Check out my portfolio highlights here:

My normal: Three stories of living with a mental illness and finding recovery

Bruce Purcell lived 58 years before he understood why he was the way he was. He was born in Orange County, California — “up the street from Disneyland,” he says — but grew up in the Midwest. As a kid, Bruce minded his rigid, traditional, often-overbearing mother. Despite having dyslexia, he worked hard in school. As a teen, he juggled part-time gigs and worked hard at them, too. As an adult, Bruce started his own handyman business. He drove a bus taking kids with mental and physical disabiliti

'The worst disease you've never heard of.' A girl's journey with epidermolysis bullosa

It's apparent within moments of meeting her that sitting around isn't really Lizzy Hendrickson's thing. She plops down on the orange sectional in her family's Phoenix home and gets up a second later. She walks over to Buddy the blue cat, sprawled out on the leather ottoman, and pets him. She sits again and fidgets. Her face twists for a moment as she appears to mull something over. She turns to her mother, Kristin Hendrickson, and asks, "Can I get changed?" "Yes, you can get changed," Kristin

Do women face an unfair standard in the art world? Phoenix artists see slow change

From the steps outside the Phoenix Art Museum, it was apparent something out of the ordinary was going on. It was First Friday, this one in July, but the bustling crowd, visible outside through the glass walls, suggested free admission wasn't the only draw this night. About 50 people squeezed into the lobby and more buzzed about the museum's white walls. Past the modern-looking glass light fixture near the entrance, they saw a swarm of black butterflies, the Instagrammable “You see me, I see yo

Trust, brotherhood, jokes: USS Phoenix vets reflect on submarine life

Retired Navy Capt. Pete Lumianski looks on, beaming, as the silver tour bus pulls into the dusty parking lot at Papago Park Military Reservation in east Phoenix. It’s an unseasonably mild June day: 95 degrees, overcast and windy. Papago Park’s red sandstone cliffs, the backdrop, pop against the gray-blue sky. “The bus is coming in,” Lumianski says to himself, still grinning. He has been planning, awaiting this day for over a year. “Here they come.” On the bus are a group of veterans of the USS

Tucson's 3.6 Percent: Reflections on Being Black in a Majority-White City

When you ask people what it means to be black in Tucson, you'll get a mixed bag of responses. Tani Sanchez, an associate professor of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona, says it's "a knowledge that when people look at you, they see you and when they look away, you're invisible to them." Mariah Barnett, a UA freshman studying political science, says it's knowing that "you're going to have to work 10 times harder than everyone else." Hassan Farah, a physiology senior at the UA, says

How an 'Emotional Perfect Storm' Can Batter Immigrants' Health

Ana Abril Tolsa originally immigrated to Tucson to escape her abusive husband and start a better life. She moved here when she was 33 from Guadalajara, the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. Tolsa has been living in Tucson for almost 19 years without legal status. And she loves it, for the most part. But living here as an undocumented person has definitely taken a toll on her well-being, she said. Specifically, it has worsened her mental and physical health. Four years ago, Tolsa was di

Supporters of TUSD Mexican American Studies See New Hope in Ruling

Teachers and students of Tucson Unified School District’s former Mexican American Studies program said they felt vindicated after a U.S. district court judge declared the program was shut down because of “racial animus.” MAS supporters said they won’t have complete justice, though, until the district implements a new ethnic studies policy, among other things. Alexei Marques, a coordinator of service for student governance and programs at the University of Arizona, took MAS classes her senior y

Some 'Dreamers' Return to Mexico to Attend College

Former President Barack Obama’s order putting off deportation for young people in the country illegally gave them a reprieve and the right to work. But for some, returning to Mexico was the only option for higher education. A decade ago, Daniel Arenas was a 17-year-old living in South Carolina, just a few months from graduating high school. He, like most of his peers, faced a big question: What now? But unlike most of his peers, Arenas was living in the United States illegally. He was brought

Downtown Tucson Gentrification Presents Complexities

Gentrification, for many, means long-time residents are priced out of their neighborhoods or choose to leave. That’s one way to think about it. But Kelly Smith, a housing affordability analyst at the University of Arizona’s Drachman Institute, said the process isn’t that one-dimensional and, contrary to popular stereotypes, isn’t all bad. “Depending on who you look at, they’re going to measure it in different ways, so there’s really no right or wrong way,” she said. “And, in fact, there’s real

About me

I'm a multimedia journalist (and job seeker) based in Phoenix, Arizona.  Through audio and print storytelling, I explore how social norms influence why we are the way we are and why we experience the world the way we do. I enjoy the daily hustle of beat reporting, but I thrive most when I can dig deep into an enterprise or long-form story. 

My work has appeared in the Arizona Republic, Arizona Public Media (the NPR affiliate in Tucson, Arizona), the Arizona Daily Star and more. I was also the digital managing editor of the Daily Wildcat, the University of Arizona's independent student newspaper, for a year. I received my BA in journalism with a global news emphasis at the UA, where I earned five awards for my reporting and editing endeavors. También estudio español y puedo hablar, escribir y leer en una competencia intermedia/profesional. 

When I'm not working, you'll most likely find me exploring the Great Outdoors, chilling with my dogs or binge-listening to my favorite podcast of the moment. Don't hesitate to email me ( with any news tips — I'll get back to you as quickly as I can. 

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