CLASS OF 1990 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1990 Scholarship
Bryden Auer ’21, Lake Oswego, OR

Edward Ungvarsky received the Bill Geimer Award from the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse of Washington and Lee School of Law for his almost 10 years of service and successful outcomes as a dedicated capital defender. Ed’s string of successes was capped by the October 2018 unanimous life sentence verdict for his client in a county whose prosecutor had never before failed to obtain a death sentence in 50 years in office. Ed has mentored Melanie Berman ’17, Patricia Merlino ’18, Anna Oakes ’17, Maria Rodriguez-Castro ’19, and William Dempsey ’19. It was a class at Wesleyan that led Ed to this line of work, so he feels indebted to Wesleyan both professionally and for his wife, Olivia Smith ’91.

Jennifer Palmer and her husband attended the fabulous 50th birthday party of Jennifer’s Gingerbread housemate, Schuyler Allen-Kalb in New York. “It was amazing to reconnect with friends including—but not limited to—Liz Pelcyger, Letitia Pinero, and Majora Carter. The party, of course, was a blast, complete with a photo/gif booth & John Hughes movies projected in the bar/dance area of the venue.”

Page Fortna, the Harold Brown Professor in the department of political science at Columbia University, is spending a sabbatical year with her family in Sri Lanka. She is living in Colombo, conducting research on the recent civil war, and “exploring this fascinating, chaotic, and beautiful country.”

Carole Trone is warding off middle-age by throwing “herself into new worlds: a new virtual college-access nonprofit started by college students called Fair Opportunity Project, and working out of a new co-working space for entrepreneurs in Madison, Wis.”

John Collins is teaching in the global studies department at St. Lawrence University, directing Weave News, an independent media platform focusing on underreported stories and making 80s-influenced indie rock with Bee Children.

Elizabeth Friedman Haybron wrote to update that her husband, Dan Haybron, with the completion of his Templeton Happiness project, has been selected as the inaugural Theodore R. Vitali C.P. Chair of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. “This is quite an honor for Dan and is even that much more special since Ted, the former chair of the SLU Philosophy department for 28 years, pledged his own savings to make the chair possible. We continue to live in St. Louis, with our 3 kids, all of whom have graduations this year—Sarah from high school and William and Michael from middle school.”

Sharene Azimi and her husband moved last fall from the Philadelphia area to the small town of Bernardsville, N.J., so that he could take a job at Verizon’s HQ. Sharene continues to do communications consulting for nonprofit organizations around the country, in between taking care of their 7 and 4 year old boys. “We are on a very slow train line to Manhattan, but it’s basically country here. Wes folk driving by on Route 78 or I-287 are welcome to stop in for a visit!”

James Rosenblatt writes in with big changes in his household.  “We are officially empty nesters with our youngest heading off to SMU last fall. Our oldest is engaged to be married, & we are clearly moving to a new phase in our lives.  The practice of law continues to be a full-time occupation with our office moving into a new building last June and the hiring of our eighth attorney.”

Bill Sherman has been in Seattle since 1999, where he heads up an environmental protection division of the state attorney general’s office, prosecuting big polluters and, lately, suing the Federal government to stop rollbacks of environmental laws. He gets outside to bike and hike a lot and last summer led a group of 26 conservationists, including his boss, the attorney general, on a 20-mile backpack trip on the Washington coast. Bill’s wife, Holly, teaches anthropology at the University of Washington. Their older son is a first year at Whitman College & younger son is a 10th grader. “I run into Wesleyan people all over Seattle, including Julie Shapiro ’77, Roger and Sarah Townsend ’90, and Tara Urs ’98. Last summer, we got to host Carolyn Clark and David Patterson’s daughter Bridget while she was interning at the UW, which came with a bonus visit by Carolyn!”

Rose Duhan is living in Delmar, N.Y., near Albany, also home of Wes alumni Brion Winston ’97 and Melanie Schoen ’97 and just got to see an amazing production of The Count: A Musical written, composed and performed by Brion with David Hollander, and also starring their daughter, Willa. Rose is running a small non-profit that advocates for community health centers: championing primary care for underserved in New York State. Rose “has the honor and privilege to work closely with Harold Iselin ’77, in my work.”

Victor Khodadad recently directed Kamala Shankaram’s opera Enchantress, based on the life of Ada Lovelace, for New Camerata Opera. The performance took place at The Flea Theater in New York City in December. Coming up, Victor will be singing the role of The Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s powerful opera The Rape of Lucretia which will take place in May at The Flea Theater. Camerata Piccola, the branch of New Camerata Opera that produces children’s opera, has been very active having debuted their newest offering, Rumpelstiltskin, as well as performing Peter Rabbit with the Montclair Orchestra which was conducted by it’s music director David Chan, concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. More information about the upcoming season is available at

JR Rhodes: “My highlights for 2018 were getting commissioned to create songs for Alice Walker and Nikki Giovanni and performing for them both at two separate events at Benaroya Hall here in Seattle, Washington. The song I wrote for Alice Walker was based on a piece from her new book, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. The song is titled “Ancestors Never Sleep” after one of her pieces in the new book. The song I wrote for Nikki Giovanni was based on a piece from her new book, A Good Cry. The song is titled “The Fly on the Wall” after one of her pieces in the new book.

“Both performances were life changing events. I got to meet two of my heroines and they both really enjoyed the songs I created inspired by their works. Nikki smiled and said she really enjoyed the song. Alice smiled waiting for me with open arms backstage after my performance to thank me. It was an incredible gift share the music and to thank my heroes and heroines face to face, eye to eye.”

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |