Austin (23) is from a small city in East-Central Illinois. Before starting his one-year-long grad program at Medill in June, 2017, he worked as a science writer and videographer for a supercomputing center one hour north in Champaign-Urbana. He earned his bachelors in journalism from the University of Illinois there, holding various editing positions at the student newspaper The Daily Illini, including interim editor-in-chief. He also interned for the physical sciences desk of UIUC's public affairs office, the Steve Long lab and WILL radio.
He's on the interactive storytelling track at Medill and hopes to allow readers to interact with scientific data in his stories, particularly with maps. He's interested in remote sensing, climate models, ethanol, and science/cyberinfrastructure investments. Austin's a 3D printing hobbiest and frequent pulp sci-fi reader. 2017 was also the first year since 2009 where he hasn't worked at least a handful of weekends at his parent's steakhouse in his hometown.