The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College's Arts and Sciences division announces the creation of a new department: Arts, Media, and Social Sciences (AMSS).

At the request of the Vice President for Academic Services and the Dean of Arts and Sciences, faculty chairs, full- and part-time faculty, and staff in Fine and Applied Arts (FAA), Humanities (HUM), and Social Sciences and Human Services (SSHS) formed a working group in fall 2020 to explore how to more efficiently integrate the three departments with organizational options that best served the student body and staff, while working to save on costs. 

The chosen proposal included integrating FAA and SSHS into one department called Arts, Media, and Social Sciences, leaving HUM as is. The proposal, which called for the new department to officially begin in fall 2022, was approved in spring 2021.

"The merging of the Fine and Applied Arts with the Social Sciences department will create a more efficient administrative structure, and more importantly, a close working relationship between the creative and dynamic faculty working in the separate departments," said Joseph Walwik, dean of Arts and Sciences. "We are excited to see the important role this new department will play in continuing to serve the students of Parkland College."

The merger is not expected to disrupt day to day activities for students or staff. No personnel, classroom, or faculty offices changes are required. The AMSS department office will be located in C120, with the chair's office in C121.

FAA and SSHS faculty and staff elected Isabel Scarborough, the current faculty chair for SSHS, for a three-year term as the new AMSS faculty chair beginning in summer 2022. Professor of Art and Design Matthew Watt will serve as assistant chair.

Scarborough holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology, is a Fulbright Scholar, and Parkland's program director for anthropology and sociology. She was awarded a national Community College Faculty Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies for 2021-2022. She joined Parkland College in 2012 and has served in a number of college committees, including as co-chair for academic assessment. She is passionate about teaching and community outreach.

For more information about AMSS, please visit

David M. Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest Winners Announced

Joel Langston wins first place in David Jones Speech Contest

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Four Parkland College students earned top honors among the 14 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 19th annual David M. Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest. The competition, which highlights the speaking styles and skills of students who have taken a communication class at Parkland, gives students the opportunity to speak in support of their favorite charity. Local, national, and international charities were represented. Earning first place honors in this year's May 11 contest was Joel Langston of Champaign, whose speech supporting the Eastern Illinois Food Bank earned him a $500 scholarship. The food bank will receive a $500 donation from the Communication program faculty. "Participating in the David Jones Speech Contest allowed me the opportunity to support a cause I believe in," Langston explained. "It provided valuable experience and improved communication skills that are applicable in both my personal and professional endeavors, and helped bolster my confidence in public speaking settings. I'm very grateful to have taken part!" Delma Cobb of Rantoul came in second with her speech for the Equal Justice Initiative, earning a prize of $250. Jake Van Anrooy of Poplar Grove was third with a speech supporting Jazz at Lincoln Center, and won $100. Fourth place winner Cavan Morber of Champaign will receive $50 for his speech supporting the Ocean Cleanup. Each year, Parkland's Communication faculty selects communication professionals within the community and campus as finalist judges. This year's final-round judges were Parkland president Tom Ramage; Peter Barrett, production manager of WCIA/WCIX TV; Grant Thompson, vice president and general manager of WDWS/WHMS; Tracy Wahlfeldt, executive director of the Parkland College Foundation; and Morgann Quilty, associate dean of Parkland's Learning Commons. The contest is sponsored by the Parkland College Communication program and Parkland's Fine and Applied Arts department and is supported by donations made to the David Jones Persuasive Speech Contest Scholarship Fund. The fund was created in honor of Jones, former chair of the Fine and Applied Arts department from 1988 until his death from cancer in 2002. The annual speech contest honors Dr. Jones' commitment to the communication discipline and student enrichment.  

[from top: Joel Langston, Delma Cobb, Jake Van Anrooy, Cavan Morber]

"Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter" at Parkland Gallery

Watercolor exhibit and special workshop at Giertz Gallery

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"Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter" will open Monday, June 6 and run through July 28 at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.

The exhibit features paintings from St. Louis artist Carol Carter and is accompanied by a special watercolor workshop from June 14 to June 16, sponsored by the Barbara and Terry England Endowment for Watercolor Arts Instruction, led by Carter and focusing on her approach to the medium. For more information or to register for the workshop, please visit

An artist reception will be held on Thursday, June 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with live music. Carter will give a gallery talk at 6:15 p.m. As with all Giertz Gallery programs, the exhibit, reception, and lecture are free and open to the public. For more information about the gallery and additional programming for the exhibition, please visit

Inspired by current events and her personal experiences, Carol Carter uses nature and the human figure as recurring themes throughout her work. Her preference for saturated color and larger scales contributes to an intensity or tension in her paintings. These works can be seductive, powerful, and sometimes strangely disquieting. The exhibition includes portraits of some of the many dogs adopted during the pandemic. These portraits of loyal canine companions bring to light the extra love and support animals provided (and continue to provide) throughout the psychological toll of isolation people endured during the pandemic. 

"We are excited to have Carol's work, which is so appropriate for the summer, in the gallery," said Giertz Gallery Director Lisa Costello. "Her work is timely and provocative. We are equally excited that she has agreed to teach a workshop. So many people in the community have wanted watercolor instruction, and we are fortunate to have this opportunity. It's wonderful that we have the support of the Barbara and Terry England Endowment for Watercolor Arts Instruction to host this workshop."

"My influences early in my career included David Hockney and Eric Fischl, and as I have matured in my art, Joseph Raffael," Carter said. "Coincidentally, I worked exclusively in watercolor for the first ten years of my life as an artist. Today, I work in both watercolor and acrylic. My goal is to create work with intimacy, mysteriousness, and sensuality. But at its best, my work also has an edge–something in it that takes a moment, a second look, an effort to comprehend."

