May 2020

  • Accepted into the BSN-RN program at William Jewell College
  • Certified in Basic Life Support and Basic First Aid
  • Volunteer at Phoenix Homecare & Hospice, since Dec. 2020

August 2016 – Jan. 2021

  • Studying nursing at William Jewell College, a junior
  • Attended Metropolitan Community College, Blue River Campus, pre-requisite science classes for nursing school
  • Fort Osage School District, Independence, Missouri – Substitute teacher and Paraprofessional, K-12
    • Volunteer band mom/chaperone on numerous road trips for the Fort Osage High School Marching Band

December 1991 – January 2015 

  • The Kansas City Star. –  Narrative Feature Writer covering military and medical stories
    • First female journalist from The Star to cover war in Iraq and Afghanistan, embedded with troops. Traveled in C-130s, and Chinook helicopters, writing about the troops’ daily lives
    • Sent quickly 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.
    • Gave numerous speeches about reporting in war zones and disasters, including one after the Joplin tornado, on Critical Incident Stress to nursing staff at North Kansas City Hospital
    • Won the Pulliam National Writing Award for a medical series on a baby named Zeke, born with Trisomy 13, and how perinatal hospice care for families first began and how it has changed
    • Read a selection of my medical stories

August 2002 – May 2008

  • The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Kansas City, MissouriBass Trombonist
    • Played professional jazz concerts throughout Kansas City in this band and others 

January 1992 – July 1997

  • Diva: No Man’s Band, New York, New York Bass Trombonist
    • Traveled around the world, playing concerts from Carnegie Hall to Rome
    • Taught area private lessons, and at high school/college band clinics
    • Freelanced articles to music journals, travel magazines and newspapers

June 1988 – October 1989

  • Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, American Hawaii Cruises Bass Trombonist
    • Worked as cruise ship musician in Caribbean and Hawaii

August 1983 – June 1985

  • Denton Hospital, Denton, Texas Outpatient Surgery Registration Clerk
    • Gathered patients’ personal and insurance information

January 1980 – June 1983

  • St. Anthony’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio – Weekend Emergency Room Clerk
    • First point of contact for patients; gathered personal and insurance information


  • William Jewell CollegeBachelor of Science in Nursing (expected graduation: 2022)
  • Metropolitan Community College, Blue River Campuspre-requisites 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)

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,(since 2016) and also perform in numerous other gigs around Kansas City
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