The Parkland College Blog

Open Enrollment for Parkland College Child Development Center

Now enrolling children ages 2 to 5 years for the fall 2018 semester

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The Parkland College Child Development Center is accepting applications for enrollment of children ages 2 to 5 years for the fall 2018 semester. 
Parkland College CDC
Families in the area who are looking for high-quality full- or part-time child care take advantage of this Champaign-Urbana resource on the Parkland campus. Licensed through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the CDC is a demonstration laboratory school open to Parkland College students, staff, and district residents. It encourages whole-child education, offering a variety of experiences that help children develop good self-discipline, positive interactions with other children and adults, and an appreciation of a multicultural, multiethnic society.  

The CDC facility provides three large classrooms, each led by a head teacher and an assistant teacher who are professional staff at Parkland College. Its program features a low student-teacher ratio, fresh and tasty meals prepared on site, onsite public safety, spacious and secure green space, indoor play areas, an in-house library with lending services, and onsite enrichment opportunities on the Parkland College campus including visits to the Staerkel Planetarium.

Located in building G on the school's main campus, the CDC accepts CCRS and offers a sliding scale for its tuition rates.

For more information, contact Nancy Kemna or Tara Bailey at 217/373-3777 or visit parkland.edu/cdc.

Fall Welcome Convocation, August 23

Games, information, lunch to welcome students back to campus

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Parkland College will hold its annual Fall Welcome Convocation on Thursday, August 23, beginning at 11 a.m. on the Student Union patio.

This kickoff to the new academic year welcomes new and returning students to a campus community that values scholarship, academic honesty, and civility. A highlight of Parkland's Welcome Back Week for students and employees, the fall convocation informs new students about values of the campus in an informal, fun-filled, and welcoming environment.

Parkland's 2018 Convocation will feature a student club sign-up fair, a "tie dye your own T-shirt" art table, free lunch for the student community (valid ID required), and other activities. WPCD-FM, the student-run radio station, will air its music at the event. 

A new feature this year is Guitar Hero Challenge, where participants have the opportunity to compete against Parkland College President Tom Ramage at the popular music rhythm game.  

Dean of Students Marietta Turner said the convocation is designed to strengthen students' connections to Parkland. "It emphasizes that they are on a journey that begins with their first class and ends with a degree," she said.

"College is where students figure out what they want to do with their lives and get the education they need to achieve their dreams," Turner added. "Convocation starts that process."

The Welcome Convocation is part of Parkland's First Year Experience (FYE) initiative, a campus-wide effort designed to increase retention and graduation rates.

Open Auditions for Parkland Theatre Fall Shows

Auditions 9–noon for "Servant of Two Masters", "Musical Comedy Murders of 1940"

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Parkland Theatre will hold auditions for the first two shows of its fall season Saturday, Aug. 25 at the theatre.
 
Auditions for "The Servant of Two Masters" and "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Callbacks, if needed, will be Sunday, Aug. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.
 
Auditionees should register for an audition timeslot at parkland.edu/auditions.
 
"The Servant of Two Masters" director Michael O'Brien is casting approximately 12 actors of all genders, ages 16 and over. Auditions will consist of improv and movement exercises. Please wear comfortable clothes that allow ease of movement to the audition.
 
"The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" director Mathew Green is casting 10 actors, five male and five female, ages 16 and over. Actors will read from sides which can be found at parkland.edu/auditions
 
Performances for "The Servant of Two Masters" will run in Parkland Theatre's Second Stage Sept. 27–Oct 7. Performances for "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre Nov. 8–18.
 
All members of the community as well as Parkland and University of Illinois students are invited to audition; Parkland Theatre encourages diversity. Those with additional questions should email hlayman@parkland.edu.

Trustees Refinance Bond Debt, Review Enrollment

Refinancing could save taxpayers $5.4 million over decade

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Parkland College District 505 taxpayers could save approximately $5.4 million over the next 10 years on debt payments following a measure taken by the college to refinance existing bonds issued to build the Student Union and make campus improvements.   
 
At its regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland's Board of Trustees approved a proposal from PMA Securities to move forward with a negotiated sale of up to $53.25 million in bonds at lower interest rates, potentially reducing the college's total tax burden by approximately 1.8 percent.
 
For the typical homeowner, this will translate to a savings of $3.33 per year per $100,000 of market value. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles stressed the importance of taking advantage of current market conditions to benefit the community.
 
"While the college is not required to refinance, we are pleased to be able to reduce the tax burden on property owners in our district where we can," Randles said. "As stewards of public dollars, it will be well worth the work our team will put in to make it happen."
 
