Alumna and Local Native Comes Home to Share Story of Success in the Big Apple
I am delighted to announce that Heather Muir '06, who in just six short years since her graduation from Pitt-Johnstown has risen through the ranks in the fashion publishing industry, has accepted an invitation to speak at our 40th annual Commencement ceremony, Saturday, April 28.
After graduating in 2006 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and a focus on public relations and marketing, Heather Muir moved to New York City where she landed a job as a beauty editor at Cosmopolitan. In her role, she was heard regularly on Sirius XM's Cosmo Radio and was co-author of a beauty book. Advancing through the highly competitive fashion publishing industry, she moved on to Seventeen as beauty editor where she directed photo shoots and provided beauty commentary for backstage fashion show videos. Now, at the age of 27, she is the beauty news editor at Allure, the country's leading women's beauty magazine with 7.2 million readers. In addition to keeping tabs on the latest product news and industry trends, Ms. Muir has interviewed celebrities including Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria, and Usher. She has served as an Allure beauty source for local television news programs across the country, and her blog posts for allure.com have been picked up by Yahoo, Yahoo Shine, and New York magazine’s The Cut. She is also a go-to authority for newspapers including The New York Times.
In her speech to graduates, she will emphasize the importance of stepping out of one's comfort zone and seizing opportunities. During her junior year at Pitt-Johnstown, Ms. Muir completed an internship at Self magazine, which she credits with giving her an important edge over other college graduates. Following graduation, she received an e-mail message from a contact she had made at Self inviting her to interview for a position at Cosmopolitan. She has been working in the industry ever since. She commented, "Pitt-Johnstown provided me with a solid foundation to enter the magazine world. Thanks to my innovative communication courses, I built the necessary skill set and confidence to excel as an editor in the beauty field."
Ms. Muir has remained true to her alma mater, always finding time to give back to Pitt-Johnstown students. She has served as a mentor to several students over the years, helping them to find internships and offering suggestions on how to break into the competitive publishing business. She commented, "I owe so much of my success to mentors I've met along the way. I find it satisfying now to mentor others, and I especially welcome the opportunity to give back to my fellow Pitt-Johnstown alums." We are delighted to welcome her back to campus.
Also speaking at the ceremony will be Student Government Association President Clifford Maloney '13, who will offer remarks on behalf of the students. Dr. Janet Grady, vice president for academic affairs, will present the candidates for degrees. Jeffrey Philibin '88, president of the Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association, will recognize graduates as the school's newest alumni.Dr. Ola Johansson, associate professor of geography, will serve as the grand marshal for the ceremonies, which will include a procession of graduates, faculty, staff, administration, and members of the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board. Faculty marshals are Neelima Bhatnagar, assistant professor of management; Jill Henning, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Ako Inuzuka, associate professor of communication; Dr. Manisha Nigam, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. John Thompson, associate professor of mathematics; and Dr. Paul Washington, assistant professor of geology.
Commencement will begin at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 28 in the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.