CLASS OF 2013 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Let’s get right to it!

Syed Ali is at the national offices of FoodCorps in NYC, helping get the word out about a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them to grow up healthy. If you’re interested, they’re recruiting!

Corey Guilmette is halfway through his second year at Yale Law School, well on his way to becoming a public defender.

Hannah Bailenson was promoted at the National Dance Institute (NDI), where she’s been working on school-based arts education programming. Her Home Ave. housemate Joel Hochman is on the forefront of recent changes around immigration, working with relevant populations as a paralegal at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG).

After stints in Boston and New York working for Analysis Group, Saumya Chatrath has settled in between in New Haven. She’s now a research associate for a Yale University health economist.

After 1.5 years pursuing being an “employed professional” at a tech startup, Evan Carmi quit his job to go backpacking in South America. He’ll be in Mexico, Argentina and Chile from February to May. He is simultaneously excited and terrified.

Marisa Stotter directed and produced She Makes Comics, a documentary celebrating the history of women in comic books, released in Dec. 2013 to great acclaim. Now based in LA, she’s begun working in TV and film development at Valhalla Entertainment, the legendary producer of Aliens, the Terminator trilogy, and The Walking Dead. Marisa is happy to report that she is not yet a zombie.

Laura Machlin is in DC, doing research on anxiety as part of the Post-Bac IRTA program at the National Institutes of Health.

Estée Rubien-Thomas is going strong as an associate researcher in neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her roommate, Leah Koenig, has been working at a reproductive health advocacy nonprofit in NYC. This fall, she’ll begin pursuing an MPH. Their other roommate, Lisa Lee, is a strategy consultant at Deloitte. She’s making migrations to New Jersey every week as part of her current project posting.

Ryu Hirahata moved to Williamsburg after graduation and has been living there while working for an architecture firm based in NYC’s financial district. Zack Sulsky also made the move from Wes to Williamsburg with Ryu to work at Carnegie Hall, but has since moved to Colorado to work full-time on his start-up, Edify Technologies, Inc. Their mobile app, Sketch-a-Song, makes music composition accessible to beginners.

Janet Cushey moved from Seoul to New York in September and began working for a boutique investor relations firm called Argot Partners. Her clients are pharmaceutical companies, with a majority working in the oncology sphere.

Miriam Kwietniewska left the 9-5 race to freelance and pursue her passion. She’s happy to announce the creation of Four Ingredients, a healthy frozen dessert company serving the vegan, paleo, and health-minded communities with delicious desserts made from the best stuff on earth. Check it out at

David Shimomura is actually back at Wesleyan after having spent a year back home in Chicago. He is the new program coordinator for the Center for the Arts, otherwise affectionately known as the CFA. His New Year’s resolution is to have more Twitter followers than Gabriel Urbina.

Samantha Melvin is a lab manager at Columbia University’s Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development Lab. Meaning she gets to hang out with adorable preschoolers and do science. She’s moved in with boyfriend Andy Ribner ’14.

Christina Ermilio has been working for nonprofit executive search firm Isaacson Miller and is living in Somerville, Mass., with Lydia Rex ’14, Sarah Kalish ’14, and Yara Kass-Gergi ’12.

Chelsea Goldsmith has been living, working, and enjoying life in Baltimore, where she’s worked at six different museums and is the volunteer coordinator at the Baltimore Urban Debate League, an educational nonprofit. When not organizing debate tournaments, Chelsea is out and about exploring the city, learning how to use her new sewing machine, and waiting for NYC Wes friends to come and visit. (“Yeah, I’m looking at you, Cassie Liu.”) If life ever brings you to The Greatest City in America, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Anna Swartz is a staff writer for The Dodo, an animal news site. She writes a lot of cat listicles, and is very happy to live within walking distance of so much of the Class of 2013 in Brooklyn.

Since last writing in, James Gardner has taken on an Afro-German mentee and is tutoring him in German and American history. He also helps out at workshops for the parents of Afro-German children. The mothers have reacted positively to the presence of a brown-bodied male figure in their children’s lives. Additionally, James has taken on more responsibility at his job and is showing more entrepreneurial initiative (one of his New Year’s resolutions!). He is working on becoming an even more valuable member of his company’s executive committee. As always, he hopes to convene more frequently with WesBerlin-ers and WesAffiliants passing through the area.

Kateryn Nuñez is getting a second degree at the NYU College of Nursing. She works closely with a midwife as part of her aspirations to join that field.

Jaewon Chung lives on the edge of Queens, NY, working as a clinical research coordinator for the North Shore-LIJ Health System

Bill Beluch is in Tübingen, Germany, working as a research assistant at The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society.

Aria Danaparamita was invited to take part in a documentary series on Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (founder of Singapore; subject of her thesis). After finding her thesis online, the filmmakers asked her to share her insights as one of their experts. The “Raffles Revealed” episodes aired this January on Channel NewsAsia, a Singapore-based news channel broadcast in more than a dozen countries around Asia and the Pacific. It was a great opportunity to share her research on Raffles and the history of British colonization in Java.

Alex Kuwada is in his second year working at Saint James School in Maryland. He teaches upper school math, coaches basketball and soccer, and lives in a dorm with 8th grade boys at the boarding school. He takes pride in being the self-proclaimed best FIFA player on campus and convincing the student body that his nonsensical nicknames are funny, especially “BKE.” Overall, he would describe his journey as an educator and mentor as “flippant,” “circuitous,” and “hardo.”

Michael Steves is still in LA directing and writing. In December, he was hired to write and direct his second feature film The Cold Descent, a horror-western set on a midnight train headed for Atlanta in the 1870s. The movie stars Tony Todd (Candyman), Michael Eklund (Bates Motel), and Lance Henrkison (the Alien series). More recently, Michael directed a horror-comedy feature film, Clinger (made by many Wes students and ’13 alums), that was an official selection of the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival. It premiered January 24,  in the narrative feature competition, as one of 11 selected out of 3,000 feature submissions, and one of three American films in competition. The movie sold out both of its Park City screenings, and has received multiple distribution offers. In between features, Michael writes and directs commercials.

Wishing all my classmates the best! Cheers,

Laura Yim |