The Berkeley Beacon

Ryan s

Ryan Catalani


Ryan Catalani is the editor-in-chief of The Berkeley Beacon, and a sophomore visual and media arts major. In November 2011, he launched a complete redesign of the Beacon's website, which features HTML5, CSS3, responsive design, a custom article management system written in Ruby on Rails, and a bunch of other buzzwords. He also frequently produces graphics and photographs for the Beacon and created a program to compare the numerous proposed changes to the Student Government Association's changes.

In high school, he was a designer for The Oahuan, Ka Punahou, and Ka Wai Ola, his school's yearbook, newspaper, and literary/art magazine, respectively. He has also created websites, videos, and photos for various clients across the nation, and is the Chief Technology Officer of Bookzingo, a startup he co-founded in May 2011, which provides a new way to buy and sell textbooks.

Catalani can be reached at

Media contributed

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Court dismisses lawsuit alleging Emerson mishandled rape case

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against Emerson filed by Jillian Doherty, a former student who alleges the college mishandled her rape case, and gave her until May 28 to refile her complaint.

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After 100 issues, an editor says farewell

Articles are more than archives: They transport stories, the triumphs and tears of real people affected in real ways.

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In passionate rally, students demand cultural competency training

Several hundred students demanded campuswide cultural competency and sensitivity classes in an impassioned rally that culminated in a faculty meeting at the Bill Bordy Theater.

Calculate how much your adjunct professors earn

Adjunct professors are asking the college for higher pay as their union negotiates a new contract. Enter your classes to see how much your adjunct professors get paid.

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Court to decide whether lawsuit should be dismissed

Jillian Doherty filed suit in September; Emerson is seeking to dismiss the case. The judge, after hearing arguments on Tuesday, said his determination will come in the following weeks.

Documentary on campus sexual assault features former Emerson student

In a section of the movie about Greek life, former Emerson student Sarah Tedesco briefly appears in a montage with several other young women who describe being assaulted at fraternity events.

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Ludman to retire after nearly four decades at Emerson

Ronald Ludman, who has been Emerson’s dean of students for 33 years, will retire at the end of June, according to a campuswide email from President M. Lee Pelton.

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#tbt to Netscape: The Beacon's website in 1997

This was the Beacon's website in 1997, a time when “online” was still hyphenated and zany Photoshop effects were prized. Yet the stories feel quite familiar.

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The Beacon's 2015 Oscar Picks

See the films that Beacon staff members think should win Academy Awards.

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How much are your canceled classes worth?

Storms have dropped historic levels of snow on Boston, forcing Emerson to cancel five full days of class. See how much those days are worth for you.

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Snowstorm forces Emerson to cancel classes for second day

After a major blizzard deluged Boston with over 20 inches of snow, Emerson has canceled classes for a second day in a row on Wednesday. All campus eateries will open by 10 a.m.

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What to watch during the snow day

Nothing warms a snowed-in college student like the warm glow of a television. Here are The Berkeley Beacon’s picks for the best way to spend your day off.

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College cancels classes as Boston braces for blizzard

Emerson has canceled classes after 4 p.m. Monday and all classes on Tuesday. The dining hall will remain open Tuesday, with shorter hours; all other campus cafes will close.

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Special section: A half-century of race relations at Emerson

An in-depth look at 46 years of the protests, tenure controversies, administrators, and admissions policies that continue to shape race relations at the college. With special op-ed contributions by Willie Burnley and Taylor Carlington.

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For top administrators, increasing diversity a lifelong aspiration

President Lee Pelton and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Sylvia Spears speak about race relations from their own personal perspectives.

Editor's note

The thoughts of the Beacon staff are with Straus’ family and friends during this painful time; we wish to extend our sincere condolences. And in this time of mourning and tribute, the Beacon would like to provide the Emerson community with a space to honor Straus through the written word.

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Muggles encouraged to apply

Today, a thriving community of non-magical humans—including, yes, Emerson students—participate in this game.

Two backpacks left at finish line

Exactly one year after two backpacks filled with pressure cooker bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, two backpacks were again left unattended near the finish line.

Recyclemania results

Emerson placed 113th out of 256 in the annual Recyclemania competition and increased its recycling rate to 30 percent from 17 percent last year.

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Exploring a new dimension of creativity: Student makes 3D printer

Sophomore Dan Barkus made a 3D printer, a tool that can build nearly any imaginable shape.

Harvard student dies after falling from building

A sophomore at Harvard University died on Monday at Massachusetts General Hospital from injuries sustained after falling from a building near the New England Aquarium on Sunday.

