Jennifer Brookland

Producer, "The State of Things"

Jennifer Brookland
Credit Jennifer Brookland

Jennifer Brookland is a temporary producer for The State of Things.

Jennifer grew up in Baltimore, MD and studied International Politics and African Studies at Georgetown University. She spent four years as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in North Carolina and Maryland, and deployed to Djibouti and the Comoros Islands.

After earning her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University she contributed to News21, a national reporting project on transportation safety in America. She also interned at PRI’s “The World” and in Nairobi with IRIN, the United Nations’ humanitarian news and analysis service. She received a master’s degree in human security and NGO management from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Jennifer spent three years producing content for international development organizations in D.C, highlighting aid work in countries including Tajikistan, Haiti, Honduras, India and Tanzania. She moved to Durham in 2015 and began freelance writing, editing and producing. Now that Durham is getting an Ethiopian restaurant, she’s vastly more likely to stay.
 

Cover of Hue 1968
Courtesy of Mark Bowden / Atlantic Monthly Press/2017

Almost 50 years after the epic battle that changed the course of the Vietnam War, author Mark Bowden visited the city of Hue to piece together what happened. 

Courtesy of Indigo Cox

Indigo Cox read many excellent academic books on women's reproductive health. But as a physician herself, and one who performs abortions, she wanted a book that told a story from both sides. 

One of the handmade whirligigs at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
Courtesy of Henry Walston / Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum

When Vollis Simpson began constructing his mammoth whirligigs out of spare machine parts, old paint and highway signs, he did not set out to create an artistic legacy. 

David Jay Photography

For many years U.S. Navy Officer Jerri Bell swallowed the story that when it came to military service, women were only involved in support roles. It was not until she started researching for a book on women’s military history that she realized the common narrative was false: women had been actively involved in combat since the American revolution. 

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in 2011
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/EPd159

Open enrollment for health plans under the Affordable Care Act begins today.

Brenna Berry Photography

In 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued an executive order that banned homosexuals from holding jobs in the federal government or receiving a security clearance. 

Paragon Properties / Northville Woods / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/81t4tA

Carolina Public Press has spent the past year investigating adult care homes across North Carolina, and it found a lack of consistency and accountability across the board in how these centers are evaluated. But when a tip led managing editor Frank Taylor to look at one particular center, he found not only shocking violations including prostitution, but also a baffling handling of the case by the state.

Courtesy of Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline sold nearly four million copies of her novel “Orphan Train” (HarperCollins/2013). The book imagined the story of Vivian, a 91-year-old woman who had been shipped west to foster care as a child. 

John Rottet / The News and Observer/Cathy Davidson Media Kit

In 1869, Charles Eliot wrote a compelling article entitled “The New Education” in The Atlantic Monthly, calling for American universities to shift away from the classics-based curriculum and towards a more utilitarian system that would prepare young men for economic and political leadership. 

Wikimedia Commons

Marcel Marceau lived a life of surprising extremes. He lost his father in the Holocaust and became a member of the French resistance in his youth. He then turned on a heel and forged himself into the most famous mime the world has ever known before dying penniless. 

Courtesy of Sarah van Gelder

Sarah van Gelder developed a sharp sense for injustice as a little girl when she moved to India with her family for a year and witnessed the poverty all around her. She decided that the only way she could make sense of her unearned privilege was to commit her life to making the world a more just place. 

Trump supporters at rally
Chuck Burton / AP Photo

Jared Yates Sexton’s life changed completely in June 2016. He went to a Trump rally in Greensboro, and while he walked amongst people who reminded him of his own family back in Indiana, he also witnessed the kind of anger and rage that mainstream news outlets were missing from their designated press areas.

man holding gun at shooting range/gun club
Peretz Partensky / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/qwZP5f

The killing spree in Las Vegas was the deadliest in modern U.S. history. But mass shootings have tended to result in laxer gun laws, not stricter ones, according to Susan Ladd, columnist for the Greensboro News & Record.

North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill / Wikimedia Commons

As many cities struggle to deal with their Confederate monuments, Greensboro has its own concrete legacy of white supremacy to contend with: Aycock Street was named after former governor and white supremacist Charles Aycock, whose name has already been removed from a Greensboro middle school and several other public buildings around the state.

