Journalism

My intention as a freelance journalist is to encourage compassion, open-mindedness and an unrelenting fascination for life through the prism of story-shaped communication.

My byline can be spotted in media outlets around the US and world, both in print and online, as a features correspondent, contributing writer or on the masthead.

Health and wellness. Mind-body-emotional fitness. Integrative medicine. Science and religion. Creativity and consciousness. Human potential. Sustainability. The natural world. Personal transformation. These are my journalistic focus areas, with a proclivity towards reporting on the good works of New Thought pioneers, as well as everyday people of extraordinary faith who help us envision a beautiful future.

Have the scoop on a bit of provocative news on the above or any other subject matter? Send me a lead and I’ll scope it out.

There is no one better at the art form of reporting than Gina. It’s the toughest writing in the world. It takes discipline, focus and talent to complete assignments with purpose and on deadline. Gina does it so well that people don’t even realize they’re being written for—it’s so smooth. I truly admire her skills and gifts.
—RICHARD SKRINJAR
District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr.’s Office
Gina has served as managing editor for 15+ years in charge of all content for our three monthly publications and two annual resource guides. Truthfully, we could NOT do what we do without Gina. She is most essential to our team.
—LYNN HOGAN WEBSTER
publisher, Pittsburgh Senior News
For years, Gina was a features correspondent for our magazine. I was consistently knocked out by her vivid, elegant prose and insightful interviewing skills. In times of creative drought, she's been a gifted muse, as well.
—SVEN HOSFORD
publisher, Point of Light

Sampling of Bylines

Gina Mazza

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On this sunny So-Cal day, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu graciously postpones his morning workout to ruminate about not just football—but life, and what’s most important in it.

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Doc Hawk’s final book offers clinically proven self-healing methods that can result in complete recovery from any disease.

Talk about knowing one’s dharma: from the time he was a young lad, David Hawkins has had a string of mystical experiences that compelled him to devote his life to nothing less than the upliftment of mankind . . .

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By her own facetious definition, Joan Borysenko is momentarily in the bardo of her worst nightmare. Hundreds of conference attendees await her scholarly wisdom on the language of the heart, and her PowerPoint just went kaput . . .

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Study on human genomes is music to the ears of anyone wishing to live with good health.
Can playing a musical instrument in any context — novice to virtuoso, rattle to Stradavarius —change our DNA? . . .

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An up-close-and-personal interview with Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu on his inner spiritual life.
It starts with heat: nearly a hundred degrees on the practice field at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe. The blares. Sweat rolls as the Black and Gold swelters through another workout in week one of training camp. Mercifully, the bull horn shrieks . . .

I come from a childhood where I would put every condiment imaginable on my cheeseburger just so I could feel more full. There’s value in that struggle.
— NFL superstar and Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu

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. . . savoring a delectable breakfast of pain au chocolat and mille-feuille layered cream puff pastry.

“Might as well indulge while I can!” I say to my friends. “Can’t get these back home in Pittsburgh.” But, wait. Ce n’est pas vrai. It’s just an excuse for my decadence. Fact: Anyone in Pittsburgh’s time zone can enjoy the same sweet delicacies, thanks to three authentic French bakeries in Allegheny County. . .

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A holistic handbook for animals, their people and the lives they share together.
With Americans spending a record $29.5 billion on their pets last year, it appears that our priorities have gone to the dogs—and cats. But I beg to differ . . .

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A sub-culture of food purists is emerging from the GMO soup to advocate tried-and-true dietary offerings that have the power to return us to a more natural, healthy diet.
While you may be hearing about these foods for the first time, they have all been around for thousands of years—which is more than we can say for sugary sports drinks and so-called nutrition bars. . .
Designing Home Lifestyles Magazine

I blurted out, ‘Why are you so happy?’ and Helen Keller said in her syncopated voice: ‘My child! It is because I live each day as if it were my last! Life is so full of glory!’ Was she damaged? Of course. Was she damaged? Not at all.
— renowned futurist Jean Houston, PhD

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Community of do-gooders step up to find lost pup, even without a reward of treats or praise.
Some stories just “beg” to be told. This is one of them. . .

