Stephanie Daniel | KUNC

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.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Police officer Tash Petsas and clinician Alan Marschke patrol the streets of Longmont, waiting for another call from dispatch about a guy named John. They have already responded to two John calls, but he was not arrested because he wasn't doing anything illegal. John was just hanging around downtown acting erratic.

After their last interaction, John left the scene, leaving his possessions near a dumpster in a parking lot.

"These are those tough cases where Alan and I have conversations," said Petsas, a 15-year veteran with the police department. "You know, right now he's littering with that mess he left. But write him a ticket, it's not going to solve the problem. This is where we have to start getting creative, about how are we going to get him engaged and how are we going to get him help."

William A. Cotton / Colorado State University

Colorado State University professor Diana Wall is the first female professor from CSU to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her achievements. Wall, a University Distinguished Professor, is the eleventh CSU faculty member to be elected to the prestigious honorary society.

Wall is the director of the School of Global Environment Sustainability and a biology professor. She is also a renowned soil ecologist who has conducted extensive research in Antarctica since 1989. In fact, a valley on the continent is named after her.

Charles Williams / Flickr

Of the six opioid bills introduced to the state legislature this session, five passed and are on Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk. A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers drafted the bills last November to address Colorado's growing opioid epidemic. The bills look at the issue from many sides, including increasing access to behavioral health care providers and medication-assisted treatment, limiting pain pill prescriptions limits and changing how insurance and Medicaid handle opioid dependence medications.

Bente Birkeland / KUNC

Thousands of Colorado teachers converged on the state Capitol Thursday and Friday to demand more funding for public education, higher pay and a more favorable fix to the state’s pension plan for public employees.

“For too many years, Colorado has been chronically underfunding its schools,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, vice president of the Colorado Education Association. “We educators see what that means to our classrooms and our buses and our cafeterias.”

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

You’ve probably heard of AmeriCorps. The national service organization has 300,000 members who work on programs ranging from education programming to disaster relief, like during Hurricane Harvey and the Northern California wildfires. They even build houses and connect veterans to social services.

But in 2017, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – which administers national service programs like AmeriCorps – did something unusual.

The federal agency hosted a separate funding competition for a specific issue: the opioid epidemic.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

A group of teachers stood outside Webber Middle School in Fort Collins before the first bell rang on Monday. They were dressed in red and holding signs with phrases like ‘Education Benefits Everyone’ and ‘My 2nd Job Bought This Sign.’

The teachers were participating in a citywide walk-in to show support for public education.

“We’re not out here to say we need more money because we want to be millionaires, you know,” said Jason Nurton, who teaches reading and an outdoor living class at Webber. “We’re out here saying, ‘give us what we need to do the job.’”

Intropin / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams recently issued a national advisory urging Americans to carry the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. Since 1999, Colorado has seen a 400 percent increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths.

KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel spoke with Robert Valuck, director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and a professor of pharmacy at the University of Colorado at Denver, about the recommendation.

Eric Litwin

“Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown” is the 2018 One Book 4 Colorado winner. The book, chosen specifically for 4-year-olds, was announced by Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state Capitol this week.

At the event, Hickenlooper told a group of preschoolers that he wants to make sure they know how to read and grow to love reading.

alizz islamic bank / Flickr

Colorado has one of the best employment markets in the country. By 2020 more than 70 percent of those jobs will require some type of advanced degree. But right now, there are not enough qualified workers to fill those positions – only 56 percent of residents have postsecondary education.

William A. Cotton / Colorado State University Photography

The first calf born through in vitro fertilization is now part of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd. The calf, a 10-month-old named IVF1, is also the first in the world to be conceived using eggs and sperm collected from Yellowstone bison, one of the last genetically pure herds in the country.

IVF1 was released into the herd – along with her mother and three other calves and their mothers – in mid-March, boosting the herd, which lives at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space, from 36 to 44 animals.

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