Santiago Canyon College Holds Tenth Annual Commencement

May 29, 2009

Orange — Santiago Canyon College (SCC) holds its tenth annual commencement exercises on Thursday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m. on campus at Strenger Plaza. Eight hundred and thirty students are eligible to graduate, which represents a 10 percent increase over 2008. Graduates range from 16-61 years of age.

The Class of 2009 valedictorian is Melissa Joanne Mitchell, an 18-year-old resident of Anaheim Hills. She graduates with an associate degree in liberal arts and a 4.0 grade point average. She has earned highest honors, is a President’s Scholar and a member of both the Santiago Canyon College Honors Program and Psi Beta, the national honor society in psychology.

Melissa has been accepted to U.C.L.A. in the fall, where she plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has dual career goals. In psychology, she plans to get her master’s degree so that she can work as a therapist or possibly do research in the field of cognitive psychology. Her artistic ambitions include moving to New York to continue pursuing a career in the entertainment business, hoping to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a Broadway actress. Melissa has already worked as an actress in several local opera and musical theater companies.

This year’s salutatorian (the second-highest ranked student in the graduating class) is Daryl Mangahas Yambao, also graduates with a 4.0 grade point average and highest honors. He has earned three associate degrees (in business administration, economics, and liberal arts), is a President’s Scholar and a member of both the Santiago Canyon College Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa.

The 20-year-old Orange resident will attend California State University, Fullerton in the fall, where he plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. Daryl’s goal is to work in the airline industry and ultimately become a pilot.

This year’s commencement speaker (determined by student vote) is Philosophy Professor Dr. Douglas A. Deaver has taught on a part-time basis for the college district since 1987, and joined Santiago Canyon College as a full-time faculty member in 2005. In 2008, he was selected as both the Teachers for Tomorrow Club’s Teacher of the Year and the Inter-Club Council’s Advisor of the Year. He is an active member of the college community, serving as an advisor several student groups and chairing several faculty committees. Dr. Deaver specializes in teaching ethics.

“I congratulate the graduating class of 2009,” said Santiago Canyon College President Juan Vázquez. “On behalf of college faculty, staff and administrators, I wish each and every graduate much success in the future!”

Over 1,200 people are expected to attend the commencement ceremony on June 4, including graduates, friends and families. A photo area for graduates will be available in the A/B Quad following the ceremony.

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Media Contact:
AnnMarie Librescu, Director of Public Affairs, (714) 628-4745 or