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HCC presents Strong Girls by Monica Estabrook

Join the Strong Girls Conversation
The Joe McCauley Gallery at HCC is displaying Strong Girls by Monica Estabrook.

Date: March 23 – May 8
Place: ICB 2507

Artist Reception
Date: Tuesday, March 31
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Place: ICB 2507
Includes light refreshments and a free drawing activity for kids.

Photogram Workshop for High School Students
Date: Saturday, April 11
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Place: ICB 2501
Register: Email danell.dvorak@heartland.edu

Join the conversation and use #HCCstronggirls on Twitter (@heartland_CC), Instagram (@heartlandhawks) and Facebook.

Strong Girls takes on gender biases
Estabrook describes Strong Girls as a series that confronts gender biases through black and white photography.  The photos portray Estabrook’s former art students from Stevenson Elementary School in Bloomington. Each girl demonstrates unique strengths and individual character.

What does a strong girl mean to you?
After teaching art for six years at Stevenson, Estabrook noticed how gender biases in the community create disadvantages for girls who are up against a history of suppression, silence and inequality.

“A Strong girl in our society needs to stand up for herself and persevere through a great number of challenges,” said Estabrook. “She is one who does not subscribe to gender norms, believes she can do anything she sets her mind to and works independently without the need for validation from others.”

Gallery Coordinator Danell Dvorak adds that a strong girl can mean different things to different people. “We want this exhibit to start a conversation,” she said. “What is a strong girl? Who are the strong girls in your life?”

Tell us what strong girls means to you. Use #HCCstronggirls on the College’s social media outlets:

  • Twitter: @Heartland_CC
  • Instagram: @heartlandhawks
  • Facebook: facebook.com/heartlandcommunitycollege 

HCC students chosen for All-Illinois Academic Team

Congratulations to Clarissa Hinshaw and Emily Jacob on being chosen for the All-Illinois Academic Team, a distinguished honor for Illinois’ highest achieving community college students.

About the honor
Phi Theta Kappa honor society (PTK), two-year college presidents and community college state associations co-sponsor the All-State Academic Teams in 32 states. To qualify for the All-Illinois Academic Team, nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Member of PTK
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA
  • Enrolled in at least 12 credit hours
  • Actively engaged in the school and community

Clarissa and Emily will attend a banquet on April 28 at the President Lincoln Hotel in Springfield to celebrate their academic achievement.

“It’s quite an honor to be nominated to the All-Illinois Academic Team,” said Sarah Diel-Hunt, associate vice president for academic affairs at HCC. “Clarissa and Emily are outstanding students and community members and are well deserving of this recognition.”

About the recipients


Clarissa is a psychology major, member of HCC’s Honors Program and has been on the dean’s list every semester. She plans to graduate HCC in the spring and transfer to a four-year university in the fall.






Emily is majoring in elementary special education and is involved in the HALO peer mentoring program at the College. She is also graduating this spring and transferring to Illinois State University to major in special education.

HCC keeping eye on textbook costs

Sixty dollars. Two-hundred dollars.

No matter the number, the price of textbooks is costly.

Heartland has entered the battle of rising textbook costs in full gear and other schools are taking interest.

At the 2014 Illinois Community College Student Activities Conference, the College’s Student Government Association (SGA) presented information on their textbook swap program and textbook task team (TTT) to a standing-room only crowd.

Here’s how HCC is taking action on textbook costs.

Textbook Task Team forms

Citing a study by the Government Accountability Office, CNBC says the price of textbooks rose 82 percent between 2002 and 2013. That’s almost three times the rate of inflation.

Heartland is on the ball to address the issue.

In 2012, the HCC Board of Trustees charged the College to address the problem of rising textbook costs.

Enter the TTT, a group of faculty and staff who became dedicated to researching and creating recommendations to help bring down textbook costs for HCC students.

SGA develops textbook swap

In 2013, the SGA put on their first textbook swap. The swap works like an exchange. Students donate their textbooks and in turn, get a voucher for a free book from the swap.

Director of Student Engagement Marvin Rasch explained the swap is not a dollar for dollar exchange, but book for book. “A sliding cost scale would complicate things,” he said. “It’s straight up one-for one. You may donate a $40 book and pick up one that costs $200.”

Over the past two semesters, the swap has saved students more than $20,000 in textbook costs, according to Rasch.

Future plans

Making recommendations

After hours of research, focus groups and surveys, the TTT has drawn some interesting conclusions, such as:

  • Textbooks costs have grown so much, some students are choosing not to purchase books or are taking fewer classes. This can cause lower grades and increased course withdrawals.
  • New edition timelines have shortened and there are often few changes in newer editions.
  • Students purchase older editions to save money.
  • When going online to buy books, students are at risk for purchasing the wrong book.

 Based on this information, the TTT made recommendations to faculty and the College to lower textbook costs. Some of their recommendations include implementing a process for textbook adoption, allowing the use of older editions in the classroom and carefully consider the use of supplementary materials, which can add additional cost to learning.

Observe other schools

Heartland is also paying close attention to what other schools are doing, specifically City Colleges of Chicago who recently implemented an online bookstore.

“Online bookstores are intriguing,” explained Rasch. “We’re going to observe how things go with City Colleges, determine any positive outcomes and pain points and see if that might be a viable option for us.”

Textbook swap

As for the textbook swap, if students want to keep it going, it will continue to happen.

“With all our efforts to make textbooks accessible to students, the textbook swap might not be needed down the road, and that’s fine,” said Rasch. “Our goal and efforts are to make textbooks affordable. They don’t have to be free or ten dollars, just affordable.”

The textbook swap happens through the first Tuesday of the semester. Books can be donated at the student engagement office (SCB 1602) anytime the office is open. For those who do not donate a book, textbook swap books can be purchased for $10.