Kat_pic_2I grew up in Chicago, where I became curious about physics and math. During high school, I wrote my first news articles and placed second in a city-wide poetry contest. I also developed long-term interests in dance, music, and martial arts. There have been Latin American and Native American cultural influences in my social life. The environment where I lived was affected by steel mills and pollution. This motivated me to care about urban sustainability.

I began studying mechanical engineering in college because of the global social benefits of clean energy. Since then, I’ve worked in machine shops, built hybrid race cars, designed cooling systems for utility power electronics, and created equipment to manufacture fiberboard. Working as an engineer taught me how to manage projects.

For a long time, my enthusiasm for writing stayed in the background, like coffee bubbling slowly. When I was 26, it jumped to the front burner and began boiling rapidly. To change careers, I went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Half of my coursework was in journalism and half of it was in environmental studies with an emphasis on energy resources.

I worked as an associate editor for four years at a national diversity-friendly-education program for science, technology, engineering and math instructors. When I wrote about social inclusion, I drew on my experiences related to being from underrepresented groups in engineering. This job provided me with opportunities to learn web skills and gain management experience.

Then, for two years, I honed the website content and research reports of American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. We conducted a comprehensive site redesign. Through this job, I became very motivated to write about clean energy. I also learned about user-friendly web design.

I moved to New England in 2009 to be near the vibrant artistic and scientific culture in this region. Networking at MIT led to my current job as a long-term contractor at Yale Center for Business and the Environment, where I edit two student-powered international news websites that I have developed. We make use of solutions journalism and visual communication to catalyze innovation in the solar power, energy efficiency, and ecosystem conservation fields. Our team reports on a broad range of ecosystems – from cities to oceans. We are very involved in dialogue about how these fields can move forward. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to do this kind of work.

After hours, when I’m not busy learning about functional fitness, I am participating in online conversations about journalism. I participated in the American Society of News Editors Emerging Leaders Institute, a training program for editors from underrepresented groups, in 2017. Since 2016, I’ve been a co-organizer of Online News Association’s Western New England chapter. I live in Vermont.