Trustee, alum dies after lifetime of service to deaf community, college

Helen Carlotta Rose, an Emerson trustee emerita and 1938 graduate, died at her Palm Beach, Fla. home on March 23.

Emerson grads, producers of Hollow win Peabody

Hollow, the documentary produced by Emerson graduates Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Jeff Soyk, won the prestigious Peabody Award, which recognizes excellence in storytelling.

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Book it to the South End

Emerson students are invited to volunteer at More Than Words, a local nonprofit dedicated to, as the email says, helping disadvantaged youth “take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.”

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A breath of fresh air

The Emerson College Police Department is offering a class to teach participants how to “respond in a cardiac and breathing emergency."

Emerson feeling blue

Emerson relinquished its ubiquitous purple and gold for a day, instead decking itself in blue to support World Autism Day.

LA Times assesses ELA

Christopher Hawthorne, The Los Angeles Times’ architecture critic, gave the building high marks.

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Inequality can’t be whitewashed away

We can’t pat ourselves on the back for fostering diversity in one field while floundering in others.

Advocate hire stresses bystander intervention

Melanie Matson was recently hired as the new director of violence prevention and response/ sexual assault response advocate.

Emerson announces Melanie Matson as new assault response advocate

Emerson has hired Melanie Matson as its new director of violence prevention and response/ sexual assault response advocate, according to Sylvia Spears, vice president of diversity and inclusion, and an email sent to the college community by President M. Lee Pelton. The advocate position was created after a federal gender discrimination complaint was filed against the college in October.

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Our dogs, ourselves

He cared deeply about us, and on a level more sincere than could ever be replicated online.

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A common question, not so simple for some

On Feb. 13, Facebook added an option to choose from more than 50 new gender options—from trans to intersex to gender questioning. The change allows users in the United States to mix and match one or more of those options, and more easily switch between pronouns: him, her, or they.

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The Beacon Beat: February 13, 2014

On this week's Beacon Beat: The college's upcoming indoor garden project, WECB's multicultural shows, and a look at bros at Emerson.

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The Beacon Beat: February 6, 2014

On this week's Beacon Beat: Students forcibly kissed on the Common, a revitalized film club at Emerson, and music production opportunities on campus.

The privilege of telling your own story

What we experience in our daily lives informs what we create, and to view others through limited perspectives today can only lead to simplistic representations in the future.

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Stories from Sunset & Gordon

Videos exploring the campus and community of the college's new Los Angeles Center.

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Watch the iThrone

Apple’s goal is not to have the biggest market share, but the biggest mindshare—to become a company whose products not everyone owns, but everyone wants.

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Foundation on the Margins: Liberal arts profs try to offer value at a specialized school

Liberal Arts professors at Emerson hope to give students the skills to thrive in a changing, complex world—the same skills that have allowed them to work at a narrowly-focused institution.

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Community members, students gather for annual 9/11 vigil

Emerson held its 12th annual vigil for 9/11 on Boston Common, with remarks from Tita Puopolo, an Emerson alumna from the class of 1996, whose mother died in the attack.

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The Beacon Beat: September 5, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: Emerson plans to expand its campus, a look at the new student orientation, the college searches for a permanent athletic director, and a profile of poet Donnie Welsh.

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The Beacon Beat: April 25, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: Emerson students raise over $500,000 for marathon bombing victims, a review of Gangsters in Concrete's new book, and a debate about whether college athletes should be paid.

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Soft drink mix wins student 10k

When he first sipped a sweet Shirley Temple at his aunt’s wedding as a child, junior Jon Allen said he instantly became hooked on the drink. To this day, he said he still loves ordering it at restaurants.

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The Beacon Beat: April 18, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: The Emerson community's responses to Monday's Boston Marathon bombings, awards for senior WLP majors, a recap of the men's volleyball game, and a review of California Suite.

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Through normalcy, we triumph over fear

We must mourn, we must be outraged, we must remember—but we must not allow ourselves to be defined by fear. The best way to respond to this situation, to not let the attacker or attackers succeed, is to simply resume our normal lives.

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College increases security after bombing forces abrupt end to Boston Marathon

Security at Emerson and across Boston will be heightened tomorrow, as classes remain on a regular schedule after two explosive devices were detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, less than a mile from the college.

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Emerson on lockdown after explosion during Boston Marathon

Two consecutive bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today at 2:50 p.m., injuring several Emerson students, and, according to the Boston Globe, killing two and injuring at least 107.

