About

The author on pilgrimage in Austria—cold ones at the peak of Araberg
Photograph by Helmut

I am a multimedia journalist based in New York City. I’m interested in a lot of things, but the big ones are probably migration, ecology, history, religion, state and local government, and everything related to Europe. This is my portfolio page, sometime-blog and all-around digital archive.

I like that one song by Toto. I hate Earl Grey with too much bergamot. If you want to know more than that, keep reading. Maybe you have some questions.

Where am I? You’re at my website. But fear not! If you’re here by mistake, you’re free to leave once you do one of two things: either (A) look at my blog, or (B) read one of my articles. After that you have my permission to leave by any of the usual exits.

This website serves a handful of purposes. (1) It is where I show off my reporting and writing. (2) it is where I show off my CSS skills. (3) it is where I practice writing self-effacing jokes. That’s to make up for all the showing off in (1) and (2).

Who are you? I am, my fiancée is fond of telling me, a nerd. That’s a stable feature.1 Otherwise, I’m now between stations on the monorail of life. For a short while yet, I am a graduate student at NYU. Come fall, I’ll be a freelancer and layabout in Anchorage, Alaska. Between now and then, I’m getting married to a woman who isn’t scared of my intention to spend hours rummaging in archives across the state.

By training, I am a journalist. By inclination, I am a scribbler and a tinkerer. My preferences in most things tend to the do-it-yourself. I’m not consistent about what media I work in—essay, reportage, poem, podcast—but when I find a topic that grabs me, and a medium that suits it, I obsess. This is one upside to having a mildly compulsive personality.

At NYU I studied journalism and European studies. I spent a summer reporting from Austria on the lives of refugees. The alpine republic and I have a special relationship, and while I have no plans to return soon, I do plan to return. As an undergrad, my majors were physics and philosophy. Maybe one day I’ll have a satisfactory explanation of that.

I took up journalism when I was a college freshman as a means of staving off malaise. Joke’s on me, eh? In my last year at the University of Tulsa, I served as the editor in chief of The Collegian, our student newspaper. In the years before, the paper went from a struggling, if scrappy affair to winner of the Great Plains Journalism Student Newspaper of the Year award in 2015. My managing editor, Conor Fellin, summed up the transformation best when he wrote:

I remember when I was a freshman and the senior editors got excited whenever the front page had something besides a football photo above the fold. Now we get excited when there isn’t anything on the cover at all. I guess that’s an improvement.2

Why do I write about my years on a *snort* student newspaper? Because those were the years that taught me to value reporting and the people who do it. Having once been threatened over my reporting—the school’s official line on this is that “no one threatened the Collegian staff in any way”—I love it that much more.3

  1. So is my abuse of footnotes.

  2. Conor Fellin, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Collegian,” The Collegian, April 20, 2015.

  3. Dan Reimold, “University of Tulsa Threatens Student Newspaper for its Report on Facebook Harassment Case,” Huffington Post, February 13, 2015; Natalie Kitroeff, “University of Tulsa Creates ‘Atmosphere of Fear’ to Silence Criticism, Students Say,” Bloomberg, February 17, 2015.