News and Views

Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief: Fundamentals learned at UCC at heart of my job

28 Nov 2018
Condé Nast named UCC alumna Samantha Barry as editor-in-chief of Glamour in January this year. Photo: Getty Images, Jamie McCarthy.

The skills and passion discovered and developed during her time as an undergraduate student at UCC have impacted every job she’s had since graduation, “from leading the social media expansion of CNN to steering Glamour Magazine’s American edition into a new digital age,” according to Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry.

Barry will be honoured at the University’s Alumni Achievement Awards on Friday (November 30) alongside Ireland Professor of Poetry, one of the country’s best-known technology executives, a Cork District Court Judge and the oldest UCC science graduate.

“The technology may have evolved as I jumped from Ireland to London to Papua New Guinea to New York, but at the heart of my job are the fundamentals I learned at UCC and the newsroom of the University Examiner: talk to people, share their stories, and offer opinions,” said Barry, who graduated with an Arts degree (English and Psychology) from UCC in 2002.

Condé Nast named Barry as editor-in-chief of Glamour, one of the biggest fashion and beauty media brands in the world, in January this year. She oversees all content development, production and consumer experiences for digital, social, video and print platforms.

In her previous role as Executive Producer for Social and Emerging Media at CNN Worldwide, which she led to become the most-followed and fanned news organisation in the world at CNN, Barry spearheaded CNN’s 2016 Election coverage across social platforms.

Anna Wintour, artistic director of Conde Nast, said: “Sam is Glamour’s first digital-native editor, which is to say she arrives from the future rather than the past.”

Barry, who is originally from Ballincollig and has worked in more than 25 countries, also served as a social media producer and journalist at BBC World News in London, and as a reporter and producer for RTÉ and Newstalk.

Mairín Hughes, 104, graduated with a BSc and HDE from UCC in the 1930s, at a time when women were not widely taking up STEM subjects. After graduation, she worked in the Pathology Lab at UCC’s Department of Medicine for 14 years before marrying her late husband and relocating to Dublin.

Hughes’s own experience exemplifies the importance of positive role models for female students studying STEM; she was inspired to apply for a BSc in UCC by an older girl at school who was embarking on a similar course of study.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, who holds the prestigious position of Ireland Professor of Poetry and has published eight collections of poetry over 42 years, grew up in the now-demolished Warden's House of the Honan Hostel (where the O'Rahilly building now stands).

“I grew up in the College, so the five years I spent as a student are blended in memory with my childhood.  However, those were the years when I learned to be a permanent student, and to value the wilder side of learning, the sudden passions that lead to fresh knowledge and new creations,” said Ni Chuilleanáin.

“My poems are quite oblique; though they're in fact full of the things I found in UCC they don't show on the surface.  I've written poems on the cultural history of Cork, from Nano Nagle to Séamus Murphy, and I have poems on the polio epidemic of 1956 and the mother-and-baby home at Bessboro.  The most direct reference to UCC itself is to 'the mosaic beasts on the chapel floor' in an early poem, but then I imagine the chapel as a ruin.”

She added: “I can truly say that I've always been proud of my connection with UCC, and I'm always delighted to return and to see how it has developed out of the small local centre of learning that I knew from 1959 to '64.”

Barry O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Palo Alto Technology Partners and with over 30 years’ experience in the technology industry, founded Altocloud, a company focused on using artificial intelligence to transform customer experiences. O’Sullivan served as Altocloud’s founding CEO, growing the business rapidly in the US and Europe until the company was acquired by San Francisco-based Genesys Inc. in February.

O’Sullivan spent most of his career in Silicon Valley, joining Altocloud from Cisco where he was Senior Vice President and led Cisco’s Collaboration and Unified Communications businesses for over 10 years, growing revenue from $100m to over $4 billion.

"I am delighted to receive this award and grateful for the engineering education I got at UCC. UCC continues to produce top quality engineering graduates, a critical contribution to Ireland's innovation economy,” he said.

Judge Olann Kelleher, who graduated with a BCL in 1974, will receive an Alumnus Award for Voluntary Service to UCC for his contribution to UCC Rugby Club as a coach and manager.

“Being born and bred on Western Road, my earliest memory is of going up the Dyke at six or seven years of age to watch my brother Michael playing on the same team as Tommy Kiernan, Paddy McGrath and Jerry Walsh, who were legendary College internationals. I was hooked for life, and the Mardyke will always be a special place for all of us lucky enough to have played there,” he said.

“It is a great achievement for UCC Rugby to achieve Division 1A status for the first time and I wish our President Rory Bevan, coach Brian Walsh and captain Daire Feeney every success for the rest of the season.”

For more on this story contact:

Lynne Nolan, Media & PR Officer, UCC: 087 210 1119 or


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