Current Staff

The Telescope Newspaper Staff — Spring 2016




Mike Peterson, Editor-in-Chief

Mike Peterson is a writer, freelancer and the editor-in-chief of The Telescope. He’s currently wrapping up his transfer degree and hopes to move on to CSUSM or SDSU. He likes short sentences and quoting Hemingway. He’s also pretty sure his body would break down if he stopped drinking coffee, so he doesn’t risk it.


Joel Vaughn,   Managing & News Editor

Joel Vaughn has written and edited for the Telescope over both the 2015 Spring and Fall semester. Coming from an artistic background news writing has been what you can call an acquired taste but like many other acquired tastes, once it bless your tongue you can’t have enough. Other than living and breathing news Joel also enjoys, writing reviews when he’s has nothing else to write, cooking when he has time in has day to eat, drinking beer when he’s not broke, and sleeping.


Daze Castillo, Copy & News Editor

Daze Castillo is a first year staff writer for the Telescope. He is a self described political junkie and a full-time user of news and politics. When he is not studying the journalism traditions of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson he is impersonating him in font of the mirror at home. Daze has a deep passion for writing and activism and hopes to have a future involving both.


Fern Menezes, Opinion Editor

This is the second year Fern Menezes has been with the-Telescope and came back this semester as the Opinion Editor.  She loves voicing her opinion along with creative writing.  She started working on her first novel this summer.  Reading and writing is half of her life, the other half is being with her family.



Shaina Blakesley

Shaina Balkesley is a creative writer learning to write no fluff news stories. This is her last semester at Palomar and she plans on transferring to San Diego State in Fall 2016. Ambitious and determined, Shaina plans to double major in Communications and Media, with an emphasis in Public relations, and minor in business. Shaina loves the simple things in life, such as watching Anime with her boyfriend at their home in San Diego, and blasting music that generally warrants raised eyebrows.


Mike Adams,  Sports Editor

Mikel Adams is a journalism major in his third semester at the Telescope and his first as  the papers sports editor. A fan of the local San Diego sports teams and a blogger for Premier League club Chelsea FC in London, England Michael plans on attending SDSU and continuing his pursuits into the journalism field, possibly doing a UT internship this semester.



Diana Guevarra, Online Editor

This is the first year Diana Guevarra has worked with The Telescope, marking her last semester at Palomar college before moving to CSUN. She has lived in San Diego since her birth in 1994. Diana is no stranger to writing, being a former English major, she dabbles in writing daily. She is adamant about fashion, school, comics and sarcasm. Being out-of-the-closet about her nerdiness, Diana relishes her free time off her part time job indulging herself in Heroes of the Storm and additional games. She also loves cosplaying at conventions as her favorite characters.


Michelle Wilkinson,   Social Media and Photo Editor

Michelle Wilkinson is writer, photographer, and A&E editor of The Telescope. She loves baking, interior design, and traveling. During her free time, she volunteers for a German Shepherd rescue. She hopes to transfer for English or Journalism and work for a magazine one day.



Collin Vore, Cartoonist



Staff writers



Noah Callahan

Noah Callahan loves to write articles that have a focus around emotion and achievement. Callahan’s favorite part of the publishing process is the reporting, where he feels it can be both a challenging experience as he tries to unlock the details of a story and yet one of the most rewarding as he gets to learn so much from each source. Callahan also enjoys transition/vert skateboarding, dancing, and writing lyrics under the stage name “Lord Byron.”




Julia Cannon


Kassidy Clark

Kassidy is a third year journalism major and hopes to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall. She hopes to have a career in writing for a high fashion or entertainment magazine in New York. She has always loved fashion, but became more passionate for it after walking in runway shows herself.


Gloria Conejo



Shaye Cunningham

Shaye Cunningham is a third year college student but is in his first year at Palomar. He spent two years at Santa Monica College before retreating from the hectic LA area back to his native North County. He is finishing up his General Education and plans to transfer next year to pursue a degree in Journalism. Shaye wants to write for a sports news company and specialize in baseball.

Alec Cwener


Colin Daugherty


Tamara Eakins


Kennedy Ferguson



Rodney Figueroa

Rodney Figueroa  is a returning staff writer for the Palomar Telescope. He’s previously written for now defunct gaming website MMO Attack and talks a lot about issues pertaining to popular culture, video games and technology.

Figueroa also serves as a teacher in real life, a professor of game design, his understanding and knowledge of how the industry works and some writing credits give him some amount of clarity into his articles. Well versed in social media and social affairs, he centers his writing around current events and opinion pieces at Palomar College.

Before Palomar, Figueroa worked at a Visual Effects firm where he learned how to survive on coffee and determination, when not writing or working, he’s probably playing a videogame or indulging himself in fixing his car.



