Work or Career Boosters?

Spring has arrived—and with it, thoughts about next semester, summer employment, if you are ever going to graduate, and whether you can squeeze in time for your  group project, write a 5-page paper on the cultural diversity of Indonesia, and hold down your part-time job all before the end of the semester.

If you want to be hired in today’s job market, you will NEED to use all of the above to your advantage.  That’s right: Those projects, papers, and seemingly useless knowledge of world governments, religions, and societies may be some of the  most important skills you’ll gain from your college career.

In today’s job market, employers want more than technical skills from their employees.  We live in a global society, and more and more jobs are requiring us to interact with other humans in some form for at least part of the day.  To help your resume stand out, start documenting what you are doing in these general education courses now.  For example, have you:

  • Completed group projects?
  • Improved your writing skills?
  • Gained knowledge and perspective on global issues/other cultures?
  • Worked with a diverse group of people?
  • Identified a problem and developed a solution?

You don’t need a ton of work experience to gain all these attractive skills; you’ve been doing them all along in your college coursework! The situations above translate into examples of communication, problem solving, teamwork, understanding and relating to others, diversity sensitivity, and managing multiple priorities.

So the next time your advisor tells you that you need one more humanities gen ed to fulfill your degree requirements, don’t roll your eyes but instead, challenge yourself to broaden your horizons and select a course you know nothing about.  You’ll have one more experience to add to your list and keep track of, so that when job search time comes, you can verbalize these experiences and move more powerfully toward career success.

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

Busy Restaurateur Thanks Parkland for Degree Push

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Although he’s too much of a gentleman to say it, Brian Farren probably scoffs at the notion of being “too busy” to return to school.

After all, this is the man who has a full-time job as an operations manager at FedEX and helps run the successful downtown eatery that bears his name while constantly taking classes and raising a family.  The 2015 Parkland graduate will complete his bachelor’s degree at Eastern Illinois University in May 2017 (Organizational and Professional Development) and is now contemplating grad school in addition to earning both personal fitness and life coaching certificates.

Brian recently took time for some Q&A with me about life as an adult learner:

How involved in Farren’s pub are you?

A: We have had Farren’s for a little over 16 years. My involvement comes and goes as needed. Day-to-day, I would say I am hardly involved at all; my wife deserves the lion’s share of the success we have had with that venture. We first met while employed at the same restaurant, so we are both capable, but hospitality is definitely her calling. I would consider myself the best pinch hitter she has. I am working an event for her this weekend because she will be out of town with our kids.

How has the Adult Re-entry Center helped you accomplish your academic goals?

A: I returned to school at Parkland College in August 2013. I first contacted Billie Mitchell, who was the director of the Adult Re-entry Center at the time. She listened to my goals and, using my transcripts from previous credits earned, helped me tailor a course of study to accomplish them. My journey was then handed to Tony Hooker, who finished what Billie had started. Tony was encouraging and helpful while I completed my studies at Parkland and always made himself available to answer my questions.

What advice would you give to prospective adult learners?

A: Get in and get started as soon as possible. Start slowly in order to reacquaint yourself with the learning environment, but don’t wait. The sooner you start, the sooner you will finish. Do not let the fact that you may be older than some of the other students bother you. You can be a great resource to them and you have the opportunity to bring maturity to the classroom that few others can provide. Adult life brings distractions that were not there in younger years, so keep your attention on your priorities and stay calm. Don’t try to do too much; you will finish if you stay focused.

Is there anything you would like to add?

A: I never thought I would have the desire to return to school, but as I near the end, I am glad that I decided to complete my education. The job market continually gets more competitive. Completing your education can provide what is needed to take advantage of future opportunities. I am grateful that I found the Adult Re-entry program at Parkland and that I took advantage of such a great local resource.

[To get started finishing your degree, contact Tony Hooker with the Parkland College Adult Re-entry Center at ahooker@parkland.edu or 217/351-2462.]

 

Get Ready for Summer Fun with College for Kids!

It’s time to make family plans for summer fun!

Would you like your child’s summer to be filled with fun activities, new and enriching experiences, and opportunities to make new friends,? Look no further; we’ve just described Parkland’s very own College for Kids!

Does your child want to learn digital photography? Does she want to discover the ins and outs of electricity and building circuits?  Or, does he want to design e-textiles or learn to imbed circuits in his very own work of art? We’ve got a class for that. College for Kids participants can design mosaic tiles, write their own movie script, discover the physics behind how a Frisbee flies, learn how to operate a teleprompter, and even be a part of the Pitch at Parkland, our first a cappella experience designed for kids! We offer these fantastic experiences and many more.

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer program for students entering grades 3 through 8. For the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, radio broadcasting to astronomy, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on and interactive, and they put the fun in learning!

This summer’s sessions are June 20-30 and July 11-21. Classes meet 12:15-2:15 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Sure, we’ll still feature summer favorites like Kids in the Kitchen, Mad for Math, Engineering Medieval Mayhem, and Video Games from Scratch. But look for new classes, too, like the Buzz about Bugs, Behind the Lines–The CFK Improv Troupe, Pocket Sketching, and Making Jewelry with Metals. Students will have an opportunity to design their own strategy game, explore the relationship between writing and our senses in Writing Detectives, and use brand new iPad’s in our digital photography and movie-making classes.

CFK classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides state-of-the-art facilities for 3D Paper Sculptures, Painting Like the Masters, and Color Your World, an experimental painting class using unique techniques. Students will be exposed to so many of Parkland’s amazing resources, including science and computer labs, the hospitality kitchen, and even the library!

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and questioning. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes here and mark your calendar for the first day of registration—April 4!

Registration for this summer’s program opens at 12 am on Monday, April 4. Session 1 meets Monday through Thursday, June 20 through June 30, and Session 2 meets Monday through Thursday, July 11 through 21. Classes are held from 12:15–2:15 p.m. and 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Tuition for each class is $159, and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You may register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign. Questions?  Call 217/353-2055.

Campus Visit Day: Info, Tours, Free Swag, Oh My!

Seniors, still undecided on where to attend? Juniors, want to get a head start on your college planning? Here are our Top 10 reasons to attend Parkland’s Campus Visit Day on April 1.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend Parkland’s Campus Visit Day

1. Speak to students who are currently attending Parkland. Get an idea of campus life, student clubs and organizations, workload, and more.

2. Find out how to finance college through scholarships, grants, and loans. Seniors, fill out the FAFSA while you are here.

3. Tour campus! Get a better view of what Parkland College is all about through a general tour of campus. See our classrooms, cafeteria, bookstore, labs, art gallery, and more.

4. Interested in Parkland Pathway Program to Illinois? Come find out important dates, deadlines, and majors.

5. Interested in fixing cars or working on computers? Maybe helping patients is more your style? Learn about Parkland majors, including selective health professions programs.

