I hope you had a wonderful 2015.

It’s interesting to look back on my greetings from the past few years, filled with both the excitement and uncertainty of freelancing. In 2015, I’ve “settled in” to a staff position again, though nobody can sit still for long at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.

CRCC studies how religions change and make change in the world, and helps civic and religious leaders understand these shifts. In addition to launching and managing a new website, I work on a wide variety of research and training projects. This gives me a front-row seat for conversations about religious nones, Catholic nuns, race and police, Islamophobia and evangelical innovations.

I also continue to write about these topics as a freelance journalist. Here are a few highlights:

Time.com picked up a piece I wrote for Zócalo Public Square on creative uses of disused religious buildings—and my experience living in a convent.

As you may remember, I spent fall 2014 in Italy, studying the church’s response to Europe’s refugee crisis for an International Reporting Project fellowship. My stories ran earlier this year in National Catholic Reporter and Global Sisters Report.

As the refugee crisis has exploded this year, I’ve wished I could go back to Europe many times. I have untold stories from this trip, but I continue to use what I learned, such as in the above piece on convents and commentaries on immigration for the Washington Post and Religion Dispatches.

I also continue to keep tabs on the ever-expanding Cristo Rey Network. Education Dive recently interviewed me about the Cristo Rey model of education and recommended my book to its readers.

I have met and worked with so many great people this past year, and I want to thank all of you for your support. I’d love to hear about the highlights of your year as well. It’s the best part of sending out this annual note.

And if you’d like to read more frequent updates on my work, I’d encourage you to join CRCC’s email list. We send out newsletters monthly. Check out five religion trends we’re watching in 2016, and let me know what you think.

May 2016 bring you happiness and success!


P.S. The above photo is from Glacier National Park, which I visited after the 2015 Journalism and Women Symposium conference. I am happy to be serving on the JAWS board this year.