Star A. Muir

Star A. Muir

Star A. Muir

Associate Professor

Rhetoric and technology, public communication, digital natives

Dr. Star A. Muir Biography

Star Muir is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Rhetoric and Communication, his M.A. from the University of Central Florida in Communication Studies, and his B.A. from Wake Forest University in Communication. 

Star’s early research on language and the symbolic in environmental and scientific communication resulted in a co-edited book on Earthtalk:  Communication Empowerment for Environmental Action, and articles in Philosophy and Rhetoric, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Etc.:  A Review of General Semantics, and Speech Communication Teacher, among othersExploring critical themes of attention and distractability in today’s students, Star has focused his research most recently on the challenges of teaching, learning and labeling for “digital natives” as they navigate their online and social media environments.

A debate coach for almost 20 years, Star received Distinguished Service awards from debate programs at the University of Massachusetts and George Mason University. Working for eight years as the Director of Learning Support Services in the Information Technology Unit at Mason, he supervised twenty-two staff and assisted faculty, students and staff in building critical IT skills. Star has taught writing-intensive courses for over 30 years, and has presented writing and communication workshops to the Centers for Disease Control, the Office on Women’s Health and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Star has received several teaching awards at the local and national level, and his innovative educational media won both Telly and Communicator awards of distinction. Most recently he has served as the President of the National Communication Association.

Star enjoys playing guitar, reading sci-fi/fantasy/mystery hybrids, and doing Tai Chi.  His wife Janette works in the Provost's Office, daughter Caitlin graduated from UVa, and son Alex is studying at VCU.

Selected Publications

  • Muir, S. (2017). Digital natives. In Mike Allen (Ed.), SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (pp. 384-386). Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE Publications.
  • Muir, S. (2013). Privacy, identity, and public engagement among Digital Natives. In S.J. Drucker and G. Gumpert (Eds.), Regulating Social Media: Legal and Ethical Considerations (21-43). New York, NY: Peter Lang. 
  • Muir, S. (2012). The gloss and the reality of teaching digital natives: Taking the long view. In S.P. Ferris (Ed.), Teaching, Learning, and the Net Generation: Concepts and Tools for Reaching Digital Learners(19-41). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Courses Taught

COMM 300:  Rhetorical Criticism

COMM 386:  Digital Advocacy


B.A. Wake Forest University, 1980

M.A. University of Central Florida, 1982

Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 1990

Recent Presentations

  • Muir, S. (2023, April 1).  Short Course on “Teaching struggling students in digital environments: Low-Tech solutions for engagement and motivation,” Eastern Communication Association Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD.
  • Muir, S. (2022, November 20).  The attention economy, democracy, and social engineering: Moving beyond “checking out,” National Communication Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.

  • Muir, S.  (2022, April 7). Panelist, “Scholars’ roundtable: The state of U.S. democracy in the Early 21st century,” Eastern Communication Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Muir, S.  (2019, April 5). Digital natives or digital navel-gazers? An “internal” debate on technology, youth, critical thinking, habits of mind, narcissism and their rhetorical construction,” Southern States Communication Association Conference, Montgomery, AL.

Dissertations Supervised

Barry McManus, A Curriculum Structured Design for Educating Adults in Detecting Deception and Eliciting Information (2013)