I was born a listener.
I am American but spent the early part of my childhood in Vienna, Austria. My family relocated from Washington, D.C., in 1986 for my father's work in environmental science. My parents sent me to kindergarten when I turned three. I learned German within a few months by listening to my classmates.
Adult conversations fascinated me too. My father often brought other scientists home for supper. I would stay at the table after the dishes were cleared, listening to their discussions on soil chemistry and acid rain. I wanted to understand.
As I grew older, I craved experience. I elected to follow a nontraditional path. After high school, I volunteered to teach with AmeriCorps in inner-city Boston. I began to find my voice as a teacher and to ply those words to the practice of writing. I studied Spanish and English in college and then moved to New York City to teach English to foreigners and to write. I moved to upstate New York to milk cows and to write more.
I started a master’s program in English literature at Middlebury College in Vermont. There, among the Green Mountains that Robert Frost visited for 40 summers, I read his poetry and that of many others. I wrote poems. I learned to economize my words. When I switched gears to pursue a master's in journalism at the University of Missouri, I carried that economy with me.
Curiosity drives my journalism. I am always learning. I am interested in politics and issues of social and environmental justice. I pore through documents for in-depth stories. I draw on my training in investigative techniques, computer-assisted reporting, visual storytelling and narrative writing. I also enjoy writing features about poets, cowboys and men who play Santa Claus.
I have had the opportunity to return to Europe as a journalist at the invitation of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.
I have won awards for reporting from the New England Newspaper & Press Association and the Missouri Press Association and a fellowship from the Missouri School of Journalism. I have served as editor on projects that have won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Press Photographers Association, the Vermont Press Association and Gannett. I was selected to take part in the American Society of News Editors' 2017 Emerging Leaders Institute and was chosen as a USA Today Network emerging leaders fellow in 2018.