Michelle began her indexing career by accident, during a long sabbatical from medicine while raising her young children. While volunteering at a book sale in 2013, she learned about indexing from a neighbor. The more she listened to her neighbor chat about her work, the more appealing indexing sounded—providing just the right balance of intellectual stimulation, family life, and entrepreneurial spirit. Michelle realized then that she’d found a new professional direction.
And she has never looked back. In the years since, she has applied her in-depth science education and medical experience to indexing science and medicine trade books and textbooks. She has also become quite the generalist by indexing other far-ranging topics, from the rise (and fall) of disco to nature books and biographies of equestrians. She’s even indexed two complete multi-volume (yes, two!) K-6 math curriculum series.
Today, Michelle can proudly say that she has indexed more than 135,000 pages in more than 300 books. Better yet, she has entertained her family and friends with all sorts of strange tidbits gleaned from those pages. Did you know the Smurfs were Belgian? And that commercial vanilla beans come from orchids? She can even tell you, in detail, about the East-West gangster rap feuds.
Indexing—with its variety, flexibility, and opportunities to work with fascinating experts in a variety of fields—has proven to be just the right fit for this former podiatrist. Most recently, she’s grown her passion for indexing into a number of related ventures, including producing and hosting the popular podcast Freelance Indexer Exchange.
Business owner and entrepreneur
Freelance Indexer Exchange—podcast host and producer, 2023
Line by Line Indexing—owner, indexer, 2014 to present
Performance Foot Center and Long Trail Podiatry—owner, manager, doctor, 1999 through 2011
Courses and Special Skills
Continuing education through regional meetings and webinars
Enid Zafran’s Indexing Boot Camp I & II, completed in 2015 and 2016
UC Berkeley course Indexing Theory and Application, completed in 2014
Graduate School & College
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in 1998
Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Swarthmore College in 1994
American Society for Indexing
2023 Conference: “Another Set of Eyes: How and When to Hire Someone to Edit or Proofread Your Indexes”
New England Chapter of ASI
2020 Summer Meeting: “Indexing Exercise and Peer Review”
2019 Annual Meeting: “Using Tablet Computers for Marking Up Proofs” & “Indexing Exercise and Peer Review”
Memberships and Offices Held
Indexing Society of Canada, since 2021
Editorial Freelance Association, since 2016
American Society of Indexing, 2014–2020. New England Chapter: Secretary 2014–2015 & officer from 2017–2020; Science and Medicine Special Interest Group: Manager 2015–2020