High Country News hires an associate designer

  • New HCN associate designer Andy Cullen, seen here in Bangs Canyon near Grand Junction, wasted no time before beginning to explore Colorado after moving from Maine in early August.

    Emily Guerin

Andy Cullen, HCN's new associate designer, drove more than 2,000 miles to get to our office in Paonia, Colo., for his first day on the job.

Andy, who earned his bachelor's degree in journalism, with a concentration in photojournalism, in 2005 at Boston University, spent four years in the Peace Corps in Bangladesh and Mongolia before getting back to journalism. As a freelancer, he wrote and photographed environmental and development stories in Eastern Asia, covering topics mostly overlooked by the mainstream media.

After returning stateside, Andy worked at the Sun Media chain of papers in Lewiston and Portland, Maine, doing page design, reporting and photography.

Now his sense of adventure has brought him to Colorado -- where he'd never been before -- and to High Country News, where he's excited about focusing on the visual side of storytelling. Andy will help find and assign photographs and illustrations, design magazine pages and other HCN materials, and help put our content onto hcn.org.

'I'm ecstatic to be part of HCN and its detailed, insightful reporting on issues that matter to everyone in the West -- including its newest residents, like me,' he said. When he's not working, Andy likes all things outdoors, especially hiking, cycling and playing Frisbee.

This summer, HCN launched an editorial correspondent program to promote more geographically diverse coverage, improve the quality of our shorter stories and develop strong ties to promising young writers. Nathan Rice, a former editorial fellow (summer 2011), and Sierra Crane-Murdoch, a former intern (winter 2011), became our first correspondents this June. Nathan will be reporting on the Northwest from Bellingham, Wash., and Sierra will be reporting on the Northern Rockies from Missoula, Mont. Let us know if you have story ideas for them as they get rolling.



We welcomed Robert Frederick and his wife Donna Scheidt to our Paonia headquarters this July. The couple was in town visiting contributing editor Michelle Nijhuis; Robert is writing part of a book she's editing, The Science Writer's Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish and Prosper in the Digital Age, due in April from Da Capo Press. He formerly hosted Science magazine's weekly podcast and now works as a freelance science journalist. Donna is an English professor at High Point University, N.C. In true Paonia style, they spent the night in a tepee near Michelle's place. 'It was more comfortable than I thought it would be,' Donna said. Robert, who last slept in one at the tender but adventurous age of 8, agreed.

Cherry and John Sand drove their VW camper van down from Grand Mesa to visit High Country News and pick up some of the famous local peaches. After Paonia, the Sands were headed up to Crested Butte for an alpine lake and wildflower tour before returning to their home in Gold Hill, just outside of Boulder. They thanked us for covering controversial topics like polygamous extremists (June 11, 2012). It's always nice to be congratulated when we tackle risky subjects!

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