Articles

Below is featured a sample of some of my published work. More of my online work is featured on Orange Coast Magazine and the Chimes News

During the spring semester of 2021, I co-wrote and photographed: "More Than A Menu - Food and its Meaning in Asian Cultures across the U.S.", a photo book highlighting Asian food cultures and people living in the United States. 

In the spring of 2022, I co-wrote and photographed "Gradient" - a print magazine focused on telling the stories of our neighbors in Southern California. My team had the privilege of getting to know Operation Open Water, an organization based in Huntington Beach, CA,  that helps first responders and veterans overcome various challenges by forging community around a love for water sports, such as surfing and paddle-boarding.

SDSU alumni keep ‘Aztec Warrior’ alive after university canceled it

As San Diego State University works to develop new imagery to represent the campus in place of what some faculty and students contend is a “racist mascot,” a group of alumni have taken matters into their own hands to keep the “Aztec Warrior” alive. The Aztec Warrior Foundation recently brought the fan favorite back to the stands at SDSU’s football team’s conference championship game Dec. 21, the latest move in a nearly 20-year-old battle over the controversial character. “[The university] elim

Underappreciated Research

From covering war zones across the globe to local breaking news events, journalists are often faced with the brunt of hardships—often with nowhere to turn to afterwards. After reporting on distressing events, journalists can develop PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder is nothing new. Soldiers, first responders, and survivors of traumatic events often struggle with it. However, people do not often address the ghosts that reporters face each day after reporting on the field. Some might shrug it o

Braving the Waves

“The entire process of developing this story was a great memory. Getting to know such an amazing group of people was truly an honor to be let in. A memory that stood out to me was when all three of us interviewed Kyle and he shared with us his story. That within itself is not something easy to share and to allow us into his life was a privilege. Hearing the story in how and why Kyle and Danny started Operation Open Water, seeing that first hand and seeing the impact directly in Kane’s life was r

President Zelenskyy has inspired a generation

Sometimes the darkness reveals light. There are always people who rise to the occasion of fending off evil. During World War II, Winston Churchill became a beacon of hope for millions in England and across Europe. When racial injustices intensified during the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a generation of Americans to fight for equality. When it was time to fight for freedom against England’s tyrannical rule, George Washington stepped up to lead the colonies into a new era. Today, Europ

Voices from Talbot’s Kyiv campus

After the fall of the Soviet Union, three men identified a need for more seminaries in Ukraine to minister to the nation as well as the rest of Eastern Europe. Working alongside Biola University, they began a program with Talbot Seminary: a Master of Arts degree in Biblical and Theological Studies/Diversified in Kyiv. The seminary doors opened to students in the spring of 2007 and there are 28 students enrolled today, according to the Talbot School of Theology. This week, as Russia launched an

Biden’s first year was a disaster

After one year in the oval office, President Joe Biden received a failing approval rating from citizens of the United States, the New York Post reports. With countless cargo ships full of supplies still stuck off the coast of California and inflation rates reaching a 40-year high, many voters became discouraged with the president’s 2021 performance. The beginning of Biden’s loss of approval came after his handlement of Afghanistan in late August. Biden left Afghanistan to the Taliban, along wit

Taiwan must stand against Chinese aggression

Taiwan is feeling the birth pains of independence. Over the past few years, they have grown in their pursuit of freedom from Chinese rule. Officially, Taiwan is a Chinese territory, however, its people are ready to take the first steps toward sovereignty. The United States has supplied special operations troops who train in Taiwan for nearly a year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden promised solidarity with the small territory re

Blowing the whistle on Facebook

When I turned 13, I wanted a Facebook account because I wanted to play Farmville. I was not interested in posting selfies, updating my status or making virtual friends—I just wanted to produce my own virtual crop and animals. My mom made me complete summer school for the privilege of my first social media account. At first, the privilege was exciting, but the glory wore off quickly as the pressures of social media arose. Over the past few weeks, Facebook has been forced to face its ghosts. Whi

