I’ve noticed a correlation between turning 50 and prolific writing. Lots of news this time around so heavy editing was required.
Victor Khodadad, is the cofounder of New Camerata Opera that just finished an extremely successful second season. The company’s seven co-founders (all active singers) make all decisions democratically and share all duties. The organization has three branches: NCO, for main stage productions; Camerata Piccola, for children’s operas; and CamerataWorks, for in-house video productions that include The Ives Project, which will be releasing videos of Charles Ives’ art songs on YouTube. Wesleyan Professor of Music Neely Bruce played on the recording of nine Charles Ives songs. Victor gave a Tedx Talk on innovation in the arts in December 2016.
Laurel Stegina is living in Deep River, Conn., and has been working at a planning consulting firm for almost 15 years. Laurel wears several hats, including environmental planner and senior project manager, specializing in NEPA and permitting. Laurel was promoted to assistant director of operations, with a focus on professional development of staff, mentoring, and career coaching. As an owner, she is involved with strategic planning and governance issues. “Although no longer part of the ’monkey wrench gang,’ I remain passionate about environmental and social justice issues.”
After 13 years working for Framingham, Mass., public schools as a counselor (with Sarah Guernsey ’92, Gina Capodilupo ’03, and Cora Jeyadame ’96), Tim Hintz started with Brookline Public Schools this fall. Tim celebrated turning 50 with some local friends, including Amy Robins and Denise Casper. Tim has been cleaning out his childhood home near Chicago, where he had dinner with Andy Griffin, his wife, Catherine, and their daughters, Lulu and Meg. He “found some true treasures, including the Wesleyan pencils given to me by Andrea Morse ’89 when I was accepted (they still work) and an original Wes sweatshirt with the tags from Atticus still on (still fits!).” Tim discovered that his 8th grade diploma was signed by the class of ’55 secretary, Donald Braverman ’55. Tim has twin 15-year-old sons and a 10-year-old daughter.
Persis Howe moved from “dark and cold London to sunny California” to work for the City of San Francisco on their digital services. “My kids love Berkeley, especially having green, blue, and purple hair, and no school uniforms” and Persis is “enjoying not being the loud American always. I’ve already managed to meet a few Wes folks in the Bay Area, but would love to find more! On the downside, my husband is not enjoying the constant changes to U.S. immigration rules.”
Peter Gravin writes, “I know many of us, including me, are celebrating our 50th birthdays this year. Yikes. So, I asked myself, what’s the best way to avoid entering into a mid-life crisis? A baby!” Peter and his wife, Ramona, welcomed Arlo Benjamin Gravin in January and “couldn’t be more pleased with him.” Peter has already been asked (including by an OR doctor!) if Arlo is his grandson, and is “prepared for a sharp increase in those questions as he gets older. It’s totally worth it, though.” Peter is finding parenthood a “great way to keep feeling young and energetic!” He sends congratulations to Kok Chong, who also had a baby last year, and asks if there are any other new parents among us.
On the subject of parents/grandparents, Jeffrey Needelman wrote on his 50th birthday to share the birth of his second grandchild, Nola Afia Asantiwaa Ansuh. Jeffrey reminded me that when his grandson was born over two years ago, I commented that he was the first grandparent I knew of in our class. That’s still the case, but here’s my official request for any other grandparents to please come forward.
Finally, Dr. Debbie Gahr writes about NYC alumni celebrating collective 50th birthdays at her place. Despite their advanced ages, they had a fabulous time! The strong Gingerbread showing included Debbie, Schuyler Allen-Kalb, Nina Grekin, Ed Brown, and Kate Hardin. “To make it a Gingerbread coast-to-coast celebration we FaceTimed Todd Thorner in California (Eric Greene, we need your number!).”
Debbie loved catching up with Carolyn Clark and Dave Patterson, Iriss Shimony, Andrew Siff, Susan Wong, Stephanie Donohue Pilla, Eugenie Kim, and Kati Koerner. There were guest appearances from nearby classes, including Elaine Perlman ’89 and her husband Len Bernstein, Lauren Levy ’91, Marni Pedorella ’91, Melissa Sobel ’91, Becky Rumayor ’91, Lilli Link ’89 and Jay Rosenberg ’83, Mike Santoli ’92, Ellen Friedman Bender ’82 and Sam Bender ’82, and Melissa Resnick P’20 who brought her daughter, Emily Koh ’20.
Debbie’s three children, Rebecca (16), David (13), and Ricky (10), “are all super happy and enjoying their respective tap dance, tennis, and baseball endeavors.” Debbie “appreciated hearing from all the folks who almost made it to this shindig and sent their good wishes.” Debbie’s husband, Roy Pomerantz, enjoyed the party too. Debbie is trying to get him to admit that Wesleyan is way cooler than Columbia.
Vanessa Montag Brosgol | firstname.lastname@example.org