The personal profile is my favorite form, and I hope it shows in the hundreds I’ve written for newspapers and magazines including the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Runner’s World, the Chicago Tribune‘s Womanews section, Inquiry, Salt and others. I’ve had a wonderful time interviewing and writing about people in fields ranging from academia to taxidermy — and I’ve never met a dull subject. Here’s a sampling:

I’m a runner: Cesar Millan, Runner’s World

The dogs are why I run. In nature, dogs are always running. We call that exercise, but to them it’s just their style of life. They understand and love moving forward.

My pack is a mix of about 50 dogs. When I’m running with them, they’re in a calm, submissive mood. It’s like riding a wave.

For complete story:  Runner’s World, Cesar Millan, Dog Whisperer

Higher calling: Lawyer ends argument by tending to spiritual wounds, Chicago Tribune

From the time she was a high school student in Roselle, Carla Grosch knew she wanted to be a lawyer. And when she went east to law school, she was sure she’d never return to the Midwest to live. Yet at the age of 33, she began a spiritual and professional journey that has brought her within miles of her hometown, as Rev. Grosch, a member of the pastoral team of the First Congregational Church of Elgin.

For complete story: Chicago Tribune, Carla Grosch, Lawyer to Minister

Alumni profile: Education and positive change go hand in hand for Ce Cole Dillion, Inquiry magazine

If campus diversity happens one student at a time, Ce Cole Dillon was one of the students who helped make it happen at Northwestern when she entered as a fresman nearly 35 years ago, after graduating from Bloom High School in Chicago Heights in 1974.

For complete story: Inquiry, Northwestern alumni magazine, Ce Cole Dillon

A new tune: Accident leads opera star to aid others’ recovery, Chicago Tribune

Last fall when Deborah Darr put on her red wig and stepped onto the Lyric Opera stage as Paquette in “Candide,” the 46-year-old was recreating a starring role she originated 20 years before on Broadway. Few audience members could guess that it was a bittersweet moment for Darr, representing a personal triumph and a fond farewell to the theater.

For complete story: Chicago Tribune, Deborah Darr, Turning Point


Here are some additional profiles. If you’d like to see more, just ask.

Beyond the crystal ball: psychic Sonia Choquette, Chicago Tribune

Business and volunteer leader: Sandy Schwan, Inquiry magazine

Turning point for social services administrator, Chicago Tribune

“Biosphere 2” scientist: Linda Leigh, Chicago Tribune

Sister Miriam Wilson, prison chaplain, Salt magazine

Edwina Gately’s ministry to women prostitutes, Catholic Digest

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