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Naqibullah Sahibzada

#50 Naqibullah Sahibzada, Student
(International Student - Preparing for Biology)

My name is Naqibullah Sahibzada, and I am one of the international students at College of the Desert. I am from Afghanistan, from Logar province. The second biggest aim that I had in my life was coming to United States, and make my dreams come true with the help of educational facilities that are available here in the states. My first biggest aim is to get educated and facilitate those who are in need and who are not having these facilities in their lives.

It was a huge difference for me at first when I came here. I was suffering from culture shock and home sickness, but then after a while I got situated. Being in America is giving me a positive feeling for my future, and especially being at College of the Desert, because it is a very friendly environment for a freshman student who is looking for a bright future. I have made lots of friends who are from different parts of the world. Attending some social group gatherings or coffee hours with International students has helped me meet new friends here on campus.

When I was in my home country I learned different languages which are Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Hindi, Persion, and Farsi. Now a days I am learning Spanish as well, and I am thinking of taking a Spanish class in coming semesters to develop my language skills. My aim is to finish my college degree and transfer to UCLA and get my further education in Biology. I am very grateful and thankful to College of the Desert, which is providing us all these facilities in order to get ourselves beyond our dreams and live the life we are looking forward to have in our future.

Thank you very much.


Naqibullah Sahibzada

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Jacalyn Lopez Garcia

#49 Jacalyn Lopez Garcia
(Artist - exhibited at COD's Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts)

In 2010, I was invited to present a multimedia installation at the Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts (MAC). This exhibition featured two art projects “In Search of the Mago”, a documentary project based on the story of a real life canine and her fictional Internet identity on Facebook, as Goldie García and "Lifecycles: Reflections of Change and a New Hope for Future Generations" a documentary project based on seven migrant farm worker families that settled in the Coachella Valley. As an exhibiting artist, my experience working with the Marks Center for the Arts staff and COD administrators was exceptional and very professional. The exhibition titled "Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow" provided an excellent venue for me, a COD faculty member who teaches digital photography, to share my work with the COD community and the Coachella Valley residents at large.

Finding innovative ways to entwine the spectator in a complex and interconnected environment of computers, digital projections, instant messages, and blogs is very important to me as a multimedia artist. So having an opportunity to work closely with Lisa Soccio, the gallery director at the MAC, was a great experience. Lisa was very supportive in allowing me to present Goldie’s journey on in a manner that could blur the link between reality and fantasy with an online experience in a gallery setting. As an installati

on, this project revealed how the canine and her Facebook friends collaborated to help her find the Mago (a Wiseman who has the power to help Goldie attain her heart’s desire) with over 300 images that were suspended from the gallery ceiling. 84 framed photographs were hung on the gallery walls for “Lifecycles: Reflections of Change and A New Hope for Future Generations.” Visitors were also encouraged to visit the project on via the Internet - On this interactive website you can also listen to the personal stories and view videos based on the documentary project.

I am thankful for the professional support I received from the Marks Art Center staff and the COD community at large. Anyone interested in challenging questions on the significance of virtual space, the impact of social networking sites on public and private behavior, or on the nature of contemporary society should contact Lisa Soccio, the gallery director. This is a gallery director who is interested in showcasing works that break away from the traditional conventions of storytelling and art making. More importantly, the Marks Center for the Arts is the perfect venue for artists, like myself, who are interested in challenging the audience to think in new and unconventional ways with regard to “what art is” and “what art can be.”

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#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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