Independent Journalist and Adjunct Professor Jan. 2014 – present
Producer, This American Life 2004 – 2013
Radio: Produced, edited, wrote and reported stories for WBEZ’s “This American Life,” the award-winning radio show heard weekly by more than 3 million listeners. Specialized in finding creative, character-driven approaches to covering news events and issues. Subjects covered included elections, Hurricane Katrina, race, healthcare and education. Supervised production of weekly themed episodes, including listener favorites “Middle School” and “The Convert.” Worked with freelance contributors to write, structure, edit and produce longform radio pieces. Evaluated and developed story ideas pitched by journalists and listeners.
Television: Produced non-fiction stories for the Emmy-award winning Showtime series “This American Life.” Pitched, developed and reported the TV series’ finale — a one-hour episode that tells the story of a life though seven people named John Smith.
Print: In 2011, guest edited “These American Lives,” a special section of the The New York Times Magazine’s annual memorial issue, “The Lives They Lived.” Identified, reported and edited nontraditional obituaries of ordinary people.
Features Writer, The Baltimore Sun 1996 – 2004
Wrote and reported general-assignment features. Specialized in narrative human-interest stories based on news events. Won the Pulitzer Prize for Features Writing for a story of a baseball umpire mourning his oldest son’s death from a genetic disease and grappling with the uncertain prognosis for his second son. Other longform stories included a profile of the Pennsylvania town where Flight 93 crashed on 9/11, and a story about the trail of warning signs that led to a mentally ill man killing two sheriff’s deputies.
Features Writer, The Raleigh News & Observer 1994 – 1996
Wrote and reported general assignment features, including profiles, humor pieces and narratives of breaking news events. Won the Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing for a series of stories on everyday obstacles faced by schoolchildren and teachers.
Bureau Reporter, The Charlotte Observer 1994 – 1996
Covered police and school beats in four counties while based in Hickory, North Carolina. Pitched and wrote enterprise features for the front page and features sections.
Taught sessions on interviewing and at the Poynter Institute, the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, and Princeton University, among other venues.
Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. 1991 – 1992
Earned a Master of Science in Journalism with a concentration in magazine publishing.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. 1986 – 1990
Earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Culture. Spent 30+ hours a week reporting and editing at The Michigan Daily.
Recording, editing, mixing and scoring of audio stories using Pro Tools.