6. Worried about the price of college? Find out how much it is going to cost you to attend Parkland as well as residency information.

7. Afraid of falling behind in class? We have you covered! Learn about support services on campus such as FREE tutoring, Writing Lab, and Presentation Lab.

8. Meet one-on-one with an Admissions advisor to get all of your specific questions answered!

9. Free swag! Come to visit day and get a free Parkland College water bottle and other goodies!

10. Apply to be a student. Visit our Application Station and complete an application on site!

Ready to visit? RSVP here.

 

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

How to Get an Internship … and Why You Should

Have you looked at your resume lately? See anything exciting there related to your dream job? Why not add an internship? 

An internship can actually be the key to your future, giving you experience and opening the doors to opportunities in your chosen field. In fact, some majors actually require them for graduation.

Learn more about how to land an internship and how to make the most of it while you’re on the job, and then search for internships nationwide at www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege.

What Is SALT?
SALT is a website created by American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit organization, to help Parkland College students like you become more financially savvy. This program rewards you for making smart money decisions, and we’re providing all of its services to you—including your membership—as a gift, free of charge. Create your SALT account at www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege today!

[Dawn Good is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

Cultures Fair 2016

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Parkland College Cultures Fair 2016
Thursday March 17, 10–3, Main Stage Student Union and U140

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 from around the world.  There will also be activities in U140, including language lessons, henna tattoos, free international snacks, and music.  We will be raising money at the fair for Build Congo Schools.

Schedule
10–10:45: Belly Dancing (Classy Combinations)
11–11:30: Parkland International Student Performance
11:30–11:50: Chinese Silk and Bamboo Ensemble (Priscilla Tse, UIUC)
Noon–12:45: Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
1–1:45: Bali Lantari, traditional Indonesian dance and music (led by I Ketut Gede Asnawa, UIUC)
2–2:45: Capoeira Angola (Denis Chiaramonte, UIUC)

Classy Combinations Belly Dancing Troupe
Classy Combinations promotes education and demonstration of Middle Eastern dance, with fusion flavors of Flamenco, Turkish, Persian, African and Tribal. We support meaningful fundraisers and promote culturally diverse programs in dance and music, while celebrating and encouraging the traditions of global community. We enchant audiences with our always family rated shows and very diverse variety of skills and specialties within the elegant Belly Dance!

www.youtube.com
–Day 1 Taste of Champaign 2012 Choreography by Cindi Adkins

Priscilla Tse, Chinese Silk and Bamboo Ensemble
The Silk and Bamboo (sizhu) Ensemble is a string and wind group that represents a typical, traditional Chinese musical form. Like Shanghai Tea-house and Cantonese music, it often includes strings such as erhu and gaohu fiddles, pipa and yueqin lutes and the yangqin dulcimer as well as the dizi flute, sheng mouth-organ and percussion instruments such as the ban and gu clapper and drums.

Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A professional musical ensemble featuring 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. Well known in Congo Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi have recently gained enthusiastic audiences in the United States. Jean René on acoustic guitar is joined by vocalists Laeticia Kyungu and Joyce Nkama with Victor Matondo on bass guitar.

www.youtube.com
JEAN RENE BALEKITA ET LE GROUPE BOMOYI

Bali Lantari, traditional Indonesian dance and music
Bali Lantari is a private group based in Champaign and Urbana area is specializing in performing arts of traditional Indonesian dance and music under the direction of I Ketut Gede Asnawa.

www.youtube.com
I Ketut Gede Asnawa’s Original Balinese Gamelan Music ‘Catur Rawita’ (The Beauty of Four), is a composition for ‘gamelan ahgklung’ that involves singing and …

Capoeira Angola
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is usually referred to as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by West African descendants with native Brazilian influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques. The Capoeira Angola Centre of Mestre João Grande, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, is led by Denis Chiaramonte.

www.youtube.com
Roda de Abertura do 5th Vem Vadiar 2012 Champaign-Urbana USA,Organizado pelo Centro de Capoeira Livre Como Vento e Denis Capoeira.

The fair is being sponsored by the Center for Global Studies, through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC program, as well as support from the Centers for African Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ketut Gede Asnawa playing gamelan instrument. Photo by Folake Osibodu
Ketut Gede Asnawa playing gamelan instrument. Photo by Folake Osibodu

European Union Delegate to Visit Parkland

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Mr. Damien Levie

On April 7, Parkland will play host to a dignitary of the European Union, stationed in Washington, DC.

As part of his visit to the University of Illinois, Mr. Damien Levie,  head of the Trade and Agriculture Section of the EU Delegation to the US, will be spending the afternoon at Parkland where he will meet administration and faculty, tour campus, and deliver a public talk on the relationship between the EU and agriculture in central Illinois. His talk will take place from 1 to 2 p.min room U140.

Hailing from Belgium, home of the EU’s capital, Mr. Levie earned law degrees from KU Leuven (Belgium) and the University of Chicago, as well as an economics degree from UC Louvain (Belgium).  His section works closely with the US Government and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to coordinate trade, investment, and agriculture policies between the US and EU.  Prior to his current posting, Mr. Levie served as a deputy chief negotiator on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), served in the cabinets of the EU Trade Commissioner and EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, worked on economic development policy in Africa and chemical regulation in Europe, and before joining the European Commission was a lawyer in Brussels and New York.

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Flags of the EU Member States

Devised in the wake of the Second World War by French and German statesmen to ensure the two European powers didn’t enter a fourth war against each other, the European Union began as an economic cooperative.  Since then, the EU has grown from 6 to 28 members, turning it into the world’s largest and most advanced economy, and the United States’ single largest trading partner.  Its global reach has enhanced free trade, human rights standards, and democracy around the world. While it is a continent away, the politics and policies of the EU affect international and domestic business and agriculture for Americans.

Mr. Levie’s visit to Parkland College is arranged and sponsored by the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, a US Department of Education Title VI-funded center.

[Chris Jackson is an international admissions advisor for Parkland Admissions and Records.]

 

New Student Email System Coming March 21!

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the current student email system and Cobra Mail will go away and be replaced by a new, single student email system, Microsoft Outlook. Students will no longer need to hassle with checking two separate Parkland accounts, and email addresses will remain the same: username#@stu.parkland.edu.

Outlook IconOther benefits include advanced email features and a much larger mailbox quota of 50 GB. Students will be able to access Parkland email via a web page or download the email client onto a personal device.  Since summer 2015, students have been able to access the Microsoft Office 365 suite for free, but beginning on 3/21, Outlook will also be made available as part of that suite.

There are a few important things that students and faculty will need to be aware of prior to the email change:

  • Existing messages will NOT be transferred to the new system, but students will have access to the old stu.parkland.edu email system through the end of the spring 2016 semester.
  • Cobra Mail will not be transferred to Outlook and will not be available for reference after 3/21.  Students and faculty will need to forward any Cobra Mail messages they wish to retain to another email account prior to the changeover.
  • If your Parkland student email account is currently forwarded to another account, you will need to set that up again in the new system, as those settings will not transfer to Outlook.