The board also received a spring enrollment update from the college's new dean of enrollment management, Kristin Smigielski. Smigielski shared that Parkland's spring 2018 enrollment was flat compared to spring enrollment the previous year, a welcome leveling off amidst national community college enrollment declines of 2 percent for the same term. Notably, dual credit enrollment from local high school students increased by approximately 23 percent from 2017 to 2018.
 
The Trustees also heard report on the Broadlands Wind Farm project, with no action taken.
 
In other business, trustees approved the following:

  • Hendrick Dorms, Inc. of Urbana as the new food service provider for Parkland College beginning Aug. 1, under a five-year contract. The contract allows Hendrick Dorms to operate on campus with no revenue sharing for the first school year and negotiated revenue sharing in subsequent years. Parkland College will provide the food serving and preparation areas to Hendrick Dorms at no cost. Hendrick Dorms is replacing Chartwell's Dining Services, which decided not to renew its food service contract with the college.

  • the Amendment to Lease Agreement that will extend the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission's lease in the Illinois Worknet Center at Parkland on Mattis through June 30, 2023. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides funding through the CCRPC to help adults, dislocated workers, and youth within the region obtain career training in high-growth, in-demand industries.

  • $48,000 in engine repair services from Poplar Grove Airmotive, Inc., Poplar Grove, Ill.

  • the employment contract of Tracy Wahlfeldt as executive director of the Parkland College Foundation, effective June 26, 2018, through June 30, 2021.

  • personnel appointments:

    • Brook Van Gundy, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Judith Somers, Nursing Tenure-Track Faculty, Health Professions

    • Joseph Jessee, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • Marvin Palmer, Custodian, Physical Plant

    • John Strack, Carpenter, Physical Plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Awaited "Taking Flight" Now Installed

Flock of 505 birds represent college's district number

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Three years is a long time for newly hatched birds to start flying.
 
But that's how long Champaign artist Ann Coddington had to wait before her artwork, a flock of 505 black, ceramic-glazed birds, could suspend from the ceiling in Parkland College's Student Union lobby.
 
Although each bird in the piece, titled "Taking Flight," is different from the others, the flock visually moves as a collective, from east to west, across the lobby's sky. Coddington, an Eastern Illinois University drawing and design professor, called her design choice an apt metaphor for an educational experience.
 
"The students who have come to Parkland College and have formed relationships go off on their own and are individuals again, but while they are at Parkland, they are part of this really special group," said Coddington, who also taught design classes at Parkland for 10 years.
 
Installed this past Memorial Day weekend, "Taking Flight" was originally scheduled to soar summer 2015, after Student Union construction was complete. That's when Illinois legislators froze the state budget, including monies earmarked for the project under the State of Illinois Art in Architecture program. 
 
"I was three weeks ahead of installing the work when they froze the budget," Coddington said. “The piece was finished and ready to go when it was put on hold, and the 27 boxes had to be stored in my mother’s basement!” 
 
When the state finally released the funds this past November, she still had to wait until school was out for the summer to finish the project; conditions needed to be right for the delicate work of hanging the birds to begin.
 
"The installation was quite involved," she said of the work that lasted May 21 to 29. "I had my crew of five assistants. We had to lay a floor, utilize a scissor lift, have special insurance. I also had to be able to cordon off the area."  
 
If the installation phase of the project was intricate, the design and preparation phase was even more so, taking nearly a year to complete. 
 
"Monday through Wednesday I would work at my job, then from Wednesday night on, I'd work along with two assistants for 40 hours or so until I went back to work," Coddington remarked. "It was a really intense production schedule."
 
First, she had to consider the natural elements--wood, stone, sunlight--that make up the bright, airy space she would be working with.
 
"The architecture is kind of open, bringing the outside in, so I wanted to continue that concept with the work," she said. "I wanted to respect the established architecture so that the piece I was installing was consistent with design of the space." Next, she wove 10 different bird shapes in an off-loom basket-making technique called twining, made plaster molds of each shape, then poured liquid ceramic slip into the molds, crafting thin shells of clay birds. She would painstakingly retool each bird before it was fired, glazed, then fired a second time.
 
"When you open the mold and remove the shell of clay, there's a seam where the two halves come together," she explained. "I would redraw the woven texture around each seam so there's not an obvious line; I had to recreate the texture." The number of birds, 505, represents Parkland's district number within the community college system.
 
While "Taking Flight" is not Coddington's first flock of birds (she had other installations in Cincinnati and St. Louis), it is her first permanent commissioned sculptured flock, one she was happy to complete for Parkland College.
 
"I loved my time at Parkland, and many of my old friends still work in the Art Department, so I feel honored to have a piece there," she said. "I wanted to create a unique piece for this special place."
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