From military forces to college courses, Professor Doussett continues to serve
It’s been a long and very interesting journey to where I am today, but it’s all been worth it to be able to make a difference at College of the Desert.
I served as an Arabic linguist and sergeant in the U.S. Army, where I spent five years in places such as Georgia and Egypt. Those years helped me find my calling. In the Army, I had the opportunity to develop a physical fitness and wellness program for soldiers that were either injured or needed help passing the physical fitness exam. I quickly realized that I wanted to continue to help people in a health and wellness capacity.
The most difficult transition for me was coming out of the military, having a family and two young kids, and trying to get back to school. I really struggled with just getting past the front gate. I finally took the advice of family members and friends to start small, so I began taking a couple online courses at San Bernardino Valley Community College. It took me several years as a part-time student to transfer to Cal State San Bernardino and start attending full-time. I don’t think it ever became easier, but I found more people that supported me along the way.
I can’t say enough amazing things about the counselors, instructors, fellow students, and family that helped me through the process. The G.I. Bill afforded me the opportunity to complete my college education and the Veteran’s Counseling Services helped me stay on course.
As for what led to teaching? Something clicked. It’s really that simple. I had to get field work hours as part of my bachelor’s degree program at CSUSB and ended up doing classroom observations at a local elementary school. I knew I loved the teaching part but still wasn’t exactly sure it was the direction I wanted to go until I ended up interning at COD in the Kinesiology Department. The students, the atmosphere, the discussions. That was it for me. I knew I wanted to teach college students. It felt like home. And it still does.
I am proud to step up for COD, which has helped me pursue my career and can help you, too.