Director, Marketing & Sales, La Prensa
Major: Art and Design
Class Year: 2001
She would be the first in her family to attend college, but first Nancy Hernandez had to improve her English-speaking ability and choose a career that was best for her.
She decided to take English as a Second Language classes at Parkland College in 1998; she later began taking courses in Art and Design.
“The English as a Second Language classes developed my English-speaking skills to another level; I later advanced to taking regular English classes at the U of I.”
Nancy says Parkland’s Donald Lake gave her the encouragement she needed to pursue a design career. Lake, a retired professor and former Art and Design program director, was a favorite among Parkland students. His award-winning watercolor artistry graces walls of institutions nationwide, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, West Publishing Company in Minnesota, the Illinois State Museum, and the Owensboro (Kentucky) Museum of Fine Art.
“Don was a great inspiration. He was not only my teacher; he was a friend I could talk to about personal life, not just art. His creativity has influenced my own art and design.”
After receiving her associate’s degree at Parkland, Nancy went on to earn the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois.
Nancy now works in the field of marketing and creative design for La Prensa
, the area’s Spanish newspaper, which she started with her two brothers.
“When I transferred to the U of I, I had a portfolio of great work to show, that I had acquired at Parkland.”
These days Nancy’s hands are busy with the growing newspaper La Prensa
, which began in Champaign-Urbana but expanded its coverage to 14 cities in east central Illinois within a year.
“Parkland is a great place to choose ‘what you want to be when you grow up.’ You’ll build great relationships and learn a lot from teachers that are not only there to teach a class but have person-to-person interaction with every student that goes there.”