Four years after graduation, here is what some fellow 2009 grads are up to…
Elana Baurer graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in May. After taking the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars she will be moving back home to Philadelphia to work at Duane Morris, LLP. She also hopes to start a juvenile advocacy nonprofit in Philadelphia.
Katie Shelly is publishing Picture Cook, which is a collection of more than 50 dishes that completely re-invent the traditional recipe format by rendering each recipe as a hand-drawn, flowchart-like illustration that uses a minimum of words. It will be published by Ulysses Press in October. The link to pre-order is on facebook.com/PictureCook
Aviva Tevah has been in NYC since 2009, working on reentry education issues with the non-profit service providers, city agencies, and academic institutions that constitute the New York Reentry Education Network. The Network is organizing its first conference, called “Pathways of Possibility: Transforming Education’s Role in Reentry,” which will bring together stakeholders to build a shared reentry education agenda moving forward.
Chris Goy spent the summer in Chicago as a management fellow in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and then returned to Philadelphia for his final year studying public administration at UPenn before starting a life out in the Rockies…or Hawaii.
Julie Neuspiel will be moving to Boston (living in Allston!) to begin a PhD in clinical psychology at UMass Boston mentored by Dr. Abbey Eisenhower. She will be studying the supportive roles of parent-child and teacher-child relationships in social emotional development, particularly within contexts of economic and developmental adversity during early childhood and the transition to school. Her training will be supported by Boston’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities fellowship which is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services through the 2006 Combating Autism Act. Max Wu ’08 is a second-year doctoral student in the same program, and Cara Herbitter ’03 is in her entering class as well! George Bennum is living in Boston, working as a GIS analyst for a civil engineering company. He is hanging out with Adam Nikolich a fair amount and brewing beer with him.
Sarah Gillig Sunu just wrapped up her first year of graduate school at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, where she is earning a master’s of environmental management with a concentration in coastal environmental management. Sarah has also changed her name to Sarah Sunu (maiden name at Wesleyan was Gillig); her husband, Steve Sunu ’08, is in North Carolina with her and is a freelance journalist.
Gabriel Fries has taken the four years since Wesleyan to do the “post-college wandering” thing. He has been a zombie in an episode of Good Morning America, passed out real estate flyers in a monkey costume, and been a tall skinny Toys “R” Us Santa, among other odd jobs. He has also gotten into teaching—teaching filmmaking for three summers at a camp in New Hampshire, teaching English, baseball, and hamburger eating (this is not a joke) at a place called American Village in France, and most recently, teaching English through theater with a traveling children’s theater company in Italy! It’s been a good ride, but now he is ready to stay in one place and start focusing more on depth than breadth
Ari King recently published his book, Now What?! Conversations about College, Graduation, and the Next Step. More information can be found on the alumni website., which is exactly what it sounds like—a night of veterans sharing their stor ies.
Dominic Ireland is leaving his position at Bridgewater Associates, taking a month to travel through Turkey, and then moving to Austin, Tex.
In 2012, Daphne Schmon finished her first feature documentary, Children of the Wind. So far, they have been to four festivals and won six awards, most notably Best Documentary and Best Emerging Filmmaker at X-Dance Film Festival, the world’s premiere action sports film festival. The film will be released this spring worldwide. Website and trailer can be found at: childrenofthewindmovie.com. Daphne is living in New York where she has founded her own film company, Seek Films. In addition to touring the festival circuit, she is in development for her next feature film project.
Chris Helsel has just arrived in Madrid where he will be completing a master’s (LLM) in international sports law this semester. Chris finished at Villanova Law this fall and will receive his joint JD/LLM degree when he finishes in Spain.
Karl Grindal and Laurenellen McCann have been living in Washington, D.C., for the last 3+ years and celebrated their first year of living together by getting a domestic partnership. Karl is a cyber-security consultant for the government and is helping a former professor write a history book on cyber conflict. Laurenellen is the national policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation and spends her days thinking about government transparency and open data. On the side, she runs a project about mapping public art and occasionally gets Karl to help her run The Alley of Doom, a pop-up game, funded by the Awesome Foundation, that allows passersby to pretend to be Indiana Jones.
Jesse Coburn has been on the road doing his Mute Puppets show for the past three years. Drawing on his readings of mysticism and Martin Heidegger, he has developed a performance that bypasses the “Gerede” of the everyday, allowing (for once) silence to pour out of the furry mouths of puppets. Their frenzied gestures refer to a different language, one inscribed in the natural world. In ’13-’14 he will mostly be in Tennessee, West Virginia, and upstate NY. He is always dutifully polite upon meeting a fellow alum.
Zeeba Khalili is living in Somerville, Mass., and started an awesome new job as a program associate at Summer Search, a national non-profit that supports low-income youth to develop leadership skills and graduate from college. She is still waiting to find out if she can join the Mystical Seven.
Sam Ottinger is living in New Orleans and is now a licensed mortgage loan officer. He’s baking bread, brewing beer, and growing his own tomatoes. Come visit! Minimum of five drinks required per visitor.
Brittany Delany, based in the Bay Area, collaborates regularly with Wes Alums in art and performance projects. In February 2012, she danced with Shayna Keller, Samantha Sherman, and Sarah Ashkin ’11 at Movement Research at Judson Church in New York and also co-choreographed a dance sequence for a film directed by Nikhil Melnechuk ’07.
Delany runs a monthly arts program Ground Series in Oakland with Sarah Ashkin ’11. Ground Seriescreates a space where art and community find common ground. All of the programming prioritizes communal exchange of skills, resources, and experiences in order to strengthen and unite artist and neighbor. In January 2013, Britt and Sarah hosted Wes Alums Khalia Frazier ’07, Aaron Freedman ’10, Allison Hurd ’11, and Samantha Sherman with director Pedro Alejandro, professor of dance at Wes, to create a dance for camera in a Berkeley arts space and to develop a new work premiering at Wesleyan in April 2013.
Michelle Brown and Paul Boulat are wrapping up a wonderful year living together in Astoria, NYC, following a tradition starting at Wesleyan where they lived together for five semesters. Michelle graduated from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts with an MA in art history in May and is now looking to enter the museum professions. Paul is a manager for Vermont-based textile company Anichini. They are looking forward to staying neighbors, as both are staying in Astoria for the foreseeable future.
Ryan Walsh sends “a pic of me and Dino playing for the Eaton Vance hockey team. We worked together for most of the year until Dino left to work for a start-up, this is all we have for memories…. just in case you needed some ammo.” You can see the photo online: go to wesleyan.edu/magazine and click on “class notes.”
And finally, Sara Swetzoff, her spouse and her child have moved to Portland, Ore.