As a civil journalist, sociologist, documentarian-storyteller, writer and editor, I specialize in open-minded interpersonal communication that engages an array of people from diverse ages and cultures. I am motivated by collaboration in building communication bridges that cultivate social capital and positive societal change.
I harness skills in social-environmental analysis, public engagement, and interview conversations. I am versed in writing and editing (multiple genres), photography and video production, Adobe creative suite software (InDesign and Photoshop), and media communications design. I have worked in television news as well as for newspapers and magazines. Freelance since 2012 (in Asia), I have provided communication services for private as well as for government and non-government organizations. I have also been dedicated to my own independent projects.
Drawing from formal education in Mass Communications, Sociology, and Psychology (Bachelor’s) as well as Humanities and Environmental Science (Master’s), I do my best at listening to and understanding the voices of those ensnared in the extremes of war, poverty, disease, displacement, and social injustice. I use multimedia as the conduit for channeling what I learn. This is while accentuating the beauty of life and culture.
My career has been focused largely on addressing capitalism development impacts, social change patterns, and resilience. Evidence of this is revealed via my journalism work in the USA, Europe, and Asia. I lived and worked in Bosnia. This experience taught me some about the long-term impacts of war, and the survival power contained within the unquenchable human spirit. Much of this past decade has involved living in Thailand. There, I spent time with Burmese refugees located on the Thai-Burma border. I learned more about the vital importance of community cohesion. Mostly, I have been learning from the region’s rural ethnic indigenous peoples. They opened their doors and exposed me to how their traditional cultures have been transformed by capitalism development phenomena. I have been exploring what this may mean for all of humankind. I have also lived, studied, and worked in Taiwan.
In addition to recording these experiences in book format, my written and photographic works have been published or exhibited in the United States and in SE-Asia, at academic conferences, TEDx, as well as for entities such as the Royal Photographic Society and the United Nations. In 2010, I earned the first place award for the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s “social issues” reporting category. I also received two ‘honorable mention’ prizes for the 2018 International Photography Awards competition (professional category).
What I have mostly learned is that I actually don’t know much. However, as a resourceful and adaptive person standing alongside the roadside holding up a mirror to passersby, I do believe that our world is a classroom. Empathetic acknowledgment of cultural diversity and our shared humanity has great potential for collaboration between individuals, communities, and societies. This partnership can dissolve misunderstandings and foster a more harmonious and interconnected global community.
This is what I am diligently aiming to bring forward with my work and life.
Personal bio: “Becoming a Global Citizen“
Click here for a cross-section portfolio of my work.
Scribendi (and Merudio) Editing and Proofreading Services (November 2020 – Present)
EDITOR AND WRITING CONSULTANT
- Edit business and personal communications, book manuscripts, general academic writing, journal manuscripts, theses, and dissertations, while offering in-depth, supportive feedback and editorial suggestions
- Company-approved specializations in communications, media studies, journalism, human geography, psychology, sociology, social psychology, photography, and development studies
- Over 3 million words edited while maintaining the company’s high-level professional standards.
Digital Mixes; Chiang Mai, Thailand (January 2013 – January 2014)
EDITORIAL AND EDITING PARTNER
Provide editorial support for complex video projects, location sound and video capture, and studio editing
– “A Message from Indigenous Women in Forest Management”
– “When Can We Go Back? The Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Their Lands.”
- Co-directed, and assisted with video, editing, animation, lighting, talent, and on-location logistics for a 20-minute music video comprising the compilation of six songs combined into one storyline.
Chiang Mai Times; Chiang Mai, Thailand (January 2012 – August 2013)
- Oversaw (edited) English language material, and provide articles, photographs, and editorial concepts
Encounter Thailand magazine; Chiang Mai, Thailand (August 2012 – October 2013)
- Oversaw the production process of a nationally (Thailand) distributed, English language publication addressing topical issues, business, art & culture and lifestyle
- Conducted editorial meetings; formulated monthly content themes; managed in-house staff as well as screen, recruited and managed freelance contributors; team building, edited articles and ensured quality of editorial content while maintaining production timelines and managing resources
- Conducted interviews, write articles and provide photographs
- Developed public relations and marketing strategies, while publicly representing the magazine
- Contributed to, and can illustrate, a marked improvement in-terms of the magazine’s overall quality
SP Publishing; Chiang Mai, Thailand (February 2011- May 2012)
- Created written material for three magazines, each respectively addressing aspects of travel, culture and lifestyle
- Edited/rewrote Thai-English language translations
- Provided ideas toward public relations strategies, as well as media consulting services and advertising material
- Adapted and functioned in a primarily non-English speaking work environment
- Guided young, Thai adults (college interns and employees) in transitioning from the classroom to using and enhancing their skills in a professional work environment
* Writing Portfolio Samples ; Marketing Material Samples (advertorials)
Providence Education Group; Chiang Mai, Thailand (March 2010 – April 2012)
INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM (IELTS) MENTOR
- Facilitated and tutored Thai professional adults in various facets of English language reading, listening, speaking, writing, grammar, and Western-culture etiquette
- Created marketing materials, and served as an English speaking company representative
The Prince Royal’s College; Chiang Mai, Thailand (May 2010 – February 2011)
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE INSTRUCTOR
- Taught facets of English grammar, pronunciation, reading and writing skills to Thai upper elementary students and teachers at a private, top-10 rated Thai school catering to 6,200 students per school year
- Managed 14 classes spanning two grade levels with an average of 40 students per class, coupled with Thai teacher English language instruction, a journalism club and language camps
- Compassionately implemented a holistic and student-centered teaching approach within a competitive, institutional learning environment
- Effectively functioned amid a multi-cultural, largely non-English speaking work environment by utilizing technology as well as existing, and constructing new, communication channels
Hibbing Daily Tribune; Hibbing, Minnesota; U.S.A. (November 2007- May 2009)
- As part of a production team, I performed daily news beat journalism covering various topic beats. I multi-tasked reporting, writing, copy editing, photography, page design and layout as well as updating the newspaper’s website
- Utilized effective networking and interviewing skills, earning credibility with contacts and the overall community
- Analyzed and extrapolated complex data from public and private documents and meetings, while using this information for creating informative, public media designed for serving the community
- Proven ability to approach and manage sensitive issues in an unbiased, non-threatening manner
- Earned the First Place Award for the 2009 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s “Social Issues” reporting category
* Letters of Recommendation ; Writing Samples (cross-section of covered topic beats)
Thralow, Netshops; Duluth, Minnesota; U.S.A. (November 2005-February 2007)
COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER/ONLINE MARKETING
- Produced visual material for products’ websites, catalogs and promotional mailings; write marketing content
- Developed an efficient image file organization system proven proven to increase profits
- Creatively adapted to a department budget – efficiently utilizing available resources
- Organized photography shoots, including staff and products
- Effectively used Photoshop software
- Trained new and existing staff
WDIO-TV; Duluth. Minnesota; U.S.A. (August 2004-November 2005)
- Conducted interviews and provided digitally edited video for newscasts and special events programming
- Effectively networked and adapted in the community – often attaining access to information and video footage unattained by competing media organizations
- Worked well in a team environment while under deadline pressure
WDIO-TV; Duluth. Minnesota; U.S.A. (August 1998-May 1999)
- Partnered with members of a production team and either production directed, technical directed, audio engineered, floor directed, operated floor cameras, or teleprompted for newscasts and special events programming
- Quickly and naturally gained technical and aesthetic understanding of the news production process
- “Back to the Basics: Can’t Buy This Way of Life:” During an era of increasing political tension and societal unrest, this is a story about our shared human condition and the social-ecological impacts of capitalism ‘development’ and ‘modernity.’ This is about taking ‘a moment’s pause’ in order to ponder the vital importance of our varying cultures and the intrinsic value of our heritages. We consider this global phenomenon in the context of northern Thailand’s hilltribe people (‘highlanders’) and an ethnic Karen community striving to maintain its cultural traditions and vital indigenous knowledge. What does this mean for Us all?
- (Documentary) “To Stride with Pride: A Human Rights Movement in Thailand (Chiang Mai Pride Parade)” informs about brave people who are diligently striving toward attaining civic equity and societal equality. This is in a country where social activism is predominantly taboo, and can be quite dangerous. This documentary short was a featured element of the Southeast Asia Queer Cultural Festival (SEAQCF) that ensued online from Feb. 13 – March 13. … SEAQCF was organized by ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC), a network of human rights activists from Southeast Asia. The ASC works for the inclusion of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) in the mandate of human rights duty bearers in the ASEAN region. The ASC works for the promotion and protection of the human rights of all persons regardless of SOGIESC in the Southeast Asian region. Regarding SEAQCF, my job was (and is) to document an important historical human rights-related event that happened in Thailand, the progression of this movement, and to support those who are on the frontlines of striving for human rights, equity, and equality.
