HCN welcomes a few new faces

Winter interns have arrived, as well as a new office mate.


There are a few new faces around the High Country News offices here in Paonia, Colorado, as we welcome a new staff member and two interns to the fold.

Mary Zachman, a longtime subscriber, is our new accounts and office assistant. She and her husband moved to town three years ago, and she’s excited to join the crew at HCN. “I love Paonia,” Mary says, especially the mountains and the music and arts scene. “We found our spot here.”

Carl Segerstrom and Jessica Kutz are the new editorial interns at HCN.
Brooke Warren/High Country News

Originally from Littleton, Colorado, editorial intern Jessica Kutz discovered her “outdoor bone” exploring the Rockies and hiking Colorado’s “Fourteeners,” the many peaks that top 14,000 feet, as an undergraduate studying international affairs and media at the University of Colorado Boulder. After college, Jessica spent time living with the Indigenous people who run Nitmiluk National Park in Australia, teaching English in northern Chile and working on a microfinance project in rural Guatemala. She came to appreciate the bonds that connect people to place, but felt she had more to contribute back home.

So Jessica decided to try journalism, starting with an internship at the Telluride Daily Planet that soon turned into a full-time job. She exposed immigration status sweeps at a local affordable housing project and examined the gentrification pushing out local businesses for high-priced condos. At HCN, Jessica is excited to leave the grind of daily news reporting and produce stories that plumb the depths of the Western experience.

Editorial intern Carl Segerstrom grew up at the base of California’s Sierra Nevada in a small mining and timber-milling town. He developed a deep relationship with nature through hikes in Yosemite National Park and daily life in a community dependent on natural resources. As an undergraduate, he studied conservation and resources at the University of California at Berkeley. All the while, Carl knew his passion lay in journalism, though he wasn’t sure how to make a career in the field.

A few years ago, Carl and his partner, Emily Irwin, took a road trip through the West, meandering through Canada, down the West Coast, through the Rockies and eventually to Paonia, where he visited HCN in 2015. Shortly afterward, Carl earned a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Oregon and interned at the Eugene Weekly. At HCN he hopes to merge his experience of the natural world with his desire to hold public officials accountable, thereby raising awareness of “lingering injustices” in the American West.

Finally, a couple of corrections. On the back page of our first issue of the year (“Heard Around the West,” HCN, 1/22/18), we incorrectly identified the location of a picture of a carwash sign. The sign is in Montana, not Colorado. In the same issue, a picture caption misstated the name of the artist who sent us the charming sketch that appeared in this column; his name is Leo Hakola. We regret the errors.

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