Hillary writes for this issue. Drs. Kellina Craig-Henderson and Yanique LeCadre connected and attended the Wesleyan Black Alumni annual Kwanzaa event hosted by David Davenport and his wife. The event, which also honored Wesleyan’s retiring, long-serving and dedicated admissions director Cliff Thornton, was filled to capacity and included Majora Carter and other alumni.
In 2018, Alex Bergstein ran for office, challenging a five-term Republican incumbent in a district that had been solid red for nearly 90 years. “With a campaign focused entirely on real facts and solutions and fueled by unprecedented volunteer energy, I won!” Alex is now the State Senator representing Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford, Conn., and loves this new role as a public servant. Her campaign manager is Nichola Samponaro ’11 and Alex writes that they are “on a mission to redefine our Democracy with civic engagement and Truth!”
Emily Gerber and her husband have moved from Oakland to Woodacre, Calif., in West Marin County. “While it’s only 30 miles from San Francisco, it might as well be one thousand. We live on top of a glorious ridge surrounded by trees and hiking trails.” Emily also started in a new position as behavioral health director for Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael and Petaluma, Calif.
Bobbito Garcia has been doing a film tour since June of his autobiography, Rock Rubber 45s, with large scale screenings at the Kennedy Center and Central Park SummerStage, among others. The New York Times gave the film a Critics’ Pick review, and the Smithsonian selected it for its African American Film Festival 2018. Lisa Hone went to the Kennedy Center to see the film. She writes, “I strongly recommend the movie. It covers his childhood, high school, time at Wesleyan, and beyond. Some of it is painful, but there is also joy and just plain fun. And a few other Wesleyan grads make appearances in the film.”
Julie Schwarzwald writes, “2018 was a busy year for me, to say the least. After attending our 30th Reunion and loving renewing and making deeper connections, I underwent treatment for breast cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Then I changed jobs in July to become the director of congregational learning at a different synagogue. Along the way, I completed my rabbinical studies and was ordained as a rabbi in early January. I am grateful to have been more or less healthy throughout—and to turn the page on the calendar!”
Mark Miller’s Hex & Company, Manhattan’s largest board game cafe, is growing and prospering. He and his partners plan to open a new location on the East Side. Beth Kaufman ’86 is in full swing teaching ESL both in the classroom and in private tutoring settings. Mark and Beth moved from Yonkers to Sugar Hill in Harlem and look forward to getting back to playing and presenting music when things calm down just a bit.
After 19 years at the Bronx Defenders, Karen Smolar has begun a new chapter at The Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts as the legal training director in the criminal defense training unit. She is living in Rhode Island, just outside of Providence, after relocating from New York, where she had lived her whole life. Last year, Karen was appointed the dean of the National Criminal Defense College.
Harry Miller’s first novel has been published by Earnshaw Books. Southern Rain is a romance set in 17th-century China. It’s partly inspired by Harry’s semester abroad in Beijing and Nanjing while a Wes student.
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