Over the course of my journalism career I’ve produced stories from the basket of a dog sled to the mud floor of a Tanzanian hut. I’ve reported from Prairie towns devastated by natural calamities and produced newscasts amid the hum of CBC’s national broadcast centre.
I teach from experience, as a student of this journalism program, (1987-1992), and as someone who worked through many of the same celebrations and challenges as our current students do. I teach as also someone who worked in daily journalism for about 15 years. My career, which like journalism itself, is evolving, has included stints in local and national radio (CBC Ottawa, CBC Whitehorse), local and national television (CTV in Ottawa, Global News in Winnipeg and CBC Ottawa and CBC North), as a foreign correspondent in East and Central Africa (Gemini News) and as senior correspondent for an international wire service (Reuters).
My time as a researcher, foreign correspondent and university instructor in East and Central Africa has taught me to encourage students to seek out big opportunities in small places, to travel and to remain open to learning from others.
I have built a reputation as an original, adaptable, enthusiastic and conscientious educator among my students and faculty peers. My teaching dossier includes thirteen different courses, ranging from first-year undergraduate to second-year master’s students, covering an introduction to journalism studies, the fundamentals of reporting, television news and current affairs, multimedia storytelling, international reporting, journalism ethics and newspaper publishing.
My career in academia has taken two complementary tracks: research on digital environments and the scholarship of teaching and learning in journalism. Both areas of my work share themes of technological change, innovation and gender.
I have presented and published on topics as diverse as queer space, post-genocide Rwanda and pop culture, consistently and creatively finding ways to integrate a focus on digital environments, social media, journalism education and classroom innovation.
I am currently working on a PhD in human geography at Queen’s University. My research focuses on the use of social media by Canadian military spouses as a way to better understand the dynamics of military culture and the larger consequences of war and militarism.
As you’ll see from the note on my office door as well as my office décor, there are certain themes that run through my life. If you ever wonder what makes me tick then here are my buzzwords: family; freedom; curiosity; travel; social justice; kindness, nature; photography; dogs; persistence. Respect also looms large in my personal mantra. It’s something we each earn through working together and it’s something we owe our audiences. When respect, in any form, is lacking you’ll see me get frustrated. As Tom Rosenstiel (American Press Institute) says, “journalism is collaborative intelligence.
Let’s get smarter.
Let’s leave our communities a little better.
Let’s enjoy the ride together.