The Gabby Petito case is a woman’s greatest fear

Plastered all over the news for weeks, the face of Gabby Petito was engraved in the hearts and minds of those who heard her story. After police responded to a domestic dispute between Petito and her boyfriend, the media focused on following the young woman’s missing person case. Since her body was found, authorities continued to search for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who remains the suspect in the ongoing investigation. Until he is found, there will be no rest and no justice. Unfortunately,

An environmental perspective on recent wildfires

Growing up with a vast love of nature and respect for God’s creation formed Biola environmental science professor Brendon Anthony into who he is today. As a Southern California native, Anthony became passionate about the ocean at a young age. Determined to pursue a career in marine biology, Anthony began working at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach during high school. Anthony then attended Biola as an undergraduate and obtained his bachelor’s in biology before receiving his master’s in

A veteran’s perspective on Afghanistan’s turmoil

Staff Sgt. Chris Matthews grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. After he graduated Cleveland Heights High School in 2004, he aspired to enlist in the Marine Corps. However, still alarmed after 9/11, his mother asked him to wait one year to be sure of his decision. He complied, but knew his mind would not change. In March 2006, Matthews joined the Marines, beginning a 13-year journey. “As a whole, it was a great experience. It has me where I am today,” Matthews said. He first deployed to Iraq, th

4 Historical Trails in Orange County

The Olinda Oil Museum Trail, Brea Located deep in the hills of Brea, this trail is a walk through history. The museum nearby showcases antique oil operation tools, the original Olinda oil well, and an old field office. The 12-acre park pays tribute to the industry that helped the city establish itself. The 2-mile loop crosses bridges, climbs hills, and drops into a shady canyon, making it perfect for a relaxing stroll. Go far enough and there’s another vintage oil well. At the top, you can spot

4 Cute Coffee Houses to Visit in Brea

Melted Vinyl Coffee Located off of Brea Boulevard and Elm Street, Melted Vinyl Coffee is a coffee house meets record shop. Favorite beverages include the Lavender Ghost ($6) and Emo Latte ($6). Check out vintage clothing while looking for your favorite record. Their Instagram might say “Sad Vibes Only,” but the kind service will perk up your mood. meltedvinyl.coffee Oak and Willow Coffee and Bakery Inspired by Italian coffee, Oak and Willow Coffee and Bakery has made a new home at an old Coff

Laguna Hills-Based She Shed Living Helps Women Create Backyard Retreats

Founded by Sabrina Contreras and Erika Kotite in 2017, She Shed Living designs and builds sheds for women—but probably not the type of shed you’re imagining. “When you go to the backyard, you’re with nature. The garden, the landscape, the sunshine … you’re in this little building made just for you, and it’s very magical,” Contreras says. How did you and Erika start She Shed Living? Erika had written two books about she sheds, and I had seen her at an open-air market where creative women were s

Brea Eight-Year-Old Writes Books to Help Kids in Need

To make reading and writing fun despite her learning disability, Kiara Smith of Kiwi Cares Collections began writing children’s books with the support of her mother, Katrina. The family donates all of the profits to charity. How did Kiwi Cares Collections get started? Katrina: Kiara was diagnosed with dyslexia in the fall of 2020. That made reading a little bit of a challenge. We read up on how dyslexia works. Even though it’s a disability in some aspects, there are also many abilities that it

Costa Mesa Resident Vanessa Yeager is the Founder of Women Who Surf and Latinx Surf Club

What made you start Women Who Surf? I originally started the group with the intention of finding other women who surfed who are mothers. It started super small with 20 women from O.C. We’re at 10,000 women (on Facebook) now! It’s really cool to have women in the group from all ends of the globe. There are women who surf in cold places, like lakes and rivers in Germany. There’s so much diversity when it comes to surfing now. It’s like having this huge, sea sister community. It’s rad! Surfer Bet

O.C. Farmers Markets To Check Out This Spring

Placentia Farmers Market Located in the Placentia Town Center, this market takes place every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. They boast about 30 diverse vendors: everything from essential oils to garlic cheese bread. Fullerton Farmers Market Based in the Fullerton Library’s parking lot, the local market runs Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. This one’s a classic—it is considered one of the oldest farmers markets in the county. Downtown Anaheim Farmers Market Tucke