The only woman to have seen combat both as a U.S. soldier and a civilian journalist, I have broken national news in enterprise work and on deadline. I did the first unit-level, in-depth reporting of the Iraq War, producing work that was a finalist for The Atlantic’s Michael Kelly Award and led to a best-selling book. More recently, I co-wrote a high-profile book by a retired female lieutenant colonel who denounced systemic sexism in the Marine Corps.
Author & freelance journalist
• Bylines include New York Times’ At War blog, The Daily Beast, etc.
• Academic work includes Funding Flows in the Sea of Goodwill: An Analysis of Major Funders in the Veteran-Serving Nonprofit Space for Center for a New American Security in June 2019.
• Author: They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq (St. Martin’s Press, 2011), a national bestseller reviewed in Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers’ Weekly, etc.
• Co-author, with Marine Corps Lt. Col. (ret.) Kate Germano: Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind how Female Marines are Trained (Prometheus Books, 2018), reviewed in Kirkus Reviews, New York Journal of Books, etc.; covered by NPR, etc. Ghost-wrote related op-eds for USA Today, New York Times, etc.
• Educator/mentor: Taught journalism courses at both University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado. Taught veterans writing seminar in nonfiction writing for the Veterans Writing Project. Edited nonfiction stories, as a volunteer, for Armed Services Arts Partnership anthology.
• Currently: editing a final draft of my first novel; writing a Civil War nonfiction book.
Content manager, The So Company/Akoya
Led 12-person editorial team that helped overhaul how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs communicates with the people it serves. We used plain language to rewrite thousands of form letters and much of the Vets.gov website to better explain to veterans, troops, and their families how to get help.
Director of Veterans Outreach/Public Relations, Bergmann & Moore
Wrote press releases; set up media interviews; managed firm’s social media and SEO. Wrote daily blog on news that affected veterans, from policy changes to benefits updates to mental health tips; it became a must-read for policy-makers, veterans service organizations, and reporters.
Reporter, USA TODAY
Typically wrote two or three stories a day on national health policy, including military and veterans’ health, for the News and Money sections. Also covered Congress and other politics as assigned. Stories explored how Baltimore sought to trim health costs, why repealing the Affordable Care Act would boost costs, why regulation reduced automobile deaths as deregulation increased gun deaths, the effects of Iraqi and Afghan dust on veterans’ health, and why older vets were seeing longer waits for benefits. ACA stories helped further the conversation and were often cited by members of Congress, as well as the president, and led to appearances on Morning Joe and C-SPAN, while reporting on military sexual assault led to an appearance on Alex Witt. Continuing coverage of the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan helped researchers to connect dots and caused Sen. Tom Udall to push for better research and care for veterans, as well as for VA to create a burn-pit registry and recognize symptoms for benefits.
Reporter, Military Times
Covered military health, especially pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Broke the Walter Reed scandal and burn-pit story, leading to improvements in the Wounded Warrior Battalions, increased parity in benefits pay across ranks, the firing of the commanding general at Walter Reed. The burn-pit stories led to investigations by Rand and the GAO, as well as to Congress demanding that burn pits be banned. Barack Obama also focused on the issue. Wrote the “Blood Brothers” series, which was one of four finalists for The Atlantic’s 2008 Michael Kelly Award, and which was considered the first unit-level, in-depth reporting done in Iraq. The reporting helped end 15-month tours, as well as mid-tour changes of command. Specialized in mental health issues, traumatic brain injuries and disability retirement issues. Covered cultural, training and demographics issues, as well as the Pentagon, military strategy and national security issues.
• Embedded in Iraq for 10 weeks with the U.S. Army’s 26th Infantry Regiment in Baghdad; several U.S. Marine Corps units at al Taqqadum, and a medical unit in Mosul.
• Embedded in Afghanistan for 10 weeks with the U.S. Army’s 101st Aviation Regiment.
Reporting intern, Chicago Tribune
Wrote general-assignment stories.
Freelance journalist, college instructor, and copy editor
Covered breaking news for the Associated Press, wrote features and news stories for The Denver Post, wrote business and lifestyles stories for the (Boulder) Daily Camera, and covered science for NASA.
• Taught editing, news writing, and page design at the University of Northern Colorado.
• Taught critical thinking and writing at the University of Colorado.
Family issues and people profiles reporter, The Oregonian
Wrote for southwest metro bureau.
Crime reporter, Salt Lake Tribune
Covered criminal and police activity in and around Salt Lake City.
Education reporter, Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner
Covered 50 K-12 schools and state board of education.
Editor in chief, Rocky Mountain Collegian
Directed 90-person staff at Colorado State University’s daily student newspaper.
Communications specialist, U.S. Army
Served as unit public-affairs representative and photographer for three years. Served in the first Persian Gulf War and Mogadishu, Somalia.
May 1997, B.A., technical journalism, Colorado State University.
May 2007, M.A., journalism, University of Colorado’s advanced professional program, focused on military history and politics
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- 2010 John B. Oakes Award for Environmental Journalism, certificate of merit
- 2010 Disabled American Veterans Bugle Award for journalism
- 2010 National Alliance on Mental Illness Outstanding Media Award
- 2008-09 Rosalyn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow
- 2008 Dart Center’s Ochberg Fellow for trauma journalism
- 2008 finalist for Michael Kelly Award for “Blood Brothers”
- 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award/Editorial for Military Times Publishing
- 2007 Selected for Medill’s Covering War, Conflicts and National Security course
- 1999 Deadline Reporting (1st Place), Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association
- 1997 Colorado State University’s Outstanding Graduate, news/editorial sequence
- 1996 Awarded Denver Press Club’s Damon Runyon scholarship for creative journalism
- 1996 Selected for Poynter Institute “Leadership and Ethics for College Editors” seminar
- Selected for CSU’s President’s Leadership Course, which included seminars on intercultural communication, understanding diversity, management styles and problem-solving
- Military Reporters and Editors, Past President (two terms)
- Artistic board member, Armed Services Arts Partnership
- Board member, redesign team at the 1st Infantry Division Museum at Cantigny
- Investigative Reporters and Editors
- National Press Club
- Association of Writers and Writing Programs
Available upon request.