The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Art and Design Faculty Exhibition 2022

Parkland Art and Design Faculty Exhibition 2022 opens August 22

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The 2022 Art and Design Faculty Exhibition at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College opens Monday, August 22. 

The annual showcase, featuring the work of Parkland's faculty artists, includes painting, drawing, video, photography, metals, ceramics, and graphic design, will run through September 24
. Exhibiting faculty members include Shawn Fairchild, Beverly Kudeki, Melinda McIntosh, Laura O'Donnell, Denise Seif, Peg Shaw, Joan Stolz, Matthew Watt, Kelly White, and Liza Wynette.

An opening reception for the artists will be held Thursday, August 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring Parkland president Tom Ramage with opening remarks and music by Brazilian jazz guitarist José Gobbo. Fine and Applied Arts professor Peg Shaw, who received a 2021 Artist Fellowship Award (AFA) from the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) will give a gallery talk at 6:15 p.m. Shaw will discuss her photography and video installation work featured in the exhibit.

"Profoundly personal, my work addresses how we can connect across time and space, be so moved by an experience that isn't ours, and truly care for people we will never know; floating on a membrane of what we have been given, hovering just below what we have to give," she explains.

"My work translates, re-imagines, weaves, and layers concepts from family history, the memory of place, storytelling, and the filtered experience of living in a chaotic time." 

Like all gallery events, the Art and Design Faculty Exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Fall hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 2 p.m. The gallery is closed Monday, September 5 for Labor Day.

Giertz Gallery acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2338 or email

For more information on Giertz Gallery, call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit For photos of exhibit works, please contact

[Image: Peg Shaw, The Noisiest Years of Silence, video/sound 23:00 loop, 2021-2022]

Parkland Board of Trustees Prepares for Fall 2022

Board of Trustees General Meeting, July 20

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At their regular meeting Wednesday, the Parkland College Board of Trustees prepared for the fall 2022 semester with strategic purchases, a tentative budget review, and more.

First, Dr. Ramage presented his report to the board. Next, trustees heard from Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski, who provided end-of-semester enrollment data for spring 2022, as well as summer 2022 census date enrollment data. 

The board voted to re-submit a new capital improvement project under the Resource Allocation Management Program (RAMP), a State of Illinois funding program. The Physical Sciences Training Center would include the latest technology, new chemistry and biology laboratories, study and office spaces, and classrooms to accommodate growth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and health professions programs.

Finally, the board reviewed the tentative budget for fiscal year 2023, which will be made public in the News-Gazette prior to final approval at the board's regular September meeting.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the purchase of:
    • 2022 Ford SUV Police Hybrid Interceptor Package vehicle from Morrow Brothers Ford Inc., $40,085
    • used portable x-ray unit from Medical Surplus Management, $87,500
    • furniture from Krueger International, $60,000
  • the filing of the following grant applications:
    • Education Systems Center at NIU (EdSystems): Community Colleges & Early Adopters of College & Career Pathway Endorsements
    • Department of Labor—Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA): Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grants—Access to Training Opportunities in Manufacturing and Technology (ATOMAT)
    • Local Workforce Development Board 17—LWIA 17 Youth Committee: WIOA Youth Programming
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Adult Education & Family Literacy Activities (AEFLA)
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Adult Education & Literacy—Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE)
    • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Aviation Workforce Development Grants - Aircraft Pilots
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Apprenticeship Grant: Customized Apprenticeship Programming—Information Technology (CAP-IT) (DOL-ETA, Year 4 funding)
    • Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): FEMA Public Assistance Program (App. #3)
  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:
    • Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB): Historical Records Grant Program
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): Center for Global Studies: International Studies Research Lab Fellowship (3 honorariums)
    • Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): FEMA Public Assistance Program (App. #1—140127) (additional funds awarded retroactively for newly-eligible costs)
  • personnel appointments: 
    • Ahmad Muhammad, Custodian, Physical Plant
    • Curtis Bibb, Custodian, Physical Plant
    • Lindsay Flessner, Financial Aid Assistant, Financial Aid
    • Sidney Megeff, Admin. Assistant, Student Life
    • Jeremy Jang, Physics Instructor, Natural Sciences
    • Aubrey Glennon, Flight Instructor, Aviation

Parkland Basketball Introduces John Bowler as Next Head Coach

The former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee assistant coach becomes the 11th head coach in Parkland men’s basketball history

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Parkland College Athletics and Cobras Basketball are proud to announce that former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Assistant Coach John Bowler as the next head coach of the Parkland Cobras men’s basketball program. The Chicago native brings nine years of coaching experience at both the NJCAA and the NCAA level to Parkland. In addition to coaching, Bowler will also work as an assistant athletic director and an academic advisor for Parkland College. 


