I am an award-winning journalist, blogger, and academic advisor who now divides my time between writing and a part-time job as the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism internship coordinator. I blog infrequently at Bus Stop Jesus, freelance for Biz Tucson, and listen to voices in my head as I try my hand at two novels. In my spare time, I feed my soul by babysitting the cutest, funniest, wittiest 10-month-old in the world. I love laser tag, wish I had a British accent, have lots of opinions, and am a certified Catholicism nerd.
I’ve won awards from The Arizona Press Club, The Catholic Press Association, and The Arizona Newspaper Association. My beats were mainly education, parenting, and religion, although I did spend six months as a food writer for a small Texas daily immediately out of college. That experience serves as illustration for my current students that any well-trained journalist can learn to cover any subject, because the only thing I knew about food before taking that job was how to cook toast and Top Ramen — and yet I won an award on that beat six months later.
Most of my news reporting was at the now-defunct Tucson Citizen, but my lifestyle and family life columns were published in the Plano Star Courier, the Dallas Morning News, the Huntsville Times, and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette throughout the late-80s and early 90s. I also had a bi-weekly column in various Catholic newspapers during the same time. More recent work has appeared in Portland Magazine, the National Catholic Reporter, and at local live storytelling events. I also am proud to say I played a small role contributing to reporting in the New York Times of the Jan. 8, 2011 attempted assassination of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. I interviewed her about her wedding years before the attack, and she was then – and still remains – an inspiration.
In the realm of higher education, I’ve presented at regional and national conferences on the subject of effective college advising and career counseling, and was featured in this 2015 episode of the Crush Your Internship podcast. More than ever, with the cost of higher education ridiculously out-of-control, excellent academic advising is needed to make sure students can earn their degrees in no more than four years with the least amount (or zero) debt.
Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to contact me at rshorton08 (at) gmail (dot) com or reach out through LinkedIn or Twitter @rshorton.