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.
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, 2016Read Article
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, 2016Read Article
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, 2013Read Article
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, 2014Read Article
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 2013Read Article
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 2013Read Article
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, 2013Read Article
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, 2013Read Article
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 2012Read Article
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 2012Read Article
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, 2009Read Article
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 2009Read Article