One of my favorite things about my career at the TH has been the unique and talented individuals who have worked in our newsroom over the years.

As a small daily paper, we’re a stepping stone for many people, launching them into careers — sometimes in journalism, and sometimes in a wholly different direction.

This summer I caught wind of some interesting tidbits about three former TH writers I am proud to say I worked with, and I thought I’d share their news with TH readers who might remember them.


At the top of the list is Ann Friedman, an extraordinary woman and gifted writer who grew up in Dubuque and spent a summer at the TH as an intern in 2001, just a year after she’d won our Scholastic Journalist Award in high school.

I would guess Ann is the TH intern who went on to the most fame — so far. For sure she’s the only one whose podcast I listen to regularly. Ann’s written for New York magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Guardian, among others. She’s been a magazine editor and does public speaking across the country. She co-hosts the podcast “Call Your Girlfriend.” And this summer, the book she wrote with her co-host and bestie, Aminatou Sow, “Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close,” came out and is already a best seller. I just got my copy, and I’m excited to dig into the beautiful minds of these incredible women.

I was happy to see Ann early this year when she returned to Dubuque for a special occasion: Her parents, Terry and Paula Friedman, were the recipients of the Telegraph Herald First Citizen Award.

It’s the parents here in Dubuque who keep me up-to-date on the next writer I want to mention. I love to get the latest on the amazing career of Erin Coyle from her parents, Mike and Kathy Coyle.

Erin first came on my radar when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft-cell form of cancer that developed in her thigh muscle, as a young teenager. She missed nearly a year of school, but went to recover and even dance ballet again. Before she was 20, she had written a book about cancer for children, and we wrote stories about this amazing teenager. When I next saw Erin, after she’d finished college, I hired her and she became our city hall reporter in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Erin went on to pursue a career in academia, and this year, the earned the Louisiana State University President’s Award recognizing a faculty member for extraordinary classroom teaching.

“Dr. Coyle is truly one of the most influential professors here at the Manship School. She constantly encourages us to think outside of the box when discussing media law and how the First Amendment influences our future careers as mass communication professionals,” said Amie Martinez, a master’s student in Coyle’s Legal Problems & The Mass Media class. Erin points to her years here as a journalist for igniting her passion for freedom of expression.

This month, she’s headed for her next adventure: A tenured teaching post in the journalism department at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The other former THer on my mind lately is a more recent alum. Will Garbe covered politics in 2015 and 2016 — the latter a pretty crazy political year, you may recall. One highlight when he was here was when then-candidate Donald Trump came to town and sparred with Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, and ejected him from the Grand River Center. Will caught the exchange on video, which was sought after by every national news outlet.

I knew Will to be a faith-filled young man, and we swapped stories about growing up Catholic. Eventually, he returned to his home state of Ohio and continued to work as a journalist.

This summer, though, I heard from Will, asking if I would provide a reference for him as he pursued a different path. I was happy to do it. This summer he let me know that he has been accepted by the Jesuits for this fall’s novitiate.

That’s a first for me: Journalism doesn’t often pave the way toward religious life! But I couldn’t be prouder of Will, he seems incredibly happy.

Of course, plenty of former TH writers are still working beats and hitting daily deadlines, and I am proud of them too. I appreciate the wide array of talented folks who have called the TH home for time.

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