CLASS OF 1976 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Some great news from the ’76ers.

Jay Abramowitz lives in Santa Monica, Calif., and is married with three children. He used to write comedy for television and now directs live TV and writes stories. See the stories at:

Susan Avitzour and her husband Daniel’s sixth grandchild was born in June, her youngest daughter Ayala was married in August, and she is semi-retired though continuing her psychotherapy practice part-time. Daniel has a neurological condition that requires him to use a wheelchair much of the time, but their family has stepped up to help whenever needed.

Meredith Bergmann’s design was chosen for the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument in NYC’s Central Park.

Melissa Blacker and David Rynick ’74 have been together since 1977. Their daughter is expecting her first child and their first grandson in early February. They are both Zen Buddhist teachers and run a temple in Worcester, Mass. ( Everyone is invited to visit.

Matt Cartter, a state epidemiologist, loves the fact that he gets to combine his Wes education with his medical education. For an interesting example, see

Jon Cleworth is a physical fitness advocate and credits Wes Crew for instilling that in him. Jon is fighting MS and primarily uses a rowing machine to stay in shape.

David Cohen enjoyed his annual weekend with Steward Shuman, Matt Paul, and Michael Greenberg and their spouses on the south shore of Long Island.

Joe Cox‘s son, John, is a sophomore at Emory and runs for the cross-country and track teams. His daughter, Brooke, is finishing her senior year at the College of William and Mary (“WM”) and majoring in international relations. Her honors joint degree program with WM and the University of St. Andrews gives Joe and his wife Mary the chance to visit Scotland from time to time. Joe is with a small biotech company that completed its first human clinical trial last year (

Photo by Bruce Temple

Bruce Demple and his wife, Sue, just returned from a fabulous two-week trip in Brazil including five days in the jungle of Amazonia where one evening they scaled ropes 120 feet to get above the jungle canopy. Bruce spoke at two scientific conferences there, one in Sao Paolo and another in Foz do Iguacu.

Steve Duncan and his wife, Lynne Cohen Duncan ’78, sat out Hurricane Florence at home in Chapel Hill, N.C., and managed to miss all but some high winds and about 10 inches of rain.

Don Fallati and his wife, Ruth Pachman ’78, attended the graduation of their son, Mark, from Swarthmore in May. Mark made it to the NCAA tennis championships again this year, capping off a great college athletic career. Don and Ruth live in Larchmont, N.Y. Don has his own marketing consulting firm, and Ruth is managing director at a New York financial public relations firm.

Leslie Gabel-Brett is a consultant to the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy and recently traveled with spouse Carolyn to see some of the national parks in Utah. Leslie will be teaching a course at Wes again in the spring.

Joellyn Gray puts in a plug for Bob Craft’s son, Will, who writes an investigative journalism series in a podcast called In the Dark. Joellyn’s son, Duncan, has written some great movie reviews at

Byron Haskins is in the midst of a four-week exploration of Italy with his wife, Gabrielle, whose father’s family heralds from Tuscany. They have visited lots of places and Byron celebrated a birthday with dinner at Momma Rosa’s in Milan. Byron is enjoying the respite from the U.S. 24-hour news cycle and is collecting ideas for future short stories that he plans to write.

Alan Miller reports that the News Literacy Project, a national educational nonprofit that he founded and leads as CEO, celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year. NLP’s Checkology virtual classroom is now used by middle and high school teachers in every state in the U.S. and 97 other countries. In August, Fast Company praised NLP and said that its courses, which discriminate between real and false news “should become a fundamental building block of our students’ education.”

Nat Needle is teaching piano to students of all ages and organizes and emcees an open mic that brings people with and without disabilities together as performers and audience members. He welcomes contact from old friends at

Debra Neuman took an amazing two-week trip to Italy last summer with three women friends. They hiked, biked, walked endlessly, and enjoyed great food and wine.

Jack O’Donnell’s daughter, Maggie ’19, is a senior at Wes and it has been a perfect fit for her. Jack says that she has taken full advantage of all the school has to offer.

Marc Stier is the director of a progressive research, advocacy, and organizing group, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. The Center is running a statewide issue advocacy campaign called We the People that is setting an agenda for state legislative elections in 2018 and beyond.

Barbara Strauss’ daughter, Rebecca Ingber, is a law professor at Boston University and in September testified about security and executive power issues at the Senate Kavanaugh hearings. Her son-in-law argued his first case in the U.S. Supreme Court this past spring, and her daughter, Hanna Ingber ’03, was appointed as the editorial director of the New York Times this year.

Becky Vose just retired from 20-plus years of being a lawyer for the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project at Boston College Law School. She and her husband, Steve Schreckinger, have three adult children: Anna, a teacher in Colorado, Ben, a writer for Politico, and Michael, an analyst at the State Department.

Had dinner with Bruce Tobey ’75 in Chicago recently and went to a magic show with Nancy ’78, Larry Schulman ’78 and his wife, Chris, where Larry became part of the show. Also reconnected with Mark Allard ’74, Tim Donahue ’74, and Bill Zimmerman ’74 after many years as well as Ed Kenney ’75, George Surgeon ’72, Mark Willis ’75, and several other Wes grads.

Mitchell Marinello |