Download our app in the AppStore now!

Download our app in the Play Store now!

View the Mobile Web Version of our app here!

You're seeing this message because you're using an older version of Internet Explorer that is unsupported on our website. Please use these links to upgrade to a modern web browser that fully supports our website and protects your computer from security risks.

Hide this message

FSU Tag Line


Bookmark and Share

Frostburg State University to Celebrate Student Successes at 148th Commencement

Frostburg State University to Celebrate Student Successes at 148th Commencement
Commencement speakers Alanna Hirshman, Marissa Howk and Caitlin Taylor

Frostburg State University will celebrate the achievements of the spring 2016 graduating class during the 148th Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 21, in the Main Arena of the Cordts Physical Education Center.

Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk, president of FSU, will confer degrees on graduates, while Dr. Thomas Bowling, vice president for Student Affairs who served as interim president for the last year, will preside over the two ceremonies. The ceremony for the Colleges of Business and Education will start at 9:30 a.m., and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremony will start at 2 p.m. Featured student speakers for the ceremonies include Alanna Hirshman, College of Business; Marissa Howk, College of Education; and Caitlin Taylor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Hirshman, of Charlotte Hall, Md., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration with a concentration in human resource management, having completed her degree with a 4.0 GPA. She is president of the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, president of the Student Business Leadership Committee, a member of national business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma and a member of FSU’s President’s Leadership Circle. Hirshman studied in Uganda and Ecuador, during which a faculty member observed her to be “an exemplary ‘ambassador’ of Frostburg State.” She attended Frostburg’s Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership Conference and Beta Gamma Sigma’s International Leadership Forum in San Diego. She has tutored economics, worked as a research assistant to Dr. Anthony Stair and served as a human resource coordinator for Kimpton Hotels.

Howk, of Andrews Air Force Base, Md., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, with plans to pursue a graduate degree at California University of Pennsylvania. According to Tony Zaloga, director of the athletic training education program, in class and in clinical experiences, Howk “exemplifies the qualities and dispositions of an outstanding student.” She also possesses excellent interpersonal skills, he said. Howk regularly appeared on the Dean’s List, is a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and twice received The Michaels Organization’s Scholarship of Excellence. She played four years of Bobcat Lacrosse – three as team captain – and appeared on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’ Academic Honor Roll in 2014 and 2015. She was also named to the Capital Athletic Conference’s All-Academic Team in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Taylor, of Waldorf, Md., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a 4.0 GPA. She served as a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, reporter for The Bottom Line, director of marketing for the History Club and in several executive roles for Residence Hall Council. A professor said Taylor possesses a “keen and engaged analytical mind.” She presented her research with Dr. Stephen Hartlaub on Plato’s “Gorgias” at the 2015 Northeastern Political Science Association Conference, attended FSU’s Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership Conference and presented at FSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and English Colloquium. She also held two campus jobs, tutoring students at the Programs Advancing Student Success Office and in Artist Hospitality for the Cultural Events Series.

Interim Provost Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi; Dr. Clarence Golden, dean of the College of Education; Dr. Sudhir Singh, interim dean of the College of Business; and Dr. Joseph Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will present candidates for degrees.

Tickets are required to attend Commencement. For more information, visit

The ceremony will also be streamed live online. For the livestream link, visit on the day of Commencement.

To join in the celebration, share your best Commencement photos and clips on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr by tagging them, #instaFrostburg. Tweet your congratulations, photos and best wishes with the hashtag, #FrostburgGRAD.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589