Notable Alumni

Notable alumni of Parkland College.  We consider anyone who completed a degree, started an educational journey, or earned job skills through Parkland, a proud alumnus!

Thom Whitaker

Graphic design, Marketing

Associate in Applied Science

Graphic Design


Hometown: Marshall IL
Year graduated: 2003
Currently working at: Human Kinetics (Champaign IL)

How does it feel to be a professional designer: It's great to be a professional designer, because to me it's more than just a 9 to 5 job. I enjoy observing my surroundings wherever I go because the little things I see — whether it is a magazine article, a movie, architecture, a restaurant menu, or even the shoe color of someone sitting two tables away from me at a bar — can provide big inspiration for projects at work.

How do you like your job: I enjoy my job and work with some fun people. It's very fast paced and it’s challenging to come up with new and fresh ideas in such short periods of time.

How did you get this job: I started out as an intern, working 6 hours a week. When an opening came up, I was hired for a permanent position.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: Earning your client's trust is important, and keeping that trust is even more important. Learning the basic principles of graphic design, because I use them every single day in every project I do.

Who is your favorite designer and why: Saul Bass, because his concepts were simple yet brilliant.

What is your favorite typeface and why: Currently my favorite is Officina Sans. I do a lot of text-heavy design work, and it proves to be very readable. I also like Mrs. Eaves.