Brandi Addision is a graduate student in the MS in Professional Writing (MSPW) and an independent journalist in North Texas. She is also the social media coordinator for the NYUSPS Online Writing and Languages Society (OWLS). She received her B.A. in journalism at Texas Tech University and has used her MSPW coursework to pivot to environmental coverage while in the program. Her preferred topics are wildlife conservation, sustainability, natural resource management, and biodiversity.
March 10, 2022
MSPW Student Spotlight: Brandi Addison
You’ve recently started writing some articles for The Dallas Morning News! What was the process to get your work published?
I’m a mid-career reporter and entering my third year as a freelance reporter for The Dallas Morning News. However, my 2022 "new year resolution" was to fully transition into environmental reporting this year — a beat I’ve been passionate about since undergrad. While I do write for The Dallas Morning News on a near-daily basis, I am required to pitch my environmental work to various departments across the newspaper, entirely separate from my regular focus on hyperlocal coverage.
In addition to The Dallas Morning News, I have also pitched to several other publications since the start of the year and reached out about individual commission as well as regular contributions. These publications include Green Source DFW, Texas Climate News, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Fort Worth Magazine — all where I now consistently contribute environmental and outdoors news.
Have you been working on other writing in this area you are excited about?
I’m working to launch an independent environmental media and resource center called Let’s Talk Earth. The project explores environmental news in a relatable way— essentially a "lifestyles meets environmental" perspective. The project covers all things nature, environment, outdoors, wildlife, and climate. It has been an extraordinarily fun way to showcase the skills I’ve learned in the MSPW; and because I have no editor, my writing is fully authentic.
How did you choose to take the MSPW’s Science and Environmental Writing elective? What was your experience like in the course?
I became passionate about environmental coverage during my undergraduate degree when I attended a local community college for the semester. When I applied to the MSPW, I knew I’d want to focus primarily on science and environmental writing-- so I knew this elective would help support my long-term professional goals.
In what ways are you using your MSPW course work to build your environmental writing focus, in articles for The Dallas Morning News and beyond?
These classes have inspired me to do what I love. After my first semester in the MSPW program, I started pitching and sending emails suggesting interest in environmental coverage earlier this year. Though it's only March, I’ve already reached the point that I can step away from general news and focus solely on environmental journalism.
One of the most important lessons for me from Science and Environmental Writing focused on rearranging/editing for passive voice. In another MSPW course, we focused on cutting unnecessary rambling. Both of these lessons I strive, daily, to achieve in my writing for classes and for the real world.
Any MSPW shout-outs?
I’m only in my second semester, but I’ve loved all my professors.
Jessica Copen, Dr. Amanda Wicks and Dr. Kristine Rodriguez Kerr (who receives some additional accolades for assisting through the admissions process) have all refined my talents as a writer and editor. Meaghan Nanson and Clea Mahoney, our OWLS club advisor, have served as mentors in several other areas of my life, beyond academics. All have, undoubtedly, impacted my career in a way I never would have dreamt before entering the program.
To learn more about the MS in Professional Writing program at NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu/mspw