The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Board Approves 2021 Tax Levy, Tax Abatement

Board of Trustees General Meeting, November 17

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At its regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland College's Board of Trustees heard updates from administration, approved a tax levy of approximately $30 million, and abated taxes for a bond issuance that is being retired with student fee revenues.

After an update from college president Tom Ramage, trustees heard from Amin Kassem, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for an update on the information technology and security at Parkland, as well as an update of the Technology Strategic Plan. Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt also gave an update on the activities of the Parkland College Foundation.

The board then held a public hearing on the 2021 tax levy and passed a tax levy resolution totaling $30,410,000. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles noted that the levy may yield a slightly lower tax rate.

Additionally, trustees moved to abate the tax levied for the year 2021 on the $5.9 million of general obligation bonds it issued to help fund the College Master Plan. The series 2018C bonds are to be retired with revenues raised from a student facility fee.

In other business, trustees approved:

  the purchase of:

  • YuJa Enterprise Video Platform from YuJa, Inc, $20,000 annually from July 1, 2022—June 30, 2025
  • broadcast media system hardware and software from Midwest Computer Company, $48,071
  • full-body Phantom X-ray model bid from Supertech X-ray, $29,495
  • 36-month electricity and natural gas utility service contract with Constellation Energy
  • annual rate increase to the Child Development Center fees

  the filing of the following grant applications:

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): “Integrated Drivers of Infection Genomics for One Health” (funding via NSF Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention)
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA): Build Back Better Regional Challenge—Phase 1 (Concept Proposal)
  • American Association of Community College Trustees & Education Strategy Group: Noncredit and Credit Alignment Lab (NCAL)

  the acceptance of funds from external sources:

  • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Scaling Apprenticeship Program (supplemental)
  • Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA): General Operating Support (GOS) Grant
  • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Career & Technical Education Perkins Postsecondary Grant
  • Illinois Community College Board: Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEERF II)
  • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Adult Education & Literacy Grant

  personnel appointments:

  • Mina Cho, Simulation Coordinator, Health Professions
  • Jason Maldonado, HR Specialist, Human Resources
  • Ellen Elghammer, Admissions Advisor, Admissions
  • Sarah Winker Uy, Admissions Advisor, Admissions
  • Cyndy White, Student Records Advisor, Admissions
  • Leeann Smith, Asst. Teacher, Child Development Center
  • Kevin Tiedemann, Financial Aid Advisor, Financial Aid

Parkland Theatre to Hold Auditions for "10 out of 12"

Auditions for "10 out of 12" start Saturday, December 4

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Parkland College Theatre will hold auditions for its spring production of "10 out of 12" on Saturday, December 4 at the Parkland theatre.

Auditions will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; registration will take place in the theatre lobby. A monologue will be provided to each auditioner as a cold read. No sign up is required, but audition forms and participation waivers can be completed ahead of time and are available for download.

Callbacks will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 5. Production staff will contact those who are needed for callbacks via phone call on Saturday afternoon or evening.

"10 out of 12" director BJ Gailey is casting 14 performers, with no restrictions on age or gender.

Performances for "10 out of 12" will run in Parkland Theatre's Second Stage from February 17 to 27.

All members of the community as well as Parkland and University of Illinois students are invited to audition; Parkland Theatre encourages diversity. Additional questions should be addressed to For more information about the Parkland Theatre, visit

Spanish-Language, Sensory-Friendly Shows at Staerkel Planetarium

Planetarium's Winter Shows Include Spanish, Sensory-Friendly Options

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Sensory-friendly and Spanish-language shows will be returning to the Staerkel Planetarium as part of their winter lineup.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure will premiere on Saturday, December 4 at 1 p.m. Following a 30-minute break to clean seats, Cosmic Colors will start at 2:30 p.m. These sensory-friendly shows will feature "lights up, sound down" settings to provide a relaxed, move-around-as-needed atmosphere for guests with autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities, or young children. Sensory supports and social stories are available for all visitors. Presenter Tania Swigart is a preschool teacher who works with children with special needs.

The planetarium is also offering more Spanish-language shows with Un cielo, un mundo: La aventura de Big Bird and Astronomía a gran escala on November 20 and December 18. Un cielo, un mundo: La aventura de Big Bird, which offers an introduction to the night sky over Sesame Street and China as Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu take a trip to the moon, begins at 1 p.m.