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The Beacon Beat: April 11, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: A profile of singer-songwriter Micah Schure, a review of the Musical Theatre Society’s The Drowsy Chaperone, an alumna who's a professional mermaid, and a feature on WLP professor Jabari Asim.

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The Beacon Beat: April 4, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: The latest gun violence panel discussion at Emerson, Wax on Felt's annual In the Round event, a feature on Emtertainment Monthly, and a profile on women's softball player Brittany Rochford.

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The Beacon Beat: March 28, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: Candidates for SGA positions gave speeches detailing their goals; an Emerson professor whose costume designs were nominated for an award; Jumpstart's Share Your Story campaign; and a profile on the men's lacrosse coach.

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The Beacon Beat: March 21, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: The college asks the nightclub Emerson Theatre to consider changing its name, inclement weather forces a shorter baseball season, a WLP professor's new book, and a feature about an alumna's natural juice company.

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The Beacon Beat: March 14, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: WERS plans to hire its first professional on-air host, Emerson students in a Boston-based film festival, a look at two new magazines on campus, and a profile of Emerson's softball pitchers.

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CNN anchor talks obstacles

CNN anchor Don Lemon urged students on Tuesday to view their differences — such as race, gender, and sexuality — not as impediments, but as motivation to succeed.

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The Beacon Beat: February 21, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: Graffiti incidents continue on campus, an Emerson alum starts an entertainment website, the women's basketball team falls short against Suffolk, and experimental filmmaker Peter Rose showcases his work.

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On-campus vandalism continues as graffiti found in four buildings

In the past two weeks, four Emerson buildings have been defaced by graffiti that college administrators have described as discriminatory and racially offensive. Officials have informed the community about the crimes, stating they have had a detrimental effect on the campus atmosphere.

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The Beacon Beat: February 14, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: Students seek more peformance space; author Julie Otsuka speaks on campus; a profile of Lauren Cortizo, who is running in this year's Boston Marathon; and a recap of the women's basketball game.

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From paint to pen: Writer speaks at Emerson

When she was an undergraduate at Yale, spending long days painting in her artist’s studio, Julie Otsuka never expected to be a writer. She thought she would spend her life portraying images and meaning through oil and canvas, not writing longhand at a Hungarian pastry shop in New York City.

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The Beacon Beat: February 7, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: Emerson's first panel on gun control, Emerson Shakespeare Society’s Ballad of the Moon, a profile of magician Lee Benzaquin, and a look at low attendance at basketball games.

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The Beacon Beat: January 31, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: A profile of Ben Halls, a recap of this week's men's basketball game, an op-ed about the weak economy college graduates will face, and the Emerson Poetry Project's open mic night.

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Polling Society addresses gun control

Coinciding with the ongoing debate about reducing gun violence on Capitol Hill, the Emerson College Polling Society released a survey Jan. 24 showing that most Americans support stricter firearm control laws.

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The Beacon Beat: January 24, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: The next phase of President Pelton's initiative on gun control, a documentary by Emerson alumna Kitty Martin, this year's Recyclemania, and a profile on Bill Gould, the women's basketball head coach.

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The Beacon Beat: January 17, 2013

On this week's Beacon Beat: The Emerson College Polling Society re-emerges with new surveys; The Center for the Theater Commons recieves a grant to study playwright residencies; a look at Dirt Magazine and other new publications; and a profile of men's basketball recruit Michael Thorpe.

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College releases draft of self-study

In a comprehensive internal review produced as part of the Emerson’s reaccreditation process, the college found it needs to better integrate academic departments, increase physical space, and grow its financial resources for upcoming projects.

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The Beacon Beat: December 6, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: an overview of President Pelton's trip to Japan, a profile of basketball recruit Jon Goldberg, a story about Emerson Compliments, and a review of "Bad Poetry."

Photographs versus Instagram’s fleeting flicker

But I also don’t believe that technology is a panacea. I find it striking that a tweet from last year can be much harder to find than my grandparents’ handwritten family records from decades ago — and that films from the Technicolor age can still be projected, but in a few decades, or even years, our DVDs of Toy Story and Slumdog Millionaire may be worthless.

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The Beacon Beat: November 29, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: Highlights from the SGA speech night; a profile of Drew Venter, who graduated last year and is now a baskebtall coach; the story of an Emerson student who donated bone marrow; and a review of Escape Artists Don't Look Back.

