• Accepted into the BSN-RN Accelerated Track program at William Jewell College, May 2020
  • Certified in Basic Life Support and Basic First Aid, 2020
  • Hospice Volunteer, Phoenix Homecare & Hospice, December 2020 – present
  • Nursing Clinicals 2020-2021 at: Liberty Hospital (40 hours), North Kansas City Hospital (92 hours), Children’s Mercy Hospital (36 hours).


  • William Jewell College – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (expected graduation: May 2022). 
  • Metropolitan Community College – prerequisites for nursing school (GPA: 3.8)
  • University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas – Master of Journalism (1994)
  • University of North Texas, Denton, Texas – Master of Music (1988)
  • Capital University Conservatory of Music, Columbus, Ohio – Bachelor of Music (1983)

Previous Work Experience

Journalist, The Kansas City Star, December 1991 – January 2015

  • Writer of features on medical and military stories
  • Gave numerous speeches about reporting in war zones and disasters, including one after the Joplin tornado, on working in extreme stress to nursing staff at North Kansas City Hospital
  • Won the Pulliam National Writing Award for a medical series on prenatal hospice care for a baby named Zeke, born with Trisomy 13
  • First female journalist from The Star to travel to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, embedded with Kansas/Missouri troops. Rode in C-130s, and Chinook helicopters, Jeeps and one tank, writing stories about the troops’ daily lives
  • Sent to disasters as The Star’s jump reporter: Hurricane Katrina, (embedded with FEMA); Joplin tornado, and smaller events with tornados, floods, accidents 
  • Known for ability to engage people who previously refused to talk with media
  • Awarded a journalism scholarship to a seminar on Critical Incident Stress in War and Disasters, in Washington D.C.

(Read a selection of my medical stories)

Other Experience

  • Substitute Teacher and Paraprofessional, K-12, Fort Osage School District, Independence, Missouri
  • Volunteer Mom, Fort Osage High School Marching Band
  • Professional Musician, Bass Trombonist, Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, and in jazz concerts throughout Kansas City area
  • Professional Musician, Bass Trombonist, Diva: No Man’s Band, New York, New York, traveled around the world, playing concerts from Carnegie Hall to Rome
  • Music Educator, taught area private lessons, and at high school/college band clinics
  • Freelance Writer, articles for music journals, travel magazines and newspapers
  • Professional Musician, Bass Trombonist, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and American Hawaii Cruises 
  • Outpatient Surgery Registration Clerk, Denton Hospital, Denton, Texas
  • Weekend Emergency Department Admitting Clerk, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 

Professional Affiliations

  • National Student Nursing Association
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Military Editors and Writers
  • Kansas City Federation of Musicians, AFL-CIO

Personal Achievements

  • Married 29 years to Keith
  • Mother to two children; Hannah, 19 and Jesse, 13, both IVF successes after years of infertility
  • Earned Black Belt in Taekwondo, May 2018
  • A wolf-watcher/primitive camper in Yellowstone National Park for more than nine summers
  • Bass trombonist, NorthWinds Symphonic Band, (2016 – present), numerous other gigs around Kansas City
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