The Parkland College Blog

Celebrate Respiratory Care Week!

Learn about one of the best kept secrets in healthcare

  • Kim Pankau | Midge Seim
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Your breathing matters, today and every day! The American Association for Respiratory Care and thousands of respiratory therapists across the nation who care for patients and their families are celebrating and recognizing the role of the respiratory therapist during Respiratory Care Week, October 21–27.  Happy #RCWEEK18!


When we think of healthcare, we think of doctors and nurses. Anyone who has had routine dental care might also include the dental hygienist. As a profession, respiratory care remains one of the best kept secrets in healthcare. Why?

Breathing is so fundamental, we often take it for granted, that's why. However, for the patient with a chronic lung condition such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, or pulmonary fibrosis, breathing requires conscious effort and often dictates the day's activities. In fact, most of the students coming into Parkland College's Respiratory Care program either needed a respiratory therapist, or met a respiratory therapist through a family member who needed a respiratory therapist!

The Parkland College Respiratory Care program prepares future respiratory therapists to provide patient assessment, diagnostic testing, a variety of respiratory treatments, patient education, and life support with mechanical ventilation for patients of all ages. Where will our graduates work? Everywhere.Parkland College Respiratory Care Program

The respiratory therapist is at the bedside in the emergency department, in the critical care units, on the medical and surgical units, in the home, and in the physician's office. The respiratory therapist will care for patients of all ages, from the neonate born too soon to the oldest of the old. The care they provide may be life-sustaining or may provide symptom relief and comfort.

Respiratory care doesn't have to remain a secret.

Employment opportunities for respiratory therapists remain excellent both locally and nationally.  For more information, please contact Respiratory Care Program Director Midge Seim, RRT-NPS (  We would love to share the secret of the possibilities in respiratory care.

[Above: Carle/Uof I medical student listens while a Parkland Respiratory student explains the variety of metered dose and dry powder inhalers for respiratory care.]

Parkland College Shows "Clean" Fiscal Health in Audit

Trustees receive external audit, fall enrollment, tax savings reports

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Parkland College's financial fitness has again received top marks in the school's external audit. 

On Wednesday, Parkland College's Board of Trustees officially accepted the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from Martin Hood, LLC. The report presents the college with an unqualified "clean" opinion of its FY 2018 financial statements, the best type to receive from independent review. The audit highlights the college's exemplary fiscal management and includes reports on Parkland's schedule of expenditures of federal awards and its internal control over financial reporting and compliance.

Also at their regular meeting, the trustees heard reports on fall enrollment and on the tax savings homeowners will receive due to bond refinancing.
The board received the fall enrollment update from Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski. Smigielski noted the number of high school students taking advantage of Parkland courses continues to increase, with a 21.61 percent increase in early college enrollment through dual credit, Early College and Career Academy (ECCA), and the new Early Transfer Academy (ETA). While fall 2018 headcount decreased by 1.19 percent, the college's enrollment decline overall has slowed and diversity of the student population continues to increase. 

Chief Financial Officer Christopher Randles also reminded trustees that the college has completed its bond refinancing, and the result will be a projected 2.18 percent decrease in the college's taxpayer burden. The college will also set the levy for tax year 2018 in November. 

The Trustees also approved a program-specific reduction-in-force of a full-time faculty member effective in academic year 2019-2020. 

In other business Wednesday, trustees approved the following:

  • the purchase of white paper from Veritiv Operating Co. of Morton, Ill., for $24,480
  • emergency expense for the D-wing elevator for Kone, Inc. of Peoria, $54,138
  • new boiler system for the Child Development Center from Reliable Mechanical Co. of Champaign, $45,340
  • purchase of Kaplan Test Prep's Integrated Testing Program and NCLEX-RN Review Course for its Practical Nursing program, up to $23,850 
  • personnel appointments:
    • Krystal Garrett, Assistant to the President and the Board of Trustees; Garrett will fill the position vacated by Nancy Willamon on Feb. 1, 2019.
    • Beth Burdette, Purchasing Agent, Business Office
    • J. Maurine Sterrett, Financial Aid Assistant, Financial Aid and Veteran Services
    • Melanie Whited, Academic Success Coach-Student Engagement Specialist, Center for Academic Success
    • Somphon Penland, Police Officer, Public Safety

"Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" Opens at Theatre Nov. 8

Comedy about murders, secret identities, and the Golden Age of Broadway

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"The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940," written by John Bishop, comes to the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre November 8–18.
When their latest Broadway musical closes after the murder of three chorus girls, the writers and stars escape to Westchester to work on their next hit. Unfortunately, the murderer has followed them upstate! A comedy about murders, secret identities, and the Golden Age of Broadway, "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" is a modern classic in the vein of Clue and Murder by Death.
Mathew Green directs a cast of campus, alumni, and community players including Karen Hughes, Chelsea Collier, Wesley Bennett, Jace Jamison, Monty Joyce, Mallory Sellers, Quinton Ohlsson, Jenny Gleason, Ed Pierce, Mindy Smith, and Parker Evans. The show includes lighting design by Stuart Wilson, scenic design by Molly Ilten-Fullan, sound design by Dominick Rosales, props design by Yen Vi Green, and costume design by Sheri Doyle.
Performances will be Nov. 8, 9, 10, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 11 and 18 at 3 p.m. The Nov. 8 performance includes a talkback immediately following show, where the director and cast and crew members discuss the show and answer audience questions.
Tickets are $15 for adult, $13 for student/senior, $9 for youth and $11 for groups of 20 or more. Opening night is half-price night. To make reservations, visit or call the show hotline at 217/351-2528. 

