The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention

College team top fundraiser for community walk; September is Suicide Prevention Month

Parkland College showed strong support for the Champaign-Urbana Out of Darkness Community Walk, held Sept. 8 at Crystal Lake Park in Urbana. This event, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, takes place during Suicide Prevention Month. 

We had a great day for the Sunday walk. It felt like a celebration; they even had a DJ. A lot of people showed up to lend their support and to walk with us. Our team was made up of Parkland employees, students, family, and friends. We walked in honor of friends and family who have died by suicide.

Our 14-member Parkland Friends Team was the top fundraiser among the 43 teams that attended! So far this year, we have raised $3,234. I was also honored to be our team's captain and to be named the event's top individual fundraiser out of 241, with $1,185 raised. 

Let's all do our part to help reduce the risk of suicide, not just during the month of September, but year-round. To make a donation to the C-U Out of Darkness Community Walk, please visit the donor page.


[Dennis Cockrum, Parkland College counselor]

Degree Completion Day

Learn how to get to the end of your college journey

Working toward your Parkland College degree or certificate? Do your parents have credits from Parkland but never completed a degree? You ALL could join us for Degree Completion Day, Wednesday Oct. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the U building and find out what's needed to finish.

Degree Completion Day might be an easy way to make your schedule for the rest of your college journey through student planning. Whether you're "so close" to your certificate or new to campus, this event is for you:

  • Counseling Services advisors will be available to check your progress.
  • Financial Aid will be there to let you know if you might qualify for a Pell Grant.
  • Petition to Graduate applications will be available, if you'll earn your degree this fall.
  • Student Life will be on hand with information about commencement.
  • Refreshments, fun activities, and WPCD-FM live streaming will be part of the fun!

Come on over to the Student Union and learn about the other end of registration. See you there!


[Dennis Kaczor, Counseling Services]


Illinois Regional College Fair, Sept. 18

High school, transfer students can meet with 70+ US educational institutions

Area students and their parents will have a unique opportunity to explore a wide variety of higher education options at the 2019 Illinois Regional College Fair, Wednesday, September 18, 6–8 p.m. at Parkland College's Donald C. Dodds, Jr. Athletic Center.  

The event is free and open to the public.
Designed for high school students and community college transfer students; the ICRF introduces students and their parents to representatives from more than 70 educational institutions from across the country. Participants will receive important information about education planning, visit displays from various colleges and universities, and be able to speak one-on-one with representatives from many institutions. In addition, they will have an opportunity to discuss financial aid and career choices.
The Illinois Regional College Fair is sponsored by the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling, along with Parkland College. For more information, students may contact their high school guidance counselors, view or call 217/353-2636.

Closing the Gap: Computers in Business Certificate

Even professionals can use a leg up on mastering basic computer skills

Amazingly, using mobile devices appears to be limiting people’s ability to operate a standard computer! Add to that a growing gap in access to the Internet and digital devices, and you to have a ‘critical national issue,’ on your hands, according to the Sesame Workshop.

Know someone who might want to work in a professional environment but needs a leg up on learning basic computer skills?

Tell them about a new certificate at Parkland College coming this fall, called the Introduction to Computers in Business. They can come in and take the courses at the school’s Computer Technology Center at their own pace, or even learn some of the coursework from their mobile phones.

Students wishing to take Introduction to Computers in Business courses may apply to Parkland College at or call Cyndia Hinton, program manager, Business/Computer Science and Technologies at 217/351-2414 or for more information.

2019 Graphic Design Student Show Winners

Judges award nine students with $1,100 in prizes

Yesterday evening at the 2019 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Student Show opening reception, an enthusiastic crowd cheered on the nine students who split $1,100 in cash awards for submitting excellent work into our annual art gallery exhibit.

Every spring, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs showcase their best work in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. This year, we received 179 entries, and a jury of Parkland’s design faculty selected 140 of those for inclusion in the show.

Most of the $1,100 in cash awards were donated by local businesses and supporters of Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs. These friends include Surface 51, The Robeson Family, Positivity Place, DSC, and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO). CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

Two industry professionals were invited to come in to select the award winners. This year’s judges were Evelyn Shapiro, the promotions manager at the Champaign Public Library, and Robb Springfield, the creative director at Flex-N-Gate. Their job was to select the 11 best pieces in the show and then choose the one piece that would receive the coveted “Best of Show” award.

The reception began at 5:30 p.m. with music by Dorothy Martirano's jazz trio, Ms. M and the Jokers. At 6:30 p.m., I asked the crowd to gather in front of the podium in the Gallery Lounge. As I presented each student prize winner with a certificate and a check, the crowd acknowledged the deserving students with a round of applause. During the awards ceremony, I also announced this was my last year as professor and program director of the Graphic Design program. After 20 eventful years as Parkland, I will be retiring at the end of May.

During the last 20 years, my students and I have had a great time going on out-of-town field trips, hosting several local movie premieres, meeting important internationally renowned designers (Carlos Segura, Massimo Vignelli, Matthew Carter), and hosting influential designers here at Parkland (April Greiman, Art Chantry). We've had more than enough excitement for a lifetime, and I will remember these adventures for a very long time.

Here are the winning entries from the 2019 Graphic Design Student Show (clicking on an image below will open a larger image in a new window):

• Graphic Design Best of Show
Recipe Book by Marcus Flinn

Recipe Book by Marcus Flinn


• Illustration Best of Show (sponsored by The Robeson Family)
Illustration by Alex Lutz

Illustration by Alex Lutz


• President’s Award of Excellence
Branding by Madelyn Witruk

Branding by Madelyn Witruk


• Surface 51 Award of Excellence
Website by Brooke Armstrong

Website by Brooke Armstrong


• Surface 51 Excellence in Typography Award
Book Cover by Ju Hyun Kong

Book Cover by Ju Hyun Kong


• Positive Energy Award (sponsored by Positivity Place)
Poster by Brooke Armstrong

Poster by Brooke Armstrong


• CUDO Award of Excellence
Menu by Michael Dalton

Menu by Michael Dalto


• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence
Catalog by Marco Vasquez

Catalog by Marco Vasquez


• DSC Foundation Award of Excellence
Logo by Megan Perry

Logo by Megan Perry


• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award
Editorial Layout by Adam Christians

Editorial Layout by Adam Chris


• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award
Wine Label by Brooke Armstrong

Wine Label by Brooke Armstrong


The 2019 Parkland Graphic Design Student Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery through May 30. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm (closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

To see more examples of student work from Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs, please visit our virtual galleries.

[Paul Young was the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]