By Crystal Harrell
Campus Life Editor
The College of the Desert campus is equipped with more than just a new gymnasium this semester; new courses are being added to the COD curriculum due to the requirements from local workforce and students, and seven new full-time faculty members have been hired due to an increased student population.
There were approximately 10,206 students enrolled at COD for the first day of classes earlier this month—an additional 704-student increase since last fall. Consequently, the selection of classes has also increased since last semester, going from 1,017 in 2013 to 1,189 presently.
A variety of new courses are now offered at COD, including but not limited to: Computer Architecture and Organization , History of Jazz and Songwriting. Math Concepts for Elementary School Teachers and College Geometry, and Emergency Medical Responder and Ambulance Operations.
The classes offered not only benefit the student body by fulfilling college requirements, but also allow those enrolled to learn a new skill that can carry over to their everyday lives and be of use in the future, like Aquatic Crosstraining, Strokes and Strategies for Tennis Play, or Women’s Self-Defense.
Before teaching the new Women’s Self-Defense course at COD, Wendy Ansley taught courses in COD’s Kinesiology department and also became a Rape, Aggression, and Defense instructor over the summer while participating in a workshop and testing protocol at Chapman University. “This is a great class for our women at College of the Desert. I am hoping to empower [my students] through teaching these self-defense techniques and how to reduce risks for personal safety,” expressed Ansley.
New faculty members have been employed in response to the increased number of students and classes: Dorothy Anderson in the Automotive department, Sara Butler in Political Science, Courtney Doussett in Kinesiology, Emily Maddigan in Studio Art, Reid Sagara in English, Ana Stockwell in Counseling, and Scott Ventura in Fire Technology.
Dorothy Anderson previously taught part-time in COD’S Automotive department and also at Mt. San Jacinto College. She has a license in the areas of smog technician and MACS air conditioning, and is certified in automotive specialization. Courtney Doussett has also previously taught at COD since 2010, having a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from California Baptist University and a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology from CSUSB.
“I am elated to be faculty here at COD! The college has done a wonderful job providing much needed support and training as all new faculty are now going through Friday Orientation sessions. I can honestly say that the college is committed to providing students the best opportunities and best faculty and staff possible,” exclaimed Doussett.
Other former part-time COD faculty members include Ana Stockwell and Scott Ventura. Ana Stockwell has served as a counselor at the COD nursing department for seven years, in addition to working for the Riverside County Department of Social Services as a Children’s Social Service Worker and the program director for the San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services. Scott Ventura has previously taught at COD, but has served as Fire Chief for the City of Palm Springs and has thirty-two years of fire service under his belt. He is currently the Fire Technology Program coordinator at COD.
Several new faces join the COD staff, including Emily Maddigan, Reid Sagara, and Sara Butler. Emily Maddigan holds a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from California State University Long Beach, and has previously shown and managed art exhibitions in various locations within the Los Angeles area. Reid Sagara has been an English instructor for fourteen years, and recently taught at Cascadia Community College in Washington State with a Master’s in English and Education. Sara Butler is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA who has been teaching political science for the past three years. She has also done research for the Midwest Political Science Association and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.
“I consider myself very fortunate to be a new faculty member at COD. Every faculty and staff member I’ve come across has been so welcoming and supportive and, most importantly, the students have been wonderful. I’ve already gotten to know a handful of students one-on-one during office hours and look forward to getting to know more of them in the upcoming weeks,” said Butler.