Musings and Machinations

My name is Katelynn Cusanelli and this is my website. Many people recognize me as a public figure from my time spent as a television personality on MTV and as an acclaimed civil rights activist, but I'm best known professionally for my work as a Linux systems engineer, technical consultant, and public speaker. I have worked with many organizations locally and nationwide doing community outreach, youth counseling, suicide/risk prevention, diversity training, and giving keynote lectures. I created this website to serve as a primary index for all things me and because I have a passion for civil rights, technology, and writing. Please see below for more information about who I am and the work that I do.

Business Contact Information

E: [email protected]

H: Monday - Friday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM


Mar 2013 - Present

In March of 2013 I became a co-founder of Flutter Wireless, a small electronics startup located in Silicon Valley, California. Flutter is a 100% Open Source microcontroller based on Arduino with an onboard radio allowing it to transmit at a data rate between 30 Kbps to 1.2 Mbps at distances up to and beyond 1 kilometer. This past September we successfully completed a campaign on Kickstarter, allowing us to move forward on the project and bring a limited run of our product to market. Presently Flutter is in an engineering phase and we hope to begin Kickstarter fulfillment this Summer.

As a co-founder I am responsible for all creative media development and community management for over 1,600 domestic and international customers. I'm also responsible for successfully managing the Flutter Wireless Kickstarter campaign which exceeded its $80,000 funding goal by 90%, raising $150,000 in capital for the startup. Additionally, I write all web, social, and Kickstarter campaign copy and updates. I managed all email communication with backers, handled post-campaign payment processing, and oversaw the campaign migration to BackerKit. I was also responsible for managing press relations and getting us featured in Engadget, TechCrunch, Make, Geek, GeekBoy.it, Quartz, GigaOM, Hacker News, and managing our Reddit AMA (while working 40+ hours a week at my day job).

Linux Systems Administrator

Dec 2012 - Oct 2013

As a contracted Linux administrator for Ericsson I was responsible for providing successful local, US, and international remote administration to a highly technical team of developers and providing system administration services to internal customers by serving as a primary point of contact for problem resolution or direct inquiries. Functions of my duties included: identifying root-cause analysis for issues; creation, deployment, management, and support of Virtual Machines in VMWare VSphere and Citrix XenServer; management and supporting configurations of production Linux systems via Puppet and Git; development of cross-functional efforts with other infrastructure teams on project development processes; creation and delivery of daily, weekly, and monthly system reports; and providing information life-cycle management, provision, service-oriented architecture, automation, and hierarchical monitoring and escalation procedures using ITIL best practices.

Linux Systems Administrator

Jan 2012 - Nov 2012

Working in the Network Operations Center for TiVo my team was responsible for monitoring and overseeing all of the company's 2,000+ Red Hat and Windows systems, services, and networks. This included working with and writing code for multiple network monitoring tools and services such as Groundworks, Splunk, and Solarwinds. Additionally, I was responsible for: providing direct support to internal and international customers including problem solving and root cause analysis when operational problems occur; the development, implementation, and deployment of emergency hot-fixes; building, configuration, and deployment of new Linux servers for production and monitoring; the review, approval, and implementation of change requests based on environmental needs; and creating and maintaining policies to improve TiVo's internal services.

Network Validation Engineer

Jun 2010 - Dec 2011

Serving as a team member for Intel's LAN Access Division I was responsible for the building, configuration, and deployment of Windows Servers \ Clients 2003, 2008, Windows 8 Alpha, Windows 7, Vista, XP, and WinPE and Linux Servers \ Workstations in Red Hat, SLES, Ubuntu, and CentOS to install, configure, and troubleshoot custom debug drivers, EEPROM, BIOS, and flash images to valid alpha and pre-release 10/100/1000MB and 10/40GB wired Ethernet controllers and NICs for functional evaluation and/or customer issue reproduction. I was also responsible for configuring network switches and routers by Cisco, Foundry Networks, Extreme Networks, Arista, and Dell for issue reproduction and for test suites, VLANs, Trunking, Flow Control, etc. Functions of this job included: utilizing Spirent Test Center, IOMeter, netperf, iperf, NTTTCP, Wireshark, and Ixia Chariot, as well as Intel custom software tools for performance and compliance testing of network interfaces such as Add-in and LAN on Motherboard (LOM); utilizing debugging software such as WinDBG, OIDs, and OidScope to assist developers in issue resolution; installing and configuring Linux DHCP, PXE Boot, and Samba file servers; configuring workstations and servers for booting via iSCSI across gigabit Ethernet and 10 gigabit Ethernet; configuring Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Datacenter Briding (DCB) for 10 gigabit networks; working within a UEFI shell environment to configure, test, and load new drivers, option ROMs, and system tools; assembly, configuration, and troubleshooting of workstations, rack mount and blade servers from serveral vendors such as Dell, HP, Cisco, Sun, Lenovo, and Fujitsu; and troubleshooting, configuring, and updating Dell CMC (Chassis Management Controller) and HP Virtual Connect Manager for blade servers.

