The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 28, 2012

Real world challenges: UPJ grads urged to ‘leave comfort zone’

— Heather Muir, a beauty news editor for Allure magazine, returned to Johnstown Saturday.

A 2006 graduate of Pitt-Johnstown, Muir gave the keynote address at the school’s 40th commencement ceremony at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.

Against the backdrop of banners boasting “Ready for the real world,” Muir, 27, challenged the 554 graduates to find their interest, be kind, and leave their comfort zones.

“Follow your interest whatever it is,” she said. “If you like goat cheese, those goats don’t milk themselves.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a focus on public relations and marketing, Muir’s interest led her to New York.

 She became a beauty editor at Cosmopolitan.

Later, Muir moved on to Seventeen as beauty editor. Currently, she is employed by Allure, the country’s leading women’s beauty magazine with 7.2 million readers.

“The world is full of smart people,” she said. “It’s not full of nice people. If you want people to remember you, be kind.”

Leaving her cozy home in Davidsville, Muir headed to New York where she was admittedly “shocked and scared.”

“Take a risk,” she said. “Leave your comfort zone. Experience is something you can’t buy.”

Muir told graduates the university has “sculpted careers.”

“Starting today that career will be a success,” she said. “The real world is waiting for you.”

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Paige Sarnowski will take on the real world at pharmacy school.

The Pittsburgh native said she always had an interest in math and science.

“I looked at my skill set and it all matched up,” Sarnowski said. “I’m happy I know what I’m doing next – pharmacy school.”

She said she isn’t nervous.

“I’m excited overall,” Sarnowski said.

“It opens a new chapter.”

Her Pitt-Johnstown education has prepared her for the next chapter.

“It’s a great school,” she said. “It’s a big-name school with a small-town campus feel.”

David Harshberger of Wilmore said he couldn’t believe school’s out.

“The four years really went fast,” said Harshberger, who graduated magna cum laude.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s over,” he said.

With a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Harshberger said he’s hoping to land a job with AmeriCorps before heading to graduate school.

He offered advice to future students.

“Really work hard while you’re here,” he said. “Don't take anything for granted.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • District Deaths April 21, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads