I was born and raised in blue-collar Dundalk, MD just outside of Baltimore. When I was a child my father was a steelworker and my mother was a secretary at United Steelworkers union local 2610. I wrote about my family and community in Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Steel Town.
I attended Catholic schools for 16 years – Our Lady of Hope, The Catholic High School of Baltimore and Loyola College. In 1998, I earned an MA in science writing from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.
Since then I’ve published three books and numerous articles. For a long time I wrote mostly about science but over the past few years I’ve been writing about other subjects that interest me too – like street art, Baltimore’s literary history and renegade Catholics.
Though I’ve spent most of my life in Baltimore, I lived in New York City from 2010-2012 while working as a news editor at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI.org). I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and took the L train every day into Manhattan. It was a great experience but living and working in New York also made me realize how much I love Baltimore.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been teaching at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, co-curating The New Mercury Nonfiction Reading Series which I founded with John Barry in 2009, and rediscovering the charm in Charm City!
Born: Baltimore MD
Educated: Loyola College, Johns Hopkins University
Worked: Currently Professor of the Practice, UMBC, formerly news editor at SFARI.org, senior science writer at Johns Hopkins Medicine and research writer at The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health