“It is truly an honor to be named the next head coach at Parkland College,” Bowler said in a statement. “Cobras basketball has a rich tradition of, not only winning, but graduating student-athletes and moving them on to four-year institutions throughout the country. I have great respect for the foundation that Coach Figueroa has laid here, and I look forward to building on that foundation and continuing that standard of excellence on and off the court.” 


Basketball has always been an important part of Bowler’s life. In high school, John was a three-time Chicago Tribune All-Area selection at Notre Dame College Prep before committing to Eastern Michigan University in 2002. By his senior year, Bowler was a First Team All-Conference player, leading the league in scoring and rebounding in 2006. His 20 points and 11 rebounds per game ranked 25th and 11th respectively in the NCAA that season. Bowler went on to play six seasons of professional basketball in Germany in the country’s highest division from 2006-2012. 


“Basketball has been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Bowler reveals, “What drew me to the game as a young player is the same thing that I look forward to daily as a coach: competition. I love to compete, and my coaching staff and I will build a program that competes daily in all that we do.” 


Bowler began his coaching career in 2013 as a graduate assistant at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he earned his master’s degree in Education of Sports and Human Performance. In 2014, while completing his degree, Bowler became the Associate Head Coach and Assistant Housing Director at Des Moines Area Community College. Bowler held this position until he was promoted to Head Coach and Academic Advisor at DMACC for the 2018-2019 season. In five seasons at Des Moines, Bowler produced three NJCAA All-Americans, four NJCAA All-Region selections and 11 ICCAC All-Conference players. From 2014-2019, John Bowler’s staff had 12 junior college athletes transfer to NCAA Division I programs, and 11 players transfer to Division II programs, the most of any junior college at that level. In 2019, Bowler joined the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee coaching staff as an assistant, where he served until his hire at Parkland. 


Parkland College athletic director Brendan McHale sees a lot of promise in new head coach John Bowler, saying, “Parkland College Athletics is very fortunate and excited to announce that coach John Bowler will be the next head coach of the Cobra Men’s Basketball program. We are looking forward to seeing Coach Bowler showcase his experiences and talents both now and in the future. John complements our existing and talented Cobra coaching staff very well.” 


“I have been blessed to form lifelong friendships with teammates, coaches, colleagues and campus personnel from every step on my basketball journey,” Bowler said. “I look forward to developing more of those relationships here at Parkland.” 


Original story by Nathan DeHaan

Parkland College Automotive Program to Begin EV, Hybrid Training

Auto program purchases all-electric Ford for EV, hybrid training

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Parkland College's automotive program has purchased a new Mustang Mach E electric SUV for students to study.

The Mach E, purchased from Shields Auto Center of Rantoul and funded by a Perkins grant, is a fully electric vehicle (EV) that students in the automotive program will use to gain hands-on experience with electric and hybrid automotives.

"A key component of Parkland's mission and programming is to provide our students with the tools they need for an evolving future, and our community partners with a skilled and up-to-date workforce," said David Charney, director of the Ford ASSET program. "This new investment will do both by preparing our students for the current and future needs of the industry."

Students in Parkland's Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET) program will particularly benefit from the new purchase. Ford ASSET is a two-year Ford technical career entry pathway that allows students to earn the same Ford certifications a technician would receive at a Ford training center. Graduates can enter the workforce as entry-level service technicians with an associate's degree in automotive service technology.

With the purchase of the Mach E, ASSET students can now earn additional Ford certifications in hybrid and electric vehicles. Students will gain experience with the unique drive characteristics of a battery electric vehicle and hone their skills safely removing and replacing high voltage batteries. Along with the vehicle, students will also use new types of training aids that are based in virtual reality software. Training with electric and hybrid vehicles is not limited to students in the Ford ASSET program, however.

For more information about Parkland's automotive certifications and degree offerings, please visit or contact the department at 217/351-2481 or

Parkland Foundation Receives Endowment for Veterans' Scholarship

Parkland College receives $10,000 scholarship endowment

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The Parkland College Foundation will be creating a new scholarship fund thanks to a generous donation from the Royal American Legion and Sons of the American Legion Post 996 in Royal, Illinois.

The $10,000 endowment, presented to the Foundation on June 21, will establish the Royal American Legion Post 996 Scholarship for veterans or veterans' dependents.

"The American Legion's mission is to enhance the well-being of America's veterans, their families, and our communities by devotion to mutual helpfulness," said Aaron Allen, commander of the Royal Legion.

"We are grateful that we can honor and thank our veterans for their service to our country by providing the opportunity for veterans or their dependents to access higher education."

The Royal American Legion Post 996 Scholarship will be available in Fall 2023 for students in the following zip codes: 61847 (Gifford), 61859 (Ogden), 61862 (Penfield), 61871 (Royal), 61873 (St. Joseph) and 61878 (Thomasboro). First preference will go to veterans, and then their dependents. A dependent is defined as a spouse, child, or stepchild.

Find more information about the American Legion at Scholarship information is available at For more information about the Parkland College Foundation, please visit