- Public relations/marketing consultant and content writer (e.g., the organization’s explanatory introduction, brochures, info about SPP’s academic programs, and additional public presentation content) for Chiang Mai University School of Public Policy (Chiang Mai, Thailand; March – May 2019)
- Article and short video published with The News Lens International (June 2018): “Taiwan Indigenous Women Making Cultural Handicrafts: Connecting with Roots” is a glimpse into an indigenous women’s group gathered for a beading workshop near Miaoli, western Taiwan. What you will see here isn’t just about making beadwork handicrafts. This is indigenous knowledge, sewn into millennia of cultural history and related traditions. Yes; these are sacred traditions packaged within sacred space.
- “For the Love of Yaki” documentary (director): Lawa Piheg, an elder of the indigenous Atayal ethnic group in Taiwan, is the last of her tribe with facial tattoos that in the afterlife will appease a spiritual gatekeeper and permit Lawa to cross the ‘rainbow bridge’ leading toward her ancestors. Lawa represents millennia of her Group’s (and Taiwan’s) dynamic and at-times tumultuous history.
- Article published with The News Lens International (December 2017): “Asia Cement: Following Rules or Pit Mining Human Rights” is about indigenous land rights, a cement factory, big busIness politics, human well-being, and also about some of the nuanced challenges (from all sides) of transformative justice. … Members of various Taiwan indigenous peoples were protesting the failure of Taiwan’s government to prioritize legal changes that would force companies like Asia Cement Corporation to take long-term responsibility for the land they mine.”
- Article published with The News Lens International (November 2017): “Fashion as Activism: Fusing Indigenous Textiles with the Modern World” explores the way that some indigenous people in Taiwan — by weaving the techniques, colors and patterns of their ancestors with modern-style ‘catwalk’ fashion design — are re-invigorating and restoring their millennia-old cultural heritages. Integrated into this story is dialogue regarding the semantics linked with Taiwan’s “Formosa” island history and the rooted societal impacts that State policies have had on this island’s indigenous peoples.This partnership between the indigenous elders and the youth is as well challenging some assumptions about indigenous peoples and what could be considered ‘traditional’ ways of life.
- Participant and contestant judge on the reality television showed, “Photo Face-Off.” This network television show is produced by Beach House Pictures and History Channel Asia (July 2017)
- Article (published by Guan Xi Media (print and online; Taiwan): “DINNER WITH A ‘SEX WORKER:’ THE (TRUE) VALUE OF MONEY AND PEOPLE.” This is the tale of my encounter with a troubled but weary and gentle “sex worker” in northern Thailand. Using more money than she attempted to solicit me for sex, we experienced a humane and calorie-enriched exchange that to me depicts the power of choice, value of people and life, and the limitless depth of the human spirit. … This is a memoir of sorts, about (misunderstood) people, and how I believe that we should all be kind to each other and share our resources. This piece also attempts to disintegrate some global misunderstandings (i.e. ignorance) about Thailand and this particular minuscule segment of Thai culture. … We are often quick to judge others.
- As part of a United Nations UN) International Trade Center (ITC) community based (inclusive) tourism project in Kayah, Myanmar, my tasks during this project involved media documentation as well helping the team create Program training videos. Here is a draft sampling of one of the training videos. I also created gained footage there for creating a documentary called, “Indigenous Harp Singer: A Documentary for Dialogue.”
- “Where the Rivers Meet: Our Future Community Leaders Program” facilitator and co-facilitator. For a non-government organization called, “Weaving Bonds Across Borders.” I facilitated an English language discussion group workshop comprised of younger folks (traditional grad school age) from five Mekong region countries (i.e. Myanmar, Laos, Tibet, Thailand, and Vietnam). We discussed, using communication skills to frame and look at issues critically and cooperatively, everything from civil rights to water governance to food security to intercultural communication and peace building. This is in relation to development related issues that are effecting their communities, such as dam projects that are destroying their communities’ livelihoods. As part of a regional training, I also facilitated a workshop on community advocacy skills and strategies (Chiang Mai, Thailand; November 2016).
