Capilano University is looking for student speakers to address graduates at the Spring Convocation Ceremonies.

Selected student speakers will present their address live at their specific ceremony.

A student addressing an audience at convocation

Student speaker bios

Learn more about our June Convocation speakers.

Speaking Date: June 7
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Program: Associate of Arts Degree, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

A photograph of student speaker Clara Duwel

Clara Duwel is graduating from Capilano University with an Associate of Arts Degree in Psychology. She excelled academically, earning a GPA of 4.3 and graduating with distinction.

Having grown up in Sweden, Clara experienced life as an international and domestic student. She used this experience to foster connections with and support students from diverse backgrounds and engaged in various leadership opportunities.

Clara is dedicated to her studies and community involvement. She served as a career ambassador for the Career Development Centre, a mentor for the International Leadership & Mentorship Program and as the Arts and Science representative on the Student Union Board.

During the pandemic, she also established Remote-ivation, a platform that has been a source of motivation and connection for many students. She received several awards in recognition of her leadership, including an honorarium in recognition of Remote-ivation, an award for demonstrated leadership and an award for her contributions as mentor.

Clara's greatest accomplishment was maintaining a balance between her studies and community commitments. She looks forward to bringing these experiences with her and creating inclusive and equitable communities in her future professional and educational journey.

Speaking Date: June 7
Time: 2 p.m.
Program: Bachelor of Early Childhood Care and Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Human Development

A portrait of student speaker Aryanna Chartrand

Aryanna Chartrand (she/her) is graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Aryanna has found a home on the west coast for the last several years.

She has been on the merit list and/or dean's list every semester for academic excellence, will be graduating with a GPA over 4.0 and was awarded the Raven Indigenous Students Scholarship and the Early Childhood Educators of BC Sue Fraser Award for her leadership.

For the last two years, she has served as the Capilano Students' Union Vice President, External and was re-elected as Chairperson for the Alliance of BC Students that represents tens of thousands of students across the province.

She is also thrilled to share that she will be continuing her studies and completing her Masters in International Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University this fall.

Speaking Date: June 8
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Program: Bachelor of Business Administration, Faculty of Business and Professional Studies

A portrait of student speaker Dawn Calow

Dawn Calow will receive her Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Strategic Human Resources and Marketing. Having achieved her bachelor's degree while working full-time and raising two boys, she strongly believes that if you want something bad enough, you can succeed at anything. She is very proud of consistently making the dean's list and the highlight of her academic career is receiving an exceptional student award in microeconomics.

Dawn had a unique experience as a mature student at Capilano University and is a strong advocate for the school in her community. One of her most challenging yet rewarding projects was a capstone marketing team project that she presented to President Paul Dangerfield, Dean Dennis Silvestrone, the marketing and digital experience team and the Career Development Centre (CDC) for a two-year marketing program for the CDC's mentoring program.

Having been in the HR industry for many years, Dawn knows that mentorship provides students and employees early in their careers with skills and knowledge they can't get from a formal education.

As Dawn leaves CapU, her best advice is to enjoy the journey as you pursue your degree, and not rush to the destination. You can learn from every experience, and the relationships that you forge at school will bring many rewards to you in life.

Dawn's next goal is to continue her learning journey by completing her Certified Professional in HR designation and hopes to be a mentor for the CapU alumni mentorship program.

Speaking Date: June 8
Time: 2 p.m.
Program: Communication Studies Diploma, Faculty of Business and Professional Studies

A portrait image of student speaker Sophie ludanova

Sophie Iudanova is graduating with a diploma in Communication Studies. She is an international student from Russia who started her university journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many international students, she had to adapt to a new environment and culture and find ways to achieve a sense of belonging while studying online.

Sophie's greatest accomplishment is her work on the enhancement of student life on campus and the establishment of a stronger community through events and social media.

As a member of CapU Student Life, the Student Life Hub and Student Affairs, she continuously worked to advocate for a safe and inclusive environment for students to meet new friends, have fun and enrich their university experience with new opportunities.

