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Adjunct professor at Saddleback

Link: Announcement of Lariat iPad news app

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In September 2014 I co-taught a course at Saddleback Community College on “Interactive Media Design.”

The course was proposed to the state by my friend, Amara Aguilar, who was then department chair at Saddleback. She decided to leave for USC, so I was brought on to develop and act as lead teacher for the mobile journalism design course.

I was hired two weeks before the semester started, and in that short time I wrote the course syllabus and planned the first few weeks of course content for myself and the assistant teacher, MaryAnne Shults.

It was a whirlwind semester, especially as the course was considered a “go” with only two students, because it was such a valuable topic to the university.

In that one semester, our course introduced students to researching audiences, developing a strategy, building content for a mobile publication, designing a mobile app, submitting to the Apple App Store and marketing a product.

The iPad app was approved and published in the iTunes App Store for a few months. It is no longer published, however, due to the cost of hosting the app.

Clips: Monthly baby column for OC Family magazine

After writing two articles for the OC Family newspaper section, I was contracted to be a monthly columnist for the magazine. My column on the 0-2 age range began in January 2014. The columns are similar to stories – in that I find and interview appropriate sources — and are a column in the sense that I develop the editorial content and schedule.

January 2014: Keeping cherished memories (Modern ways of preserving memories of your child’s firsts)

February 2014: Food for thought (What vitamins and minerals are most important for pregnant or breastfeeding moms)

March 2014: Baby talk (The latest research and advice on nurturing your baby’s language development)

April 2014: That baby looks great on you (The how’s and why’s of baby wearing)

May 2014: Picture this, baby (A round-up of professional photographer tips on capturing the spirit of your little one best in a photo)

June 2014: Eat well, baby (A nutrition and healthy eating habits guide for babies and toddlers)

July 2014: The 411 on baby troubles (A guide on baby health problems)

August 2014: ‘Please sleep through the night’ (Information and tips on baby sleep)

September 2014: Essential decisions (When to stay at home, go to the doctor, drive to the hospital or call 911)

October 2014: Ding, ding ding! It’s time for dinner! (The importance of family dinners and how to make it happen in today’s busy families)

November 2014: Make the season bright (Helpful information for families on how to reduce stress during the holidays)

December 2014: Child’s play (A gift guide based on a tot’s developing skill set)

January 2015: New Year’s resolutions for new parents (Seven pledges for new parents so they can lead a healthier, happier life as mom or dad)

February 2015: Hoping for a miracle (Encouraging stories from families of babies born with rare illnesses)

March 2015: Leaving your child in good hands (Best practices for choosing the right care for your child)

April 2015: Early detection is key (Conditions and other things to watch for in a child’s first year)

May 2015: Beyond the baby blues (A really important story to me when I’ve had friends who have suffered from postpartum issues)

Clip: Labor of love

Link: Labor of Love

I was chosen to write the January OC Family magazine cover story. My mission: to tell the birth stories of three Orange County women. One woman gave birth in a pool in a birthing center, another in a hospital using an epidural and another in a hospital attempting a natural labor that turned into a cesarian delivery.

I loved listening to the stories of these women. Giving birth is certainly not a new practice – but still, every single delivery is a miracle. Even for the same woman each labor is unique and beautiful on its own.

In this story, I set out to not compare and contrast each different labor. I instead worked to tell each woman’s story on its own. I then included statistics and history of different labor forms and developments.

Clip: Stating the union


Link: Graphic

Link: In print

For the state of the union, graphic artist Maxwell and I wanted to show the data behind the speech.

We based the graphic on the Constitution’s mandate for the address: that the president explain the state of the country while also recommending a political agenda to Congress. I then set out to find what data could represent both of those requirements. We chose milestones to compare speeches: 2012 (the graphic ran just before the 2013 speech), the previous year’s speech and the speeches from 50, 100 and 200 years ago.

For the actual state of America, we chose a few factors: legal immigration (represents transitioning times for the country and its policies), military size (could represent wars and U.S. policy), unemployment (an economic measure), people per square mile (to show the country’s growth over time) and the national debt (an economic and policy measure).

For the actual speech, I first found the text of each speech and found the most common words. I then color-coded the words that likely represented domestic or foreign policy. We included the first sentence of each speech to further show change over time.

Finally, we included a timeline on the page of all the speeches, showing the length, mediums and target grade level of each. Notes along the timeline point out interesting milestones and changes in the speech.

Clip: Ring out Orange County’s 2012

EPS_yearinreview_updated_2_1_1M1BQQ9ELink: Graphic

Link: In print

I first got the idea for this graphic when I saw this website that shows the average color of the New York sky, updated every 5 minutes and based on webcams.

I wondered if there would be a way to visualize Orange County’s sky over the course of, perhaps, a year. I started by searching for weather data for the year. Then I thought we could attempt to show the county’s year through data – and to weave it all together in a circle. Artist Maxwell pulled it all together visually.