BY GLORIA RIVERA
On May 10, 2018, the 13th Annual Transfer Recognition Ceremony was held at the McCallum Theatre. During the ceremony, many faculty were recognized for teaching students. It is important to be there for students day in and day out. College of the Desert’s President, Dr. Joel L. Kinnamon gave a speech and congratulated the transfering class of 2018. He offered a reminder to students that although it is a new beginning for those moving forward with their education to different institutions, it’s important to never forget where they started. “We are all Roadrunners first,” he said.
During the ceremony it was nice to hear the different journeys taken by fellow classmates, and similar struggles shared by everyone in attendance. As the students spoke, I began to think about my journey at COD, I remember my first day as a five month pregnant mother to be, transferring seemed so far away. Being at the ceremony made me feel very proud that I worked hard and I did not give up. Knowing that my son, who is now two and half years old, was in attendance and cheering me on. It was a very happy moment.
Many of the students attending the transfer ceremony identified as first generation college students. I was one of them, it is a proud moment for myself and my family, knowing my parents came to the United States many years ago, to build a better life for themselves and my siblings. Many years of struggle and sacrifice surfaced in the few moments of hearing my name called out for the audience to hear, my family included.
We all shared the struggle of making personal schedules work hand in hand with class and study schedules. Everyone went through a period of doubt, and many nearly gave in, but we all made it somehow. It will always be something we will share together, and continue to further ourselves and our community.
Although some might believe attending a transfer ceremony or graduation ceremony for an associates degree is not a big deal, it is important to recognize yourself for reaching milestones on the way to a larger goal such as a bachelors or masters degree. Many students who start the year, do not make it through. Seeing familiar faces sitting alongside me was comforting, knowing we have accomplished the first step in a longer journey.
The faculty, such as professors, counselors and board members were also in attendance. It is important to recognize the effort put in by these individuals, because they have put in countless hours to support and guide the students of College of the Desert. To this I give thanks to every professor who meets with that one student after a class and offers guidance or advice to survive their pursuit of higher education.
Thank you for all your great stories and being some of the most influential role models. It is not always easy to change a student’s life, which is why it takes a great professor to do so.
In the words of President Kinnamon, we are Roadrunner’s first!