The Parkland College Blog

See 2019'S Only Full Lunar Eclipse through Telescopes

Planetarium, CUAS to provide free, closer views of Jan. 20 event

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Residents can enjoy free telescopic viewing of next month's total lunar eclipse, the only such eclipse visible for the area in 2019.  

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College will join the CU Astronomical Society in making telescopes available to the public for the Sunday, Jan. 20 eclipse starting at 9 p.m., weather-permitting.  

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Full Moon passes through Earth's shadow. Given the Moon's orbit is five degrees off Earth's orbital plan, most Full Moons miss Earth's shadow. The darkest part of Earth's shadow will encroach upon the Moon at 9:34 p.m. CST. The Moon will be completely in shadow by 10:41 p.m. and will remain there for about an hour. The Moon will begin to emerge from the shadow at 11:44 p.m., leaving a Full Moon in the sky again by 12:51 a.m. Monday.   

At mid-eclipse (11:12 p.m.), the Moon may take on a reddish hue, often referred to as a "blood Moon". The sight has nothing to do with blood, however. It occurs because sunlight, bending through Earth's atmosphere, often hits the Moon; the atmosphere then scatters some of the blue part of the spectrum (what brings our blue skies), leaving this reddish light.  

Of course, dark skies are not needed to see a lunar eclipse, and unlike their solar counterparts, they are very safe to watch. 

Please note that this lunar viewing is not a planetarium show; it will be held outside. CUAS members will be outside the planetarium beginning at 9 p.m. observing the eclipse. The planetarium offers ample parking and a lobby where residents can warm up. Participants should park in the M1 parking lot and dress warmly!

Call the planetarium at 217/351-2567 for updates to the viewing if the weather seems uncertain.  

[Image sourcenasa.gov]

Parkland Baseball Removes Jon Goebel’s Interim Tag

Four-year pitching coach takes reigns of National Runners-Up

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Parkland Athletic Director Brendan McHale announced on Wednesday evening the removal of head coach Jon Goebel's interim tag. Parkland's pitching coach over the previous four seasons, the former Cobra led a pitching staff that routinely ranked among the best in Division II and helped the team reach three straight NJCAA DII World Series. Goebel was originally named Parkland's the interim head coach after former head coach Dave Garcia accepted an assistant coaching job at Western Carolina University.

"Jon has done an incredible job working as the interim head coach of the Cobra Baseball team for the last several months," McHale explained. "He continues to lead our baseball team in a very positive and successful way by consistently setting the expectation of our student athletes to excel in the classroom as well as on the baseball field. Jon has the respect of our student athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and administration. We are fortunate to have Jon's talents leading our baseball program, and we are pleased to add him to our already incredible coaching staff here at Parkland College. The Cobra family is looking forward to seeing the excellence Jon will bring to the program as the head coach."

By suppressing opponents' offense, Goebel and the Cobras pitchers have led Parkland to three consecutive NJCAA DII World Series appearances, including back-to-back top-three finishes highlighted by a National Runner-Up finish last season. Winners of 50-plus games in 2017 and 2018, the Cobras have dominated Region 24 and the Mid-West Athletic Conference with three straight titles.

"Coaching at Parkland is unique," said Goebel of the opportunity. "There are so many factors to being a success here. You have to win, but you also have to develop and advance players. I love that about junior college. I want pressure to win and so do the athletes. I can't thank Parkland and Mr. McHale enough for this opportunity. I made a commitment to this program in July, and now it's time to see it through."

Taking over development of Parkland pitchers prior to the 2015 season, Goebel's staff has combined to lead the nation in strikeouts each of the last three years and earned run average (ERA) and batting average against (BAA) in two of the last three seasons.  In that span, the Cobras have struck out more than 11 batters per nine in each of the last three campaigns, including 12.89 in 2018, and twice held a staff ERA under 3.00.

Individually, Goebel has sent 21 hurlers on to either the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft or an NCAA Division I program. Highlighting Goebel's mentorship is two-time NJCAA All-American Brady Schanuel. Twice selected in the MLB draft while at Parkland—2015 by the Oakland Athletics and 2016 by the Philadelphia Phillies—Schanuel moved on to pitch at Ole Miss and the University of Iowa before signing with the Milwaukee Brewers after his junior season. By committing to Ole Miss, Schanuel became the first Parkland baseball player ever to commit to a school in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Prior to his previous four years, Goebel also was a member of the 2009-2010 coaching staff that guided the Cobras to the NJCAA World Series and took fifth place. Additionally, the team featured current Major Leaguers Kevin Kiermaier (Tampa Rays), Nick Wittgren (Miami Marlins) and Daniel Winkler (Atlanta Braves).