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A more eco-friendly home is just beyond the threshold of your front door.
Incorporate green choices into the style and design of your space. . .

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Is food a sufficient source of nutrients today?
Fish oil. Probiotics. Psyllium. Omega-3. Folic acid. Spirulina. Whey protein. Ginko biloba. Lactoferrin. Glucosamine. The dietary and nutritional supplements aisles are exploding with more product offerings than ever. But despite their popularity, many experts remain skeptical about whether or not these supplements are even necessary.

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If ever I doubted the power of believing in what psychologist, scholar and human potential guru Jean Houston calls “a passion for the possible,” she disavowed me at once of such doubt with a simple request. “Run a scale for me,” she asks . . .

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Spring cleaning offers benefits far beyond just having a clean house.
Psychologists say that when we’re surrounded by clutter and confusion, our minds tend to race and our blood pressure elevates. Here are some tips for tidying up your “outer space,” which will help to clear your “inner space,” as well. . .

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Vignettes of five older adults who faithfully usher Pirates fans to their seats.
At the young age of 99, Phil Coyne says that he “gets more hugs and kisses now” than he ever has in his life. He’s not only old enough to remember when Babe Ruth hit his last home run at Forbes Field—he was actually one of the kids who ran after the ball that day.

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Ladies, if you could have a room in your home all for yourself, what would it be? An indulgent in-home spa? A reading nook? A craft corner?

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This season, try these tips, tools and hot new items to take your garden from blah to full bloom. . .

Need a pro-indy journalist to write your piece?

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Often controversial MD continues his quest to revision medicine by integrating modern science with ancient Native American healing.
Call him Coyote. Call him a shaman. Call him the sweat-lodge doc. Call him anything but conventional . . .

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Beth Corning, Dance Alloy’s Artistic Director, shares her vision of building a modern repertory touring company that showcases great choreographers.
I didn’t come to hear the Dance Alloy’s new artistic director wax rhapsodic about the ethereal nature of dance. (I’ll leave that to the dance critics.) My quest was for a vividly sketched reality check about the rigors of working as a professional dancer, especially in a pop culture prone to TV, videogames and computer screens . . .

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Dancer/choreographer Sreyashi Dey embodies the wisdom and tradition behind Odissi, a classical Indian dance style originally performed in second century BC as a sacred ritual.
If the elegant goddesses depicted in the great, ancient temples of India could break free of their stone internment and leap into being, what form would their human expressions take? . . .

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An essay about choreographing a life of personal relevance.
Up the marble staircase I skipped to the third floor of the Jenkins Arcade, straight into Jean Ralph’s Theatrical Shoppe. I was 11 and on the verge of an event that any young dancer anticipates with fervor: being fitted for my first pair of pointe shoes . . .

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Choosing the right ‘shroom for the right dish.
The selection of wild and rare mushrooms at grocery stores and farmers markets seems to have proliferated in recent years, causing otherwise sane people to shell out 20-plus dollars a pound to feature these exotic, earthy beauties in culinary main courses. And with all of this fungus among us, why not? Mushrooms are easy to cook, very good for you and have a deliciously rich, meaty taste that can serve as a great vegetarian substitute. . .

Doctors like me, we are the deviants of the culture, the ones who won’t lie down and take our [anti-psychotic drug] Risperdal.
— Cherokee shaman Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, author of "Coyote Medicine" and "Narrative medicine"

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One regular grass cutter finds time on the tractor steers her to creative meditation.
To heck with psychotherapists, self-help books and spa vacations. Who has time? I’ve found a low-cost, non-fact way to get in touch with my soul while checking a chore off my “to do” list. Meet my lawn tractor . . .

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Editing one’s own writing can be challenging. Learn how this writer was able to see the forest through the trees of editing her manuscript.
Tim arrives at my front door, chain saw in tow, just as the sun ascends the ancient black walnut tree in the backyard . . .

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I can do this, I can lay down power with my pen like the jet stream rolls a windstorm across the Great Plains . . .

