Reporting

I've covered topics ranging from education to policing to major breaking news. Some of the pieces I've pitched and reported are linked below. 


Data and Investigative Reporting

‘I am angry.’ CMS says air is safe but aging systems fall short of COVID-19 advice from CDC — CMS told the public that it was upgrading HVAC systems to make them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they did not share that changes still felt short of CDC recommendations and that the 39 buildings with the most stark challenges mostly serve Black and Hispanic students. The Charlotte Observer, Sept. 15, 2020

CMS spent over $1 million on a school security system. It doesn’t work.— After the fatal shooting of a student at Butler High School in 2018, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ leaders assured the public that a new crisis alert system would make children safer. But they didn’t reveal one important detail: The system didn’t work. The Charlotte Observer, Jan. 10, 2020

Did people close to Clayton Wilcox benefit from CMS deals he helped broker? — Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent pushed the district to buy and license technology from companies that employed his friends and his sons. This story was the first in a series detailing the superintendent's various dealings with education technology companies, including one where he asked to become CEO after securing them a deal with CMS, and that he was under FBI investigationThe Charlotte Observer, Oct. 9, 2019 

‘He should know better.’ Ex-CMS superintendent Wilcox accused of racist, sexist remarks — As superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Clayton Wilcox built a reputation as an advocate for African American and Latino students. But behind closed doors, Wilcox stood accused of repeatedly making comments and jokes some employees considered offensive to women and people of color. The Charlotte Observer, Oct. 29, 2019

‘It just doesn’t seem right.’ Atrium Health reduces nurses’ hours amid coronavirus crisis — As its leaders praised healthcare workers' response to the pandemic, Atrium — the biggest medical provider in the Charlotte region — cut its staff's hours while maintaining millions in unrestricted reserves. The Charlotte Observer, April 22, 2020

Mind the gap: Uncovering pay disparity in the newsroom — Across the industry, women and people of color routinely make less than their male and white counterparts, according to our analysis of union-led pay studies in newsrooms ranging from metro dailies to national publications. Beyond the numbers, women and minority reporters identified a culture that discouraged them from asking for more, that told them they were lucky to even have a job in journalism. My reporting focused on the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. I also contributed to standardizing some of the data and fact-checking the final piece, which was later covered by the Columbia Journalism Review. AAJA Voices, August 10, 2018

H-1B visas by the numbers: Silicon Valley versus Indian outsourcing companies — Government data shows significant shifts in the pool of applicants for H-1B visas, with Indian outsourcing companies scaling back and Bay Area tech companies stepping up their use of the foreign-worker program. I cleaned, reshaped and analyzed three years worth of H-1B data to pull out the trends reported in this story, using a mix of OpenRefine, Excel and R. San Francisco Chronicle, March 31, 2018

For a change, Asians are Oregon's fastest growing population — Hidden in the Census Bureau's July population estimates data release was a change: Asians, not Latinos, are the Oregon demographic with the fastest growth. Using R, Excel, Carto and QGIS, I produced the visualizations, data analysis and reporting for this story and an earlier report on aging. The Oregonian, June 30, 2017

Selected Stories

‘Difficult choices’: Why CMS was the only district excluded from additional COVID-19 funding — In allocating coronavirus relief funding, state officials used a formula that excluded a single, high-poverty school district from supplemental relief money. The Charlotte Observer, April 7, 2020

‘It has been hell’: Mom, other parents say CMS is failing students with special needs — In the last six years, federal officials have repeatedly cited Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for failing to give students a proper education, supervision, transportation and other needed services. In at least 12 cases, the district has agreed to federal monitoring or corrective action. The Charlotte Observer, Aug. 16, 2019 

‘Undermining public faith’: Superintendent resignation prompts transparency concerns — In two mysterious superintendent resignations over just five years, the CMS board has always chosen to not say anything, citing privacy law. But the law doesn't say what the board claims, and the lack of answers has worn down public confidence in the system.  The Charlotte Observer, July 26, 2019

Acting superintendent takes on latest challenge at CMS after Wilcox’s resignation — Fifteen years ago, Earnest Winston was an Observer reporter covering local government. As he steps in to fill the hole left by his boss's sudden and mysterious resignation, is he ready to lead a district of nearly 150,000 kids? The Charlotte Observer, July 22, 2019

Cops Are Battling Journalists Over California’s New Police Transparency Law — California's progressive rep on criminal justice belies just how powerful law enforcement unions are in the state. A wide-ranging legal battle over transparency on officer misconduct offers a window into that dynamic. Mother Jones, Feb. 5, 2019

The Rent’s Too Damn High Everywhere. Can This California Ballot Measure Do Something About It? — Is housing the new healthcare? While California's rent control measure looks like it's crashing in the polls, advocates say it's just a sneak peek at what's to come in the policy battles over affordable housing. Mother Jones, Nov. 5, 2018 

Berkeley could rebuff feds with sanctuary law for cannabis — How much can local governments shield their budding cannabis industries from renewed federal enforcement? With its vote to become a marijuana sanctuary city, Berkeley is at the forefront of exploring what that concept could mean. San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 12, 2018

Young black filmgoers see themselves in screening of ‘Panther’ — People haven’t been buying tickets just for themselves to see “Black Panther,” the box-office smash that’s become a cultural phenomenon. With donations from strangers and neighbors, hundreds of kids got to see themselves as heroes on the big screen at no cost. San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 19, 2018

‘Hack the Fog’ makes history as San Francisco’s first high school hackathon — San Francisco is a booming tech hub, but that wealth of knowledge sometimes fails to trickle down into learning opportunities in engineering for the city's public school students. A group of teenage coders seek to change that by organizing the city's first hackathon purely for high school kids and younger. San Francisco Chronicle, March 5, 2018 

Son gives emotional testimony at sex-abuse sentencing of adoptive parents — A survivor speaks out about how the abuse from his adoptive parents continues to shape his life. San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 15, 2017 

East Bay teacher back in classroom despite sexual harassment accusations — In the wake of #metoo, an East Bay community rallies around four girls who spoke up against a teacher on charges of sexual harassment. After my story published, the teacher resigned. San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 26, 2017

Personal and Non-Fiction Writing

A Sense of Place — A reflection on the best advice I was given as a young journalist from a wise editor, and what it taught me about photographing President Barack Obama and graduating from college. The Dartmouth, June 9, 2017

Using Format