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Whether standing in the thick of a World Series parade or reporting on public reaction to a local decision with national implications, Jen is skilled in spot reporting. She is also known for her long form investigative work: in 2010, Jen’s project on New Jersey’s disappearing Catholic schools was recognized by the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

How Brittany Ran Her ‘Marathon’ with 50,000 Extras

On the first Sunday in November two years ago, 50,643 people finished the New York City Marathon — and one actress (and her double) pretended to.

New York Times, August 30, 2019

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Paper Coffee Cups Will Be the Death of Us

While driving around the country on a mega-road trip last year, I relied on a lot of things to keep me going: gas, protein bars, peanut butter pretzels, water, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. I was on the road for four months drinking two cups of coffee per day, running through disposable cups from the of whatever Holiday Inn I stayed at the night before, from places like McDonalds, Circle K, Love’s, Pilot Flying J, Panera, Starbucks, and Dunkin (née Donuts), and from gas stations where both the coffee and the cups had been sitting on the counter for an indeterminate amount of time.

The Outline, November 12, 2018

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Clothing Companies are Funding Our National Parks Because the Government Won’t

Last summer, I started what is turning out to be a lifelong quest: to visit all of the 417 patches of this country that are overseen by National Park Service. This doesn’t just mean the 60 spots that are designated National Parks, but also all of the national battlefields, military parks, historic sites, memorials, lakeshores, and seashores overseen by the NPS.

I’ve been to the highlights, such Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier. But being a completist, on a warm June afternoon, I headed up to Hyde Park, New York, home of to the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, as well as National Historic Sites for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. I took pictures and uploaded them to Instagram, using the NPS-suggested hashtag of #findyourpark.

The Outline, August 27, 2018

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After Boston, Des Linden Tries to Conquer New York

Ten miles into the Rock ’n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in September, Desiree Linden was about 50 seconds ahead of the second-place women’s finisher, Kellyn Taylor. A half-mile later, though, she touched a hand to her right side, and her flat raceday expression turned into a grimace. She slowed. She walked. She stopped.

New York Times, November 1, 2018

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Making a New City Your Home

Moving to a city where you know no one is never easy. It is even harder if you are a recent college graduate and are leaving the comfort of a ready-made community to start your career with your first grown-up job.

So how do you turn an unfamiliar place into one you can call home?

There are easy ways to make the transition from stranger in a strange land to the leader of a (new) pack. You can leverage existing networks like fellow college alumni; use social media to meet others with common interests; throw yourself into tourist mode and explore; make friends with your co-workers; and, above all, say yes to every invitation you get.

The New York Times, June 29, 2018

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The New Retirement: Near the Kids

Thirty-five years ago, Holly Bowers Ruben moved from California to New York, following an actor boyfriend to Brooklyn. The relationship didn’t last, but Ms. Ruben never moved back, although her mother, Marie-Louise Bowers, stayed out west.

That arrangement worked — mostly. “I did talk to my mom on a daily basis. That’s kind of the relationship we had, even when she was in California,” Ms. Ruben said.

But last year Ms. Bowers, 87, started having trouble getting around, and Ms. Ruben felt that helping her mother from across the country was at best a difficult prospect. In January, Ms. Ruben moved her mother to Sunrise at Mill Basin, in Brooklyn.

The New York Times, May 4, 2018

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The Running Bubble Has Popped. (You Couldn’t Hear It in New York.)

About 50,000 runners started the New York City Marathon on Sunday — and they were the lucky ones. Only 17 percent of those who had entered a drawing that fills a third of the field were selected, and applications for those spots were up about 20 percent over the year before, according to race organizers.

But not every race is so popular. Road races have hit the wall. The number of finishers in events in the United States has fallen from a peak of about 19 million in 2013 to just over 17 million in 2016.

The New York Times, Nov. 5, 2017

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Paying to Run with – and for – Oiselle

When Oiselle, a women’s running apparel company, started a brand ambassadorship program in 2010, it went with what other companies were doing at the time: Find people who love the company and run a lot and give them gear to wear at races and all over their blogs and social media feeds.

In 2015, that changed. Instead of a few hundred hand-picked brand ambassadors running races in Oiselle clothing, the company now has a program called Volée, which is made up of an army of about 4,000 women who pay $100 a year to be living, breathing, running, tweeting, Instagramming billboards for the brand, a membership that will open up to new members again on April 13th.

Racked, April 12, 2017

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Finally honoring Bobbi Gibb, to first woman to run the Boston Marathon

On a warm day in the winter of 1966, Bobbi Gibb was getting in a long run on the beach when she accidentally ran to Mexico. She was recently married to a Navy man, which brought her from her home in Massachusetts to San Diego, and to the Pacific Ocean. Running there was a new, even shocking experience for her.

“I was not a competitive runner, but I felt connected to the earth and air and sky,” she says. She was fascinated with the “silvery white” of that beach after coming from the New England cold and snow. “I was completely lost in the day.”

She set out at low tide. She didn’t think much of it when she crossed the border because she didn’t really notice — the barbed wire didn’t go that far down the beach, and she was lost in thought. That wasn’t unusual for Gibb, who had previously driven cross-country in her VW bus with her malamute puppy Moot, stopping to run along the way, and to, when she could, sleep out under the stars. So to run that long, that engrossed in her mind, was normal.

On the way back, at high tide when she couldn’t run along the ocean past barbed wire anymore, she noticed. United States Border patrol noticed too, and detained her. She hadn’t carried ID. It wasn’t until she could call family friend Ewing Mitchell — an actor on the cowboy show “Sky King” — to vouch for her that they let her go.

She’d run about 25 miles.

espnW, April 14, 2016

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From sidelined to finish line: how women changed running

On Christmas Eve, I sat on the floor of my mom’s living room, her high school yearbook in my lap. After giggling at my teenaged parents in the Pep Club picture (sideburns for him, long, long hair for her), I flipped back to the sports section to see my dad’s picture on the baseball team.

Twelve pages over was the cross-country team; in it: 32 men, 0 women. For outdoor track: 41 men, 0 women. Two pages over, the indoor track team: 20 men, two women. Two women! I thought, but the caption explained their roles not as runners, but statisticians.

“It’s a shame too,” my mom said as she hung Christmas cards over the doorway. “I was really good at hurdles.”

espnW, February 12, 2016

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Good to the Last Drop

In the middle of Kelly Drive, a Philadelphia Marathon volunteer in an electric blue shirt stands with both arms stretched wide, shouting, “Caffeine! Caffeine!”

The second half of the marathon is a loop in which runners pass her outbound between miles 16 and 17 and returning between miles 22 and 23. On her left and right, racers grab at the packets of Mocha Clif Shot Energy Gel. She holds them loose in her hands so participants can easily snatch those 1.2-ounce packets, each of which contains 50 milligrams (mg) of caffeine.

It isn’t known precisely why two runners died on this course in 2011, one in the full marathon and one in the half marathon.1 The marathoner fell right before reaching the finish line; the half marathoner collapsed after passing beyond the line. This specific form of death has become common enough that it’s now reported in the same format: name, age, where they collapsed, and race experience.

Most studies about why these deaths occur have focused on the heart, and how it changes during strenuous activity. But the packets handed out by that race volunteer could be another factor as to why these deaths are so similar, and why heart attacks claim runners who’d had no prior cardiac problem and who’d previously completed multiple marathons without incident.

“Caffeine! Caffeine!” she calls, and runners in neon shirts and shorts and gloves and compression socks snatch them from her hands.

The Magazine, December 4, 2013

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Miss America Can’t Save Atlantic City

Wrapped in brown construction paper in my office are two Miss America composites that I bought last year from an antique store in Cape May. One is from 1950, the other 1959. In the 1950 photo, the women are standing together on the boardwalk, in one-piece bathing suits with thick shoulder straps and bottoms that cut straight across their thighs. In 1959, they’re decked out in evening gowns, belled at the bottom, white gloves up past their elbows.

I should hate Miss America, for two very big reasons.

**Awarded first place  in Online Deadline Reporting in the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Awards

Philadelphia Magazine, September 13, 2014

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Property Tax Battles Looming

Mary Keashen, 95, of Cherry Hill, lives on a fixed income in a two-story Cape Cod that she and her husband bought in 1957.

When the Homestead Benefit Program was cut by the state legislature for the 2011 fiscal year, her budget was hit. Benefits under the program for the average taxpayer were cut by more than half. So instead of a $1,000 reduction on her $6,400 property tax bill, Keashen got a $510 break.

“I have a lot of bills, and everything’s gone up,” she said.


AARP Bulletin, December 2013

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Choices for Consumers in Insurance Marketplace

For the last 10 years, technical writer Valerie Juzwiak’s health insurance has been a patchwork because of her temporary contract employment.

Sometimes an employer provides coverage; if not, Juzwiak buys her own, and premiums are as high as $600 a month.

Juzwiak, 52, of Somerset, is looking forward to less cobbled-together insurance coverage beginning next year. She’ll be one of the thousands of New Jersey residents buying a policy through the marketplace set up by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

AARP Bulletin, October 2013

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A Race Without a Finish Line

Steven Ireland’s first race was not exactly a predictor that he would become an amateur ultramarathoner.

He finished the 2005 Philadelphia Marathon in 4 hours 44 minutes 18 seconds — not a terrible time, but more than 20 minutes slower than the average men’s marathon finishing time in the United States for that year.

“It was absolutely horrible, and I thought I was going to collapse,” Ireland, a 30-year-old math teacher from Westville, N.J., said of the race. But on Saturday and Sunday, he will be competing in his sixth Stroehmann Back on My Feet 20in24 Lone Ranger Ultra-Marathon in Philadelphia, where he will run lap after lap on an 8.4-mile course in the city’s Fairmount Park to accumulate as many miles as he can in 24 hours.

In 24-hour racing, the goal is not to shave seconds from one’s time while running toward a finite distance, but to push oneself a few miles more before the clock runs out.

New York Times, July 19, 2013

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Inspector in Deadly Philadelphia Collapse Kills Self

City inspector of building commits suicide on June 12, while excavator operator faces six counts of involuntary manslaughter; accident prompts changes in demolition job rules.

Engineering News Record, June 13, 2013

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Parenting with Cancer: Out in the Open

When Jen Singer was diagnosed with aggressive stage III B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2007, she wasn’t just concerned about dying. She was worried about how her diagnosis would affect her sons, then ages 8 and 10. How would she tell them she had cancer? How much should she tell them about her treatments? How would it affect their routines? Could she still help them with homework? Take them to swim practice while nauseous from chemo? How would she comfort them when she was terrified herself? What if they acted like nothing was wrong? What would she do if they asked if she might die when she didn’t know the answer herself? ​

Cancer Today, Spring 2012

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London Calling

The dozen people ringing the tables at the Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe in New Brunswick, New Jersey, look and act more like a family than a track club. They dip their nachos into each other’s entrees, joke about hating their roommates—who are each other—and commiserate about the boring town in which most of them live. “No one’s getting into much trouble,” says Julie Culley, 30, who’s qualified in the 5000 meters for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Runner's World, June 2012

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Vick Divides Shocked Philadelphia Fan Base

Fans in this sports-obsessed city were divided over the Eagles’ signing of Michael Vick, but they were united in at least one emotion: shock.

“The whole city was full of people running outside to communicate with other people,” said Tim Quigley, 26, who was at a bar in Philadelphia for a bachelor party when he heard the news via text message.

The New York Times, August 14, 2009

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Where Have all the Catholic Schools Gone?

Since 2001, 97 of New Jersey’s Catholic schools have closed—282 since 1971, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. Total enrollment has dropped from 275,012 students in 609 Catholic
schools in 1971 to 106,797 in 327 schools today.

**Recognized in category of Magazine Reporting by New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

New Jersey Monthly, December 2009

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