Students walk near Meiklejohn Hall at California State University East Bay. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

College Beat

Covering higher education from the ground up

Students walk near Meiklejohn Hall at California State University East Bay. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

College Beat is produced by the CalMatters College Journalism Network, a collaboration between CalMatters and student journalists across the state.

Learn More

Meet the Team

Corona on Campus

The latest news on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting California colleges and universities, from the CalMatters College Journalism Network. Read more

Tip us

Got a story idea for our College Journalism Network? Send it to us here.

Meet the Team


Vanessa Arredondo, Fellow: Vanessa Arredondo is a student journalist at UC Berkeley. Originally from Los Angeles, she got her start in journalism by working for the Pierce College Roundup newspaper at her community college.


Ethan Coston, Fellow: Ethan Coston is a fourth-year student at UC San Diego, where he previously served as managing editor of independent student news outlet The Triton. He writes about politics, policy, and sexual misconduct.


Aidan McGloin, Fellow: Aidan McGloin is in his fourth year reporting at Mustang News, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He covers campus policy and founded the Cal State Student Wire, an effort to unify reporters across the CSU system.


Felicia Mello, Editor: Felicia Mello has covered higher education for CalMatters since 2018, focusing on affordability, equity and innovation. A UC Berkeley graduate, she was a finalist for the Education Writers Association’s beat reporting prize in 2018.


Omar Rashad, Fellow: Omar Rashad is the Editor-in-Chief of The Union, El Camino College’s student-run newspaper in Torrance, CA. He reports on education, homelessness and state legislation and is most interested in exploring how culture and religion play into the lived experiences of minorities in America.


Bella Ross, Fellow: Bella Ross is a graduating senior from San Diego State University, where she served as editor in chief of The Daily Aztec. She would like to one day report on national politics for a large news outlet, and when she’s not on deadline, enjoys binge-watching “Parks and Recreation” and visiting thrift stores.


Janelle Salanga, Fellow: Janelle Salanga is the assistant campus news editor of The California Aggie, UC Davis’s student-run paper, where she reports on grassroots movements and creates engagement initiatives. She also produces the computer science podcast #include and, post-graduation, hopes to continue reporting on the Central Valley and rewatch “New Girl” for the sixth time.


Adria Watson, Fellow: Adria Watson is a senior studying journalism at Sacramento State University. She’s particularly interested in criminal justice and the needs of student parents, and has written for The State Hornet and The Sacramento Bee.


Stephanie Zappelli, Contributor: Stephanie Zappelli is a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the assistant news editor for Mustang News, where she reports on city hall and the environment.

Get Involved

Student journalists: Find out how to join our team, attend our trainings, or run our stories in your campus newspaper by clicking here.

The Latest

California Capitol. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Allowing Legislature to act more secretly

A patrol car closes off Valencia Street in San Francisco after a group of protesters gathered in front of the Mission Police Station on May 30, 2020, the second day of Bay Area unrest over the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis. Photo by Karl Mondon, Bay Area News Group

Community college chief wants police training changes

COVID and kids: A new inflammatory syndrome poses safety challenge for schools, day care

An oil well pumps next to a newly constructed neighborhood near Signal Hill in Long Beach, California on Friday, April 24, 2020. Photo by Jim Ruymen, UPI/Alamy Live News

Oil and babies don’t mix: Wells linked to low birthweight

A protester holds up a sign that says ‘stop killing us’ during a demonstration May 29, 2020 Downtown Oakland. Thousands took to the streets Friday night in solidarity with protesters in Minneapolis against the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police earlier this week. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Affirmative action, reparations coming to CA?

California is revisiting whether to restore affirmative action policies for public schools and universities, as well as state jobs and contracts. Image via iStock

Is now the time to bring back affirmative action in California?