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Meet the Writers of Her Campus at ISU: Fall 2018

It's our favorite time of year! Time for you to meet all the amazing writers from your favorite articles. They give you advice, they share their stories and of course they give you tips on literally everything. We love how much you love us and our articles and now it's time to put a face to the articles you've been reading. The writer featured in this article  are some seriously amazing ladies and they work hard every week making sure that you get the absolute best content we have to offer! Now it's time to meet the women of Her Campus Illinois State Fall of 2018! 


Samantha Cedano, Editor-In-Chief

Meet Samantha Cedano she is a senior majoring in interpersonal communication studies at Illinois State University.  Samantha has also been editor-in-chief of her campus ISU for two semesters and a member since fall of 2016. She is entirely grateful for all the opportunities and great memories this awesome organization has brought to her.  She’s so sad that her journey with her campus is ending but she is super excited to wear the hot pink Her Campus graduation cord next month.  Right now, Samantha is currently shook that she is graduating in December and still a little clueless and what she wants to do. Although she is excited for what the future will bring for her when she moves after graduation to Arizona.  On any given day you can find her hanging out with her dogs because crazy dog mom life is a thing for her, trying out new makeup looks in the safety of her room because she will only step out with a bronzy eye look, or on Skype with her boyfriend while watching Netflix because romance isn’t dead. Samantha’s life has been one heck of a journey she’s gone from an emo kid in high school, to a freshman college sorority girl, to a girl who just is trying way too hard to be “trendy “, to currently a person who just wants her Instagram to make sense and look good.  Samantha's  writing has also gone through a journey. She started off by writing pieces about how we can all relate to being Squidward or what type of Halloween costume you should wear and by the end of her her campus journey writing more serious pieces about her struggle with academic probation.  Her Campus has helped her evolve within her writing and as a leader and she will always be grateful for that. With all that being said, she still is a little lost but with the right people around her and inspiring her, it’s obvious she will do great things.


Kate Chapman, Editor-In-Chief

Meet Kate Chapman, senior journalism student with a passion for incorporating fashion, social media, and beauty into her life. She has many dreams, one is to work for one of her favorite magazines as an editor or contributor. Kate in her spare time loves to work on her fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog, misskatechapman.com. With have worked in the beauty industry herself and always being a lover of fashion, she finds writing about these subjects fun! If she isn’t out with her friends shopping or finding an amazing sushi spot, she’s probably with her golden retriever who happens to be shaved like a lion, Chloe. Kate loves finding a great crime or murder docu-series and secretly wishes to become an Elle Woods and attend law school, “What, like it’s hard?” lol…Kate is a lover of online shopping and a crisp glass of pinot grigio. Kate loves to write about whatever comes to mind and loves the fact Her Campus gives her the outlet to do so!

Mackie Kelleher, Head Editor

Meet Mackie Kelleher, a sophomore at Illinois State University majoring in psychology and minoring in writing. Mackie has a passion for writing and loves to write, whether it is late night thoughts or an idea for an article. Some things Mackie enjoys doing is watching Netflix(particularly Parenthood or Peaky Blinders), running, reading, and drinking coffee! 9 times out of 10 she is sitting at Starbucks doing homework and sipping on her vanilla iced coffee. Mackie joined Her Campus in hopes of becoming a better writer and meeting new people. Everyone is so genuine, and she is happy to say that she is the head editor. She loves to edit articles and provide feedback! She usually writes articles related to mental health and positive ways to improve your life in hopes of inspiring others to live their best life. Mackie wants her writing to mean something to other people, and nothing makes her happier than sitting down and writing articles for Her Campus. In the future, she hopes to continue her writer and have a career that is psychology related. She also hopes to travel and gain new life experiences! If you ever see Mackie at Starbucks happily sipping on her coffee, don’t be afraid to say hi!