- Obama Press Pool: An Insider’s Glimpse: During the 2015-2016 Holiday season, I as a stringer for Reuters, partnered with White House media correspondents from the nation’s top media/news agencies. Our purpose was to document generally what President Obama (and family) did during his Hawaii Holiday vacation and be there in the unlikely case that something serious happened. – See more at The Royal Photographic Society (Honolulu, Hawaii; January 2016).
- Independent social research project (Sarajevo, Bosnia): “Sarajevo Evolution: A Tribute to Survival” (2007-2009)
- Public Relations Consultant for Chiang Mai Montessori School; Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Media consultant and content writer: International Massage Training School (ITM); Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Article writer and photographer for Compassion International (October/November 2012)
- Stage manager and committee member for the first Tedx speaking event in Chiang Mai, Thailand (2011)
- The Best Friend Library (Chiang Mai and Mae Sot, Thailand): Provide visual media material for education toward human rights issues in Burma: April 2010-Present
- Range Artists Association (photography instructor; and featured artist): April 2009
- Narko Ne (copy edit Web site language translation for organization in Sarajevo, Bosnia): Dec. 2008
- St. Cloud Times (sports photography stringer): July 2008
- New York Post (news stringer): May 2008
- Hibbing Community College (commercial imagery for program brochures): December 2006
- Hillside Community Church (advertising and marketing media): August 2005
- Habitat for Humanity (homestead cleanup and painting in Corbin, Kentucky): Spring 2004
Bread of St. Anthony; Sarajevo, Bosnia (February-July 2007 and June 2009)
WAR RELIEF AID
- Delivered humanitarian relief services daily to residents throughout Sarajevo’s war-torn communities.
- Effectively adapted to an unfamiliar, war-torn and non-native English speaking culture
- Attained compassionate and in-depth journalistic understanding of the short and long term socioeconomic effects of armed conflict and its related strife, as well as how some people adapt to these circumstances
- Advised editorially Bosnian college students regarding the monthly printing of “Preventeen” magazine, designed for post-war youth at risk of being involved in crime and drug abuse
Northwoods Children’s Services; Duluth, Minnesota; U.S.A. (November 2005 – May 2006)
RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT COUNSELOR
- Counseled youths from troubled upbringings who were most often court ordered to stay at a 24-hour residential treatment setting designed toward cognitive reconditioning and establishment of social skills
- Adapted to setting changes, including executing progressive discipline measures (i.e. physical restraint)
- Partnered effectively with all treatment teams and other professional staff, including psychologists
- Developed strategies to best work with children, within the parameters of their treatment schedule
- Strove to maintain a holistic counseling approach in a highly regulated institutional system
Men as Peacemakers; Duluth, Minnesota; U.S.A. (September 2003-May 2004)
- Worked directly with inner-city children via interpersonal activities such as sports and homework help
Camp Miller; Duluth, Minnesota; U.S.A. (June-September/December 2003)
CAMP COUNSELOR (senior counselor)
- Led adolescent boys amid a cabin setting, as well as participated in overall camp activities
- Emphasized character development, sense of responsibility and life education
UNIVERSITY LECTURE PRESENTATIONS
- What is “Development?” — A Discussion Considering Societally Marginalized People Living Amid Capitalism’s Factors of Land, Labor and Capital (Soochow University; Taipei, Taiwan; Global Public Policy class; March 19, 2019): This lecture was intended for considering, or reconsidering, “what is development” through the lens of capitalism’s factors of land, labor, and capital: how this dynamic, in one way or another, is impacting all of Us humans. As a socio-ecological context for looking at the global human condition, we via documentary-style media will travel together into the high mountains of Burma and northern Thailand. There, the “traditional” lifestyles of indigenous peoples are being dissolved as “development” and “modernity” are evermore perforating their cultural fabric and shifting centuries of indigenous knowledge aside. What does this phenomenon potentially mean for Us all? Who are we really as humans? Can we take a moment’s pause and consider the importance of our cultures, “nature,” and living together peacefully?
- “Journalism 101: Experience from the Field:” This lecture, sharing eight years of field experience in Se-Asia, equipped undergraduate students of Taiwan’s Soochow University with some psychological and basic media production skills necessary for their ‘service learning’ in The Philippines, West Timor, and Thailand (December 2017).
