CLASS OF 1984 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

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Hillary Wells ’84, executive producer and director of youth media at WGBH, was honored with the 2017 Margret and Hans Rey/Curious George Producer Award. Each year WGBH gives this award—made possible through a bequest to WGBH from author Margret Rey through the Curious George Foundation—to an outstanding producer who works in an area that reflects Rey’s broad interests. Wells has more than 30 years of experience developing and producing multi-platform, multi-partner events, programs, and series. While at Wesleyan, Wells majored in English.

Roger is reporting this month…and here is our news:

Ruth Epstein and Chip Smith started a financial and strategic advisory firm called BGP Advisors to help companies in the emerging legal cannabis market navigate the space. Ruth finds these to be very exciting times, especially in California, and she and Chip are running as fast as they can to keep up with market opportunities. They are, of course, happy to talk to anyone interested or involved in this area.

On the personal side, Ruth’s son, Max, graduated from University of California, Berkeley in December with a double major in music and philosophy and is working as an SAT/ACT tutor. Son Alex is a junior at University of California, Santa Cruz, studying philosophy. Ruth would love to catch up with any classmates who find themselves on the left coast.

Chuck Schneider is very happy with a career change he made in May. He left his private practice of 22 years and returned to academic medicine as an oncologist at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he did his medical oncology fellowship training years ago. Chuck is a clinical professor of medicine with responsibilities that include teaching the fellows, directing clinical trials, and seeing patients.

Speaking of career changes, Rick Okuno has put an end to a 30-year career in financial services and is working as a freelance consultant in Tokyo. He encourages everyone to visit the weird and wonderful world of Japan.

Shakir Farsakh and his family moved to Dubai, where Shakir is the principal commercial officer for the U.S. Consulate in Dubai. The posting will last four years. They make their home in a villa by the beach, and Shakir’s daughter is starting at the Swiss Scientific International School, an IB program with alternating weeks of instruction in French and English.

Julie Reiss is the director of modern and contemporary art and the market, a graduate program at Christie’s Education, New York. The program trains students looking for careers in the art world.

Molly B. Willey Tierney has lived in Santa Cruz since 1987, acquired a husband, produced three kids, and owns a house, a car, and a dog. She works up the coast at a small elementary school. She loves living in a coastal town, near a big city, surrounded by redwoods.  Being a mom continues to be the most fantastic thing she’s ever experienced, and dancing is what brings her the most joy.

Michael Zelig has moved to Gulf Breeze, Fla., and is practicing gastroenterology at the Medical Center Clinic in Pensacola.

Francesca Jenkins’ third poetry chapbook collection, Autumn Rumors, has been accepted for publication by CW Books and is slated for publication next fall. Francesca writes and publishes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her latest blog, which is doing really well, was started in the wake of the 2016 election and features weekly interviews with poets, writers, and other artists; it was launched in an effort to keep inspiration and networks alive in the arts community:

In other publishing news, Charles Huschle’s first book of short stories has been published and is available now on Amazon. Mother Firetrucker Riffs on Love is a collection of short, short stories that take snapshots of relationships, love, death, sex, and family. More info at

Finally, Heidi Ravis has inquired about having a tree on the Wesleyan campus dedicated to our late classmate and dear friend of many of us, Nancy Crown. The plan is to have a ceremony at our 35th Reunion in 2019. Funding for this is being handled by way of donations to Wesleyan. Heidi advises that if you would like to contribute, you can do so through the website, or by mail or phone. Just be sure to indicate that your donation is in memory of Nancy. A contact in the alumni office will track the donations. If you know of anyone else who might want to contribute, please share this information with them. Feel free to contact Heidi with any questions at

Roger Pincus |

Michael Steven Schultz |