DC goes to DC

Amazing news, told in timeline snippets:


Sometime during 1996: I move to Washington, D.C., with my mother and grandmother, where we spend a year having picnics by the Washington Monument and learning how to perform the “I’m a little teapot” dance. This picture is taken at some point, documenting my rather perfectly executed 3-year-old spout pose. We live there for a year, before returning to the Midwest.

May 2006: In seventh grade, the Peoria Journal Star sends my family and me back to D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. I drop out after the second round but am rather unconcerned because my mom takes me to the Museum of Natural History, and we get ice cream on the National Mall.

Fall 2011: During my first semester at the University of Missouri, the professor that I work for as a research assistant, Berkley Hudson, asks me if I ever read The Atlantic. I stare at him quizzically, because my magazine journalism background had thus far consisted of Seventeen and Vogue. He hands me a copy, and I fall in love.

October 2014: Professor Randall Smith takes our journalism and business strategies class to D.C. for a few days on a media tour of The Washington Post, Politico and the Center for Public Integrity. I stay behind for an extra few days with my friend Ted, and he shows me his summer internship digs at the National Journal in the Watergate. We have fancy brunch in Georgetown and resolve to return as quickly as we can.

May 12, 2015: I receive the opportunity to join Atlantic Media as a business fellow in their D.C. headquarters for a full year, starting this July. A new (brunch-filled) chapter begins!

Capstone completion

This week marks the end of my time at Mojo Ad, the student-staffed advertising agency here at the Missouri School of Journalism and my capstone course. We spent this entire past semester working in three groups of 10 to put together a national campaign for Nestle Purina, and last week, we had the opportunity to pitch our work to the Purina shopper marketing team. Even better news: my group was chosen as the winning team, with our campaign, “A New Furspective.” So keep a lookout next year for National Pet Month 2016 — you might recognize a pet pun or two!

Look how happy (and exhausted) we are! Stuffing more than 65 pet puns into a presentation will do that to ya.

Photo courtesy of MU Strategic Communciation

Photo courtesy of MU Strategic Communication

Cheers to getting funded!

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 7.27.37 PM

After a month of preparation, 32 days of fundraising, 3 campaign events, the support of 552 backers, a total of $35,815 raised on Kickstarter and an undisclosed amount of champagne bottles, The Riveter is now officially funded to start publishing quarterly issues! We finished our first-ever Kickstarter campaign just a few hours ago, and the entire team can’t decide if we want a party or a nap first. (Probably a nap.)

Working on The Riveter’s Kickstarter Campaign might just be my favorite project ever — I got to throw my experiences from copywriting, PR, reporting and social media into one big stew pot, stirring in a bit of graphic design and event production (I even learned how to make a GIF — so line up, employers, ’cause this one knows how to follow YouTube tutorials…).

Things I’ve learned along the way: MailChimp gets sassy when you try to time travel. Being an aspirational Instagrammer works best when you have really fashionable roommates. Suitcases are an extremely effective way to transport champagne. Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler is really freaking cool. Press releases need to be quadruple-checked. Sometimes, Twitter trolls happen.

The best part, though was that I was working for a media publication again, which reminded me of working for The Maneater and MOVE Magazine. Promoting The Riveter magazine has been incredibly fun, though it isn’t only because I personally believe in promoting women’s journalism, or because working for Kaylen and Natalie has fulfilled the girlcrush I developed the minute I met them in The Maneater’s newsroom (Spoiler alert: they are just as freakin’ cool as freshman Delia first believed.)

But it’s also because, as The Riveter’s brand manager, it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to meld my advertising/PR experiences with the world of journalism. And I think this is something I really want to do, when I jump off into the chasm that is post-grad life: treating media outlets like the brands they are, creating content that fosters a community, and in the end, making sure great journalism gets noticed. Preferably with mimosa parties.

Click here to view samples of my work for The Riveter and the Kickstarter campaign.

From Ponte Vecchio to Purina


One week down, 15 to go. And so the final semester cometh.

It doesn’t feel like it’s my last semester of college. Just the other day, I stumbled into my introductory nonfiction writing class exactly half an hour late, because I got my buildings (and, okay, time itself) mixed up. You should have seen the once-overs the mostly sophomore constituency of that class gave me. But I suppose I have graduated beyond my days of eating cereal in a dining hall (now, you see, I eat cereal alone in my room), and frequently (Thursday), I even put on real pants to go to class.

I think I’m just going to blame all of my other embarrassing underclassman-like behaviors on jet lag. I spent three weeks over my winter break in Europe visiting my boyfriend, who lives in Paris. He yanked me out into the sunshine at 8 a.m. on my first day so that I could adjust to “Paris time” quickly (disclaimer: I also was the one who said she wanted to see the Eiffel Tower in the morning and not wait in line for 4 hours to do so). But here, in the confines of the big-kids’ playground that a Midwestern public university is, no one (or monument) is here to adjust my sleep schedule, and so I shall continue, jolting awake at 7:31 a.m. and blaming the day’s subsequent mishaps on it.

