The Parkland College Blog

Classic Radio Dramas on WPCD Nov. 21

Hear COM student-edited, -produced dramas from radio's Golden Age

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Area residents can tune in to Parkland College's WPCD 88.7 FM radio station and online at next week to hear dramas from the Golden Age of radio.
Parkland College's COM 142 Advanced Radio Production students have edited and produced these classic dramas, using the voice talents of the college's COM 140 Voice and Diction students. Tune in at the following times to hear these shows:

"The Lone Ranger," noon
"Flash Gordon," 4 p.m.
"Boston’s Lone Wolf Terror," 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Deane Geiken, radio director, at 217/351-2450.

Trustees Approve 2018 Tax Levy, Project Drop in Tax Rate

Levy increased to capture revenue from increasing property values

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At its November meeting, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved the 2018 property tax levy, heard a quarterly report from the Parkland College Foundation, and swore in its newest police officer.

Trustees approved an increase to the school's property tax levy Wednesday night that will allow the college to capture additional tax revenue generated by an increase in the equalized assessed value (EAV) within the district. Officials assured the board and community that, based on the projections, district homeowners and businesses should still see an overall decrease in the college's tax rate on next year's bill. 

Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles shared that a recent survey of counties' EAV indicates an aggregate EAV increase of 4.52 percent over last year. For homeowners, the projected rate would decrease from $.54 to $.53 per hundred dollars of equalized assessed valuation.

After holding a public hearing on the issue during the meeting, trustees voted unanimously to make the $32 million levy request for 2018, an 11.84 percent increase over its 2017 tax levy extension in order to tax at the maximum operating tax rates with increases to the EAV of up to approximately 14 percent. Tax revenue to the college will be based on the actual extension, which will take place in the spring. 

Board members heard a report from Parkland College Foundation Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt that indicated more than $200,000 in scholarships had been awarded for the fall 2018 semester. Wahlfeldt shared that foundation funds have been used to make significant upgrades recently to the Staerkel Planetarium, the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre, and the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center. 

Trustees also approved the school's FY2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) audit, including the Schedule for Federal Awards, Internal Control, and Compliance reports. The report presented the college with an unqualified "clean" opinion of its FY 2018 financial statements, the best type to receive from independent review. 

During the meeting, the board swore in Somphon "Sam" Penland as a peace officer for the Parkland College Public Safety Department. Penland, a resident of Champaign, is a 9-1/2-year veteran of the Joliet Police Department. She worked previously as a telecommunicator and security guard at Parkland College.
In other business Wednesday, trustees approved the following:

  • the Parkland College 2020-2021 academic calendar, which had been approved by the school's faculty-staff senate and college council. Registration and payment deadlines for instructional sessions within each semester will be published in the class schedule and online at the college website,, and the student and employee portal,

  • the Board of Trustees' 2019 monthly meeting dates. Trustee meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in Room U325 on the Parkland campus unless otherwise announced; meeting dates will be available on the college's website.

  • renewal of the pricing agreement with global cloud software company Desire2Learn. D2L's Brightspace Learning Environment (branded at Parkland College as "Cobra Learning") is the learning management system students and instructors use for online, hybrid, and face-to-face course communication. The current pricing agreement expires June 30, 2019. 

  • personnel appointments:

    • David Ford, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Joseph Leinweber, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • John L. Maxwell, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • David Farmer, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • Jerow Scheel, Police Officer, Public Safety

Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Event this Saturday

Program includes free film viewing, counselor panel discussion; more

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Parkland College will host the 2018 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event this Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to noon, in Room U140  (Parkland College Student Union).

Created by an act of Congress in 1999 and sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. Attending a Survivor Day event is an opportunity for loss survivors to discover that they are not alone in their experience of losing someone they know and love to suicide.

Parkland's program will include a screening of AFSP's compelling documentary A Daughter's Journey; panel discussion with suicide and mental health professionals; and small-group discussion opportunities for those who have experienced a similar loss. An art activity and a visit with a comfort dog will also be available.

Register for this free event at For those who are unable to attend a Survivor Day event in person, AFSP hosts a Survivor Day program online at

For more information, contact Dennis Cockrum,, 217/353-2254, or Jennifer Klatsky,, 217/351-2453.

Cliff Hastings to be Inducted to NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame

Cobras have won two NJCAA titles under Coach Hastings

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Parkland Volleyball Head Coach Cliff Hastings will be inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, as announced by the league governing body Tuesday.

Hastings will be honored Wednesday, Nov. 14, during the NJCAA Division II Championship banquet that precedes this year's NJCAA DII Nationals in Charleston, W. Va.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to be honored with the induction into the NJCAA Hall of Fame this year," Hastings said. "While I like coaching, and think I'm fine at it, I think it's about having a good eye for talent and the unyielding confidence to paint the picture for these amazing young women why Parkland is the place for them.

"Recruiting is the fun part, but then every year we work our hardest to deliver on those promises both to the girls as well as to produce at our high level of expectations. Without surrounding myself with people better than me in amazing assistant coaches, we wouldn't be able to produce at this level year after year."

Now in his 10th season at the helm of the Cobras, Hastings has carried on the prestigious success of Parkland Volleyball. Under his direction, Parkland has won two NJCAA DII National Championships, made four appearances in the National Championship game and participated in the national tournament in every season. Overall, the success amounts to a 485-47 record at Parkland, an impressive .912-win percentage. The two National Championship titles came in 2015 and 2016, the second and third championships in Parkland Volleyball history. Following the 2015 title, Hastings was named the AVCA Two-Year College Coach of the Year.

Over the course of his first nine seasons, he has coached 20 NJCAA All-Americans and has reached the 50-win mark in each of the last six seasons. His program has also established success in the classroom as well, with 16 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Award recipients.

"My hope is that my 10 years of alumni and assistant coaches share in this accolade, as they are truly the reason for me to be acknowledged with this outstanding honor," Hastings said. "As all coaches know, it takes a village when balancing work, family and coaching, and I'm extremely grateful for my parents and husband who sacrifice a lot in helping take care of our kids while I'm focused on coaching for four months of the year."

The latest of his 50-win campaigns, the 2018 squad enters this weekend's NJCAA Nationals as the No. 2 seed after compiling a 53-2 overall record this season. Highlighting the resume is a 15-1 record against ranked opponents, a 23rd straight Mid-West Athletic Conference (M-WAC) Championship and an 11th straight Region 24 Championship. Following the Regional victory, Hastings was named the Region 24 Coach of the Year, while freshman setter Rachel Verdun was named the Region 24 Player of the Year. Joining Verdun as All-Region selections was Ryleigh WarfelBrooke NorderShelby Nunamaker and Katelyn Riffle.

Prior to his tenure at Parkland, Hastings spent nearly 10 years coaching at the club and high school levels. As the director of Prime Time Volleyball in Champaign, he has seen success coaching all age groups. In 2018, Hastings led a 12U team to an undefeated season in 2018.

In addition to leading the Cobras, Hastings is director of sales and strategic initiatives at Wolfram Research, Inc.

Joining Hastings in the 2018 Hall of Fame class is the late Heidi Cartisser of College of Southern Idaho.

[Article by Chad Beyler]

Parkland Jazz Combo Concert Nov. 26

Hear music of today's jazz artists, Second Stage Theatre

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The Parkland College Jazz Combo will be performing Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. at Parkland Theatre’s Second Stage. 

This concert is free and open to the public.
Led by Kevin Hart, the ensemble will perform selections from artists such as Herbie Hancock, Kenny Burrell, Steve Davis, Jeff Lorber, Jule Styne, and others.
For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit