The Parkland College Blog

Yesterday evening at the 2018 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, six students split $1,100 in cash awards for exhibiting excellent work.

Every spring, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs showcase their best work in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. 177 entries were received this year and a jury of Parkland’s design faculty selected 130 of those for inclusion in the show.

This year, we had $1,100 in prize money available. Most of the awards were donated by local businesses and supporters of Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs. These friends include Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], the Champaign County Stormwater Partnership, and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO), who all donated cash awards. CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

Two industry professionals were invited to come in to select the award winners. This year’s judges were David Michael Moore, a freelance graphic designer, illustrator & facilitator; and Natalie Fiol, a graphic designer at the University of Illinois’s College of Fine + Applied Arts and resident photographer of Dance at Illinois. Natalie was also an alumni of Parkland’s Graphic Design program from 2012. Their task was to find the 11 best pieces in the show and then select the one piece that would receive the coveted “best of show” award.

“I felt creatively rejuvenated and inspired after judging the 2018 Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show,” said Natalie Fiol. “Overall, the work features a nice mix of playful, classic, and contemporary styles and the illustration work was particularly strong this year. It was an honor to have a voice in the selection of this year’s awards.”

“I was very impressed with the selection for this year’s show,” added David Michael Moore. “I’m excited for this next wave of design coming from Parkland College!”

More than 200 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family, and students attended the reception. At 6:30 p.m., each of the winners were acknowledged with a round of applause, a certificate, and a check.

Here’s who won (clicking on an image below will open a larger image in a new window):

• Graphic Design Best of Show

Coloring book by Kristy Lau

Coloring book by Kristy Lau


• Illustration Best of Show (sponsored by The Robeson Family)

Illustration by Abby Eichstedt

Illustration by Abby Eichstedt


• President’s Award of Excellence

Poster by Brooke Armstrong

Poster by Brooke Armstrong


• Surface 51 Award of Excellence

Album cover by Abby Eichstedt

Album cover by Abby Eichstedt


• Surface 51 Excellence in Typography Award

Brand promotion by Brooke Armstrong

Branding Campaign by Brooke Armstrong


• [co][lab] Award of Excellence

Logo by Arnie Lack

Logo by Arnie Lack


• CUDO Award of Excellence

Poster by Kristy Lau

Poster by Kristy Lau


• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence

Website by Justin Klett

Website by Justin Klett


• Champaign County Stormwater Partnership Environmental Stewardship Award

Branding Campaign by Kristy Lau

Branding Campaign by Kristy Lau


• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award

Poster by

Poster by Miriam Tworek-hofstetter


• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award

Menu by Brooke Armstrong

Menu by Brooke Armstraong


The 2018 Parkland Graphic Design Student Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery through May 31. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm (closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

To see more examples of student work from Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs, please visit our virtual galleries.

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest Winners

Six students earned top honors at 15th annual event

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Six students earned top honors among the 15 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 15th annual David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest. The contest spotlights the speaking styles and skills of students who have taken a communication class at Parkland College. 
The May 3 competition also gave students the opportunity to speak in support of their favorite charity. Local as well as national and international charities were represented.
Earning first-place honors in this year's competition was Clayton Maupin of Mahomet, whose speech supporting The Trevor Project earned him a $500 scholarship. The Trevor Project will also receive a $500 donation from the Communication program faculty. Maupin explained how participation in the contest benefited him.

"What I am feeling since winning is that I am on the right path in my life," he said. "I knew I wanted to help organizations like them for years now, but I wasn't sure speaking about them would warrant any tangible help. Now, before I have even earned a degree, I am helping in meaningful ways. So what I gained was a renewed sense of purpose along with a confidence boost."
Gayle McDonald of Champaign came in second with her speech for the Wesley Food Pantry. She will receive $250. Derek Schneider of Champaign was third, with a speech asking the audience to support Heifer International. He will receive $100. The 4th- 5th- and 6th-place awards of $50 each went to Emma Gray of Urbana, who supported Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA);  Madlyn Stevens of Madison, Wisconsin, who spoke on behalf of Arts at Large; and James Tackett of Hudson, who spoke on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Each year, the Communication staff chooses finalist judges who represent communication professions within the community and the campus. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Parkland College’s radio station, 88.7 WPCD FM, the staff was honored to have three judges with close ties to the formation of WPCD: Steve Brown, professor emeritus at Parkland College and one of the founders of WPCD; Gerry Brock, a Parkland College alum and the first voice to be heard on WPCD; and Dan Hughes, a longtime manager of the station. Other honorary judges included Mike Trame, Parkland's vice president of student services and Ellen Zimmerman, dean of counseling at the college. 

[Image: Jones Speaking Contest winners, from l. to r.: Madlyn Stevens, Emma Gray, James Tackett, Clayton Maupin, Derek Schneider, and Gayle McDonald.]


Graphic Design Student Show 2018

Juried exhibit through May 31; reception/award ceremony May 16, Gallery Lounge

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The Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show will be on display at the Giertz Gallery Monday, May 14 through Thursday, May 31. A reception honoring the students will be held Wednesday, May 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery lounge, with an awards ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

As with all events in the handicapped-accessible gallery, the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The juried exhibit highlights work completed by students in the current academic year, beginning with summer 2017. Parkland College Graphic Design and Interactive Design faculty jury the show and select the most imaginative, inspiring, distinctive, innovative, unusual and memorable pieces for display in the gallery. Local industry professionals, invited to judge the show, then select the awards.

This year’s judges are Natalie Fiol, graphic designer at the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and David Michael Moore, freelance graphic designer, illustrator, and facilitator. 

Works in the exhibit showcase creative solutions to design problems presented to students in Parkland’s Graphic Design, Interactive Design and Illustration studio classes. Gallery visitors can expect to see traditional print media, motion graphics, logos, branding, packaging, menus, books, publications, posters, brochures, websites, video and illustration, according to Professor Paul Young, Parkland's Graphic Design program director.

"Graphic design, interactive design, web design, user-experience design, communication design, digital design—yes, we know 'graphic design' is hard to define," Young explained. "But it doesn't have to be this complicated. The bottom line: students who want to create art for commerce are creative people with visual communication training. This is what we teach at Parkland College and this is what you'll see at our annual student exhibition.

"It's true: Students who want to be a creative designer in 2018 will need to wear a lot of hats," he added. "This is especially true in Champaign-Urbana, where employers are asking for generalists who can do it all. And they're eager to hire people who are curious, eager to learn and enjoy solving problems. Curious to see what Parkland Graphic Design and Interactive Design majors are showing in their portfolio? Come check out this show."

During the May 16 reception, an awards ceremony honoring 2018 Graphic Design program student achievements will be announced starting at 6:30 p.m. Immediately after the awards ceremony, Young will give a gallery talk and an informal Q&A with select award winners. Young and his students will reveal how Parkland's Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs teach creative problem solving and design thinking.  

Giertz Gallery summer hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find the gallery when classes are in session, use the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. 

This exhibit is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more information, call Giertz Gallery Office at 217/351-2485 or visit

Spaces Filling for College for Kids, Summer Camps

Sign up today for summer fun, learning for youth in June, July

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Area residents are encouraged to sign up now for Parkland College Business Training and Community Education's exciting summer camps this June and July, as spaces are filling up fast.

  • College for Kids (ages 8–13) features dozens of popular classes from which kids can choose. Students act, sing in a cappella groups, design games, explore robotics, build rockets, create metal and jewelry pieces, perform improv comedy, produce television shows, engineer, paint, print, and more.
  • Our Technology Camps (ages 13–18) feature classes for teens who like hands-on learning in automotive maintenance and repair, land surveying and mapping, motorsports, and machining and welding, using some of the most up-to-date technology. 
  • The ever-popular First Gig Rock 'n' Roll Camp (ages 10–17) pairs kids with over 20 professional musicians who have years of studio and live band performance experience. Students will also be placed in a band with other kids, led by a professional musician. The camp concludes with a live concert at a public venue.
  • This year, Parkland is also offering a new camp for crime-solvers. Parkland CSI Camp (ages 14–16) will put kids on a forensics team as they use cutting-edge technology, interact with experts, and talk with law enforcement and media professionals to build a body of evidence, find the culprit, and inform the public. Please note that this class contains graphic content that simulates a crime scene.

For more class descriptions and to register, visit online at, or call 217/351-2235.

Parkland College 2018 Commencement Exercises, May 17

Filmmaking brothers Carter, Luke Boyce to give keynote address

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Award-winning film directors Carter Boyce and Luke Boyce will give the keynote address during Parkland College's 2018 Commencement Exercises, Thursday, May 17, at 8 p.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

Carter BoyceStudent Academy Award-winning director and animator Carter Boyce is one of Parkland College’s 50 most notable alumni. He attended Parkland at age 19, where he discovered his love for 3D animation. After earning his Associate in Applied Science in Digital Media in 2010, Boyce spent two years picking up animation jobs and working on his portfolio. In 2012, he took his animation career to the next level—film—by attending DePaul University in Chicago for further study.

During his senior year at DePaul, he created and directed his thesis project, an animated short film titled "Die Flucht." The film earned Boyce the top three awards at DePaul's annual student film showcase. He would go on to win a Student Academy Award for Animation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during the academy’s 43rd Annual Student Academy Awards® competition in 2016. 

Luke BoyceHis brother, Emmy Award®-winning director Luke Boyce, co-founded the award-winning film and video production company Shatterglass Studios, headquartered in Champaign, in 2006. He has gone on to direct over 100 productions since then, including films, commercials, documentaries, and projects with the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. His documentary work over the past eight years has led him to interview some of the greatest names in cinema including Guillermo Del Toro, Tilda Swinton, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, and others.

Boyce won a regional Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2013 for a documentary examining the 14th Roger Ebert's Film Festival. His short film "The Pooka," starring  TV's "This Is Us" star Chris Sullivan, premiered at the Palm Springs International Shortfest and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sherman Oaks Film Festival in 2017. That same year, Boyce announced his feature-length directorial debut project, a live-action adaptation of the award-winning Image Comics series "Revival," a Midwestern horror/noir, to be released in 2019.

Other honored guests at commencement will include Kelly Duitsman Loschen, CPA, who will be honored with the college's Distinguished Alumnus Award, and Gregory D. Cozad, CFP, who will receive the college's 2018 Honorary Associate Degree. 

Loschen has a passion for improving the financial literacy, including college and career readiness, of others in her community. After 16 years in public accounting with Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates, she joined Farm Credit Illinois as senior vice president and chief financial officer in 2016. A Champaign native, Loschen attended Parkland College on the Parkland College Presidential Scholarship (now the Board of Trustees Scholarship), awarded to the top 10 percent of high school graduates in District 505. She earned her Associate in Science in Business Administration in 1998, her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois in 2000, and her Certified Public Accountant designation less than one year later.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; the Illinois CPA Society, Eastern Chapter; and the Executive Club of Champaign County. Loschen served as past treasurer for the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation Board of Directors and serves on the Parkland College Foundation Board. In 2013, she was honored with a 40 Under 40 Award by Central Illinois Business Magazine.

Gregory Cozad's corporation, Cozad Asset Management, handles millions in assets for individuals and families. CNBC, Bloomberg Television, The Wall Street Journal Radio, and other financial media have turned to Cozad Asset Management for its expertise in investments, the financial outlook, and wealth management. He is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner and a Registered Representative of M Holdings Securities, Inc. Cozad graduated with distinction from Indiana University and went on to receive both law and masters of business administration degrees from the University of Notre Dame.

Cozad served as president of the Stevick Foundation and as a member of the Champaign City Council, the Champaign-Urbana Economic Development Corporation Board, and the Dean’s Business Council at the University of Illinois. He was a charter member of the Parkland College Entrepreneurial Program, serving as emcee of the Parkland College Foundation’s Entrepreneur of the Year banquet during its first nine years and naming its V. Dale Cozad Award, given annually to the winner, in honor of his father. Cozad also initiated the Cozad New Venture Competition at the University of Illinois.

Parkland's commencement also will feature remarks from college President Thomas Ramage and Board of Trustees Chair Dana D. Trimble. Pastor Seth J. Jersild of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Saint Joseph will provide the invocation/benediction, and the Parkland College Wind Ensemble will perform several selections. A reception will be held in the Krannert Center lobby after the recessional. Tickets are required.