In my first month at COD I attended several local Chamber of Commerce meetings to get a sense of COD’s role in the community. At all meetings I proudly wore my COD name badge.
At one particular meeting a local businessman shared a very heartfelt, personal story with me. He told me that his son was never a very good student in school, had dropped out of high school, had no sense of direction, no jobs skills and was unemployed. He went on to tell me that his son somehow got directed to the COD adult education/high school diploma program and in that program he encountered the most nurturing, caring, supportive educators and support staff. He told me with a smile that would light up a room, that his son just graduated from COD with his high school diploma a week earlier and that he would be continuing on with his college education at COD.
It was from this personal story that I knew COD was a very special place. College of the Desert not only educates, it changes people’s lives. I was very proud to be a Roadrunner!
Former Vice President Academic Affairs
#42 Adrian Gonzales, Staff
(Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Student Support Programs & Services)
I joined COD in 1998 as a faculty coordinator assigned to lead the TRIO programs -- a series of programs geared toward assisting low-income students to become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Over the last decade COD has provided me with many opportunities to grow personally and professionally and I now have the privilege of serving as both the Interim VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Student Support Programs and Services.
Throughout my time at COD I have had the great pleasure of working in partnership with many faculty, staff, and administrators who work tirelessly to provide our students with an opportunity to achieve their goals. This spirit of putting students first makes COD a great institution to be a part of.
My wife and I are proud donors to the COD Foundation. In keeping with how I started my career at COD, our modest gift goes toward providing low-income students with scholarships. It is our hope that these scholarships will allow at least one more student to become the first in their family to earn a college degree.
Progress -- that's the key word, or maybe Technology -- In 1991 when I began as an Adjunct at C.O.D. I taught a Data Entry class, but soon became the "Typing Teacher" teaching a typing class and yes -- on the ole electric typewriters, complete with instructions on how to center a line from the middle of your paper inserted into the typewriter! I was the last teacher to teach on the typewriters. We moved onto the computer keyboard for a few years and now in my current CIS005 class, typing is again part of the curriculum -- but -- students go online to a free typing site to practice and take timed writings. I think I've come full circle in 20 years!!!
I graduated from Palm Springs High in 1969 with just OK grades. I wasn't sure that College was for me. My first day of classes I was called into the College President, Roy McCall's office, where he told me that PSHS had informed COD that I was a rebel rouser and a trouble maker. (I marched in PS for Civil Rights and organized the first
sit-in at PSHS prior to my Junior Year.)
Well, I remember telling Dr. McCall that I believed strongly in my causes and would not back down. He informed me that neither would he; so we agreed to disagree. I fell in love with COD. I was the first freshman ever to serve on the Campus Life Committee. I became Vice-President of the Student Body in my second year, President of the Speech Team where Roy Wilson was the faculty adviser.
Dr. McCall, as well as many of my Professors, gave me letters of recommendation to four year schools. I ended up with a full scholarship to the University of Redlands, Dr. McCall's University. Without COD I would not have gone on to College. I owe my success, in part, to COD.
From Date Festival Fairgrounds performances to interviewing suitable candidates for College of the Desert positions, I have been blessed by being given the opportunity to work in this beautiful institution.
My original plan was to finish an accounting degree at COD in 1998. A car accident put me off my feet and I could not finish the semester to graduate with my class. However, it opened the door to give me strength and motivated me to recuperate in 8 months rather than 2 years as doctors had estimated.
I took a job at College of the Desert in 2001 and moved into the Human Resources Office in 2005. Having learned the traditional Mexican dances during high school, I was excited to volunteer to be the Folklorico Club Advisor in 2005. I started teaching the history of each dance to students who joined our club.
I am proud to be a COD staff member and Club Advisor.
"Love the Life you Live" "Live the Life you Love"