BY SABRINA MESSAOUDI
College of the Desert is hosting its 13th annual Transfer Ceremony. On top of graduation day, the ceremony gives students an extra spotlight for their hard work and achievements.
“It is important for both the student and their family and friends to celebrate this important milestone in their lives,” Scott Cooper, councelor at the transfer center, said. “They have attained a college degree and, for most of our students, they are the first in their family to do so. This degree represents a lot of hard work and dedication and is something that inspires others. For this reason, we celebrate our students’ successes and honor faculty and staff as well that helped in this process,” said Cooper.
During the Transfer Ceremony transfer students get the chance to share their journey through COD. President, Dr. Kinnamon will also be present, alongsided by the Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Annabelle Nery to share inspiring messages with the students. Students will receive a transfer medallion which is also allowed to be worn during graduation on May 25.
Transfer student Jose Alfredo Campos is happy to transfer to Cal State San Bernardino and says it means a lot to get recognition for his hard work. “Once I graduated from high school and I couldn’t go to a Cal sate or UC for financial reasons, I set a goal that I would go to COD and transfer in two years. I am super happy [that] I was able to accomplish that goal,” he said.
Campos also found a new passion during his studies at COD. “My best memory at COD was me and my friends finding a new hobby, which was playing Ping Pong. We spent hours playing it after class or during intermission of our classes.”
Janessa Garza-Peña, who majors in psychology, sociology and liberal arts, is also one of this years transfer students. Besides taking classes on campus, she got involved in school clubs, the voice of student body, the student panel, and ASCOD. Her goal was to inspire other students to get involved. Alongside she attended and assisted with events on and off campus such as club rush, find food bank, black history month parade, rely for life, phi theta kappa regional events and tabling as an ambassador.
Peña is waiting on an acceptance letter from her first choice university UCLA. However, she already got accepted to 3 other universities, including Northridge, San Jose state and UC Merced. For students who are not transferring yet, she had the following tips: “Join clubs to build your resume and start researching universities one year before your transfer,” said Peña.
COD football player, Angel Alain Gloria Gonzalez is transferring to Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. His best memory at COD is winning against Santa Barbara college. “The previous year we got defeated and humiliated by them at their home field. We got revenge this past season and it felt good.”
Despite transferring to a 4-year college, Gonzalez’s journey at COD is not over yet. “I love COD football. It was definitely an experience. I met a lot of great guys and if I could I would do it all over again. I hope to come back with my degree and help the football program improve.”
On average COD has about 600 students transfer to CA public schools and an additional group who transfers out of state or to private schools. The Transfer Center advices and assists students in their transfer process. “We help students plan classes, complete applications, college essays, host college tours, university fairs, outreach events and assist with individualized transfer help,” Scott Cooper said.
This year’s annual Transfer Ceremony will be held on May 10 at the McCallum theatre from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.