- “Economic Development and Societal Change: Impacts in Context with Traditional Gender Roles” lecture course: We, through the review of documentary-style media and academic literature, in-part observed some of northern Thailand and Myanmar’s ethnic indigenous villagers’ lifestyles — particularly related to crop harvest activities, the traditional animist (spiritual) traditions involved, and the attributed gender roles (both traditional and modern) — and how global market system related rural development phenomena (e.g. State policies, infrastructure, community based tourism, etc.) have holistically impacted their communities, both detrimentally and beneficially. (CIS Abroad international study abroad program; Chiang Mai University; July 2017; click here to view the course flier.)
- Keynote presentation and dual photography exhibitions (i.e. Dignity Amidst the Rubbish and Indigenous Voices book material) at the Urban Research Plaza’s 13th Urban Culture Forum‘s “Partnership for Change – Finding Creative Solutions to Urban Challenges” conference; Chulalongkorn University; Bangkok, Thailand; March 2-3, 2015. Click here to view the presentation video, and to view the exhibitions.
- “Hour of (artful) Discovery: A Photojournalism Workshop” at PREM International School (Chiang Mai, Thailand; January 2015)
- Presentation of Jeff’s Journalism projects and about ‘life success’ to a Social Change sociology course; University of Wisconsin – Superior, U.S.A. (October 2014; see the news article, “Alumnus Jeff Warner Returns to Campus to Connect With Students“)
- “Dinner talk” lecture presentation of my second book, Indigenous Voices: Glimpses into the Margins of Modern Development, to students from Singapore at the Holiday Express Hotel (Chiang Mai, Thailand: May 2013) Click and view the event photograph.
- Lecturer for Visual Anthropology students (master’s degree level): Chiang Mai University (November 2012)
- Guest on “What’s Your Story?” radio show with Kathy Bacon (March 2018): I spoke with Kathy a bit about my Life story, and especially how my life career work has culminated to “The Moments’ Pause Project: Reminders of Our Natural Roots.” … Kathy describes the 58-minute interview as “Jeff reminds us that we are in this together, how we are all human and this effort is about taking a “Moment’s Pause” to observe and to become reminded of the socially binding commonalities that all humans share.
- Presentation of Dignity Amidst the Rubbish photo book and Jeff’s Journalism projects overall to Rotary International (Minnesota U.S.A.): two events for Grand Rapids clubs, one for the Virginia club, and one event to the Hibbing club (September 2014)
- Presentation of Dignity Amidst the Rubbish photo book and Jeff’s Journalism projects overall to Kiwanis International clubs (Minnesota, U.S.A.): one event to the Chisholm club and one in Hibbing, (October 2014)
- “Helping Hands Radio Show” guest, introducing my book, Indigenous Voices, and discussing matters of modern development (July 2013)
- Received two ‘honorable mention’ awards granted for the 2018 International Photography Awards competition. … One Award was given for my ‘Dignity Amidst the Rubbish‘ book; the second award is for a still image entitled, “Carrying Forward as Family.” Click here to view all four entries.
- Exhibition of my “Dignity Amidst the Rubbish” civic journalism materials at Tedx Chiang Mai 2018. The theme of this large and world class event was “Our Common Future.” This was about blending social and environmental issues in regards to our profound interdependence as humans on earth. The theme highlighted the importance of finding a sustainable path toward development.
- Photographs published by the United Nations International Trade Centre (ITC), some via its social media and others in its quarterly magazine called, Trade Forum. … The article is called, “Off the Beaten Track in Myanmar.” … These photographs are from when I was there in Myanmar on this UN project. My tasks included photo and video documentation as well as creating some community training media materials.
- Online exhibition of my “Obama Press Pool: An Insider’s Glimpse” by the United Kingdom’s Royal Photographic Society. During the 2015-2016 Holiday season, I as a stringer for Reuters partnered with White House media correspondents from the nation’s top media/news agencies. Our purpose was to document generally what President Obama (and family) did during his Hawaii Holiday vacation and be there in the unlikely case that something serious happened.
