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Lauren A. Spates

Freelance Writer/Editor

Location icon United States

I'm looking to get back into the news business after eight years in strategic sales and four years freelancing with a focus on historical non-fiction for private clients. Since 2014 I've helped clients collect, compile and compose their personal history into accessible, beautiful narratives and photo displays designed for self-publishing.

I hold my bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism (2006) and am currently refreshing my skills and my portfolio at California's Santa Rosa Junior College where I am both a contributing writer and features editor of The Oak Leaf, the digital student daily, and editor-in-chief of Oak Leaf Magazine, SRJC's new feature-focused print and digital magazine.

Born and raised on Long Island, I am a true New Yorker at heart, although I'm proud of the crunch and zen I've acquired from three years living in San Francisco and one in Sonoma County - "West County" specifically - along the Russian River.



The Oak Leaf
Finding tranquility in chaos

He flips down his welding helmet and focuses on the task at hand. The air around him feels thick, the heat in the classroom oppressive from his latest assignment. He lights his torch and watches a flame dance from its tip, a flame he'll use to melt multiple metals during his latest welding class.

The Oak Leaf
Book by book: Rebuilding a post-fire identity

Photographs captured the fires' unsparing destruction: suburban homes reduced to dust, cars twisted into metal frames teetering on broken axles, smoke still rising from the ash heaps. Readers from around the world marveled at the horror and devastation; they wondered how Santa Rosa residents would carry on after losing their greatest assets.

The Oak Leaf
"All that education for nothing": One reporter recounts his path to the Pulitzer

When your true profession calls, you must go. So says a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former mechanical engineer who felt the call of the written word so strongly he quit a lucrative, well-defined career path for the underpaid and unpredictable world of freelance writing. Martin Espinoza was awarded American journalism's highest honor this past...


The Oak Leaf
Dr. Chong announces new safety measures for both Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses

Santa Rosa Junior College President Dr. Frank Chong on Thursday announced new measures intended to protect the JC in the event of future armed-intruder incidents. The improvements include the installation of new locks, the scheduling of active shooter trainings and drills, the use of a new alert broadcast system, and the establishment of a standing...

The Oak Leaf
SRJC staff among victims of global bomb threat scam

Multiple SRJC employees received a threatening email Thursday morning as part of what police are reporting as a global scam. Santa Rosa Junior College District Police Chief Robert Brownlee confirmed approximately 10 faculty and staff members received an email directing them to pay $20,000 in Bitcoin to avoid detonation of a bomb supposedly placed in...

The Oak Leaf
SRJC College to Career program ranked #1 in the state

Santa Rosa Junior College's College to Career (C2C) program leads California in helping intellectually disabled or autistic students attend college and find jobs afterward, according to the agency that oversees C2C programs statewide. The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) announced last month SRJC's C2C program outranked the state's seven others at San Diego, Orange...

The Oak Leaf
Lark Hall Planetarium feasibility assessment underway

Santa Rosa Junior College's Lark Hall Planetarium will undergo a feasibility and infrastructure assessment this semester to study upgrade possibilities for the facility. The planetarium shuttered in June and is slated to remain closed through spring 2019 while the assessment is completed, according to an SRJC official.

The Oak Leaf
SRJC groups to encourage voter registration on campus

Student Government Assembly (SGA) member Sean Young puts it plainly, "Voter apathy is not an option. We know what's been happening in this country for the past two years or even further. Whatever side of politics you're on, a lot of people are upset." Young's role as the SGA's executive vice president of legislation calls...


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