May 8, 2016


BUFFALO, NYCanisius College announced its student commencement speakers for the college’s 2016 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 21 in the Canisius College Koessler Athletic Center. The general ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. The undergraduate class is comprised of approximately 731 students.

Maria Ta will speak at the School of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony, which begins at 12:30 p.m.

Ta is an international relations and political science dual major with a peace and justice studies minor. She is a member of the DiGamma Honor Society, the premier honor society at Canisius, as well as Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit higher education honor society.

Ta is active in the Canisius College community. She served as president of Little Theatre, since 2015 and assists the Admissions Office by conducting campus tours. She also served as a group leader at new student orientation. In January 2014, Ta traveled to New York City during Winter Service Week to volunteer at the Miguel School in Brooklyn and assist AmeriCorps teachers in their classrooms.

Michael J. Hockwater is the student speaker for the School of Education and Human Services and Richard J. Kubiak is as the student speaker for the Richard J. Wehle School of Business. The commencement ceremonies for the two schools begin at 3:00 p.m.

Hockwater is an adolescence education and English dual major. He is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for education and Sigma Tau Delta National Honor Society for English.

Hockwater is involved with The Griffin newspaper, where he is a news reporter and lifestyle contributor. He also traveled to Oviedo, Spain where he taught English to middle and high school students. Most recently, Hockwater worked as a research assistant in the English Department, as part of the Canisius Earning Excellence Program.

During his student teaching placement at Lancaster High School, Hockwater organized a "Band Against Bullying" event. Put on by the Performing Arts Center at The University of Buffalo, local high schools use various art forms to deliver an anti-bullying message.

Kubiak is an economics and finance dual major. He served as president of the Canisius College Undergraduate Student Association (USA) from 2015-2016 and vice president of business and finance from 2014-2015. As president, Kubiak created a proposal for a $100,000 endowed scholarship, secured funding for a new Griffin statue on campus and proposed a $1 million capital budget, which was unanimously passed by the Student Senate.

Kubiak was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in 2015; DiGamma Honor Society, the premier honor society at Canisius; Beta Sigma Gamma, the international business honor society; Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honor society; and is a member of the Canisius College All-Honors Program. He also served as team captain of the Canisius College Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge, a global competition in which students research and analyze a publicly traded company. This year’s team advanced to the America’s Finals in April.

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.