The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Day of Giving is March 31

2022 Parkland College Foundation Giving Day Scholarship Fundraiser

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The Parkland College Foundation will be hosting the 2022 Day of Giving scholarship fundraiser on Thursday, March 31.

Starting at 12 a.m. and running to midnight, individuals, businesses, and groups are asked to visit, search for a fund they care about (scholarships, Athletics, etc.), and donate any amount.

During the 2021 Parkland Day of Giving, the community raised over $93,000 that went directly to Parkland College and thousands of deserving students.

The 2021 Parkland Giving Day donations provided:

  • Over $67,000 in scholarships helping students with tuition, fees, and books
  • $12,400 to the Creating Impact fund, which supports the greatest needs of the college
  • Nearly $14,000 went directly to academic programs to enhance instruction across campus


Every donation impacts a worthy student at Parkland. "As a 24-year-old single mother to an eight-year-old, I have spent the past eight years putting my dreams on the back burner to ensure that my daughter has everything she wants and needs," said one scholarship recipient in their thank you letter.

"This scholarship not only gives me the opportunity to pursue my degree, but also courage, knowing that you have faith in me and my abilities."

Ways to give:

Kaler Science Lecture Series Tackles Energy Storage Solutions

Parkland Planetarium Hosts Kaler Science Lecture Series, April 1

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This April's James B. Kaler Science Lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College will discuss batteries and energy storage.

On Friday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m., University of Illinois associate professor of chemistry Dr. Joaquín Rodríguez-López, will present "Thinking Big About Batteries: A Solution for Energy Storage." Kaler Lecture tickets are $2 or free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Rodríguez-López's research group explores new strategies to advance renewable electrochemical energy technologies and environmental sensing. They analyze electrode properties at micro- and nano-scales to improve the performance of nanomaterials and interfaces for batteries, electrocatalysts, and sensors for detecting pollutants, in order to make technology more sustainable.

Rodríguez-López earned his bachelor's degree at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, and his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin. He performed postdoctoral research at Cornell University before joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has earned several awards and fellowships for his work and is now a J. Andrew and Susan S. Langan Professorial Scholar.

Kaler Science lectures are filmed by Parkland College TV for later viewing. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned before the 8 p.m. show, "Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries," a program highlighting the staff who work with Chile's world-class observatories and telescopes.

Admission to fulldome shows is $6 for adults or $5 for children, students, or seniors. Please visit for the show schedule or call 217/351-2568 for information about booking the dome.

Parkland College Trustees Meet Ahead of Spring Break

Board of Trustees General Meeting, March 9

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Ahead of next week's spring break, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved purchases to enhance campus spaces and key personnel appointments.  At its regular meeting Wednesday, the board heard administrative updates from President Tom Ramage. Executive Director of the Parkland Foundation, Tracy Wahlfeldt, also provided the board with updates on the Foundation's recent activities. 

The board made moves to refresh departmental spaces around campus with new equipment, technology, and furniture; approved training and certification purchases to ensure academic advisors can continue to meet the needs of students; and agreed to an ahtletic trainer contract to help protect Parkland athletes.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • renewal of employment contracts for Vice President for Student Services, Michael Trame and Vice President for Academic Services, Nancy Sutton

  • the purchase of:

    • audio-visual equipment from Tierney Brothers, $60,000

    • contract with Carle Hospital for athletic training room and event coverage, $24,720

    • academic coaching training and certification services from Lifebound, LLC, $26,000

    • services from Central States Media, $190,000

    • services from McKenzie-Wagner, $130,000

    • furniture from Krueger International, $600,000

    • furniture from Krueger International, $24,136

  • the filing of the following grant applications:

    • U.S. Department of State: IDEAS Program Small Grants Competition

    • Gene Haas Foundation: Post-Secondary Program Scholarships and Sponsorship Grant

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

  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Competency-Based Education Program Development

  • personnel appointments: 

    • Melanie Lewis, Manager, Human Resources

    • Melissa Munster, Assistant Teacher, Child Development Center

    • Eric Shell, Office Assistant, Advising and Career Services

    • Chris Murphy-Lucas, Operations Manager, Career and Technical Education

    • Nicholas Eisenmenger, Precision Ag Faculty, Agriculture

Celebrate the Arts: Youth Art Contest Announces Winners for 2022

Congratulations to the winners of the second annual Youth Arts Contest!

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Community Education and Giertz Gallery are thrilled to announce the winners for the second annual Celebrate the Arts! Youth Art Contest.

Student entries were featured in an online awards ceremony on March 8, during which placements and honorable mentions were named. First place winners (out of over 80 participants) in the three age categories received a full scholarship to a Parkland summer camp.

Entries were judged by Tanya Scott, curator of education for the University Galleries at Illinois State University; and Matthew Watt, professor of Art and Design at Parkland College.

Congratulations to our winners, and to all the wonderful young artists who continue to inspire us with their talent and creativity!


Ages 7-10:

  1. Emma Lan, “Rooster & Hen Family,” Chinese brush painting

  2. Faith To, “A Rainy Day,” painting

  3. Max Cajavilca, “Bear and the Girl,” drawing

  4. Honorable mention: Avery Anderson, “Flowers,” collage; Walker Chapman, “Mountain Top,” painting; Emma Emry, “Untitled Cat,” painting; Chloe Lee, “Under the Full Moon,” painting; Adela Pena Martin, “A sunset of feelings,” drawing; April Yu, “The Classic of Mountains and Seas-Dijiang,” drawing






Ages 11-13:

  1. Grace Pierce, “Blueberry Pie,” ceramics

  2. Lily Jones, “Pink Dream,” painting

  3. Eireann Byard, “Eco-business park,” drawing

  4. Honorable mention: Matthew Gray, “Falcon,” sculpture; Adrian Schneider, “Rose and Thorn,” digital; Kylah Sparks, “Worm in Apple,” ceramics; Addison Townsend, “Cat Conversation,” photography








Ages 14-18:

  1. Sylvie Leyerle, “Finding Place,” painting

  2. Tracy Li, “Yellow Girls,” painting

  3. Amelia Case, “Two Eleven,” painting

  4. Honorable mention: Honora Hoey, “Implied World,” collage; Grace Kahler, “Spiral,” photography; Joshua Pierce, “Summer Peace,” oil painting; Erin Shin, “The Truth We Hide,” painting; Jeana To, “Self Portraits in Quarantine,” drawing

Staerkel Planetarium to Present Birdwatching Lecture

Parkland Planetarium Hosts Local Birdwatcher, Jeffrey Bryant

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Local avian enthusiasts are invited to join the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College for a lecture on birdwatching.

On Wednesday, March 9 at 7 p.m., Jeffrey Bryant will present "Birds: It's Not About What but Where." Tickets are $2 or free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Bryant, an avid birder, visits several locations around east central Illinois to observe and photograph various species. For this lecture, planetarium producer and Bryant's wife Waylena McCully will present hundreds of his photos on the dome, along with bird's-eye views of the terrain where the photos were taken. Attendees may recognize several parks and preserves around Champaign County and other nearby locations.

Bryant earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics at Ball State University, researching variable star systems. As part of his work for Wolfram Research, he composes blog posts about visualizations of astronomical phenomena using the Wolfram Language.

Please visit for the show schedule or call 217/351-2568 for information about booking the dome.