Director of IT

Dec 2008 - Jun 2009

Acting as Director of Information Technology for the University of Montana's Missoula Campus Skaggs building, I was responsible for overseeing and managing all Linux, Windows, and MAC OSX Servers and Workstations as well as managing domain, group, and user policies in Windows NT/2003 running IIS 4.0/5.x. This included providing help desk and server administration services to campus staff and the student body by serving as primary point of contact for problem resolution or direct inquiries. My responsibilities included but were not limited to: identifying nature of all technical issues, including loss of service, impact to the customer's needs, and expectations to a resolution; building, installing, configuration, and deployment of workstations and servers for network operations, applications, and printing; monitor reports of viruses and intrustions and react as needed; ensuring that all regulations governing troubleshooting and repair procedures are followed and documented; provide instruction and orientation to new users and promote security awareness; interacting with users to ensure correct use of campus hardware and software; and provide troubleshooting to resolve issues between applications, hardware and device conflicts, and operation system faults for a campus with a student body of over 15,000 students.

UNIX Systems Administrator

Nov 2003 - Apr 2008

NTT/Verio is a global industry leader in web hosting solutions and delivering online business solutions. As the youngest member of the UNIX systems administration team I was responsible for server administration services serving as a primary point of contact for problem resolution of a production server farm of 5,000+ servers worldwide with datacenters across the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. My primary duty was to provide direct support when operation problems occur to internal and international customers, including identification of systemic issues, problem solving, and root cause analysis. This included: inspection and configuration of internal and customer DNS records, and management of BIND, SQUID, Apache, ModPerl, ModSSL, and other network applications with an emphasis on overall systems security; being responsible for routine building, management, hardware maintenance, and hot-fix patching of Intel and Supermicro rack mounted servers; review and evaluation of server performance to maintain a 99.95% system available and uptime; providing daily, weekly, and monthly auditing reporting and server evaluations to management; and working closely on cross-functional efforts with other infrastructure teams including Software Engineering, Database Administration, and Network Engineering departments to establish operational discipline within product development processes. Additionally, I personally spear-headed several projects which improved internal documentation and overall systems knowledgebase, increasing departmental productivity.

Every year during the spring and fall semesters I travel to colleges and universities around the country where I deliver high quality content-driven entertainment lectures on a variety of sociopolitical topics such as: contemporary civil rights and social justice issues, social working with disenfranchised LGBT youth, human gender and sexuality, ethnic and economic LGBT issues, and a transgender introspective.

Some of the instiutions I have had the honor of speaking at include:

"Societal Precepts of Gender and Sexual Minorities". University of Nebraska. Nebraska Union, Lincoln, Nebraska. 20 October 2011. Lecture.

"Transgender Introspective". Sonoma State University. Warren Auditorium, Rohnert Park, California. 11 October 2011. Lecture.

"Epidemiology of Suicide Among LGBT Youth". University of Wisconsin. Memorial Union, Madison, Wisconsin. 27 September 2011. Lecture.

"Pathology of Gender and Sexual Minorities". University of Connecticut. Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, Storrs, Connecticut. 1 December 2010. Lecture.

"Societal Precepts and the Pathology of Gender". University of Louisiana. Angelle Hall, Lafayette, Louisiana. 12 October 2010. Lecture.

"Transgender Introspective". Colby-Sawyer College. Clements Hall, New London, New Hampshire. 16 April 2010. Lecture.

"Gender and Sexual Minorities and the Contemporary Civil Rights Movement". East Carolina University. Mendenhall Student Center, Greenville, North Carolina. 27 October 2009. Lecture.

"The Demography and Epidemiology of Bullying Among LGBT Youth ". University of California, Merced. Early Childhood Education Center, Merced, California. 25 August 2009. Lecture.

