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Essay contest now open with $500 prize.

Did you have an amazing experience at Heartland? We want to hear about it.

The Paul Simon Essay contest is now accepting entries.

The winner receives $500 and is the featured speaker at graduation in May.

How to enter

Stop by SCB 2300 to pick up an entry form and submit a 500-word essay, “How My Community College Has Changed My Life.”

Submissions are due by Monday, March 16.

The contest is open to any current Heartland student and recent graduates from August or December 2014.

Students: "Faces of Heartland" Positions Available

Heartland Students!

Here’s your chance to work in a prestigious leadership position at HCC as one of the "Faces of Heartland"!

Positions Available:

  • Student Ambassadors* lead campus tours, welcome visitors at the information desk, coach students through the registration process, and speak at campus events.
  • Members of the Mascot Team serve as goodwill ambassadors for the College and appear as Hunter the Hawk and/or Hunter's Spotter at community events and celebrations.

Think you fit the bill? If you are:

  • enrolled in or planning to enroll in at least 6 semester hours during the semester (summer enrollment not required)
  • friendly and energetic
  • enthusiastic and articulate
  • dependable and organized
  • quick thinking and flexible

...then you are exactly the person we're looking for!

These coveted positions are loaded with benefits:

  • one of the campus' top-paying student jobs
  • flexible hours that fit around your class schedule
  • provide networking opportunities with key HCC staff and community members
  • helps you build skills employers value
  • looks great on a resume

Students must apply by May 1, 2015.

Call (309) 268-8059 or email admissions@heartland.edu for an application today!

The following two applications are required for those interested in applying for a Faces of Heartland position.

*Student Ambassadors must maintain a 2.5 or greater GPA to be eligible for the position

Local food makes its way to HCC dining services


Heartland is bringing more locally sourced food to campus thanks to its head chef, Scott Rowan.

Back to the basics

In an age where people want to know where their food is coming from, Rowan’s efforts are timely and relevant. He has been putting more local food in HCC’s cafeteria and in catering orders since he started at Heartland three years ago.

Ropp cheese, The Cookie Dough Café and a variety of local and regional farms have had products represented in Heartland’s food service.

Rowan’s goal is to get back to the basics of eating. “I’m bridging the gap for how foods were bought 30 to 40 years ago,” he explained. “I think we would eat better if we knew where our food was coming from.”

Rowan is not alone in his thinking and noted that farm to table, a movement that encourages producing food locally, is getting larger on a national level.

Fighting cost

Looking to the future, Rowan wants to incorporate even more local food products on campus. The hard part is cost.

 “When you buy local, you typically get smaller batches of food which means it costs more,” he said.

Cost is a major factor when your primary customers are 18 and 19 year olds, but so is the product itself.

“It can be hard to sell,” Rowan explained. “They are mainly interested in the basic cafeteria foods such as burgers, fries and grilled cheese.”

Sometimes, getting people interested in local food requires a little bit of creativity. From time to time, Rowan hands out samples of various products to let people get a taste. In addition, locally grown vegetables are often tossed on top of sandwiches and salads.

Rowan will also use locally sourced meat for various entrees. According to him, you can definitely tell the difference in taste, which makes the cost worth it.

Forming partnerships

Finding food that is locally sourced can also be a challenge. That’s where US Foods, Heartland’s primary food distributor, steps in.

Recently, US Foods has added local farmers to their distribution list, which makes it a lot easier for chefs like Rowan to buy local food direct.

Overall, Rowan’s work has been well received at Heartland, especially among staff who often orders catering with local food for various campus events.

Rowan’s work also extends to the community. He is involved with Edible Economy, a local group of chefs, farmers and other entities who are trying to establish a local foods hub. Their goal is to figure out how to make it easier for the food industry to source local foods.

Although it requires a lot of legwork, Rowan would like to see this trend continue to grow and teach others how to incorporate localized food into their own cooking.

 “I teach a lot of cooking classes for community education at Heartland. I hope to be able use local food as a component for my classes.”