Student Speakers
2017 Mid-Year Commencement Exercise
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Stan Sheriff Center


Catherine Gardiner’s early fascination with languages sparked a keen interest in diverse peoples and cultures. Realizing that she could use her passion for languages in meaningful ways, Catherine chose to major in the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa’s respected Second Language Studies program with the goal of teaching English to speakers of other languages. By teaching abroad in the Peace Corps, she hopes to not only empower her students with the linking language of English, but also build pathways to relationships and bridges between cultural perspectives. Commencement marks the culmination of her undergraduate career and the beginning of a new adventure. She is honored to represent the graduating class of Spring 2017 at the ceremony and is thankful for the support from her family, friends, and mentors who have invested in her and helped her reach this milestone.


Shiraz Dole is graduating from the Shidler College of Business with a bachelor’s of business administration in entrepreneurship and international business. Born and raised in Hawaii, Shiraz attended Ala Wai Elementary, Kaimuki Middle School and Kalani High School prior to the University of Hawaii. Shiraz has also studied at George Mason University in Washington D.C. and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Shiraz plans to one day start a global technology firm and eventually start a free skills training school for low-income women with weak educational backgrounds so that they may attain higher paying jobs.

Honorable Mention

9:00 a.m. ceremony

James Humann, transcript of speech
Simone Terstegge, transcript of speech

4:00 p.m. ceremony

Lynn Abramo, transcript of speech