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It's awesome when you have crazy talented friends -- and even better when you get to write about them! I met Carrie Walters when I wrote about her and the first 804ork cookbook. I wrote her after the story published and asked if she might need some editorial help on the next edition. Lucky for me, she said yes. I learned so much from Carrie, about freelancing, and branding, and doing what you love.

This super savvy entrepreneur is now the brains (and hands) behind Paper Rose, a line of stunningly realistic paper flowers, and I got to write about Carrie again. And bonus, her amazing photos landed her on the cover of the autumn 2017 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

April showers bring May flowers — unless you’re Carrie Fleck Walters, ’00. Then you just need some crepe paper, a little creativity, and a bushel of talent.
Walters first started making paper flowers when she was looking for a way to use her hands and unwind after a day working in graphic design.

She was a painter in college but doesn’t have the space for a studio at home. She tried knitting, but that wasn’t right, either. Then, she stumbled on a paper flower kit in Martha Stewart Living magazine.

“Working with paper was just a natural thing,” she says. “It’s malleable. There are a lot of different weights and textures to crepe paper, and they each have their own ability to be molded. I can sculpt the petals and position them so they’re more real.”

A tiny house with twins

When Lindsay and Jared Knight decided to build a 310-square-foot house, they wanted to have more time and money for adventures, like travel and parenting. They got their wish when twin babies arrived in March 2017.

In the spring/summer issue of University of Richmond Magazine, I talked to them about how to do more with a whole lot less for an expert's guide on tiny house living.

Then, after the twins were born, I followed up to see how their expectations met reality.

When friends come by with toddlers, Lindsay and Jared sometimes wonder whether their tiny house will still work when the girls are more active. “Long-term, when they’re a little more grown up and walking around and getting into everything, it may not be as sustainable,” Jared says. “But for now, it’s a good option.”
Living in a tiny house with tiny humans wasn’t an unexpected situation for the Knights. They found out a few years ago that they couldn’t have children unless they used in vitro fertilization. Down-sizing was part of the master plan to afford the procedure. It’s also how Lindsay and Jared plan to spend so much time at home during the twins’ early months and years. To them, that out-measures any amount of square-footage.

John Moeser

Photo: Dean Whitbeck

Photo: Dean Whitbeck

It started with a simple request: What data has been collected about poverty in Richmond?
It was 2005, and John Moeser, fresh in his role as a senior fellow at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, wasn’t entirely equipped to answer. It wasn't the subject matter — he had spent decades researching and studying and teaching about race, power, and politics. Rather, he knew that a few numbers scribbled down on a piece of paper or listed in an email didn't have the depth and nuance to explain the state of poverty in the city.
So he got to work.

After 12 years at the University of Richmond, John Moeser, a senior fellow with the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, is retiring. Through the lens of his Unpacking the Census project, this profile shows the breadth and depth of his research and teaching on race, power, and politics in the city of Richmond.

The tales we tell

Victoria Charles, ’16, remembers being a first-year student and feeling, in her gut, out of place.
While the University has made strides since first admitting black students in the 1960s, it’s still a predominantly white institution, and that means mostly white students surround Charles, whether she’s in class, grabbing lunch at D-hall, or studying in the library.
“I’m not saying I was treated differently, but to not see yourself in the people around you is different,” she says.

This profile appeared in the winter 2016-17 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

Slow and Steady

On a warm June afternoon, Carly Sibilia, ’17, hopped in her Chevy SUV and drove down Great Bay Boulevard, a five-mile stretch of concrete along the New Jersey shore. Built in the 1930s to supply a never-completed fish factory in the bay, the road has become another kind of thoroughfare for researchers like Sibilia.
June and July are the prime egg-laying months for the northern diamondback terrapin. As sunset drew nearer and the tide came in, the turtles emerged from the ocean and wobbled their way across Great Bay Boulevard in search of a patch of sand or gravel in which to lay their eggs.
Sibilia drove, scanning the side of the road and, when she spotted a terrapin, pulled over and marked her location with a GPS point. She weighed and measured each turtle, recording these figures and noting whether it carried eggs. Then she made a series of divots in the shell with a file, each notch corresponding with a unique ID code.

This profile appeared on the University of Richmond website and the winter 2016-17 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

Talk to me

The day before I called Qasim Rashid, L’12, from my office on Richmond’s campus, a man named Christopher Harper-Mercer walked onto another campus, Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and opened fire on his writing class. He fatally shot a professor and eight students and injured nine others before turning the gun on himself. Media speculated on a hodgepodge of possible explanations and motives: the infamy of similar mass shooters, his own isolation, and racial and religious hatred.
Rashid and I planned to talk about the power of human connection to reduce cultural misunderstanding and the violence that can result from it — violence like what happened in Oregon just the day before. Our timing felt off. But was there a less volatile time this year to talk with him?

This profile appeared in the winter 2016 issue of Richmond Law magazine.

Flavor Profile

It’s Sunday morning and you’re making scrambled eggs. You don’t consult a recipe — you crack open some eggs, whisk in a little milk, and pour them in a pan.
But is there a better way? Souza has a few suggestions: Swap in half-and-half for more flavor. Add extra yolks for richness. Use a smaller skillet to get heartier curds. And try a combination of high and low heat to avoid a rubbery or custard-like texture.
But don’t take Souza’s word for it.

