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OHIO alumni David Collins, Mike DeNoma, Saumya Pant to speak at Spring Commencement

Three Ohio University graduates working in television, international business and higher education will deliver the keynote addresses at the 2023 Spring Commencement Ceremonies on May 5 and 6.

David Collins and Mike DeNoma will speak at the undergraduate commencement ceremonies, while Dr. Saumya Pant will speak at the graduate commencement ceremony. 

David Collins to speak at morning undergraduate commencement ceremony

The speaker for the morning ceremony on Saturday, May 6, will be David Collins, an eight-time Emmy award-winning producer of hundreds of hours of groundbreaking content over the last 25 years.

Collins, who earned a bachelor’s degree in television and film from the Scripps College of Communication, is the creator of the pop culture phenomenon “Queer Eye” and co-creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed voguing competition show “Legendary.” Collins also continues to give voice to marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community through imaginative portrayals of inner strength and beauty. He has executive produced multiple series, including the visionary fashion arc competition series “The Hype” for HBO Max, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” with Amy Poehler for Peacock, a follow documentary series on the fantastical community of “Merpeople” for Netflix, and an investigative documentary series on megachurch Hillsong, with Vanity Fair for FX.

Collins and Michael Williams co-founded Scout Productions in 1994, producing a wide variety of film, documentary, and TV projects for inclusive, omniculture content. While fundamentally remaining an independent company, Scout Productions is an Emmy and Academy Award-winning media company committed to culturally transformative and emotionally gripping content across multiple platforms with humor and heart. 

A proud Bobcat, Collins previously recorded a Pride Month message for Ohio University in 2020.

Mike DeNoma to speak at afternoon undergraduate commencement ceremony

The speaker for the afternoon undergraduate ceremony on May 6 will be Mike DeNoma, who is an adventurer, supporter of children’s causes, father, and experienced CEO, chairman, and board director of major international and public companies. He also proudly describes himself as “an old and greying Bobcat with many miles on the clock.”

DeNoma received a bachelor of arts degree in history from the Honors Tutorial College in 1977 before earning his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He moved quickly up the ranks at Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Citibank before working for Hutchison Whampoa and starting his own companies in China.  From there, he moved on to transformational CEO, chairman and board roles at leading emerging market banks.

In addition to being one of the world’s leading emerging markets bankers, he’s an earnest ultra-endurance athlete raising money for children’s causes.  He’s an Ironman and has run 100-mile and 200-mile ultras across Death Valley and the Sahara, Greece, Taiwan, and the Arctic (while dragging a sled in minus 35 weather) - all after age 50.

Dr. Saumya Pant to speak at graduate commencement ceremony

The graduate commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 5, when Dr. Saumya Pant will deliver the commencement address. An assistant professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies, Pant also serves as the director of the Communication and Development Studies program in the Center for International Studies.

An activist, mother and teacher, Pant is a global expert in strategically integrating entertainment-education programs with community-based group listening and locally available health care services. She has also worked on mobile marketing and the emergence of Generations Y and Z in India. She has worked on several projects funded by international agencies, including Population Communications International and UNAIDS.

Pant has a Ph.D. and master’s degree from Ohio University, focusing on communication for social change and interpersonal communication. She has scholarly interests in gender and health communication, communication for social change, critical cultural inquiry, transnational feminism and entertainment-education. Her scholarly work has been published in international journals such as the “Journal of Communication,” “Journal of Development Communication” and “International Journal of Mobile Marketing.” She authored the “international development theories” submission in “Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.”

Pant has received numerous awards for her teaching, including the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award at the 2022 Spring Graduate Student Commencement Ceremony.

The graduate commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 5, in the Convocation Center.

The undergraduate commencement ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., on Saturday, May 6, in the Convocation Center.

For more information on the 2023 Spring Commencement, see the commencement website.

March 30, 2023
Staff reports