The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College to Receive Mercedes-Benz Car Donation

Automotive Technology program receives generous donation from Mercedes-Benz

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Parkland College's Automotive Technology program has received a generous donation from Mercedes-Benz USA in the form of a vehicle for use as an instructional aid within a recently established training partnership.

Parkland received the 2017 E300 luxury sedan in early August as part of the Mercedes-Benz Technician Training and Development Program. Mercedes-Benz USA expanded its training and development programs in recent years to combat the shortage of qualified automotive technicians in the US.

The donation will allow Parkland College's Automotive Technology and Motorsport students to complete up to 20 Mercedes-Benz certifications while in the program, according to Parkland Transportation Faculty Chair Jon Ross.

"The Transportation Programs at Parkland College are excited to be able to offer the training in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz USA," said Ross. "The donation by Mercedes-Benz USA reinforces the quality and reputation of our automotive training program. We have a long relationship with our local Mercedes-Benz service center, Sullivan-Parkhill Imports. This new partnership will enhance the opportunity for students to enter the workplace with additional certifications that our employers are looking for."

Students in the program will also be able to:

  • Receive exposure to innovative Mercedes-Benz technologies and products

  • Develop a skill set for success as a Mercedes-Benz Registered Technician and beyond

  • Earn a potential internship at a Mercedes-Benz dealership

  • Gain experience on the latest equipment in the industry

  • Receive basic to intermediate technical training from campus instructors

  • Complete the online course and in-dealer internship to earn their Registered Technician Certification

For more information on the Automotive Technology program and the Mercedes-Benz training program, please email

[Image from Sullivan-Parkhill Imports, Inc.]

Faculty, Staff Excellence Winners for 2020

Parkland College employees honored with campus and regional awards for the 2020 academic year

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Parkland College employees were honored with campus and regional awards for superior instruction and service during the school's 2020 academic year. Most were nominated through Parkland College's Professional Development Subcommittees for Faculty and Staff.

Dr. C. Britt Carlson, Chemistry
2020 ICCTA Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award, Illinois Community College Trustees Association

  • A biomolecular chemistry grad from UniversityKaizad Irani of Wisconsin, Madison, Carlson has taught at Parkland College since 2013

  • Received a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, recently renewed (PRECS program)

  • Selected to serve on NSF grant review panels and to participate in an NSF-AACC (National Science Foundation - American Association of Community Colleges) Summit on undergraduate research experiences at community colleges

  • Chosen for AAWCC's (American Assocation for Women in Community Colleges) 40 Under 40 Award

Dr. Franklin Gallo, Music
2020 ICCTA Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award for Parkland College, Illinois Community College Trustees Association

  • In demand as a national and regionalTracy Dotson guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter, and composer, Gallo serves as Musical Instructor and Choral Director at Parkland 

  • Has held faculty positions at DePaul University (IL), The Hartt School, University of Hartford (CT), and at Shepherd University (WV), teaching courses in musicianship, choral conducting, choral literature, and choral pedagogy

  • Awarded the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize

  • His compositions have been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Colla Voce Music, and Hal Leonard

  • Featured in BH Contemporary and Secular Choral Series, Doreen Rao's Choral Music Experience, Henry Leck's Creating Artistry Choral Series, and the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series

Mark-Saint McDowell, TRiO/Student Support Services
2020 Outstanding Staff Gold Award

  • Academic Coordinator Chris Warrenwith TRiO/Student Support Services for 18 years

  • After working at the University of Illinois (where he completed a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.Ed. in Human Resources) for 14 years, joined Parkland in 2002

  • Has been heavily involved in Parkland and the surrounding community, participating in numerous CETL sessions, attending Parkland's Leadership Academy, PSS union meetings, and the Parkland Bowling League!

  • Readily supports activities sponsored by Admissions, Accessibility Services, Student Life, and Black Student Success Project

  • Colleagues have said, "I returned to Parkland College, and TRiO in particular, because of the office culture that he helped create. I know with Mark I have a wonderful mentor who is able and willing to help me to be my best in my career and when serving my students.”

