Commencement student speaker: Anne Rivera

An outstanding student, Anne Rivera is highly active in assisting new students at the university and is a writing intern in the Office of the Chancellor. She aspires to be a communication professor.

Anne Rivera
Anne Rivera

Anne Rivera, a communication major at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, will be student speaker at the university’s fall commencement. Rivera is an outstanding student, highly active in assisting new students at the university, and is a writing intern in the Office of the Chancellor.

“I’m humbled and honored to be selected as the speaker,” says Rivera. “I think it’s a great opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to the people and culture here in Hawai‘i that have helped me grow as an individual.”

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Rivera transferred to UH Hilo in fall 2016 after earning an associate in arts in education from Guilford Tech Community College in Jamestown, North Carolina. Since coming to UH Hilo, she has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.85, been on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List each semester, and was awarded a CAS Dean’s Scholarship in June 2017.

Rivera works at New Student Programs in the Division of Student Affairs, where she provides support and assistance to first-year students, including freshmen and transfers, through various programming designed to build a foundation for their academic and social integration. She also leads a team of student ambassadors who help support those initiatives.

Rivera also is a public information intern in the Office of the Chancellor, writing stories for this website, UH Hilo Stories, over the course of two semesters. She covered a broad range of topics on academics, research and community outreach, including two series: one on curriculum and projects at UH Hilo focusing on sustainability issues and another on climate change research at UH Hilo.

“We’re proud that she is associated with the chancellor’s office,” says Marcia Sakai, interim chancellor.

Rivera’s commencement address will acknowledge the achievements of the graduating class and express gratitude to those who supported students. She also will issue a call to action that she hopes will empower and inspire her classmates by reminding them that commencement marks only one chapter in their lives, and they have much left to accomplish.

“I’m excited to commemorate my undergrad experience with the graduating class of fall 2017,” she says.

Rivera aspires to be a communication professor and will attend Georgia State University to pursue a master of arts in human communication. The graduate program is paired with an internship that will enable her to assist faculty in teaching undergraduate courses.


UH Hilo Fall Commencement will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16, 9:00 a.m. at the university’s Vulcan Gym.

To read more about commencement, see UH Hilo media release.