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.

Theta Pi group
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

It's the second night of rush week for Theta Pi Sigma, a Greek letter organization at the University of Colorado Boulder. More than a dozen students have split into two groups to play a Google version of Family Feud. Senior Naya O'Reilly huddles with one of the teams.

"Do we want a name?" O'Reilly asked the group. "Team name anyone?"

Amanda Andrews / KUNC

In early September, a photo of four Colorado State University students posing in blackface went viral, setting off an uproar on CSU's campus. This led to questions about First Amendment rights on campus and what the university can and cannot do when it comes to hate speech.

Colorado Edition co-host Henry Zimmerman spoke to KUNC's Amanda Andrews and Stephanie Daniel to get an update on the student response and what the university is doing to protect the rights of the entire CSU community.

Inmates performing
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Inside a gymnasium in northeast Denver, a group of actors are performing the play 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.' The lights dim, synthesized music blares and Chief Bromden stands on a box, arms outstretched. Bromden is the narrator, a catatonic, half-Native American man who talks to the audience through hallucinations.

The play is about a group of men locked in a mental institution who long to be free. This theme is not lost on the male actors — they are inmates at the Sterling Correctional Facility.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Gov. Jared Polis recently signed an executive order creating the Office of Future of Work at the Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). As outlined in a press release, this office will be a central point for the state's efforts to respond to Colorado's rapidly changing economy and workforce.

Colorado Edition co-host Henry Zimmerman spoke with KUNC's Stephanie Daniel to learn more about the new office.

Poudre School District

On a good day, it takes fourth-grade teacher Montserrat Granados about 35 minutes to commute between her home in Ault to Irish Elementary School in Fort Collins. On a bad one, she's stuck in her car for 50 minutes.

"I wish it was something I didn't have to deal with," Granados said. "But I love Poudre School District."

When Granados was hired by the district a couple years ago, she didn't make enough money to purchase property in Fort Collins or nearby Laporte or Wellington. She ended buying a home in Ault, about 20 miles east, instead.

Granados' situation isn't unique: the starting salary for Poudre School District teachers is the lowest in the region. But that could change next year.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Colorado students improved in reading, writing and arithmetic, but overall, the majority are not meeting academic expectations.

The Department of Education released state, district and school-level results for about 550,00 third through 11th-graders. In April, students took one or more of the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessment tests in English, math, social studies or science. Ninth and 10th-grade students took the PSAT while 11th-graders were administered the SAT.

Medical marijuana
Mark / CC BY 2.0

Colorado lawmakers passed several bills this year dealing with prevention and treatment of the state's opioid crisis. Senate Bill 13, which took effect on Aug. 2, allows doctors to recommend the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids, like oxycodone, to treat acute pain.

KUNC's Stephanie Daniel spoke with Kyra Buckley to discuss the new law.

Ashley and Aiden
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

It's about 7 o'clock on a Tuesday morning in June and Ashley McAuliffe is getting her 11-year-old son, Aiden, ready for his last day of school.

"We've got about like 10 minutes before we're going to go. So why don't you brush your teeth," McAuliffe suggests.

"Okay," replies Aiden.

"Thanks," she says.

Growing up in Steamboat Springs, McAuliffe started ski racing when she was a kid. This eventually led to freestyle snowboarding, competing in the halfpipe and multiple injuries.

"Broken ankles, broken wrist, broken ribs, dislocations," she said. "So, I was put on prescription painkillers pretty much at age 16 to 18."

Joyce McConnell
Colorado State University

Colorado State University has ushered in a new and historic era. Joyce McConnell is the 15th president of the CSU System's flagship institution in Fort Collins and the first woman to serve in the role. As the university heads into its 150th year, KUNC's Stephanie Daniel spoke with McConnell to learn more about her vision for the future.

Chrisnel Akele
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Chrisnel Akele's house in Fort Morgan, Colorado is undergoing minor renovations. His parents are in the process of converting the garage into a family room, but Akele has already added his own personal touch.

Hanging on one of the walls are two, big varsity sports posters. In one, Akele is wearing a black wrestling jacket. In the other, he's in a red and white soccer uniform.

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