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Glenn King

#187 Glenn King, Class of 1984, Staff
(AA Liberal Studies and Director, Network Service and Telecommunications)

COD taught me to play music and work in electronics, gave me an education, found me a wife and gave me a great job to support my family. What can I say about how important College of the Desert is to its students and community? It’s been a part my life for 40 years…

My life at COD began in 1974 after graduating from Indio High School. I was thinking of a career as a music teacher and became a student in COD’s excellent music program as a woodwind major. To help pay for tuition, I landed a job at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway as a steel worker inspecting cables, tramcars and towers. The pay was great and after a year and a half I decided that I would not continue with my planned teaching career. However, working at the Tram kindled a new interest in electronics and in 1980 I returned to COD to enroll in their Circuitry Analysis program.

Before completing my degree, in 1981 I began working at the Desert Sands Unified School District as an electronics technician. I had left COD a second time but it didn’t take long before I realized I missed taking classes and playing music so once again I found myself back in the COD music department performing in the Jazz band, Symphonic band and whichever musical or entertainment event they had. I still took a couple of standard classes here and there and, in 1984, finally graduated with an AA in Liberal Studies. In 1986 I met my future wife Lisa while performing in a dance show call Jazz in 3D. I played in the band while she danced on stage in Theater One now the Pollock Theatre. In 1988 we were married and are raising 4 wonderful children.

In the late 1980’s, personal computers came into education institutions and as an electronic tech I was asked to open an Apple Computer service center within the Desert Sands maintenance department. That expanded into building Apple local talk networks and Novell networks for PC’s at school sites and administration. In 1994, I was deeply involved in a multi-million dollar project to engineer a district-wide microwave computer network which connected all existing DSUSD campuses together. The project was completed in 1996 and in 1997 it received an award from the Smithsonian Institution for “Visionary Use of Information Technology.”

Then in February of 1998 I found myself back at COD, this time as an employee. The college wanted to upgrade their antiquated computer network and I became the Director of Network Services and Telecommunications. In June of 2000, the COD Alumni Association presented me with the “Alumni of the Year Award”. At the awards ceremony I heard whispers of “I Love You” from the audience as the notorious computer virus of the same name has just wreaked havoc with the campus email system.

Now my children are attending COD, getting their education and planning their careers. Ryan and Sarah have already completed their course work, Regan just started and Danny enters this fall.

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Jorge Perez

#186 Jorge Perez, Class of 2006, Staff
(AA Mathematics. I studied Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics. Now an adjunct COD Mathematics Professor)

I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old. With no knowledge of the English language I arrived to Palm Desert, and started 8th grade. As I moved forward in life, I encountered teachers who became like shining lights in a dark path, and inspired me to become a teacher as well. After interacting with the College of the Desert Math faculty, in particular Dr. Thang Le, I decided to become a Mathematician, and made it my goal to obtain a graduate degree and come back and teach at COD.

I transferred to UCR and obtained both a Bachelors and Masters in Pure Mathematics. And now, I'm back at the College teaching and giving back to the community that gave me so much.

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John Jaramillo

#185 John Jaramillo, Staff
(Dean of Applied Sciences and Business)

Since coming to College of the Desert in 2007, I continue to be excited about the wealth of opportunities we are able to provide students. College of the Desert has so many programs and services which allow students, through hard work, to realize their potential. A community college has an incredibly difficult mission: provide access to all, prepare students for transfer to higher education institutions, provide relevant workforce training and career focused instruction for jobs here and around the world and give students the skills for success in life after college. I am proud to be a small part of what we do here.

Norma Andrews

#184 Norma Andrews, Class of 1999
(AA Liberal Arts)

I returned to school when my youngest child was in high school. A great counselor at College of the Desert named "Sandy" encouraged me the whole way to hang in there quoting, "you are never too old." The great teaching staff at COD made every subject interesting and exciting on a daily basis. I wanted to give back to the community and teach young children so my goal was to obtain a teaching credential. After graduating from College of the Desert I went on to a 4 year university obtaining a Bachelor's degree.

I created my own company, Nanny Advice 4 You, and now do child consulting to new parents undertaking the road to parenthood. In my spare time l design and create children's apparel for my other company Kid Babies designs.

In the end I say thank you College of the Desert for the opportunity to realize my dreams.

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John Stanley King

#183 John Stanley King
(Studied theatre, band and choir)

Legions of loyal fans flock to each and every John Stanley King performance in the Coachella Valley. But it wasn’t always that way for this local choir boy who found his future at College of the Desert (COD). Born and raised in Indio, one of seven siblings reared in a generation of musicians, he learned all the Standards early in life from his grandfather, who played trumpet, banjo and bass. Following graduation from high school, John enrolled at COD where he studied theatre, band and choir.

He continued to dream of a career in music but had little hope of making it big until he was afforded the opportunity to participate in a music camp offered by famous bandleader Fred Waring. Although he had been a musician since age 12, John never dreamed of taking his music to a national level. Thanks to a College of the Desert scholarship, John was able to travel to Pennsylvania to participate in the music camp. “Before I knew it, I was in a new land. I had never even been on an airplane before.” During the workshop, Fred Waring heard John sing and made him an offer of a lifetime to join the Pennsylvanians, his touring chorus. “I was only 18 at the time; a baby compared to the rest of them. I jumped at the opportunity.” After traveling around the country for two and a half years, John returned to the desert to pursue his life and career and he’s been playing to packed crowds here at home ever since. “I’m so grateful to College of the Desert for opening the door to my dream of a professional career as a musician.”

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