Wendy Redal’s life at the moment is an exercise in trying to prove that being in the middle of things doesn’t mean you’re boring.
Chronologically, she’s smack in the middle of her lifespan and ruthlessly fighting mid-section spread; she lives in the middle of the country in Colorado, despite being a 3rd-generation Washington state native; she’s raising two kids who are mid-way through growing up; and perpetually seeking that elusive balance between her professional/intellectual and domestic/familial selves (with the artistic/creative self always nosing in to bump any tenuous semblance of equipoise out of whack). Politically, she’s center-left, with a strong nod to the complexity in political, theoretical and theological arguments that mitigate easy positions on either pole, or, for that matter, in the middle.
Wendy has been firmly ensconced in progressive politics since she attended her first rally for Hubert Humphrey as a 6-year-old in 1968. She doorbelled for Jimmy Carter on Halloween in 1976, though she never got the privilege of wearing the peanut costume. In 1978 she was elected U.S. Senator to Girls Nation and has regretted ever since that she did not end up pursuing a longer stint in the capital. She comes from a family line of labor Democrats and social-justice-oriented Protestants, strong influences on her own “existential idealism”: we had best hold hope for the future, because the alternative is worse.
Toward that end, Wendy believes in the power of ideas and in the importance of language to frame them. She is a student of communication, particularly via the media, and is driven to understand how symbols and culture play a role in furthering or inhibiting a genuinely democratic society. That intellectual arena was the backdrop against which she obtained a Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, following a CU master’s degree in journalism and media research, and a bachelors’ degree in history from Seattle Pacific University, where she minored in political science and English.
Wendy is currently a freelance writer and editor and often teaches in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado. She was formerly program coordinator for CU’s Center for Environmental Journalism and retains a strong interest in how media cover environmental issues, and how audiences engage them. Wendy is also an avid traveler and tour coordinator and blogs on eco-travel at http://blog.gaiam.com/.
She lives in Boulder with her husband and children, two cats and a big Alaskan malamute.