The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Volleyball Headed to National Tournament

Cobras sweep two in Central A district tournament

No. 1 Parkland College Volleyball advanced to the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament with consecutive sweeps over Southwestern Illinois College (25-12, 25-16, 25-15) and then, John Wood (25-10, 25-9, 25-6), in the Central A District Championship match. NJCAA DII Nationals will be held in Charleston, West Virginia, November 21-23, at the Charleston Civic Center.
Following the championship match, sophomore outside hitter Ryleigh Warfel was named Region 24 Player of the Year, and Head Coach Cliff Hastings was named Coach of the Year. Teammates of Warfel who were also named First Team All-Region 24 were: sophomore outside hitter Abigail Burnett, sophomore middle hitter Paige Yoder, sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Norder, and sophomore setter Rachel Verdun. Sophomore outside hitter Amanda Greening was named to Second Team All-Region.
"I'm really proud of the progress these girls have made on the year, Hastings said. "They have continuously worked hard at practice which translates to fun and success in the matches. They have trusted the process, and I think we are peaking at the right time heading into Nationals. We are excited about the opportunity to go to Nationals for the 12th straight year. It takes a little luck to win it all, but the girls and coaches have done the right things to give us the chance to do it."
Now 54-2 on the season, Parkland will be making its 12th consecutive trip to the National tournament, a streak that dates back to 2008. The Cobras have won three national titles (1999, 2015, 2016) and have not missed the tournament since Hastings took over in 2009. Last season, Parkland finished as National Runner-up.
In match 1 (SWIC), Summerlyn Smith (24 assists) and Rachel Verdun (11 assists) set up Mallory Bergbower (10 kills) and Paige Yoder (9 kills, 3 blocks) who led the team to 43 team kills. Defensively, Brooke Norder (13 digs) and Ryleigh Warfel (11 digs) helped to stifle the Blue Storm attack with assistance from Yoder and Dakota Harmon (3 blocks) at the net.
In the championship match, (John Wood), Parkland started of slowly and found themselves down 4-5. At that point, however, the team rattled off 14 straight points and never looked back. The offense blitzed the Blazers with a .485 hitting percentage behind 14 assists each from Rachel Verdun (14 assists) and Summerlyn Smith (14 assists). The Cobras hitting attack was led by Amanda Greening (10 kills) and Abigail Burnett (8 kills). The team produced 9 service aces led by Paige Yoder (3 aces). Defensively, three Cobras: Ellie Stone (9 digs), Brooke Norder (9 digs), and Ryleigh Warfel (9 digs), recorded 27 of the team's 50 digs, while the leader at the net was Hannah Benson (4 blocks).
A 16-team field, the NJCAA DII National Tournament is a double-elimination format with the final two teams facing off in the DII National Championship match at 4:30 p.m. central time on Saturday, November 23rd. For more information on the tournament and how to purchase tickets, click here.

[article by Joey Gruner]

Parkland to Honor Veterans with Ceremony

Ceremony Nov. 11, 11 a.m., student union

Parkland College honors the men and women who serve in the US military. The college will hold a 2019 Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in the stage area of the Student Union (U building). The public is invited to attend.

Parkland's brief ceremony includes the posting of colors by the University of Illinois ROTC; singing of the National Anthem by Air Force Lt. Madison Johnston; a welcome by Parkland College President Dr. Thomas Ramage, an Army National Guard veteran; and the presentation of campus veterans/order of service by Tim Wendt, Parkland's director of enrollment services and an Army veteran.

Featured speakers for the event will be Lt. Col. Joseph Timberlake, an Air Force veteran, and Col. Eric Ashworth, Army, retired. Audience members will observe a moment of silence, with the playing of Taps by Parkland student and Army veteran Thomas Briggs, before the retiring of the colors.

The 2019 Veterans Day observance is sponsored by the Student Veterans Association at Parkland (SVAP).

Survivors of Suicide Loss Program Set for Nov. 23

Those affected by suicide loss gather to find comfort, information, understanding

Parkland College will host the 2019 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event Saturday, Nov. 23, 8:15 a.m. to noon in Room U140 (Parkland College Student Union).

Created by an act of Congress in 1999 and sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. Attending a Survivor Day event is an opportunity for loss survivors to discover that they are not alone in their experience of losing someone they know and love to suicide.

Parkland's program will include a screening of AFSP's compelling documentary Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss; panel discussion with suicide and mental health professionals; community resource information; and small-group discussion opportunities for those who have experienced a similar loss. An art activity and a visit with a comfort dog will also be available.

Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss follows the family and friends of Chris Taddeo, a young adult who died by suicide. Together, they show the individual experiences a community of people can have after a shared loss: from confusion and denial, to isolation and finding support. Through their various approaches to grief and healing, each journey shares a message of hope, connection and resilience.

Register for this free event at For those who are unable to attend a Survivor Day event in person, AFSP hosts a Survivor Day program online at

For more information, contact Dennis Cockrum.

Parkland College Land Surveying students and faculty will be official surveyors at this weekend's "World Championship Punkin Chunkin" event in Rantoul.
Using high accuracy GPS equipment, Kory Allred, Land Surveying faculty member, will lead a group of students to set team areas and measure pumpkin flight distances from more than 30 “machines” signed up to participate in this annual event, which takes place at the former Chanute Airforce Base Nov. 2 and 3.
“It will be a great experience for the students that allows them to utilize the skills learned in classes in new ways!” Allred said.
Additionally, Todd Horton, Construction Management program director, will be entering the competition with his own punkin’-chunkin’ machine.
The two-day contest will allow three shots by each machine to determine the 2019 World Champion: two shots fired on Saturday and a final competition shot on Sunday. Usually held in Delaware, the competition has moved to Illinois for the first time outside of its home state.
The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) will carry on a tradition started more than 35 years ago with this year’s event, according to Frank Payton III, WCPCA president. The WCPCA is a trademark, all-volunteer nonprofit that raises money for scholarships and organizations that benefit the local community. It hosts a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over.
A weekend pass to the Championship is $20, and daily passes may be purchased online for $10 per day. Admission at the competition will be $15 per day (cash only). Children under 10 will be able to enter the event for free.
For more information visit the World Championship Punkin Chunkin website at

Ready for a bachelor's or master's degree? Use your Parkland credits! The following colleges will have representatives on hand this fall in the Student Union (unless otherwise noted) to discuss four-year degrees and transfer options.

Greenville University
November 7
10 am–1pm
Representative: Sarah Wilson

Eastern Illinois University
*EIU @ Parkland office
Appointments: 217/353-2255 | Room A170
Thursday, November 7 
Wednesday, November 20 
Friday, December 6
Representative: Rita Pearson

*College Center, X wing lounge
Tuesday, November 12
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Ryan Howard

Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Tuesday, November 12
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Carl Franks

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tuesday, December 3
10 am–1pm
Representative: Holly Pflum