The Parkland College Blog

"Give Kids a Smile" Dental Day, Feb. 16

Come in for free exams, cleanings, fluoride, for children ages 1–17

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Parkland College's Dental Hygiene Clinic will host a free "Give Kids a Smile Day" dental clinic for youths ages 1–17 Saturday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room L148.

Treatment provided will consist of dental exams and cleanings, fluoride treatments, and educational activities for children. No appointment is needed.

"Give Kids a Smile Day" is sponsored by the Illini District Dental Society in partnership with the Parkland College's Dental Hygiene program and the SmileHealthy Dental program through Promise Healthcare.

Individuals interested in this special event may contact Peg Boyce at 217/351-2386 or for more information. 

PRECS: Research Opportunity for US Community College Students

Parkland, UIUC opportunity offers biology research experience, stipend 

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Community college students interested in science are invited to conduct research as part of a paid 10-week biology research program at Parkland College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Called PRECS, or Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, the program is a collaboration between Parkland and the UIUC, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. It is designed to provide community college students with authentic research experiences in phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon of a single genotype producing multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Parkland College is currently seeking 10 community college students to participate in PRECS, which will run May 22 to July 31, 2019. Students selected to participate in the summer program will be paired with research mentors at the University of Illinois, working on such projects as:

  • the interaction between genotype and ozone pollution on maize growth

  • the effect of environmental stress on neuroanatomy

  • the interactions of genes and environment on fish behavior

Students will earn a $5,500 stipend for their participation in PRECS. Housing and food allowances, as well as travel allowances (if needed) are also available.

Parkland College chemistry professor Dr. C. Britt Carlson and Dr. Nathan Schroeder of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created PRECS. The program is entering its third year, with 20 students from five states having benefited from the opportunity.

"Participating in a program like PRECS is a great way for students to gain experience, create new contacts, explore future careers, and build their resumes," Carlson said.

Students interested in participating in PRECS must be attending a community college, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and have completed General Biology I (General Chemistry I is also preferred). PRECS encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups.

"PRECS gave me a true experience, exposing me to what my life would be like after graduating with my bachelor's degree," according to Aaron West, a former PRECS participant. "I feel more prepared moving forward with my education."

Applications for summer 2019 are due March 15. For more information on PRECS, please visit

Ring Ceremony for Cobras Baseball Rescheduled

NJCAA-D2 World Series Runners-Up to get rings during Feb. 2 Men's Bball game

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Parkland Athletics Director Brendan McHale announced on Wednesday that the 2018 Parkland Baseball Ring Ceremony has been rescheduled for Feb. 2 during halftime of the 3 p.m. Cobras Men’s Basketball game at the Dodds Athletic Center. 

Originally scheduled for Jan. 12, the ceremony was canceled due to inclement weather. In addition to the ring ceremony, fans can catch both women’s and men’s basketball teams in action that day, as they host M-WAC opponent John Wood at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

"This is a great chance to recognize these incredible student athletes and coaches for their accomplishments at the national level," McHale said. "Parkland College is grateful for their time and dedication in the classroom and on the baseball field."  

Feb. 2 is also ALS Awareness Day, and the Parkland basketball teams will raise awareness and help support the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 

A three-time D2 World Series champ (2002, 2005 and 2009), the Cobras concluded their third consecutive trip to the NJCAA World Series last May with a second-place finish. The Cobras took home third place in 2017 and placed eighth in 2016.

The ring ceremony is open to the public.

"Spiders" Topic of Planetarium Science Talk

UI entomologist takes a look at spiders in the movies, our backyards

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"Spiders" will invade the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College next month, as a science talk. 

University of Illinois entomologist Dr. May Berenbaum will present "Spiderman vs. Spiders: Marvel vs. the Real World," the next presentation in the James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series, Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door with Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium admitted free of charge. 

Hollywood's depiction of spiders has little to do with the real world. Known locally for her annual "Insect Fear Film Festival," Berenbaum will look at spiders in the movies but then come back home to backyards in central Illinois to examine real spiders and their awesome diversity. There are over 45,000 species of spiders; what misconceptions might we have about these air-breathing, eight-legged arthropods? 

Berenbaum has been on the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1980, serving as head since 1992 and as Swanlund Chair of Entomology since 1996. She is known for elucidating chemical mechanisms underlying interactions between insects and their host plants, including detoxification of natural and synthetic chemicals, and for applying ecological principles in developing sustainable management practices for natural and agricultural communities. Her research has produced over 230 refereed scientific publications and 35 book chapters.

Devoted to teaching and fostering scientific literacy through formal and informal education, she has authored numerous magazine articles and six books about insects for the general public. Berenbaum received her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University in 1980. In 2014, she received the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama.

Following Berenbaum’s talk, the Staerkel Planetarium will present the show "Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum." Tickets for regular planetarium programming are $5 and $6. Call 217/351-2446 for a current schedule or visit the planetarium website

Parkland College Students Earn Flight Credentials

More than 45 credentials earned during summer, fall terms

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The following students earned flight credentials from the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College during the college's summer 2018 and fall 2018 terms.

Soloed for the First Time in a Piper Archer
Leonardo Andrade, Champaign
Sam Arend, Urbana
Evan Burge, Mahomet
Adam Cafin, Champaign
Daniel Cooper, Downs
Ryan Coulson, Mahomet
Sarah Day, Danville
John Dee, Urbana
Joshua Dye, Lockport
Peter Herrmann, Rockford
Rashid Hussain, Savoy
Ian Kunz, White Heath
Andrew Laub, Oregon
Aaron Padilla, Rantoul
Cody Pankau, Tuscola
Landon Tate, East Peoria
Daniel Wyckoff, Buckley
Jiaqi Yang, Shanghai, China

Earned a Private Pilot Airplane Single-Engine Land Certificate
Donald Brown, Beecher City
Ashley Dani, Champaign
Sarah Day, Danville
Joshua Dye, Lockport
Ian Kunz, White Heath
Jacob Renfrew, St. Joseph
Earned an Instrument Rating Certificate
Cullen Brucker, Melvin
Bryson Chancellor, Tolono
Lucas Charles, Sidney
Theoplus Coleman, Champaign
Trenton Edelman, Forrest
Louis M. Farrakhan, Crete
Spencer Mohr, Chicago
Colin Rudicil, Mahomet

Earned the Commercial Pilot Airplane Single-Engine Rating
Chloe Graver, St. Joseph
Jose Mora, Arcola
Kyle Schum, Mahomet
Dongjin Shin, Champaign
Jacob Walwer, Watseka
Allison Whitfield, Staunton

Earned the Certified Flight Instructor Airplane Single-Engine Certificate
Moises Diaz II, Schiller Park
Justin Jacobson, Downers Grove
Jacob Walwer, Watseka

Earned the Certified Flight Instructor Instrument Airplane Single-Engine
Tristan Polk, Champaign

Earned the Commercial Pilot Multi Engine Land Airplane Certificate
Justin Jacobson, Downers Grove
Kai Lopez, Urbana
Jacob Walwer, Watseka
Hui Wang, Urbana

Photos of the flight students who earned awards is available on the institute's Facebook page.

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 community 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.