Cody Jendro

This is Cody’s first semester with the Telescope. Cody loves writing and the ability to craft and learn more about a story has always intrigued him. Cody is currently working on transferring to CS Fullerton to pursue his major of broadcasting communications. Writing and radio are really his two biggest passions, and he hopes to combine the two in the future. This semester, Cody has been able to collaborate, showcase, and ultimately grow as a writer through his efforts on the Telescope.

Abraham Jewett


Elizabeth Kondrot


Brooke Lafleur

Brooke LaFleur is a first year staff writer on the Telescope, breakfast enthusiast, and boy band aficionado. If she’s not found writing, she’s probably standing in front of her closet playing endless games of dress-up or frequenting a day out at an art museum, (with brunch with friends of course). Brooke is currently working on finishing her AA in Journalism and hopes to transfer to a UC or private school where she will pursue a degree in Communications.


Maria Leyva

Maria Leyva is a third year Palomar student. This is her first semester writing for The Telescope, but has been published on both the online and print versions of The San Diego Union-Tribune. She hopes to transfer to the University of Southern California or San Diego State University within the next year.




Daniel Martin

Daniel Martin is a reporter for The Telescope, and enjoys playing guitar in his free time. He aspires to be an investigative reporter, covering social issues around the world.


Taylor Mora

Taylor Mora is a staff writer at The Telescope and is her first semester working for The Telescope. She is still currently debating on whether she wants to go into a journalism major or political science and pursue law. After Palomar she plans to transfer to either Michigan State University or SDSU. Taylor loves to write about lifestyle, crime related events, or anything regarding puppies.



Johnny Mueller

Johnny Mueller is a staff writer for The Telescope and is currently finishing his major prep requirements before transferring to SFSU. A creative writer and student by day, an extreme sports and occult enthusiast 24/7; Johnny is drawn to the bizarre. When not sticking his nose in other people’s business or lurking around for the next artistic story, he enjoys skate/snow boarding as well as playing guitar, drums and organ.

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Chanele Retuya

Chanele Retuya is a staff writer for the Telescope. She is majoring in Communications, and is planning on transferring to UCSD or CSUSM. She has a passion for creative writing and landscape photography. On her free time, she enjoys exploring new places in San Diego and trying new restaurants.


Alexandra Rothman






Michaela Sanderson

Michaela Sanderson is just starting her first semester at Palomar as a journalism major after graduating from Classical Academy High School. She spends most of her time taking pictures, riding her horse, and going on all sorts of crazy adventures with her friends. She plans to transfer to Corban University to continue her studies and become a successful photojournalist.



Kana Shimadi


Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith is a staff writer for The Telescope and finishing up her first year at Palomar as a journalism major. She plans on transferring to CSU Long Beach after earning her General Education. Natalie loves fashion and chicken nuggets and wants to someday write for a fashion/glamour magazine. She has a passion for all things pink and owns a pug named Mr. Bean.


Ali Williams

Ali Williams is a first year staff writer for the Telescope. She is a makeup and Disneyland enthusiast who spends all of her free time engaging in either one. Ali is in her fourth semester at Palomar in hopes to transfer to SDSU or Cal State Fullerton with a Journalism degree.


Kylie Dukes

Kitty Pinney

Ciana Wilson




Coleen Burnham

Coleen Burnham is a student at Palomar College. She is majoring in Photography and currently works as a photographer.  She specializes in shooting wildlife and sports. She has worked as a Graphic/Web Designer most of her life and holds a Graphic Design degree. She is very passionate about animal/human rights, wildlife/conservation and environmental issues.


Hanadi Cackler

Stephen Davis

Aaron Fortin

Isle Hernandez

Niko Holt

Christopher Jones

Johnny Jones


Renee Laine


Olivia Meers








Claudia Rodriguez

Claudia Rodriguez is a photographer and sometimes-writer for The Telescope. She doesn’t always write about herself, but when she does she likes to break the fourth. Claudia holds a degree in anthropology and is currently working to improve her photography as she would like to be a White House photographer. If anyone knows where to apply, please let her know.


Michaela Sanderson

Michaela Sanderson is just starting her first semester at Palomar as a journalism major after graduating from Classical Academy High School. She spends most of her time taking pictures, riding her horse, and going on all sorts of crazy adventures with her friends. She plans to transfer to Corban University to continue her studies and become a successful photojournalist.


Brooke Serrano


Sergio Soares


Efren Solano


Youssef Soliman


Kyrstin Spotts



Deb Hellman, Business Manager and Instructional Assistant


Erin Hiro, Telescope Adviser

[Updated Jan.28, 2016. This page is under construction.]