Andrea Valdez can tell you a few things about journalism. First, she knows how to expertly check a complicated, multisourced feature story for Texas Monthly, because she worked as a fact-checker for four years. She can also explain how to two-step, hunt dove, and play 42, because she reported and wrote the popular Manual column, a handy guide to being a better Texan, for more than five years. (My favorite? How to field-dress a deer.) And I’ve yet to meet anyone who can explain digital content strategies and search engine optimization and social media reach more clearly than she can. That’s because Andrea started working full-time on our website in 2011, helping relaunch texasmonthly.com in 2013 and creating destinations such as the Daily Post and tmbbq.com along the way. As recognition for her leadership and vision, Andrea was recently promoted to editor of texasmonthly.com, where she is in charge of our digital presence.
None of this surprises her friends and colleagues, who know her as an insightful editor with high standards but an easygoing personality, even on deadline (another editor once gave her a sign that reads “You Are a Badass,” which pretty well sums it up). A native of Houston—she is an expert at rolling down Miller Hill—Andrea graduated from St. Pius X High School, then earned a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Two days after she graduated from Northwestern, in 2006, she began her career at the magazine, and she has been a key member of our editorial team ever since. In the coming year, look for her to lead our site to new heights, not only in the types of stories we cover but also in the way we cover them. Of course, you can also keep up with her on Twitter (@andreamvaldez) but don’t think she has left print journalism behind entirely. She may be fully in charge of our website, but she just signed a contract with the University of Texas Press to write a book-length version of her Manual articles, which proves that she knows how to enjoy the best of both worlds.