Meet Our Team

The Beacon is Merrimack College’s student-run newspaper. To contact us, please email

2021-2022 Editorial Board

Nicole Fasciano

Nicole is a senior at Merrimack College majoring in Communication & Media with a double minor in Journalism and Digital Media Production. Nicole is enthusiastic about entering her new leadership role as the Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon. She hopes to contribute strong stories and new ideas to the organization as a whole. On campus, Nicole is the Vice President of MCTV. She hopes to have a career in video broadcasting and/or journalism/storytelling for a news organization.

Olivia Faulkner
Associate Editor

Liv is a senior at Merrimack with majors in International Studies and Political Science. This is her second year on The Beacon E-Board; last year she served as Social Media & Marketing Director. She is looking forward to editing a variety of pieces for The Beacon this year. Liv is also working with classmates to create a chapter of Model UN at Merrimack, and has been serving as the soon-to-be club’s President. In addition to her roles on The Beacon and Model UN, Liv is also a Resident Advisor at the Royal Crest Apartments. She enjoys being an active member of the campus community and showing other students what Merrimack has to offer. She plans to continue on to graduate school post-graduation, particularly in International Relations or Global Communication.

Sophie Long
Associate Editor

Sophie is a junior at Merrimack College majoring in Exercise Science. She is thrilled to be on The Beacon E-Board as an Associate Editor and hopes that she is able to make a strong contribution to the organization by bringing creative ideas and a positive attitude. Sophie also works at the Writing Center as an FYE Mentor and is a member of Theta Phi Alpha and the Panhellenic Council where she stands as the New Member Educator. She is working to graduate with her Bachelor’s and then go to graduate school to become a Physician’s Assistant. Sophie recently passed her CNA state exam and is looking forward to working in the medical field as well as continuing her journey with The Beacon.

Becca Needleman
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Becca is a junior at Merrimack College majoring in Communication & Media with a minor in Marketing. Becca is very excited to be on The Beacon E-Board as the Arts & Entertainment Editor. She hopes she can contribute new and creative thoughts to the organization. On campus, Becca is the Sisterhood Social Chair for Theta Phi Alpha, the President of the Dance Club, an Event Coordinator, and a First Year Experience mentor. Becca is working to be a part of the event planning industry and is already working with ChrisFête Events as a Wedding Events Project Coordinator.

Brandon Ellsworth
Sports Editor

Brandon is a Sports Editor for The Beacon this year. He is a Business Administration major concentrating in Sports Management. He is also involved in Kappa Sigma, MCTV, and SGA and works with the Merrimack Athletic Department as a Game Day Operations intern. Brandon has a passion for working in the sports industry while having the opportunity to create sports content for The Beacon this year.

Shaun McAvoy
Sports Editor

Shaun is a Sports Editor for The Beacon. He is a senior double majoring in Sport Management as well as Communication & Media. Shaun is the Vice President of both MCTV and the Club Frisbee team and he plays Club Baseball. Shaun works in the athletic communications department and wants to work in the sports industry in areas like sports production or sports reporting.

Alex Conte
Social Media Director
Matthew Cavoli
Marketing & Associate Social Media Director

Matt is a junior at Merrimack majoring in Human Development and Education with a minor in Marketing. Matt is very excited about being the Marketing Director of The Beacon this year. Besides his role on The Beacon E-Board, Matt is a Resident Advisor and an Office Assistant at the Stevens Service Learning center. Matt is looking forward to writing a bunch of articles this year and getting the word out about The Beacon.

Margaux Lestage
Photo Editor

Margaux is the photo editor for The Beacon this year. She is a junior studying Communication & Media with Religious & Theological Studies and Political Science minors. This is her first year being the Photo Editor for The Beacon, but she is really excited to be part of this wonderful team. Margaux loves taking photos and can not wait to share her work with others. Margaux is also involved with Film Club, WMCK, SGA, NSLS, Austin Scholars, and DREAM. Additionally she is an RA, an intern with the O’Brien Center, and she works at the Media Center.

Samantha Scherbak
Web Editor

Sam is a junior majoring in Communication & Media with a minor in Theatre Arts. This is Sam’s first year as the Web Developer for The Beacon and she is thrilled to be on the E-Board. Sam is also a member of Merrimack’s Concert and Chamber Choirs and she has a music radio show on WMCK called The Merrimack Mix. After graduating, Sam hopes to pursue a career as publication editor and/or radio host.

Chris Dolan
Video Editor

Chris is a junior at Merrimack College majoring in Communication & Media with a minor in Digital Media Production. This is his second year creating video content for The Beacon and his first year as the Video Editor/MCTV Liaison. Chris also serves as MCTV’s Co-President/Executive Producer and he hopes to continue building the connection between the two organizations and create impactful videos that can be used for both clubs. Chris has had the opportunity to work with many departments on campus such as Athletic Communications and Hockey East. Upon graduation, Chris hopes to continue running his personal business that offers a wide variety of media services including Video Production, Photography, and Social Media services.

Melissa Zimdars
Faculty Advisor

Melissa is an Assistant Professor in Communication & Media. She started advising The Beacon in the spring of 2017. She has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies, an M.A. in Media Studies, and B.A. in Journalism.