Portfolio

RECENT WORKUpdated January 2017

National treasure. A profile of Rita Dove, a University of Virginia professor, former poet laureate, and finalist for the National Book Award, after the release of her most recent collection. For UVA’s alumni magazine.
What happens to the people who don’t finish the Marine Corps Marathon? I pitched and reported a photo essay about the straggler buses that collect runners along the course of one of the nation’s largest marathons. For Washingtonian.
From fashion to the farm. One of the co-founders of Cisco Systems and the groundbreaking Urban Decay cosmetics thinks she can change the world again: with new food for rest stops. For Distinction Magazine.
5 quirky tips for college runners trying to go pro. A look at how the Road Runners Club of America preps college stars for the financial realities of professional running. For Runner’s World.
Satellites in the crosshairs A deep dive explaining why the U.S. Air Force is shifting more than $5.5 billion to protect its satellites on orbit. For SpaceNews Magazine.

LONG FORM
Stepping up to the plate for the last time. A story about the last at bat in one player’s career, the transition to adulthood and why the final time you do something you love is so memorable and meaningful. For The Pilot’s Magazine section.
Does Daryl Davis hold the key to racial harmony? Why has a black musician has befriended members of the Ku Klux Klan? For Bethesda Magazine.
From Bollywood to Big Gulps and Back. A profile of a local 7-Eleven owner who was anonymous to the students who came to her store but was one of Bollywood’s leading ladies in the 1970s and made a return to film in 2011.
What God Told the Weatherman. The complicated intersection of faith and science for Hampton Roads’ most popular weatherman.
Can We Get There From Here.” An essay on Norfolk’s “urban purgatory” and navigating the city in a time of redevelopment and rebirth.
The Quiet Player. How one man’s last will and testament transformed the arts scene in southeastern Virginia. For Distinction Magazine.
Hard Pressed. Are some of the most historically significant apples in Virginia enough to push a burgeoning cidery to regional prominence? For Distinction Magazine.

ENTERPRISE/INVESTIGATIVE/BREAKING NEWS
Report highlights misunderstandings between SpaceX, Air Force on certification. A detailed look at how the relationship between the Air Force’s space leaders and executives at SpaceX deteriorated. For SpaceNews.
Shelton Orders Shutdown of Space Fence.  I broke the story of the Air Force closing a key component to its space-debris tracking system. NPR, The Atlantic Wire, and several other national outlets followed this story, citing SpaceNews. The Air Force confirmed the story six days later.
In Chesapeake, Spruill’s efforts deliver victory for candidates. Profile of a Virginia legislator and how he provides overwhelming vote margins for Democratic candidates seeking statewide and national office.
– ULA, SpaceX lobby up as launch competition nears. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, I showed how two space launch companies were increasing their lobbying efforts.
Panel that snuffed ban had strong tobacco ties. The subcommittee that unanimously killed legislation for a smoking ban in 2006 included three of the five delegates who received the most money from the tobacco industry during the 2004-05 election cycle. Two of the members also owned stock in Altria.

LIFESTYLE COLUMNS
War Started with Shock-And-Awe, Ends with a Shrug. Norfolk’s most iconic images come from the bawdy V-J day celebrations in the streets that marked the end of World War II. When President Obama announced the end of combat activities in Iraq, I visited these same blocks to capture Norfolk’s reaction.
Retailer research shows NBA arena is no slam dunk. A column about the recent speculation that an NBA team may move to Virginia Beach. Our area has courted professional teams before. I compiled a spreadsheet of high-end retailers to show why Hampton Roads may be a runner-up again.
A Vacation Without New Bear Would Be No Vacation At All An examination of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief and how they apply to the family of a 7-year-old girl who has just lost her favorite bear.
Farewell, readers, it’s been a ride to remember. After my final column ran for The Virginian-Pilot, I heard from more than 500 readers.

SPORTS
Meet the Groundpounders of the Marine Corps Marathon. I pitched a profile of the four men, now in their 60’s and 70’s, who have run every edition of the Marine Corps Marathon to Runner’s World. The story generated more than 3,500 likes and over 600 shares on Facebook. I followed up on the men after race.
Hope and Glory. A story for Hampton Roads Magazine about how sports fans in the region have become so jaded to the heartache that comes from nearly landing a professional team, they are now largely hopeless.
ODU mascot: Big Blue shoes to fill. Could a university mascot be the difference in a national championship? I sat through mascot auditions at Old Dominion University and explain why the school’s athletic department puts such value on the role.

HUMOR
Office life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Time-tested tips on how to get along in the office. “Don’t clip your toenails in the office. Ever. Not even in some kind of emergency. In fact, never take off your shoes at work.”
Life’s More Exciting Since I Got a Ringmaster. A Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey’s ringmaster spent the afternoon treating each of my daily activities with all the excitement of the circus.
My state of the family room address. It is increasingly apparent that it is time for a state of the family room address so each of us can pretend that, in a world of chaos and unpredictability, we are in control of a small piece of this planet, even if it is just our family rooms.