Alongside her fellow students, Sophie has organized numerous events such as First-Year Socials, Halloween 2021 and 2022, Peer Leadership Appreciation and more.

The best advice that Sophie has for graduates is to take risks and follow their dreams. She believes it's important to get out and explore your passions as new experiences lead to new opportunities.

Speaking Date: June 9
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Program: Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts

A portrait image of student speaker Zanthia Berube

Zanthia Bérubé is graduating from the Motion Picture Arts program at Capilano University, where she pursued her passion for storytelling. She knew this was the career for her after making her first film at the age of 12.

The success of her movie, The Purple Heels, which won runner-up in the fiction division at the Nova Scotia Viewfinder film festival, created an eagerness within her to further develop her aptitude for film and to share her creative mind through the art of filmmaking.

During her time at CapU, Zanthia has volunteered as a second assistant director on the set of many fourth-year films. Most recently, she was assistant director on a branded spot for a Coca-Cola commercial. Zanthia has won multiple dean's and merit awards, fueling her passion to learn more about the world of film.

Zanthia has also been a student employee at CapU as the host of cult series mini-mic Mondays on CapU Student Life social media channels. Zanthia's biggest piece of advice for students is to get involved in university activities as that is how she discovered a love of creating fun marketing videos and creating a fun student life.

In her free time, Zanthia enjoys performing in the circus on her unicycle and teaching the art of karate. Travel is in her DNA and she hopes to travel the world making films and telling stories. For now, she will focus on getting to know B.C.


Student speaker eligibility and application

Find speaker eligibility criteria and application information below.

  • Applicant must be eligible to graduate at the next convocation ceremony;
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing; and

Commit to attend and participate fully in the convocation ceremony, including any rehearsals.

Complete the online application by April 26, 2023 with:

  1. Contact Information:
    • Name
    • Student ID
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Program
  2. Biography: 
    • Name
    • Short bio about yourself. We will use this in the Convocation Program should you be the successful applicant. 
    • Program you are graduating in and credential you are graduating with
    • Any awards received or associations you have participated in during your time at CapU
    • An accomplishment in your studies that you are most proud of
    • What lessons have you learned on your journey as a student at CapU?
    • Now that you have your credential(s), what is your next goal? What are your future ambitions?
    • Who would you like to thank for supporting your educational journey?
  3. Video recording: Statement of interest describing your engagement with Capilano University and the broader community, personal growth, how you got here and challenges you’ve faced. Record your Statement of Interest (maximum 2 minutes) to convey how you would present your Convocation speech. 
  4. A letter of reference: One letter from staff or faculty and contact information for two other references we can contact if needed.
  5. Headshot: Be available for an on-campus headshot on May 1, 2023.

Student Speaker selection criteria

The Student Speaker Committee will consider the following when making their selection of student speakers:

  • Clarity of ideas
  • Appeal to a broad audience and common experiences of Capilano University students
  • Quality of speech content
  • Extent to which the speech represents the mission and values of CapU
  • Speaker's delivery – well prepared, engaging, vocal variety, animated delivery and stage presence.

Student Speaker process

  1. Eligible and interested students are required to fill the online application form
  2. The Convocation Student Speaker Committee will review entries and choose student speakers
  3. The Committee will send the selected student a speech sample from past years and instructions for their role that day. When considering drafting the convocation address, consider the following:
    • Relatability
    • Inspirational
    • Original – in your own voice
    • Honouring the significance of the occasion – reflective of the past, present and future
    • A call to action to your classmates.
  4. The committee will announce the selected speakers no later than two weeks after the deadline for submissions. The committee will also notify unsuccessful applicants at that time.
  5. The selected speakers will be notified and if necessary will work with University Events to refine their speech and delivery.

The application submission form is now closed for the June 2023 ceremonies, thank you. 

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University Events

604 986 1911, ext. 3720

778 867 8110