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Santiago Canyon College To Hold 16th Annual Commencement


(Orange, CA) - Santiago Canyon College (SCC) will hold its sixteenth annual commencement exercise on Thursday, June 4, at 4:30 p.m. on campus at the Vazquez Promenade. The 2015 graduating class numbers 1,200 students, ranging from 20 to 72 years of age. The graduating class boasts seven sets of siblings, including two sets of twins. This year, SCC served 200 military veterans and 13 are eligible to take part in commencement.

The Class of 2015 valedictorian is Chad Serrao, a 20-year-old Perris resident. He graduates with a 4.0 grade point average, an associate degree in philosophy, Departmental Honors for his outstanding work in the philosophy department, and the title of Presidential Scholar for completing the college’s honor program. In addition to his academic honors, he has also been presented the Socratic Scholarship, awarded to graduates who show promise for future studies in philosophy. Serrao has also been an active member of the SCC Philosophical Society. He has been accepted to both UC Berkeley and UCLA. After completing his bachelor’s degree in philosophy, he plans on pursuing graduate work in philosophy and law.

"I salute the SCC class of 2015," said Santiago Canyon College President John Weispfenning, Ph.D. "Many of these graduates faced obstacles in achieving academic success, but their perseverance and hard work got them across the finish line. We celebrate them and their families as they set the course for the next chapter in their lives and a successful future."

This year's commencement speaker (determined by student vote) is Tiffany Gause, SCC assistant professor of sociology. Gause joined SCC in fall 2013. She teaches introduction to sociology, marriage and family, social problems, and social psychology. Her teaching philosophy is rooted in critical pedagogy where she seeks to empower students through ownership of, and contribution to their learning space. She says her approach is based on, “I learn from you. You learn from me.” Every semester she encourages her students to do independent research often for group projects. Each group owns its assignment and it can be carried out as they see fit - in performance art, through a video, or by conducting an informal survey. In addition to her instructional duties, Gause is a member of the SCC Professional Development Committee and the SCC Speakers’ Symposium.

In the 15 years that Santiago Canyon College has been accredited, more than 10,000 of its students have transferred to baccalaureate-granting institutions, including the UCs, Cal States, and numerous private universities, including Stanford, CalTech, Cornell, Yale, and Harvard University. To ensure that finances are not an obstacle to college enrollment, this year alone, SCC awarded over $171,000 in scholarships and book loans to its students.

About Santiago Canyon College

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves about 14,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and senior - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

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Media Contact:
Judy Iannaccone
Phone: (714) 480-7503