Tell us about your work/projects!
I am a wearer of many hats -- from creative writing to investigative journalism-- but for now, my favorite hat is podcasting! I am a Georgia State University alumna with a thing for children's animated films and only wearing skirts and dresses. If I didn't pursue journalism, I would have been a novelist. Writing has always been my first love.
I currently work on Crime Show, a newly launched Spotify and Gimlet Media Original podcast that takes a deeper, more morally introspective look into true crime. It was such a big jump from working in public radio as a reporter, but the transition was smoother than I could ever expect. Empathy and finding the silver linings in shared human experiences is the breath of everything I do, so it's been a pleasure to transfer those values to big-platform podcasting.
A piece of yours ( in any medium) you're most proud of that you'd like to share.
Before working at Spotify, I wrapped up a three-pronged feature centered around the tragic fatal shooting of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner in Atlanta. Her death was in the midst of racial justice in the summer of 2020, and I felt like it was important for me to shed light on the other lives lost during this time. I worked on those stories for months, had hours-long conversations with people pertinent to this conversation about racial violence, and held space and respect to Secoriea's family who will never truly heal from the loss of their special girl. (https://www.gpb.org/news/2020/12/31/special-angel-in-heaven-parents-of-…)
What is your favorite thing about being a New Voices Scholar?
I'm a huge people person who thrives off meeting like-minded people, so making lasting connections was a gem. Being a New Voices scholar affords me opportunities to share ideas, spark conversation and encourage thought with others who are inspiring and dedicated to bring diverse experiences to the storytelling world.
What draws you to storytelling?
When I was younger, I remember my mom and I would watch people simply... living. We would observe and make up stories about why they arrived at a certain store, why they're laughing with another friend, or why they're sitting alone. These imaginary scenarios were rooted in curiosity and wanting to share some inkling of commonality with others. I enjoy learning about others and leaning into the idea that we all have a story about what makes us the humans we are.
What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?
I'm a big The Office fan, so I'm staying current on Office Ladies and The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner. I also have an obsession with Shrek, so I'm starting to listen to Get Shrek'd, a podcast that analyzes the Shrek films. Obviously, I'm always streaming Crime Show!
Hard-at-work-on-a-project snack of choice?
Popcorn! Spicy white cheddar and kettle corn are my favorite flavors. I have braces, so don't tell my orthodontist about my popcorn craze!
What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not) that you use in your creative process?
When in doubt, make a spreadsheet. I used to be so afraid of spreadsheets in high school and college, but they are lifesavers. They hold you accountable, keep you organized, and prevent you from getting too overwhelmed.
What is something you want to see more of in the industry?
I want workplaces to continue doing the work of being transparent with their issues and righting their wrongs. I know what it's like to work in an environment that feels isolating and discriminatory, so something's gotta give to make way for a more equitable and sustainable workplace. If it feels uncomfortable to do the right thing, there's a big problem. Everyone should be able to get their needs met by their colleagues, managers and supervisors.
Who is your radio/audio idol and why?
I don't really have an idol! I admire producers, researchers, fact-checkers, interviewers, hosts, audio engineers, mixers, legal teams, and designers all the same because it takes incredible and hard work to take a project from scratch to something beautiful.
Anything you'd like to add?
I used to struggle with the sense of belonging in journalism. It was often hard to imagine that my relationship with news and reporting could be symbiotic. I wanted to be a creative author, after all. However, I quickly learned that the power of individuality and experience can take you wherever you lead it. Manifesting accomplishments for yourself and paving your way against the stream is important. There is no dream too big for you. No matter the industry, there is space for someone as unique and empowering as you.