HCN welcomes new interns and employees

  • From left: Krista Langlois, Tay Wiles and Katie Mast joined the HCN team in July.

    Andrew Cullen

Our rock-star intern Sarah Jane Keller will be sticking around for another six months as our latest editorial fellow. And two new interns have just arrived for a half-year of journalism boot camp.

Krista Langlois can't say no to adventure. She grew up in Chicopee, Mass., earned an English degree from Mount Holyoke College, and moved to the Marshall Islands to teach English. A few years later, after building trails and studying bull trout in Idaho, Krista was leading teen wilderness expeditions in Alaska.

She shuttled back East to report on everything from sports to mining for a New Hampshire newspaper, then worked as a kayak guide in rainy Milford Sound, New Zealand. Now, she's thrilled to be in western Colorado, which "still has a lot of rivers," she says. "I'll also get to see my name in HCN," she adds, noting its "thoughtful, hard-hitting journalism offers more creativity and freedom than a traditional newspaper."

Growing up in Ohio, Katie Mast protected spider webs from a local boy who tried to destroy them, thus beginning a longstanding love affair with both creepy crawlies and conservation. But after curating an insect collection, earning her degree in environmental studies at Indiana's Goshen College and working as an environmental educator, Katie realized that, rather than being a scientist, she wanted to work "with the stories behind the data."

Katie worked in Albuquerque as a communications officer at the BioPark, a paralegal and the city's webmaster. She plans to use the scientific method to enhance her HCN reporting, and to practice contra dancing and gluten-free baking (not all at the same time).

Tay Wiles, HCN's new online editor, is excited to become part of our "amazing legacy of bad-ass journalism." Originally from Maine and a Colorado College graduate, Tay is no stranger to investigative reporting, beginning her career as a muckraker for Mother Jones magazine and continuing to dig into San Francisco's "seedy underbelly" with the public defender's office. Most recently, Tay edited MissionLocal, a news site published by UC Berkley's Graduate School of Journalism.

She'll miss some of San Francisco's perks, she says -- such as boxing studios and surfing -- but Tay is glad to be back in Colorado, exploring nearby mountain biking trails, climbing routes and snowboarding slopes. That's assuming she gets a break from pushing HCN deeper into digital news through editing blogs, working social media, and envisioning our online future.

It hasn't taken long for Jenny Hill, classified sales assistant, to think of HCN subscribers as family. Since joining the magazine in May, Jenny has worked diligently to find ads that intrigue our readers.

A Colorado Front Range native, Jenny has lived on the Western Slope for 11 years, working in veterinary clinics, medical service positions, and at a publishing agency. Jenny's overarching passion involves bringing people together, whether helping underserved communities access health care, or encouraging dialogue about divisive issues. In her free time, she's an avid gardener and Elks Club volunteer.

Development Assistant Valarie Dickson had no trouble getting into the HCN groove when she started work this spring. An Ohio native and longtime Colorado resident, Valarie first visited the Western Slope nearly 25 years ago and was entranced by its wildlife, mountains and desert. After five years as a legal assistant in Montrose, Colo., and a long history in brokerage in Denver, she decided to try something new by learning how a nonprofit works. When she's not planning board meetings or urging donors to give us more money, Valarie enjoys making jewelry and digging in her garden.

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