About Fresh U

Fresh U is an online publication for freshmen, by freshmen. We’re focused on content meaningful to freshmen, something overlooked by general college websites or school newspapers. This isn’t just an online destination for freshmen — Fresh U gives students the opportunity to become published writers and to be involved in the process of running their own publication their first year of college.

Meet The Team


Kate Beckman | Founder and CEO

Kate is a senior in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Her freshman year at Syracuse University, she founded a publication for freshmen, by freshmen. Her experience founding and running a magazine led to an internship at Cosmopolitan.com the summer after her freshman and sophomore year. After launching a freshman publication at Syracuse, Kate realized that freshman everywhere could be interested in a publication focused on the first year of college, so she launched Fresh U in May 2015. Kate is excited to give the next generation of journalists a platform to be published.

Contact Kate Beckman

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Matt Gehring | Social Media Director

Matt is a sophomore at Syracuse University studying TV, Radio, and Film. He is a pop culture junkie and social media enthusiast, much of which can be seen through his work with Fresh U. Matt is always working to bring Fresh U content to a larger, more diverse audience. Outside of Fresh U, Matt also works as a morning show co-host on a Syracuse student-run Top 40 radio station.

Contact Matt Gehring


Ellie Day | Lead Developer

Ellie is the lead developer at Fresh U. Having worked with Fresh U since the original website for Juiced Magazine was made in 2013, she is excited to see the site grow into what it is today. In addition to coding web applications, she tutors and mentors women learning to code. She frequently participates in hackathons and makes the occasional trip to The White House for LGBTQ Tech Summits.

Contact Ellie Day

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Mia Renee Cole | Senior Editor

Mia Renee is a currently a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill where she studies Spanish and French. She is a former North Carolina DECA State Officer, an alumni of The Washington Journalism and Media Conference, manages her own blog and is the host of her podcast, Sexpert. In her free time, Mia enjoys listening to old records, knitting, sipping tea and obsessing over cats.

Contact Mia Renee Cole

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Lindsay Dawson | Branding and Site Design

Lindsay is a Syracuse '15 alumna currently working as an art/photo assistant at HGTV Magazine. For her senior capstone project, she created the branding and UI design for Fresh U. Lindsay hopes the brand will inspire and motivate young journalist and creatives to get involved in their communities. You can see more of her work at www.lindsaydawsondesigns.com.

Contact Lindsay Dawson


Sabrina Sooknanan | Campus Editorial Director

Sabrina Sooknanan is a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College. She is pursuing a double major in Philosophy & Religious Studies and Business as well as a minor in Journalism. Sabrina is a born and bred New Yorker with a zest for adventure and style. Back in high school, she was an Executive Editor of the school's newspaper. Sabrina is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Fresh U Marymount. Aside from writing and editing, Sabrina spends her time mentoring young women, taking part in a variety of leadership roles, and exploring new places.

Contact Sabrina Sooknanan


Joseph Zapinski | Account Manager

Joseph is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Advertising and Spanish. He was born in Texas and "might die without Tex-Mex". His hobbies include running, speaking Spanish, and being creative whenever he can. Joseph started Fresh U as a writer but later joined the head team as a marketing strategist where he works to partner Fresh U with potential businesses. He also writes for a language blog called Fluent U helping people learn English and occasionally plays drums in a band.

Contact Joseph Zapinski


Shannon O'Brien | Newsletter Director

Shannon is a sophomore at the Pennsylvania State University - University Park studying Broadcast Journalism and Sociology. She started her career at Fresh U as Editor-In-Chief for Fresh U Penn State and later moved on to Newsletter Director. When not working with Fresh U, she can be found working at her university’s radio station or participating in countless activities on campus. Shannon hopes to one day work in the editorial entertainment or fashion industry and move to NYC.

Contact Shannon O'Brien


Jordan Ellis | Sports Editor

Jordan is a freshman at the University of Florida, studying Sports and Media Journalism with an outside concentration in Sports Management. She started at Fresh U as a Contributing Writer but then moved to the Sports Department as a Staff Writer, and later joined the head staff as the Sports Editor. She lives for College Football season and MLB Playoffs. When she is not obsessing over sports and writing about them, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, drinking coffee and following way too many dog Instagram accounts.

Contact Jordan Ellis

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Amelia Beamer | Health Editor

Amelia is a graduate student in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She studies magazine, newspaper and online journalism. She has a B.F.A. in Creative Non-Fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As a Lyme disease warrior who has also faced many other health issues herself, she is passionate about health, health education, and writing to empower others to advocate for their own health issues. Amelia also loves travel writing, political writing, and writing personal essays. These are usually served with a healthy dose of satire, humor, multimedia content, and the occasional pun. In her free time, Amelia loves SCUBA diving, road-tripping, napping anywhere, going to music festivals, spending time on the water, and being passed the aux cord. You can catch her on Twitter and Instagram at @ameliabeamer.

Contact Amelia Beamer

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Amanda Morrison | Politics Editor

Amanda is a first year student at Temple University studying Global Studies and Strategic Communication with a minor in Spanish. She started at Fresh U as a Politics Staff Writer and Campus News Correspondent, and after three months on staff, was named the Fresh U News Editor. Now she is so excited to return her focus to everything politics as the Politics Editor. An aspiring Senator, she reads the news and stays up to date on public policy in her free time. But in those rare moments when she's not involved with politics, you can find her watching cheesy Hallmark movies, reminiscing on her recent trip to Tanzania or eating Chick-fil-A.

Contact Amanda Morrison

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Katie Czerwinski | News Editor

Katie is a junior at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is currently studying magazine journalism with a minor in psychology. At Syracuse, she is the managing editor of Zest Magazine. When she’s not making dad jokes on Twitter, she spends most of her free time at Starbucks, napping, or watching cooking shows.

Contact Katie Czerwinski