Lady Hawks hit hard
- Published: 15 May 2014
BY TIANNA GIOVENCO
The Heartland Hawks Softball team is having a great season so far. With a 24-17 record, the Lady Hawks have reloaded their team and show their success and skill on the field.
The Lady Hawks added fourteen new freshmen to join their seven sophomores. Maddie Martindale is a returning sophomore pitcher this season. Last season she had an outstanding 11-2 record, according to the Heartland softball website.
“My favorite part of being on the HCC softball team is being part of a team and having a second family and knowing that you always have someone there to pick you up when you’re down,” said sophomore teammate Ashli King.
Steve Leverton, former assistant coach, has taken over the position as head coach of the softball team. John Basset, former head coach has accepted a coaching position at Purdue University in Indiana. The team and athletic department were pleased with the choice of the new head coach, according to the softball website.
“Being on the Heartland softball team is great because you get to be with people who have the same love for the game as you do,” said sophomore teammate Lindsay Williams
There are only two more home games, three more away games, and possibly regionals and nationals to complete to the 2014 softball season. Home games are played at Corn Crib Stadium, which is east of Heartland’s campus.
Students are encouraged to come out and support their Lady Hawks at their last two home games.
Heartland Hawks retire jersey of former player
- Published: 15 May 2014
By Kelsey Henderson and Conor Hart
NORMAL -- Before the May 4 home game, the HCC baseball team will honor the life of former Hawk Michael Collins -- who died last month from injuries suffered in a car accident.
Collins, a 22-year-old Illinois State University senior, and an assistant baseball coach at University High School, was someone who would light up a room when he walked in, but also a dedicated student and athlete, said Nate Metzger HCC baseball coach, and athletics director.
“He was a great leader and also really intense when it came to playing in the game,” said Metzger. “Not many people can play both roles.”
Collins played second base for HCC in 2012, when the Hawks finished third in the NJCAA World Series. He was named a Big 12 Academic All-American that same year. Collins also received the Exemplary Academic Award from Heartland having a grade point average of 3.77.
He died April 2 from injuries suffered in a March 29 crash. Bloomington resident Jamie Webb, 37, faces felony DUI felony charges in connection to the two-car crash, according to McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers.
Webb is next scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. May 7.
Police said Webb ran a red light about 2 a.m. March 29 at Main and Empire streets in Bloomington, when her car collided with the one Collins, and three other area college students were traveling in.
The four accident victims were transported to the hospital. Collins later died at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.
Metzger had known Collins since he attended Parkside Junior High School, and also knew the man's family well. Michael Collins graduated from Normal West High School, prior to attending HCC. Jim Collins, the victim's father, is baseball coach at University High School in Normal.
The HCC coach said he believes the “Pay It Forward” campaign is a great example of honoring the way Collins lived his life. “Too often is it said that he was a great guy, student, and friend,” said Metzger. “All is true, but he was such a unique guy and really had the ability to make people laugh.”
Overall, Michael had an ideal personality and was never a stranger to anyone. His passing has been nothing, but a celebration and that is seen through the “Pay It Forward” actions that have been taking place lately. “This really speaks to him, who he was, and his family,” said Metzger.
The Facebook page "Pay It Forward for Michael Collins" has gained nearly 19,000 followers since its April 2 creation. The group asks people to share random acts of kindness to remember the Normal man's giving nature. People also are encouraged to post a photo or message describing a random act of kindness they have received or conducted themselves.
Supporters from across the country are giving back in his honor.These acts range from donations in his name to charity, to buying someone else a meal or tipping generously. The map on the facebook page shows how “Pay it forward for Michael Collins,” has reached 45 of 50 states.
Details are still being worked on for a possible scholarship being made in Michael's name, according to HCC Foundation Executive Director, Chris Downing.
In the meantime, donations to the Michael Collins Foundation can be made to Heartland Bank, at any of its branches, or mailed to Heartland Bank, PO Box 67, Bloomington, IL 61702.
The Collins foundation will support many activities close to him and his family, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); Eastview Christian Church; Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA); and various other ministries, according to Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home, which handled Collins' funeral arrangements.People may send online condolences to www.carmodyflynn.com.
HCC Hawks Honored
- Published: 15 May 2014
NORMAL -- At its April meeting, the Heartland Community College board of trustees took time to recognize some of the achievements its students, faculty and staff have accomplished this year.
It practically was a standing-room-only crowd that night in the CCB board room. President Rob Widmer, finishing up his first year as head of the campus had plenty of other items to discuss with the board -- including a $4.5 million bond issue, an update on construction of the National Guard facility, and other matters of importance. But he and the board didn’t hurry through time focused on campus success stories. Instead, they applauded and listened to details about scholarship, volunteerism, student engagement and teaching excellence.
Among those being recognized at the April 17 meeting was Julie Crafton, a Heartland sophomore and general all-around whiz-kid. She’s heading off to University of Denver in the fall after two years of Crafton’s stellar academic performance while at Heartland earned her the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship -- which awards recipients up to $30,000 toward annual tuition costs at a university.
Oustanding faculty members — Sean Colclasure of English and Dewhitt Bigham of Criminal Justice Science — also attended, and stood before the board to share a little about themselves.
The board also heard from a collaboration between students and HCC employees — the Alternative Spring Break program. Several students, staff and faculty attended as part of a presentation about the ASB trips to Washington, Ill. and Loveland, Colo.