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When it comes to fashion, it’s quite possible that green is the new black.
Not only is the manufacturing of eco-friendly clothing on the upswing, so is consumer interest in purchasing it. Yet with so many terms abounding—everything from certified organic, sustainable, Fair Trade and low-impact to local, ethical, artisanal and repurposed—it’s no wonder there’s still a lot of gray area between green and black. . .

I can see it now: my daughter, circa age 30, lying on a psychiatrist's couch, being told: “It appears that you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by an acute period of parental deception between the formative ages of birth and 6, from which you've developed a psychological propensity to believe that all men—particularly those bearing gifts—are merely a figment of your imagination.”
— from Gina's humor piece, “Bad Santa”

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Have you ever had a surprise insect encounter with a praying mantis? An inexplicable dog bond? Repeated day sightings of an owl? Dolphin fascination? Everyone has an animal tale to tell . . .  

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Will Knecht speaks about the power of silver linings hidden in the ashes of adversity.
As Will watched his 150-year-old family owned business’s flagship store and factory burn to the ground, destroying millions of dollars in equipment and materials, a sense of peace enveloped him. “It’s hard to explain because everything we had from a physical standpoint was now rubble but I knew the Lord would provide and I had a great confidence that we would be okay. In fact, I had a sense that we’d be stronger than ever as a team and as a company. That has come to pass.”

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The former New York Jets QB and Super Bowl MVP chronicles his life in new autobiography.
Namath quickly gained his “Broadway Joe” moniker after his charismatic mug was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In his first NFL season, he was named AFL Rookie of the Year, earning 18 touchdowns in 13 games. In his off time, Namath began to make TV appearances on the Dean Martin Show, The Tonight Show, the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and more— fueling his popularity beyond sports.

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. . . .They inspire us to overcome obstacles, “go to other side” and unite what might otherwise divide us.
Pittsburgh knows how to make the most of a stream, tributary or river around here—so much so that we claim the privileged status of the City of Bridges—even outpacing Manhattan, Paris and (second place titleholder) Venice, Italy. The city proper touts a total of 446 bridges, about 40 of which cross our three main rivers. . .

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This could be the year I finally confess to my children that I’ve been the co-conspirator of an elaborate, well-intentioned scheme to deceive them since birth. I fear being found out because it means the end of Christmas innocence for my daughter, 11, and son, 9. But I must come clean and tell them: There is no Santa Claus . . .

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Pittsburgh’s public art is one of the many wonderful things that make it a very livable city.
This 5-part series features specific neighborhoods, with a special lens on the eclectic and colorful public art that is visible along the course. . .

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A profile of six Certified B Corporations.
The B Corps movement is gaining a collective voice. About 1,200 companies have already become B Corp certified from 60-plus industries and 34 countries. (Recently, the first publicly traded company received certification.) As momentum gathers, their influence is becoming an increasingly powerful change agent—passing laws, driving capital, creating meaningful jobs and improving the quality of life in neighborhoods locally and across the country. . .

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Joshua Vogel may not know for certain that the human colonization of Mars is sustainable, but he’s willing to die finding out.
Some might say that Intrepid’s vision of Earthlings-turned-Martians is too far-fetched—about 45 million miles, to be nearly exact. “When you’re pursing ideas like that, it does get crazy,” David concedes. “It takes a courageous attitude to say, ‘I don’t care what established industries are saying about this problem.’ That’s why we chose the name Intrepid. Some might even call it mad science.”

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Revolutionizing particles removal from industrial work clothes.
I’m working harder than most guys my age; but if you dig down to bedrock and do it well, when you get above ground, there’s time for leisure. It always takes a one- or two-year burst of this crazy breakneck stuff, but once the track is laid, it’s okay to let someone else be the engineer. It’s fun for me to pioneer then get out the way. . .

Want a taste of my interviewing chops before you engage me?

Here’s one of my personal interviews with world-renowned consciousness pioneer Dr. David Hawkins, author of the seminal work “Power vs. Force” and 22 other books.