My experience is rooted at the intersection of journalism, technology and design.

As a digital journalism professor at American University, I equip students with the skills they will need for ever-evolving newsrooms while sharing my teaching practices with other instructors and leaders.

Below you’ll find a sample of my latest projects, initiatives and service.

Director: Journalism & Digital Storytelling MA Program

With deep skills and a curious mindset open to new technology, journalists can adapt and thrive in a changing industry. That’s the perspective I bring as director for this weekend graduate journalism program at American University’s School of Communication.

From innovating the curriculum in an evolving news landscape to securing expert, practicing professionals to teach it, I’m deeply involved with the strategy and implementation of this program.

In one year as director, enrollment doubled.

Fellow: Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

I was an inaugural Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SOTL) Fellow at AU’s Center for Teaching, Research & Learning on campus. Over the course of two years, I conceived, planned and executed a study examining part of my teaching approach.

Current Scholarship

Implementing Design Thinking to Enhance Classroom Engagement

This journal article (currently under review) examines the integration of design thinking in the classroom and reflects on my own usage of this approach to teaching. Does it enhance classroom engagement? Does it lead to more robust, collaborative outcomes in project-based learning? Because of the pandemic and the pivot to virtual, I was not able to test the impact, but this remains an opportunity for future research

Future Scholarship

  • Measuring the impact of design thinking on classroom engagement
  • Researching the impact of design and production in digital news layouts on audience engagement and retention

Creator: Storytelling with Emerging Media

I created this brand-new course in Spring 2018 as an opportunity for students to explore new storytelling platforms, tools and technology. COMM 420: Storytelling with Emerging Media used project-based learning in the classroom, employing design thinking as students investigated Snapchat, Facebook Live, 360° video and more.

One student said they had “never been allowed to explore my creativity as a communicator more.”

Advisor: Graduate capstone projects

I lead graduate journalism students each summer through an intense capstone experience where they pitch, research, report, produce and publish an individual, multimedia reporting project. I edit their reporting and also guide their digital layout, crafting a thoughtful user experience for these long scroll stories.

In 2021 we submitted our first capstone project to the Online Journalism Awards.

Presenter: Syllabus design, design thinking, using tech…

I’m passionate about learning from others and sharing what I know.

Here’s a sampling of presentations I’ve given over the last several years — all under the umbrella of teaching, tools, tech and design.

  • Transforming Your Teaching Insights Into Scholarship, CTRL Faculty Workshops (2021)
  • Designing Collaboration: Using Design Thinking for Student and Community Engagement, Ann Ferren Conference (2021)
  • Clarity and Creativity: Exploring Alternative Syllabus Formats, Ann Ferren Conference (2020)
  • Advances in Application of Technology in News Production, Shanghai Media Training (2018)
  • Audience Engagement and Emerging Media, Albania News Training (2018)
  • Hacking New Tech for Student Engagement, Ann Ferren Conference (2018)
  • So You Want to Teach in Academia?, Online News Association Annual Conference (2017)
  • Brand Yourself: How to Build Your Online Portfolio, ONA U 2017: Mini-Conference for Journalism Students and Young Professionals (2017)

Creator: ONA U student mini-conference

I created, organized and hosted this first ever mini-conference for journalism students and young professionals looking for practical career and networking advice as they entered the workforce. It was held as a kickoff to the 2017 Online News Association’s annual conference.

We hosted more than 100 student and young professional attendees across five sessions with 18 presenters.

Advisor, VISIBLE, LGBTQ+ publication

American University didn’t have LGBTQ+ student media, so one of my mentees created its first queer publication — and asked me to serve as its advisor. I was thrilled.

I’m currently guiding VISIBLE’s editorial staff as they rebuild after the pandemic, which took a heavier toll on the marginalized students the publication serves.