AdFed/PRSSA host Miss Pennsylvania

Written By Kelly Cline

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Pageants have become much more than just a beauty contest, and current Miss Pennsylvania and Point Park University student Juliann Sheldon plans to share her experience with students.”Anyone can win this pageant because it is about scholarship and it is about education,” Sheldon said.Sheldon will be visiting Point Park University on Thursday, Nov. 3 to speak to students about the range of opportunities she has been given since winning the Miss Pennsylvania contest, as well as how it has benefited herself and her future career goals.Point Park’s AdFed/PRSSA club is hosting the event and Hillary Shepherd, senior Advertising and Public Relations major and president of the club, believes that people can benefit from attending and listening to Sheldon speak even if they are not interested in pageants.”We hope that they learn about the Miss America Program but also how to be involved in your community,” Shepherd said. “Specifically for AD/PR people, we hope that they can learn from her how to network themselves and market themselves for a job.”Shepherd assures the experience will be a unique one, allowing Point Park students to not only meet the current Miss Pennsylvania, but also to learn how to better their own future careers.”It’s a good experience to learn about how to be in the public eye and how to deal with that and being able to take that information and shape yourself to better yourself career-wise,” Shepherd said.Ryan Strength, a senior Advertising and Public Relations major, has helped to plan the event and agrees that the event will be valuable. She explained that it is a good opportunity to find out about the Miss Pennsylvania and Miss America programs and the opportunities that have presented themselves to Sheldon since the pageant.”I think it’s beneficial for people to go to listen to her because when you think of Miss Pennsylvania or a beauty pageant, people might not realize how much of a good thing this was for her and how much it really has helped her career,” Strength said.Sheldon admits she was first interested in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant because of the scholarship opportunities. Once she got involved, however, she saw all of the other valuable opportunities that were presented to her and realized how fortunate she was to be given the chance to represent Pennsylvania.”Really, it’s the best job I could ask for,” Sheldon said.Sheldon enrolled at Point Park to major in Advertising and Public Relations. Sheldon took a leave of absence for the 2011-2012 academic school year so she could fulfill her duties as Miss Pennsylvania and prepare for the Miss America pageant. She plans to return next year to continue with her degree, but explained that while she has not been in a typical classroom, she has still gained a lot of knowledge.”It’s definitely given me a year off of formal education but I haven’t stopped learning,” Sheldon said. “This whole year has been a learning experience for me so far.”Bob O’Gara, professor of public relations and advertising and adviser for the AdFed/PRSSA club, explained that students can benefit from the event, and that people should learn from Miss Pennsylvania’s excursion thus far.He believes that Sheldon’s journey will inspire others and teach people just how valuable the experience of a pageant can be.”It’s much less a beauty contest than it is now a celebration of people wanting to do some good in society,” O’Gara said.The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. It will be held in the multi-purpose room on the second floor of the Student and Convocation Center. A free lunch will be provided and Sheldon will be available to speak throughout the event.

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