award-winning JOURNALIST • WRITING INSTRUCTOR • EDITOR & COPYEDITOR
PROFESSIONAL WRITING EXPERIENCE
Freelance Writer (Durham, NC and Portland, OR) | 2008 — Present
- Writing freelance stories for publications such as the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Oxford American, Our State, High Country News, 1859 Oregon’s Magazine, Oregon Business Magazine, The Oregonian, Willamette Week and Salt Magazine, including pieces about an old-school book scout, the sharing economy, the Missed Connections phenomenon in Portland and the muddy fall sport of cyclocross.
- Revised the Portland section of the 2013 Fodor’s travel guidebook to the Pacific Northwest, writing reviews of restaurants, hotels, bars and arts venues.
- Represented by Tessler Literary Agency in New York City.
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (Durham, NC) | Writing Instructor | April 2014 — Present
- Teaching writing and interviewing courses in the documentary studies certificate program, covering topics such as how to prepare for an interview, formulate questions, structure conversations, navigate ethical issues and bring collected content to life on the page.
- Delivering instructional lectures at weekend on-site skills institutes for students in the distance certificate program.
University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC) | Writer/Editor | 2014 — Present
- Writing articles for the website of the 17-institution University of North Carolina system, detailing various University efforts to achieve the goals laid out in its strategic plan.
- Drafting speeches for the UNC president, composing press releases and editing documents and reports for clarity, grammar and style.
Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR) | Writing Instructor | Fall 2011 — Present
- Teaching classes in the documentary studies program of the Northwest Writing Institute, covering everything from the writing process to conducting interviews.
Freelance Editor and Copyeditor (Telecommute) | 2011 — 2013
- Editing entries on various immigrant groups for Gale Cengage Learning’s Encyclopedia of Multicultural America.
- Worked as the senior copyeditor and assistant editor with Scribe LLC, fine-tuning the newsletters, executive emails, slide presentations, websites and case studies for companies including Microsoft and Nokia.
Portland State University (Portland, OR) | Writing Instructor | 2009 — 2011
- Taught journalism and nonfiction writing to 20-student classes at Portland State University, focusing on everything from invention strategies to final revisions, for news stories and news features as well as profiles, reviews, personal essays and memoirs.
- Consulted with students one-on-one about specific writing projects during half-hour sessions in the Portland State University Writing Center.
The Times (Portland, OR) | Staff Writer | 2009
- Wrote five to eight articles per week about city government, schools, business, arts and the environment as the only full-time reporter for a weekly community newspaper covering Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood, Oregon.
- Won two Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Oregon/SW Washington Society of Professional Journalists.
Fantástico Sur (Torres del Paine National Park, Chile) | Marketing Director | 2007 — 2008
- Created a marketing department for Fantástico Sur, the largest lodging operator in Torres del Paine National Park, located in the Chilean Patagonia.
- Crafted and implemented a marketing plan based on a deep understanding of consumer behavior obtained by canvassing more than 500 tourists using surveys and personal interviews.
- Recruited and managed more than 18 volunteers for the Agrupación MedioAmbiental, an environmental conservation organization at work in the park.
- Continually collected stories to feed Out to See, an extensive travel blog at www.christinacooke.com/blog.
Chattanooga Times Free Press (Chattanooga, TN) | Staff Writer | 2005 — 2007
- Promoted in 2006 to lead K-12 education coverage for a leading daily paper with a Sunday circulation of 95,000.
- Wrote daily and enterprise news stories about local schools and education issues, covering matters ranging from teen pregnancy in local schools to consequences of the federal No Child Left Behind act.
- Produced content for the paper’s Web site, including graphics and interactive features to accompany online stories.
- Won the paper first place for education reporting in the Tennessee Press Association 2006 Newspaper Contest for breadth and quality of coverage.
- Previously served as North Georgia general assignment reporter, covering six counties and subjects ranging from extreme wrestling in rural communities to the effects of county government budget cuts.
- Early career at the paper included a stint writing features including personal columns, profiles and articles about consumer trends and the arts.
Port City Life Magazine (Portland, ME) | Intern | 2004
- Wrote articles on the people, places and events of southern Maine for a bi-monthly regional magazine.
- Fact-checked and copyedited articles; selected images and content for the magazine’s website.
PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL/LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
- Collected notes, conducted interviews and recorded digital sound for travel articles and multimedia pieces during a three-month journey through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
- Assisted with the science programs for children in grades K-7 at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro.
- Led groups of teenagers on 25-day adventure travel expeditions in the Pacific Northwest for a company called Adventure Treks; taught leadership and wilderness skills through activities such as backpacking, mountaineering, rafting, sea kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking.
- Headed a youth exchange program, the Global Community Project, on a trip dedicated to environmental conservation work in Torres del Paine National Park in the Chilean Patagonia.
- Designed and delivered daily lessons to the English-as-a-Second-Language fourth graders in the after-school program at Reiche Elementary School in Portland, Maine.
- Ran weeklong trips to the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee for rising Davidson College freshmen.
Portland State University (Portland, OR) | MFA in Nonfiction Writing | 2009 — 2011
- Wrote a creative nonfiction thesis about people who redefine waste by making use of objects others discard; interviewed and shadowed Portland street people, freegans, Dumpster divers, junk artists, clothing pickers, book scouts and repairmen.
- Studied forms of literary nonfiction writing — including magazine features, personal essays, place-based articles, and long-form narratives — in workshop- and discussion-based classes.
- Awarded the Tom Bates Award in Memoir Writing at Portland State University’s 47th-annual Nina Mae Kellogg Awards for a piece on the cowboys of the Chilean Patagonia in the spring of 2011.
Duke University Center for Documentary Studies (Durham, NC) | Intro to Sound Recording and Digital Mixing | 2008
- Learned to produce audio documentaries using a digital recorder and Pro Tools editing software.
Mediabistro.com (Online) | Introduction to Travel Writing Course | Fall 2007
- Learned and practiced travel writing techniques in an interactive class taught by Jay Cooke, commissioning editor (U.S. East) for Lonely Planet.
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies (Portland, ME) | Program in Documentary Writing | 2003
- Studied documentary writing skills including fieldwork, interviewing, writing, editing and copyediting.
- Composed documentary article profiling three inmates at a prison farm in Maine; article selected for publication in Salt’s annual anthology and republished in Clamor Magazine.
Davidson College (Davidson, NC) | BA in English; minor in Spanish | 2003
- Graduated magna cum laude; GPA: 3.81.
- Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society; Omicron Delta Kappa leadership society; Phi Beta Delta international leadership society.
- Staff writer for The Davidsonian, the college’s weekly student-managed newspaper.
- Composed and laid out arts and entertainment articles for Triad Style, a regional lifestyle magazine.
- Studied Spanish for a semester at the School for International Training in Granada, Spain.
Proficient in PC and Mac, Microsoft Office, WordPress, social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, photography, basic Photoshop, digital audio recording and editing, QuarkXPress, The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style. Conversational in Spanish.
Educate Ya (Portland, OR) | Volunteer ESL teacher | 2009
AMA Torres del Paine Conservation Organization (Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, telecommute) | Volunteer Translator/Editor | 2008 — 2009
Strong Tower Free Medical Clinic (Huntersville, NC) | Volunteer ESL teacher | 2001—2002
Davidson Elementary School (Davidson, NC) | Tutoring Program Volunteer and Coordinator | 1999—2001
Habitat for Humanity (John’s Island, SC; Greensboro, NC; Davidson, NC) | Volunteer Homebuilder | 1998—2001