Halley joins team at Itemizer-Observer

Magnus, the border collie, sits alert.

Since coming onto the reporting staff of the Itemizer-Observer a little over a month ago, I have felt incredibly welcomed by the community, making the transition into this job so much easier; everyone has been patient and accommodating to me, helping me find my footing here.

I grew up in Hillsboro and moved to Monmouth in 2013, where I attended Western Oregon University, graduating in 2015 with a degree in English/Linguistics and writing.

During my time at Western I wrote for the college newspaper, the Journal, which is what first piqued my interest in journalism and using my passion for writing as a way to tell a story.

Growing up, I dabbled in sports like soccer, softball, and gymnastics, and for about three years, practiced Tae-Kwon-Do. During high school I ran cross-country and track, and joined the swimming team for a season.

In college is where I found the sport that has since taken hold of my life: rock climbing.

When I’m not at work, I’m climbing — outside if the weather’s nice, or inside, either at Western’s gym, where they have a 60-foot climbing wall, or at various gyms around Portland and Eugene.

It’s a sport that has taught me a lot about myself and has brought a number of incredible people into my life, including my fiance, Nolan. There are fewer things that make me happier than getting to climb, and I have such a deep sense of gratitude toward it.

If you’ve played sports or have become so immersed in something you’re passionate about, you’ll understand. These kinds of things aren’t hobbies or something you do for a season: they’re who you are.

I live in Monmouth with Nolan and our 1-year-old Border Collie, Magnus.

Nolan is working and attending Western for psychology, where he will graduate in December with his bachelor’s degree and plans to continue on to his master’s. Last summer, we got engaged, and will be getting married this summer in August.

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