For information on how the Outlook widget will look within Cobra Learning , please check out https://kb.parkland.edu/page.php?id=60731.

If you have any questions about the upcoming email change, please contact the Tech Service Desk at 217/353-3333 or TechHelp@parkland.edu.

Seniors, Stop by to “Preview” this College!

Seniors, there are only three months left until you’re done with high school. Are you ready for college? We want to help you organize your plans at the Parkland Preview this Friday, March 11:

  • When you register for the event, tell us what major you are interested in, and we’ll set you up with instructors from those areas.
  • Totally unsure of what you would like to do?  Take a free career assessment so that we can help you find a starting point.
  • If you have already applied to Parkland, that’s great, you’ll have a chance to tour campus and get your questions answered.
  • Not sure if Parkland is the right place?  Meet some of the students during the first-year experience panel and make your own impressions.

This is your opportunity to explore college and Parkland in particular so that you can figure out if it’s the right place to start your college career. The Parkland Preview will be from noon to 2 pm in the Parkland Student Union this Friday, March 11.  Come with friends, bring your parents, or come on your own to get those questions answered.

You can register for the Parkland Preview right here!
[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

 

Mapping the Future: Careers in Transition

It is never easy trying to plan for the unknown. This is especially true in the uncertain times our community and state are currently facing. Will there be funding? Will I have a job? If I change jobs, how long until that position is affected?

Positioning yourself for the next chapter in life can be overwhelming; where do you even start? A road map for success would be helpful, especially during times of unwanted career transitions (i.e. downsizing, layoffs, closings, etc).

Your Future Ahead Road Sign

Looking for a job—a really good job you actually want—will take time and a lot of effort. Changing careers is challenging because rarely will you meet ALL the must-have requirements, but there are things you can do and anticipate in your search that will help you shine.

We welcome you to learn from Rick Galbreath, SPHR, who is a nationally published author, public speaker, trainer, consultant and founder of Performance Growth Partners Inc. with over 25 years of experience. Rick will be at Parkland College Business Training from 8am to noon March 29, 30 and 31, presenting on “Mapping the Future: Career Transition Workshops.”

The Job Search: What I Want Next
Tue Mar 29     8am-noon

The Resume: Showcasing Your Talents
Wed Mar 30     8am-noon

The Interview: Landing the Job
Thu Mar 31     8am-noon

For more information, contact Business Training at 217/351-2235 or businesstraining@parkland.edu.
[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert, CPP, is program manager for Parkland College Business Training.]

Next step: college! Parkland Preview will help you sort it out.

It’s your senior year of high school, and it seems like everything is happening so fast! You’re doing everything for the last time. The last home football game, the last pep rally, the last dance… and somehow amid all these “last times” you still need to work on your future plans. Do you want to go to college? What do you want to major in (isn’t that what everyone is asking???)? Where are you going to go next fall?

At Parkland, we know there are ton of thoughts running through your head and we would like to help you organize your plans at the Parkland Preview on Friday, March 11. When you register for the event, tell us what major you are interested in, and we’ll set you up with instructors from those areas. Totally unsure of what you would like to do? Take a free career assessment so that we can help you find a starting point. If you have already applied to Parkland, that’s great! You’ll have a chance to tour campus and get your questions answered. Not sure if Parkland is the right place? Meet some of the students at the first year experience panel and form your own impressions. This is your opportunity to explore college in general and Parkland in particular so that you can figure out if it’s the right place to start your college career.

Parkland Preview will take place from noon-2 pm in the Parkland Student Union on Friday, March 11. Come with friends, bring your parents, or come on your own to get those questions answered. Please register for Parkland Preview here.

Questions? Just give me a call at 217/351-2509 or email Admissions@parkland.edu.

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.

GO AHEAD, Work: 10 Phone Interview Tips

Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews.  They are also used as a way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates.

Most phone interviews are scheduled, but it is important to be prepared on a moment’s notice.  You never know when a recruiter might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk.  Review the 10 tips below to make sure you are prepared.

  1.  Research the job and the company so you are prepared to discuss your role if you were to be hired.  Check their website to see what services or products they offer.  Why do you want to work for them?
  2. Tape papers on a  wall or countertop so you are not fumbling through them during the call.  Have in clear view:
    • A copy of your resume
    • A short list of your work-related strengths and accomplishments. Why should they hire you?
    • A short list of questions to ask the interviewers
    • A pen and notebook for notetaking
  3. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and that you are in an area of full reception.
  4. Remove distractions: Turn off the TV and find a quiet place to talk.
  5. Answer with, “Hello, this is John.” If the time is not convenient, ask if you can call back and suggest a time.
  6. Avoid multitasking – Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum.
  7. Write down names – Who are you talking to? Get a phone number in case you get disconnected.
  8. Avoid “um” and “like” fillers.  Use complete sentences, speak slowly, and enunciate clearly.
  9. Show enthusiasm, but do not interrupt!
  10. Remember, your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview.  After you thank the interviewer, ask if it would be possible to meet in person or ask what the next step in the process will be.

****Our targeted career fairs will be held on the following dates from 10am to 1:30pm in the Student Union Atrium:

  • March 2 – Health Professions
  • April 11 – Computer Science and Information Technology/
    Business

Stop by the Career Center in U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website. Call us at 217/351-2536. Our hours are Monday–Friday, 8am–5pm.****

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

Eat Pancakes, Support Flight Team

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College is holding a pancake breakfast this Saturday, February 27, from 8 am to noon. Come join us for sausage and unlimited pancakes! Price is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 10 and under.

This event is a fundraiser to support the Institute of Aviation flight team when they compete in the National SAFECON at the Ohio State University May 9–14.

Fly in or drive in to the Institute, located at 1 Airport Road, Savoy.

We look forward to seeing you!

Aviation School, Republic Airways Sign Accord

Earning your flight credentials through Parkland College now guarantees you an employment interview with a major regional airline carrier.

To help resupply American air carriers with well-trained pilots, the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College is pleased to announce the signing of a guaranteed interview agreement with Republic Airways.

“For years, many aviation experts have warned of an impending shortage of pilots for airlines as current pilots reach retirement age,” said Sybil Phillips, director of the Institute of Aviation. “To satisfy the demand for pilots, the major airlines often draw from regional carriers like Republic Airways, who then must redouble their efforts to find qualified pilots. The Institute of Aviation feels well-positioned to address these needs.”

Jody Scott, Republic Airways’s director of talent acquisition, said schools like Parkland have been a reliable source for well-qualified pilots. “We are pleased to enter into an extended partnership with the Institute of Aviation, where we will guarantee interviews for the college’s exceptional graduates.”

