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.
 

President Harry Truman with his wife, Bess.
National Archives and Records Administration. Office of Presidential Libraries. Harry S. Truman Library. / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/bzswcq

In “The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good” (Bloomsbury/2017), historian David Goldfield examines the baby boomer generation and argues that more than anything, the opportunities provided to them by the federal government created the conditions for unprecedented confidence and success. 

Main building at UNCG, 1893
Gove, Anna M. (Anna Maria), 1867-1948 / UA2.1 Charles Duncan McIver Records, 1855-1906

The institution that would become the University of North Carolina at Greensboro opened its doors in 1892 to 198 young women. Today more than 20,000 students attend class, conduct research, play sports and live in 30 residence halls on a 210-acre campus. 

John Carroll Whitener
Courtesy of John Carroll Whitener

 John Carroll Whitener could have easily avoided being drafted into the Vietnam War. He could have truthfully checked the box marked “yes” on the military form that asked new recruits if they had homosexual tendencies. But doing so would have meant admitting a truth he was not ready to accept and facing the consequences of a future that did not include his family and church.

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. 

infant sleeping
Andrés Nieto Porras / Wikimedia Commons -2017

Doctors at fertility clinics often recommend women test their ovarian reserve to see how many eggs they have left. While the test can show how long a woman has before menopause, it was also commonly used to evaluate women’s likelihood of naturally conceiving. 

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.

man preparing injection
Carol E. Davis - US Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/axqcCi

The American medical system is good at providing care to people in the middle: those who need regular doctors’ visits and a few medications. But the system is inadequate for many patients with complex needs. And although they make up a tiny proportion of healthcare users, these high-need patients end up using a shockingly high percentage of health dollars.

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. 

Courtesy of Mysti Mayhem

Growing up in a small town in the Poconos, singer-songwriter Mysti Mayhem knew her big dreams needed to find a big stage.

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. 

Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Brazzell / Wikimedia Commons -2017

Two-thirds of states used chronic absenteeism as a metric for school evaluation in recently submitted federal plans.

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.

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