The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Student Newspaper the Prospectus Wins ICCJA Awards

The Prospectus student newspaper snags 11 journalism awards

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Parkland College's student newspaper the Prospectus was recently recognized with 11 awards by the Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA).

The ICCJA presents awards for excellence in Illinois community college newspapers once a year to colleges in two divisions, spanning a variety of media categories, with an overall award for excellence. Among 10 other wins, the Prospectus staff earned the 2021 first place Mike Foster General Excellence award in Division 2 for the Prospectus' website.

Awards were presented this April at the 2022 ICCJA Spring Conference at Eastern Illinois University for work submitted in the fall 2021 semester. The fall 2021 Prospectus staff includes editors Halee Fyke and Lizzie Jackson, digital editor Emma Routh, reporters Nate Carsten, Trent Chassy, Madi Houser, and Jovi Pembele, designer Cami Alagna, podcaster Alicia Buskirk, and photographer Cameron Thomas.

ICCJA 2021 Awards:

"I'm super proud of this group," says associate professor of English and Prospectus staff advisor, Lauren O'Connor. "At the start of last semester, most of our students were new to journalism! They have worked and continue to work very hard to meet their weekly deadlines with creative, award-winning work."

The Prospectus is Parkland College’s campus-wide student newspaper and has been in constant production since late 1968. The reporters and editors are exclusively students of Parkland College with a variety of majors and career interests. They set out to provide an outlet for students to further develop their writing, photography, communication, time management, and critical thinking skills while producing a quality, trusted source of news for Parkland-goers. For more information, please visit the Prospectus website or

[Images: The Prospectus staff (from left: Trent Chassy, Nate Carsten, Kelly Hoene, Alicia Buskirk, Lizzie Jackson) hard at work; "Highway," Cameron Thomas, photography]

"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

Parkland Board Honors Late Trustee Timothy Johnson

Board of Trustees General Meeting, May 18

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The Parkland College Board of Trustees began their regular meeting Wednesday by honoring late trustee Timothy Johnson.

Before attending to the board's regular business, Chair Jim Voyles led with a moment of silence to honor Trustee Johnson's life and seven years of service to Parkland College following his passing on May 9, 2022.

A graduate of Urbana High School, Mr. Johnson attended the US Military Academy at West Point in 1964. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969, a Bronze Tablet honoree. He graduated cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1972.

In 2013, Mr. Johnson was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest award, by Gov. Patrick Quinn in the area of Communications. He served as the US Representative for Illinois' 15th congressional district from 2001 to 2013 and as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1976 to 2000. He was elected to the Parkland College Board of Trustees in 2015. Mr. Johnson will be remembered for his dedication to Parkland students and the residents of District 505.

After the moment of silence, Parkland president Dr. Ramage provided his report to the board, including an overview of the 2022-2023 Annual Plan summary. Tracy Wahlfeldt, executive director of the Parkland Foundation, followed with an update on Foundation activities.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the declaration of surplus property

  • the purchase of:

    • increased services from Rock Gate Capital, DBA 160 Diving Academy, $250,000

  • the filing of the following grant applications:

    • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): Facilitating Coordination in
      Agricultural Education (FCAE)—Local Program Support

    • Congressionally Directed Spending Request (Sen. Duckworth): Chemistry Education Lab Improvement

    • Congressionally Directed Spending Request (Rep. Davis): FY2023 Community Project Funding Application—Health Professions Improvement

    • National Science Foundation (NSF): Advancing Innovation and Impact in Undergraduate STEM Education at Two-Year Institutions of Higher Education

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Early Childhood Access for Equity Consortium

  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:

    • Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA): Child Care Workforce Bonus

    • Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): FEMA Public Assistance Program (App. #2)

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Transitional Instruction Innovation Grant

    • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): FY22 Migrant Education Program (MEP)

    • Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA): FY22 Summer Youth Employment in the Arts (SYE)

  • personnel appointments: 

    • Alexus Hasler, Academic Services Advisor, Advising and Career Services

    • James Welander, Asst. II: Loanable Technology and Accounts, Learning Commons

    • Gerald Lighty, Jr., Precision Agriculture Faculty, Ag Tech

    • Jessica Alvarez, Police Officer, Public Safety

Aspiring student entrepreneurs from Parkland College will soon pitch their ideas before local venture capitalists and startup experts as they vie for more than $8,500 in monetary awards to fund their businesses and the title of Parkland Student Entrepreneur of the Year. 
Parkland College's Entrepreneurial Network (PEN) will hold its third CobraVenture Pitch Showcase at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23 in the Parkland College Student Union. The contest will highlight students from the CobraVenture program's student accelerator lab, which launched in January 2020.

Entrepreneurship Facilitator Marc Changnon will serve as emcee. CobraVenture's 2022 cohort, which began at the start of the 2022 spring semester, includes students from a variety of academic programs who want to start their own business while still enrolled in college. A list of the students, their businesses, and program details can be found at
Judging their capstone competition will be Damien Banks of Sacred Heart Medical Center, Carly McCrory-McKay of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, Marissa Siero of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Gies College of Business, Professor Julie Weishar, chair of Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts department, and Mark Pelmore of Lincoln & Hill, Inc.
The CobraVenture accelerator provides students with an avenue for networking and business mentorship. It features a collaborative workspace, topics taught by local serial entrepreneurs, and one-on-one guidance with business mentors. The program is supported through the Parkland College Foundation.
CobraVenture is funded through existing funds from the Parkland Foundation Entrepreneurial Founders Program, Murray Wise Associates PEN Program, and those raised through its annual Entrepreneur of the Year event. Parkland Community Education, the college's noncredit arm, is helping to plan and administer the workshops. The program is operating with oversight from an advisory committee comprised of community leaders and Parkland College faculty and staff, spearheaded by Stephanie Stuart, Vice President for Communications and External Affairs.

Camp Monarch: Evolving with Dyslexia Summer Camp

Community Education summer camp for students with dyslexia

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Parkland College Community Education is adding a new camp designed specifically for students with dyslexia to its summer lineup.

Camp Monarch: Evolving with Dyslexia helps students ages 7-14 gain confidence in reading, math, and writing through individualized tutoring using multisensory and Orton-Gillingham-based teaching methods. Small group activities will encourage students to build friendships with peers who have similar learning styles.

The camp will run for two sessions: June 20-30 and July 11-21, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Parkland College; both sessions are recommended to get the most benefit from the camp. The camp is open to students with an individualized education program (IEP) or 504 plan, are in a reading intervention program, or who struggle with reading. Documentation is required upon enrollment. Scholarships are available for students with financial need or who would benefit academically from the camp.

Register at and browse by category Youth and College for Kids. Search for Camp Monarch. Camp Monarch is not a part of College for Kids, but runs simultaneously. Supervised lunch periods are provided for students who also attend College for Kids.

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