Carter’s watercolors have been in juried and invitational exhibitions in Europe, China, Hong Kong, the US Virgin Islands, Morocco, and the United States. She is an advisory board member of American Watercolor Weekly, and has had her work featured in International Arts Magazine, Art of Watercolour, Watercolor Artist, and L'Aquarelle Magazine. In 2012 she was an AIRE fellow for the Everglades National Park. She is part of the Art in Embassies Program, with art currently in the American Embassy in Montenegro. Her honors and awards include Master Signature Member status, American Women Artists (2019), Master Signature Member status, Heartland Art Club (2019), and the 2020 Snehil Lifetime Achievement Award, Snehilsrijan, India.

Summer gallery hours are Monday through Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The gallery is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency

All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. 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

Free Spring Concerts by Parkland College Music Ensembles

Parkland Music Ensembles to Offer Free Spring Concerts

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Parkland College's spring concert season concludes with May performances by several music ensembles in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.

Saturday, May 7 at 3 p.m.
"The Emerging Spring" A Joint Concert by the Parkland Orchestra, Chamber Singers, and Guitar Ensemble

The Parkland Orchestra, directed by Dr. Rodney Mueller, will perform "Carnival Overture, Op. 92" by Antonin Dvorak, edited by Carl Simpson; "Mock Morris" by Percy Aldridge Grainger, edited by Dana Paul Perna; "Nimrod" from 'Enigma Variations, Op. 36' by Edward Elgar, edited by Steven L. Rosenhaus; and "Meditation, from 'Thais'" by Jules Massenet, edited by Jack Ranney, among others.

The Parkland Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Franklin Gallo, will perform "Nyon Nyon" by Jake Runestad; "Kyrie" from Missa Papae Marcelli by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina; "The Ground" by Ola Gjelio; and "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, arranged by Len Thomas.

Director Dr. Young Kim will lead the Guitar Ensemble in performing "Sinfonia No. 3 BWV 789" by Johann Sebastian Bach; "'Prelude' from English Suite, Op. 31" by John W. Duarte, arranged by Rich Geiger; "Gin Fizz" by Pieter van der Staak, edited by Greg Styles; and "Corcovado (Quiet Night of Quiet Stars)" by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz solo transcribed by Scott Card, chords arranged by Carlos Arana; and "Da Blues" by Alan Hirsch. 

Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m.
"A Spring Celebration" A Joint Concert by the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble

The Parkland Concert Band, directed by Dr. Matthew Dixon, will perform "Overture to Candide" by Leonard Bernstein, transcribed by Clare Grundman; "Americans We March" by Henry Fillmore; "Legend" by Paul Creston; and "Chorale and Shaker Dance" by John Zdechlik.

Parkland's Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Jonathan Beckett, will present "Slavic Dance no. 10" by Antonin Dvorak, arranged by Tom Clark; "Procession of the Nobles" (Cortege from the Opera "Mlada") by Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov, arranged by Erik Leidzen, edited by Van Ragsdale; "A Chorus Line Spectacular!" by Marvin Hamlisch, arranged by Warren Barker; and "River of Life" by Steven Reineke.

Parkland Art & Design Students Win Exhibition Awards, Scholarships

Exhibiting Art and Design Students Receive Awards

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The Giertz Gallery at Parkland College announces the scholarship and award winners of the 54th Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition, on display through May 7.

The exhibition comprises student works produced within the last year in Parkland Art and Design classes including photography, painting, drawing, metals, sculpture, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design, color theory, graphic design, figure drawing, and ceramics. Members of Parkland's art faculty selected close to 200 exhibiting works to display the strength and quality of the Art and Design program.

A reception honoring the participants was held on Thursday, April 14. Students received a number of awards and scholarships.

Scholarship recipients. Katy Geurts (2021-2022), Liam Dee (2022-2023): Underwood-Alger Art Scholarship; Brandon Gillilan (2021-2022), Amelia Gonzales (2022-2023): Don Lake Art Scholarship; Nhu Duong (2021-2022): Juanita Gammon Graphic Design Scholarship.

Monetary awards. Connor Altan, Parkland President's Award for Art and Design; Tara Jaggers, Parkland President's Award for Graphic Design; Jori Bassett, Blair Kling Memorial Award; Sam Pickett, Fine and Applied Arts Chair Award for Excellence in Art and Design; Kelly Hoene, Fine and Applied Arts Chair Award for Excellence in Graphic Design; Joshua Walch, Art and Design Faculty Award; Honoka Adachi, Victor Feldman Ceramics Award for Excellence; Saxon Burns, Metals Award of Artistic Distinction; Joshua Stebbins, Graphic Design Best of Show Award; Jeane Breiland, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Award; Ceselie Eagan, Art Coop Award.

Purchase awards. Jori Bassett, Alison Hernandez, Penny Moynihan, Megan Reich, Yuanpei Su.

Merit awards. Yarira Aguirre, Jori Bassett, Joyce Beitel, Kyndra Campbell, Pavana Chandrasekhar, Jawonda Clark, Nhu Duong, Kylie Fuoss, Nora Kaeb, Morgan King, Penny Moynihan, Kiah Thompson, Kalyn Warner, Sharon Wenda, Chloe White.

Visit the 54th Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition webpage for a complete list of exhibiting students by hometown and 2022 Art and Design graduates.

Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2338 or email Gallery hours are Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 12-2 p.m.
For more information on Giertz Gallery, call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit