Parkland Excellence Award Recipients
2020 Parkland Teaching Excellence Award Winner
Originally from east central Illinois, Kendra McClure grew up in Indiana and began her career as a public relations professional in St. Louis. She enjoyed her time working in PR, but after a few encounters with unethical media outlets (stories she’d be glad to share over coffee sometime), the classroom started calling her name. She wanted the opportunity to teach up and coming communication professionals the importance of ethics. That new drive to teach led her back to Illinois and into graduate school. She joined the Parkland faculty part time in 2009 and started teaching full time in 2010.
Kendra teaches courses related to mass media, advertising, and public relations. She is also a faculty advisor for Applied Media Promotions (AMP), Parkland’s on-campus, student-staffed strategic communications firm. AMP was honored to receive the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation's Innovation in Engagement Award in 2015, and Kendra was named Parkland’s Online Teaching Excellence Award winner in 2018.
Kendra holds a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Eastern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Valparaiso University. She is also accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. When she’s not on campus, Kendra enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children.
Dr. C. Britt Carlson
2020 ICCTA Outstanding Full-Time Award Winner
Illinois Community College Trustees Association
Dr. Britt Carlson has been chemistry faculty at Parkland since 2013. She has a BA from Earlham College and a PhD in biomolecular chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In addition to her involvement in various student-centered initiatives at Parkland, Britt Carlson has received a competitive National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, in collaboration with UIUC, which has recently been renewed. To date, this program, named PRECS, has hosted 32 community college students from across the country to conduct research at Parkland and UIUC. Demonstrating the ability of PRECS to open new pathways to careers in science, several PRECS alumni have found employment in research labs or have started graduate school in the sciences. Britt’s efforts have been recognized at the national level, including being selected to serve on NSF grant review panels and to participate in an NSF-AACC Summit on undergraduate research experiences at community colleges, as well as being chosen for the AAWCC’s 40 Under 40 award. In addition, Britt has been recognized for excellence by her students, as evident in this student’s statement: "Britt is an amazing instructor. She's passionate and personable, and it shows in her teaching! Her enthusiasm is infectious. … She's absolutely wonderful, and she's the reason I enjoy chemistry now! …"
Dr. Franklin Gallo
2020 ICCTA Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award Winner
Illinois Community College Trustees Association
Dr. Franklin Gallo serves as a Music Instructor and Choral Director at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, the Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Patrick Church in Urbana, Illinois, and an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Master of Music in Music Education – Kodály Emphasis degree program at Holy Family College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Dr. Gallo has held faculty positions at DePaul University (IL), The Hartt School, University of Hartford (CT), and at Shepherd University (WV), teaching courses in musicianship, choral conducting, choral literature, and choral pedagogy and has served as conductor of various choral ensembles. Gallo has also served as a conducting and musicianship instructor in numerous Kodály music certification programs.
Dr. Gallo holds a B.S., from Duquesne University, a Performance Certificate from the Ezio Pinza Council of American Singers of Opera (Italy), a M.M. from Shenandoah University, a Diploma in Choral Conducting from the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music (Hungary), studying with Péter Erdei and Éva Vendrei, and a D.M.A. from The Hartt School - University of Hartford under the guidance of Edward Bolkovac.
Dr. Gallo is in demand as a national and regional guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter, and composer. Gallo was awarded the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize. Dr. Gallo's compositions are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Colla Voce Music, and Hal Leonard and are featured in BH Contemporary and Secular Choral Series, Doreen Rao's Choral Music Experience, Henry Leck's Creating Artistry Choral Series, and the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series.
2020 Outstanding Staff Gold Award
Mark-Saint McDowell is the Academic Coordinator with TRiO/Student Support Services. Mark is a native of Chicago who came to Champaign-Urbana to attend the University of Illinois. He completed a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.Ed. in Human Resources, both from the University. Upon graduating, Mark worked in various academic professional positions and was employed at the University for 14 years. Ready for a change of pace, and because he had heard such great things about working at Parkland College, Mark joined the Parkland ranks in 2002. He has been serving Parkland students who are first-generation, from low-income families, and/or who have a disability, for 18 years. Having served in higher education for 32 years, Mark is considering retiring!
2020 Outstanding Staff Green Award
A native of Peoria, Illinois, Amy is a graduate of Parkland College and Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Amy has been in the role of Department Assistant for the Humanities and Fine and Applied Arts Departments since December 2016. Outside of the office, Amy is also a proud member of the Parkland Chamber Singers.