About the journalism program at K:
A good journalist must have curiosity, breadth of knowledge, and the confidence and ability to communicate effectively. My goal for the journalism program at K is to help students cultivate these skills and develop flexibility as writers.
The journalism track at K gives students access to a variety of writing styles and techniques they can then adapt to their interests and strengths. I teach with a "learn-by-doing" approach. I believe students learn best experientially, by trying things out on their own and learning from both their mistakes and successes. To facilitate this kind of learning, I require students in the journalism classes to write many and varied assignments, many of which build upon each other. I also think choice creates motivation; therefore students create their own blogs and online portfolios as well as generate and pursue their own story ideas. This allows them to explore a range of subjects and beats or find a niche on which they’re eager to focus. Past students have pursued and published stories relating to science, sports, medicine, arts, religion, education, environmentalism and travel, among others. They have also gone on to successful careers in print, radio and television.
Introduction to Journalism. This class introduces students to the basic reporting and writing skills essential to creating “hard news” stories for print. Students write and report daily, under deadline, to master key types of news stories. This class provides the fundamentals on which all journalistic writing is built.
Arts Journalism. The intermediate level class explores the nature of arts, entertainment and cultural criticism. Students read, watch and write weekly. Film, TV shows, readings, live performances provide the raw material for written essays. The aim is to help students develop critical skills and express their views creatively, convincingly and in a way that will engage the reader.
Narrative Journalism. This course is the capstone of the journalism program at K-College. It focuses on practicing the reporting and writing skills essential to creating feature stories, in the tradition of narrative or literary journalism. The course will consist of regular writing workshops and intense self- and peer-editing; reading, discussing and analyzing published work; and lecture and discussion of craft skills and technique, including narrative, voice, reportage, interviewing, structure and style.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, I first came to Kalamazoo College to study philosophy as an undergrad. I earned a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University where I focused on narrative journalism, and I am nearing completion of a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Non-Fiction Writing at Western Michigan University. My current writing project is a coming-of-age memoir about having survived cancer at 17. I have worked for The Pennsylvania Law Weekly, The Boston Review, Mother Jones Magazine, Third Coast Magazine, and most recently, the Kalamazoo Gazette. In addition to teaching journalism, I direct the Writing Center at Kalamazoo College. Other teaching experience and areas of interest include creative writing (fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction), critical theory, women’s studies and postcolonial literature.