Courtesy of Leslie Isakoff

Leslie Isakoff grew up climbing, flying and spelunking in Alabama and on international trips with her family, where she made friends with local kids and saw firsthand the effects of hunger.

Mother and baby rest on sofa.
Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/i67tuh

Up to one in five women suffer from a postpartum mood disorder like depression. But a new study finds that 20 percent of them do not report their symptoms to a healthcare provider, even when they are asked directly. 

Courtesy of Scott Reintgen

Scott Reintgen knew many of his students at Jordan High School in Durham loved reading science fiction and fantasy novels, and he wanted to encourage these young readers. But most young adult novels feature white protagonists, and many of his students were unable to see themselves in these books.

Tyree Daye
Courtesy of Tyree Daye

 In Tyree Daye’s debut book of poetry, the young author builds on the stories and superstitions of his mother, as well as his own memories of growing up in two small towns in North Carolina: Youngsville and Rolesville. 

members of diali cissokho and kaira ba
Courtesy of Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba

Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba have long had a dream of traveling to Senegal to record an album. This year they made it happen. The band just returned from M’bour, Cissokho’s hometown and the city where his family still maintains a large compound open to musical relatives and friends. 

Scientist Rachel Lance poses with a replica she created of  the H.L. Hunley submarine.
Courtesy of Rachel Lance

On a winter evening in 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the first combat submarine to sink a warship. The vessel successfully sank its target but then disappeared along with its eight crew members. The Hunley was not found until 1995, when a number of hypotheses as to why it sank rose to the surface. But after hundreds of hours of calculations and experiments, a North Carolina-based naval engineer came up with a new theory: the Hunley sank itself with the blast it created by firing on the USS Housatonic.

cover of 'The Hidden Light' and headshot of Daren Wang
Courtest of Daren Wang

Daren Wang grew up in an old farmhouse in Town Line, New York, a place that was notable for being the only town north of the Mason-Dixon Line to secede from the Union. 

The Green Party of Ireland/Flickr Creative Commons

Are school movies enjoyable because they are so relatable? Or do they present the far-fetched, fantastical experiences most bored students only daydream about? 

Courtesy of Elisabeth Lewis Corley

The U.S. military has been using a virtual reality program to augment therapy for combat veterans returning from war with post-traumatic stress disorder. For the first time that software was made available for use in a theatrical production.

Courtesy of Kimberly and Michelle Cann

Kimberly and Michelle Cann grew up playing a range of instruments, including the steel drums of their family’s native West Indies. But it was the piano that gripped both of them and inspired their lifelong commitment to serious musicianship. 

Marcia and John Shoop
Courtesy of Marcia Mount Shoop

After coaching football at nearly every level from high school to the NFL, John Shoop and his wife Reverend Marcia Mount Shoop have racked up a lifetime of observations and convictions about the ethics of sports.

Leonard Bernstein seated at piano, making annotations to musical score
Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer / ce Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c27784

Leonard Bernstein is remembered as an exceptionally talented conductor, composer and teacher. His “Young People’s Concerts” television series exposed millions of American children to classical music, and his message that music is for everyone struck a chord with many communities. 

National Guard soldiers in Houston in August of 2017
Texas Army National Guard photo / FBI

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey still filled the streets in Texas when Hurricane Irma blew ashore in Florida. As the latest storm moves toward North Carolina, Duke scientists explore whether these rare weather events are growing more frequent or more extreme. They also analyze how communities and governments can become more resilient.

Jocelyn Casanova
Courtesy of Jocelyn Casanova

Joceyln Casanova grew up in North Carolina and was a high achiever who dreamed of going to college and becoming a lawyer. A few days before she graduated from high school near the top of her class, a college interviewer revealed a secret her parents had kept from her her whole life: Jocelyn was undocumented. 

Courtesy of Heather Bell Adams

Attorney Heather Bell Adams is used to crafting persuasive stories. But in the courtroom they have to be entirely factual.

Doctor checks on baby at hosptial
Slava / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/8mh8fz

Hospital executives announced last week that the state’s largest hospital system, Carolinas Healthcare, would combine with UNC Health. They called the nearly $14 billion move “a marriage, not a merger.” 

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