- Communications Director, Florida Policy Institute (CBPP State Partner) 2015-2016. Responsible for communications strategy for a nonpartisan, nonprofit tax and budget policy organization. Developed and produced content across many social media channels, created graphics to convey policy ideas, coordinated our communications work with affiliates in other states as well as a national partner, coached our policy team on translating and writing for an everyday audience. Communicated with media to release reports and responded to state budget matters.
- Writer and Editor, 2005-present. Write blogs, press releases, magazine-style articles, white papers, grants, and other projects as an independent contractor. Clients have included AOL, Lansing Capital Gains, Boys and Girls Club affiliates, and a university affiliated biotechnology company.
- S.D.A. Forest Service, Ecologist, Writer-Editor, 2005-2007 Wrote an extensive annotated bibliography and co-authored a Best Management Practices manual for a project about hazardous fuel reduction in Florida’s forests. http://www.fws.gov/southeastfire/documents/OBrien-2010.pdf
- Communications Coordinator, Peace Education Center, January 2008-Fall 2010: My duties included coordinating social and alternative media (news feeds, twitter, facebook, flickr and other photography sharing, peace and justice news reporting, writing), web design, coordinating people and supplies for events, as well as directing fundraising projects and outreach campaigns. I wrote and won a $20,000 capacity building grant for the organization.
- Research Assistant for two book projects at the University of Nevada, Reno
Teaching Experience: Writing and Rhetoric University Instructor:
- Visiting Instructor and Instructor, University of Central Florida, August 2011-2015
Managed 100 students/ semester; organized students into teams; guided them in goal-setting and leadership development skills as they attempted to influence policy and practice in their communities.
Developed new classes/assignments for Department of Writing and Rhetoric, including
- Writing for Social Change (class where students read theory, then went into community and practiced engagement and writing for community groups)
- Rhetoric and Civic Engagement: an upper-level writing and rhetoric class where students mapped transportation challenges on a large public university campus in Florida, and a later class blogged about riding transit in Orlando at http://triptheknightfantastic.wordpress.com/
- Some students were later published in a community arts project called the Transit Interpretation Project
- Taught Introductory writing and research classes.
- Outstanding teaching and annual reviews and elected to department leadership
- Winner of the first annual Community Engagement award from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric
- Adjunct Faculty, Lansing Community College, August 2008-May 2011
- Adjunct Faculty, Baker College of Jackson, September 2007-June 2011
- Teaching Assistant, Core Writing Program, University of Nevada, Reno, 2005-2007
M.A. in English (Environmental Writing & Rhetoric), The University of Nevada, Reno;
- In addition to major coursework, graduate level elective courses in Land and Water Resource Policy; Race, Gender and the Environment; member, Students and Educators for Environmental Development and Sustainability. Master’s thesis focused on southern environmental literature.
B.A. in English, The University of Georgia. Foundation Fellow
Spanish Minor, Environmental Ethics Certificate, Magna Cum Laude, High Honors in English.
- Courses in ecology, geology, statistics, environmental policy, environmental dispute resolution, and seminars in natural resource lobbying and government relations.
- Foundation Fellow; the University of Georgia’s most prestigious academic scholarship.
- President, campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity
Graduate class in University of Central Florida’s Texts and Technologies PhD program: Rhetorics of Digital Literacy
Selected Volunteer, Writing, and Outreach Work:
I have taught a “telling your story” workshop to many community groups and national meetings.
Board Member, Secretary, Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment
Board Member, Central Florida Triathlon Club
Wrote Volunteer Management Plan for Orlando’s bid for the Gay Games, 2018
Communications Coordinator/ Executive Board, Lansing Bicycle Cooperative, 2010-2011
Member, Community Advisory Committee, MetroPlan Orlando through 2016
Member, Team Triangle Velo (Cycling Team with anti-obesity philanthropic focus)
Leadership and other professional training
New Leaders’ Council Orlando Class of 2015
Center for Progressive Leadership State Fellow, Michigan, 2009
Both of the above programs were 6 mo-1 yr. training programs for media engagement, campaigns, fundraising, messaging, & coalition building for nonprofit & political leaders.
Guest Speaker, Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment Leadership series, multiple occasions
Taught “Telling Your Story” workshop for low to moderate income community members
Knight Environmental Journalism Reporting Boot Camp, 2008
Great Lakes Environmental Journalism Training Institute
Select publications and conference presentations: full list available upon request
Florida Policy Institute Medicaid chartbook (based on CBPP & other state affiliate models). & (2016) Guide to the Florida Budget (current is revised version of my template)
Recent conferences include the National Association of Community Health Centers’ Policy and Issues Forum, the NC School Based Health Alliance Annual Conference, Frank Gathering at UF (a conference for people working in public interest communications) Computers & Writing (2012, 2013), SAMLA (2013), Gulf South Summit 2014, 2015 (university civic engagement)
Wrote, with Douglas Walls “The Infrastructure of Space: Expanding Writing Classroom Activity into the Extracurriculum” in Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies, edited by Jim Purdy and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss.
Adobe Suite, Particularly InDesign and Illustrator, Social Media & website management (Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, etc), Multidisciplinary Research and translation of policy for everyday audiences, podcasting software, some video editing software, several advocacy platforms
Incident Management Team/ Emergency Operations Center Training (20 hours); Continuing the Provisions of Healthcare in the Duke Coalition Series—Patient Movement & Hospital Integration; Bleeding Control Basics 1.0