Jen grew up in Hawaii, holds a BA in English from Whitman College and a MA in Public Affairs Reporting from University of Illinois-Springfield. She made Portland her home in the late ’90s and has worked full-time as a newspaper journalist, covering everything from crime and politics to the environment, food and the arts for 20 years.
The highlight, however, was being invited to help to document the PDX2GulfCoast trip in 2010, bearing witness to the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill all the while sampling all of the jambalaya and po’ boys the Gulf had to offer.
She carried her newfound environmental activism to her son’s elementary school, where she started a school Green Team and led efforts like field trips to local farms, switching to durable silverware and installing water bottle filling stations to eliminate use of single-use plastic bottles. Through this work she connected with the Eco School Network, a local community of parent and teacher leaders working to make sustainable changes in the schools.
After a brief stint working to oversee the school district’s walk-and-bike-to-school efforts, Jen currently writes and manages content and social media to inspire travel in Oregon.
In her free time she finds comfort in crafting and cooking up crazy adventures involving camping, hiking, biking and paddling with her husband and teenage sons.