CLASS OF 2013 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

This year has been unfortunately uneventful for Bennett Kirschner. Some avoidable health complications have sidetracked his 10-year plan. Regrettably, he accepted a friend’s challenge to see who could eat more bottles of Flintstones Gummy Vites. While he won the challenge, his body was profoundly disoriented by this mineral glut. It has been eight months and he is still functioning at only 80 percent of his former capacity. Let this be a lesson to us all: be careful with vitamins.

James Gardner writes in from Germany, where one of his stepsons just had a baby, so he is now technically a grandfather (believe it or not!). He writes that there is a Facebook group for Wes alumni living in Germany or any German-speaking countries: Everyone living in or frequently traveling to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland should feel free to join.

Benjamin and Vivianne Swerdlow recently bought a home in Richmond, Calif., with their black golden, Shadow, and their degu, Henry. Benjamin is in his second year of a PhD. program in clinical psychology at UC, Berkeley. Vivianne runs a free salesforce administrator training program for job seekers who have been out of work for six months or more, helping mid-level professionals with technology backgrounds gain new skills and find sustainable employment.

Chelsea Goldsmith is still living in Baltimore, still working in non-profit, and still really enjoying both of those things! Highlights of 2016 include learning to use the overcasting foot on her sewing machine, winning gold at Pirate Olympics, and getting engaged.

Marjorie Dodson is going on her fourth year in Beijing. She noshed on spicy rabbit heads with Dan Nass. If anyone is ever in China, give her a shout!

Kevin Curtin shipped up to Boston from NYC. After spending the last year doing private equity, he jumped ship to Jobcase, a startup based in-town. The company is a social media site for empowering America’s workforce.

Evan Okun coordinates nationwide tours for Circles & Ciphers, a Chicago-based restorative justice organization led by young people who are court-, gang-, prison-, and DCFS- involved. Circles & Ciphers opens each event with a spoken word performance, then hosts participants in a restorative justice peace circle to discuss police, and prison abolition. In 2016, they hosted events at Yale University, Hunter College, University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia, and a myriad of other cities across the country. It’s time to dismantle the prison industrial complex, so please contact him directly at: 

The end of 2016 saw Nicole Bonneau graduate from Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Florida Campus as a doctor of chiropractic. She is very excited to be back in her home state of Vermont to practice, as well as to be closer to friends, family, and her fiancé.

In October, Kristen Raddatz became the executive editor for the Chicago Review of Books. Feel free to get in touch if you’re interested in reviewing books, interviewing authors, or writing a lit-related piece for the CHIRB. She’s also still working her real (paying) job as a publicist at the University of Chicago Press, and she’d love to connect with any Wes alumni living in or traveling through the city!

After two years as the deputy media editor at Huffington Post, Catherine Taibi left to join Bloomberg as social media editor, overseeing social strategy on various platforms across’s many verticals, including markets, politics, technology, and luxury. Catherine had the privilege of traveling to all three presidential debates and covering each event live, interviewing top political/media figures and celebrities. Post-election, she will continue to cover politics both nationally and internationally.

Ian Waldron writes that Rory O’Neill returned to the United States after three years wandering in Brazil, and was duly roasted by his friends for three hours upon returning. He is acclimating well to American culture and norms.

As for myself, I spent the holidays down under and ushered in 2017 in Melbourne. Tried to smuggle a baby wallaby back to San Francisco, but sadly I couldn’t pull it off. Thanks to all my classmates for writing in and best wishes to everyone in 2017!

Laura Yim |