Republic Airways is a partner with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and other major brands and employs about 6,000 aviation professionals across the country. Several Institute of Aviation alumni count among the carrier’s pilot ranks, Scott said.

“In fact, in a recent application process for a recruitment leadership role, nearly a dozen graduates from the program stepped up to put their name in the hat,” she said. “The reputation these men and women have within our company is a big reason we hope to continue hiring institute students.”

“The Institute of Aviation’s high standards of academic achievement, airmanship, and character are valued and respected by employers worldwide,” said Wendy Evans, recruiter for Parkland’s aviation institute. “This reputation and the alumni network aid in securing quality employment as graduates build time toward higher pilot certificates as they pursue careers in aviation.”

Founded more than 40 years ago as the small turboprop commuter Chautauqua Airlines in Jamestown, N.Y., Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings has grown into one of the nation’s largest regional carriers, with more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue, a fleet of about 200 aircraft and approximately 1,000 scheduled daily flights to 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.  Republic Airways Holdings owns Republic Airways and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines operate fixed-fee flights under major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express.

With a livery of mainly Embraer 170s and 175s, Republic Airways is the world’s largest operator of Embraer aircraft. For more information, visit www.rjet.com or follow the company on Facebook,  LinkedIn, and Twitter.

[Wendy Evans is the aviation recruiter for the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.]

 

Go Ahead, Work: Boost Your Web Presence with LinkedIn

Think of LinkedIn as your professional Facebook account.  It is a great way to make connections, research companies, and find job openings.

LinkedIn Co. logo
LinkedIn Co. logo.

After creating your account at www.linkedin.com, follow these 10 tips to set up and maximize your online presence!

  1.  Add a professional-looking photo of only yourself (NO SELFIES). Profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be found in searches.
  2. Stand out with a headline that describes how you want to be known on LinkedIn.  Use your area of study and/or your career ambitions. Check out profiles of people who hold the job you’d like to get and see which keywords they use.
  3. Choose the industry in which you intend to enter.  If seeking a specific location for work, choose that location for your profile.  This way, you will appear in searches for that area.
  4. Write a brief summary describing your professional background and aspirations.  Describe your skills and abilities in short bursts of keyword-rich text.  Use bullets to separate the information.
  5. List all the work experience you’ve had, along with brief descriptions of each role.  List all the schools and colleges you’ve attended.  LinkedIn helps you connect with former colleagues and networking contacts who may be able to help you find a job opportunity.
  6. Add at least five skills to your profile.  Check out profiles of people in the field you plan to work and use the key words they use, but only if they are true to you!
  7. Ask for recommendations and endorsements from colleagues, clients, managers, professors, and classmates, not family and friends!
  8. Customize your URL to include something recongnizable, like a name or shortened version of your name.  Put the URL on your website, resume, email signature, and business cards to drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
  9. Make sure your profile is error free.  Don’t include photos, comments, or information you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see!
  10. Don’t just establish a LinkedIn presence; stay connected.  Reach out. Interact. You will get out what you put in.  Update your status about major projects you’ve completed, professional books/articles you’re reading, and professional successes you’ve had.

The following targeted career fairs will be held on the following dates from 10am to 1:30pm in the Student Union Atrium:

  • March 2 – Health Professions
  • April 11 – Computer Science Information Technology/Business

Make sure to stop by room U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website. Call us at 217/351-2536. Our hours are Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

Nursing Conference: Continuing the Legacy of Sister Julia

[This post was written by Richard Francis, Regional Director for Clinical Education at Presence Covenant Medical Center.]

What if I told you Parkland’s Nursing program had Catholic roots? 

Sister Julia 2
Sister Moriarty (News-Gazette photo.)

Sister Julia Moriarty started Parkland’s nursing program in a joint venture between Parkland College and Presence Covenant Medical Center (then known as Mercy Hospital). Sister Julia was a remarkable and accomplished woman, who was first and foremost a servant to others. A member of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, Sister Julia first came to Champaign-Urbana in 1942 to finish her nursing training and serve at the local Catholic hospital. She stayed for close to 50 years.

In the late 1960s, Parkland approached Sister Julia about starting a nursing program at the college. Although at the time, Mercy had its own hospital-based nursing program, Sister Julia saw the college program as a way to positively impact not just one hospital, but the community as a whole and nursing as a profession. Sister Julia spent five years living in the convent with the other sisters at the hospital while working with Parkland to establish their nursing program. Colleagues who taught with Sister Julia typically remark that she was well beyond everyone else in her thinking and vision for what nursing should be, and how nursing can positively impact the whole community. She was loved and respected by colleagues, co-workers, and patients. Her kind and warm spirit touched all who knew her.

In the spirit and example of Sister Julia, Parkland College and Presence Covenant are co-sponsoring a nursing conference with a local scope and flavor, The Spirit of Nursing Conference: Emerging Topics in Nursing.  Topics at this conference and future conferences will be kept global to appeal to all types of nurses, not just specific disciplines. Topics at the May 20 conference will include: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare, End of Life Decisions, Generations in the Workplace, and Life Skills for the Nurse.

The conference will begin with a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Presentations begin at 9 a.m. and the conference will end at 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.  Continuing education units (CEUs) available through the conference: 4.

The conference fee is $49, with proceeds supporting the Sister Julia Scholarship Fund at Parkland College.  Advanced registration is required due to limited seating.

To register, or for more information, please click here or call 217/351-2235.

 

GO AHEAD, Work: 10 Key Skills Employers Want

The Parkland Career Center is hosting career-specific job fairs this spring.  Keep these 10 key skills and qualities in mind as you approach today’s competitive job market:

  1.  Communication skills that demonstrate verbal, written, and listening abilities.
  2. Computer aptitude based on the level required for the position being filled.
  3. Team spirit, which involves working cooperatively with a variety of people and treating others with respect.
  4. Basic math and reading skills.
  5. Interpersonal skills, allowing you to relate to diverse coworkers and manage conflicts.
  6. Organizational skills, so that you can plan and complete multiple tasks in a timely fashion.
  7. Problem-solving skills, including the ability to think critically and identify and solve problems.
  8. Flexibility and adaptability, to handle change in the workplace.
  9. Personal traits such as a positive attitude, motivation, integrity, honesty, and leadership potential.
  10. Dependability and a strong work ethic!

The following targeted career fairs will be held on the following dates, from 10am to 1:30pm in the Student Union Atrium:

  • March 2 – Health Professions
  • April 11 – Computer Science Information Technology/Business

Make sure to stop by the Career Center in room U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website.  Call us at 217/351-2536. Our hours are Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

 

Campus Visit Day: There’s Still Time to Sign Up!

Some high school students find that sitting down and speaking with a college admissions advisor well before College Day One makes them better prepared to navigate the college experience. Touring the college’s campus doesn’t hurt, either.

