Jump over primary content.

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.

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.”