Incoming and outgoing faculty members for Fall 2015



The Fall 2015 semester saw some new faces at COD, and one departing at the end of the semester.  For the current semester, there were 12 new additions to the faculty, and there will be one member retiring.  Here is some information provided by the professors:

New Faculty:

  • Eliu Benavides: History
  • Oceana Collins, M.A.: HistoryIMG_6311_collins_200dpi_RGB

Prof. Collins earned her bachelor’s degree at U.C. Santa Cruz and a master’s in social science at Cal State San Bernardino in 2010, majoring in history.  Currently, Prof. Collins is teaching history and cultural geography.  Prof. Collins said, “Teaching at College of the Desert is awesome, but I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the students-they are what make coming to work memorable and rewarding!”

  • Maria Elena Diaz: Speech
  • Ahmed ElShafie: Astronomy and Physics
  • Brian Fotinakes, Ph.D.: Composition

Dr. Fotinakes attended Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo for his bachelor’s and master’s, then Indiana University where he obtained his doctorate in 2014.  He said that, “I am very happy to be at College of the Desert working with great students and colleagues.”

  • Ramiro Galicia: HVAC/Energy
  • Robert Guinn: Chemistry
  • Jacob Kevari: Economics
  • Lisa Kinsey: Nursing
  • Renee Martin-Thornton: Nursing
  • Christine Melton: Chemistry

Professor Melton graduated from UCSD in 2008, majoring in organic chemistry.  Currently she is teaching Chem 1A/1B, 3, and 4/5, depending on the semester.

  • Corbyn Wild: English


  • Ted Grofer M.A., Adjunct Professor: adviser The Chaparral NewspaperIMG_6258_corrected

Professor Grofer has been on staff for 17 years and taught newspaper production and public speaking.  He finished his under-graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati in 1957, majoring in english & theater arts.  He continued his studies and received his master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Iowa in 1959.  Prior to coming to COD in 1998, he was the publisher at the Desert Sun Newspaper, in Palm Springs, from 1974, to 1980.

Professor Grofer said, “I am proud of what the Chaparral has become in the 17 years that I have been associated with the paper.  We went from a single computer  to a state of the art production system with 11 McIntosh workstations.  Most of the equipment, including the desks and chairs, were paid for with advertising revenues.  I am grateful to the Alumni Association for providing two of the McIntosh computers, and for being a faithful advertiser.”

The Chaparral thanks Professor Grofer for his years of valuable service and wish him the best in his retirement.



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