This Monday, Parkland College will hold sessions that allow area students to see if this community college is a good fit for them.

Our first spring Campus Visit Day of 2016 will include the aforementioned opportunities and more:

  • an overview of how to apply to Parkland, sign up for financial aid, and select among its many academic programs
  • opportunity to learn more about Parkland’s Health Professions and the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program
  • a guided tour of campus
  • ability to apply on the spot for the summer and fall 2016 semesters at our Application Station
  • opportunity to speak one-on-one with admissions counselors to answer other questions.

Campus Visit Day events will begin at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Parkland schedules two Campus Visit Days each spring; the second will occur April 1.

You can still reserve a visit for Monday’s Campus Visit Day! Just go to www.parkland.edu/getStarted/visit or email admissions@parkland.edu. For more information, call Parkland College Admissions at 217/351-2509.

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Why Petition to Graduate? You Owe It.

Ever told yourself, “I’m not going to bother getting my associate’s degree since my focus is on a bachelor’s degree“?

We need to talk.

If you have completed all the requirements for your associate’s degree, you owe it to your parents, loved ones, friends (and yes, even yourself) to Petition to Graduate. Receiving this degree is a chance to celebrate and reflect on all the hard work you have completed thus far.

Having your degree credential can add a major piece to your resume and makes it easier to transfer to your senior institution of choice. Of course, if your associate’s is in one of our career programs, graduating is the whole point!

Where Do You Find the Petition to Graduate?
Look on Parkland’s website (under Admissions and Records and then Forms). It costs you nothing to apply and only takes a minute to complete and turn in to the admissions counter.

****DEADLINES to Petition for Spring 2016 Graduation****

  • Plan to participate in Parkland’s Commencement Excercises? Submit your Petition to Graduate on or before March 2.
  • Not participating in Commencement? Submit your Petition to Graduate on or before April 1.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

Parkland: An International Campus

Did you know Parkland College has the most international students of any community college in the state of Illinois? In educational terms, “international student” refers to those students who study in the United States on visas. Currently, more than 300 visa students study at Parkland College!

 

However, Parkland is far more international than that. Loads of Parkland students not studying with visas come from all over the world. Many were born here in Champaign-Urbana to immigrant families or moved here with their families at a young age. Surprising to many, Champaign-Urbana is one of the most international cities in the region. Between the large numbers drawn by the University of Illinois, familial ties, and the cities’ refugee-friendly reputation, thousands of families have found their way to C-U.

So where do Parkland College international students come from? They, too, come from all over: Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Cameroon, Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Armenia, Angola, DR Congo, China, France, Brazil, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Liberia, Kenya, Albania, Australia, Venezuela, Japan, Israel, Canada, Mali, South Africa, Portugal, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, The Philippines, Colombia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Mexico, Algeria, and Indonesia.

International students come to Parkland for a number of reasons, but one of the major ones is the English as a Second Language or ESL program that the college offers. While most universities require a certain score on an English exam for admission, an international student can come to Parkland without English proficiency and take ESL. The ESL program prepares students for academic and career English, rather than basic English conversation skills they might learn in an English class in their home country. Students from the ESL program have gone on to earn degrees from Parkland and then transfer to universities all around the country, to study a variety of fields.

Today, English is considered to be one of the global languages of business. Foreign students who learn English AND study a specific subject at Parkland College are in a position to stand out in an increasingly global economy. On the other side, American students can learn a great deal and gain new perspective from their international peers.

Find out more about Parkland  College’s opportunities for  its international students by visiting our International Center. Students from countries outside the U.S. can find out about applying to Parkland here. Join an inspiring community of global citizens, learning together!

[Chris Jackson is an international admissions advisor for Parkland Admissions and Records.]

Celebrate Black History Month 2016 with Us!

What began as “Negro History Week,” sponsored by African-American historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and others in 1926, evolved over the years into Black History Month.

It is a national time to honor the triumphs, achievements, and struggles of African-Americans throughout the history of the United States.  President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Parkland College is proud to continue this honored tradition and we invite you to join us in celebrating Black History Month 2016.   We have assembled an impressive array of events and activities that we hope you will take the time to attend and experience.

See a calendar of events HERE.

Parkland Pathway to Illinois Open House: Learn More

One year ago I wrote a blog about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program, and we saw a surge in applications to the program. But it is not surprising.

The opportunity to get access to Parkland’s award-winning faculty, small class sizes and resources, all while being able to live on the University of Illinois campus, receive advising from both campuses, PLUS have guaranteed admission makes this program an easy choice!

Parkland’s beautiful Student Union will host the Parkland Pathway Informational Open House Sunday, February 21, from 2 to 4pm. We invite attendees to attend an informational presentation (given every 30 minutes beginning at 2pm) and talk with Parkland and University of Illinois representatives in regards to their majors and services offered. Current Pathway students will also be on hand to provide additional insight into the program.

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 (make sure to identify yourself as a Parkland Pathway applicant when calling the Assessment Center). This test, used for Parkland course scheduling purposes, must be completed by May 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
– SAT 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.

Questions about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program can be directed to Mary Kay Smith, Parkland College Admissions and Records, 217/351-2509 or Holly Herrera, University of Illinois, holly10@illinois.edu.

GO AHEAD, Work: Top 10 Tips for Your Resume

The Parkland College Career Center is hosting career-specific job fairs this spring.  To best prepare for these upcoming fairs, make sure your resume is up-to-date with these 10 tips:

  1. Target your objective and resume to the position you’re applying for, matching your qualifications to the job description.
  2. List the most relevant information first. Employers may spend less than 30 seconds skimming a resume!
  3. Appearance and format are initially more important than content. If your resume is too long or not visually appealing, the employer may not read it. Stick to one page if you are an undergrad or recent graduate.
  4. Use action phrases, not complete sentences, to list your job duties. Do not use personal pronouns (“I”, “me”, and “my” are never included in a resume). List “Relevant Course Work” if you do not have relevant professional work experience.
  5. Use a Microsoft Word docment (but NOT the MS Word template). When sending electronically, type the cover letter in the text and attach your resume.
  6. Use specific examples or statistics whenever possible to demonstrate your strengths (e.g., trained 18 employees, increased sales by 10%). Think accomplishments!
  7. Pay careful attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  Have others proofread; don’t rely on spellcheck.
  8. Include participation in clubs, associations, or community and volunteer organizations. “Additional Activities” show how you developed interest and leadership abilities. Include awards and honors.
  9. Use key words which will be identified by applicant-tracking systems (e.g., Microsoft Word, UNIX, supervised, BA degree, MOUS, Windows NT, etc.).
  10. Be sure to ask your references before listing them on your resume. They’ll be better prepared when an employer calls!

