About Fresh U Fresh U

Fresh U is a national online publication geared toward college freshmen. Since launching in June 2015, Fresh U has grown to a staff of 300 contributing writers on more than 100 campuses and has a media partnership with Teen Vogue. The publication’s content ranges from the new experiences of college life to surfacing local news stories on college campuses using its network of contributing writers. The publication offers brands the opportunity to reach a group of newly minted, Gen-Z consumers who are making hundreds of purchasing decisions as they prepare for college life.

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 first year students, which she then grew into a national publication, Fresh U. Her experience founding and running a magazine led to an internship at Cosmopolitan.com the summer after her freshman and sophomore year, and she currently is a freelance writer for the publication. In addition to running Fresh U, Kate has competed in business competitions such as Student Startup Madness at SXSW and the ACC Innovation Competition, and has been asked to speak on numerous panels regarding Generation Z, including at a pre-SXSW panel.

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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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


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

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Maya Ungar | Politics Editor

Maya is a second year student at the University of Arkansas studying International Studies, Political Science, and French, with a minor in History. She started at Fresh U as a Politics Staff Writer and after a year became the Fresh U Politics Editor. An aspiring Diplomat, she reads the news and stays up to date on public policy in her free time. But in those moments when she's not involved with politics, you can find her eating an unhealthy amount of cheese, visiting art museums and jamming out to old 2000's pop music.

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Katie Czerwinski | Executive Editor

Katie is a senior 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

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Kamrin Baker | Development Director

Kamrin is a freshman Journalism and Media Communications major at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She is a staff writer with Fresh U, as well as the new Network Developer. In addition, Kamrin has experience writing with MTV News, The Huffington Post, Local Wolves Magazine and The UNO Gateway Newspaper. In addition to journalism, Kamrin will serve as an RA on campus next year and will not be completely happy with life until she owns 12 pugs.

Contact Kamrin Baker

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Natalie Day | Associate Editor

Natalie Day is a freshman at Columbia College Chicago and is double majoring in acting and writing. She has traveled to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Jamaica for mission trips. Natalie spends her free time binge watching Netflix and working on her life long goal of becoming an old dog lady.

Contact Natalie Day

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Alexa Marzina | Senior Editor

Alexa is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently the Senior Editor for Fresh U. She is majoring in psychology, minoring in creative writing and pursuing a certificate in American Sign Language, and plays clarinet in the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band. One day, Alexa hopes to own at least three corgis.

Contact Alexa Marzina

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Dennis Williams | Community Manager

Dennis is currently a sophomore double majoring in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering at NYU. His favorite hobbies include reading, photography, drawing, and playing the piano. Besides his role as Community Manager for Fresh U, Dennis is also a peer tutor and a swim instructor. Chances are you'll see Dennis anywhere that there's food, especially at McDonald's and Insomnia Cookies.

Contact Dennis Williams

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Melissa Cordell | News Editor

Melissa is a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in Journalism and Political Science. In her free time, she enjoys reading the news, working on campaigns, and photography.

Contact Melissa Cordell