I’m a Midwestern journalist who is passionate about building new platforms, amplifying minority voices in media and sharing unheard perspectives. Oh, and raising a small flock of chickens.
That’s the first line on my resume, and you might be wondering why those things interest me (especially the chickens — a lot of people wonder about the chickens). Here’s a little more about me.
In 2008, I found myself working late on a college student newspaper layout, trying to beat the printer’s deadline. While I always had an interest in writing and talking (non-stop), that busy evening with a buggy old version of Adobe InDesign made it clear that journalism really was my passion. Unfortunately, the economy crashed the same year I entered college. So, like a resourceful student, I attended a great community college close to home, saving up along the way to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism (hence my commitment to mentoring and helping community college students who also have an interest in communications).
When I got to Mizzou, I realized that there was so much to learn and do, and within a few years, I was out the door with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism (with emphases in editing and multicultural studies), hoping to change the world. Since then, I’ve been padding around rural and urban regions of the Midwest, working with start-up publications, small television stations, and 100-year-old community newspapers that still cover local dog pageants. My work is not always groundbreaking, but it means a lot to the Midwesterners who feel forgotten about in a “flyover state.” And that means a lot to me, because I believe that every community has the right to fair, representative and quality coverage.
Beyond regional work, I also contribute to other publications, such as mental_floss.com, The Riveter and Refinery29, and provide copyediting services for multiple companies — specifically business plan and grantwriters, who are most interested in helping people take big risks with even the smallest of resources. Many of my writing and reporting interests revolve around women and minorities in agriculture, self-sustainability/food access. I also have bylines for general pop culture pieces, and have a very specific interest in the weird culture that is American food.
But what about those chickens? Many journalists live in big, coastal cities. I’m in #NoCoast, happily content with freelancing and raising a small flock of chickens with endearing names. It’s hard to write about middle America without walking the walk — er, feeding the hens.