I'm a journalist living in Taos, New Mexico.
These days, I spend my time traveling from newsroom to newsroom in the Mountain West, talking with editors and reporters about solutions journalism — rigorous reporting on the responses to social problems, in addition to reporting on the problems themselves. I help tease out story ideas, develop meaningful in-person events for journalists in the region, and sometimes, I give money to newsrooms in the form of grants. My title at the Solutions Journalism Network is Mountain West Manager, but something like “Solutions Journalism Evangelist” would be more accurate. I do what I can to spread the news that there’s another frame besides fluffy feature stories to tell stories about what’s working in the world — and that those stories are newsworthy, too.
Previously, between 2016 and early 2018, I was a shared project reporter on collaborative journalism projects in New Mexico: first Small Towns, Big Change, a project between seven news organizations investigating credible responses to entrenched social issues in rural communities across northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, and then State of Change. I spent a day in an alternative recovery center for mental health patients, documented a heroin addict's path through jail toward recovery, walked with farmers deciding what to do with land their family owned for centuries, hiked through overgrown forests ripe for wildfire, and tracked which rural communities actually attract young people, instead of hemorrhage them (hint: they’re not all Jackson Hole, Wyoming). In an attempt to use that philosophy degree I earned in college, I even asked the question: Wait, why bother? Why save the small towns?
Sometime in there, I spent months trying to understand why a historically blue Colorado county swung red in the 2016 election to support Donald Trump, in this feature story for High Country News.
Before that, as an education reporter for The Seattle Times in 2014 and 2015, I wrote about testing scandals, teacher protests, historic school funding stalemates, Washington's brand-new charter school movement and a number of powerful and quirky players in education. I have also written for the Casper, Wyo., Star-Tribune and the Saratoga Sun in Saratoga, Wyo.
When I'm not writing, I enjoy teaching yoga, running very long distances, and attempting to tire out my rescued blue heeler puppy.
Thank you for stopping by my internet home. Feel free to send me a note with thoughts or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.