CLASS OF 1999 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

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2020—what a year it’s been. As I write these notes, the election is a month away and the nation continues to struggle through two pandemics, COVID-19 and racism. I hope each of you has been able to stay connected, experience joy, and find the light even during the darkest days. 

Jennie Rabinowitz shared that her amazing husband, Dan Jamieson, has been working long, brutal hours as an ICU doc at Georgetown University Hospital in D.C. during the COVID-19 crisis. During the thick of it, regular Zoom calls with Wes friends including Paul Ohan, Heidi Golden, Demian Mason, Jessica Sanders, Kate Slevin, Danielle Feldman, Dave Cope, Avra Fox-Lerner, Steffie Kinglake, Rachel Ostrow, Vivian Lee, Simon Frost, and Jen Rizzuto Congregane ’01 kept him energized. Thanks, Dan (and all frontline workers), for all that you have done and continue to do to care for others. 

Adam Birnbaum got married in May 2019. He and his wife are living in Flatbush, Brooklyn and welcomed a new baby, Sonya Hiwot Tedeneke-Birnbaum, on May 22. 

In the fall of 2019, Suryo Soekarno and his family visited Ken Hijino and Kaoru Tokumasu ’00. Ken is a well-respected political science professor at Kyoto University while Kaoru is a freelance English-Japanese translator working with many local NGOs. They have a lovely house in the countryside just outside of Kyoto, Japan.

Last January, Erin Morris attended the Mentorship Workshop for Wesleyan Women’s Athletics. It was great to speak with current athletes and see Emily Rauscher. While walking through Freeman Athletic Center, she ran into Bob Chiapetta (manager of intercollegiate operations at Wes), who immediately said, “Hi, Smiley” (his nickname for Erin when she was a student playing ice hockey), as if 20 years had not gone by at all!

In June, Russell Isaacson and his wife moved to Lake Wylie, South Carolina from NYC, and they had their first daughter, Olive Corinne, on August 18. Russell started a new role at Ally Bank in October doing business development in their point of sale lending group.

This fall, Hong Qu started his PhD in network science at Northeastern University. His faculty advisor is another Wes alum, Professor David Lazer ’88. He plans to investigate networked social movements aiming to regulate technologies such as Big Tech and AI. He lives in Flushing, NYC with his wife and two boys (ages four and five), but hopes to move to Boston when the pandemic subsides.

Kareem George was recently appointed to the prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine advisory board, which is a select group of 27 of the country’s top travel advisors. As part of ongoing dialogue with Travel + Leisure’s editorial and business teams, these world-class advisors share their expert opinions and insider perspectives on the latest developments in the travel industry and their read on ever-evolving consumer trends. Kareem and his travel design company, Culture Traveler, continue to attract national attention. In the September issue of Luxury Travel Advisor, Kareem was profiled in the cover story, which explored his artistic background, entrepreneurial motivation, and the vital role of personal connections to the success of Culture Traveler. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to safely travel again in 2021.

In the meantime, Kevin and I wish you all peace, happiness, and good health in the new year. Be well, stay safe, and keep in touch.

C. Darryl Uy | darryl.uy@gmail.com

Kevin Kumler | kevinkumler@gmail.com