Transfer ceremony recognizes student achievement



On May 11 a colorful ceremony at the McCallum Theatre recognized College of the Desert transfer students as they continue on to 4-year universities. The ceremony began at 3 p.m. in the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.

Over five hundred students completed the coursework required to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program at Cal State Universities, Universities of California and various other universities across the country.

Transfer students Nicholas Meade, Elliana Villa, Jess Lucia and Sabrina Youngerman were the student speakers. Their speeches consisted of stories about landing six F’s in one semester, being on hiatus from school, having a difficult time with reading and being discouraged by friends. All their stories ended with a motivation to succeed.

Meade quoted Tom Brands, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you earn.” After having no one to blame but himself,  Meade managed to go from a 1.6 GPA to a 3.9 GPA. Meade has been an active leader at COD. He was elected as the executive officer of communications and served as student ambassador to the president’s office. “I earned those scholarships,” Meade said. He will be attending University of California, San Diego in the fall.

Elliana Villa managed to work with tutors in order to excel. Math was one of her biggest challenges. “It happens, it happens to everyone.” Villa said. When she thought her friends turned their back on her she found that the best moral support was her family. Villa is the first in her immediate family to receive a college degree. Villa will be attending Cal State University, San Bernardino.

Jess Lucia through difficult times in his life received help from his priest. Lucia said, “It’s those little things in life when we learn to challenge ourselves. We realize that all the things that happened to us will lead us to these moments in life.” Lucia will be attending Cal State University, San Bernardino.

Sabrina Youngerman is attending University of California, Los Angeles in the fall. When she failed her first class she said, “It felt like a punch in the gut.” She took it and used it to her advantage to try harder and excel. After succeeding through all her pre-college school years and graduating from high school, she came to COD. It was difficult at first she said, “Without the Edge program I wouldn’t have made it this far.”

COD Transfer Counselor Scott Cooper said, “Everyone is running their own race, nobody else’s.” He mentioned at the ceremony that there are many paths in life and encouraged students to find the right path for themselves..

Opening remarks were given by President Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D., Presenting the Certificate of Transfer Achievement was Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Educational Services and Planning Annabelle Nery, Ph.D. Transfer Coordinator Veronica Daut emceed the event and introduced COD student speakers. Counselor Maria Herrera read the student acknowledgements and Director of Counseling Amanda Phillips provided the closing remarks.

Transfer Advocate Honorees nominated by students. Maria Avalos, Instructor, Early Child Education. Heather Benes, Associate professor, English. Adell Bynum, Coordinator, ACES. Oceana Collins, Instructor, History. Carl Farmer, Director, MESA. Geoff Hagopian, Professor, Mathematics. Sancdra Hauf, Counselor Veterans. Tula Marin, Director of TRIO DSPS. Jorge Perez, Instructor, Mathematics. Vanessa Potter, Adjunct Faculty, Assistant Tutorial Coordinator. Donni Prince, Veterans Specialist. Michael Smith, Associate Professor, Philosophy. Corbyn Voyu, Adjunct Faculty, English. Escarlet Wirth, Adjunct Counselor, HSI.

Over 300 people attended the ceremony.

Here are some words students expressed on the day of the transfer ceremony.

Rosaleen Escareno. Photos courtesy of Angela Sanchez

Rosaleen Escareno’s fondest memories at COD, “Everyone is so friendly and the classes I never had a problem getting into.”

Juan Martin, Marixa Ochoa and Salvador Hernandez

Marixa favorite memory of COD is going into MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) “it helped a lot” she said.

Kevin Haddad and Alex Enriquez

Alex’s favorite memory from COD is making the connection with the professors and the students.

Alda Jair Carranza and Kaitlyn Boyles

Alda’s fondest memory will be “Graduating with [his] best friends.”

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