My Philosophy

I am an artist and a storyteller. Everything that I am is everything that I put into the world.

I believe in the intrinsic value of human connection, through which we lay the foundation of a system that supports us all equally. That connection is made only through the exchange of experiences and ideas that help us understand our differences in order to bridge the gap between cultures and continents.

I’m here to do my part in facilitating that exchange and educating the public, for the sake of the global community.

My Story

stella taking picture of dog
Meet Sugar Magnolia, the sweetest pup there ever was. On her last night, she got as many treats and hugs as she could stand, and I followed her around for hours trying to get a good picture. She’s always been so camera shy—but just look at that pretty face.

I grew up in Alachua, Florida, just outside of Gainesville. For as long as I can remember, I spent most of my time playing competitive and school soccer. I blame the weight I gained in my first year of college on not having a coach breathing down my back for several hours of every day, in every season, for the first time since I was 5 years old.

Off the field, I was always very involved in art and music, but probably spent more time reading and writing than anything else.

I’m lucky to have a whole mess of incredible people behind me, without whom I would not be who or where I am today. They make me laugh, and they never judge me for my extreme dorkiness. I love them all very much.

Education and Experience

In May of 2019, I will be graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with majors in Philosophy and Photojournalism, as well as a minor in Cognitive Science. Altogether, I consider this an interdisciplinary approach to the study of humanity and why we do what we do.

Last summer, I studied abroad with the University of Florida through a program called UF in India: NGOs and Development, led by Dr. Muthusami Kumaran. Over approximately 40 days, we traveled to five cities and toured close to 20 nonprofits of varying scales, with a full range of causes. Some of our assignments included evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each organization we visited, completing three in-depth case studies, and doing a final presentation of one such study for an audience of students, professors, and local nonprofit leaders.

As a student and a journalist, I have used both camera and pen to cover a wide breadth of subject matter, including protests, performances, sports, community events, and long term profiles and feature stories. Some of my favorite projects, both personal and on assignment, include:

  • coverage of the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C.;
  • an extended photo story on local wood craftsman and traditional dancer Elia Bizzarri;
  • a written life story research project on nontheism that involved a series of interviews with 6 different subjects;
  • a photo portrait series in which I used body paint to help subjects send otherwise non-visual messages about themselves to the world;
  • and the documentation of my 40-day excursion across India to study nonprofits involved in all kinds of social and environmental justice issues.

 You can find more of my written and visual work on the Daily Tar Heel website and more information about my work history on LinkedIn.

Aside from journalism, I also work as a research assistant in the Office of Research in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. Some of my regular tasks include: collecting research to assist in grant applications, program development, and policy writing, as well as graphic design, event coordination, communications work, copy-editing, and other office tasks.

With regard to extracurricular activities, I am a member of the Carolina Neuroscience Club and a weekly volunteer and adult GED tutor at Orange Literacy Council. I also serve as the president of the Secular Students of Carolina.

My Vision

I plan to carry my educational background, in combination with my passions for travelling and activism, into a career in international nonprofit communications and advocacy work.

Immediately after graduation, I’d like to spend the summer exploring national parks across the United States, or maybe backpacking through Europe. Within the following year, I hope to begin a two-year tour in the Peace Corps, working with education and documenting peace sign at the beachmy experience.

From there, I’ve considered returning to school to study environmental or international human rights law, maybe even neurolaw. I’m also interested in working for the communications department of a large-scale nonprofit organization.

Ultimately, wherever I end up, I hope to be sharing stories that the world needs to hear, and to be serving this planet and everyone on it with everything I have.

Your Next Steps…

If you’d like my help with a project of your own, head to my contact page and shoot me a proposal. From graduation photos to in-depth narratives to nonprofit management and grant research, I’m ready to help.