Astronomía a gran escala will start at 2:30 p.m. after a 30-minute break to sanitize seats between shows. This fulldome video shows why Chile is home to many world-class observatories and highlights the people who work on these instruments. Presenter Ricardo Covarrubias Carreno, Ph.D., teaches astronomy at Parkland College and offers tours of the night sky over his native Chile.

The seating capacity in the planetarium is currently limited to 60 people. Admission to fulldome shows start at $5. For a show schedule or booking information, please call 217/351-2446 or visit

2021 Ceramics Biennial: Janis Wunderlich to Present Artist Talk

Giertz Gallery Presents Artist Lecture by Janis Mars Wunderlich

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Giertz Gallery will be hosting an artist lecture by ceramic artist Janis Mars Wunderlich on November 11 at 10:30 a.m. as part of the 2021 State of the Art Ceramics Biennial.

Participating in the exhibition "The Living World In Clay," Wunderlich's talk will be held in lecture hall L111, down the hall from Giertz Gallery, and also virtually on Zoom. To learn more and register, please visit

Wunderlich received a BFA from Brigham Young University and an MFA from Ohio State University. One of ten children, she grew up in a devout Mormon family with Amish relatives. She spent many years raising her own five children while balancing a strong dedication to creating and exhibiting her detailed figurative sculptures. Inspired by her Cherokee storyteller/folk-artist grandfather, her evocative, surrealistic imagery captures the dualities and complexities of being human. She is currently an assistant professor of art at Monmouth College in Illinois. She was awarded an individual artist fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council in 2020.

Wunderlich's work, The Embrace (27 x 12 x 6 inches) is multi-fired, underglaze, glaze, and melted glass. "These embracing figures are inspired by our critical current dialogue about anti-racism—about lifting each other up to build a better community, a better world," says Wunderlich. "These figures are literally strengthening each other through their complete embrace. The world revolves around them, and all eyes watch, as this act of embrace is what keeps many elements suspended in balance.

"My art tells stories that acknowledge the immensity of our physical and emotional inadequacies, the burdens we bear, and our many vulnerabilities. It also celebrates the buoyant strength of the human spirit to hope and persevere as we rise above the ashes to overcome obstacles. My intimate interactions as a daughter, mother, nurturer, friend, wife, and teacher inspire universal narratives about our collective human search for resilience and purpose."

Artist and professor of Art and Design Chris Berti curates the 2021 State of the Art Ceramics Biennial "The Living World in Clay." The exhibit opened October 25 and will run through February 5, 2022, and features artists and faculty from across the United States, including Ricky Barnett, Joe Bova, William Brouillard, Lynn Hobaica, Peter Jadoonath, Kirk Lyttle, Jenny Mendes, Tilla Rodemann, Rimas VisGirda, and Janis Wunderlich.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursday, and noon–2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will be closed from 5 p.m. Nov. 24 through 28 for Thanksgiving break; Dec. 18 through Jan. 9 for winter break; and Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In compliance with state pandemic mandates, Parkland College has restricted access entryways and door checkers stationed at entrances. For Giertz Gallery, we suggest using the M1 parking lot on the north corner of campus. Enter through the M1 door and follow the gallery signage. The gallery is located in the north side of the X-wing and overlooks the outdoor fountain area.

Giertz Gallery acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/351-2505.

For more information about the invitational, the fundraiser, or the gallery, please visit or call the gallery office at 217/351-2485.

Spring 2022 Enrollment Blitz Happening Now

Spring 2022 Enrollment Blitz Starts Today

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Parkland College is helping residents sign up for Spring 2022 classes both at the campus and virtually through a one-stop enrollment services event.

During Spring Enrollment Blitz, new and returning students can receive help from the college's Student Services offices, including Admissions and Records, Financial Aid and Veteran Services, Assessment Center, and Academic Adising.

Campus offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and staff will also be available to help virtually on Zoom. Zoom will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 3, 10, 17, and 30; December 1, 7, 8, 14, and 15; and January 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Since Parkland College's spring semester classes begin January 10, Enrollment Blitz is especially useful for those who have yet to complete all the steps in their enrollment. This event will help students prepare for a great new semester by completing an admissions application, filling out financial aid information, and registering for classes.

For more information on Spring 2022 Enrollment Blitz, go to, contact Admissions and Records at 217/351-2482 or email