Director of Strategic Communication
Purdue University Libraries
My love for storytelling most likely took root in my early elementary years. I relished the grade-school morning show-and-tell sessions, and I often delivered my “shows” and “tells” in broadcast news anchor style. Once, I even composed a written “show-and-tell” piece, with illustrations, and read the entire story to my third-grade class. This resulted in a particularly lengthy show-and-tell session (and was the first and last time my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Allen, let that happen).
During my early storytelling years, I now recognize my content dissemination tactics yielded many stories with more style than substance. (I tried to be creative when crafting the all-important updates about Mr. and Mrs. Mittens, my cat protagonists, but let’s face it...their lives spent lounging on windowsills could only be covered in so many ways.)
These days, when planning and developing content, stories and communications in my daily work, I strive for quality and impact in both areas. I am thrilled that I get to continue to practice my love for and interest in telling stories and crafting communications here at Purdue University Libraries, where there are many amazing stories to share with Purdue students, alumni, faculty, staff and indeed, with people everywhere.
Over the last 10 years, I worked in media relations in higher education, as well as for a small to mid-size newspaper. Most recently, I served as the assistant director in Western Illinois University Relations’ office and as WIU’s social media manager. During that time, I also worked for “The Hawk Eye” — “Iowa’s oldest newspaper” — located in southeast Iowa, as that newspaper’s first new media manager. Because I was there in early 2008 for the Iowa caucuses, in the summer and fall of 2007, I had the opportunity to meet and interview President (then candidate) Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Fred Thompson, and John Edwards. That was an exciting job for a while!
From 2004-07, I served as the editor of a unit in the American Library Association’s publishing division/department in Chicago. The unit, ALA TechSource, at the time, published the journal “Library Technology Reports” and “Smart Libraries Newsletter.” In 2005, with four librarian authors, I founded and established the ALA TechSource Blog — the first blog to be published by the ALA.
Prior to working at the ALA, I worked as a writer/editor in business-to-business publishing, as well as in educational publishing, in Chicago. I started my media/publishing/communications career as a reporter for a small radio station in rural Illinois.
I grew up in a rural Illinois community along the banks of the Mississippi River. I also lived in Chicago for 11 years, and I like both rural and urban life. (The West Lafayette/Lafayette area seems to offer the best of both worlds.) Additionally, I am an animal lover (my family members frequently tease me about my “rescuing habits”), and I enjoy spending a lot of time with my pets (both cats and dogs). I also enjoy bicycling, walking/hiking in nature, reading and watching historical fiction, and spending time with my four nephews (who are 18, 16, 10 and 6) and my partner, Anthony, whose work for the International Ironworkers’ Union takes him all over the U.S.
My office is located in STEW 276 and I can be reached at email@example.com or 49-40069.