Hello, All! It has been two years since the Class of 2013 left Wesleyan. We’ve embarked on journeys near and far, collected master’s degrees or are enroute to becoming PhDs, changed jobs/lives/cities a few times, and we’ve stuck by each other through it all.
Chantal Ferguson, Suzanne Gallo, and Emily Wolcott are just about to move out of the Jolly Rogers house they have shared for the last two years. Emily and Suzanne are getting their master’s in social work and Chantal is starting her MD/PhD at UMass. They are frequently visited by local classmates including Thomas Kassel and Andrew Perlmutter. Current pastimes include competitive knitting, basket weaving, and soup-making competitions. Weekends are often concluded with team bowling and all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. If anyone is visiting Boston, the Jolly Rogers crew would love to have you at their new digs close by.
Trevor Michelson will be representing the United States in the lightweight single sculls at the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea in July. Randy Linder is working at Capital Group in Los Angeles. Bennett Kirschner started a small theatre ensemble/Vietnamese pop-up in New Orleans called the Cobbleslop Group. Their first production, titled Feast & Crime, went up this past March and was a resounding success. Their next production, titled John Locke Schmidt: The Unforgiven Betrayal of a Close Friend will be in mid-August at a small art gallery, and he would love it if any and all Wesleyan grads could make it!
Joseph O’Donnell is over half way done with a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which spans 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine. He is fundraising along the way for Hike for Mental Health, an organization devoted to promoting mental health research and hiking as a therapeutic activity. To follow or donate for mental health, visit psychhikes.com. Chloe Lalonde and Ceili Brennan are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail the summer. As of this message, they are on top of Mount Whitney! 766 miles out of 2660 down. They are also wearing their Wesleyan Cross Country T-shirts and repping our alma mater.
Ross Gormley is starting an MFA program this fall in creative nonfiction at UNC Wilmington. Before he enrolls, he is traveling out West on a trip made entirely possible by Wesleyan friends—many thanks to them. Sarah Cassel will be beginning a master’s degree in criminology at the University of Cambridge, U.K., in Oct. Ever since participating as a writing tutor in Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, she has become passionate about working in the intersecting field of prison reform, rehabilitation, and racial justice.
Last year, Lia Monti moved into a historic home in Brooklyn Heights built in 1834 by Walt Whitman’s father (with help from young Walt). She graduated this May from Columbia University with a master’s in postwar Japanese art history. Janet Cushey moved from Seoul to NYC in August of 2014 to begin a position as an investor relations associate with a small firm that works with oncology and drug development companies. Anna Swartz is living in Bed-Stuy, writing for The Dodo and looking forward to some scenic drives through good ol’ Connecticut this summer. Walter Rodriguez started a new role this year in global procurement at Pfizer, where he’s been since graduating from Wesleyan. His daughter, Adriana, just graduated from kindergarten this June. He is looking forward to many summer weekends in NYC with her at parks, zoos, aquariums, and gardens. She loves taking the train from New Jersey.
Taran Catania has spent the last year in Washington D.C., working for an international bird conservation organization. Previously, she spent a few seasons in the field catching migratory shorebirds in Delaware Bay. She loves D.C., but does not love the Red Line metro. Evan Okun is now a central leader of Circles & Ciphers, a restorative justice organization or young people of color who are court and gang involved. This coming August, the organization will hire Cherkira Lashley ’15 to start a branch of the program for young women. This past May, Cherkira and Evan brought Circles & Ciphers to Wesleyan to facilitate conflict resolution circles with various groups on campus. One such circle focused on rebuilding community between residents of fraternities, Women of Color House, and Open House. Evan Okun has also brought with colleagues and Wesleyan alumni together to release an album, Well Lit LP. The debut music video can be found on YouTube: E. Oks—Beez (ft. Ash Frost). More music, articles, and poetry can be found at E-Oks.com
Chelsea Goldsmith has an update from the 410: “Cassie Liu came and visited me. The rest of you are still in trouble.”
As for myself, I’m continuing to enjoy the spoils of the Bay Area and am about to hit my two-year mark at Apple. Still making my way through SF gastronomy and exploring the world whenever time permits. Thanks to everyone for writing in and best wishes to all my classmates!