Welcome to my site. I’m a freelance journalist and writer who mainly covers sports and culture, though I write on a wide range of topics, including media criticism, politics, or things happening in my hometown of Austin, TX.
I graduated from Florida State University in 2002 with a double major in Classical Civilizations and Greek/Latin. I immediately moved to Austin and began graduate school in the Classics department at the University of Texas. After earning my Masters in Latin Literature in 2004, I transferred into the history department at UT. Many years later and without a PhD in hand, I decided academia was not for me and decided to leave graduate school and pursue writing full time.
Over the last few years, I have written extensively on the intersection of sports and violence off the field, especially college football and sexual assault. My first book is titled Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape (published by Akashic Books on September 6, 2016).
My work has appeared in ESPN Magazine, New York Times Magazine, the Texas Observer, Austin Woman, and Bitch Magazine. I’ve published pieces at Sports Illustrated, BuzzFeed, Texas Monthly, and Vice Sports, among others. My work gained national attention in August 2015 when writing for Texas Monthly, Dan Solomon and I broke open the story about a Baylor football player on trial for sexual assault, a case known by only a few in the community and not reported in the media for nearly two years. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch gave us the Halberstam Award that year for for sticking it to power
In 2016, espnW selected me as an IMPACT25 honoree alongside women such as Simone Biles, Brenda Tracy, Katie Ledecky, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Hillary Clinton. About my work, Kavitha Davidson wrote: “Her work has directly served fans, students, players, coaches, university administrators, law enforcement officials and fellow journalists by putting all of us on notice for the myriad hypocrisies and injustices to which we contribute in big-time, big-money sports, particularly when it comes to sexual violence. And while it’s also nearly impossible to narrow down her impact, Jessica has perhaps most meaningfully served survivors in a culture that tends to discard them altogether.”
I was the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Media Award given annually by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault to individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes in the fight to eliminate sexual violence in Texas.
In 2017, my feature story for BuzzFeed titled “Some Days The Bomb Goes Off: The Ballerina Who Accused Her Instructor Of Sexual Assault,” took third place in the category of “Feature Story” at the inaugural RALLY awards, presented by Raliance and The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which honor the highest level of journalistic achievement in coverage of sexual violence.
I also love romance novels and try to write about them as often as possible. I have participated in activist work around reproductive justice in Texas, most notably as one of the many organizers during the pro-choice protests at the Texas capitol in the summer of 2013.
At this site, you can also check out some of my media appearances and find out where I am on social media. I also love to do speaking engagements. Additionally, I encourage you to check out my published writing as well as my blog.
Finally, if you’d like to contact me, you can always tweet at me or email me. If you are interested in having me keynote, be on or moderate a panel, talk to your journalism class, etc., please contact me and let’s talk about it.