CLASS OF 1997 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

While Mocon may be gone, the connections among our class are more solid than ever. There was so much love at the 20-year Reunion! After the 20th Reunion Reception, we marveled that no one was seen checking their phones during the evening because we were so intensely focused on being present with each other. Or maybe we didn’t miss our phones because Wesleyan was ALWAYS a cell phone-free zone in the ’90s. Either way, it was a thrill to reconnect with dear friends and to find “new” friends in our class who we hadn’t gotten to meet prior to graduation.

We really appreciate the Reunion Committee’s hard work. And congratulations to Kimberly King, the recipient of the Wesleyan University Service Award!

Attending some of the WESeminars made us realize what a powerful influence Wesleyan has had on us, enabling us to deepen our intellectual engagement with the world during the past two decades. We were blown away by the insight, talent, and raw honesty of our visionary classmates who shared their perspectives on their work at “The Future of Digital Media” WESesminar: Craig Thomas, Sean Brecker, Carter Bays, Santi “Santigold” White, and Maggie (McLean) Suniewick. Also, congratulations to Santi White on her Distinguished Alumni award from Wesleyan!

Some highlights from the weekend included seeing Christine Landry, her wife Megan Reed, and their two children and seeing how much Matt and Amy (Goorin) Fogelman’s two daughters have grown since the last Reunion. We went all fangirl on Mia Lobel, producer of the Revisionist History podcast, and we ran home and watched the 60 Minutes piece on the rise of women’s soccer in Iran, produced by Alexandra Poolos. Jess was delighted to see her frosh year roommate, Erica (Kaiser) Schuyler, when she and her two sons stopped by the Foss Hill festivities on Saturday afternoon. We enjoyed catching up with Lauren Porosoff, Julie (Philips) Wolf, Matt Mulvey, Leelach (Rothschild) de Koven, and Seth Spector at the class dinner on Saturday night.

We wished that we had had more time to spend with everyone who came to Reunion, including…Anita (Mitra) Crabtree, Alexander Grashow, Malayna Bernstein, Abe Velez, Vicki Kuskowski, Genevieve (Kramer) Maciel, Alison (Keimowitz) Spodek, Brent Spodek, Cria Ortiz, Marisa Uchin, Dara Katz, David Goldsmith, Erin Solomon Gaffen, Linda (Chun) Meehan, Raphael Crawford, Amani Willett, Charlotte Scott, Alison Brody, Kim Diaz, Sarah Benatar, Anna Lefer Kuhn, Meg Mullen, Robin (McLellan) Woodworth, Caitlin Meredith, Laura Roberts, Laura Woodrow, Benny Vasquez, Dara Greenwood, Michael Lenore, Tom Griggs, Erin Solomon Gaffen, Austin Applegate, Niko Higgins, James Seo, Ama (Goldsmith) Greenrose Manasse, Yaron Ben-Zvi, Tony Schloss, Brendan Bolton-Klinger, Molly Steele, Sarah Nowygrod Weihmiller, Diego Gutierrez, Jill Abraham, John Walcott, Mark Karvosky, Megan Thaler, Michael Sternhell, Rachel Meeropol, Samantha Abeysekera, Alissa Bell, Cana (McCoy) Williams, Kari Colen, Jessica D’Amore, Stephen McNulty, Michelle Driscoll, Jack Eighmy, Laura (Feldt) Roberts, Steve Guidi, Jade Hoye, Ann Marie (Preissler) Everdell, Kenneth Andersen, Bettina Berg, Mayo Escobar, Josh Arthurs, Ben Harbert, Emma (Ditrinco) Sollars, Amy Trask, Susan Alkasab, Lauren (Tehan) DiLoreto, Woodwyn Koons, Carin (Ivker) Armstrong, Maya Kremen, Alexis Levenson, Joanna Starrels, Nicole (Rodriguez) Leach, Chris Gaither, Heather Burke, Susanne Sreedhar, Rachel Ruane, Sacha (Shapiro) Emerson, Rebecca (Fried) Weisberg, Oliver Henzler, Alan Rozen, Kerry Halpern, Josh Rosenblatt, Jon Gelb, Flo Turkenkopf, Coop King, Jed Byrom, Josh Borenstein, Laura (Flynn) Edmonds, Kayce Davis,  Daniel Hughes, Ria (Mirabal) Higgs, Ryan Cunningham, Ram Subramanian, Matthew Carey, Joy (Langford) Connolly, Nicole (Smith) Padgett, Aileen (Nagle) McDonough, Rachel Rodriguez, Michelle Cho, Michael Vilas, Michael Mittelman, Fawn Phelps, Gaby Alter, Matthew Rattigan, Barbara Grieninger, Kerry (Biancamano) Coppola, Marina Tal, Geoffrey Hand, and Sam Layborne.

