Hi, everyone! Here’s some news from our far-flung classmates:
Larissa Labay writes, “Chris Thompson and Geoff Union recently hosted a Zonker Harris Day reunion to cheer up all of the Wes folks in quarantine. Live-streamed their concert from Golden, Co. Saw a bunch of familiar faces (virtually). Jason Gedamke, Dave Pazmino, Stacy Olitsky, Joy Roth, Mike O’Malley, Jon Turati, Josh Moore, and Ethan Piper ’92. Felt just like Foss Hill 1993!”
Sylvia Sironi-Rowe is working from home for the Clinton Health Access Initiative. It’s nothing new except that everyone else is walking into her office all the time! She is expanding laboratory systems in developing countries and now focusing on adding COVID-19 response capability into the plan. She is happily married to Ian Rowe, who is running Public Prep, a charter school network in NYC, and working on a book. They are doing their best to parent Camille (10) and Oscar (8) in quarantine, who are simultaneously bored out of their minds and overwhelmed by discreet distance-school assignments. Sylvia and Ian are not teachers but know that even if they were, they would still be the last people their kids want to have taught them how to calculate the angles of a parallelogram. Stay safe, everyone!
Jon Chesto writes, “I do appreciate the connections with old friends at this time in particular. Wish I had more to report on my end. Just life in suspended animation here in Boston.”
Brett Sokol writes: “In this era of screens, I’m trying to spend as much time with old-fashioned ink and paper as possible. To that end, Letter16 Press, the nonprofit publishing house I co-founded, just released its fourth hardcover book spotlighting the work of unsung photographers from the pre-digital era: Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah: Andy Sweet’s Summer Camp 1977. Yes, it’s the golden era of knee-high tube socks, toasted marshmallows, and teenage crushes.
“I’m also writing about the (locked-down) world of arts and culture for the New York Times with recent dispatches on everything from the art scene in Seoul, South Korea, to how independent radio stations are handling the coronavirus, when having DJs even enter their broadcast studios is dangerous. (So many buttons to touch!).
“On a further offbeat radio note, you can now hear David Mittleman on the air every Saturday night into the wee hours on Tucson, Arizona’s KXCI 91.3 FM. He’s spinning avant-garde jazz records that make his (and my own) WESU radio shows back during our Wes days sound like Muzak.
“Also in Tucson, and teaching documentary film production at the University of Arizona is Jacob Bricca, now a member of the prestigious American Cinema Editors society. Singer/songwriter Chris Huff is also hard at work, virus be damned. Touring beyond his home base of Philadelphia is obviously on hold, but you can still catch him and his guitar performing live at facebook.com/huffmusic.
“As for Wesleyan, I’m happy to report that our alma mater soldiers on. I know this personally. I’ve heard my wife, Lisa Dombrowski ’92, an associate professor of film studies at Wes, teaching her classes online via Zoom this past semester as her students have been hunkered down everywhere from Boston to Beijing. Lisa is also at work on a book about the late career of Robert Altman, with lots of juicy material unearthed from his archives.
“Finally, I was saddened to hear that our classmate Max Reich passed away this spring. Max never had much patience for sentimentality or time for propriety—some of you may recall his involvement in the Great Egyptian Mummy Heist of 1990. But I know I’m not the only one Max helped keep sane during our time in Middletown, and after. He will be missed.”
Jessica Gutow Viner was named the new director of admission and financial aid at Harpeth Hall, a college-preparatory school for girls in Nashville, after having served as the associate director of admission and financial aid.
Laura Davidson Ross writes, “Greetings from Los Angeles. In this time of fear and uncertainty for our country, I feel lucky to work in education to figure out how to continue to educate students during this pandemic. I am grateful to report that I have been named the new associate head of school at the Harvard-Westlake School, where I have been serving as the head of upper school for the last three years. I am also finishing my first year of service as an alumni-elected trustee on the Wesleyan Board. It’s been a real honor to represent the Class of ’93 in those meetings, and I am looking forward to helping to continue to guide the university through the next few years.”
And finally, Jessica Sherwood writes from Providence, R.I., “I like to wave from a safe distance at neighbors Olivia Milonas (married to Ben Milligan) and Amy Grundt ’94 when they walk by.”
Many thanks to everyone who wrote in. Please do stay in touch! I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during these difficult times.
Suzanna Henshon | email@example.com
Sarah Estow | firstname.lastname@example.org