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Andrew Kragie

Reporter, Houston Chronicle

Location icon United States of America

I write for the Houston Chronicle. After a few months as a copy editor, I will soon transition to a suburban reporting role.

In fall 2015, I wrote a series about refugee resettlement in Houston, America's No. 1 destination for refugees. I've covered everyday events like a hospital opening and bridge demolition, explored religious diversity, and written light pieces about a girl on a sheep at the Houston Rodeo. (If you don't know what mutton bustin' is, you should learn!)

I graduated from Duke University in May 2015 with a political science major.

After the Jan. 2015 cancellation of the Muslim call to prayer at Duke Chapel, I wrote a long-form investigation that dug deep to answer the questions left unanswered by national media.

Check out my clips: in-depth reporting, politics & government, opinion columns, and Duke Date Lab. They cover LBJ and civil rights, Brazilian politics, U.S. national security, and more. I was also Duke's student speaker at Commencement 2015, and I co-directed a five-minute documentary video about a Latino grocer in Durham, NC.

Portfolio

Houston Rodeo

Houston Chronicle
A cowgirl's moment of truth

Meredith Stockholm was supposed to have the ride of her life on Thursday. The announcer at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo whipped the crowd into a boot-stomping frenzy. As he introduced Meredith, the cheers crescendoed in the white-topped tent near the carnival.

Houston Chronicle
At the Houston Rodeo, Cowboy Church endures with faith and devotion - if not cowboys

At the start of "Cowboy Church" last Sunday, morning light shone through the 8-foot-tall windows behind Ronnie Moyer in the makeshift sanctuary on the second floor of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Moyer, a youth chaplain with the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, heard a different call as he grew up rodeoing on the Western plains: to become a roper of young people.

City of Refugees: Resettlement in Houston

Houston Chronicle
11/21/2015
For Syrian refugee in Houston, feeling of safety stripped away

Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he intends to block new Syrian resettlement and to monitor those already in Texas, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has vowed previously that he would send Syrian refugees already in the United States back to Syria.

Houston Chronicle
Greater Houston resettles more refugees than any other American city

Ali Al Sudani did not know who wanted to kill him. In the chaos of southern Iraq in 2004, anyone could become a target: translators, journalists, teachers. Al Sudani even knew a barber who was assassinated. So when he started to receive anonymous threats, he knew he had to leave his job translating for the British army.

Houston Chronicle
09/07/2015
Coming to Houston, not knowing a soul

When Lina stepped off the plane onto Texas soil, the 36-year-old Syrian refugee did not even know why her family was sent to Houston. She did not know a single soul in the city. She did not know where they would live.

Houston Chronicle
From a Burundi massacre to self-sufficiency in Houston

In 2004, Jeune Ruhumuriza was a child sleeping on the hard ground of Burundi, in a U.N. refugee camp, when a Congolese militia massacred over 100 of his fellow refugees. Today, he is a young Houstonian with dreams of an easier life. By logging in, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Local Coverage

Houston Chronicle
10/21/2015
Riders hopeful for bike-friendly West Alabama

The project is to improve a major bicycle commuting route that runs into the heart of the city, while also repairing a street that all parties agree needs some TLC. "The pavement is in horrible condition," said Mary Blitzer, government and community affairs manager at the nonprofit advocacy group Bike Houston, who rides West Alabama every day to get to work.

Houston Chronicle
11/04/2015
Heights-area neighborhood medical centers planned

The Memorial Hermann healthcare system has announced plans for two retail-style medical centers in the Greater Heights, part of the private provider's expansion of its Houston-area offerings. Dr. David James, CEO of Memorial Hermann Medical Group, said that when patients access the most appropriate level of care, they save money and time - and emergency room beds stay available for more critical cases.

Houston Chronicle
09/30/2015
Yale Street bridge awaits destruction

It's the end of the road for a historic bridge on the southern edge of the Heights. The Texas Department of Transportation said the Yale Street bridge, which crosses White Oak Bayou and dates to 1931, will be demolished in the next six months.

Houston Chronicle
11/11/2015
Interfaith Ministries focuses on reality of diversity in annual dinner

Ali-Khan told that story recently at a dinner hosted by Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, the nonprofit best known for operating the Meals on Wheels program. Shia and Sunni Muslims, Baptists and Presbyterians, Baha'i and Hindus, Jews and undeclared seekers.

Duke Commencement 2015: Student Speaker

YouTube
05/10/2015
Duke University 2015 Graduation Speaker

Duke University's student commencement speaker Andrew Kragie talks about vision and execution. Read more at https://today.duke.edu/2015/05/kragie . Website: http://duke.edu YouTube: http://youtube.com/Duke Google+: http://plus.google.com/+dukeuniversit... Facebook: http://facebook.com/DukeUniv Twitter: http://twitter.com/DukeU Instagram: http://instagram.com/dukeuniversity Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dukeuniversity

Documentary short: A Latino grocer fights a food desert in Durham

Vimeo
06/13/2015
This Side of the Counter

By Andrew Kragie and Julia Rogers. A five-minute documentary made in the one-week Duke Documentary Studies Video Institute. Explores a Latino supermarket that serves a food desert area in East Durham.

