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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Marine to media: Meet City College’s new public relations technician

Manuel Figueroa
City College’s newly appointed Public Relations tech Maurice Elamrani stands in the City College quad Wednesday, March. 20, 2024.

From representing his country in the United States Marine Corps to expressing himself by creating music, Maurice Elamrani has no shortage of experiences to bring to his role as City College’s new public relations technician.

As the PR tech for City College, Elamrani described his duties as disseminating accurate information to stakeholders, protecting the City College brand and boosting student engagement through media. He started the job in October, and is part of a two-person department, reporting to the campus public information officer.

Growing up in a poor neighborhood in South Sacramento that lacked examples for Elamrani to admire, he said he was unsure if he would get out.

“The worst thing for me was just seeing everything, understanding that it was not ideal, but then not having really anything else to see [and] not really understanding what the other options were,” Elamrani said.

Despite the challenges presented by his environment, Elamrani found peace in music. He started out on the saxophone, playing in the Florin High School Jazz band, orchestra and marching band. He later turned to drumming because it was affordable, and he could carry his drumsticks in his back pocket to make music anywhere.

Those drumsticks would catch the eye of a Marine Corps recruiter, as Elamrani one day in 2007 made his way through the expansive quad at Cosumnes River College, where he was a student. Accustomed to their efforts, Elamrani was prepared to brush the recruiter off like any other time.

“And he [said] ‘Oh, you’re a drummer? Can you show me something?’ And so he got me,” Elamrani said with a smile, “I kind of break it down for him, showing a few things. I started talking to him, built a rapport.”

The next thing he knew, Elamrani found the community he missed out on in his childhood neighborhood. On his 19th birthday, he reported to Washington, D.C. on orders to join the Marine Barracks 8th & I.


City College’s Public Relations technician Maurice Elamrani participates in an exercise at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico. Photo courtesy of Maurice Elamrani.

While in the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Elamrani said military leaders from D.C. sensed his magnetic energy and recruited him for the Silent Drill Platoon, a 24-man rifle platoon that performs precision drills and routines during public performances, including parades.

Elamrani attended many prestigious events, including performing at NFL halftime shows to President George W. Bush’s farewell ceremony. In an electrifying moment, he attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

“It’s probably one of the coolest things that I’ve done. I’m so proud of it. I’ve shaken President Obama’s hand [and he] inspected my uniform,” Elamrani said. “I feel honored to have been a part of it.”

While he encountered numerous thrilling experiences, he also faced solemn moments. Serving on the Dover Dignified Transfer Carry Team, he participated in the respectful transfer of remains processes to honor those Marines who died while serving overseas.


Maurice Elamrani, City College’s public relations technician, participates in a dignified transfer of remains, which is a process conducted at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Photo courtesy of Maurice Elamrani.

After four years of service, Elamrani elected to leave the military in 2012. With the mountains of communication experience he had gained while serving, he returned to where it all began: Cosumnes River College.

“I was terrible at school,” Elamrani recalled. “But after the Marine Corps, I came back with that discipline, I came back with the ability to focus and I excelled pretty easily. And when I got my first A.A., it was a big day for me.”

In October 2023, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in information technology in 2022 from University of Phoenix, Elamrani landed the role of PR Tech at City College.

Crystal Lee, City College’s public information officer, praised Elamrani’s skillset in communications and technology, and highlighted his ability to take on any project that needs attention for the office to succeed.

“He brings a lot to the work that we do in our office because he not only contributes as expected of him, but he also goes kind of above and beyond and enhances what we do,” Lee said of Elamrani.

When reflecting on his goals as PR tech, Elamrani expects to use his passion for collaboration, communication and empathy to help the department reach its goals.

“I don’t see enough people that come from where I come from, and being able to communicate that story in a particular way that other people that are outside of that can hear receptively,” Elamrani said. “I believe in shared experiences and shared stories. And so, for me, it’s about bringing that to the forefront accurately.”

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About the Contributors
Leah Lentz
Leah Lentz, Staff Writer
Leah has been drawn to journalism since she was young. Some of her fondest memories from her childhood are opening the Sacramento Bee every morning to check out the sports page.
Manuel Figueroa
Manuel Figueroa, Staff Photographer
His interest in photography comes from his grandpa who was always taking photos, and owned various cameras along with movies and video games that featured photography.
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