I grew up in a small, rural Mississippi town where not a lot ever happened. Gossip columns, school and church announcements, and hunting trophies made up the vast majority of headlines in the local weekly paper. But, in that small town was the compulsion to share stories. Every person, from the deputy who directed traffic near the school to the group of elderly veterans who sat and sipped coffee every morning at the local pharmacy to the lady behind the serving counter of the butcher shop, would stop and share epic tales of life disguised as mild mannered daily anecdotes.
These natural storytellers shaped my early life, ingraining that same desire to communicate and connect.
Attending the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi, I was further exposed to a rare collection of talented and experienced journalism professors. Also a student of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, I had access to a series of respected and influential mentors including writer Curtis Wilkie, documentarian Michael Farrell, and broadcaster Tom Brokaw.
As a student I was given opportunities to cover and interview figures like former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, and intern with the 2008 Presidential Debate Commission, CNN, and WTOK-TV.
I graduated in 2010 with honors, completing a senior thesis on the influence of new media.
My professional career began at WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi. During two years at the ABC affiliate, I worked as a multi-media reporter covering breaking news, severe weather, and continuing events like the BP Oil Spill. Within my first year, I took over the weekend anchor desk and oversaw weekend assignments.
In 2012 I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to join CBS affiliate WAFB-TV. There I began as a morning reporter, providing live coverage for the station’s two hour, top rated morning show. I later took over the station’s medical beat, covering health and medical research topics. Now I am the lead evening reporter for the station’s top rated 10 pm show covering breaking news and major events like the historic 2016 flooding and protests following a police involved shooting in July 2016. I am the managing editor and weekend anchor for the station’s four weekend shows, which leads our competitors in ratings with double the number of viewers.