We found out from Josh Suniewick that their family is making a move: “Maggie was made president of digital enterprises at NBC/Universal last fall and has been commuting from Philly to NYC daily.  We are both looking forward to having a better life balance and more family time with our three boys. Also we’re excited to reconnect with other Wes alumni in the New York metro area!”

Though he couldn’t make it to Reunion, Abdul L. Rasheed reached out to let us know that he has been commissioned to dance and produce in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Latin America. Abdul is a proud alumnus, singing the praises of his dancer and rehearsal assistant Nik Owens ’12 and dancer Nick Daley ’17.

Lauren Porosoff and her husband Jonathan Weinstein have a book coming out in August called EMPOWER Your Students: Tools to Inspire a Meaningful School Experience. “The book is about helping students notice how their assignments and interactions can be contexts for values-consistent behavior, and to choose those values-consistent behaviors even when it’s hard.”

Andy Hiller wrote, “For the past three years, I have been living in Brooklyn with my husband and 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Dante. We love it here, but do wish we had more green space. A highlight twice a year is when Clara Petit and Wally Einenkel come to town and we get to spend some quality time together. We don’t get to see each other often, but the bond is as strong as ever.”

Derek DiMatteo wrote to us from Indiana University at Bloomington, where he is working on his dissertation on protest literature and higher education. He won the Winchester Fellowship Award from the Wesleyan English Department this year.

Monica Santana Rosen wrote: “I am married and settled in Chicago with my architect husband. I have three children: Antonio (13), Marlo (9), and Ana (we call her Annie B) who is 5. I launched my own consulting firm last fall, Alma Advisory Group. We provide human capital consulting to school systems across the country. I’ve been spending time consulting in Hawaii, Memphis, and Tampa among others. We have a team of nine and I’m loving life as a start-up CEO, helping states, districts, and CMOs find, grow, and inspire excellent principals and teachers, who in turn make great things possible for their students.”

Elizabeth Schneider has an award-winning wine podcast called Wine for Normal People, for people who want to learn about wine in a down-to-earth way, without the snob factor.

Nadia Gardner received her master’s in environmental science and management from University of California – Santa Barbara in 2006. She has worked for Columbia Land Trust as conservation manager for 10 years.  She lives with her partner, Michael Manzulli and 18-month-old son, Matteo Gardner Manzulli, in the forest within a block from the beach on Oregon’s north coast, where they hike and surf.

Breton Leone-Quick was sad to miss Reunion, and wrote to us from Boston, where he’s been with the Mintz Levin law firm for 15 years. Breton lives in Lexington, Mass., with his wife, Katie, and two children, Thomas (8) and Violet (6).

You can check out some photos from Reunion at and on the Wesleyan University – Class of 1997 Facebook page. Why not start planning to come back for our 25th reunion in 2022? We’ll be there, O’Rourke’s menus in hand!

In the meantime, please continue sending us your updates about work, home, family, travel, books, films, podcasts, and adventures big and small.

Jessica Shea Lehmann |

Sasha Lewis Reisen |