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258 Stories And Counting.

#48 Lori Mullen, Class of 1981
(ASN Registered Nursing Program )

I am a Coachella Valley native. In fact, I am the fourth generation in my family to reside

in the Coachella Valley. After graduating from Palm Springs High School, I made the decision to enroll in the Registered Nursing program at COD.

COD had an excellent record of preparing RNs to pass the State Board exams and an excellent reputation for preparing RNs to work in various medical settings.

Making the decision to attend the nursing program at COD was the most important professional decision I could have made. Thanks to the excellent instructors and challenging curriculum, I was prepared to succeed in any nursing role I worked in.

Nursing can take you anywhere and everywhere. Nurses can work in hospital settings, visit patients at home, and become educators; the possibilities are almost limitless. Nursing can open doors you never knew existed.

I would have never dreamed that my professional passion would be caring for people at the end-of-life. I find caring for patients and families at the end-of-life to be the most rewarding nursing I have done. I recently went the extra step professionally and completed my Bachelor Nursing degree in Palliative Care with the University of Dundee Scotland.

I owe all of my rich and rewarding nursing experiences to the excellent nursing program at COD.

Lori Mullen, R.N., BNPC

P.S. My son Lance Mullen, 5th generation Coachella Valley resident, followed in his Mom's footsteps and attended COD before transferring to UC Santa Barbara.

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#47 Adell Bynum, Staff
(TRiO Student Support Services Program Director/Counselor)

COD has been a great career move for me even though I was somewhat skeptical of leaving the University of California system where I had worked for approximately 25 years in Student Services and at the Office of the President at UCB (yes, I am also a Bear Alumni), UCD and UCSD.

I knew that as long as I could work in Student Services at COD where I could use my professional and personal skills to share especially with students, that I would still feel "at home" as I did at the UC campuses.

I feel very fortunate to now have worked as a counselor at the TRiO Student Services Program, the Academic Counselor and Educational Services (ACES) program for almost 11 years. I am also elated to say that it has been an absolute pleasure to make new friends, work with great colleagues and most of all to meet students who are giving me a chance to help them shape their future in some small way. Overall, I am grateful to have my job at COD. Along with the many contributions of all of the staff at COD, I hope that I have "made a difference" and perhaps helped enriched the campus as it continues to be a better place for the current and future students who want to also enrich their lives.

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Gloria Viloria

#46 Gloria Viloria, Staff
(Transfer/Career Center Specialist)

In 2007 I relocated to Palm Springs from Scotts Valley, CA. A native Californian, I always found peace and pleasure vacationing in the desert. Now it became my home. The first order of business was to find a wonderful place to work and make new friends.

After weeks and weeks of waiting patiently, I was thrilled when the phone rang and Barbara Creson announced that the Academic Senate at College of the Desert chose me to be their new Secretary. JOY! I was honored to become acquainted with almost all of the Faculty at COD while serving the Senate for four years.

Now I am doubly blessed, because I work in the Transfer/Career Center where I support our exceptional Counselors and help dozens of students every single day. How lucky can one woman be?

Not only did I achieve my goal and find a wonderful place to work, I have made life-long friends. I am very proud to StepUpForCOD!

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Nancy  Martinez

#45 Nancy Martinez, Class of 2009, Transfer to University of California, Santa Barbara
(I received my A.A. degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Social Sciences and Behavior.)

As a first generation, Mexican- American student, the odds of attending college were against me. Although I was accepted to multiple state colleges after graduation from high school, the financial burden and uncertainties forced me to reject each offer and register at College of the Desert.

Upon completion of my first semester I realized that enrolling at COD was the best decision I could have made! The teachers, staff, and administration genuinely cared about each student and were readily available to meet with them to answer any questions. This is something I greatly appreciated after transferring from COD to a four year university. Nevertheless, the cherished relationships I developed with my counselors, teachers, and administration made a lasting impact in my academic success as well as my life. My teachers provided me with the tools necessary to succeed in the classroom, my counselors gave me the motivation to continue my education, and the administration’s friendliness and accessibility made COD a comfortable and enjoyable environment.

In June of 2011, two years after graduating from COD, I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. It is without doubt that this accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible without the supportive and tight-knit community of COD. It’s been four years since my first semester at COD, but I still feel connected to the campus and staff. I am currently a graduate student at Boston College pursuing my master’s degree in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology. Thank you College of the Desert for making such a lasting impact in my life!

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Edwin Deas

#44 Edwin Deas, Staff
(Former Vice President for Business Affairs)

My wife and I left a dynamic college turned university in British Columbia, Canada, to enhance our careers in Southern California. While she joined the University of California Riverside, a natural progression, I chose COD for one main reason. I wanted to get back into the educational field that is inextricably linked with its community on a local and global basis.

Little did I know at the beginning how the bond program not only had the ability to fund the upgrade and expansion of the Palm Desert campus; but, also the development of four new campuses, two in the east Valley and two in the west. This gave me the greatest opportunity to reach out to and engage the community that I could never have dreamt of.

A good deal of my day was spent trying to balance the COD operating budget in the time of a huge state fiscal crisis that represented an enormous challenge to our very mission. The rest of the day was spent looking to the longer term and developing the facilities and infrastructure that would serve the Coachella Valley for decades to come. At times my tasks seemed at odds with one another; but, I took the view that both were crucial to the development and well-being of COD and that neither outranked the other. Successful accomplishment of both would significantly contribute to student success and community engagement. And that is why I came to COD in the first place.

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