The Parkland College Blog

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

Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble in Concert Dec. 2

"Carols and Cheers" to include holiday-themed selections; Harold and Jean Miner Theatre

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The Parkland Chamber Singers and Parkland Wind Ensemble will hold their "Carols and Cheer" joint concert in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. 
Selections by the Parkland Chamber Singers will include "The World for Christmas--The Real Group" by Ander Edentroth; "Hope for Resolution" by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory; "An Advent Carol" by Ellen Gilson Voth; "Lo, How a Rose/The Rose" by Craig Hella Johnson; and "Gloria-I. Allegro Vivace" by John Rutter. Dr. Frank Gallow is director for the Parkland Chamber Singers, while Kristina Engberg serves as accompanist.  
The Parkland Wind Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Beckett, will perform several holiday-themed selections. Among them will be the rousing "Overture to a Winter Festival" by James Curnow; "Celtic Carol," an exciting arrangement by Robert W. Smith of the beautiful “Greensleeves”; and the contemporary and fun favorite made famous by Elvis, "Blue Christmas," arranged by the eminent Jay Dawson.
For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit

Veterans Day Ceremony, Nov. 12

Event to commemorate 100th anniversary of end of WWI

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Parkland College honors the men and women who serve in the U.S. military. The college will hold a 2018 Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. in the stage area of the Student Union (U building). The public is invited to attend.

On this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the country will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. 

Parkland's brief ceremony includes the posting of colors by the University of Illinois ROTC; singing of the National Anthem by Parkland alum Joseph Kirby; a welcome by Parkland College President Dr. Thomas Ramage, an Army National Guard veteran; and the presentation of campus veterans/order of service by Tim Wendt, Parkland's director of enrollment services and an Army veteran.

Champaign County American Legion Cmdr. Ronnie Turner-Winston, an Air Force veteran, will provide the featured speech. Elijah Ramirez, a Marine veteran and president of the Student Veterans at Parkland (SVAP) group, will provide closing remarks.There will also be a moment of silence with the playing of the "Bells of Peace" (a national World War I remembrance) before the retiring of the colors.

The 2018 Veterans Day observance is sponsored by the Student Veterans Association at Parkland (SVAP).