Stephanie Daniel

Reporter, Education and General Assignment

I am the education reporter at KUNC but enjoy going outside that box to cover health, drug addiction and breaking news. I report on issues that impact the lives of all our Colorado communities.

Public radio is unique because reporters cover a broad range of local, national and global issues. For me, that means I get to report on an opioid addiction treatment program on the Eastern Plains one day and the Denver teacher’s strike the next. It’s the best part of my job.

I grew up in Colorado and, after living out-of-state for many years, am happy to be back. Before joining KUNC, I worked at New York Public Radio and on the podcasts Revisionist History and Empire on Blood. My reporting has been featured on NPR’s Latino USA and The Pulse. Prior to my journalism career, I wrote and produced commercials and marketing videos for TV shows and media companies.

My reporting on the opioid epidemic was part of The Fix: Treating New York’s Opioid Crisis. The podcast won a national award from the Association for Health Care Journalists and a Regional Edward R. Murrow award. Locally, I have won awards from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists Top Of The Rockies. In 2018, I was selected to be an EWA Reporting Fellow by the Education Writers Association.

When I’m not working, I love going on adventures and have visited more than 20 countries. I also like to explore local areas, snowboard, ride my bike and hang out with my family and friends.

Illuminate Colorado

There is a traditional treatment for babies experiencing withdrawal from opioids: newborns are separated from their mothers and taken to the neonatal intensive care unit to receive tapered doses of morphine or methadone. They can stay in the hospital for weeks.

A Colorado-based collaborative is changing this approach.

Herminia Garcia and Ken Winn
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Joaquin Garcia is a big, strong 6-year-old boy who loves sports.

"He plays everything," said his mom, Herminia Garcia. "I have him playing basketball. He loves football. He loves tossing that ball, he's really good with his arm. He's doing a little bit of soccer."

But when Joaquin was a toddler, Garcia said he couldn't control his physical movements. Joaquin didn't know how to push his toy car. He wouldn't make eye contact when she spoke to him. Joaquin was emotional and aggressive.

United Health Foundation

Rural Coloradans may have better access to psychiatric care soon.

The United Health Foundation awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence to address a shortage of mental health providers in rural areas. The grant will recruit and support 39 working rural Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Behavioral Health Fellows while they earn a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate.

Phil Weiser
Amanda Schwengel / MSU Denver

The U.S. Supreme Court is dealing with a case that could affect the fate of more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Colorado is one of a handful of states that are part of a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's decision two years ago to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Destiny Martinez sits at a small table in the hallway of Murphy Creek, working on reading exercises with three second graders. The 23-year-old is a student teacher at the P-8 school in Aurora.

"I knew like teaching was always something that I wanted to do," Martinez said.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

A group of bipartisan lawmakers continues to combat Colorado's opioid crisis.

The Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee recently advanced five bills for the state legislature to consider in January.

Public Domain

Students are shouldering more of the cost of earning a degree from a public college or university. That's according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The report found state funding for public two and four-year colleges has decreased by more than $6.6 billion over the past decade while students are paying more.

Brad Simpson
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

After two decades in prison, Brad Simpson became a free man on Sept. 30. The 39-year-old has never paid rent, had an email account or registered to vote until now.

“If I don’t vote, I don’t have a chance to complain. I don’t have a chance to voice my opinion. I don’t have a chance to make the decision of whether or not I wanted this to happen or not,” Simpson said.

Anne Hazlett, senior advisor for rural affairs with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, will be the keynote speaker at a forum devoted to the opioid crisis and methamphetamines and other drug misuse issues in rural and frontier communities.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

For the second year in row, Colorado students will not have to pay to start investing in their futures.

Colorado Free Application Day is Oct. 15. All 35 public colleges and university and several private higher education institutions in the state will allow students to apply for free.

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