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My reporting has been published by NPR, Bloomberg News, USA Today, McClatchy DC, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, MarketWatch and Military Times.


Grief In The Classroom: 'Saying Nothing Says A Lot' NPR

Deborah Oster Pannell's husband died when her son, Josiah, was 6 years old. That week, Pannell visited Josiah's school and, with his teacher and guidance counselor, explained to his first-grade class what had happened.

"I'll never forget the three of us sitting up there — and all these little shining faces looking up at us — talking about how Josiah lost his dad and he might be sad for a while," Pannell says.

Josiah, who is now 11 years old, has a few painful memories of the visit. "That day they were all just blatantly explaining what had just happened to me," he says. "It was really uncomfortable." Read More ...


The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon NPR

"Take your batteries out," Jim Hus says, watching his pre-calculus students remove the AA batteries that power their calculators. "Let's do those multiplication problems again."

For the next calculations, Hus's juniors and seniors at Highland High School in Highland, Ind., will use a different tool: A tool that dates back 400 years.

Before the smartphone, the laptop and the graphing calculator, there was the slide rule. It's a powerful mechanical computing device, often no larger than a 12-inch ruler, marked with numbers — but part of it slides in an out to show relationships between different sets of numbers. Read More ... 

FBI, social workers unite to attack sexual trafficking of children McClatchy DC


PITTSBURGH — By just saying hello, a human trafficker can know whether or not a young boy or girl is worth pursuing as a victim, an FBI analyst explained at a recent training session with 20 local health and social services employees.

The FBI has hosted a dozen such sessions in the city over the last two months to educate them about combating human trafficking. Read More...

Contracts for woman-owned business continue to miss the mark Federal Times

WASHINGTON  — Sandra Wiggins worked as a human resources specialist for the federal government for more than 35 years across seven different agencies, including 16 in the Defense Department. Now she’s using that expertise to run her own company, hoping to cash in on the billions in federal contracts designated for woman-owned small businesses. Read More...

Senate panel hears testimony on jobs impact from climate change WSJ's MarketWatch

WASHINGTON — This year’s wheat crop will likely be the first crop failure that Clay Pope, an Oklahoma farmer and rancher, has ever seen.

And it’s not just because of drought, but also a factor of long-term climate change, Pope said Tuesday before a Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee. Read More...

Montessori School of Englewood brings alternative education model to underserved community Medill Reports

CHICAGO — Adrianna paints butterflies on the easel. Jode and Amayah observe Alvin, the garter snake. Christopher practices spelling on a lined white erase board.

“Controlled chaos,” one teacher called it: a room full of 20 5-year-olds working on self-directed tasks they selected for themselves.

An unfamiliar sight, here, in Englewood. Read More…

Las Vegas school district sending recruiters to Chicago Catalyst Chicago

CHICAGO — In the midst of Chicago’s school closings, Las Vegas plans to send recruiters to claim some of Chicago’s best teachers.

Chicago’s closing of 54 schools will put approximately 1,000 teachers out of work, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. But half way across the country, in Clark County School District, the fifth largest school system that encompasses Las Vegas, they are set to hire 2,000 new teachers for the 2013-2014 school year – many positions they hope to fill with Chicago teachers.    Read More…

Proposed school start age could put Illinois among the earliest in the country Medill Reports

A new Illinois Senate bill would have Illinois join a small number of states – only 9 – that have a mandatory school attendance age as low as 5. Current Illinois law says students don’t have to start school until age 7, the age of most second graders.

Teachers and principals said this age gap reflects knowledge gaps in the classroom.“There were pretty big holes between kids who started early and kids who stayed home,” said Ryan Rosenfeld, a learning resource teacher in Chicago who works with students aged 6 to 14. Read More…