Laura is a reporting intern at the Daily News. She graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in May 2013.
As an undergrad, she attended Columbia’s Barnard College and majored in psychology. Outside of school, she was certified to counsel victims of rape and domestic violence in the emergency rooms of St. Luke’s and Roosevelt hospitals. She interned at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) with a focus on HIV/AIDS, and in the spring of 2008, she studied abroad at the University of Ghana.
After graduating in 2009, she worked as a program analyst for CHAI in Pretoria, South Africa, stationed within the South African National Department of Health. Upon returning home in 2012 and before starting graduate school, she worked as a research intern for Ambassador John Campbell in the Africa Studies Department of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Laura began the master’s program at Columbia in the fall of 2012 with a concentration in print journalism. She spent the first semester beat reporting from Morrisania, South Bronx, covering topics such as crime, politics, health care and public housing. She produced feature stories and profiles — most memorably, one about a Halal slaughterhouse and one about a mortician. She wrote an in-depth story about a South Bronx murder by tracking down the families of both the victim and the convicted, the attorneys, detectives and a witness. For her long-form thesis project, she travelled several times to the small town of Le Roy, New York to look into a disturbing case of mass hysteria that occurred in the winter of 2011. The piece was published on The Atlantic’s website.
She graduated with honors in the spring of 2013 and wrote an article examining Silk Road, the encrypted black market website. The piece was published, featured on Huff Po Live and mentioned on CNBC. During the same time, she wrote about the effect of American troops on Afghanistan’s opium market. The article ran in the April 12, 2014 print edition of The Economist.
In July 2013, Laura joined the team at PolicyMic, a news website for millennials. She wrote extensively about wrongful conviction, mass incarceration and over-criminalization. Some of her favorite stories include:
- 80,000 Americans Suffer From a Cruel and Unusual Practice Most Countries Abolished.
This piece is about the horrors of solitary confinement. Laura appeared on MSNBC to discuss it.
- NYPD Commissioner-Turned-Felon Has a Message For Us Now That He’s Been to Prison. Bernard Kerik, former chief of the NYPD, had seen the piece on solitary confinement. He reached out and asked that Laura write his story.
- You’ll Never See This Side of the Super Bowl on TV. This article was about spikes in sex trafficking around large public events. Laura found and interviewed a victim and incorporated her story into the piece, which reached over 1 million readers.
- How This Unlikely State Transformed Into America’s Heroin Hotspot. This story is about the surge in opiate use throughout Vermont.
- I Was Shot 4 Times in the Deadliest Massacre in U.S. History. For this piece, Laura interviewed a young man who survived the Virginia Tech shootings and wrote up his vivid and chilling account of that day. For another piece about guns, she drove out to Newtown as the anniversary of Sandy Hook was approaching. She interviewed employees and customers at the stores where Nancy Lanza purchased her firearms, the guns that Adam Lanza used in the massacre.
- How a Promising Ivy League Student Ended Up a Heroin Addict and Convicted Felon. Laura worked with a young woman named Keri Blakinger to tell her story.
- A Modern Day Slave Plantation Exists, and It’s Thriving in the Heart of America. This piece is about Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison. Laura interviewed Robert King, the only free member of the famous Angola Three group. King was imprisoned for 31 years — 29 of them in solitary confinement — for a murder he did not commit.
This website includes links to Laura’s published stories.
Thank you for reading, and please feel free to reach out: