YSU announces Fall 2023 Commencement speakers

Robert J. “Bob” DiPiero and student Colleen Mary Davis will speak at Youngstown State University’s Fall Undergraduate Commencement ceremony, 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 in Beeghly Center. Following, Cornel Bogdan and student Dominic Vito “Nico” Morgione are set to speak at the Graduate Commencement ceremony, 5 p.m. in Beeghly Center.

Since his first single in 1983, Hall of Fame Songwriter DiPiero has been responsible for an uninterrupted string of country music hits. One of Nashville’s most prolific and consistent songwriters, he has had over 1,000 songs recorded by other artists, countless hit singles and an astounding 15 #1 hits. His songs have been featured in TV shows, commercials and movies. Among his countless awards are 50 BMI Million – Air honors, multiple Songwriter of the Year awards and two consecutive Triple Play awards for three #1 songs within a year’s time.

In 2007, DiPiero was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Nashville’s Walk of Fame. In 2014, the Country Music Hall of Fame honored DiPiero with their prestigious “Poets and Prophets Series: Salute to Legendary Songwriter Bob DiPiero” and the Country Music Association also presented him with the CMA Chairman’s Award. On November 7, 2017 DiPiero received yet another incredible honor when BMI presented him with their prestigious Icon Award celebrating his outstanding career achievement and honoring his unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers. 

Davis is graduating with her bachelor of science in business administration, majoring in human resource management and minoring in nonprofit leadership. Throughout her time at YSU, she was a member of the Sokolov Honors College and has served as the Society for Human Resource Management president and the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization vice president. She was also chosen to receive one of the Williamson College of Business Administration Fall 2023 Senior Leadership Awards.

After graduation, Davis will begin her professional career in human resources and is striving for her dream position working for a nonprofit organization. She also has ambitions to obtain her master's in business administration to continue her love of education, become a collegiate professor, and share her knowledge and experience with the next generation of professionals.

Bogdan began his career in radio taking on an internship at the Youngstown Society for The Blind where he honed his on-air skills by hosting radio talk shows and reading periodicals to vision-impaired citizens within the community. In 1980, he worked as the youngest morning host in Youngstown radio history and eventually moved up to Program Director of WMGZ, bringing in its biggest ratings ever. Bogdan also served as one of the founding members of the YSU station, "The Underground Sound" and an entertainment writer for The Jambar.

In 1988, he joined a brand-new classic rock station starting in the Youngstown area called WNCD CD106 The Wolf, where he remained for over 30 years. Following this experience, he transitioned into upper management, becoming sales manager of both WNCD & WAKZ. In 2002, he launched a weekly radio show called Tangled Up In Blues, broadcasting throughout the country via every streaming service—on WYFM Y103. In 2005, he became a member of "Blues in Schools", an opportunity that allowed him to speak to high school and college classes about the significance of the blues genre. Currently Bogdan works as a senior account manager for Cumulus Media - Youngstown.

Aside from radio, Bogdan remains heavily involved in the community, partnering with charities including Akron Children's Hospital; The Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini Foundation; Second Harvest Food Bank; Hope House; Disabled Veterans; and Inspiring Minds. Additionally, he operates a company of 'haunted attractions' including Ghoul Mansion in Sharon, Pennsylvania and The ExFEARience at Eastwood Fields.

Lastly, Bogdan earned his credentials as a certified Spinning instructor, which he has described as, “opening up so many new doors for me physically, mentally and spiritually.” He teaches up to five times weekly and has created a loyal following every Saturday in the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center at YSU.

Born and raised in the Mahoning Valley, Morgione is a 2018 graduate of Ursuline High School and completed his undergraduate degree from YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration in 2021 with a major in marketing and will be receiving his Master of Business Administration at Commencement. Morgione currently works at YSU’s Division of Workforce Education and Innovation as the associate director, Business Development & Industry Partnerships. In his free time, he enjoys playing live music with local band, RDNA, on the weekends.