MSJC Commencement Honors 1,309 Students

Matt DeRemer of Menifee celebrates his graduation from Mt. San Jacinto College. Story and photos courtesy of Mt. San Jacinto College Med...

Matt DeRemer of Menifee celebrates his graduation from Mt. San Jacinto College.

Story and photos courtesy of Mt. San Jacinto College Media Relations


Before the Great Recession, Angela Mange, 38, had been a successful office manager. But a few years ago, everything changed when the mother of five was laid off.

After a year-long search for a job, Mange enrolled at Mt. San Jacinto College and started hitting the books at the San Jacinto campus.

"I wanted to be the first in my family to earn a college degree," Mange, of Hemet, said.

Mange realized her dream during MSJC’s commencement Friday at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater in Hemet. A total of 1,309 graduates from Temecula to the San Gorgonio Pass and points in between turned their tassels. MSJC awarded 1,979 associate degrees and 155 career certificates, as many students earned more than one degree or certificate or a combination.


Kenneth M. Young, superintendent of the Riverside County Office of Education, was the keynote speaker. MSJC alumna Amber Cuadra of Murrieta sang the National Anthem. The following MSJC students took part in the program: Prudence Irvin-Geurin Detzel of Homeland, Pledge of Allegiance; Diana Medina of Hemet, opening reflection; Jason Botello-Ferguson of Hemet, closing reflection; and Tamara Russell of Lake Elsinore, turning of the tassel.

Mange’s success is just one of many personal stories of hard work and self-sacrifice from the class of 2016.

Matt DeRemer, 28, the father of a 17-month-old son, earned straight A’s and graduated with honors while attending the Menifee Valley Campus. Now, the Menifee resident is planning a bright future.

DeRemer wants to be an engineer, and later a college professor in math and physics. In September, he will be studying math and physics at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.

DeRemer received an associate of science degree in mathematics, an associate of arts degree in liberal arts, with an emphasis on social and behavioral science, and an associate of arts degree in liberal arts, with an emphasis on math and science.

Before returning to MSJC in 2012, DeRemer dropped out of college a few times. But he went on to earn a 4.0 grade point average.

"MSJC helped me to realize my potential," he said. "Hopefully, my story will inspire others."

Ashley Brown, 24, a mother of two young children, earned nearly straight A’s at MSJC. With her 3.9 grade point average, Brown will receive associate of arts degrees in communication, social and behavioral science, and liberal arts, along with an associate of science degree in administration of justice.

The Menifee resident wants to be a firefighter and emergency medical technician in Riverside County.

"I’m very competitive," Brown said. "Don’t make excuses for yourself ... you can do anything!"

Mange reflected on her time at MSJC. She earned an associate of arts degree in social and behavioral science and an associate of science degree in business administration. She plans to keep up a busy pace after graduation. She will study online for a bachelor’s degree in business administration through Bellevue University’s online program. At the same time, she will work full-time at MSJC, helping low-income students under the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) program.

"At MSJC, they’ve opened the door to education for me," Mange said. "“I’m very thankful and humbled by that opportunity."

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