****Our targeted Career Fairs will be held on the following dates from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union atrium::

  • February 10 – Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies
  • March 2 – Health Professions
  • April 11 – Computer Science  and Information Technology/
    Business

Stop by the Career Center in U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website. Call us at 217/351-2536. Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.****

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

 

 

Help Us Pick Our Top 50 Alumni!

Do you know an outstanding Parkland College alumnus? Help us celebrate Parkland’s 50th anniversary by nominating him or her!

Parkland will highlight 50 outstanding alumni in promotions during 2016 and 2017, to celebrate 50 years of students success and service to our communities. Nominate someone you admire for this honor by sending his/her name, contact information, and a brief description of outstanding achievements to  foundation@parkland.edu.

Please submit your nomination(s) by October 1, 2016.

Thank you for helping the Parkland College Foundation as it prepares to showcase the amazing outcomes the college produces in people’s lives every day.

[Ellen Schmidt is executive director of the Parkland College Foundation.]

 

GO AHEAD, Work: Top 10 Cover-Letter Tips

The Parkland College Career Center is hosting career-specific job fairs this spring.  Make sure your cover letter is up-to-date with these 10 tips.

  1.  A cover letter should always accompany the resume.
  2. Cover letters should be one page, using standard business-letter format.
  3. Many employers look to the cover letter as an example of your written communication skills. Make certain that your cover letter is spell-checked, grammar-checked, and proofed by someone other than yourself.
  4. Address the letter to a specific person, using his or her correct title. If you are unsure as to whom the letter should be addressed, call the company and ask. Request spelling and title verification if necessary.
  5. Tailor the letter to the needs of the organization or the description of the position. Explaining what you want throughout the letter doesn’t tell the reader the BENEFIT of what you can offer.
  6. Capture the reader’s attention by highlighting your skills and abilities (think accomplishments and give examples); emphasize their usefulness to the employer.
  7. Be precise and concise; don’t waste the employer’s time with fluff or wordiness.
  8. Be professional, but don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm and interest in the position. Keep the tone positive.
  9. Keywords are key. Becauase many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to find and screen candidates, skill-oriented keywords will boost your chances for being discovered.  Match your qualifications to the job description using key words.
  10. If submitting by email, type the letter in the body of the email and attach your resume. Use short paragraphs to give a brief bio on who you are and what you can do for them.  Wrap it up in the second paragraph.  An example for the subject line:  “CPA seeks accounting position. “

****Our targeted Career Fairs will be held on the following Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union atrium:

  • February 10 – Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies
  • March 2 – Health Professions
  • April 11 – Computer Science and Information Technology/
    Business

Stop by the Career Center in U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website. Call us at 217/351-2536.****

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

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.

chuckdave3
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.]

GO AHEAD, Work: Top 10 Job Search Tips

The Parkland College Career Center is hosting career-specific job fairs this spring.  Make sure you’re ready for a job search by reviewing these 10 tips.

  1.  Get organized.   Prepare or update your resume and cover letter. Know what type of job you are looking for and what you have to offer. Make a plan and keep records of your activities.
  2. Polish your interview skills. You’re not ready to start your job search until you can answer questions about why you want the job and why you are qualified.
  3. Identify employers in your geographic location who employ people with your skills and/or education.  Search online, contact your chamber of commerce, and read Help Wanted ads and job posting sites.
  4. Research. Use the Internet to visit the websites of employers in your industry.  View the employment pages for job openings.
  5. Identify 3–4 of your professional strengths and develop a “30-second commercial” about yourself. Focus on your skills, experience, and education that qualify you for the job.
  6. Find three people who can give you a positive recommendation. “Professional” references should be work- or education-related.
  7. Network. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job.  Over 75 percent of job openings are not advertised!
  8. Schedule informational interviews to gather information about a company, current or future job openings, and the education or skills required. Remember, you are not asking for a job; you are seeking advice.
  9. Consider enhancing your work experience through an internship or part-time job.
  10. Show your gratitude. Send an email message or thank-you note to those who provided valuable advice and support.

****Our targeted Career Fairs will be held on the following Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union atrium:

  • February 10 – Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies
  • March 2 – Health Professions
  • April 11 – Computer Science and Information Technology/
    Business

Stop by the Career Center in U238, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and check out our website. Call us at 217/351-2536.****

[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]

 

Get Your $$ for Spring Semester!

Need help paying for spring semester?  Parkland College Foundation Scholarships remain available for spring. The funds are there, just waiting for the right student to apply!

Currently available with a January 25 deadline:

  • Latasha Brize Scholarship – $500
  • Champaign County Nursing Home Scholarship – Amount varies
  • Jay Downey Scholarship – $500
  • Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 29 Scholarship – $1000
  • Fisher National Bank Scholarship – $500
  • Juanita L. Gammon Graphic Design Scholarship – $250
  • Heartland Bank Community Enhancement Scholarship – $1000
  • Lykins Family Art Scholarship – $250
  • Theda Seaton Marley Single Mother Nursing Scholarship – $250
  • Power of the Purse Scholarship – $1000
  • Seymour American Legion Post 1256 Scholarship – $500
  • Veterinary Technology Faculty and Staff Scholarship – $500
  • Gayle Wright Memorial Scholarship – $500

You’ll find applications for these scholarships at my.parkland.edu.  Log in to the portal and select “Scholarship Search” under the Student Services tab. You will be directed to a listing of all currently available scholarships.  By selecting “eligible scholarships” from the drop down menu, you will also find a list that is more customized based on available scholarship criteria.  The search feature is an excellent resource to find scholarships funded by the Parkland College Foundation.  Scholarship information provided by external organizations is posted here as well.

Most scholarship applications require you to write an essay, but don’t be intimidated!  The Center for Academic Success at Parkland offers a Writing Lab in D120 that is open and available to all students.  You can receive free help from English instructors with any writing project you might have.  For more information, visit D120 or log in to my.parkland.edu.

Want to broaden your search?  Besides the Parkland Foundation, many reputable online resources for scholarships can help you as well:

Keep in mind, most reputable scholarship organizations do not ask you to pay a fee to apply.

Planning for fall?  Students must apply for financial aid every year … NOW is the time to apply for the 2016-2017 FAFSA available online at FAFSA.gov.   In addition, Parkland College Foundation fall 2016 Scholarship opportunities will be available in the student portal beginning March 15!

[Tim Wendt is Parkland’s director of enrollment services.]

13- and 8-Week Sessions Available for Spring 2016

[**For a quick list of classes that still have seats available, click HERE.**]

Parkland’s full semester began January 11, but there are many classes that start later in the semester. If you are still considering taking a class, or need to pick up a few more credit hours to graduate on time, here’s what you need to know about late-start classes.

  • For classes that start the week of February 1, the signup deadlines are January 26 for new, degree-seeking students and January 28 for all other students (current Parkland students, non-degree seeking students, University of Illinois students).
  • For classes that start the week of March 7 (midterm classes), the signup deadlines are March 1 for new, degree-seeking students and March 3 for all other students.
  • Tuition payment or payment arrangements are due at the time of enrollment. Most late-start classes are financial aid eligible.  Tuition is due January 26 for February classes and March 1 for March-start classes.

