CLASS OF 1997 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Hi, Wesleyan peeps. Thanks for sharing your news! It’s always fun and inspiring to find out what’s going on with you.

Andrew Frishman shared: “This summer Alex Jermyn and his wife, Jackie Park, visited with my family on Cape Cod. His two kids and my two kids (both sets aged 6 and 9) had a great time swimming and playing games. We need to start grooming them into the next generation of Wesleyan squash players.

“I think back on the year that I spent as head resident of Butterfield A frequently because Laura Warren ’98, who was one of the resident advisors, lives a few blocks from me and our kids go to school together at Escuela Amigos School in Cambridge, Mass. When I think back on my senior year at Wesleyan so much of it feels deeply informed by my experiences as an HR. I wonder what other RAs and HRs are up to and if there might be an opportunity at a future event to have an informal meet up?

“Hope that all is well with you and that our paths intertwine again soon—please let folks know that if they’re passing through Central Square in Cambridge, I’d be glad to connect.”

Benny Vasquez wrote: “After serving as the co-executive director at the Center for Racial Justice in Education for five years, I transitioned to the inaugural role of chief equity officer at the KIPP foundation (the largest charter school network across the country) in leading their racial justice and equity initiatives across the foundation and the network of 232 schools. I also bought my first home in Nyack, where I live with my husband and 2-year-old Candis!” (Congratulations on the new job, new home! And we know you and your husband are busy, busy, busy with a little one—wow!) Benny adds, “I often see many of my WesFam including—but not limited to—Nicole Rodríguez, Abdul Rashid, Andrea and José DeJesus, María Mirabal, Jeneen García, and am officiating Rachael Rodriguez’s wedding in September!”

Anita Mitra Crabtree is relocating to Singapore from Washington, D.C. “We’re going for my husband’s job at IFC (World Bank) and I hope to be able to continue working from there. I look forward to seeing Ami Doshi the next time she visits and to connecting with Puja Sherwani ’96, who lives there. Merry Weaver ’96 has promised to visit and we look forward to having lots of other visitors, so I’d love to know if any Wes folks are passing through.” We will definitely let you know, Anita!

Derek DiMatteo wrote to us: “I started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu a year ago and love it. I train as a member of the Indiana University BJJ Club. I am a white belt but have participated in a few tournaments in the white belt 170-lb masters age division and done very well, including a third place finish at the Arnold Classic this past spring and a first place finish in Pittsburgh this past July.” He is the managing editor of the academic journal Africa Today and a book that he edited, The Trustees and Officers of IU, Volume III: 1982-2018, was published. “It’s 107,000 words long, contains 147 biographies paired with portraits, and had 51 contributors.” Derek also completed the full draft of his dissertation, which he plans to defend in December and then he plans to graduate in May. Best of luck to you, Derek, and to all of our classmates in academia!

Lauren Porosoff is enjoying writing and presenting full-time. You can find Lauren on Twitter sharing her expertise in education at @laurenporosoff.

Erica Witsell wrote: “My debut novel, Give, was released this summer with a blurb by Professor Emerita Phyllis Rose. I also reconnected with Adriana Dakin ’96, Joshua Polluck ’96, and Jake Waples ’95 at book events in California and Colorado. Erica’s website is

Elizabeth Schneider’s book, Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, but Not the Snobbery That Goes with It, launched in November. Her book is on’s fall 2019 list of “must have” cookbooks! Elizabeth is a certified sommelier and hosts a podcast called Wine for Normal People.

Joel Viertel produced The Banker, coming out on AppleTV+ starring Samuel L. Jackson. Congratulations, Joel!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this update. Andrew Frishman commented, “I do look forward to reading the notes in the magazine—somehow different/better to see them in print rather than fleeting on social media.” We agree! Print media is one of our last ties to an analog world and we’re happy to be a part of it. Take care of yourselves, class of ’97!

Jessica Shea Lehmann |

Sasha Lewis Reisen |