People who aren’t lawyers are interesting too! Here’s some of the work I’ve done on science, insurance, Jewish, urban planning, finance, health and wellness, ballot initiatives and alumni magazine topics.
“Faculty push back on how colleges are planning for the fall,” July 2020, Education Dive
I set out to write an article about faculty concerns about getting the novel coronavirus from in-person classes during the fall semester, and I ended up following where my sources took me into a story about shared governance between faculty and administration. As this article explains, the pandemic merely exacerbated this trend.
“As colleges’ coronavirus costs rise, insurance coverage still unclear,” April 2020, Education Dive
In this piece for Industry Dive’s Education Dive higher ed vertical, I talk to insurance professionals about the skyrocketing costs to higher ed institutions of dealing with coronavirus, what kinds of questions they’re asking their insurers about risk and the long, uncertain timeline for figuring out what coverage is available.
“For colleges, insurance against sexual misconduct is becoming harder to get,” April 2020, Education Dive
A variety of factors—most notably, growing disapproval of sexual misconduct and juries’ willingness to express that disapproval with large verdicts—has created a tough market for colleges and universities seeking insurance to cover sexual misconduct. In this Industry Dive piece for Education Dive’s higher ed vertical, I talk to some insurance professionals about what’s going on, why and what schools can do about it.
“Restitution and Resources Remain Available for Holocaust Survivors as They Age,” February 2020, Jewish Home LA
Despite the decades since the Holocaust, its survivors are still around, and there are more resources available for them than ever. In this piece for local Jewish publication Jewish Home LA, I talk to (mostly) Bet Tzedek Legal Services, one of the two organizations in the U.S. that help survivors make restitution, about what resources are available for survivors as they age and how they can get access to those resources.
“New rules limit states’ oversight of online colleges. How will they react?,” January 2020, Education Dive
On November 1, the U.S. Department of Education published a final rule that, among many other things, appears to remove states’ ability to enforce state laws that specifically regulate distance education if they authorize distance education entities through an interstate contract (called a state authorization reciprocity agreement). This article is about how states might be reacting.
“Fighting Against the Darkness,” December 2019, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
This is a personal essay about how the death of my father-in-law and the Sandy Hook massacre helped me realize why human beings shine their lights at the darkest time of year.
“How Artificial Intelligence Is Getting Us Closer to Star Trek’s Universal Translators,” November 2019, StarTrek.com
On Star Trek, 24th-century universal translators make it possible for humanity to work with, love and conduct diplomacy with alien races. In the early 21st century, things are a bit less smooth and seamless—but artificial intelligence researchers are working on it. In this article, I explain the fields of AI involved in this work and how close we are to usable everyday machine translation.
“With a Grain of Salt,” August 2013, Planning magazine
San Diego County’s Water Authority is making a big bet on desalination of ocean water using reverse osmosis technology. Though RO desalination technology is proven, it’s pricey compared to conventional water. This article for the American Planning Association’s member magazine explains why the Authority believes it’s worthwhile, going into finances, availability constraints and the water rights issues that plague the western United States.
“Informative Choice” and “Forbes’ Field,” July 2013, Carnegie Mellon Today
Two briefs for Carnegie Mellon’s alumni magazine. The first concerns an award for the CIO of Alcoa, an alum; the second is about Carnegie Mellon graduates named to the Forbes magazine 30 Under 30, focusing on a “social entrepreneur” trying to bring affordable electricity to Haiti.
“Teeny Tiny,” April 2013, Carnegie Mellon Today
A longer alumni magazine article on a group of grad students in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, who took first place in a nanodevice design competition at Sandia National Laboratories.
“Optimized,” April 2013, Carnegie Mellon Today
A brief for my alumni magazine on an award for a professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.
“Security Force,” January 2013, Carnegie Mellon Today
An alumni magazine brief about a new role for national security expert and Carnegie Mellon professor Kiron Skinner: national security policy advisor to the university.
“Socially Acceptable,” January 2013, Carnegie Mellon Today
A short piece about an honor for a Carnegie Mellon University researcher working on solving the intractable problem of antibiotic resistance.
“Early Returns,” January 2013, Carnegie Mellon Today
A short alumni magazine article about awards to young Carnegie Mellon faculty and graduates.
“Defensive,” July 2012, Carnegie Mellon Today
This very short alumni magazine piece is about an award to Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley assistant professor Patrick Tague, who researches real-time defenses against attacks on wireless networks.
“No Place Like Home,” July 2012, Carnegie Mellon Today
Carnegie Mellon Heinz school alum Paul Tremer was recognized as Homeland Security Information Systems Security Officer of the Year.
“Open House,” April 2012, Carnegie Mellon Today
In this piece for my alumni magazine, I checked in with Ari Sklar, an architect putting the finishing touches on a Miami Beach house so “green” that it’s expected to have “net zero” energy — it draws nothing from the grid and will likely sell a small amount of energy to the local utility.
“30 Seconds With Prem Ramaswami,” April 2012, Carnegie Mellon Today
Prem Ramaswami, building on a history of using technology in activism, tells us how and why he helped launch Google’s Crisis Response team after the devastating Haitian earthquake of 2010.
“Restoring the ‘Water Freeway,’“ January 2012, Planning magazine
This article for the American Planning Association’s member magazine explains and explores the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan from the City of Los Angeles. It’s safe to say that the river has suffered from bad human decisions, but the city has an ambitious plan to make it a recreation destination and an economic engine instead of a forgettable concrete channel.
“Tweetable,” January 2012, Carnegie Mellon Today
For my alumni magazine, I had the privilege of interviewing a bright, dynamic young woman from Morocco who came to Carnegie Mellon’s Silicon Valley campus as part of an exchange program run by the U.S. State Department. There, she researched Twitter’s usefulness during the San Bruno PG&E gas explosion of 2010.
“Nada Brahma (Sound of God),” May 2011, Whole Life Times
This article is about nada yoga — the yoga of sound. It’s less familiar to most Westerners than more physical forms of yoga, but sound can help some people connect better with their spiritual sides, and is reputed to help with healing.
“Help for the Winter Blahs,” January 2011, Whole Life Times
For this piece, I enjoyed rummaging through multiple published studies, looking for scientific evidence for the effectiveness of herbal remedies for anxiety and depression. Some of them might surprise you!
“Stop a Cold Before It Stops You,” February 2010, Whole Life Times
A service piece on natural ways to fight off or treat a winter cold, using things you probably already have in your kitchen. I was pleased to have the expert advice of a doctor and herbal medicine specialist from UCLA, as well as numerous academic studies, to draw on for this.
“Group Hopes Gaucher Becomes Household Name,” November 2006, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
A news piece about one man’s attempt to raise awareness in the Jewish community about a rare but devastating disease that strikes Jews of East European descent disproportionately.
“Cellular Divide,” October 2005, Los Angeles Alternative Press
A feature for an alternative weekly about the potential of California’s stem cell research initiative, and how it affects one family in Los Angeles struggling with Parkinson’s Disease.
“Just Married! (after 28 years),” April 2004, Los Angeles Alternative Press
An alternative weekly feature about the 2003 explosion of same-sex marriage in California.