Please visit Admissions and Records in U214 for help with choosing and registering for classes. No appointment necessary!

We are looking forward to seeing you in class this semester.

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

New Year, New FAFSA to Complete!

That’s right, the 2016-2017 FAFSA is now available! For those attending college during the 2016-2017 award year, be sure to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.

Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application is quick and easy to complete. Make sure you complete the 2016- 2017 FAFSA and not the 2015-2016 form if you are applying for financial aid for next year (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017).

Plus, check out this US Dept. of Education blog post to avoid common FAFSA mistakes before you file!

For more information about the financial aid process, please email our office at finaid@parkland.edu or visit the SALT website at www.saltmoney.org.  SALT also provides helpful information and resources for searching for scholarships to supplement your financial aid award.

What Is SALT?
SALT is a website created by American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit organization, to help Parkland College students like you become more financially savvy. This program rewards you for making smart money decisions, and we’re providing all of its services to you—including your membership—as a gift, free of charge. Create your SALT account at www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege today!

**Top image from “7 Common FAFSA Mistakes” at http://blog.ed.gov/2014/01/7-common-fafsa-mistakes/**

[Dawn Good is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

New Location for MLK Countywide Celebration

Join us this Friday, January 15, at Parkland College’s Student Union café (U Building), 2400 West Bradley Avenue in Champaign, from 4 to 5 p.m. The Cities of Champaign and Urbana, the Champaign County Board, Parkland College, and the University of Illinois invite you to attend the 15th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Countywide Celebration.

It is a new location this year, but as always, this event is free and open to the public. Please enter the U building through the entrance by the flagpole and bus stop facing the east side of the building. Parking is ample and the B1, B2, and B6 parking lots are nearest the new Student Union (U Building).

Area humanitarians to be honored at the celebration include Barbara Kessel, who will receive the James R. Burgess, Jr.–Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award; Rohn Koester, who will receive the Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award; and Melany Jackson, who will receive the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award.

A reception will immediately follow the program. We hope to see you there!

Dr.-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-005

 

[Marietta Turner is dean of students at Parkland College.]

Be a DJ this Spring! COM 141 is Still Open!

Are you interested in gaining real experience working in radio? Did you wait too long to register for classes? Parkland College is now offering a late-start section of COM 141, Broadcast Announcing.

COM 141 gives you the opportunity to learn broadcasting principles and techniques AND apply those skills right here on campus as a DJ on 88.7 WPCD. You’ll also learn how to produce and edit content for radio, conduct broadcast interviews, and operate studio equipment.

The late-start section of COM 141 starts on February 1, and is open for registration now! Don’t delay because spots are filling up fast! The deadline to register is January 26.

Student Athletes Break Academic Records for Fall

Well, all I can say is WOW, congratulations, and amazing.  Those words barely describe the outstanding academic achievement by our Parkland College athletic teams in the classroom this past fall.

I was already pleased by the Volleyball National Championship and four Midwest Athletic Conference titles, but the team GPAs are equally impressive.

All three groups (Men. Women, and overall) recorded all-time highs in overall grade point average, with all eight teams earning a GPA over 3.0!

  • Of 156 fall athletes, 109 (69.9%) earned a GPA over 3.0
  • 62  athletes (39.7%) achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • 23 athletes (14.7%) had perfect 4.0s!
Cobras Baseball
Cobras Baseball team

Congrats go to Women’s Basketball on winning the overall grade game, barely edging out Softball 3.584 to 3.567.  Baseball was the winner on the Men’s side with a 3.221.

I would like to congratulate the following on earning perfect 4.0s!

Women’s Basketball:   Payton Bieber (Clinton HS),  Megan Jackson (Lincoln HS), Taylor Jordan (Central A&M HS), and Lauren Moses (Shiloh HS).

Softball: Haley Ginger (Clinton HS), Morgan Harper (Floyd Central HS, IN), Sophie Catlin (Monticello HS),  Katie Kuska (Pontiac HS), Jessica Hammack (Mahomet-Seymour HS)

Women’s Soccer: Anna McHatton (Springfield HS), Terri Wendle (Jerseyville HS), Ellie McKenzie (England), Olivia McCafferty (Crown Point IN)

Baseball:  Sam Geraci (Illinois Lutheran HS),  Daniel Lloyd (Edwardsville HS), Braydon Bone (Effingham HS), Thomas Weber (Mt. Vernon HS)

Volleyball:  Kelly Lean (Australia), Kailey Kleinert (PBL HS), Laura Gross (Danville Schlarman HS), Jordan Deer (Fisher), Jaime Johnson (Centennial HS)

Men’s Soccer:  Aidan Reilly (Centennial HS)

Cobras Volleyball team
Cobras Volleyball team

Congratulations to all of you athletes, coaches, support personnel etc., who helped make this happen!

[Rod Lovett is Parkland College’s athletic director.]

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.

 

 

5 Ways to Fit in Student Life…and Why You Should

As another semester approaches, it’s time to start planning what you want to accomplish as a student while at Parkland. A great resource for getting involved and becoming a part of the Parkland community is the Student Life office. Can’t see how Student Life fits into your adventure as a Parkland student? Here is quick example from this fall.

Last week, as many students were rushing around campus studying for finals, a small group took 90 minutes to stop rushing and instead took time for themselves. These students focused on stepping out of their comfort zone and participated in a group painting led by two instructors from Lola’s Brush. The initial feelings of panic after being handed a blank canvas were calmed by helpful coaching through the painting of each element within the picture. Each student approached the painting in a slightly different way, but they all came out wonderful.

At Parkland, each student approaches their journey in a different way, but what makes Parkland such a special place are the diverse options each student has to spice up their experience.

So why should student activities and programs be important to you as a student? The easy answer is because these programs are fun! But when you get down to it, students also learn and cultivate transferable skills and professional lessons as fully engaged members of the Parkland community. As a Parkland student, you have the ability to experiment by planning and participating in what happens on campus, such as:

  • Plan healthy activities with the Wellness Coordinator
  • Join a club based on cultural or academic interests
  • Participate in an improv show (the next one is at noon in the cafeteria on Jan. 27)
  • Dance with your friends on Feb. 12 in a transformed Student Union
  • Volunteer with local children in our community

Each of these opportunities provides a way to gain and polish skills that will help you as a leader in your future workplace or community. I invite you to stop by U111 in January to learn more about the various student life activities Parkland College offers. Become a well-rounded member of our community, and have some fun while you do!

[Chaya Sandler is the activities program manager for Student Life at Parkland.]

Words that Work

Today’s guest writer is Mary Shores, president and CEO of Midstate Collection Solutions, Inc. based in Champaign and creator of the “Words that Work” principle of customer service.

