The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Updates COVID-19 Safety Protocols

New COVID-19 Monitoring System at Parkland College

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Parkland College has implemented new COVID-19 safety standards and procedures this week to comply with the recent executive order from Gov. Pritzker for higher education.

In letters to the campus community late last week, Vice President for Student Services Mike Trame announced that phase one of the college's new COVID-19 Monitoring System would begin today. The system includes safety measures such as restricting access to certain entrances around campus, using entry checkers, and tracking vaccination status or weekly testing requirements through the Safer Community app.

"We are continuing to make rapid progress in rolling out the new monitoring system," Trame said, noting that the college is employing a phase-in approach. "We believe that moving through these new requirements in phases is the best way to stay in compliance with the governor's order, build new internal systems, and transition our community smoothly into these new requirements."

In phase one, the college has been gathering vaccination status information from students and employees and has begun utilizing the Safer Community app to verify compliance status. While no student, employee, or visitor is being turned away at any entrance for noncompliance in this phase, the college is restricting the number of entrances to campus in preparation for a comprehensive entry-checking system that will utilize the Safer Community app for students and employees. A map is available for reference.

Administrators say that phase two, the monitoring and facility-access restriction phase, will begin early to mid-October. Available entrances will be restricted to those who are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative COVID-19 test within the last week. Parkland College offers free SHIELD CU COVID-19 testing in room D244.

Parkland College will use the Safer Community app to monitor access to campus facilities. Door checkers posted at the available entrances will determine an individual's access to buildings by checking their app status. Visitors will still be allowed to enter the campus for limited purposes in accordance with the Executive Order.

To help answer questions about the new monitoring system, the college has created an FAQ page at parkland.edu/COVIDmonitoring.

"Playing God" at Parkland Theatre Second Stage Starts Sept. 30

"Playing God" by Actors' Studio to run Sept. 30–Oct. 3 at Parkland

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The Actors' Studio Series production of "Playing God," written and directed by Felix Crim, will be coming to the Parkland Theatre Second Stage September 30–October 3.

Life imitates art in this sophisticated drama exploring the premeditated murders of a serial killer. Follow our detectives as they unravel the mystery and the reasoning for these gruesome murders. Will the killer be caught? Take the dive into madness in this new work.

Felix Crim directs a cast that includes Spencer Hazen, Madelyn Henson, Alex Noa, Kiah Johnson, Mariah Smith, Liana Reichlin, and Maya Baker. September 30, October 1, and October 2 performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., and October 3 at 3 p.m., in the Parkland Theatre Second Stage.

Tickets are free, but donations will be accepted at the door. Due to COVID restrictions, seating is limited and reservations are required. To make reservations, please visit parkland.edu/theatretickets.

To request accessibility-related accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at 217/353-2338, or email accessibilityservices@parkland.edu. Please submit all requests two weeks in advance of your visit.

This show is rated mature for language and graphic depictions of violence.

Q&A with Katelyn Badger

Adult contemporary students tell their stories

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Katelyn Badger’s story is typical of most Adult Contemporary students who choose to come back and finish their degree, in the sense that it’s completely unique. Every student has their own story to tell, and I am happy to share a little bit of Katelyn’s. I had the pleasure of working with her when she was president of the Adult Student Club, which I sponsor, and I found her to be smart, motivated, and charming—a complete delight to be around. As for her, she enjoyed her time at Parkland so much that she has endeavored to begin her career here as a fiscal program assistant. She recently took a few minutes to answer some questions about her journey. 

 

Q: What was your favorite part of being an Adult and Returning Student Services student?

A: My favorite part was being able to help start the Adult Student Club which unfortunately was short-lived. I wish that it could have been able to sustain but there just wasn’t a lot of interest. Another thing was collaborating with other students like me who have quit and come back so many times to try and finish my degree. (I changed my degree 6 times.)

 

Q: Where did you go to high school?

A: I went to Mahomet-Seymour schools.

 

Q: What was the final factor in your decision to come to Parkland and finish your degree?

A: My mom and I were getting our degrees together and taking classes together. We were having fun with challenging each other on who was going to get the better grade and she ended up passing away in 2012, one semester before she was going to graduate with her associate’s. I ended up quitting school and worked a full-time job. When that job was starting to drain me even further emotionally, my husband and I decided for me to quit the job and go back to school full-time. I chose to do my associate’s in accounting and finally after 10 years of going to school and quitting, I achieved getting my associate’s degree.

 

Q: How did your Parkland education help you earn your current position?

A: With getting my associate’s in accounting, I was able to get a job in Adult Education here at Parkland as a fiscal program assistant. I absolutely love my job, love my boss, and everyone I work with. I love being able to be in a position that helps students with their goals of getting their GED or learning English as a second language. 

 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering a return to school?

