Category Archives: General

View From Above

I thought some of you might like to see a few aerial shots of Parkland College I got the other day while flying with James Warren. We were shooting some flight footage to use for some videos we are doing for the Institute of Aviation, so we figured we should check out Parkland College while we were up in the air. (Note: It’s a little shaky now, but I’ll get that fixed in post-production).

Be sure to look for other Institute of Aviation videos coming in the very near future. One will take a look at a student’s first solo flight. Thanks to Sybil, Dave, and James for making all this happen.

Learning to Fly

Jeremy Russow
My name is Jeremy Russow and I am pursuing my goal of becoming a pilot through Parkland College.

 

[A former Marine and a Parkland Aviation student, Jeremy Russow takes to the air and fulfills a goal he set for himself.]

*****

There are so many things we want to accomplish in our lifetimes, yet it seems as though many things are just too far outside of our reach.

I remember taking a family vacation to Florida as a young child and that first experience flying. I was glued to the window as we taxied and prepared for takeoff. I remember the feeling as the plane accelerated, pressing me back into my seat, and I watched people, cars, and buildings begin to shrink as we climbed higher into the sky. This moment sparked an interest in aviation.

My mom still has a paper I wrote in discussing my dreams for the future. My third-grade teacher had asked us to answer two  questions: “If you could be one age and stay like that forever, what would it be, and why?” To this day, I don’t recall if I chose the age of 28 for a reason or arbitrarily, but I landed on that number because at that age I would be a pilot and could fly my family and friends all around the world.

So here I am today at 28 and, although I have yet to find the fountain of youth, I am finally making good on that goal from years past.

I find it exciting to be a part of this family at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation. Day One was all about getting to know your fellow students and staff. Of course there is paperwork to be done (would you expect anything less when it comes to the government?), but the staff makes the process very streamlined. Ground school classes are put together in a way that goes hand in hand with your lessons in the air for that week, so this definitely helps to reinforce the material as you learn it from book to practical application. The instructors and staff create a professional and fun learning environment, whether in the classroom or in the cockpit.

My first flight with Mandy (my flight instructor) was a bit surreal. We walked through the process of how to pre-flight the plane, from documents to weather to inspecting the aircraft. She took gradual steps to acclimate me to the entire process, and before you knew it, we were making our way to the runway and into the air. Even on the first flight, I got to start operating the controls. It was an awesome experience I will not soon forget.

After several months of flight and ground school, it was time for me to do my first solo. Mandy kinda sprung it on me one afternoon while practicing touch and go’s at the airport. After we landed the last time and taxied to the ramp, she asked if I wanted to solo. I was caught off guard at the thought, but extremely excited about it at the same time. We went inside, prepared my log book, and went over any questions I had before sending me off to continue practicing touch and go’s in the pattern around the airport. As I began to taxi on my own, it really hit me, “This is all on me now.” Caught between nerves and excitement I successfully landed the Piper Archer nine times on my own before having to head to my ground school class. The feeling would be best described as that first time at 16 when you take the car out on your own after getting your license. No one is there to help you if you mess up, and it is an absolute feeling of freedom, although now I am traveling in the air rather than on four wheels.

I encourage anyone who has a passion to fly and who may be looking for a place to learn, to put some serious thought into enrolling at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation. They have a professional, caring, and fun staff that will meet your needs as a student pilot. I come from a military background having served six years on active duty in the Marine Corps. There is a military veteran community there among the staff and alumni as well.

If you are a fellow service member, Parkland College can help you  use your GI benefits to make your dream of flying a reality. I know growing up I could never afford the cost of flight training, but this way, whether a veteran or not, I can budget the program through the college, and they can guide me with all of the information I need. I am nearing completion of my first semester here with Parkland, and I’m looking forward to completing my first milestone, a private pilot’s license, come spring/summer 2015.

Increased Bandwidth for the College

Bandwidth

Campus Technologies has successfully increased Internet connection bandwidth at Parkland College from 250 MB to 500 MB. The plan is to quadruple the original bandwidth to 1 GB by the end of 2015.