- Exhibition of Indigenous Voices material at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. This United Nations’ event, hosted by the State of Hawaiʻi with the support of the U.S. Department of State, happens every four years and “brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.” This exhibition was sponsored by the Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT). (Honolulu, Hawaii; September 1-16, 2016)
- Exhibition of Indigenous Voices material at the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This exhibition was sponsored by the Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT). (Chiang Mai, Thailand; August 9, 2016)
- Dual photography exhibitions (i.e. Dignity Amidst the Rubbish and Indigenous Voices book material) at the Urban Research Plaza’s 13th Urban Culture Forum‘s “Partnership for Change – Finding Creative Solutions to Urban Challenges” conference; Chulalongkorn University; Bangkok, Thailand; March 2-3, 2015. Click to view the exhibitions.
- Exhibition of Dignity Amidst the Rubbish at the Main Library of Chiang Mai University Chiang Mai, Thailand (October 2012)
- Exhibition of Dignity Amidst the Rubbish at Pong Noi Art Space in Chiang Mai, Thailand (January 2013)
- Exhibition of Dignity Amidst the Rubbish at the 23rd Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies —‘Returning Dignity’— in Chiang Mai, Thailand (March 2014)
- Exhibition of Dignity Amidst the Rubbish, organized by Chiang Mai University’s Center for Ethnic Studies and Development, at the International Conference on International Relations and Development. An initiative of this conference was to take a critical stance on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) — namely, their socioeconomic affects on the peoples of Southeast Asia. (Chiang Mai, Thailand; July 2012)
- Exhibition of my photography work from Sarajevo, Bosnia: “Sarajevo Evolution: A Tribute to Survival” (exhibit organized by the Range Artists Association; Minnesota, USA; April – June 2009)
BOOK LAUNCH EVENTS (Chiang Mai, Thailand; April 2014)
- Chiang Mai University Lecture Hall
- Sangdee Art Gallery
- Documentary Arts Asia
- Community Based Tourism Enhancement (December 2012-February 2013): This tourism project involved four provinces in upper north Thailand and was designed to improve the quality of tourism products and enhance the livelihood of tourism communities. I was a volunteer tourist throughout program pilot, assigned to write about my experiences throughout the four-part tour in order to assess the overall quality of the tour program.
- Consultant and Researcher: Brand Research and Development Tourism Value Adding Project; March – July 2014; Faculty of Business Administration, Chiang Mai University; Thailand): I assisted Thai colleagues with designing and translating from Thai to English language a qualitative research questionnaire that we used to collect information from Chiang Mai tourists from all over the world. I collected 250 of these questionnaires in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Media Creation and Conflict Mediation Research (August – October 2013; Thailand): This tourism development project involved two communities near Sukhothai, Thailand. It was designed to facilitate these communities with building tourism management capacity and teamwork. I worked on visual media (video production), interviewed the organization stakeholders who were involved in this project, and shared ideas for conflict mediation among the communities.
- Public Relations for Chiang Mai Provincial Governor (May 2013; Thailand): I wrote various versions of the article,“Bridging Cultural Gaps with Communication,” after interviewing the Chiang Mai Provincial Governor. Our goal was to promote an Asean Economic Community (AEC) project that aimed to increase English language proficiency for human resources in core businesses of four Thai provinces, especially in the tourism sectors, logistics, and for journalists. This was to make them have more readiness for AEC, make them acknowledge more understanding about AEC context, and have more understanding of different cultures in Association of SE-Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
JEFF’S JOURNALISM PROJECTS
- The Moments’ Pause Project: Reminders of Our Natural Roots: This is a research, multimedia, culture preservation, and social capital building initiative that — during a global era of increasing political tension and societal unrest — is tending to this world We all as a global community share.This Project is about momentarily slowing down from our seemingly incessant state of being “busy.” It’s about introspectively thinking before we entirely destroy our life-sustaining planet (and each other), and about meditating on the natural goodness that remains. This is about taking a moment’s pause to observe and to become reminded of the socially binding commonalities that all humans share. … These are our core needs to be loved and accepted, to be accepting and loving, as well as our necessity for having a nourishing natural environment that includes familial and community connections. While this grassroots campaign — its foundation being built since 2010 — has many aspects, its root and ultimate goal is to collaboratively address conflict and environment related issues that are impacting Us worldwide.
