Storytelling + leadership

Communications Consultant,  2014 to current
I craft narrative and strategy for nonprofits, academia and small businesses. My clients include the journal Social Problems, Hickory Creek Animal Hospital, YogaCares, First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Hardtopronounce Odditorium.

Communications director + program manager, News Literacy Project, Bethesda, MD. 2015 to 2018
I developed and executed all communications and in-bound marketing visions and blueprints. I shaped NLP’s narrative, bringing its story to an international audience. I built a communications department where none had existed, and that work significantly expanded NLP’s social media audience and engagement, bolstered its name recognition and positioned NLP as a leader in the news literacy field. I developed highly successful recruiting and online fundraising campaigns. I built key alliances among stakeholders. I have experience in crisis communications and change management.

Communications Director, LSRI, Chicago, IL. 2013 to 2014
I built the communication department for UIC’s $40 million-Learning Sciences Research Institute, the top revenue-generator on campus. I developed the processes and protocols for a highly effective office that significantly raised LSRI’s profile in the first year. I led a web redesign, established social media channels and development marketing and recruitment materials. I exceeded audience and earned media goals, and increased applications by 50%.

Asst. Director of Communications, UIC, Chicago, IL. 2010 to 2013
I rebuilt the communications department at UIC’s College of Education, bringing its channels and special projects into one house. My strategy generated a 150% growth in Facebook audience in 3 months. I recrafted the school’s narrative as a venerated institution and built a foundation for communications expansion. I redesigned the website and built two others, relaunched a newsletter and developed new recruitment materials. I also co-produced identity and social media videos.

News + editing

Freelance writer. 1999 to current
I specialize in education, poverty, social justice, social media and yoga. My work has appeared in Harvard Education Letter, Maryland and Illinois newspapers, and at Lumpen Radio, Heartland Alliance and other publications.

Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL. Senior Reporter. 2005 to 2010
I was an award-winning, lead education reporter who covered the nation’s 10th largest district. My beat work appeared in print, multimedia projects and a daily blog. I focused on accountability, school reform, race relations, desegregation, children in crisis, communities in poverty, low-performing schools. I emphasized policy and politics.

Center for Public Integrity, Washington, DC, Investigative Reporter. 2002 to 2003
I managed, edited and wrote for The Water Barons, an award-winning global project that investigated the privatization of drinking water systems worldwide.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Cherry Hill, NJ. County Reporter. 1999 to 2001
I specialized in municipal and data-driven reporting.                            

Reporter + editor. 1996 to 1999                   
I worked for Medill News Service as a Washington, D.C. correspondent for The Patriot Ledger, a business reporter for The Warsaw Business Journal in Warsaw, Poland, and legislative and energy reporter for Medill News Service. At Intertec Publishing, I served as assistant editor for Coal Age and Engineering and Mining Journal.

Teaching

Adjunct Instructor. 
2003 to current
I taught English composition, communications, journalism and writing courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Roosevelt University, University of Central Florida and Villa Julie College.