Hi There

hands-color-smaller_square_FotorI’m a freelance writer with ten years of experience in non-profit PR. My work has been published in/on Atlas Obscura, On Wisconsin Magazine, Psychopomp Magazine, BRAVA Magazine, Discovery, and several trade and corporate outlets (under the name Sandra Knisely).

I’m originally from Wisconsin, and I now live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after spending some time in Europe. I have a special interest in stories about historical women, folk traditions, artists with a mission, off-beat entrepreneurs, and the complexity of tourism. I’m also at work on a novel about sports, religion, and turtle soup.

Scroll down for links to my recent projects and testimonials. Oh, and here’s my resume.

Contact: Click here. Twitter: @SKBarnidge. Headshot: Dina Lee. Parrot shot: A stranger in Granada, Spain.

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Freelance

Services include web and magazine copy, branded content, academic book editing, and manuscript preparation. Click here for tear sheets.

Recent/selected clips

Beethoven’s Detective

How to Blend in at an Alpine Krampus Parade

The 1920s Women Who Fought for the Right to Travel Under Their Own Names

Around the World in Eight Badgers

Queen of Kilts

The Warlord’s Biographer

Fateful Fight: The Fall of a Boxing Dynasty

Lifting from the Center: Tribal Partnership Rethinks Community Health

Recruiting a New Class of EMTs: Rural Wisconsin Girls

Artful Hacking: A Poet Laureate Considers the Role of Computation in the Humanities

Printing Without Boundaries: New Uses for 3D Printers

Keeping Global Women “In the Know”

Projects

Digital historian for Alumni Park at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, coming soon.

Statewide outreach on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read a selection of stories and an email newsletter aimed at state legislators and opinion leaders.

Assistant editor on The Communication Crisis in America, And How to Fix It, available now.

Regular freelancer for On Wisconsin magazine and former writer/strategist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Academic

I hold a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I’ve conducted peer-reviewed research on “the narrative of place,” including urban/rural tensions, class identities, in-group/out-group conflicts, collective memory, and control over historical narratives.

Book Editing

The Communication Crisis in America, And How to Fix It
I was invited to serve as assistant editor on this volume of research and policy recommendations, which was inspired by a report we compiled for the Federal Communications Commission in 2012.

Peer-Reviewed

Barnidge, M., Gunther, A., Kim, J., Hong, Y., Perryman, M., Tay, S. K., Knisely, S. (forthcoming). “Politically motivated selective exposure and perceived media bias.” Communication Research. Advance online publication.

McLaughlin, B.; Davis, C.; Coppini, D.; Kim, Y.M.; Knisely, S.; McLeod, D. (2015) “When Women Attack.” Politics and Life Sciences, 34(1). pp. 44-56.

Robinson, S.; Knisely, S.; Schwartz, M. (2014) “A news negotiation of a state’s history: Collective memory of the 2011 Wisconsin protests.” Journalism Studies, 1-18.c.

Master’s Thesis

Knisely, S. “Division in Dairyland: Community structure, social identity and news frames during the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election.” Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin. 2013. Read it here.

Conference Presentations

“Darth Vader in Dairyland: Constructing political out-groups via digital cartoons.” Paper presented at Communication Crossroads: A Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. Madison, Wisconsin. March 2013.

“A news negotiation of a state’s history: Collective memory of the 2011 Wisconsin protests.” Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference. Chicago, Illinois. August 2012.

Teaching Evaluations

Journalism 202: Mass Media Practices 
Led a section of 15 students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison through an intensive six-credit course on news writing, multimedia, and web design.
Spring 2013: 4.74/5 (department TA average: 4.29)
Spring 2012: 4.51/5 (department TA average: 4.36)
Fall 2011: 4.62/5 (department TA average: 4.15)

Journalism 646: Mass Media and the Consumer
Sole teaching assistant for a 110-student course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on advertising history, basic economics, and marketing research techniques. Received the highest student evaluation score ever given to a teaching assistant in the class.
Fall 2012: 4.76/5 (department TA average: 4.19)

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Testimonials

“Sandra Knisely is a writer of exceptional talent — an energetic and diligent researcher who uses crisp, clever prose to produce stories that are insightful and moving. I’ve worked with her on magazine articles of varying lengths — from just a few lines to thousands of words — and she consistently delivers outstanding material on time. Her article “Boxing Shadows” in the fall 2014 issue of Badger Insider was one of the most popular stories that magazine has published. She’s a natural storyteller and an editor’s delight.” 

John Allen, associate publisher of On Wisconsin Magazine & managing director at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

“I’ve known Sandra for several years, and I was thrilled when she joined our office as a content strategist. Sandra understands and excels at all aspects of editorial content — from planning to content creation to analytics to distribution. She stays informed about the issues within our field and beyond, and that knowledge allows her to advise on both specific details and the big picture. She is incredibly bright and insightful, and she helps teams to view both day-to-day work and unexpected challenges creatively. Rest assured that if you work with Sandra, you will learn — and laugh — every day.”

Cindy Foss, former co-editor of On Wisconsin Magazine

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sandy during our time at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and more generally as a colleague at UW-Madison. In her work for the Institute, Sandy led the way in revamping our social media practices and creative communications campaigns. She not only tackled writing projects and met deadlines with precision and reliability, but she also produced science stories and content with a rare combination of wit and accessibility. Sandy has remained one of my most trusted colleagues whom I consult with regularly to get honest feedback and guidance on writing projects, public relations, and communications strategies. Her strength in translating larger cultural, scientific, and political trends with alacrity enables her to work expertly in a variety of contexts and outlets. I highly recommend Sandy and am grateful to continue to learn from her.”

Marianne Spoon, director of communications at the Center for Healthy Minds

“Sandy is one of the most talented and prolific science writers I have worked with during my more than 18 years in university communications. She can get to the heart of complex topics in ways that are creative, informative and refreshingly free of insider jargon. Sandy showed strong initiative throughout her four-year tenure with Engineering External Relations, and in 2010 almost singlehandedly developed a social media presence for the college that now stands as one of the best on campus. She’s a quick study who always seems ready to take on the next challenge, whether it be unfamiliar research turf or emerging technologies. She would be a great asset to any news or communications environment.”

Brian Mattmiller, chief communications officer at the Morgridge Institute for Research

“I was lucky to have been able to work with Sandy for several years in the Engineering External Relations (EER) office at the UW-Madison College of Engineering. Talented, focused, knowledgeable, organized and on top of all that, fun to work with. Sandy brought enthusiasm, energy, and excellence to EER, and I sure wish she still worked here!”

Phil Biebl, senior artist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
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