During his playing days, Goebel played four years of collegiate baseball, first at Forest Park Community College in St. Louis and then went on to play two years at Bradley.

Goebel and the 2019 Parkland Baseball team will make its season debut Feb. 22 in Gallatin, Tenn., against Volunteer State.

[Article by Chad Beyler]

New Career Program Degree, Certificates

Trustees approve three new credentials at meeting

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Parkland College officials approved curricula for three new career credentials and learned more about a new student start-up cohort coming this spring.

At its regular meeting Wednesday, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved the school's new Advanced Unmanned Aircraft Systems certificate, the Agriculture Retail Operations certificate, and the Advanced Applicator Technician AAS degree. The programs will go through a final review for approval with the Illinois Community College Board and, in the case of the AAS degree, Illinois Board of Higher Education in the new year.

The nine-credit-hour Advanced UAS certificate course capitalizes on a field seeing significant growth and sector diversification; drone operations affect defense, precision agriculture, remote sensing, journalism, municipal police and fire, real estate, and other industries. Parkland's Institute of Aviation offered its debut UAS certificate this fall and is using National Science Foundation grant funds to increase this valuable training. Building on the current certificate, the Advanced UAS certificate course will prepare aviation and UAS students with specific skills in drone data collection, improving employment as commercial UAS operators.

The Agriculture Retail Operations certificate and its parent program, Advanced Applicator Technician AAS, are a part of the planned Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture at Parkland College, and were developed in response to the need of retail agribusiness leaders within the precision agriculture sector. The AAS program will prepare students for careers as advanced applicator technicians. Graduates will be proficient in basic agronomic skills, operating applicator equipment, and applying applicator procedures in accordance with Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The certificate program will prepare students in inventory management, agribusiness-related computer applications, as well as the basic agronomic and computational skills required in day-to-day operations at retail facilities.

Stephanie Stuart, Parkland College's vice president for communications and external affairs, gave a status report on the new CobraVenture student entrepreneur cohort. Eleven current Parkland students representing a variety of academic disciplines were selected to participate in the program debuting next month.

Trustees also approved the following:

  • purchase of a flight training device from Frasca International, Inc., Urbana, for $335,000. The purchase of the Frasca Piper Archer AATD flight simulator will provide the training platform needed to adjust to ongoing aircraft upgrades and will more economically train flight instructors on new aircraft equipment.

  • personnel appointments:

    • Julia Hawthorne, Director of TRiO/Student Support Services, Student Services

    • Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, Student Services

    • Jacob Walwer, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Justin Jacobson, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Jonathan Goebel, Head Coach/Fitness Center Director, Athletics

    • Stephanie Manuel, Nursing Adjunct Faculty, Health Professions

    • Maret Matthew, International Student Services Advisor, Admissions

    • Katie Raisner, TRiO/Student Support Services Advisor, Student Services

Ready for a bachelor's or master's degree? Use your Parkland credits! The following colleges will have representatives on hand this spring in the Student Union (unless otherwise noted) to discuss four-year degrees and transfer options.

Eastern Illinois University
College Center, X wing lounge
Thursday, March 14
Monday, April 8
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Ryan Howard

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Wednesday, March 27
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Sioban Lombardi

Private Illinois Colleges, Universities Fair
Wednesday, April 10
10:30 am–1:30 pm

University of Missouri-St. Louis
Monday, April 15
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Zakery Tierney

University of Illinois Springfield
Monday, April 15
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Miranda Swope

Aurora University
Tuesday, April 16
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Barbara McCarthy

Parkland College Board of Trustees Petitions Filed

Four candidates will run for three seats opening up in April

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Parkland College officials announced today that four candidates have filed to run for positions on the Parkland College Board of Trustees.

Bianca Truitt Green of Champaign, Jonathan Westfield of Savoy and Douglas Jones of Champaign have filed for the two six-year trustee terms that are expiring next April. Green and Westfield are incumbent trustees who have served on the board since 2015 and 2017, respectively. Jones is a surgeon at Christie Clinic in Champaign.

James L. Ayers of Monticello, also an incumbent, has filed for the four-year term expiring in April. Ayers has served the on the board since 1989.

The two six-year terms will run through April 2025, while the four-year term will run through April 2023. The election will be held April 2, 2019.

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