A versatile writer, editor, and communications pro with experience in mission-driven organizations, I am proficient in strategy development, social media, multimedia collaboration, and storytelling for varied, targeted audiences in a range of forms and voices. With a web-first orientation and the ability to write in traditional long form, I can get to the core of an issue quickly, motivate constituents to engage and invest, and reach both the head and the heart.
Communications Director, University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities | January 2015 – present
- Lead a strategic communications plan demonstrating the public value of forward-looking, inquisitive, digitally-curious humanistic scholarship.
- Tell stories demonstrating scholarship in action. (See them).
- Support faculty fellows and grant recipients, publicizing their publications and events through web channels, social media, posters, mailings, and media outreach.
- Oversee the production of lots of flyers, posters, email newsletters, web calendars, and such.
Senior Communications Coordinator, Bastyr University | June 2011 – January 2015
Lead writer responsible for developing editorial voice across the institution, managing our most-circulated publications (two email newsletters), telling stories in a range of tones, and bringing journalistic rigor and a user-focused orientation to all content. Helped marketing team meet overall recruiting goals each year on staff. Responsible for several of our most-read and shared stories each year. Awarded SimpsonScarborough Scholarship for new higher-education communications professionals from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
- Strategy: Sharpened editorial content into key messages, 1) demonstrating the university’s credibility by covering evidence-based research and 2) showing the transformative power of education through compelling personal stories. Oversaw editorial calendar promoting those messages.
- Creative: Planned and created stories that amplified strategic messages, profiling students, alumni, research projects, and innovative classes. Produced two monthly newsletters, long-form features, and frequent short web items.
- Leadership: Proposed and led redesigns of email newsletters (our chief recruiting publications), drawing on analytics data and user surveys. Reached out to Admissions, Development, and the President’s Office to coordinate web marketing goals.
- Multimedia/Collaborative: Proposed and led multimedia web projects, including stories via Google maps. Daily collaboration with photographer, videographer, and social media managers to promote brand across platforms. Assisted marketing team with print copyediting, event promotion, data directories, and media outreach.
Pacific Northwest Correspondent and Associate Editor, Sustainable Industries Magazine | January – June 2011
An office of one, I helped a Bay Area magazine establish a presence in the Pacific Northwest. Developed sources, found stories, broke news, and built readership with minimal guidance. Reported stories on energy, policy, housing, finance, transportation, and other green industries. Interviewed venture capitalists, executives, developing-world entrepreneurs, academic researchers, and other industry leaders. Wrote a cover story and features for bimonthly print magazine, helped redesign a stodgy front-of-book section, proofread, prepared photos, and learned the countless small, important tasks of creating print publications. Wrote daily online news stories, using social media to inform and promote work.
Staff Writer, Grist.org | January 2009 – December 2010
High-volume, fast-paced journalism for a news website with a humorous take on serious environmental topics. Developed voice through lighthearted blog posts and thoroughly reported features showing readers that environmental knowledge doesn’t have to be gloomy.
- On-the-ground reporting from chaotic U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, Canadian tar sands, Welsh energy research hubs, Arizona solar factories, and Puget Sound tidal-power observation boats.
- Pushed a clean-energy finance scandal into mainstream coverage, leading to citation in The New York Times.
- Interviewed governors, Congress members, scientists, activists, and authors (Michael Pollan, Douglas Brinkley).
- Daily social media use, contribution to strategic planning, managing interns, editing for colleagues, and collaboration on multimedia projects.
- Stories republished at The Guardian and Mother Jones and highlighted/referenced at The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Republic, TIME, and many other sites.
- Built the case for shifting editorial focus from environmental problems to solutions, producing examples that showed how our editorial voice could contribute to a hopeful vision.
Web Editorial Intern, Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press | Summer 2008
Helped a print-oriented newspaper move into online journalism. Proposed and created the organization’s first interactive maps, editorial widgets, and Facebook applications. Led Twitter reporting initiatives and prepared multimedia coverage of major news events.
Writer, Indiana University School of Journalism | Fall 2007
Invited to write for school website while earning master’s degree, reporting stories on research, classes, and visiting speakers such as Pulitzer-Prize winner Bob Woodward.
Reporter, Brown County (Indiana) Democrat | August 2005 – July 2007
Learned journalism on the fly at understaffed small-town weekly. Learned to write quickly and carefully while covering county government and schools, earning the trust of sources and readers. Helped readers understand contentious property tax disputes and school board controversies. Awarded lead government beat within several months on the job.
- Brought data-oriented perspective to a policy series on “The Farm Bill in Brown County” and an economic series on “The State of Brown County Tourism,” which won Story of the Year from the Hoosier State Press Association.
- Led team’s efforts to incorporate infographics in news coverage. Frequent photography.
- Learned the power of narrative storytelling. Won another Indiana Story of the Year award for narrative profile of a Malian immigrant.
Freelance and Consulting
- Development and communications writing for U.S. State Department, Grenzebach Glier and Associates, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Wilburforce Foundation.
- Creative nonfiction published in The Sun, Image, River Teeth, The Other Journal, Geez, and Conspire.
- Journalistic reporting for Puget Sound Business Journal, Indianapolis Business Journal, Portland Business Journal, Crosscut.com, Seattle Weekly, and Bloomington (Indiana) Herald-Times.
- Critical and scholarly work in Books & Culture, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, and Comment.
Tutor, Brown County (Indiana) Literacy Coalition | January 2006 – October 2007
Tutored middle-school boy to help with academic struggles, let our tutoring relationship grow into a mentor-friendship, took him on outings to movies and the county fair, befriended his family, helped him through difficult family transitions.
Volunteer Caregiver, Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta, India | February – March 2005
Kept daily company with residents at homes founded by Mother Teresa. Delivered meals, massaged legs, bathed bodies, listened to stories, and sang songs.
Residence Staff, Woodstock International School, Mussoorie, India| July – December 2004
Supervised high school boys from 16 countries at private boarding school; worked to earn their trust; counseled, tutored and mentored them; helped with college application essays; communicated with parents; led study halls, dances, games, and hikes in the Himalayan backcountry.
M.A, Indiana University School of Journalism, August 2008
B.A., Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 2004, English major, Writing and Religious Studies minors
Proficient in multiple CMS platforms, basic HTML, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft Office for PC and Mac, and AP style.
Familiar with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and InDesign; somewhat familiar with CSS and video shooting and editing.