Ashley Hennefer, M.A.

Writer + Researcher


Ashley Hennefer, M.A.

I'm an award-winning journalist with a passion for multimedia reporting about the maker movement, global culture, digital humanities and innovations in technology.


When Emergency Alerts Are Written at a College Reading Level, Who Gets Left Behind?

On October 1, New Yorkers with smartphones were jolted by a collective ping, accompanied by a text message from the National Weather Service warning that the high winds of Hurricane Joaquin were imminent. Though Joaquin has since veered off to Bermuda as a tropical storm, high surfs and historic levels of tidal flooding have devastated the Carolinas, with more weather alerts popping up daily.

YL 33: The First Female Ham Radio Operators, and their Awesome Legacy

Literacy, in its many forms, has given the marginalized a way to speak and participate in a system that previously prevented them from doing so. And while the printing press revolutionized the way writing was exchanged and shared with the world, the invention of radio as entertainment, emergency, and communication technology had a similar effect on oral storytelling.
The Mary Sue Link to Story

On the map: Cover story

It’s not uncommon these days to see Reno linked to high-profile projects. Last year’s Tesla announcement about the development of its $5 billion Gigafactory made waves throughout the global technology industry, and subsequent developments—like Apple’s expanding data center—solidified Northern Nevada’s new reputation as an up-and-coming region for innovation.
Reno News & Review Link to Story

Teaching Your Kid to Read? Let Her Play Minecraft

The first time linguist and game studies theorist James Gee played a video game, he failed many times over. But instead of giving up, he merrily persevered, choosing to exercise “learning muscles” he hadn’t worked out since his grad school days. “Lots of young people pay lots of money to engage in an activity that is hard, long, and complex,” he realized.

Ham sweet ham

Then and now: Ham operator Steve Johnson displays a photo of a younger himself. In the past 100 years, human communications have changed rapidly, arguably more than any other technology available. As a society we’ve transitioned, within a matter of decades, from handwritten letters to telegraphs to phone calls to instant messaging to tiny mobile devices that enable us to access almost anyone anywhere.
Reno News & Review Link to Story

Space odyssey

Kay Radzik Warren, Reno’s new ambassador to outer space, is a petite woman, poised and articulate, with long hair and glasses. Picturing her in a spacesuit is strange—not for her lack of knowledge, ambition or passion, but because it means picturing her far away on Mars, never to return to Earth. Warren is one of 100 global finalists selected for the Mars One project: a one-way trip to Mars to establish a settlement and conduct research.
Reno News & Review Link to Story

Space cadets

High school is intended to prepare students for the “real” world, but for students at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT), one project prepares them for what’s possible beyond the real world—space travel. This was the fifth year AACT participated in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, a public event in which students from colleges and high schools around the world compete and design their own Mars rover.
Reno News & Review Link to Story

How to Grow Your Social Media Presence—Even When You Think You’ve Tried Everything

Social media provides wonderful–and often free! –tools to help you grow your business. But it requires time, patience and strategy to use effectively. And sometimes, when it’s technical and tedious, the pay-off is minimal. But don’t despair; there are plenty of ways to develop an engaged fan base with potential to grow.
Socially Stacked Link to Story

7 Ways to Make Your Blog More Beautiful and Effective at Capturing Leads

Making a website beautiful is both a science and an art. While there’s no perfect formula for creating the best website that appeals to everyone (although many people certainly try), there are steps you can take to make your website more engaging and effective at driving existing and potential readers to your content.
Socially Stacked Link to Story

Air Waves

Reno's new progressive radio station is soon to launch.
Reno News & Review Link to Story

The Occupied Web: Habits Of Cyberactivists

This is part one of an ongoing research investigation about the use of technology during large-scale political movements. In 2010, a revolution erupted in the Middle East. The fire of revolution quickly spread throughout the world. But what seemed like an immediate blaze of civil unrest was in reality a slow burn—the result of months, even years, of collaboration and preparation, and much of it took place on the internet.
Urban Times Link to Story

The New Social Network: Diasporas, Tech Tribes and Digital Natives

Whenever a revamped social networking project comes along—like MySpace’s recently announced overhaul —new conversations arise about what we love and don’t love about the social networks we use and have come to rely on. Mainstream networks are starting to feel the heat, especially as sites like Facebook launch new ways for users to pay for services to increase exposure of posts, as Matt Whiting covered this week .
Urban Times Link to Story


Ashley Hennefer, M.A.

I'm a writer, researcher and data scientist based in Northern Nevada. I completed my Master's degree in Literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Currently, I work for ShortStack, an Inc. 500 company. I founded in 2013 and remain as editorial director. I'm a contributing writer to publications including GOOD, The Mary Sue and the Reno News & Review. In 2012, I was awarded Journalist of Merit by the Nevada Press Association.

I'm passionate about research, writing, data science, travel and technology. I'm happiest when I can bring all of my passions together. In my (limited) spare time, I'm a homesteader, artist and ham radio enthusiast.

If you're interested in collaborating, please get in touch! I'm available for contract writing, reporting, public speaking and research.



  • Data Science
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Collection
  • Microsoft Suite
  • Adobe Suite
  • Publication Management
  • Content Creation
  • Web Design
  • WordPress
  • Editing
  • Writing