Jackie Mader is Mississippi bureau chief. She covers preK-12 education primarily in the rural South. Her work has appeared in the The Denver Post, the Sun Herald and The Clarion-Ledger, as well as on Time.com, The Atlantic and NBCNews.com. She was the winner of the 2013 Front Page Award for In-Depth Newspaper reporting from The Newswomen's Club of New York, as well as the 2014 Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award from the New York Press Club. Her most notable award, however, came from The California Dried Plum Association when she was 13-years-old and won a recipe contest for her "Puffy Plum Cake," which she dreamt up during a particularly uneventful summer vacation. She received a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to attending Columbia, she taught special education in Charlotte, N.C. and trained first-year teachers in the Mississippi Delta.