- The Dignity Amidst the Rubbish Project: The art and heart of this project is that it’s rooted in collaboration, using my photo book, Dignity Amidst the Rubbish: Hour-by-Hour With a Burmese Migrant Community in Thailand, for cultivating humanitarian support, addressing global issues, while also taking a moment to observe and reflect upon the beauty of life. A key component of this project is that it combines three independent elements of funding mechanism (i.e. the Dignity book), nonprofit organization, and our global community in order to cultivate geometry of connection — a triangle of support — that can be used for offsetting some of the world’s injustices.
- Global Village Hands Culture Preservation Project: The premise of this project is to use my book, Indigenous Voices: Glimpses into the Margins of Modern Development to channel humanitarian support to small and poor villages in SE-Asia, preferably to those trying to live more traditional lives but may be having challenges to do so for various reasons. We likewise wish to assist them with countering the socioeconomic effects that modern development (i.e. the global market system) continues having on their communities, which is creating a myriad of socioeconomic problems that are essentially dissolving the traditional cultures of these communities.
— Indigenous Voices: Glimpses into the Margins of Modern Development
We, step-by-step, learn about some of the effects that modern economic development has had on these communities, and we hear what some of these villagers have to say about this. We explore what this may mean for all of us humans.
To better understand northern Thailand’s indigenous peoples and their overall situation, this book entails the seamlessly paired integration of documentary-style photography, prose, and in-depth interviews — “voices” of villagers 14-84 years old, from three different ethnicities, and from villages existing at different points on a development continuum. They open up the doors of their homes and help us understand.
Indigenous Voices is not merely a book of photography; this is also a textbook for those who are interested in gaining foundational understandings into the societal effects of globalization. This thesis is engineered as a part-by-part experiential learning model. Each included community is undergoing a particular stage in the development continuum, and each part of this book will bring you to a new level of understanding into development related issues.
In addition to providing the general public with a window into the seldom seen world of mountain village life, this culture preservation project additionally explores economic development related effects on human society overall and how environment related changes alter relationships among ourselves and our natural environment.
Are you ready for this journey?
* Click here and watch a synopsis video of this project. *
— Dignity Amidst the Rubbish: Hour-by-Hour With a Burmese Migrant Community in Thailand
Photographs, prose, and the translated voices of this community provide an hour-by-hour glimpse into the situations of these individuals and their families. There is a section included intended as a funding mechanism to support the community included in the book.
This work focuses not on the deplorable conditions in which they live, but is rather a reflection on this community’s cohesion amid an environment of poverty and strife. Dignity Amidst the Rubbish, at its core, likewise addresses global issues related to the larger condition of humankind at this moment in time and in relation to modern economic development and the global market system.
— The ‘De’ of Development: Ecosystems Services, Societal System State Shifts, and Our Transmuting Human Condition in Context with Northern Thailand’s Top-Down Highlands Development
If we are going to find creative solutions to global challenges, is it prudent that we consider the roots of prominent global issues?
The ‘De’ of Development is my thesis research purposed toward cultural and environmental preservation as well as cultivating global awareness of development related impact issues.
This mixed methods thesis, conjoining civil documentary journalism with the academic lenses of environmental and social science, explores this inquiry by focusing primarily on the ‘de’ of development. By overlaying and hence connecting the societal with the ecological, I probe, unearth, and concretely bond notions of humans’ intimate connection with each other, with our environment, and how changes in one aspect resultantly impacts the others. This is about our global village.
As a context for investigating how perhaps all of humanity is being continually impacted by development and modernity related phenomena, we journey into the high mountains of northern Thailand. There, the traditional lifestyles of ethnic peoples are rapidly vanishing. Aspects of a homogenizing global culture are perforating their socio-fabric and shifting centuries of learning and indigenous knowledge aside. Villagers from an age range inform us about this.
The root and ultimate goal of this research project is to illustrate our communion on Planet Earth, and how we are together being affected by our collective actions. This has great potential for cultivating intercultural understanding, nourishing human healing, and building social capital.
Humankind, as it always has, can determine its destiny. … May we choose wisely.
College Degrees Earned
— MASTER OF HUMANITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (development studies/Asia-Pacific regional studies focus): National Dong Hwa University; September 2017 — January 2019 (graduated with distinction)
This program at the Department of Humanities and Environmental Sciences trains students to become ‘environmental change-makers.’ The curriculum is designed to cultivate respect for the natural world and develop a sensitivity towards the ecological, social, and cultural impacts of human action.