The Spectator staff also was recognized during the meeting, as the publication took top honors in its division for the annual Illinois Community College Journalism Association competition. Besides winning first-place overall for Division III, the paper won firsts in front-page design, and newspaper layout. Former editor Kyle Werth earned a first-place for his headline writing, and seven other Spectator writers and photographers took awards.
So, cheers to the HCC community for continuing to demonstrate the fine talent at the college.
PRIDE is BACK
- Published: 15 May 2014
BY CONOR HART
After falling apart for various reasons, PRIDE club is back.
Eric Hansen, president of PRIDE, is very excited for the next school year. “We just finished a charter so we’re official. We are looking for new membership and hope our charter will be used in reference for future clubs.” A charter is formed when a club must create by-laws and a constitution for an organization. The club meets Fridays at 2 p.m. in SCB 1602.
PRIDE addresses prominent and current issues within the LGBT community. On Thursday, PRIDE held a Q-and-A panel in the HCC café for students who had any questions about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Friday PRIDE held a “Coming Out Party” to celebrate the club’s success and excitement for the future.
HCC Students to Graduate
- Published: 15 May 2014
By Kelsey Hendersen Spectator Staff
NORMAL – An approximate 128 Heartland students and one Franklin University student are currently enrolled to walk at this years spring graduation ceremony on HCC's main quad common area.
According to HCC's Dean of Student Success, Amy Munson, last year's ceremony went very smoothly, and everyone was very happy with the event. She said the weather cooperated and they were able to celebrate the students and their achievements.
Last year, 208 HCC students and two Franklin University students signed up for and walked during the ceremony. Munson said she is not sure why the number of participants has dipped so low this year compared to others, but the planning team is always looking for ways to improve the event and increase participation. Aside from those actually walking at graduation, Dean of Enrollment Services, Padriac Shinville, said about 750 degrees will be awarded overall. This includes graduates from December, May, and July.
When students are looking to graduate from HCC, they work with the Records Office to complete a number of items, including an application to apply for graduation. During this, officials will encourage the future graduate to walk in commencement.
“The biggest change in the last few years has been moving the ceremony from Illinois State University's Braden Auditorium to the Heartland Community College campus, last year,” said Munson. “We are very excited to have the ceremony on campus as we feel it helps us better celebrate our students.”
Munson said they are hoping to see the number of student and employee participants grow over the next few years, although this year seems to have lowered. Other years, they have seen a definite increase.
The graduation ceremony takes place on HCC's quad between the ICB and CCB buildings, but in the event of inclement weather, it would take place in the Fitness and Recreation Center gym area.
April events at HCC to honor sexual assault victims
- Published: 01 April 2014
By Conor Hart
Spectator assistant editor
Students tied ribbons to trees to show support for sexual assault survivors. HCC Student Counseling Services and the YWCA of Bloomington co-sponsored the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Event organizers said the ribbons are a visible reminder to honor survivors, but also are meant to begin a conversation to end sexual violence.
Several other events are planned this month on campus, to awareness about the issue of sexual assault.
Students volunteer their spring breaks
- Published: 06 March 2014
By Tianna Giovenco
UPDATED 3:56 PM, Thu Mar 13, 2014
NORMAL – Two groups of HCC students and staff are busy volunteering their spring breaks. One group is helping clean up a Colorado region hit last fall by floods, while another group works closer to home in nearby Washington — a central Illinois town tornadoes ripped through in November.
The trips are part of this year’s alternative spring break program. Follow their progress on the HCC Alternative Spring Break Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HCCAlternativeSpringBreak
The page is being updated frequently this week with pictures and posts.
HCC board appoints new trustee
- Published: 25 February 2014
NORMAL -- The HCC board on Monday named Becky Ropp a new trustee. She replaces Terry Baggett, who resigned in January after four years as a trustee.
In a college news release about the appointment, board president Gregg Chadwick said the board was pleased to have so many qualified candidates show interest in the trustee position."
Ropp was born and raised in west-central Illinois. She is a University of Illinois graduate, who later learned an MBA at Illinois State University.
She is an employee of Growmark in Bloomington.
HCC alum named CNN hero
- Published: 25 February 2014
By Tyler Fiesel
NORMAL -- Among CNN's “Top 10 Heroes" of the year is a former Heartland Community College student who has made his career as an environmentalist.
Chad Pregracke, was one of the cable giant's select few.
“I was tired of seeing the river in such a (terrible) condition. There needed to be a change and no one else was go to do it,” Pregracke said referring to the start of his mission.
New way to plan schedules for students
- Published: 04 December 2013
By Matt Short and Conor Hart
The spring semester is about to end, and it is important for all students to sign up for classes. With all the classes Heartland has to offer, how do students know which ones are right for them? It can all be confusing and stressful, but students do not have to do this alone. Students have access to six different advisors in CCB 1000. Heartland has come up with a new way to reach out to students with Instant Advising.
“A year ago, our advisement team went on a retreat," said Chad Hoffer, a full time Heartland advisor. We were thinking of ways to help students and the idea just came up. We wanted to go out to where the student’s natural setting so they would feel comfortable and willing to talk to us.”
Students need not worry about the expected duration of planning for classes. There is no time restraint as long as the line is not long.