Kendra McClure, Communications
2020 Parkland Teaching Excellence Award Winner

  • Associate Kendra McClureprofessor of communication, McClure has served at Parkland College full-time since 2010

  • Holds a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Eastern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Valparaiso University

  • Named Parkland’s Online Teaching Excellence Award winner in 2018

  • Her online courses stand out because of her attention to detail, clear expectations, and personal interactions with her students

  • A founder and faculty advisor for Applied Media Promotions (AMP), a student-staffed strategic communication firm on campus that received the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation's Innovation in Engagement Award in 2015


Amy Frasca, Humanities and Fine and Applied Arts
2020 Outstanding Staff Green Award (<5 Years)

  • As Department Assistant, Amy has Sarah Hartmanimplemented many improvements to the department’s processes and recordkeeping, such as moving processes online and facilitating demo/training sessions on SharePoint

  • A native of Peoria, Illinois, she is a graduate of Parkland College and Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree

  • Serves on PCA’s Sustainable Campus Committee, PSS Union Audit Committee, and is part of the Parkland Chamber Singers and a trained EEO representative

  • Described by her colleagues as "the definition of 'grace under pressure'", "eager to learn new things and to implement what she learns", and "a proud student and staff member of Parkland [that] truly believes in...the artistic creations that we contribute to our community."

Parkland College to Host Town Hall Q&A, August 13

Digital Town Hall discussion about Fall 2020 to be held over Zoom

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Parkland College will be hosting a digital Town Hall Q&A session on Thursday, August 13, from 6:30–7:30 pm via Zoom. Please visit for the Zoom information and other details about the event.

The Town Hall is an opportunity for students and members of the community to get answers for their questions surrounding the upcoming Fall 2020 semester in a moderated panel discussion. Panelists will include President Dr. Ramage, Executive Vice President Dr. Lau, Vice President for Student Services Mike Trame, Associate VP for Academic Services Dr. Nancy Sutton, Dean of Students Dr. Marietta Turner, Dean of Counseling Services Dr. Suzy Jones, Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski, and Director of Professional Development and Instructional Technology Dr. Amy Penne.

Topics covered will include COVID-19 planning overview, educational plans, modes of instruction, and a Q&A session consisting of questions from the community. Participants are encouraged to send in their questions in advance by visiting and completing the attached form. Questions asked through the form must be submitted by Thursday at 8 am.

To answer as many questions as possible, participants can also live-chat during the presentation with representatives from across the college via the Zoom chat.

Select Campus Offices Re-open

In-person appointments for Admissions, Financial Aid, Cashier available

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Parkland College has opened select student-service focused offices on campus on a limited basis.

The Admissions office, Financial Aid office, and the Cashier’s office will open beginning Monday, July 13 to prospective and current students from 7:30 a.m.—5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, for in-person appointment and drop-in hours. 

The community is encouraged to continue to reach out to Parkland via telephone and email for requests which do not need to be completed in-person during this time. For questions regarding fall registration, please call the Admissions department at 217/351-2482, email them at, or visit

Besides these office reopenings, campus remains closed to the general public, and the college will be closed on Fridays until August 7. 

Update on Fall 2020 Instruction Announced

Update on Fall 2020 Instruction

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Parkland College recently announced campus measures for the fall 2020 semester that will ensure safer instruction in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.  

On Tuesday, Parkland's Academic Services department informed students that the college's fall plan is contingent upon the district progressing to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan and is thus subject to change. Students can nonetheless expect a high quality of instruction and connection with faculty this fall.

The campus's measures include the following changes: 

  • Instruction will include both online and on-campus options, with on-campus courses delivered as hybrid courses. While course sections will run as currently scheduled, students with campus-based courses will attend some meetings on the campus and complete some coursework online. If a course is listed as on-campus, there will be an on-campus component at the time scheduled.

  • Social distancing and safety guidelines will be enacted. Students may be divided into small groups for on-campus meetings to allow for social distancing. Courses with larger enrollment may require staggered scheduling for on-campus meetings.

  • Many on-campus class meetings will end Nov. 20. To minimize the number of on-campus meetings after the Thanksgiving break, many of Parkland College's transfer classes will end their on-campus instructional component by Nov. 20, with the online component continuing through the end of the semester. Career classes that require in-person labs may continue on-campus meetings through the semester's end.

  • Communication with faculty will be key. Faculty will be in touch with students prior to the start of the semester to let them know which of the scheduled days they should attend. 

The college will be in timely communication with the campus community regarding any developments that will impact instruction.
Registration for Parkland College fall courses is underway; students can review step-by-step directions on how to register.