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If you think your customer-service scenarios are bad, let me tell you about mine: I own and operate a collection agency! Any situation involving stressed-out people and their money can be a nightmare, but once you add in the stereotypes and the fact that collections is one of the most reviled industries in the world, you’ve got a recipe for disastrous outcomes. Let’s face it, people hate us more than they hate going to the dentist!

What I have found, however, is that a collection agency is the perfect testing ground for refining customer-service skills. “Words that Work” is a customer-service philosophy I developed in the lab of my own company and have used with success. So, if I can make these customers happy and obtain positive results in my industry, think of what Words that Work can do for you! (After all, do you want a soldier who has only experienced boot camp or one who has been battle-tested?)

Consider this: A happy customer is a walking billboard for your company. Take Harley Davidson as an example. They call their customers “disciples” for a reason. Harley Davidson customers wear their logo, put it on their other vehicles, even tattoo it on their bodies. Heck, I know people who do this who don’t even own a Harley! I want to help you get on the path to creating your own disciples.

Words that Work:

  • Improves customer service outcomes.
  • Effectively diffuses angry or upset customers.
  • Builds trust and rapport.
  • Empowers your staff.
  • Creates consistency.

My philosophy features a three-step manifesto:

  1. Stop Staying Negative Words
    Negative words like “no”, “can’t”, and “unfortunately” reinforce a negative outcome for customers and incite them to do battle with your company. I will teach you what words to stop saying and why they can impact a customer so strongly.
  1. Start Using Words that Work
    Using language that supports the solution rather than the problem is the way to greatly improve the outcomes for your customers and your company. I will teach you what words to use, how to respond in different situations, and how to build consistent results.
  1. Always Say What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t Do
    Build trust and confidence while you create effective solutions for your customers.

Starting in January 2016 at Parkland College Business Training, I will teach you how to never say no and how to create solutions and have them in place to readily resolve customer-service issues. To hold your seat for my session, register here now!

***Words that Work has transformed my business and has changed my life and the lives of my employees and workshop attendees. When I saw the need for this kind of teaching and its applications, not only in business but in personal life, I wanted to reach as many people as possible. I started writing the book Words that Work this year, and it will be published through Hay House Publishing in 2017. If you’d like to follow my progress and receive my monthly newsletter packed with coaching exercises, sign up at www.MaryShores.com.***

 

Collision Repair Q & A

The Collision Repair program at Parkland College received a lot of attention when they moved into the beautiful, state-of-the-art Parkhill Applied Technology Center facilities, but I hadn’t been back into that space much in the last two years.

I visited with instructor Chris Stephens about the programs being offered there, and was intrigued to learn more about the discipline and opportunities.

IMG_5802
Collision Repair instructors Dan Swann, left, and Chris Stephens, right

Q: What classes make up the Collision Repair curriculum?

A: Students enrolling can expect to take career-specific classes in the first semester. Those include dent repair, estimating, and glass trim and hardware. Those are prerequisites to other classes like automotive refinishing, structural repair, custom refinishing (using the airbrush), and custom upholstery. Students also take core classes in math, English, and speech.

Q: What is the job outlook like for Collision Repair students?

A: The students who want to work can almost guarantee themselves a job. Shops and insurance companies call us all the time for our best students. When bad weather hits, shops need help due to fender-benders and other damage as a result of the weather, and insurance companies need estimators. Most students don’t realize they might start as an estimator making $30-45,000 with the possibility to grow to $80,000. In a collision repair shop, they may start out at $10 per hour prepping parts, but as their skill level increases, they can make well over $20 per hour.

Q: What kind of student does well in Collision Repair?

A: People who do the best are those who know how to use tools or have the drive to finish something they start. They have a good work ethic and good eye-hand coordination. We often see people who are stuck in a “filler job,” working at something they don’t want to do long term. Collision repair is a great career choice, and many take classes while they work part or even full time to pay the bills.

Q: Talk about the Collision Repair facilities.

A: We have a state-of-the-art space in the Parkhill Applied Technology Center here at Parkland. We train students for the workplace setting, so we have top-notch paint booths and frame machines. Our measuring systems use computer-guided technology, one with an articulating arm and the other with lasers for precise measurements. We purchased the same type of equipment used in local shops so when students are employed they will already be familiar with these types of systems. Our bumper repair includes a nitrogen plastic welder, which is newer technology that insurance companies are requiring of shops to stay up to date.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 1.58.10 PM
A vehicle awaits its paint job.

Q: What is the most popular aspect of the program among students?

A: Students are always anxious to start refinishing in the paint booth. That’s a fun part of the curriculum for many.

Q: How does someone get started in Collision Repair?

A: We have a new program starting in the spring semester, so students don’t have to wait to get started on a new career path. Visit our website and contact our program manager, David Anderson at est@parkland.edu.

Take a Deep Breath, Get a Great Job!

Are you thinking of pursuing a health-related career? Sit back, take a deep breath, and consider respiratory care.

Local starting salaries are upwards of $35,000, and jobs are abundant in our area and nationwide. You can earn your Associate in Applied Science degree in two years; Parkland graduates have achieved 100% job placement. This is a great career for returning adult students; classes and labs offered in a hybrid format means you are only on campus one full day per week.

respiratory2a

Why is respiratory care important? Breathing is so fundamental that most of us do not give it a second thought. Breathing just happens; the magic of the chemistry in our brains takes over, and we breathe. But for the 24 million people in the United States and the 52 million worldwide who live with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), taking a breath can be a struggle. It requires work. Activity often demands planning to accommodate for the time required to “let me catch my breath.”

Respiratory therapists are critical members of the interdisciplinary care team for patients experiencing difficulty breathing. Providing diagnostic testing, treatment, and patient and family education, the respiratory therapist has the knowledge and skills to help patients with chronic lung disease enjoy an improved quality of life. Respiratory therapists provide pulmonary function testing, oxygen and specialty gas therapies, inhaled medications, airway clearance, and mechanical ventilation. In a resuscitation or CPR situation, a respiratory therapist is at the head, providing an airway and breathing for the patient. Respiratory therapists also see patients in neonatal intensive care units that arrive too soon, too small, or too sick to survive without a little help breathing; the chronically ill with complicating acute illnesses; and the critically sick and injured of all ages.

Most respiratory therapists work in acute care hospitals, but therapists are also needed in home care, in out-patient diagnostics, in pulmonary rehabilitation programs, long-term ventilation facilities, and in medical equipment sales and support. 

Applications for fall 2016 admission to the Parkland College Respiratory Care program are due by March 1, 2016. For more information email mseim@parkland.edu or visit http://www.parkland.edu/academics/departments/health/rtt/.

 

[Parkland’s Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and prepares you to become an expert in assessing, treating, and educating patients who have acute and/or chronic lung disease.]