I'm a senior at the University of Alaska Anchorage, but this probably won't be my last year. I'm primarily studying journalism (broadcast emphasis, though I originally started out doing print) but I'm also in the professional piloting program (as of this writing, I've almost completed my private pilot's license). But my primary passion in life is my new job with the Alaska Railroad: as of May 26th, I am officially hired out as a brakeman. I feel privileged to work in an occupation that most only dream about. (I especially get a kick out of waving to little kids as we roll by.) The scenery that this railroad goes through is absolutely incomparable. Oh, I'm also an audio engineer. I used to be on staff at ChangePoint, Alaska's largest church, as the lead sound engineer and systems manager and now remain on their volunteer audio team. I've also mixed for various other organizations in Anchorage.
Although I originally hail from California and may plan to end up back there eventually, I love Alaska and think that everyone should visit at least once. I have been to 43 states in the U.S. plus Washington, D.C. and to 38 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Last year I traveled Down Under where I performed with 200 people at the Sydney Opera House under Eric Whitacre--what an experience. I would love to return and discover the rest of the what that part of the world has to offer.
I love travel, transportation and technology, and I enjoy sharing my love of them. I hope my enthusiasm for these subjects comes through in my contributions. While I think I've found my passion on the rails, I'm still not 100% sure yet if I'd like to stay with the 'road, continue training as a pilot, be a travel writer, a traveling independent video producer, or all four. I'm leaning toward that last one.
Journalism and WikiNews
Many journalists enjoy covering a variety of subjects. While I firmly believe that variety is the spice of life, I find I enjoy covering certain things more than others. My top areas of interest seem to be travel, transportation and technology. (I say both travel and transportation because they're different: transportation deals with the methods of travel. I'm a railfan and love trains, and I enjoy flying and driving as well. I also enjoy IT-type stuff--stuff dealing with computers, servers, communication, data transport, etc.) I also enjoy following politics, religion and society, but I really don't have much of a desire to report on those. (They're too serious for my taste.)
Since I work more than full-time (typically 50 hours per week), I don't have gobs of time to do much reporting and writing. However, I'll try to contribute when I can. However, if and when I ever pursue journalism full-time (which is doubtful, at this point), I would enjoy the chance to contribute then to WikiNews. I like the idea of having everyone interact with material together...it would be interesting to really see WikiNews revolutionize news gathering and dissemination.
Of course, if anything important happens in my neck of the woods, I'll certainly try my hardest to get to the front lines and bring the story to the WikiWorld.
Please feel free to contact me about reporting anything in Alaska. If you have a story idea that would benefit from an Alaskan angle, send it my way. And of course, if you hear about anything that's going on up here and want me to look into it, let me know and I'll try my hardest. Alaska's a big state, though--as big as 1/5 of the contiguous "Lower 48"--and much of the state's not reachable by car. Since I'm on a college student's limited budget, I probably won't be able to make it to, say, Barrow, Nome, Bethel, or even Juneau.
- The best way to reach me is via email (I check it several dozen times per day). This is a special address that also forwards to my cell phone as an SMS message, so if you have urgent breaking news, I should be available to look into it on short notice.
- I hesitate to release my phone number in a public space like this. If you have reason to call me, send an email with your number and I'll call you back. Make sure to include a brief note on the subject matter. (Include your country code if it's international; don't worry about international calling charges--I have a couple of very good prepaid phone cards and VoIP services.)
- While I do keep my computer connected to various instant message services and do keep a presence in an IRC channel some friends of mine have set up and hang out in, I'd prefer to keep those private. Additionally, any time I'm near my computer--and often when I'm not--I'm constantly checking my email, so that really is the fastest way to reach me.