Trisha Fritz, Social Media Director



Meet Trisha Fritz. A senior TV broadcasting major with a minor in writing, but no, she does not want to be a weather girl, so stop asking. She is a wannabe pop-culture expert, spending her days watching E! News and her nights catching up on homework while feeding her caffeine addiction. Considers herself a natural born leader with a proven track record on taking chaotic situations and turning them into something great. Fashion is this girl’s passion, at least that’s what she tells herself when her roommates call her that another package has been dropped off at their apartment under her name. Boy, can she talk forever. Ask her what time it is and somehow you will end up talking about how the watch was made. She pretends to be tough, but any animated movie will bring tears to her eyes. Her other soft spot is for her friends and family, just know she is protective. Trisha loves being busy, catch her traveling around town no matter the day. A professional people-watcher at heart, she prefers her puns intended. She has been writing for Her Campus for almost a year, and plans on becoming more in tune with blogging. Her favorite articles include fashion, beauty, and motivation. Within this time at Her Campus, she has self proclaimed herself as a social media influencer, mostly due to the great feedback she gets from her cat pictures. Luckily, if she is not with her furry friends, she is hanging with her best friends rewatching The Office to perfect every line. Stay caught up with her on all forms of social media, her phone is attached to her hip. Do not let this attitude fool you, it is all a plan for world domination.

Ashley Painter, Social Media Director 

Meet Ashley Lauren Painter, a junior Public Relations major with a minor in Business Sustainability and Environment. She has been writing for Her Campus ISU for almost a year now and is so grateful for the opportunities it has given her! Ashley is the Social Media Director and hopes to inspire and motivate college woman to be the most successful version of themselves they can be. She enjoys reality tv, her dogs, shopping with her mom, and outdoor sports such as wake boarding and snowboarding even though she is probably the clumsiest person you'll ever meet. She bares the cold weather, but you can find Ashley happiest when she's in the hot sun on her boat in her small home town. Don't let the pink nails and blonde hair fool you, Ashley loves to attend County fairs with animals and dirt bike races. Most of her articles contain DIY ideas for just about anything because she loves to craft, design, and decorate her apartment! She hopes to one day become an event planner while also contributing to the marketing side of a company! Ashley believes the most beautiful things in life are not just things, but they are people and memories you make with them!

Davita Jo Monaghan, Senior Marketing Director

Meet Davita Jo Monaghan, a senior English major with a minor in American Sign Language, so yes, she actually talks with her hands. She hopes to become an interpreter while still staying passionate for writing. She has been writing for Her Campus ISU for two years! With graduation coming up next month, Davita hopes to make as many memories as she possibly can down at ISU and is extremely grateful for what her college experience has taught her. She enjoys traveling, obviously writing, reading, and having randomly babbling about topics that no one asked about, but it's fine. As you'll probably hear her say often, "It's fine, everything is fine!" You will probably find her documenting her daily adventures on Snapchat and posting obsessively on Instagram just to keep herself entertained. She hopes to one day write a book but is not sure about what quite yet. It’ll probably be about her exhausting dating history since it is frequently the most consistent joke amongst her friend groups. She's passionate about cheesecake, iced coffee, and memoirs so put the three together and you've got yourself a recipe for a happy "Dav". Most of her articles contain real life situations relating to romantic relationships and lists relating to healthy friendships. Little things in life make her happy, such as "good morning" texts, a great movie, and the company of her friends and family. She hopes that Her Campus at ISU continues to flourish and challenge aspiring writers as they coast through their college careers.

Celina Aquino, Treasurer 

Meet Celina Aquino, a self-proclaimed queen of Starbucks. She is a junior Accounting major but still occupied with figuring out what she truly wants to do, which changes almost every month—typical college student, right? While in the process of her identity exploration, she has recently joined HerCampus ISU as well as taken the responsibility of being the chapter’s Treasurer. It is evident through her first few pieces that she is all about female empowerment; she believes in the quote, “The future is female.” Celina also describes herself as adventurous with some hint of easygoing. Count on her to make fashion AND political statements. Her love for fashion was initiated by her mom, who introduced her to it at an early age. The ultimate goal she holds for herself is to land a job in the fashion industry. Being a Jane of all trades, she is confident that her various skills will get her there. Until then, she will continue devoting most of her free time watching YouTube and attempting to create her own Instagram aesthetic or otherwise she will be busy making journal entries and financial statements. Don’t be surprised if you catch her waiting in line to get her daily dose of Starbs!

