GLEN ELLYN -- Wendy E. Parks, College of DuPage vice president for public relations, marketing and communications, is a winner of the 2021 Women of Impact Award.
The award, presented by Chicago-based PR agency Motion, honors hardworking, inspiring and innovative women in marketing, advertising, public relations and communications fields.
"This much-deserved award exemplifies the energy, vision and keen insights Wendy brings to the institution and her commitment to staff development with those she leads," said Dr. Brian Caputo, president of College of DuPage, where Parks has overseen strategic communication efforts since 2017. "Wendy is equally committed to student success and helps to strengthen our neighborhoods through the College's outreach efforts as well as her involvement in a host of community engagement initiatives."
In her three years with the college, Parks spearheaded executive communications for the president and a wide array of other key stakeholders. Additional divisional achievements include launching a new website and digital advertising campaign, significantly increasing the college's media exposure, social media and community engagement.
Under her leadership, the Office of Marketing and Communications earned several awards, including honors from the international Telly Awards, the international MarCom Awards and the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations.
In her nomination, COD Internal Marketing and Communication Manager Amy Calhoun pointed to Parks' drive and ambition, and their ripple effect on staff members throughout the College's Marketing and Communications Division.
"Whether having a 'courageous conversation' and tackling difficult topics or offering much-needed encouragement, Wendy's actions and words empower the women around her to do the same; to tackle any challenge without fear, but with great kindness, to move the college forward," she wrote.
Parks holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MBA from Loyola University. She has held several leadership roles in marketing and communications fields within private and public organizations, including We Energies, Johnson Publishing Co. Inc., University of Chicago and Chicago Housing Authority. Parks is also a board liaison to the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce and regularly volunteers as well as speaks to youth.
College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 21,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.