I was born and raised in North Carolina, but I’ve lived in New York for 10 years. I’ve always been passionate about storytelling: before I came to StoryCorps I spent my whole career working in nonprofit theater. These days, when I’m not hard at work supporting our participants and users, I’m usually puttering in my fire-escape garden, writing a play, seeing an off-off-off-off Broadway show you’ve never heard of, or spending a night in with my wife and cats.
What is your role at StoryCorps?
I’m the Associate Director of Public Support and Solutions which means that—along with a small team—I answer the general email box, support StoryCorps participants, and lead communications with users of our Mobile App and Online Archive.
How long have you been with the organization?
I started at StoryCorps in 2018.
What is a typical day like for you?
Every day, I spend time in ZenDesk [a help desk management tool] reviewing and responding to incoming inquiries from our community and on a given day, I might be meeting with our Digital team about improvements to our Online Archive, working with the Marketing & Communications team on emails to StoryCorps App users, advocating for the user experience, or working with the Recording & Archives team on archival policies that impact participants.
What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
I find it really fulfilling to work with participants; not a lot of StoryCorps staff (beyond our facilitators) interact with our participants on a regular basis. Often, as a remembrance, we hear from individuals who are searching for older interviews recorded by a recently deceased loved one. Helping people reconnect with these precious memories is one of my favorite things about this job.
What is most challenging about your job?
While I love working with the public, it can also be challenging. In this job, we are on the front lines when it comes to hearing about an issue, so there are times when my day has gone sideways because I’m responding to an unexpected message.
What might people not know about StoryCorps?
That public support exists—people don’t always know that we’re here to help them. We also have some great fans. One time, a high school class created a musical based on StoryCorps stories and then showed up at our Chicago StoryBooth [when it was in operation] to sing one of their show’s songs. People have also written songs about StoryCorps and sent them to us. We love receiving those kinds of messages!
Why should every American do an interview?
It democratizes the historical record because—no matter what your story is—all interviews are archived and preserved at StoryCorps’ archive at the Library of Congress. We are always happy to help participants retrieve their interviews. It’s a really beautiful thing that you can do for yourself and for future generations.
What is your favorite story?
The Dr. Tiller story is a good example of how our work can humanize a challenging and complex issue and it made me proud to work at StoryCorps.