Portfolio



About

I’m an award-winning journalist who uses data investigations, graphics, maps and a wide range of tools for print and online to tell stories vital to the community.

Found below are examples of my work. For a pdf of my resume, please click here.

For a large list of all my graphics, maps and interactives, please click here.


Online Graphics and Interactives

Election system

With our IT department sidelined from helping editorial with elections, I stepped up to create a system that includes...
- a Django-based site installed behind our company firewall on a Mac Mini, where reporters and editors input candidates and contact information
- which I use to create a mailing list with usernames and passwords sent via Mailchimp
- which invites those candidates into a secure questionnaire hosted using formsite.com
We download those completed questionnaires, publishing them in print and online. I also archive them on the Django app.
When done, I intend to host candidate information going back to 2009.

2016 Presidential election analysis

This year-long projected looked at how residents in the six-county area voted in the Spring primary. I looked at the GOP and the Democratic primary on a precinct-by-precinct basis.
Then in looking at the November election, I used what I learned in the Spring to see how the vote shifted in the historic election.
Opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Our award-winning look at the effect of poverty on school performance.
I spearheaded this by doing the data work and creating visuals that attracted the reporters and editors to do the project. We ended up collaborating with WBEZ's Linda Lutton, whose expertise was invaluable in the final months before publication.
Won the 2015 Lisagor for Education reporting as well as First Place for Community Leadership in the Inland Press Association's annual contest.

Opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Illinois School Report Cards

A comprehensive look at the scores, demographics and financials from the state's report card. Incorporates analysis of what they mean using our Poverty-Acheivement Index.
Outside of the state's site, and site maintained by Northern Illinois University, I believe this is the only independent report.
Opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Duckworth's story

The Story of Capt. Duckworth and The Soldiers Who Saved Her Life: Multimedia timeline for the anniversary of the crash that changed Duckworth's life. Opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Comprehensive look at what happens when a planned expressway/tollway is delayed for so long that suburbs grow up around the planning area.
We used this tool - >click here< - to track where photographers were along the route and plotted them and their photos along the path.
Opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Military items database

A searchable database of the military-grade items state and local police agencies have received from the Federal government.
Set inside a fixed-depth, scrollable div for the default Daily Herald iframe.
Opens in a new window by clicking View More.

The Browns Chicken Murder

For the opening day of the trial, I put together this step-by-step interactive explaining the crime using police reports from the scene. It was a terrific team effort with the lead reporter.
Click the "View More" button below to view it in a new page. It's a flash presentation, so if you're using a mobile device like an ipad or iphone you won't see anything. Flash is not available on these devices, which is why this kind of interactive is no longer widely used.


Print Graphics

Peak tornado month

We took a deep dive into tornadoes in the suburbs, and I came up with this front-page graphic. Story opens in a new window by clicking View More.

With the new PARCC test results being released in late 2015, I took a leadership role in understanding the new test as well as bridging the gap between the old and new standards with a way to measure school performance based on the size of the low-income population they serve.
The award-winning series proved to be one of our most successful of 2015. I even wrote an analysis of ACT scores using the same method.

The gender gap

When I showed the results of my investigation into suburban-area high school scores, the editors were inspired to make STEM education efforts the centerpiece of our Title IX series at the Daily Herald. The stories and graphics all won Lisagor awards.
Image opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Path to foreclosure

I worked closely with the reporting team on our award-winning look at the financial crisis in 2007. A judge in DuPage County requested copies of this graphic so he could hand it out in his courtroom to the many people facing foreclosure.
Image opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Big search for something very small

In 2006, I got to sit down with a physicist at Fermilab and learn how the Tevatron works. Then, instead of one dominant image, I told the story through a narrative series of panels. Eventually I'd hoped to put together an animated flash presentation that would take readers through the graphic. I'd even created several animations in preparation for it. However, the website was being redesigned at the time and so the story went to press without the interactive version.
Image opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Toyota Park

I actually started this graphic when the city approved plans for a new stadium. I used the project to expand my skills with our 3D software. It also required some FOIAs and on-site visits.
I designed the graphic so it was sized to not only appear in the Daily Herald, but also be translated and printed in our Spanish-language sister publication Reflejos.
Image opens in a new window by clicking View More.

Casino addiction

With gambling exploding in the state, we took a look at the consequences - including gambling addiction and how the state was addressing the problem.
Image opens in a new window by clicking View More.

The bionic arm

This front-page graphic had a very quick turn-around. But it was a fascinating subject to research and it allowed me to use my 3D graphics skills on deadline.
Image opens in a new window by clicking View More.


Design and Illustration

Driving on your dime

This illustration for our series about cars for public employees was used as main art on the first day and in subsequent days as the logo for the series.
Image opens in a new tab by clicking View More.

Cubs playoffs

For special events, our Sports staff turns to me for dynamic photo illustrations. Image opens in a new tab by clicking View More.

BlackHawks covers

Here's the first of many covers I designed for the Hawk's Stanley Cup victories. Image opens in a new tab by clicking View More.

Bears and Green Bay

For special events, our Sports staff turns to me for dynamic photo illustrations. Image opens in a new tab by clicking View More.

Bulls and Heat

For special events, our Sports staff turns to me for dynamic photo illustrations. Image opens in a new tab by clicking View More.

Emerald Ashborer

Most often I collaborate with the copy desk as needed, but occasionally I'll design a page 1 package. Image opens in a new tab by clicking View More.


Also

  • I write most of the copy for my graphics and web presentations. And sometimes I’ll write the story too. (Link contains really old photo)
  • I volunteer as a judge for the Illinois College Press Association’s annual contest, and have led sessions for their annual convention.
  • I appeared on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight to talk about our Generations at Risk series along with reporter Melissa Silverberg. I’ve also appeared on ABC7 to talk about Illinois School Reportcards.
  • Along with WBEZ’s Linda Lutton, I presented the Poverty-Achievement Index to Chicago Hack Night, a weekly meeting of civic-minded developers and programmers.
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