She holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a master’s degree in communication from Eastern New Mexico University.
She’s reported on religion for more than a decade and has written for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. She’s also covered education, sports, features and general assignment stories and has been trained as a multimedia and online journalist. Her stories have been published nationally through the Associated Press and the Religion News Service.
Over the years Simmons has won several statewide and national journalism awards including the 2009 American Academy of Religion’s first place award for best in-depth reporting on religion, and the 2011 Religion Newswriters Association’s Schachern Award for Online Religion Section of the Year. She’s also been recognized as a local “community hero” for her former work as a religion reporter in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2014 she was named one of the 50 people renewing Spokane.
She also works as a freelance writer for the Spokesman-Review, the Religion News Service and Insights Into American Religion.