Ren grew up in rural New York (yes, it’s a thing) about 45 minutes northwest of Buffalo. When he wasn’t tearing through books or rotting his brain with video games, he was running around the countryside without adult supervision or oversight. Though he always enjoyed fishing with his dad, skipping stones across Lake Ontario with his mom and chasing down pollywogs with his friends, Ren was at his happiest when his grandpa took him on nature walks, especially trekking to the waterfalls at Letchworth State Park.
Ren graduated from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York with a degree in psychology. He spent most of his time at UB working for student newspapers and magazines. Afterward, he moved to Florida and later earned a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He currently writes about digital tools and builds training for journalists at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which sits right on Bayboro Harbor in Tampa Bay.