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The Beacon Beat: November 15, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: A string of backpack thefts around campus, the new men's basketball recruits, a professor's live brain dissection, and a film about the cleaning of the Nashua River.

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The Beacon Beat: November 8, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: A photo essay about voting for the first time, a film by Emerson students about Fenway park, a new health communications club, and Emerson Shakespeare Society’s production of Cyclops.

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The Emerson College Political Poll 2012

The Beacon conducted its own political straw poll over the past week. Many students have a sense that Emerson’s populace skews liberal — and that Republicans are a rare breed on campus — but the survey tried to quantify that.

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The Beacon Beat: November 1, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: Emerson students and alumni involved in startups, women's volleyball recap, a profile of Victoria Hulbert, and a story about Professor Gregory Payne.

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Emerson students and alumni create businesses, join startups

The American Twine Office Park is a brick-faced building in Cambridge, about a 10-minute walk away from the Kendall/MIT T station. Its banal appearance — a parking lot covered in autumnal leaves, stone-paneled floors, scuffed wood accents — and location in the middle of the city’s industrial district easily disguises the fact that it houses 11 young high-tech startups.

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Classes canceled Monday as city braces for hurricane

Emerson College will be closed on Monday as the effects of Category 1 Hurricane Sandy are forecasted to hit Boston early tomorrow morning. The dining hall will remain open, unless Boston suffers a power outage.

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The Beacon Beat: October 25, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: The Emerson Social Media class' Twitter project; a profile of Jacob Lawrence; Decriminals, a film production company started by Emerson juniors; and Trelawny Vermont-Davis' op-ed about affirmative action.

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The Beacon Beat: October 18, 2012

On this week's Beacon Beat: Tuesday's 4.0-magnitude quake; the 14th annual Dragtoberfest; students doing the Insanity workout; and the freshman thriving in the women's soccer team.

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The Beacon Beat: October 11, 2012

Featured on this week's Beaon Beat: An intruder entered the Little Building; women's volleyball continues its winning streak; the Pub Club hosts Banned Books Week events; and a non-profit group exhibits 12 experimental films.

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The Beacon Beat: October 4, 2012

Stories on this week's Beacon Beat: Quinn Marcus' MTVu show; Harlan Bosmajian, cinematographer for Backwards; Sexapalooza; and why Gary Johnson should be in the presidential debates.

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The Beacon Beat: September 27, 2012

This first installment of The Beacon Beat features discussion of the AMIGOS event, sports games, Emerson's diversity initiatives, and a review of Dredd 3D.

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Anna Deavere Smith tells artists to break boundaries through words

Anna Deavere Smith, an award-winning actress, playwright, and author, spoke today about the power of words to invigorate and transform.

Emerson students and alumni respond to Obama's gay marriage endorsement

There were excited reactions on Twitter from students who attend the third most "LGBT friendly" school.

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Students protest for farmworkers in Quincy

Nearly 50 people, including seven Emerson students, gathered outside of Stop & Shop’s New England headquarters through constant rain to protest what they say are unfair labor conditions supported by the supermarket chain.

SGA candidates deliver campaign speeches: A live social media roundup

Follow this live, continuously updated social media roundup of the SGA candidates' campaign speeches.

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Photo Essay : LA Confidential

Hollywood is certainly no facsimile of Boston. It’s like an inaccurate automated translation from English to another language back to English: understandably similar but of an unmistakably different tenor.

Massive fire in the Back Bay shrouds the city in smoke and darkness

A fire near the Back Bay Hilton, just over a mile away from Emerson College, poured smoke into the streets and draped the city in an unusual darkness. Boston's Fire Department reported the fire early on the evening of March 13, which was burning in a 115,000 volt electric transformer.

Video: Scenes from the LA campus groundbreaking

See a short video of the official groundbreaking for Emerson College's Los Angeles campus. Hundreds gathered in a long white tent on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street in Hollywood Thursday for the ceremony.

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A social media roundup of the Hollywood groundbreaking

A social media-based overview of the Los Angeles campus groundbreaking. Emerson College President Lee Pelton, Henry Winkler '67, Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and other guests officially welcomed the college's new facility on March 8.

President Pelton calls on MBTA to reconsider cuts

Emerson College President M. Lee Pelton voiced his concerns about the proposed Massachusetts Bay of Transit Authority budget cuts in a letter to Richard A. Davey, the Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the Massachussets Department of Transporation.

Proposed Changes to the SGA Constitution

View SGA's proposed changes side-by-side with the old constitution.

Video: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Protesters on the Common

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