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Grad Story: Dalton Denis


In a remarkable display of determination and resilience, Dalton Denis a former Marine, celebrated a major milestone earning an Associate of Science degree in just a year and a half. Applying training and skills acquired during his military service, Dalton is an example of the potential for personal growth and academic success.

After serving in the Marines for four years, Dalton began working in poker rooms at local casinos. Dalton found himself at a crossroad, uncertain about the path he should take. “During the pandemic, I did a lot of soul searching,” he said and asked, “What can I contribute?”

Dalton’s miliary experience played a vital role in shaping his educational journey. His time in the Marines instilled discipline, time management skills, and a strong work ethic, qualities that paid off during his time at MSJC.

On the advice of a fellow veteran, Dalton’s first stop at MSJC was the Veterans Resource Center. It was there he found a sense of camaraderie and support that led to his success as a student.

Dalton Denis

Following in his father’s footsteps, Dalton has a passion for engineering, and after earning his AS degree he is transferring to University of California, Irvine.

“Hands down the veterans center staff and support is the main reason this transition to college and now transfer went smoothly,” Denis said. “They helped me through the VA process, assisted with paying bills, and guided me through my education. It truly is a community.”

Dalton and his wife Kelli are expecting their first child at the end of the year. As he embarks on the next chapter of his life, he attributes his academic success to MSJC and the people who supported and guided him.