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 for my coverage of the opioid crisis and education. 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.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

Ally Shea's kitchen is very bright. The high ceilings and two-tone blue and white cabinets make it feel spacious. She said she has about 5 feet of counter space.

That's significant, as Shea, along with her husband Kevin Martin and their three-year-old twin boys, live in a so-called "tiny house."

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Coloradans love locally brewed craft beer and it appears the rest of the country does, too.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

According to experts, one of the biggest factors is pay. In 2016, the state ranked 46 in the nation for average salary. Rural schools have an even harder time recruiting because the pay is often lower than urban areas and there's not much of a hiring pool.

"If you lose a teacher, there's nobody that you can just snag from the community to keep up," said Democratic Rep. Barbara McLachlan, a former educator.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Jenny Lee is frustrated.

Due to a change in her parents' employment status, the rising senior at the University of Northern Colorado had her Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) flagged. Her FAFSA application was selected for an audit - or verification, as it's called in higher education.

"At first it wasn't bad, I thought, 'Sure, I'll get it done. No big problem,'" said Lee. "But as I've been stuck in this for months now, it's been frustrating and I'm just like, 'Will I get financial aid?' Because this is like one last little barrier at this point."

VIBE 105 / Flickr

[Updated June 12, 2018, 3:25 p.m.] The cities of Lakewood and Wheat Ridge also filed a lawsuit against the nation's largest opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo and Mallinckrodt, in U.S. District Court in Denver on June 8.

The original story continues below.

  

Boulder County and 12 other local governments want to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse, overdoses and deaths in their communities. According to the Denver Post , they plan to file a lawsuit to force the companies to pay a penalty and change their practices for marketing the drugs.

Marco Verch / Flickr

The city of Alamosa, along with Chaffee, Conejos, Las Animas, Alamosa and Otero counties, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver this week against national pharmaceutical companies - including Purdue Pharma, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Johnson & Johnson and Cephalon, Inc.

William A. Cotton / Colorado State University Photography

The first bison calf to be conceived using in vitro fertilization has died. The 11-month-old calf, named IVF1, was part of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd.

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.

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