In-Depth Reporting

The Duke Chronicle
02/25/2015
'A second best decision': Why the call to prayer was moved from the Duke Chapel

When Duke canceled plans for a weekly Muslim call to prayer, or adhan, from the Duke Chapel, many who opposed the cancellation claimed that the University had caved to conservative evangelical Franklin Graham and the financial boycott called for in a Facebook post where he called "on the donors and alumni to withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed."

Duke Political Review
10/28/2014
Brazil: Aftershocks of the 2013 Protests

A year after a wave of mass demonstrations shook Brazilian politics to its core, experts said that the protests have resulted in a few real changes-stopping short of the "structural change" that demonstrators demanded.

The Duke Chronicle
02/27/2013
'On the Heels' of a Dream

The Rev. Luke Powery came to Duke at a momentous time. His first year coincides with the 50th anniversary of Duke's first black undergraduates, and he is the Chapel's first black dean. Powery's approach to balancing leadership and race offers a surprising contrast to the way other black leaders have cast themselves-President Barack Obama being the most notable example.

Politics & Government

Duke Political Review
09/29/2014
National Interests Worth Fighting For?

By Andrew Kragie It's been a hell of a month. The United States has faced three international crises: a Russian-supported insurgency in Ukraine, a growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and a terrorist group that has taken control of vast swaths of Iraq and Syria.

Academia.edu
04/30/2015
LBJ on Civil Rights: Moral Leader or Political Follower?

Lyndon Johnson spent twenty years in the U.S. House and Senate voting against every civil rights bill until 1957, when he decided he would run for president in 1960. As president, he pushed through the most significant civil rights legislation since the Civil War. Was his presidential endorsement of civil rights driven by political calculus, was he looking to his legacy, or was he genuinely committed to civil rights and racial equality? Was his pro-equality attitude a sudden conversion, a...

Duke Political Review
01/21/2015
National Security and the West Wing - An Interview with Jake Sullivan

Last week, DPR's Andrew Kragie sat down with visiting American Grand Strategy speaker Jake Sullivan the day before he flew to Geneva to continue nuclear negotiations with Iran. Sullivan served as National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and as the Director of Policy Planning at the U.S.

Duke Political Review
01/20/2015
How "Selma" Misses the Mark on LBJ-and Why it Matters Today

By Andrew Kragie. If you haven't yet seen "Selma"-stop reading and buy your tickets now. It powerfully and beautifully tells the story of a community that, with a team of civil rights leaders, made history. Like many historians of the era, though, I was taken aback by the film's portrayal of Lyndon Johnson.

The Duke Chronicle
10/30/2012
Racing in Venezuela

A month before the presidential election in the United States, almost 15 million Venezuelan voters went to the polls for the first truly competitive presidential race in 14 years. The Venezuelan opposition to Hugo Chávez united behind an energetic and charismatic challenger, Henrique Capriles.

Opinion Columns

The Duke Chronicle
01/28/2014
The resume, the road and the dream

Joel told me that I wouldn’t find a good internship—unless I actually wanted one. He proposed a heresy that didn’t fit with any of my plans or expectations: Maybe I don’t need to do an internship this summer. Maybe I need to ignore my resume, hit the road and pursue an unmanageable dream, like Emma and E.B. White did. And maybe the pursuit of that dream will lead me to whatever truly lies down the road.

Duke Chronicle
10/08/2013
Hidden Costs of the Federal Shutdown

The government shutdown is hitting close to home—800,000 government workers’ families are going without pay, many near my hometown in the D.C. area. Although they will eventually receive back pay, many families are limping along without a paycheck. Less important in human terms but more important in terms of cuteness, we can no longer watch pandas cuddle on the National Zoo’s Panda Cam. But there’s a bigger hidden cost that we would regret in 50 years: The shutdown could lead even more of the...

The Standard
10/17/2014
Date Lab: Searching for a Spark - The Standard

Two seniors like sports. Will they like each other? By Andrew Kragie, Emily Cohen, and Susanna Booth He's "a true gentleman" from the South looking for "someone who is fun to talk to and likes to have a good time." She loves Duke athletics, plans to work in nonprofits, and seeks a good conversationalist who's "passionate about something in life."

The Standard
03/25/2015
Meet Jake & Madeline - The Standard

He's a Mechanical Engineer from California, and agreed to go on a blind date because "How common are blind dates anymore?" She's an out-going, sport-loving Chemistry major, loves the beach, and agreed to do Date Lab because, "What was there to lose?"

The Duke Chronicle
12/03/2013
Duke deserves more dates

Duke deserves more dates. Here’s my modest proposal: Let’s start a Date Lab, Duke Edition.

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