To view information about my thesis, “The ‘De’ of Development: Ecosystem Services, Societal System State Shifts, and Our Transmuting Human Condition in Context with Northern Thailand’s Top-Down Highlands Development,” click here.
— BACHELOR OF SCIENCE: University of Wisconsin; Superior, Wisconsin; August 2005
Mass Communications and Social Psychology (double major)
* University Dean’s Letter of Recommendation
I studied aspects of public relations; interpersonal, group and intercultural communication; news gathering and reporting; television and radio production; mass media theory and law; English literature; creative and technical writing, as well as various aspects of psychology (including cognitive therapy and behavioral modification) and sociology
Extra-Curricular Campus Participation
- University newspaper: staff writer, fall semester of 2003; copy editor, spring semester of 2005
- University Student Senate: Senator for the Communicating Arts Department: 2003- 2004
- A Cappella Choir: 2003-2005 academic years (performed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- University newspaper: staff writer, fall semester of 2003; copy editor, spring semester of 2005
— ASSOCIATE OF ARTS: June 2002
Lake Superior College; Duluth, Minn.
Additional College Education
— PH.D STUDENT OF FAMILY SOCIAL SCIENCE: University of Minnesota / Department of Family Social Science; College of Education and Human Development; September 2019 – January 2020
This Family Social Science doctoral program offers a unique program of study using the insights and methods of the social sciences to examine how families work within various contexts and cultures.
Click here to learn about my doctoral research interests.
— MASTER DEGREE STUDENT OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (DURP): University of Hawaii; August 2015 – December 2015
Scholarships and Academic Awards
— University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science
- Graduate research assistantship, including full tuition waiver scholarship
— Taiwan National Dong Hwa University (Master Degree):
- Top class ranking for 2017-2018 academic year (cumulative 4.21 GPA)
- Received the Certificate of Academic Outstanding Performance (2018)
- Taiwan National Dong Hwa University scholarship (September 2017 – January 2019)
— University of Hawaii (Master Degree)
- East-West Center Degree Fellow (August 2015 – January 2016)
- East-West Center Alumni Scholars Award
- East-West Center Paul S. Honda Fellowship Award (for my engagement in international affairs)
— University of Wisconsin (Bachelor Degree):
- Graduated Cum Laude (3.5 cumulative GPA)
- Academic Excellence and Scholarly Achievement Award: 2003-2005 academic years
- University and National Dean’s List: 2003-2005
The core of Jeffrey’s work focuses on addressing the societal impacts of economic development. … I do this in context with holistically revealing and reflecting upon the importance of our varying ‘traditional’ cultures and the intrinsic value of our heritages, particularly those of ethnic indigenous communities.
Jeffrey supports the notion that civic media is perhaps the most powerful human-made force on Planet Earth. He believes that media likewise becomes most useful when used for creating social capital via going beyond just reporting on events, but rather delving into pertinent issues by empathetically including everyone in the communication process. This can and will ultimately bring benefit to a global society via empowering people through humanitarian means.
Jeffrey strives toward subjecting himself to cultural environments foreign to those in which he was born, in an attempt to better understand the human condition. His work is propelled by an underlying conviction to locate the heart of human experience. This includes, but is not limited to, seeking the inner voice of people who are ensnared in the extremes of war, poverty, disease, displacement, and social injustice, while providing a window of opportunity for others to peer into their world.
He has a formal education in mass communications, sociology, and psychology, with professional backgrounds in social services and television news production, as well as newspaper and magazine print media.
Following a spirit-led life vision, Jeffrey received his first taste of international journalism while living and volunteering in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Gaining insight into the long-term, socioeconomic effects of armed conflict greatly expanded his worldview. Beyond embarking on additional world travels, including living in Italy, Jeffrey has since 2010 resided in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he has primarily worked as a writer, photographer, and editor for local publications. He began his freelance career in October 2012.
Jeffrey has taken particular interest in how globalization and related modern development are affecting the lives and traditions of indigenous peoples, whose knowledge he believes remains perhaps the representative core of what it truly means to be human. Beyond realizing the madness correlated with an growing, worldwide consumer culture, Jeffrey derives hope from a deep belief that people are inherently good, and that the world does function on light, which is what he aims to illustrate with his work.
Additional biography information: Becoming a Global Citizen: A Journey of World Environment