The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Foundation Receives Donation for New Scholarship

I & I Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Club donates funding for new scholarships

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The Parkland College Foundation has received a generous $20,000 endowment for a new scholarship fund.

The gift from the I & I Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Club will provide scholarships for Parkland students in the Agriculture, Diesel Power, and Case New Holland Service Technician programs.

"Throughout the years, our club has received memorial gifts and we wanted to find some way to use these funds to honor the individuals," said club president Chuck Stelter, who presented the Foundation with the award on June 8.

"We believe that helping students in agriculture programs is a wonderful way to utilize these funds and carry out our mission: continuing the tradition and preservation of antique agriculture in Illinois and Indiana."

The I & I Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Club Scholarship will be available in Fall 2022 for students in select Illinois and Indiana counties. Interested students can visit to find out more.

For more information about the Parkland College Foundation, please visit

[pictured from left: Steve Hancock, Gordie Hedrick, Tracy Wahlfeldt, Chuck Stelter, Charlie Mitsdarfer, Pamela Lau, Jerry Lighty]

Parkland CobraVenture Names Student Entrepreneur of the Year

CobraVenture Pitch Showcase Names Jeane Breiland as Winner

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Parkland College’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year set out to accomplish a very personal mission at this May’s CobraVenture Pitch Showcase: restoring the community hub her grandparents founded in 1946.

Successor to the Village of Camargo's Thompson's General Store, which her family owned and operated for over six decades until its closure in 2016, Jeane Breiland plans to revive the local grocer into Opal's on Main, a neighborhood hot spot featuring local produce, meats and cheeses, curated antiques and artisan goods, handmade candies, a breakfast and lunch cafe, and much more.

Parkland's Entrepreneural Network (PEN) held its third CobraVenture Pitch Showcase on May 23 in the Student Union, where Breiland competed with seven other students in the 2022 CobraVenture cohort for prizes such as $3,000 in seed money, $1,000 in monetary technology, and six months of free mentoring from the University of Illinois Gies College of Business.

"I am super excited about winning the competition!" Breiland said. "Honestly, it was very surprising to me that I won, because my cohort classmates are fantastic public speakers."

The 2022 cohort includes second place winner Muriel "Mimi" Balende; third place winner Nathaniel Carsten; fourth place winner Brad Holt; and alumni award winners Delma Cobb, Nephtalie Salem, Leslie Carlson-Danner, and Shaersti Anderson.

A self-identified planner, Breiland is "especially excited" to begin working with the Gies College of Business. "This opportunity will help me to set the business up in a successful manner before we open the doors of Opal's on Main," she said.

And with the rest of her prize, she's gearing up for the hard part. "We've already started to clean the store out as we prepare for the restoration of the interior," she explained. "Now the work begins to hopefully find grants that will offset the cost of returning the outside and inside of the store to what it once was when my grandparents opened for business in 1946."

The pitch contest highlights students from the CobraVenture student accelerator lab, which launched in January 2020. The semester-long accelerator provides students with an avenue for networking and business mentorship, featuring collaborative workspaces, topics taught by local serial entrepreneurs, and one-on-one guidance with business mentors.

Judging the competition was 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.

"I am so thankful for the whole experience I had in Parkland's CobraVenture program," Breiland said. "I've met so many knowledgeable professionals. I'd absolutely recommend anyone interested in opening their own business sign up this fall."

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. CobraVenture is a collaboration of the Office of the Vice President for Communications and External Affairs, Parkland College Community Education, and the Parkland College Foundation.

Parkland College Students Earn Spring Flight Credentials

Aviation Students Earn Spring 2022 Credentials

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The following students earned flight credentials from the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College during the college's spring semester.

Soloed for the First Time in a Piper Archer
Saurav Ahlawat, international
Shivesh Chatrath, international
Jack Cook, Naperville
Vincent Evans, Chicago
Derek Hicks, White Heath
David Keeler, Champaign
Matthew Klos, Champaign
Maxwell Kolarich, Niagara Falls, NY
Pat Kolis, Springfield
Miron Liu, Urbana
Francisco Salinas, Carpentersville
Lucas Schumacher, Franklin
Nathan Vale, Chicago

Earned the Private Pilot Airplane Single-Engine Land (ASEL) Certificate
Nicholas Anderson, Urbana
Cameron Baker, Savoy
Mya Cobb, Mattoon
Jacob Dunklau, White Heath
William Fonner, Effingham
Peter Gallagher, Chicago
Andrew Green, Arcola
Micah Hortega, Ottawa
August Stauffer, Urbana
Aiden Tilstra, Onarga

Earned the Instrument Airplane Rating
Benjamen Barker, Rantoul
Adrian Bituin, Rantoul
Coalton Camden, Mt. Zion
Charles Evans, Chicago
Maxwell Moews, Bloomington
Christopher Murphy, Chicago
Emily Plauck, DeKalb

Earned the Commercial Pilot ASEL Certificate
Parker Allen, Galesburg
Robert Knight, Champaign
Zeth McCloud, St. Joseph
Maximus Torres, Park Ridge
Lukas Wright, Danville

Earned the Flight Instructor ASE Certificate
Leonardo Andrade, Houston, TX
John Dee, Champaign
Andrew Laub, Oregon
Paolo Kinsella, Bement

Earned the Flight Instructor-Instrument Airplane
Armando Collazo Garcia, Champaign
Aubrey Glennon, Bement

Earned the Commercial Pilot Multi Engine Land Certificate
Zachary Chalk, Mahomet
Louis Farrakhan, Champaign
Peter Herrmann, Rockford
Amina Jackson, Chicago
Paolo Kinsella, Bement
Andrew Laub, Oregon

Parkland College assumed ownership of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Institute of Aviation in fall 2014, leasing its aircraft and facilities at Willard Airport in Savoy to continue flight training. The College has continued the excellent instruction provided by the University's institute, which educated more than 13,000 pilots in its 70-year history. Many of its graduates are employed in the aviation industry around the world.

Along with the two-year degree in aviation, students can earn a private pilot certificate and commercial pilot ratings, including multi-engine land and flight instructor.

[photos from top: William Fonner, Jacob Fitton and Benjamin Barker, Emily Plauck, Amina Jackson]

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