My preferred method of storytelling has always been simply putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. While my coursework has encouraged me to explore other storytelling mediums, I always find myself simply going back to words. Whether writing a controversial editorial, an in-depth report on social issues, or a student feature, I try to bring readers into experiences through imagery and hard-earned quotes. This is a curated selection of writing clips. Please see The Latest for my most up-to-date reporting.
Eight cozy, winter romance novels from New England authors to sweep you into the new year
Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 23, 2022
We’re basking in the aftermath of the giving holidays and with New Year’s Eve on the way, this week offers one more chance to crack open a feel-good, seasonal novel with sparks of romance. December in New England is equally beautiful and brisk, so here are eight winter romance novels written by New England authors to bring the heat into New Year’s. Heat up your cocoa and don fuzzy socks to get the full experience.
Photograph by Suzanne Kreiter for The Boston Globe
“I’m Just Ready To Get On-Stage:” Youth-led Bands Take on the Omaha Music Scene
Published in The Reader on June 29, 2022
Like most bands, UN-T.I.L. owes its origin to a concert. The only thing is, the three members weren’t even there.
It was their moms who met each other weaving through the crowd of an Ex Hex show at Reverb. They struck up a conversation, bonding over being too short to see through the crowd, their music taste and, most importantly, their daughters.
“I don’t really know what they were talking about, but somehow it got back to us,” 14-year-old drummer Tierney Coughlin said. “They were like, ‘Our kids should play together. You guys can meet each other and play some music.’ So we did, and the first few times were really, really awkward.”
But once they pushed past the discomfort, Lena Seavey, 14-year-old bassist/singer; Inara Seavey, 12-year-old guitarist/singer and Tierney bonded over their love for “Stranger Things,” the Pixies and of course, playing music and formed UN-T.I.L. About a year later, they found themselves playing to a crowd of hundreds at the 2021 Maha Music Festival.
Photograph by Isa Luzarraga
“I’m Still Gasping For Air:” Chemical List Released after Nox-Crete Fire, Residents Still Concerned
Published in The Reader on June 11, 2022
When Nancy Valentino stepped outside to smoke a cigarette the evening of Memorial Day, she didn’t expect to see anything out of the ordinary. The residents on 19th and Dorcas streets heard pops, but they all assumed they were firecrackers. Then she saw black, billowing clouds of smoke.
“There was all that smoke over those trees,” she said looking south toward the charred remains of the Nox-Crete chemical warehouse about 2,000 feet from her home. “There were car crashes because they had to detour traffic. I was concerned about what was in the air. I have grandkids in the house.”
On May 31, Nox-Crete Manufacturing reported a three-alarm chemical fire in its warehouse near 20th and Woolworth streets, which houses concrete sealant chemicals. It took more than a week for the Omaha company to provide a list of what chemicals burned in the fire, despite making one days earlier, and local agencies are still determining potential effects.
Photograph by Chris Bowling
Nebraska Abortion Advocates Ready as Overturn of Roe v. Wade Looms
Published in The Reader on June 2, 2022
People nationwide called Kirstin Clephane to talk about their pregnancies — whether they were ready for a child or considering abortion or adoption. The volunteer role was at a pregnancy resource center in Bloomington, Indiana, but Clephane knew they’d continue working to secure people’s rights to abortion after moving to Nebraska in 2019. That’s when they found Nebraska Abortion Resources (NEAR), Nebraska’s first state-wide abortion fund.
If Roe v. Wade were overturned, as suggested by a leaked Supreme Court decision, Nebraska would be one of 26 states likely to ban abortion. People like Chelsea Souder, founder and director of NEAR, as well providers like Planned Parenthood and the CARE Clinic, have prepared for this. NEAR has been raising funds and planning alternatives to in-state abortions, but now that the moment of reckoning is here, its magnitude is hard to fathom.
Photograph by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
A Love Letter to Clairo's "Sling" Tour
Published in Affinity Magazine on March 15, 2022
Before 23-year-old indie-pop artist, Claire Cottrill (Clairo) stepped on stage, it was clear that despite the thousands of audience members crammed into the balconies of Boston’s House of Blues, the concert would be an intimate one. Grips and roadies draped ornate rugs over the stage and placed abstractly-shaped lanterns among instruments. As the stage lights were dimmed and the lanterns ignited, Clairo sat down at the piano as if preparing to play in her own home. Launching into “Bambi,” the first track off her sophomore album, Sling, Clairo was comfortably at home, in more ways than one.
Clairo for Rolling Stone. Photograph by Peter Lee.
The impact of performative social media movements on Latine voices
Published in The Intersectionalist on Jan. 22, 2022
First-year Sofia Farres said she and her family were happy that others were finally attentive to Cuban people voicing their political, social, and economic struggles through #SOSCuba in July of 2021. Farres lost many family members during former president Fidel Castro’s regime, which many Cubans suffered under, she said.
The #SOSCuba movement to inform American audiences of the injustices in Cuba flooded Twitter and Instagram with images of the Cuban flag and disapproving messages regarding the island's repressive government. Former Cuban president Fidel Castro’s ideas of liberty did not align with what the citizens of the country needed, resulting in censorship and repression that continues to this day. Castro’s rule was defined as authoritarian, with increased surveillance, unjust incarcerations, and acts of repudiation.
Graphic by Hailey Akau
The Lady Bird Effect: How returning to our hometowns as college students provokes a change in perspective
Published in Keke Magazine on Dec. 27, 2021
“‘Do you think I look like I’m from Sacramento?’
‘You are from Sacramento.’”
The first lines of Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age film, Lady Bird, reflect a common sentiment — at least, one among teenagers. Just replace “Sacramento” with “Nebraska” to relive conversations I had with my parents before moving to Boston for college.
“I wish I could live through something,” main character Lady Bird says.
As high schoolers, we harbor indifference, even disdain for our hometowns while yearning for change, adventure. We imagine ourselves in a different place, emotionally and physically.
“I don’t even want to go to school in this state anyway. I hate California. I want to go to the East Coast.”
As if a transition to college, a simple change in location will elicit a more sophisticated version of our persona: an adult, ready to begin their life.
Image by Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash, Edit by Isa Luzarraga
“What if it was you”: A Nebraskan student body’s movement to dismantle campus rape culture
Published in Keke Magazine on Sept. 8, 2021
“…and after he was done, he threw her on the lawn.” Students around campus describe the assault to one another. Women clutch their keys like weapons. Many take detours around Greek row. They fear the vulnerability that comes with nightfall. They prepare for the worst.
On Tuesday, August 24th, a 17-year-old female student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was raped by a member of the UNL’s chapter of fraternity Phi Gamma Delta. Reports from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Police Department (UNLPD) detail the woman getting picked up by a friend and escorted to a local hospital. She talked with authorities after receiving medical attention.
Following this incident, thousands have been advocating for the termination of UNL’s chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) across social media and in the streets of Lincoln.
In a statement released by the fraternity, members said they were working closely with police to investigate the matter.
Photographs contributed by Will Ramsey
Among friends, the Millard mask debate has a different tone
Published in Flatwater Free Press on Sept. 7, 2021
Sarah Moore and Amber Lichti have lived in the same Millard cul-de-sac for seven years, separated by one house. They share the occasional glass of Prosecco and chat about parenting their school-aged children. Their daughters, Lily and Annabelle, are self-declared best friends, most of the time, and go to fourth grade at Bess Streeter Aldrich Elementary School, a three-minute drive from home.
They are similar in parenting style. And yet these two Millard moms disagree about whether their daughters should have to wear masks to attend fourth grade — even as they both worry about the Delta variant and the school year ahead.