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255 Stories And Counting.

Debbie Apple

#70 Debbie Apple, Transfer to Biola University
(General Education)

I took my first college class in 1978 at C.O.D. My high school teacher, Philip Ferranti, was teaching a sociology class here and encouraged me to sign up. I was still in high school and needed a teacher to sign for me to take a college class. Eventually I transferred to Biola University and earned a B.S., M.A. in Ed., and a teaching credential.

I had been a teacher for almost twenty years when my husband and I returned to the desert five years ago. I got a teaching position through DSUSD and now work as a language arts teacher in Indio. I love teaching and making a difference in the lives of young people.

I am so thankful that Mr. Ferranti invited me to attend my first college class. I don't know where I would be today if it wasn't for the encouragement of my teacher and the College of the Desert. Thanks for the great start!

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Al Griswold

#69 Al Griswold, Class of 1988, Transfer to Oregon State University
(AA in Liberal Studies)

I came from Georgia to play football, where I was team MVP and Southern California Bowl Champion. I had more than 15 Division One scholarship offers to continue my education and career in football. COD made all this possible. I transferred to Oregon State University where I continued my education and football career. I graduated and then continued my education. I have a Master's Degree and am currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree. I'm employed at a community college in Washington state, where I oversee all professional/technical programs as the Executive Dean of Instruction. Sports and education save lives. Thanks COD!

Ira Morris

#68 Ira Morris, Transfer to Cal-State University, Long Beach
(General Studies/Liberal Arts)

My attention was directed toward COD in 1987 by a high school classmate. After taking a tour of the campus and the surrounding communities of Palm Desert and Palm Springs, I chose to attend COD.

I enrolled at COD and played football for the Roadrunners, which prepared me sufficiently to pursue upper division collegiate studies. I was able to earn athletic scholarship offers and interest from various universities, culminating with my decision to attend Cal State University, Long Beach. The faculty and coaching staff of COD imparted lessons and advice to me which I cherish to this day!

I eventually graduated from CSULB with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. I am presently a Sergeant with the Orlando Police Department in Florida, entering my 14th year with the agency.

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Ernesto Gutierrez

#67 Ernesto Gutierrez, Class of 1989
(Liberal Arts Degree)

My experiences at College of the Desert were second to none. As a former COD Football player and Alumni, the lessons learned helped me shape who I am today.

I definitely benefited from scholarships offered to me during my college years. Playing football and attending college went "hand in hand" for me. The support received by all of the football coaches helped me achieve many of my goals in life. I learned how to work hard in order to obtain what I wanted in life. Playing football was a stepping stone to education and real life.

Most of my teammates were going through the same experience as I was, and many of them would have never had the opportunity to attend college and succeed in life if it were not for the football scholarships they received.

I owe a lot of who I am today to College of the Desert and the football coaches. Thank you COD…

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Dean Dowty

#66 Dean Dowty, Class of 1989, Transfer to Utah State University, Staff
(I received my AA in Liberal Studies from COD. I am currently the Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator.)

I came to College of the Desert to play football and get my education. I had many choices of other community colleges to choose from, but I liked COD's football program; so I came here.

The time I spent at COD is very dear to me. I made lifetime friends and the football program and my instructors helped me grow as a man. I was lucky enough to earn a full athletic scholarship to Utah State University where I graduated with a BS in Communications. I immediately came back to the desert as an assistant coach.

I have worn many hats at COD, but I believe as a coach I have had the most impact on young students. Athletics has allowed me to have a positive influence on many young men that without athletics would have probably not continued in school. I am so proud of the student athletes that have played for COD and gone on to finish their education at a four year college. We have had many do just that.

COD is a great place for students to grow academically and socially. I am a Roadrunner!!!

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