CPR News Reporter and Producer
Sarah Hughes

Education: Bachelor’s degree, world literature, University of California-Santa Cruz; special studies in Spanish Literature, University of Alcala de Henares, Spain; special studies in African literature,University of Cape Town, South Africa; Master’s degree in journalism, University of California-Berkeley.Professional Background: Sarah, who is fluent in Spanish, worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher in California for the Teach for America program from 1995-1997. In 1997, she entered the Master of Journalism program at UC Berkeley and studied under former New York Times South American bureau chief Lydia Chavez and Bill Drummond, founding editor of NPR’s “Morning Edition.” A month after completing the program, she boarded a plane for Alaska, where she spent the next year and a half covering stories about natural resource debates and local politics for two local public radio stations there. From 2001 to early 2007, Sarah worked as a general assignment reporter with a special focus on education and immigration for WAMU in Washington D.C. In 2007, she moved to Colorado and reported on immigration for Aspen Public Radio. In 2008 and 2009, she worked as a Denver-based freelance reporter, traveling to Peru and Argentina for international media exchange and research projects, and founded a radio project for Colorado teenagers, called Colorado Youth News.Awards, Fellowships, Media Exchange Programs and Reporting Conferences: Socrates Society Fellowship, The Aspen Institute, Summer 2009; PCI-Media Impact International Exchange Project in Peru, Spring 2008; Philip Merrill College of Journalism Fellowship for Journalists in Child and Family Policy, 2003; Best Spot News Coverage, Washington D.C. AIR Awards, “D.C. After the Control Board,” 2001; Reporting on Immigration Conference, Harvard University, 1999. In her own words …Why I became a journalist: I became a journalist because I enjoy working for the public and I enjoy researching community issues; journalism gives me the opportunity to pursue both of these passions.Why I got into radio: I started the UC Berkeley Master of Journalism program with the goal of learning how to write for magazines. I took a radio class on a whim. My very first assignment was to capture the sounds of a community sing-along at a local Irish pub. By the end of the evening, I had captured some magical interviews and songs on tape, and I was hooked. That was back in 1997, and I’ve been working in radio ever since.How I ended up at CPR: I have covered several education and immigration stories for CPR as a freelance reporter. I also know CPR through my work as director of the Colorado Youth News (CYN) project. CYN is a radio storytelling project for teenagers, and several of the pieces that I produced have aired on CPR. [ Previous ] [ Back to List ] [ Next ]

  • Photographer Michael Forseberg spent three years criss-crossing the plains for hisbook of photographs– called “Great Plains. America’s Lingering Wild.” He spoke with Ryan Warner in 2009.
  • We hear from Bob Root. In his book, “Following Isabella”, Root tours the same places in Colorado that the Victorian traveler Isabella Bird toured back in the 1800s. Isabella Bird visited the Front Range, before Colorado was even a state.
  • There’s a big change in the works for Colorado teachers. Under a new state law, teachers will have to start proving every year they are “effective” or their jobs could be at stake. What counts as “effective” though? Well, it’s complicated, and the state still has to figure how to measure teachers’ work.
  • Craig Childs, a Colorado nature writer, shares details from his collection of essays about encounters with all types of animals, from the mountain lion to the mosquito. He speaks with Ryan Warner in 2008 interview.
  • The characters in Schanbacher’s book are loners who hit the road to escape family, friends and lovers. Schanbacher shares some of their stories in this 2007 interview with Ryan Warner.
  • The state’s largest school district has had to make some dramatic cuts in the face of a roughly fifty million dollar budget gap.
  • In Denver, police have put up 80 surveillance cameras around town and this summer they’re putting up about 30 more.
  • Thirty five children in Colorado’s child welfare system died between 2007 and 2009. A new law aims to help prevent further deaths. It creates a child protection ombudsman office. Ryan Warner speaks with Senator Linda Newell, a Littleton Democrat, who sponsored the bill.
  • The “Body Worlds” exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science showcases dozens of preserved, human bodies and it’s been a big hit with educators. About 45,000 school children have visited since the exhibit opened in March.
  • The Niebla family, of Basalt, is a strange position, but not an uncommon one for immigrant families. They came from Mexico.  And today, Mom is legally in this country. But, dad is not. Their two daughters are legal. But their son, Edgar isn’t.
  • On this Memorial Day, we listen back to a conversation about the book “Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives”. It tells the story of Major Steve Beck, now Lieutenant Colonel Beck, during the several years that he worked as a casualty assistance officer with the U.S. military.
  • Every day, during its summer season, Number 18 hauls passenger cars– filled with tourists– up and over La Veta Pass,  from Alamosa to La Veta, then back again.
  • Sarah Hughes takes to us to a special graduation party for ten high school students who are all refugees. They came to Colorado just a few years ago and didn’t speak much English. Now, they’re on the way to college.
  • The state assemblies this past weekend supplied a jolt of energy to the campaigns of insurgent candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties. But those campaigns have a long way to go to translate the confidence of party loyalists into winning votes in the August primary.