A: I would tell them, never give up. Keep that goal in your mind and reach for it. Have a support person to help you through. My husband was my biggest supporter in getting my degree. Teachers, advisors, and counselors are there for you. Find a mentor, find a peer that helps you when you don’t understand homework. There are so many people and resources at Parkland that will help you achieve your goals in getting your degree and getting a better paying job.

 

I did it, a long time ago. Katelyn did it recently. You can do it too. You can reach your academic goals right here at Parkland, and we at Adult and Returning Student Services are here to help you get started.

 

Call 217/351-2482, email me, or visit room U214 to learn more.

 

-Tony Hooker, ahooker@parkland.edu

 Adult and Returning Student Services Advisor

Degree Completion Day Set for Oct. 6 and Oct. 8

Degree Completion Day, Oct. 6 (In-Person) and Oct. 8 (Virtual)

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Parkland College students and area residents who have not completed their Parkland College degree and/or certificate are invited to a special event in October.
 
Degree Completion Day will be held virtually and in-person this year to accommodate COVID-19 safety guidelines. Join academic advisors on campus Wednesday, October 6 from 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. in the U Wing near the Bookstore, or virtually on Friday, October 8 from 10–11 a.m. on Facebook Live.

During this event, past and current students who want to finish their Parkland College credentials will be able to chat with an academic advisor to:

  • learn how to track their progress toward a degree or certificate
  • determine which courses are needed to complete their credential
  • see which universities guarantee junior-level transfer status with a completed Associate in Arts degree
  • complete a Petition to Graduate form, if applicable (due Nov. 5)

For more information on Degree Completion Day, please contact the Office of Admissions at 217/351-2482 or admissions@parkland.edu

Parkland Board Approves FY 2022 Budget

Board of Trustees General Meeting, September 15

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Parkland College's Board of Trustees has recognized faculty and staff award winners, received an update on the newest solar array, and approved the college's fiscal year 2022 budget.

At its regular meeting Wednesday, the board also received an update from Vice President for Student Services Michael Trame about recent measures the college has taken relating to COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker's Executive Order for vaccination and testing requirements for higher education.

Following college President Tom Ramage's remarks to the board, Beth Bachtold, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, presented the following awards to staff members:

  • Robert Bielmeier, the Staff Green Award (<5 Years' Service)

  • Debbie Bucher, the 2021 Parkland Teaching Excellence Award

  • Kena Chapman, the Staff Gold Award (>5 Years' Service)

  • Nancy Roth, the 2021 ICCTA Adjunct Faculty Award

Next, Lisa Costello, Giertz Gallery director, and Mimi Nguyen, environmental safety and sustainability specialist, gave the board a summary of the solar array and energy savings projects. The eight-acre solar array has been in operation for over a year and in that time has produced over 2 megawatts of green electric energy, used exclusively on the Parkland College campus. This output has reduced the college's carbon footprint and saved over $24,000 in electrical expenses. A video showcasing the college's solar array is available to view here.

After an update on the Parkland Foundation by Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt, trustees approved the fiscal year 2022 budget, which includes a $426,199 operating deficit. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles first presented the tentative budget in July, and the budget was on display for public review and input starting Aug. 1.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • fountain courtyard reconstruction and exterior door replacement, a Protection, Health, and Safety project

  • the filing of the following grant application:

    • Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): FEMA Public Assistance Program (App. #2)

  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:

    • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): FY21 Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE)

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Early School Leaver Transition Program

    • Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE): Illinois Cooperative Work Study (ICWS) Grant

    • Illinois State Library/Secretary of State: Adult Volunteer Literacy Grant (Project READ)

    • Illinois State Library/Secretary of State: Penny Severns Family Literacy Program

    • Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT): FY21 Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP)

    • U.S. Department of Education: CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF): SIP Portion (CRRSAA allocation)

  • personnel appointments: 

    • W. Jason Strutz, Director of Technology Infrastructure, Campus Tech

    • Matthew Angel, Enterprise Applications Analyst, Campus Tech

    • Aaron Cunningham, Maintenance Technician/Plumber/HVAC, Physical Plant

    • Daniel Kirsanoff, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Tech

    • Anna Knipfer, Admissions Advisor/CRM Specialist, Admissions

    • HeatherAnn Layman, Parkland Presents Operations Assistant, Arts and Sciences

    • Logan Musgrove, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Tech

    • Daniel Reck, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Tech

    • Joy Sheehan, Dental Clinic Operations Assistant, Health Professions

    • Katelyn Sims, Athletics Department Assistant, Athletics

    • Reggie Walker, Custodian, Physical Pant

    • Maureen Wietecha, Marketing and Digital Content Manager, Marketing

    • Harvest Wolf, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Tech

    • Wendy Farmer, Registered Nursing Tenure-Track Faculty, Health Professions

    • Kyle Lyons, Senior Flight Instructor-Third Class/BasicMed Cert, Aviation

    • Mernice Wakefield, Adjunct Nursing Faculty, Health Professions

    • Jacob Fitton, Flight Instructor, Aviation

    • Heidi Trego, Flight Instructor, Aviation

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