CLASS OF 1991 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

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A huge cache of notes for you to peruse, but a quick word before you do: I am compiling these in early autumn 2020, and you’re reading them in December or January 2021. It already feels like a time capsule.

The horticulture work of Todd Forrest was featured in the May 2020 New Yorker article, “The Essential Workers of the New York Botanical Garden. 

Julie (Arlinghaus) Charles is obsessively watching School of Life videos and trying to work out what that thing is that’s the opposite of pessimism. 

Adam Wilbrecht launched a startup called CONCERT with some blockchain experts. CONCERT brings digital signatures and IP protection for design and engineering professionals.

Jeremy Arnold’s latest book is The Essentials Vol. 2: 52 More Must-See Movies and Why They Matter, published in Autumn 2020. It’s the second companion to Turner Classic Movie’s long-running “Essentials” series. Movie fans might also note Jeremy’s work in Blu-ray audio commentaries, most recently for Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, The Lavender Hill Mob and Day of the Outlaw.

Jeff (Harmon) Nova married Alexandra Casazza in 2012, welcomed daughter Kaya in 2013, then suffered the heartbreaking loss of Alex to cancer in 2017. He’s a single dad and CEO of Colorhythm, a retouching and software company in San Francisco, where he’s lived the past 23 years. 

Rajal Cohen and her partner adopted a nine-year-old girl from foster care. She’s been living with them since December 2019. “It’s been a wonderful experience; we received excellent trauma-informed training through our local DHW and are able to access ongoing support. I’d be happy to talk with anybody considering becoming a foster parent or adopting through the foster care system.”

Michelle Lockhart reports she is “down to one child in the Lockhart Circus Tent. Eleanor is a Junior at Hockaday and Billy just graduated from St. Mark’s and started his freshman year at Dartmouth, competing as a heavyweight rower. Bill is “on the beach” (in the middle of a long non-compete) so it’s pretty slow here. Not that I’m counting, but we are 757 days from empty-nesterhood.” 

John Roy is in his 26th year teaching at St. John’s Prep School in Danvers, Massachusetts, and his wife, Amy, is in her 24th year teaching in the Danvers Public Schools. “It is easy to agree that this is the strangest start to a school year ever.” Their son Ethan graduated Syracuse University in 2020, Trevor started his junior year at UMass Amherst, remote, and Phineas is a junior at St. John’s.  I am going to miss seeing John Kennelly* Jon Gellar* and Peter Paris ’92 at homecoming weekend.

Curry Rose (Mills) Hoskey’s full-time school librarian job got cut to half-time, so now she is a librarian for both an elementary school and a middle school.  Her school district will be completely virtual until February 2021, so for now, she is the digital resources librarian for both schools. Curry is in regular touch with Alison Gelb Andrus, who now serves on the Hastings-on-Hudson School District Board of Education.  Curry visited with Gavin Whitelaw ’93 and his family at the socially distanced Wellfleet Drive-in this past summer.

Sarah Sutter celebrates 10 years teaching at The American School in Japan in Tokyo. “One bright spot with the global pandemic has been the migration of events to virtual spaces, where I can participate at a distance even if the time difference is sometimes a challenge. Alpha Delt has hosted a few virtual events, and I’ve connected with Ian Gerrard and his wife Zanne ’94, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth ’90, and Bernadette Buck ’92, among others.”

Greg Baldwin adds P’24 to his alumni status, as son Elijah started at Wesleyan. Greg oversees remote learning for high schoolers at New Haven Academy, and hopes to open hybrid in November (health conditions permitting). 

Alys Campaigne’s daughter, Livesey, also joined the Wesleyan COVID-19 class in 2020. “So far so good. We’ve been impressed with how Wes has stepped up to the plate to manage the situation with creativity and good sense. It is fun to reconnect with classmates as alumni parents even though I am much too young for this to be possible.” Alys, in Charleston, South Carolina, works on federal and state strategy and policy with her firm, Engage Strategies, recently focused on tackling sustainable packaging, regional landscape conservation, carbon pricing, flood resilience and marine protections.

CSS folks convened a virtual event with Professors Richie Adelstein and Giulio Gallarotti, along with a whole host of folks, reports Brian Howell, who began his 20th year at Wheaton College as a professor of anthropology, while Marissa Sabio ’89 starts year 14 in social work with the Outreach Community Center. Their son started his senior year of high school in online mode, another son studies at North Park University in Chicago, and daughter Hannah works for the Democratic Caucus of the Senate in Washington State, as a communication specialist. 

Jeremy Sacks, coordinating with the ACLU of Oregon, represents a group of BLM protesters suing federal agencies and officials, including President Trump, Chad Wolf, and DHS, for unleashing federal police forces on them in a manner that violated their civil liberties and other laws.

Beth Haney began a new role leading finance and operations for a homeless shelter called “Avenues For Youth. Scott Moore’s treating his “COVID-19 Blues” with a weekly virtual workout with Bill Kumler and Joe Dalton. He took an extended, socially-distanced trip over Labor Day, including visits with Steve Grahling (NJ), Mark Wittenberg (San Diego) Bill Kumler (Ohio), and Chris Albanese ’93 (NYC). Both Haney-Moore kids were able to get back to on-campus school.

After 20 years of residence, Amit Gilboa is now a Singapore citizen. He lives in one of the ubiquitous HDB government flats, and his children attend the neighborhood school, but “with my United States upbringing, and Wesleyan education, we can’t be considered a typical Singaporean family. In any case, because dual citizenship is not allowed, I did have to renounce my US (and also Israeli) citizenship. Pandemic-wise, we’re doing ok over here. In many ways, life is getting back to normal, but with 100% public mask compliance and people registering for contact tracing every time we enter a mall or eatery. The numbers for Singapore are high, but the reality is that cases are concentrated in a single, specific sector, the migrant worker dormitories, to our absolute shame, and there is very little spread outside of that sector.” 

Michael Chaskes and Sarah (Lewis) Chaskes have both been able to keep working from their Los Angeles home through lockdown: Sarah teaching sixth grade, and Michael editing unscripted TV, including Selena + CHEF, Haute Dog, and the recent run of Supernanny. Last year, Michael was a lead editor of the Emmy-nominated A Very Brady Renovation. Both daughters attend college in Ohio and New York. They miss seeing friends, notably Ben and Liz (Beckenbach) Leavy, but are keeping up via electronic means.   

Lindsey (Cowell) Parsons hosts a popular podcast called The Perfect Stool: Understanding and Healing the Gut Microbiome.” Find it wherever you get your podcasts!

Joshua Samuels continues to practice medicine (kidney disease) and teach at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science in Houston. He was promoted to Tenured Professor this year. 

Tina Demastrie Lippman completed a project position at the Newburgh Chandler Public Library, scanning and cataloging a collection of historical photographs for the Indiana Memory digital library. She’s also successfully entered the world of crossword puzzle creation, and her grids have been published by the Inkubator, GAMES Magazine, Universal Syndicate, and the Los Angeles Times.   

Renée K. Carl | rcarl@wesleyan.edu