Europe was, of course, ridiculously lovely. We even traveled to Florence, Italy, for a week, and I am not sure if I fell in love more with the Ponte Vecchio or a particular plate of pesto linguini that may have challenged all of my prior beliefs on life. It’s obviously a bit of a shock, then, to be transported suddenly to Columbia again, where the pasta comes in a Hamburger Helper box and Renaissance Art is a class only the art history kids get into.

Nonetheless! Exciting news — for my capstone class, I will be working as a copy editor for MOJO Ad, which, we’re supposed to tell recruiters and skeptical parents, is the nation’s premier student-staffed professional-services ad agency, based at Mizzou. This semester, I’ll be working with a team of 9 other students to develop a fully integrated campaign for Purina, who have enlisted MOJO to help develop a strategy that appeals to youth and young adults. Will there be puppies involved? Will I ever stop going to sleep before 10 p.m.? Will senior spring semester be all that ‘Animal House’ has made it cracked up to be? I have no idea. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a nap.

Riveting news

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.37.40 PMAhh! I’ve been so excited to share this that I’ve given myself three distinct headaches from all the grinning I’ve been doing since last week, when I signed on to join the team at  The Riveter magazine.

Kaylen, one of the magazine’s co-founders, was a senior editor when I was at The Maneater, and she was the kind of person you flattened yourself against the wall in awe whenever she walked by. She  was just that cool. After graduating from Mizzou, Kaylen went on to start The Riveter with another MU grad, Joanna Demkiewicz, and the two have dedicated themselves to celebrating longform journalism by women ever since. This time last year, I was dragging Kaylen and Yanna into a Maneater workshop so they could inspire our staff with their story, but I never imagined I would get the chance to work with them myself.

Which is why I’m completely over the moon to share that I’m starting this week as their brand manager, which means I’ll be overseeing The Riveter’s social media, doing a little media relations and reporting to the ridiculously talented Natalie Cheng (for the first time since I tried to write for her at MOVE Magazine!). It’s exciting enough to head back to magazineville while still getting to flex my PR/advertising/copywriting/social media muscles, but getting to work with such an incredible publication and some very inspiring individuals? What a dream. Nobody wake me.

Follow The Riveter on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be waiting. 


It’s getting to be that time, now, when us college seniors attain ninja status and become serious professionals at ducking and rolling out of any conversation that has to do with the F word. The Future. People are all, What are you doing with your life? And, How are you preparing for your career/401k/potential zombie apocalypses? And, partly in preparation for those zombies, we duck and roll away.

I’ll admit it’s because I’m mostly afraid that anything I say won’t be good or cool or future-Pulitzer-material enough for whoever’s asking. So I made a list here instead, of actual things I’ve been up to, none of which will come up in a casual conversation with the relatives over the holidays (unless I add the word ‘law school’ to the end of each sentence). But it’s here, because I’m pretty okay with it all, and it’s been a lot of fun.

Now presenting: An Inconclusive List of Ways I’d Actually Like To Answer “What Are You Doing With Your Life?” Without Giving My Career Counselor A Stroke

 1. Being a dummy.
Or, arguably, a dummie. Last spring, I met a French exchange student who changed my perspective on everything from journalism, Tarantino films and cheese. Over the summer, I bought a copy of “French for Dummies” and have been chiseling away at it with the determination of a rabid Millennial who just wants to understand what that one part in that one Beyoncé song actually says.

2.  Photographing smoothies
There’s this great smoothie and juice shop called Blenders by my apartment that’s converted me into someone who mildly cares about kale, and since September, I’ve had the opportunity to run their Instagram account (follow us at @BlendersComo). It’s been a crash course in social engagement, how local businesses work and my roommates learning not to be perturbed when they come home and find this:

(This is how Mario Testino started out, right?)

(This is how Mario Testino started out, right?)

3.  Self-helping
When my friend Celia sent me James Altucher’s book, “Choose Yourself,” I had a brief traumatic flashback to when my mother used to give me self-help books for Christmas. But I’ve become the most obnoxious proselyte about Altucher now. He’s like this crazy, triple-octane older sibling who’s seen it all and done it all, and convinces you that you can do the same. I finished it a week ago and keep telling my friends I’ll lend them my copy, but in reality I’ve chained it to my nightstand and made it clear it’s never allowed to leave.

4.  Reading bedtime stories
I picked up an old copy of The Missouri Review and The Paris Review from a used bookstore at the beginning of the semester, I think, as literary penance for buying the latest issue of Cosmo at a gas station earlier that day. Reading short stories and poems again revived that preteen dork inside who always flipped to the end of Girl’s Life issues to read the fiction. My favorite story, Ben Fountain’s “The Lion’s Mouth,” is about an aid worker in Sierra Leone who falls in love with a diamond smuggler. Sigh. If only job interviews let you discuss the ethics of diamond smuggling, instead of like, applicable skills.

5.  Butting my head in Maneater affairs
To the current Maneater staff, I’ve officially become the overly excitable, mouth-breathing aunt who just really wants to know every detail about your life. But they’ve been complete gems about my inability to accept Maneater “retirement,” so they’re letting me help a little bit of the 60th Alumni Reunion (does anyone else actually get workshopgasms? No?) and write an occasional article rating the best bars in town. I mean, you know me. Anything for the good of the paper…