This profile appeared in the fall 2015 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

Emily Whitted

The first time Emily Whitted, ’16, picked up knitting needles, she was 10, maybe 11 years old, and almost immediately stumbling, struggling, and dropping stitches. But she pushed through on her own, finding her rhythm and finishing her first project — a navy blue scarf and hat she gave to her dad for Christmas.
Only then did she finally notice the instructions that came with the kit she’d bought at a local craft store; they were written for right-handers, and she’s a lefty. But it didn’t matter; by that time, she was hooked.

This profile appeared on the University of Richmond website.


In a world where yoga studios are on every corner, it’s hard to imagine that when Rebecca Pacheco, ’01, first stepped onto the mat, she had to seek out places to practice. At 16, that meant a Cape Cod community center, surrounded by retirees. As a college student, she spent Saturday mornings in a church basement. And while spending a semester at sea, maintaining a practice meant learning how to teach.

This profile appeared in the spring 2015 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

Storytelling, Identity, Social Change

Sixteen students arrive at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center to a 10-foot-high chain-link fence laced with razor wire. They identify themselves and the gate ratchets open. Guards greet them just inside the nondescript brick building, verify they’re allowed on-site, and search everyone. Only IDs and jackets are allowed beyond this point. The guards alert their counterparts in the dining hall and the women’s residential cottage and the students enter.
At first glance, it may not seem like these 16 University students have much in common with the residents they meet at Bon Air. But as they begin to share stories of comfort and safety, of family and friends, it’s soon apparent that the lives of teenagers — whether inside these austere walls or at a liberal arts college less than five miles away — maybe aren’t so different.

This profile appeared on the University of Richmond website.

Daniel Yoo

As first-year students arrive on campus, a common conversation guides the subtle shift from stranger to roommate, classmate, or teammate. “What’s your major?” or “Where are you from?” or “Do you like your professor?” — these questions are asked and answered, again and again.
They’re comfortable, easy to answer. But Daniel Yoo, ’18, was never satisfied with the surface level. He wanted to get to know people on a deeper level.

This profile appeared on the University of Richmond website.

Meet the Stains

When Doug Orleski — the artist behind RVA Coffee Stain — started abandoning his art in pockets and corners of Richmond, it was his simple way of giving back to the city that often inspires his work.
One day, while abandoning a print at the Light of Human Kindness wall, a woman, Emily, recognized him and stopped to tell him of her own found art.
As it turned out, a few months prior, Doug was delivering a print to a customer, Matt, and included an extra for being a little behind schedule. Matt took a play from Doug’s book and paid it forward with his own abandonment in Byrd Park. Emily found it while jogging, and excitedly told everyone about her found art — including the guy she was meeting the next night for a first date.
The two had a long night of conversation over dinner. When they got back to the car to go home, her date handed her a small gift.
“Instead of flowers, he bought her a frame for the print,” Doug says. “And it’s been one of their favorite pieces of their relationship, which I thought was cool.”

This story originally appeared on Hometown Junket, a collection of stories by and about Richmonders.


What inspired you to write The Laramie Project?
When Matthew Shepard was attacked, the whole nation took notice. The crime shocked me, of course, but the attention that it received shocked me even more. I thought, if I take my theater company to Laramie, Wyo., and we talk to the people of the town, we might be able to gather a sense of where not only Laramie was, but where the entire country was.
The media portrayed the town as rednecks and hillbillies and cowboys, and so of course this could happen there. It couldn’t happen anywhere else. In The Laramie Project, the thing that makes Laramie so stunningly interesting is not how different it is from the rest of the country, but how similar it is.

This Q&A with The Laramie Project author and director Moisés Kaufman appeared in the spring 2014 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

From farm to shelf

It’s a Tuesday afternoon, but Little House Green Grocery is bustling. Customers drop in looking for eggs or ginger. A delivery from Billy Bread Bakery replenishes the shelves, nearly empty after the previous day’s snow, with fresh-baked goodness. A young couple chats at the register for nearly 10 minutes about the winning recipes from a recent party.
The scene is just what Erin Wright, C’07, and Jess Goldberg envisioned when they opened Little House just a year ago in the Bellevue neighborhood in Northside Richmond.

This profile appeared in the spring 2014 issue of University of Richmond Magazine.

Bringing Home Hattie

They arrive in Richmond early on a Saturday morning. Some leap out of the car, their tails wagging excitedly. Others tentatively step down, ears tucked and eyes wide, uncertain after the long ride from Alabama.
People cluster around the car as volunteers reach for muzzles and collars, checking against their list. They call out names like Al’s Dust Kicker, Kiowa Mon Manny, and Flying Angela.
We scan the plastic collars, looking for the one with Flat Out Hacky scribbled in black Sharpie, eager to get our first look at the dog we’ll be bringing home.

This story appeared on Hometown Junket, a collection of stories by and about Richmonders.

Yoga for the People

I meet Yogi J Miles outside the Starbucks at Libbie and Grove. He’s just finished teaching a morning vinyasa class at Om On Yoga just down the street. It’s one of his last before he departs for several weeks of advanced teacher training at Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Yogaville ashram in Buckingham, Va.

“I think I’m like the Ol' Dirty Bastard of yoga,” he says. “ODB in Wu-Tang, there was no father to his style, which is why he was an ol' dirty bastard. I think I’m kind of the same way — maybe I have multiple fathers to my style.”

This story originally appeared on Hometown Junket, a collection of stories by and about Richmonders.