CLASS OF 1996 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

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Greetings! Here’s the latest from our classmates:

Kate Baker is living on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where she runs a small B&B in the town of Punta Mita. In November, she gave birth to her first child, a girl. She’s enjoyed visits from Wes friends Koyalee Chanda, Alissa Pines, Jody Kuh ’95, and Jason Blalock ’94.

Kristin Mercer just spent a sabbatical last year in Vancouver. While there, she and her family had a West Coast reunion with Miriam Colvin ’98, Dan Helfet-Hilliker, Mike Cantor, and their families.

Pam Alt writes: “I have been living in Seattle for almost 18 years. Fourteen of those years have been spent as an acupuncturist in private practice, a challenging and rewarding field. I do a lot of work with pregnant women and have been blessed to attend and assist in many births. I have an adorable 77-pound rescue dog, Archie, who keeps me active, and a niece and two nephews living in Boise whom I don’t see often enough. Same is true for all you lovely Wes folks. I think of you often and wish you love, laughter, peace, and health in these challenging times.”

From Bill Macomber: “I’m heading up to Sundance next week, to premiere a film that I am co-producing, directed by Miguel Arteta ’89, and written by Mike White ’92. It’s called Beatriz at Dinner, and it stars Selma Hayek as a massage healer who gets trapped at a conservative dinner party with John Lithgow, who plays a real estate developer in the mold of Donald Trump. The film should be in theaters later this year.”

The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens & Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity, a comprehensive workbook for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) teens, by Rylan Jay Testa PhD, Deborah Coolhart PhD, and Jayme Peta ’96 MA, is out now from Instant Help Books/New Harbinger Publications.

Margaret Wright and her husband, Jon, welcomed their second child, Lily Katherine, in July 2015. Lily joins big sister Olivia, age 5, and canine sister, Kaylee. Margaret works as a senior research associate at the American Academy of Pediatrics and is always looking to connect with Wes folks in the Chicago area.

Jimmy Liao is happy to announce that he received tenure in the department of biology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He works at the Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience, which is on the beach in St. Augustine.

And last but not least, news from the NYC area:

Benjamin Meyer reports: “My wife, Beth, and I have spent the last year-and-a-half having a NYC adventure. We came here from Los Angeles, with our 4-year-old son, Bash, so that Beth could write for the ABC show, Quantico. Maybe we will be back in LA in a few months. Maybe we will stay forever. My feature, Fools, did the festival circuit last year, is now available on Amazon Prime, and will be on iTunes in March.”

Ben Selkow and Katharine Bailey ’97 and their two children moved from Brooklyn to Montclair, N.J., in December 2015. Ben writes, “Kat is at The Wall Street Journal. I came off of 2016 having directed one feature documentary on PTSD, Buried Above Ground, and produced another on Dominican and Haitian deforestation, Death by a Thousand Cuts, which I made with director Jake Kheel ’99 and won the Audience Award at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival. Looking toward 2017, I directed all six episodes of a forthcoming docu-series on religion, faith, and spirituality for CNN called Believer with Reza Aslan that premieres in March. I worked with really brilliant minds in executive producer and showrunner, Liz Bronstein ’89.” See the trailer: cnn.com/shows/believer.

Shola Olatoye tells us that she, Matthew Strozier, and their three kids were happy to host Phil Choi ’95, his wife, Sue, and their two children over the holidays for a BBQ dinner.  They were joined by Tracey Gardner, along with Randy Slaughter, her husband, and their daughter.

Barrett Feldman married Glenn Halpern in September. In attendance from the class of 1996 were Sabrina McCormick, Sheilaja Rao, and Carrie Adler. Professor David Schorr signed the ketubah as one of two witnesses. Barrett has moved her office, PSF Projects, from Brooklyn to the Soho/Chinatown/Noho area. Her architecture firm recently hired their first Wesleyan graduate, Evan Ortiz ’16.

Thanks to everyone who sent in updates! Keep them coming!

Dara Federman | darasf@yahoo.com 

Dacque Tirado | dacquetirado@yahoo.com