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Deshauna Barber is an award-winning international speaker, coach and entrepreneur

NORTHFIELD, Vt.

Norwich University is honored to announce that U.S. Army Capt. Deshauna Barber, the first-ever soldier to be crowned Miss USA, will deliver the university’s 2022 commencement address to graduating seniors on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Barber, an award-winning international speaker, coach and entrepreneur, has a bold approach to inspiring and encouraging her audience. Barber uses her experience as a U.S. Army officer, nonprofit CEO, former Miss USA and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduate to inspire her audience. Barber shows the power of perseverance and tenacity and how it led to her becoming a top-rated speaker sought after by Fortune 500 companies. She works full time as the president and chief executive officer of Service Women’s Action Network, the nation’s leading 501(c)3 nonprofit organization advocating for U.S. armed forces veterans.

Barber has a Bachelor of Science in business management from Virginia State University and a Master of Science in computer information systems and services from University of Maryland University College.

The 31-year-old spent her yearlong 2016 Miss USA reign advocating for additional government support for military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She uses her platform to encourage higher attention to the mental health of service members who have deployed and served.

Barber served her country for more than 10 years and now works as an instructor at Howard University's Bison Battalion during her Army Reserve commitment. She has made it her life goal to encourage, inspire and strengthen the people around her. When she’s not serving her country, Barber travels globally as a full-time motivational speaker.

Barber has appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show,” “The Rachael Ray Show,” “Fox and Friends,” “Chelsea,” “Good Morning Washington,” “The Ellen Show,” “T.D. Jakes,” “The Nightly Show,” “The Source” on Sirius XM, “The Daily Show,” “Lunch Break,” “Live with Kelly,” “Good Morning America” and in Glamour and Diversity magazines.

Norwich University President Mark Anarumo called Barber an ideal Commencement speaker — someone who can speak to grit, resiliency and tenacity and who understands the challenges graduates will face.

“U.S. Army Captain Deshauna Barber is the perfect speaker for 2022,” he said. “Her experiences as a military officer, international experience in industry and as a top-rated speaker, and success as an entrepreneur will be deeply meaningful for our graduating students and guests. She has personally served, comes from a military family and is a tremendous advocate for servicemembers suffering from post-traumatic stress.

“Her messages of fighting through challenges and defeating fear of failure are perfectly aligned with the Norwich University motto, ‘I WILL TRY!’  We look forward to welcoming Captain Barber to Norwich University.”

Norwich University’s 2022 Commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 30. Barber will address approximately 400 students matriculating from 32 undergraduate programs and one master’s program. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Shapiro Field House.

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About Norwich University
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by U.S. Army Capt. Alden Partridge and is the nation’s oldest private military college. Norwich is one of our nation's six Senior Military Colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

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