Journalism writing

Criminal Justice

2 brothers sentenced to death in separate states – The Associated Press I followed a case about a man who was sentenced to death in South Dakota for killing a prison guard. It was briefly mentioned during one of the court hearings that the state of Oklahoma had executed his brother. I took this tidbit and pitched a story examining the brothers’ lives. I was able to explain what led the brothers down their troubled paths through old court testimony and interviews.

3 teens charged in death of Australian player – The Associated Press I appeared on Fox News’ “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren to discuss the three teens charged with killing a baseball player from Australia who was studying in the United States.

Nonviolent crimes create victims – Oklahoma Watch Nonviolent offenders make up about two-thirds of Oklahoma’s prison population, and such crimes can provide a unique challenge for prosecutors and the Legislature, experts say.

Immigration and Asylum

Zomi USA: How a city in Oklahoma became home for an ethnic group from Southeast Asia – NBC News Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second largest city, is now known as “Zomi Town” or “Zomi USA” because it is the largest concentration of Zomi people in the U.S. Many Zomis in Tulsa and its surrounding suburbs have arrived and resettled from Southeast Asia because of their Christian faith.

Forty years post-Khmer Rouge, new generation returns to Cambodia – NBC News I pitched this story to NBC News a few months after arriving in Cambodia after meeting several Cambodian-Americans.

David’s Story – Arizona State University I took part in a semester-long reporting project to Mexico during my time at Arizona State University and wrote a story about David, a 15-year-old boy from a tiny village in Veracruz. David tried to cross the border illegally in Arizona so he could work and send money home to his mother and young brothers. I met David at the border in Mexico and later met up with him after he was sent back to his mother’s home in Veracruz.

Radio Vietnam in America’s Heartland serves growing community – NBC News A refugee from Vietnam runs a radio station in Oklahoma’s largest city that provides critical information and support for the areas growing Vietnamese-American population.

Human Rights

How two police shootings of black men sent Tulsa and Charlotte in different directions  – the Los Angeles Times Fatal police shootings of two black men spurred soul-searching across the nation but drew vastly different reactions from the cities in which they took place. This was one of a series of articles I reported or co-reported for the Los Angeles Times from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Protecting children through birth registration – a basic human right -UNICEF Indonesia/United Nations Volunteer Pasuruan, a city on the island of Java, is leading the way in Indonesia’s effort to increase birth registration across the country. I wrote and photographed this story while a United Nations Volunteer with UNICEF Indonesia.

Activist fights to decriminalize homosexuality in Sri Lanka – NBC News Rosanna Flamer-Caldera is one of the leading activists in this South Asian country seeking to decriminalize same-sex sexual activity and create constitutionally mandated protections for members of the LGBTQ community.

Women’s rights and issues

Rural Indian girls get discrimination-fighting tool: soccer – The Associated Press A nonprofit in rural eastern India seeks to empower girls by showing them they have the right to focus on education instead of getting married and starting a family, and the right to choose their life path.

School for underprivileged girls teaches feminist principles in India – NBC News In a deeply patriarchal society like India’s, girls are at a disadvantage before they are even born. Girls at Prerna come from nearby poverty-stricken neighborhoods and slums and are taught feminist principles to help them see and understand they are equal to boys. This is one of a series of stories I wrote and photographed during my fellowship with the International Reporting Project from India.

Cambodia looks to ignite female sports culture – Women’s eNews Many girls and young women in Cambodia aren’t allowed to participate in sports. But the head of the country’s National Olympic Committee wants to change that.

Safety in Numbers – Marie Claire Nearly one in four Cambodian women have been the victim of violence. I profiled three courageous women using apps to help combat violence.

Health

Oklahoma’s Native tribes are trying to fill a gap in sex ed left by the state’s schools – Public Radio International’s Across Women’s Lives Oklahoma has a problem with teen pregnancy. But the state isn’t really addressing it, so the many Native American tribes in the state are trying to tackle it themselves — and they’re opening their doors to non-tribal members as well.

In rural India, MIT grads aim to improve access to sanitary pads for women – NBC News The majority of women in rural India prefer to use a cloth during their period, which experts warn can be unhygienic and cause health issues. A new startup creating biodegradable sanitary napkins from banana fiber hopes to improve access and waste disposal of pads. This is one of a series of stories I wrote and photographed from India as a fellow with the International Reporting Project.

Indigenous Issues

Impoverished South Dakota Indian tribe debates development – The Associated Press My favorite part of reporting from South Dakota was covering the unique world of American Indian reservations. This is one of my favorite tribal stories.

Tribes draw knowledge from monolingual speakers – The Associated Press I’ve long been fascinated by languages, specifically languages that are struggling to survive. I interviewed (through an interpreter) one of an estimated 50 monolingual Cherokee speakers still living for this story from the Cherokee Nation.

Travel

Curiosity runs both ways for solo female traveler in India – The Associated Press I spent one month in India as a solo female traveler, heading from one side of the country to the other, researching, interviewing and learning about the issues surrounding gender inequality.

Oklahoma Panhandle: Rural and quirky – The Associated Press For many people — even Oklahomans — the Panhandle might as well be Timbuktu. I finally traveled to this very rural part of America and wrote about what I saw, including a two-headed calf!

Despite language barriers, kindness in Myanmar – The Associated Press A homemade lunch following a jungle trek in Myanmar reminded me how wonderful new, scary experiences can be.

Historic preservation and architecture

How a handful of villas signal a new future for Cambodia – Curbed Historical villas in a seaside community in Cambodia illustrate the country’s rise and fall, but a few are now showcasing the area’s newfound splendor.

Oklahoma’s all-black towns find renewed interest – Al Jazeera America Oklahoma has more historically all-black towns than any state in the U.S. Now there is an interest in preserving this unique heritage

Lifestyle

People hiring photographers to document everyday life – The Associated Press I pitched this story at the AP after noticing from my various social media accounts that more people were posting photos shot by professionals. It was one of the top 10 most shared stories across the globe on the AP mobile app for two days. The New York Times wrote its own version of the story a few weeks later.

Corn Couture: Kernels get a high-fashion makeover – Modern Farmer I really love quirky stories. And using kernels to make clothes? Definitely quirky.

Green preschools teach children the basics of natural living – The Associated Press Dozens of preschools are popping up nationwide that have an eco-friendly focus.