WNPR

David DesRoches

Reporter

David finds and tells stories about education and learning for WNPR f.m. and dot org. He also teaches journalism and media literacy to high school students, and he starts the year with the lesson: “Conflicts of interest: Real or perceived? Both matter.” He thinks he has a sense of humor, and he also finds writing in the third person awkward, but he does it anyway. 

He's won some awards. He's lost some, too. Winning is better, but neither really matter. What matters is the work. Here are some of his stories that matter: special education; toxic PCBs in schools; hate crime; environmental damages

When he was a kid, people told him life isn't fair. He still doesn't buy it. Consequently, he could be biased toward fairness, which manifests in different ways, such as fighting inequality and inequity. He is an activist for truth and for transparency. He tries to paraphrase smart mentors but he often paraphrases Jeffrey Lebowski instead. If you have a problem with his stories or his bias, talk to him. Call him out. If you’re right, he’ll be better for it. If you’re wrong, you at least got something off your chest. 

His true passion is music. It’s in his veins, always there. Kurt Vonnegut, a lifelong atheist, once said that “…virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician,” and that “music is the proof of the existence of God.” It turns out, a lot of journalists are musicians. If they’re not, they’re likely huge music fans. David's both. He also loves to cook, woodwork, write fiction (never for WNPR) and will probably continue writing about his trip to Ethiopia for his entire life (it was over ten years ago).

He loves being in the studio and being creative with sound. Radio is right up his alley. He enjoys telling people’s stories, holding the powerful to account, FOIA’ing and data diving, eating poorly and trying to find words to end this bio. How about an onomatopoeia? Bam. 

Ways to Connect

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's Board of Regents are moving forward with a plan to dramatically restructure the state's community colleges. The board approved the proposal on Thursday, which would consolidate the 12 schools into one system with 12 campuses.

The system has been struggling financially for years as state funds have dwindled. The move is expected to save about $28 million dollars annually through staff cuts and resource sharing.

WNPR/David DesRoches

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

David DesRoches / WNPR


On a cold December morning, fifth-grade teams at Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford are making skyscrapers.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

House Republicans are coming under fire for their proposal to tax the cost of tuition for graduate students. Critics fear that if the bill becomes law, only the wealthy would be able to afford to get advanced degrees.

Kevin the turkey hangs out beside the road near the DMV in Old Wethersfield.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Take a drive through Old Wethersfield and he's hard to miss.

Mark Moz / Flickr

Across the country, teachers are being shut out of some housing markets due to their low wages. That's according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. But the outlook in Connecticut is a little better.

Wikimedia Commons

The idea for a gender-neutral bathroom at Three Rivers Community College has been on the table for at least two years by one account, and up to four by others.

David DesRoches / WNPR

As the state prepares to consolidate its community colleges, the system’s president has been fielding some tough questions from faculty and students in public forums.

University of Hartford.

A former philosophy professor from the University of Hartford is suing the school after he said he was stalked by a student with a mental illness for seven years, and the university failed to protect him.

Central Connecticut State University.

Carolina Riollano flew into Florida on a humanitarian plane that was packed with people. Most of them were elderly or ill. But Riollano’s reason for leaving her home was different. She came here to learn.

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

The head of a national organization to end housing discrimination believes that the recent harassment case at the University of Hartford could violate the Fair Housing Act. 

Students from the University of Hartford have been taking to social media over the university's handling of a dispute between roommates that ended in an arrest.

Damaged houses in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When Serafin Mendez heard that thousands of students from the University of Puerto Rico wouldn't be able to continue their education because of hurricane-related damage to the campus, he decided to do something.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be able to pay in-state tuition rates to attend a state college.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The state's 12 community colleges could become consolidated into a single school by mid-2019. The 12 campuses would remain open, but would be renamed the Connecticut Community College.

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