Andrea Valdez, a Houstonian, received a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and received her MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2006. Two days after graduating from Medill, she began working at Texas Monthly as a fact-checker. In addition to dutifully guarding the magazine's integrity, she wrote more than forty columns in a series titled "The Manual," a short lesson on activities every Texan should know how to do.
Valdez moved to the digital side of editorial in 2011, and in 2012 she became the deputy web editor of texasmonthly.com. During her tenure, the site's traffic has more than doubled and Texas Monthly's social media audiences have more than quadrupled. She has helped launch two verticals—TM Daily Post and TMBBQ.com—and had a hand in a major redesign of texasmonthly.com in 2013. She lives in Austin.
Some people call it a quartoseptcentennial, or a septaquintaquinquecentennial (seriously), but you’d better save your breath. You’ll need it on this wide-ranging 6,000-mile voyage commemorating Texas’s 175th birthday. It starts in Glen Rose, ends in Austin, and stops along the way at 175 places that tell the story of the state, from the grassy field in La Porte where independence was won to the parking garage in Dallas where the Super Bowl was dreamed up; from the Austin dorm room where Dell Inc. was born to the college hall in Houston where Barbara Jordan learned to debate; from the hotel in San Antonio where Lydia Mendoza recorded “Mal Hombre” to the—well, you get the idea. And you’d better get started. The road awaits . . .
Update your wardrobe, slurp down oysters, and nab novel curios along the Capital City’s hippest byway.