Several years into my skiing life, I decided to head back to school in London for a masters degree in human rights law. Though my program made clear I didn't in fact want to become a lawyer, it did help me decide to pursue journalism. As a journalist I figured I could work on many of the same issues that I would encounter as a human rights attorney but I knew I'd enjoy writing about them more than fighting over them. And, I thought, sometimes, getting the word out is the most important step. So I returned to Jackson and started freelancing for the two weekly papers there. It was the first job that challenged me endlessly. As I wrote, I only got more and more interested in what I was doing and more and more curious about the many stories around me.
A year in the masters program at the Columbia University School of Journalism, which I completed in 2006, got me to New York City and helped me hone my skills as a reporter. I then worked for two years as the education reporter at the Herald News in northern New Jersey, where I learned to meet (and beat) deadlines, write breaking news, in-depth features and profiles and develop a reliable coterie of sources. I have since become a freelance journalist again, this time focusing primarily on international stories about human rights, women's rights, and issues affecting children's lives. Thus I'm now indulging in my love of travel -- India, Venezuela, Liberia, and Senegal are recent sojourns -- and reporting as many stories as I can find along the way.
- 2012, Second place in Magazine Reporting, New Jersey Chapter Society Of Professional Journalists Excellence In Journalism Awards; awarded for my story, “The Kids Really Are All Right,” that appeared in Inside Jersey Magazine.
- 2007, First place in the Robert P. Kelly Award from the New Jersey Press Association while at the Herald News. Award given to a first-year reporter at a daily paper with a circulation under 60,000.
- May 2006, James A. Wechsler Award for National Affairs Reporting for my Masters project at Columbia about Muslim Americans in the U.S. military.