Cobras Win 23rd Straight Conference Crown

Women's Volleyball sweeps trio of conference matches

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The second-ranked Parkland Volleyball team clinched its 23rd consecutive Mid-West Athletic Conference Championship Saturday with a sweep of No. 16 Lincoln Land, and then added two more sweeps with wins against Lewis & Clark and John Wood. The three wins move the Cobras' overall record to 41-2 on the season.
Having won each M-WAC title since the conference's inception in 1996, the Cobras have won the conference title outright in every year except 2003. In 2003, Parkland shared the crown with John Wood. The 6-0 record against conference foes this season marks the 15th straight undefeated regular season against M-WAC opponents.
On Wednesday night, the Cobras clinched the top seed for the Region 24 tournament with a win at Illinois Central. The Cobras will host the regional semifinal on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
In the three straight-set victories on Saturday, the Cobras hit an impressive .419 on the afternoon while also posting 33 blocks combined on the three conference rivals. Individually, freshman setter Rachel Verdun tallied two double-doubles, giving her 14 on the season, outside hitter Amanda Greening knocked down 28 kills and middle blocker Dakota Harmon led the team with 13 blocks.
No. 2 Parkland 3, No. 16 Lincoln Land 0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-21) -- Box Score 

In their conference-title-clinching victory beginning the day, the Cobras were dominant in both its attack game (.324 hitting percentage) and defensive efforts (14 blocks). Offensively, the Cobras hit .324 as Verdun kept the Loggers guessing with five Cobras recording five or more kills. Opposite side hitter Katelyn Riffle led the team with nine, while middle blockers Shelby Nunamker and Harmon added eight and seven, respectively.
In addition to her seven kills, Harmon also led Parkland's block with seven stuffs, while Nunamker and Riffle each added in five more. Freshman libero Brooke Norder held down the back line with 22 digs, while Maggie Sorensen (12), Ryleigh Warfel (14), and Verdun (10) also reached double figures.
No. 2 Parkland 3, Lewis & Clark 0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-16) -- Box Score 
Parkland again overmatched its second opponent of the day, winning by at least nine points in all three sets against Lewis & Clark. After a seven-kill and serve-block performance in the morning victory, Harmon was again featured in the win over the Trailblazers with 10 errorless kills, tied with Gabby Wessels for the team lead, and six blocks to lead the team. Verdun recorded her second double-double of the day with 40 assists and 11 digs to go along with five kills.
No. 2 Parkland 3, John Wood 0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-8) -- Box Score
The Cobras wasted no time dispatching John Wood in their final match of the day, outscoring the Blazers by a total of 75-40. Orchestrated by setter Ashley King's 36 assists, the Cobras hit .515 in the match. Greening led the efficient attack with 22 swings, converting 17 of the attempts for a kill on a .727 hitting percentage. The 17 kills set a new season high for the freshman. On the opposite side, Abby Burnett added in eight kills, while Nunamker and Sidney Heck each recorded six kills.
Holding its opponent to single digits in two of the three sets, the Cobras defense recorded 11 team blocks, highlighted by middle blocker Hannah Benson's seven stuffs and 17 digs by Ellie Stone.
Up next, Parkland Volleyball will wrap up the away portion of its regular season schedule next weekend, Oct. 19–20, back in Springfield at the Lincoln Land Tournament. The Cobras will face Waubonsee (Ill.) and Kansas City (Kan.) on Friday before battling Neosho County (Kan.) and No. 8 Grand Rapids (Mich.) on Saturday.

[Article by Chad Beyler]

Parkland Scholarships: Apply Now

Apply for $100,000+ in spring semester scholarships through Nov. 15

  • Eastin |
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The Parkland College Foundation is now offering scholarships for the spring 2019 semester. More than 90 scholarships, totaling more than $100,000, are available! Individual amounts can range from $100 to $3,000.

The primary application period is October 15–November 15, 2018 (and March 15–April 15, 2019 for the fall 2019 semester), but Parkland posts scholarships throughout the academic year. The funds are there, just waiting for the right student to apply. Will it be you? Check out the tips for success below:

Searching Our Scholarships

Log in to your Parkland College student portal account and either select the "100-dollar bill" icon or select "Scholarship Search" under the Student Services tab. You will find a listing of all currently available scholarships; Parkland Foundation scholarship information will be posted along with scholarships provided by external organizations. You can also customize your search by selecting "Eligible Scholarships" from the drop down menu, based on the scholarship criteria you indicate.

Getting Help with Your Application

  • Most scholarship applications require you to write an essay, but don’t be intimidated! The Center for Academic Success at Parkland College in Room D120 includes a Writing Lab that is open and available to all students. Stop by CAS for free help from English instructors with any writing project you might have. For more information, visit D120 or log in to the student portal and select "Tutoring & Learning Assistance" under the Student Services tab.

  • Most scholarships also require at least one letter of recommendation. These should be from someone who knows you well, but not a friend or family member. Think of people who know your academic history, your work ethic, and your involvement in school and the community.  Give people plenty of time to write the letter for you.

Expand Your Search!

The student portal is not the only place you can find scholarships for the upcoming semester; high school guidance counselors are a great resource for finding local scholarships. Additionally, many employers offer scholarships to their employees and the family members of their employees. Be sure to check with any civic, community, religious, or professional organizations of which you or your parents are members. 

Finally, you can try reputable online resources for scholarships including Fastweb, CollegeBoard, and Keep this in mind as you search: A reputable scholarship organization will not ask you to pay a fee to apply.

Happy hunting!


[Haiti Eastin is a financial aid advisor for Parkland College.]