We made this current change with minimal cost to the college by switching to Champaign Telephone Company & Illinois Century Network and by taking advantage of new fiber-optic service provided by the UC2B Project (http://uc2b.net/about/).

This upgrade not only provides a faster connection to the Internet, but it allows the college to employ advanced technologies provided by cloud computing. Examples of transitions currently being explored include e-mail with significant mailbox size increase (e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Google, etc.), calendering, unlimited file storage, better video streaming technologies, and other technologies that directly impact teaching and learning. Parkland will also use the increased bandwidth to improve business processes, such as IT Business Continuity Planning (BCP).

Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the changes.

Team YOU: Making the Goal (Success)

portrait-17Hi, my name is Marietta Turner and I’m Dean of Students here at Parkland College.

I’ve served here six years as the advocate (supporter) for student rights and responsibilities, providing both a means for students’ voices and guidance for students’ conduct. I seek to help students if they can’t figure out who to see or what to do about a situation  on campus; I also help them reach their instructors if they’re out of class for an extended time. I’ve been working with students for more than 20 years because I like students, especially community college students. In fact, this is the third community college I’ve worked at in my career.

OK, enough about me. Let’s talk about you.

You want to be successful and complete your educational dream, right?  Everybody’s vision is different, so that could mean a certificate or degree that takes you right to your career, or transfer to a university to finish a bachelor’s degree. How about I give you some tips from time to time about how you CAN change your dream into an achievable goal?

Why change your dreams into a goal? Well, a dream is just that…it’s wishing and hoping for something that may or may not come true. When you set a goal, you plan observable actions towards an end result to be achieved within a more or less fixed time frame. So, let’s dream a big goal (say, a Super Bowl-sized one, because that’s what graduating is like).

OK, the first tip I want to give you is this: You are the boss of you, so take charge of your plan by seeing your advisor, registering for your classes and having your payment arrangements, Financial Aid, or Nelnetcompleted by the deadlines.  Remember, Parkland’s Spring 2015 semester registration is going on NOW.

Next, you become the coach for TEAM YOU. This means you need to develop a game plan to achieve your goals for completing all the necessary courses with good grades. This success takes you over the goal line, into the end zone, and you become a Parkland College graduate. (I’m a football fan so I do make those kinds of sports references.) You need action plans to help you, and we’re going to talk further and hear from successful students to help you plan your game-winning strategies.

Black Friday

Black Friday: Dreaded by some, revered by others.

Today, I was reading over an article published in the News-Gazette on Black Friday and how to survive it, and it amazed me how many suggestions had to do with “technology.” Here are five of my favorites:

One: Plan ahead….. scope WEBSITES out ahead of time. Use price comparison sites such as BradsDeals.com and PriceGrabber.com.

Two: Shop ONLINE. Some stores offer special deals online only.

Three: Use SOCIAL MEDIA. Sign up for Twitter feeds from your favorite stores. “Like” official Facebook pages of favorite stores. Shop on Amazon.com’s Instagram feed!

Four: Bring the ads with you. Having the physical ad with you will ensure you get the advertised price. Hey, no technology here! Amazing!

Five: Use new store apps or website features. Target uses Point Inside technology that pins the location of sought-after items like doorbuster deals onto interactive store maps. Toys R Us is using a new app to find what you are looking for down to the shelf it’s located on…and they also push deals to your smartphone WHILE YOU’RE IN THE STORE!

Makes you wonder how our parents ever found anything at Christmas time!?  Also, just makes you wonder!  🙂

Did you know we have classes here at Parkland that teach you how to develop mobile apps and create the databases that places like Facebook and Instagram use to store all those millions of posts? Check out CSC 212 – Mobile Application Development; CSC220 – Data Structures; CSC192 – Database Administration; and CIS231 – Systems Analysis, Design, and Administration. And if you haven’t done so already,  ENROLL TODAY for spring 2015 classes—the deadline for registration and payment (to avoid course drops) is December 16!