Celebrating Ticker Alumni: Heather Schultz Gittens

Alum+Column

Victor Chu Photography | Courtesy of Heather Schultz Gittens

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Copy Editor

The Ticker was founded in 1932 as the student run newspaper of City College’s Downtown Campus, making 2022 the newspaper’s 90th anniversary. To honor and celebrate the legacy of The Ticker and of the members who kept it running, the News section will be publishing profiles of former Ticker members from throughout the years.

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Baruch College and Ticker alumna Heather Schultz Gittens is a well-respected worker in a variety of fields, most notably through her work in content marketing and nonprofit communications as a journalist, entrepreneur and adjunct communications lecturer at Baruch.

Schultz Gittens’ journalistic work has been published in The New York Times, NBCNews.com, The New York Daily News, The St. Louis-Post Dispatch, Library Journal, Direct Marketing News and IZEA Blog. She attributes her early success in part to the work she did with The Ticker as a reporter and copy editor.

“Without having clips from The Ticker, I would never have gotten my first internship,” she said.

Schultz Gittens also said working with The Ticker gave her the opportunity to meet like-minded people and create cherished memories.

One experience that Schultz Gittens said stood out to her was an article she wrote about the New York Knicks’ Allan Houston.

“I am a big Knicks fan and Allan Houston, number 20, was my favorite all-time New York Knicks player,” Schultz Gittens said. “He actually was invited to be a guest speaker at a Christian concert at Baruch College and I asked the arts editor of The Ticker if I could cover this event…I got to meet Allan Houston. It was an amazing, amazing experience.”

While Schultz Gittens originally utilized her Ticker training to work as a copy editor, freelance reporter and columnist, it was not until after working in journalism that she said she discovered her passion for education.

“I didn’t know that I wanted to be an educator, I thought I was going to be a journalist forever,” she said.

When Schultz Gittens was invited by Baruch professors to be a guest speaker in their classes, she realized that teaching was something she wanted to pursue.

“I realized that I love talking, I love inspiring, I love teaching and I realized I really enjoyed that … and I just lit up when I got the chance to share my story and career advice,” she said.

In her role as an educator in Baruch’s communications department, Schultz Gittens incorporates wellness into her lesson plan. She stresses the importance of health to her students.

“When I talk about wellness, I talk about physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and I always make sure to give a little plug about the importance of self-care to all my students at the start of semester,” she said. “You come first, don’t ever put anyone above yourself.”

Schultz Gittens said that she utilizes vulnerability in both her teaching and her writing.

“I truly believe that vulnerability is a superpower and I for one have always been very open about my experience,” she said. “I think that’s really, really important because at the end of the day, we’re all human. We are all human having this human experience.”

In addition to her current work as an educator, Schultz Gittens is the owner and founder of Huh Healing Hub, her wellness and Reiki company. She uses Reiki, a Japanese form of energy healing, to help her clients overcome obstacles in their lives.

“I work with clients on a whole bunch of issues, emotional issues, abandonment issues, infertility and so on,” Schultz Gittens said. “And I really love what I do, because after I’ve experienced Reiki back in 2012, and 2013 it really helped me think about some of my own emotional wounds that I had as a Korean adoptee, some abandonment issues I had growing up as a transracial adoptee in a predominantly white neighborhood in Long Island. And I want to give that back.”

Schultz Gittens is also working on a memoir that will share her life journey of navigating through hardship and triumph, with others.

“It’s my story,” Schultz Gittens said. “It’s about my experiences growing up as a Korean adoptee, … overcoming a domestic violence situation — I’m a domestic violence survivor —and my overall journey for self-love and trying to find my birth family. I think that it can help heal a lot of people.”