Writer, teacher, web publisher. (And chicken farmer.)

I'm a writer, web publisher and senior lecturer in the Journalism Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I'm not a professional photographer, but I often shoot photos to accompany my work. This April, my photo led the New York Times Magazine slideshow, Front Yards Are the New Backyards. 

I thought this was pretty cool. 

Last semester I was named Outstanding Teacher by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass. What a kick it was to receive this honor.

In January, 2013, I participated in the  Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute, at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University. It was energizing to talk with pros like Mark Briggs, Jeff Jarvis and Dan Gillmor about building out courses in Entrepreneurial Journalism at UMass. 

Here's a little bit of what I learned. 

This fall, I'm expanding on my Entrepreneurial Journalism class, with an independent study group called Digital Magazine Management. Ten students (all women!) are undertaking a redesign and relaunch of Amherstwire.com, the online magazine of the UMass Journalism Dept. We're using a Wordpress premium template and students are building content and design as well as social media strategies to increase our reach. 

I hope to develop this into an official course in the spring, and eventually an undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurial journalism. It's up to us all to figure out how we keep the journalism going, so let's do it.

Last summer I picked up lots of new tools at the Poynter Institute with scores of other journalism educators at Teachapalooza 2012.   

At UMass this fall, I have 17 students in my Entrepreneurial Journalism course. In this class, students develop their own information-based digital business and compete in a pitch competition at the end of the semester. It's part of our ongoing efforts in the Journalism Department to teach the next generation of critical thinkers how to report, write and publish with courage and clarity, using text, digital images and sound to tell their stories, and social media to build their audiences.

I also teach Introduction to Multimedia Reporting and Magazine Writing. 

I developed and currently teach two successful transitional courses: the Journalism Success Seminar for first-year students and transfers; and the Journalism Launchpad Seminar, for upper level students. I'm particularly proud of this course, which has helped dozens of students successfully manage their post-college transition, by providing resources, career advising and encouragement.

I serve as internship coordinator and career counselor for journalism students, and my Journalism Launchpad Blog provides advice and information about the industry.

Over the past year I've written for the New York Daily News, The Boston Sunday Globe Travel section and a few features for Design New England, one of which you can read here.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with my own entrepreneurial project, called  Fiftyshift.com, which focuses on technology, caregiving and personal experiences for women over 40. Let me know if you have any ideas.

As a columnist and journalist with nearly 30 years experience, I have written for The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe Magazine, Yankee, Commonwealth Magazine, Design New England,  and other publications. Here's a piece I particularly enjoyed writing for The Boston Globe Travel Section about two artists' chapels in Southern France. Here's Me, Inc, for The Boston Globe Magazine, which tells why non-business school students are studying entrepreneurship. My Fiftyshift blog appeared on boston.com for two years.

I live in western Massachusetts with my husband Dan and a remarkably charismatic flock of chickens: Barred Rocks and Araucanas. The longer I live with chickens the more I think everyone should have a few around.