Class of 2020 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Class of 2020, we graduated in the most unexpected of circumstances and the greatest congratulations possible is in store for all of us. I never imagined that I would have to leave campus in the middle of senior spring because of a pandemic, but, as they say, hindsight is 2020!

Nonetheless, COVID-19 has brought forth unprecedented challenges for so many members of our class and has been the ultimate reminder that we need to advocate for each other, even while apart. I am proud of the way my classmates have participated in the fight against oppression, whether it be expanding access to PPE, creating safe spaces for black trans folks, or signing people up to vote, among countless other examples. I am inspired by the Class of 2020’s tenacity and strength, even while mourning the loss of our senior spring and in-person graduation ceremony.

While graduating in my parents’ backyard was never what I imagined, it has been an amazing experience to be a part of the Class of 2020 and I am grateful to have a prestigious college degree. Like so many of my peers, I lost my job before it even began and I am continuing my job hunt from my childhood bedroom. These past few months have not been the same for everyone and we all need to work together to stay connected and support each other, especially now that we’ve left Middletown and entered the “real world.” I’m grateful to every Wes alumni that I’ve spoken with during these past few months for their time and advice. To all Wesleyan alumni, now’s the time to lend a hand if you can, especially the Class of 2020.

Hopefully, we can join each other again soon to dance under the stars on Foss and celebrate our accomplishments throughout our years at Wes. I look forward to staying in touch with y’all, hearing your news, and sharing your successes with the Wesleyan alumni community!

REBECCA GREENBERG | rgreenberg@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2019 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Hey, Class of 2019! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy (and inside!) amidst the global pandemic we are facing. Here are some updates from our peers:

Jackie Leete is living in Washington, D.C., and working in a lab at the National Institutes of Health investigating traumatic brain injury and sleep disturbances (although currently, she is working from home!). She plans on applying to PhD programs this fall with a focus on sleep research.

Shana Laski is moving to D.C. this summer to start a position at Mosaic Theatre Company as their resident dramaturgy fellow.

Rebecca Goldfarb Terry is living in Philadelphia with her dear friend and fellow Cardinal, Carina Flaherty. She spends most of her time working at Temple University Hospital as a Community Engagement Representative with the Office of Patient Experience. When she’s not at the hospital, she’s hanging out with her dog Emmie or playing frisbee.

Anna Knes just finished Wesleyan’s BA/MA Program in late April and will soon start a summer internship at the Connecticut State Crime Lab. In the fall, she will move to Amsterdam to start a two-year master’s in forensic science (coronavirus-permitting, of course).

Aaron Cheung hopes that the Class of 2019 and their families remain safe. Aaron is working, as part of his pro bono project, with the ACLU of Northern California on surveillance and privacy issues. It is important for everyone to pay attention to COVID-19 tracking, as it may leave unwanted precedent for future unconsented privacy invasions. Dom Vazquez and Aaron have also moved. They are living together again, for the third year in a row. Dom is still teaching seventh-grade world history and science in Oakland, Calif., remotely now, and has been accepted to a teacher credentialing program, which will keep him busy over the next two years. He’s doing much less hiking and much more Netflix binge-watching.

Jennifer Gagne is finishing her first year in the classroom as a Kindergarten and ENL teacher. Her district has recognized her and her team for their distance learning efforts that are low-tech. She is also finishing her first year of her master’s in urban childhood education and TESOL program.

Andrea Weires was working as a peace corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic until COVID-19 hit. She was evacuated from her community in less than 24 hours. She now lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and recently started working as a paralegal at an immigration law firm. She wishes health and safety for the Class of 2019!

Allison Quintana just finished her post-baccalaureate year at Smith College in their math and statistics department. And she was also sent home several weeks ago, along with every other student across the country, to finish her last semester. Her plan for the fall is to go to grad school at the Brown University School of Public Health to get her ScM (master’s degree) in biostatistics. Assuming Brown will allow for in-person classes, she is currently looking for apartments in Providence. She says, “It’s a very interesting time to be entering the world of biostatistics and public health.”

After graduating, Fred Willis moved to Bangalore, India, and started working full-time as a business consultant/data analyst, partnering with various Fortune 500 companies on projects to improve their business processes. During his time abroad, he had the opportunity to travel all over India and parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Nepal. He even met up with several Wes alumni and current students, which was comforting to connect with familiar faces amidst so many unknowns! Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, he has since returned to NYC where he continues to work from home as he waits out his move to Dallas, Texas, for his current project with Citigroup. He hopes everyone is keeping safe and doing well.

Joy Adedokun is finishing up her accelerated program for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa. Upon completion, she looks forward to joining “the most trusted profession” on the frontlines. She hopes everyone is healthy, staying connected, and still has a reason to smile in these peculiar times.

