Even though I’m not a Miami Valley native, the Dayton-area has become my second home.
I have deep Ohio roots. I’m a native Ohioan and a lifelong Buckeye. I was born and raised in the Akron-area where I graduated with honors from Walsh Jesuit High School in 2006.
I came to Dayton to study broadcast journalism at the University of Dayton. I graduated cum laude from UD in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in electronic media. I also have a minor in sales management.
I’ve been with WHIO since May 2010. I started working on Miami Valley’s Morning News two weeks after UD graduation. A radio newsroom is a great training ground for television news. The writing style for radio, like TV, is brief and conversational, you have to meet deadlines twice an hour, and it allows you to work on your voicing and delivery. Plus, radio helps you think on your feet when you’re live on the air. It’s a lot more common to have to fill long stretches of time off-the-cuff on the radio.
I learned from some of the best in the radio business at WHIO like Larry Hansgen, Tom Michaels, Jim Barrett, Chris Collins and Nancy Wilson. Since I made the switch to TV, I’ve had the chance to study under Hall of Fame co-workers like Mike Hartsock, Jim Otte, Cheryl McHenry, Letitia Perry, Steve Baker and WHIO mainstays like James Brown and Gabrielle Enright.
I made the full-time switch to WHIO-TV in May 2011. My first day on the job was May 2 – the day Americans woke up to the news that U.S. Special Forces killed Osama Bin Laden during a raid in Pakistan. That’s a first day on the job I’ll never forget.
Since then, I’ve covered all kinds of stories around the Miami Valley and across the country for WHIO. I’ve covered two crashes at the Dayton Air Show, including one on practice day in 2017 when a Thunderbird pilot flipped his F-16 off a rain-soaked runway.
I had taken a back-seat ride in that same model of F-16 with the Thunderbirds the day before the mishap.
That crash almost killed the pilot. I was embedded with the Thunderbirds at their home at Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas the following spring. We were the only news organization to interview the team and the pilot who crashed in Dayton to talk about the wreck that nearly took his life, his recovery and his return to flying.
I spent a week in Gatlinburg, TN covering the wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains in December 2016. I talked to locals and folks with Miami Valley ties who lived there about how the fires impacted their lives.
I was part of our WHIO team that documented a difficult 2019 in the Dayton-area. That included the Montgomery County water crisis, the FBI public corruption probe of Dayton City Hall, a hate group rally on Memorial Day weekend, the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, the Oregon District mass shooting, and the murder of Dayton Police Det. Jorge Del Rio.
I’ve also covered high-profile crime and court sagas like the Rhoden family murders in Pike County in 2016 and the extensive investigation, arrests and court cases that have followed. I covered Brooke Skylar Richardson’s murder trial gavel-to-gavel in Warren County in September 2019, plus the trial of former Springboro gym teacher Austin Hopkins in March 2020. And I’ve been heavily involved in the investigative reporting the News Center 7 I-Team has done in connection with the child abuse deaths of Takoda Collins and James Hutchinson.
I’ve seen and covered a lot in our community over the years. I take seriously the trust our viewers place in us to deliver even-handed and informative reporting every day about the stories they care about happening in their communities. It’s an honor to be able to share your stories in the Miami Valley, to give voice to the previously unheard, to hold the powerful accountable, and to be the people’s auditor.
My work has been honored by multiple professional journalism organizations.
The Ohio Valley Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded me an Emmy for my story about the Katelyn Markham cold case on “Miami Valley Murder Mysteries.” My work has also been nominated for two other regional Emmys.
The Society of Professional Journalists has given me awards for Best Feature Story, Best Spot News (twice), Best Reporter for television, Best Feature Reporting and Best Continuing Coverage.
The Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Awards has honored me with awards for Best Continuing Coverage and Best Feature reporting.
One of the biggest honors I’ve gotten has been the kind words people share with me about the story I did opening up about my lifelong journey with Tourette Syndrome. I wanted to “pay it forward” with that story, help others and give voice to the next generation of Touretters after someone inspired me to share my story. It’s warmed my heart to see that goal accomplished. Hearing your kind words about that story or how it’s helped you or someone you know always humbles me. As someone once told me, “We share our stories to give hope to those who share our struggles.” I’m a big believer in the power of storytelling.
Personally, I’m a big sports fan. I love my Dayton Flyers. I’m also a dyed-in-the-wool Cleveland sports fan, rooting for my Indians, Cavs, and Browns. Growing up just two hours north of
Columbus in the Akron-area (it’s big-time Buckeyes Country there) I’m also an Ohio State football fan. I also enjoy studying U.S. military history, keeping up with yard work, and staying active by swimming, and hiking. I enjoy exploring local and state parks in the Miami Valley and around Ohio. I also love visiting National Parks – so far, my favorite is Acadia National Park in Maine.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine broke the news of the creation of the working group because News Center 7 asked him about it three days after 11-year-old Aiden Clark died in a school bus crash outside Springfield on the first day of school.