SARA SHIPLEY HILES

Phone: 270-991-0146; E-mail: saraship@gmail.com

Personal website: www.sarashipleyhiles.com

 Career Summary: Award-winning journalist and journalism educator with 20 years’ experience in the field. Specialist in environmental and investigative reporting; recognized journalism faculty member; skilled in creating effective media relations and public relations strategies; experienced with a variety of new media, online and multimedia tools.

 WORK EXPERIENCE

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO: August 2012 to present. Teach undergraduate and graduate students as a faculty member in the Missouri Journalism School’s Magazine area. Supervise students in writing, editing and digital production at Vox, Columbia’s weekly city magazine, including our blog, VoxTalk. Organized multi-class, multimedia special reporting projects called “Against the Odds” and “Matters of Faith.”

FACULTY MEMBER, Bowling Green State University, Journalism and Public Relations Department, Bowling Green, OH: January 2011 to present. Teach undergraduate journalism classes including media writing, reporting, journalism law and ethics, environmental journalism and feature writing. Emphasize critical thinking, ethics and diversity; excellent research, reporting and writing skills; and use of multimedia and online media skills in every class. Websites created for classes include:

FREELANCE WRITER, AUTHOR AND EDITOR, Bowling Green, OH: August 2005 to present. Freelance journalist/writer specializing in environment, health, science and investigative reporting. Work includes coverage of international lead pollution (Mother Jones magazine) and Hurricane Katrina’s environmental impact (co-authored the book, City Adrift: New Orleans Before and After Katrina, LSU Press, 2007). Other work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Nation and The Christian Science Monitor.

PUBLIC RELATIONS/MEDIA RELATIONS CONSULTANT, Bowling Green, KY: March 2006 to May 2010. Provided effective media and public relations strategies, event planning, and writing and editing services, including press releases, annual reports and website content. Clients included ConnectKentucky and Western Kentucky University.

PART-TIME FACULTY MEMBER, Western Kentucky University, School of Journalism & Broadcasting, Bowling Green, KY: August 2006 to May 2010. Won Part-Time Faculty Award in 2008 for outstanding contributions in teaching. Teach writing and reporting classes in one of the nation’s best undergraduate journalism programs. In 2009, created the Fleischaker-Greene Scholars, an endowed honors journalism program focused on the First Amendment. The program brought together students from different disciplines to produce in-depth and investigative stories, photos and video for a website, http://fgscholars.com. Emphasized field-based experiences, including taking a team of freshmen to eastern Kentucky for five days to report on coal mining and create a multimedia website.

LEAD ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTER, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO: June 2002 to May 2005. Headed reporting team that investigated flood plain development in region, resulting in five-part series that gained attention on National Public Radio and spawned several pieces of legislation. Investigated how a toxic butter flavoring destroyed the lungs of microwave popcorn plant workers; stories were finalists for Livingston Award for national reporting. Wrote award-winning feature story on scientists’ efforts to save an endangered salamander, The Ozark hellbender.

REGIONAL REPORTER, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY: May 2000 to May 2002. Co-reported and co-wrote series exposing the poor treatment of mentally ill inmates in Kentucky’s county jails, leading to state reform efforts. Co-wrote a series documenting railroad workers’ exposure to toxic solvents that caused brain damage. Explored the controversy behind an industrial park near Mammoth Cave National Park.

ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTER, The Statesman-Journal, Salem, OR: May 1998 to May 2000. Covered month-long breaking news event as cargo ship ran aground off Oregon coast, leaking oil and raising questions about cargo vessel safety. Traveled to Iceland for 10 days to cover Keiko the killer whale’s repatriation to his native waters for Gannett News Service. Wrote story exposing the hidden impact agriculture has on the environment.

STAFF WRITER, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA: June 1993 to May 1998. Broke story on local businessman’s illegal gambling operation, resulting in his arrest and contributing to his later indictment. Investigated underage drinking in a series that led the Louisiana Legislature to change the state’s alcohol laws. Wrote award-winning feature story about a group of homeless teen “drifters” living in an abandoned building.

COPY EDITOR/STAFF WRITER, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA: Sept. 1992 to May 1993.  Worked part-time as a copy editor and stringer during senior year of college. Created the paper’s first college/youth beat, including a story on the then-unknown Internet.

COPY EDITING INTERN, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA: May 1992 to August 1992. Edited for clarity, accuracy and style during summer college internship.

MAGAZINE INTERN, 3-2-1 Contact magazine, New York, NY: June 1991 to August 1991. Researched and wrote for nationally circulated children’s science magazine.

EDUCATION

Master of Arts in journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO: December 2010. Master’s thesis topic: “Climate Change in the Newsroom: Journalists’ Evolving Standards of Objectivity When Covering Global Warming.”

Bachelor of Arts in communications, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA: May 1993. Presidential Scholar, honors student; graduated cum laude. Minor in Latin American studies.

SELECTED AWARDS, MEMBERSHIPS & CONFERNCES

Current Member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Society of Environmental Journalists, Online News Association, AEJMC

Attended AEJMC conference, St. Louis, MO, August 2011; Washington, D.C., 2013

Attended Online News Association conference, Boston, MA, 2011

Adviser, BGSU chapter of National Association of Black Journalists, 2011-2012

Finalist, Online Journalism Awards, Multimedia Feature Presentation, Student, 2010

Freedom Forum Multimedia Boot Camp and Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp, 2009-2010

Part-Time Faculty Award,Western Kentucky University, 2008

Inter American Press Association, In-Depth Reporting Award, 2007

Society of Environmental Journalists, Kevin Carmody Award for Investigative Reporting, Print,Second Place, 2007

Livingston Award for National Reporting, Finalist, 2004

New Orleans Press Club, Feature Writing, First Place, 1994

SKILLS

 Blogging and website design and publishing using WordPress; social media for journalists, including Twitter and Facebook; recording, editing and publishing audio and video using Audacity, Soundslides, Final Cut Pro, Vimeo and YouTube; DSLR photography and editing.

REFERENCES

References available upon request.