Marla enjoys helping students find and cultivate their own voices as thoughtful writers and digital storytellers.
She has been a photojournalist for the past 18 years. For Marla, words and visuals go hand in hand. She wants her students to learn to see the world as a photographer, looking for details, significant moments, metaphors and unspoken truths. She has worked for newspapers, including the Albuquerque Journal, the Austin American-Statesman, the Gainesville Sun, and the Palm Beach Post. She has loved the daily opportunities she’s had to cover amazing and important stories about people who never intended to be in the spotlight, including a brave young widow who simultaneously gave birth to a son and made funeral plans for her husband who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. She also covered the story of a hopeful Cuban ballerina, who defected to the United States and began a new life in the United States at Joy Junction, a homeless shelter in Albuquerque’s South Valley.
Although most of her work has been created for local readers, she has had work published in various publications including the New York Times, People and Sunset, as well as aired on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She has also been honored to receive awards for her photojournalism from the New Mexico Press Association, Inland Press Association, and the National Press Photographers Association.
Writing and Photography
M.A. in Photography from Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
B.A. in English from Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
Professional Certifications, Endorsements, and Awards
Contributing artist and presenter in the Women in Creativity show,
Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, 2016
Yearly and monthly photojournalism awards, New Mexico Press Association,
Inland Press Association, National Press Photographers Association,
Florida Associated Press, 2000-2017
New Mexico Press Association presenter, 2005
Eddie Adams Workshop student, 2001
Farrell Merit Scholarship, Central Washington University, 1994