Rosanne Ng had a fantastic year in the San Francisco Bay Area, working in LinkedIn’s Strategy and Analytics Program. She recently moved to Dublin, Ireland, to continue working in LinkedIn’s EMEA headquarters (where they call it the Strategy and Analytics Programme).

Daniel Gordon is working for Google as a part of the software engineering residency program, where he works (remotely at the moment) with a variety of different teams in the NYC Google office.

Thank you again to everyone who shared! Look out for an email from me about the next edition of the alumni magazine soon.

Justin Campos | jxcampos@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2017 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

| HOME
← 2016 | 2018 →

Jake Lahut moved from New Hampshire to NYC in February and started working for Business Insider to cover the 2020 election and national politics.

Katie Holbert will be starting her PhD in philosophy at Boston University in the fall. At this point, Katie intends to focus on 19/20th century continental and classical philosophy, especially Nietzsche and Plato. Katie and Jake Rosenberg will get married at some point in the near future and will finally adopt a kitten companion for their senior cat, Itty Bitty Bean.

In the fall, Anthony Dean will be attending The New School, pursuing a master’s in media studies. For the last few months, he has served as the creator, sound designer, and co-producer for the New York Neo-Futurists’ new podcast Hit Play, which the New York Times praised as “cathartic” and “a treasure chest.”

Zach Lambros ’17, MA ’18 is back in Colorado and now has a girlfriend. Applications for the position are no longer being accepted at this time.

Liz Farrell is quarantining with their family in San Antonio, Texas, and recently launched their own digital writing and arts publication, Lizard Letter (LizardLetter.com).

After graduating, Taylor McClain completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in New York City. Since the fellowship, she has worked in urban planning to support inclusive economic development in cities across the country. In March 2020, she moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta to prepare to attend the University of Georgia School of Law. She is engaged to AJ Wilson ’18 who will be starting law school at UGA alongside her in August. You can reach her at taylorfmcclain@gmail.com.

Callie Monroe is combining her passion for mathematical analysis and skincare as a CX operations analyst at Glossier. This is her second time working at a start-up since graduating, and she’s loving the experience of working for a smaller company.

Hyunji Ward helps brands stay relevant and connect to pop culture through her role in entertainment marketing at United Talent Agency. She works in talent strategy and management for Covergirl and helps oversee a program created in partnership with Queen Latifah, Procter & Gamble, and Tribeca Studios that empowers female filmmakers of color to tell their stories on the big screen, supporting their projects from concept to distribution.

Leneil Roderique is crafting stories that help brands make an impact in the world. As a creative at VICE Media Group, his work sits at the intersection of human-centered storytelling and audience insights to ultimately create powerful narratives for brands. At the moment, he is creating a documentary series that highlights COVID-19 essential workers for Mailchimp.

Sofi Taylor is glad her documentary series, (413)Art, premiered on Feb 28 instead of even one week later. This is her first major film project post-Wesleyan. She was lucky to have help from fellow Wes folk: Dylan Beckman, Ben Goldberg ’13, Josh Rode ’19, Alex Fabry ’18, Ellie Black, and Sarah Corner. The nine episodes on different Western Massachusetts-based artists are available on saltboxfilms.squarespace.com.

The Racquets (Sam Beck, Ryan Breen, Jared Fineberg, and Jeremy Freeman ’18) released their debut EP and played their first New York show at the Mercury Lounge in January. The EP is streaming on all platforms.

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu 

CLASS OF 2016 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Pierre Gerard is helping develop the City of Oakland’s Slow Streets Program by mapping proposed streets to be closed to vehicular through-traffic. While the program may not close all 75 miles of streets as announced, they have closed 20 miles of streets so far, and are working on a number of new traffic safety improvements throughout the city.

He is also helping his bicycle shop, The Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative in Berkeley, stay in business. They raised $30,000 through a successful business crowdfunding campaign ($10,000 more than their initial goal), and look forward to keeping the community rolling during and after the pandemic.

Last year, Matthew Stein left his job at YouTube to start an immersive puzzle design studio. He released an album of Romanian folk music and is working on a new collection of forest-inspired Yiddish songs with his klezmer trio, Baymele.

Melissa Leung moved back home to NYC and has been settling in by taking Kate Davis, Vanessa Chen, and Ammar Zafar to her favorite dumpling shop. Their adventures have also included Teresa Wu introducing the group to vegetarian char siu, which is pretty dank.

Madeline James just received her master’s in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is beginning her PhD in the same department (history).

Mariam Torres ’16, MA’17 and Martin Malabanan have been roommates in Boston for the past three years. Mariam has been busy conducting clinical trials for an antiviral drug that could help treat COVID-19 patients, while Martin has been making sure the apartment is full of freshly baked goods for Mariam to come home to.

Ellen Paik | epaik@wesleyan.edu