Irena Karopulos, Junior Editor

Meet Irena Karopulos, a junior secondary English education major who loves writing and reading. She hopes to inspire young adults in her future career just as her teachers have been inspirations to her. This is her first year writing for Her Campus ISU and she is absolutely loving it. She loves the freedom to write about whatever she chooses, while being creative and relating to college women throughout the country. She also had been accepted to be a jr. editor for Her Campus ISU and was super excited to take on the position. She always corrects everyone else’s grammar, so this worked out well for her. She loves how Her Campus connects their amazing articles to a college woman’s life and gives readers new ideas for just about anything, inside and outside of college life.  Since she had just transferred to ISU this year, she signed up for Her Campus ISU to write articles but most importantly to make more new friends. In her free time, she loves to go shopping (specifically at Charlotte Russe or T.J. Maxx), watch romantic or comedy movies, and hangout with her family and friends. She loves to stay up to date on her social media sites and they reflect the happy and fabulous person she strives to be every day.

Colleen Kelly, Marketing Assistant

Up next is Colleen Kelly, a senior Communication major here at ISU. She hopes to work in marketing after moving back to Chicago following graduation. This is her first semester writing for HerCampus but that doesn't hold her back. She has written for multiple online publications, so she’s realized this is her thing. She enjoys traveling to new places and meeting new faces after she studied abroad in Florence, Italy for four months. She recalls it being the best opportunity she has ever been given. Colleen hopes to one day be part of the group of women taking over the world to make it a more positive place for all people. The small things in life make her the happiest like having a wine night with her girlfriends, going on drives with her mom, or having a movie night with her boyfriend. Colleen is all about the happy moments and life and making sure every day contains some of them.

Mimi McNulty, Writer

Mimi McNulty is a 22 year old, Public Relations major at Illinois State University. She is an aspiring journalist who wants to see the world and wants to write for anything from Cosmo to CNN. Mimi has been writing since she was young and has been wanting to be a writer for Her Campus since she was a freshman in high school. She loves Her Campus because of the amazing advice given from real women living their lives to the fullest. Mimi tries to keep her mouth shut but cannot, so she puts it all on the page! When Mimi isn’t writing she is adventuring and quoting John Mulaney with her besties.

Sarah Baran, Writer

Meet Freshman Sarah Baran, a newcomer to Her Campus with a major in Journalism. With her journey at ISU just beginning, she hopes to continue making as many friends as possible and making as many college memories as possible. Sarah is also involved with the ISU Badminton club. With that, she spends part of her week in the McCormick Health building practicing her skills. Along with writing and badminton, Sarah's passions include film, photography, art and creating YouTube videos! When she's not busy with homework, badminton or literally any of the other thousand things she does, you can find her browsing the horror movie genre on Netflix. A good scare is defiantly what keeps her going. Although she won't admit it, Sarah loves spending time with her older sisters at work. She doesn't get to see them as often because of school so when she does, she loves it. Most importantly, Sarah loves spending time with her friends and family. Their continuous love and support are greatly appreciated by her.

Chrissa Apostolopoulos, Writer

Meet Chrissa Apostolopoulos, she is a Junior English major with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. So yes, she is a feminist. She hopes to become a professor at a University teaching Women’s Literature and spreading the knowledge of feminism in a positive way. She is new to Her Campus this year; however, she loves that Her Campus “gives her the opportunity to express her love for feminism through writing that many young, middle, and old aged women can read, share, and relate too.” Chrissa has been studying feminism for now three years and wants to pursue her love for it by setting a goal of writing a novel or scholarly work one day that will be talked about in a feminist classroom that she used to sit in as a student. Chrissa loves to be different and stray away from the crowd, she is the type of person to sit next to you on the frightful first day of class and say “hi!”  She will compliment you on anything because she wants to spread kindness. Her favorite small things in life is going out for breakfast and having a good cup of coffee, reading women’s literature, 2XL hoodies, and walking through Hobby Lobby. She’s obsessed with tattoos and thinks of herself as an artist through her writing, her tattoos, her fashion, her drawings, paintings, and her personality. In her simple words, “I love and support my fellow Queens, that’s all.” 

Tessa Konzal, Writer

Meet Tessa Konzal, who is a Junior Public Relations Major at Illinois State. She started college at Columbia College Chicago as a Journalism major and even though she was so happy, she transferred. She loves that Her Campus allows her to hold on to her passion for writing. When she has spare time, she loves to check out the latest fashion trends (especially the ones she can’t afford). She loves her friends, her bike, and her coffee—which is basically its own food group for her. 

Vanesa Radenkovic, Writer

Meet Vanesa Radenkovic, a freshman Communications major with hopes to minor in film studies. Vanesa grew up in Chicago her entire life, so the small-town life has definitely been an adjustment. This is Vanesa’s first year with HerCampus ISU, and she absolutely loves it because it has given her a platform to express her passion for writing. Other than writing, Vanesa has a huge love for movies specifically horror movies, she can talk about horror movies for hours so be careful. With that said, her favorite season is fall that is truly her prime time. Vanesa enjoys rewatching Gossip Girl as well as her new favorite tv obsession Dynasty in her down time. You will most likely find her at a Starbucks or Dunkin because she is a coffee fanatic, she drinks at least one cup every day. Her favorite restaurant is Buffalo Wild Wings, so if you ever want to pick her up any food, she would greatly appreciate a small size of mild wings. You will probably catch her saying “look on the bright side” at least once a day, because she is always trying to stay positive in any situation. One of the most important things to know about Vanesa is how much she values her friendships and relationships with family members, she would do anything for them. She is very easy going and compassionate, which is why she loves writing advice articles. She takes her personal life lessons, and uses them to try and help other people, however she has so much more to learn herself…Like a lot to learn. Vanesa has so many goals and aspirations in life, so keep reading her article because you never know what’s going to come next!

Lacey Frisch, Writer

Lacey Frisch is a Freshman at Illinois State and majoring in Biology to become a pediatric physician's assistant. She loves Grey's Anatomy, a sucker for romance movies, and loves hanging out with her family and friends! She is thankful for HerCampus for giving her the opportunity to write what she is passionate about! Her instagram is @laceyyy26 and twitter is @laceyyy26

Allie Nowak, Writer

Meet Allie Nowak, a freshman at Illinois State University with a major in Public Relations. She hopes to become a part of a Public Relations committee for a big corporation one day, or perhaps work as an event planner. As a new member to Her Campus, Allie has shared her passion for writing through fashion, self-love, Netflix reviews, and all types of different articles. Allie likes to express her personality, experiences and thoughts in all her writing pieces. Allie also enjoys running, spending too much time on Instagram, binge watching Netflix shows, and spending time with her friends, family and of course her two dogs! Although rather quiet at times, Allie loves to make everyone around her laugh and put a smile on their faces. She hopes to gain as much knowledge as she can during her next four years of college and wants to experience everything life has to offer through traveling, meeting new people and getting heavily involved on campus! Things that make her happy are animals, excessively shopping, jamming out to music during car rides, her friends and family, going on dates with her goofy boyfriend, and anything related to Christmas time. Allie’s favorite quote to live by is “You got this!” Which she tells herself probably 5 or more times a day!

Alyssa Ginzburg, Writer

Say hello to Alyssa Ginzburg! She is a freshman at ISU and majoring in nursing. She hopes to become an E.R. Nurse just like her mom after she graduates in 2022! This is Alyssa’s first year writing for Her Campus and she is loving every second of it! She loves anything woman empowering and feels like Her Campus is the perfect place to have her voice be heard. In her spare time, you can catch Alyssa watching her favorite shows (Grey’s Anatomy or Riverdale) or spending time with her friends and family. She’s extremely passionate about traveling, as she has already been to 7 different countries in her short 19 years! Alyssa is also passionate about writing (obviously). She has been writing stories and fashion articles since she was a little girl! Although they probably would be a little odd for Her Campus…. Alyssa is an extreme advocate for iced coffee and ice cream. You can often find her pondering over life while enjoying a nice bowl of vanilla ice-cream with chocolate syrup. Alyssa is also very passionate about music! She believes that nothing can cure a heartbreak like a nice sad song (depressing, right?). Alyssa will write about anything from stuff happening in the entertainment industry to travel blogs or fashion pieces! Alyssa has loved getting to be a part of Her Campus this year and looks forward to being a part of it for the years to come!

Jessica Hogeboom, Writer

Meet Jessica Hogeboom, a freshman Bilingual Elementary Education major. She has been writing and drawing since she was a child, so you can imagine her excitement when she learned she would be writing for HerCampus. Jessica enjoys reading, writing, drawing, organizing/planning, watching YouTube videos, and hanging out with her Froomies (if you know, you know). On top of all this, Jessica is a part of a company called Younique, which allows her to sell beauty products and earn commission. This is all online and at her own time, so it makes it easy to juggle schoolwork and her job. Her favorite foods are popcorn, Reese's, blueberry muffins, and milk. She is constantly documenting her daily life to send to her boyfriend who is in the United States Marines. Jessica also loves volunteering and being very involved on campus. While being in Her Campus, she is also in the service sorority Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Circle K, and Deaf Redbirds. She likes to wake up at 6:30 in order to have a successful morning routine. Most of her articles relate to routines, beauty products, and her life situations. Jessica is VERY fascinated with everything around her. She often will say, "Can you believe dinosaurs used to live right where we are standing?" She ends her articles with "Lil Boomer" because her father was called Boomer when he was young. Although she is not quite sure where Boomer came from, she assumes it came from a part of their last name. Jessica is super excited to continue writing about her lifestyle and hopes that her writings will impact at least one person.

Emily Meixell, Writer

Meet Emily Meixell, a freshman Graphic Design major and lover of writing. She joined HerCampus to get more exposure in her writing and to be able to better express herself while empowering others like her. She is an artist day and night, caring about anything that is creative such as writing, drawing, and singing. She is considering adding on a minor in Business Administration and hopes to eventually study abroad in Europe. She loves photography and hopes to better master her skills to help in her future endeavors. But for right now, she loves to write, which is exactly why she joined HerCampus.


Kai Johnson, Writer

Meet Kai Johnson, a freshman Marketing major. She hopes to become a marketing manager and work for a big company one day. This is her first year writing for HerCampus ISU and she loves it! Most of her articles are about fashion trends, new makeup to try and lists of activities to do or shows to watch. One thing she’s passionate about is writing articles and giving others advice! Some other things are traveling, reading and dogs because who doesn’t love dogs!? One of her favorite books is “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. She loves documenting her life on her Instagram stories rather than posting pictures on her actual profile. Oh, and she also loves iced caramel macchiatos from Starbucks and that’s the only thing she ever gets. Maybe she should try something new huh? Some other things that make her happy are family, friends and Netflix. She enjoys writing for HerCampus ISU and hopes to keep writing for the next four years of college!

Natalie Mitchell, Writer

Meet Natalie Mitchell, a senior here at ISU, and currently majoring in sociology. She has a passion for learning new things so this spring, she will be taking classes at both ISU and University of Illinois. She has a passion in Landscape Architecture and wants to create gardens and parks out in Chicago someday. She loves Her Campus because she loves writing poems and she wants to put some of her creativity out there. She also likes the Her Campus team because she really loves the vibe she gets from everyone, everyone’s so nice and works very well together. On her free time, she likes to ski, run, do yoga, and go hiking. Anything involving outdoors or the sun is always the place she’ll be. She also loves listening to country music and selling her clothes on Poshmark.

Mia Riddell, Writer

Meet Mia Riddell, a junior journalism major who has been writing for Her Campus ISU for one year!  She is currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy where she is studying Italian, travel writing, photography, and ceramics. She loves getting lost in the moment and will never turn down watching the sun set. Her hobbies are quite hard to narrow down because she has a habit of falling deeply in love with everything she does. The job of her dreams would be running her own Wedding venue and writing stories about the magic of how each couple found each other. Her favorite book at the moment is "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society" and she adores any movie with Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep. Most of her articles contain inspirational content and emotional support relating to women empowerment. You can always win her heart with chocolate, red wine, or Taco Bell but really all she wants is to be surrounded by the people she loves.

Melody Benyamin, Writer

Meet Melody Benyamin, a junior Mass Media Management, Promotions, and Sales major. She hopes to one day become a social media director for a beauty and fashion magazine. She joined HerCampus ISU this year in effort to excel in her writing about these topics. Her favorite hobbies include traveling, trying new foods, and shopping. Her favorite city is New York City, where she hopes to live after graduating. Her favorite place to shop is Zara, which she actually discovered while visiting Spain a few years ago. She is passionate about street style fashion, trendy restaurants, and big cities. So basically, the happiest version of her can be found in NYC, in a cute outfit, and on her way to an “instagramable” dinner. Most of her articles contain lists relating to family and friends, makeup, and travel.

We are so thankful for all our followers and readers that have supported us over the years! We appreciate you all! XOXO HCILSTU <3

 Photo credit: Bryan Colindres

Follow him on Instagram! @bryvisuals

Samantha Cedano

Illinois State

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Davita Jo Monaghan

Illinois State

It's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world.
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