The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Summer Camp Registration Opens Feb. 15

College for Kids and Summer Discovery camps start in June

Parkland College is once again hosting summer fun and learning opportunities for area youth, as registration opens for its 2021 College for Kids and Summer Discovery camps.

Registration begins Monday, February 15 for elementary, middle, and high school students. An early bird discount of $15 per registered class is available until March 12 for College for Kids.

Hosted by Parkland College Community Education, the popular two-week, half-day College for Kids camp offers around 50 different enrichment classes for students ages 7-13, with subjects ranging from robotics, coding, and engineering to visual, culinary, and performing arts.

The Summer Discovery program includes exciting camps for youth ages 10-18, designed to challenge students while they have fun. Students will explore new interests and potential careers in interactive, hands-on courses.

All classes are taught by professional educators in small class sizes, providing personalized attention for each student. The innovative STEAM-model gives students of all ages the opportunity to explore something new, get excited about learning, and discover new interests and hobbies in a safe and comfortable environment.

Camps will be offered in online and in-person formats. Social distancing guidelines and safety precautions established by the Center for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health will be observed in all on-campus classes.

Registrations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Summer Discovery camps run for 1 or 2 weeks, depending on the camp, and usually meet from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. A few half-day options are available. Camps begin June 7 and run through July 30. Registration deadlines vary by camp.

Two sessions are offered for CFK: June 21–July 1 (Session I) with a registration deadline of June 7; and July 12–22 (Session II) with a registration deadline of June 28. CFK classes meet Monday through Thursday at 12:45 p.m.–2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.–5 p.m.

Register at and browse by category Youth and College for Kids. Some scholarships and reduced rates are available for students who meet income eligibility for free/reduced lunch.

For more information about the College for Kids and Summer Discovery camps, please contact Community Education at, or by phone at 217/351-2235.

Parkland to Celebrate Black History Month with Virtual Events

Celebrate Black History Month 2021!

"Health and Wellness in the Black Community" is the theme of Black History Month 2021 observances at Parkland College.

Parkland invites all community members to participate in the following virtual events on Zoom; event links will be available at

Kwanzaa Principles: Relevant All Year Long
Wednesday, Feb. 3
6–7 p.m.
Presenter: Sam Smith, MSW

The Art of Self-Care
Tuesday, Feb. 9
noon–1 p.m.
Presenter: Linda Culton, LCSW

Culturally-Informed Mental Health Practices
Wednesday, Feb. 17
1–2 p.m.
Presenter: Dr. Marya Burke

Thursday, Feb. 18
1–2 p.m.
Presenters: Donna Tanner-Harold, MEd, LPC, and Dr. Marsh Jones

Health and Wellness
Monday, Feb. 22
noon–1 p.m.
Presenter: Joe Omo-Osagie, MEd

Boosting Wellness through a Chair Massage
Tuesday, Feb. 23
noon–1 p.m.
Presenter: Tamala Everett, MS

NOTE: The Black History Month Committee at Parkland College also recommends the following wellness resources to community members:

Parkland College Students Named to Fall 2020 Dean's List

Dean's List, Fall 2020

To honor their outstanding scholastic achievement, approximately 735 students have been named to the Parkland College Dean's List for Fall 2020. To make the list, students must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 grade scale for the semester in which they are being honored. Students who earn less than 12 hours in that semester can make the dean's list by achieving a 3.5 cumulative GPA for 12 or more hours during an academic year.

To view the full dean's list, visit

Parkland Trustees Approve Remote Learning Support Purchases

Board of Trustees general meeting, Jan. 20

Parkland College is purchasing technology upgrades that make it easier for students to enroll at the college and to learn once they reach the classroom.

At its first regular meeting of the new year Wednesday, the Parkland College Board of Trustees voted to approve the purchase of Comevo Launch Online Orientation Software for $43,280. Using Comevo, the college will be able to offer new students an interactive and customizable online orientation that reduces the need for in-person contact, staff involvement, and paper consumption. Students will be able to complete orientation at their convenience via desktop or mobile and move through the enrollment process more efficiently.

Trustees also approved the purchase of instructional and office computer hardware and software from Dell for $270,000. The new Dell equipment will support the school's rotational plan for computer replacement, classroom instruction enhancement, and the updating of servers, data storage, and security requirements.

Finally, the board received recommended changes to the Policy and Procedures Manual from the Parkland College Association. The changes will be voted on during the board's February meeting.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the filing of the following grant applications:

    • Champaign Rotary Club: Frank Clark Grants

  • acceptance of funds from external sources:

    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): Global and International Studies in Social Science Course Development (Dept. Ed. Title VI Funding via REEEC)

  • personnel appointments:

    • Alicia Beck, Director of Support for Workforce Training, Communications and External Affairs

    • Ryan Doebel, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies

    • John Fitzpatrick, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Madelyn Gunn, Department Assistant, Arts and Sciences

    • Sarah Hartman, Student Records Advisor, Admissions

    • Alexis Hasler, Academic Success Advisor, Counseling and Advising

    • Cole Herrmann, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies

    • Dylan Kirsanoff, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies

    • Karen Morgan, Academic Success Advisor, Counseling and Advising

    • Steve Wilson, Academic Success Advisor, Counseling and Advising

Planetarium Lecture to Examine Climate History in Lake Sediment

Staerkel Planetarium to host paleoclimatology Kaler Lecture

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College will host a presentation on paleoclimatology for the James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 5.

Dr. Jessica Conroy, associate professor in the Departments of Geology and Plant Biology at UIUC, will give a talk titled, "Climate, Water, Life, and Rock: Past Climate Information in Tropical Pacific Lake Sediments". The public lecture is free to attend on Zoom.

The coral atoll of Kiritimati (pronounced "Christmas") in the central tropical Pacific Ocean contains hundreds of brackish to hypersaline lakes that are a window into past climate variability in the region. These lakes and their sediments are also valuable archives that can be used to explore fundamental questions about how information about past environments is archived in lake sediments.

Dr. Conroy's group research in this region includes how remotely-sensed lake surface area responds to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Using sedimentology, stable isotope geochemistry, and organic biomarkers, the group can get a record of climate change on Kiritimati over the last millennium.

Having earned her B.A. in Geology from the College of Wooster, Dr. Conroy received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Before joining the University of Illinois in 2013, she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech.

The Staerkel Planetarium is presenting programs virtually to the public on Friday nights, and offers shows for schools and private groups. Public shows are rebroadcast on the planetarium's YouTube page. The Planetarium staff will present a special edition of Winter Prairie Skies on the same Zoom meeting after the conclusion of Dr. Conroy's Kaler Lecture at 8 p.m. This show is an interactive tour of the night sky, and special editions feature a topic of interest based on audience suggestions or astronomical events. For a full show schedule and for links to the Zoom meetings, visit the planetarium website or email