"Pathology of Gender and Sexual Minorities". Emerson College. Paramount Center, Boston, Massachusetts. 29 April 2009. Panel.

"Transgender Introspective". University of North Texas. University Union, Denton, Texas. 16 April 2009. Lecture.

In 2009 I entered the national stage when I became the first openly Transgender woman on MTV's The Real World. Since then I have had the opportunity to appear on talkshows and other television productions where I continue to educate individuals and bring attention to issues impacting the LGBT community.

The Real World: Brooklyn

14 Episodes. 2009.

On August 14, 2008 I moved into a beautiful apartment with seven complete strangers on Pier 41 in Red Hook, Brooklyn and began filming the 21st season of MTV's hit reality series, The Real World. The 21st season was the first to include eight housemates and for its 10 week duration was one of the top 10 ad-supported cable shows, and averaged a 6.6 Nielson rating. Additionally, episode one "Brooklyn Bridging" is still one of the highest rated series shows ever on MTV with 2.3 million viewers tuning in for the premiere. See the show's trailer on YouTube or watch the whole season on MTV.com.

The Tyra Banks Show

Guest Star. 2009

Season 4, Episode 122 of the Tyra Banks Show originally aired on March 30, 2009 and was filmed in front of a live studio audience at the Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc studio in New York City. This episode focused on Transgender issues and was centered around Isis King, a transwoman who was a contestant on America's Next Top Model. Dr. Marci Bowers and myself are featured as guest stars who discuss issues concerning medical transition and how Transgender individuals are generally portrayed in popular culture. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any links or references to this episode online.

The Challenge: Fresh Meat 2

4 Episodes. 2010.

Filmed on location in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, Fresh Meat II is the 19th season of MTV's reality game show, The Challenge. Myself and twelve other MTV alumni were paired up with brand new players to compete together for a share of the $300,000 grand prize. In addition to competing against the other teams, pairs also struggle to seize control of the game and deal with politics when the house is split into two powerful rival camps. Will I be able to survive the house drama? How athletic am I, really? Find out! See the show's trailer on YouTube or watch the whole series on MTV.com.

The Challenge: Rivals

5 Episodes. 2011.

Filmed on location in Costa Rica, Argentina, and Patagonia, Rivals is the 21st season of The Challenge. This was the first season of The Challenge that did not include any cast members from Road Rules, and featured an incendiary format where players were teamed with antagonists from previous seasons of The Real World and The Challenge. See the show's trailer on YouTube or watch the whole series on MTV.com

I was 12 years old the first time I worked as a community volunteer, and in the 18 years since then I am honored to have worked many local and national organizations to promote awareness, community activity, and extend legal protections to LGBT and ethnic minority communities which need them most. In 2009 I was listed in The Advocate's "Top 40 Under 40" civil rights activists, and in 2010 my colleague and I were nominated for a GLAAD media award for projects we worked on while volunteering for Manhattan's LGBT Center.

Oregon Queer Youth Summit

Volunteer. Project Link

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Gender Identity Project

Volunteer. Project Link

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Braking the Cycle

Volunteer. Project Link

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Promote the Vote

Volunteer. Project Link

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Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Smith, John. "10 Reasons Katelynn is Awesome." New York Times. New York Times, 10 Mar 2009. Web. <http://somelink.com/>

Absolutely! I am available to speak at meetings, conferences, conventions, campuses, and more. I bring a range of experiences and insight on the issues facing our world today to my speeches, as well as my unique warmth and engaging style. Anyone interested in having me speak at their event should contact [email protected].

This is a question I get kinda often, mostly from people who are auditioning to be on The Real World or a similar type of program. First, I would recommend you read my post on Quora about what it was like being on a reality program. If you think you might thrive in such an environment my best advice is to be as true to your personality as you can.

Casting directors are looking for something specific, so if you try to make yourself out to be something you're not you likely aren't going to get very far. If you have any of the qualities they happen to be looking for you will easily fly through their screening process. All you have to be is honest to your personality and completely uninhibited.

Possibly! I mean, I gotta exist somewhere on the space/time continuum and I am known to teleport to arbitrary places for a brief spell. One could say I'm something of a Gypsy. Then again I could just have one of those faces that gets around (the hussy!). I suppose the only way to know for sure is next time you think you see me out and about, walk on over and strike up a conversation.

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