I grew up in Central Illinois in a town called White Heath, which made us (yes!) White Heathens. I went to high school at University Laboratory High School on the campus of the University of Illinois. I took a year off before officially starting college and took classes at the U of I, which is when I learned ikebana and how to tap dance and became an EMT.
Then I officially entered the U of I and majored in news-editorial journalism at the College of Communications. Immediately after I graduated in Spring 2002, I was picked for a Dow Jones News Editing Internship and spent the summer as a copy editor in Duluth, Minn., at the Duluth News Tribune. They were very lovely.
After my summer internship, I started grad school at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. My “concentration” was in New Media, which I think they now call Interactive Storytelling. I learned a lot while reporting from Medill’s downtown Chicago newsroom.
I spent my last semester before graduating in Prague, working for a news service called Transitions Online. They cover the former Soviet republics and the Balkans, and it was my job to copy-edit and fact-check the articles. I also created graphics to illustrate the articles, which gave me the opportunity to put Stalin in blue eyeshadow and a nice set of pearls. It was a proud moment.
My first job out of school was as the senior online content producer for the Winston-Salem Journal in Winston-Salem, N.C., where I learned huge amounts about the realities of newspaper publishing. They were very good to me.
I bid JournalNow goodbye in May 2008, and moved to Chicago, where I worked as a senior online content producer for Legacy.com. Legacy.com is the leader in the field of online obituaries, with more than 700 newspapers as clients. Faced with the economic downturn, they had to lay off 8% of their staff, so I was let go in February 2009.
From June 2009 to September 2010, I worked for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an academic hourly employee. In my biggest project, I redesigned and built three new websites for the Office of the Vice Provost of Human Resources.
In October 2010, I was hired by the ABAJournal.com as a web producer. It’s the website for the monthly magazine of the American Bar Association, with between 20 and 30 daily news articles posted. It’s my job to moderate the comments, produce their podcasts and keep their Blawg Directory current.
If you’d like to contact me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.