CLASS OF 2001 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

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I (MARA) agree with you. It’s maybe a little weird that I’ve held on to this role for so many years. Aside from the sheer and obvious glamour that comes along with being class secretary—and now co-class secretary, thanks to Aryn—why am I still around? In complete truth, when I hear back from folks I get a little electrical charge of inspiration and motivation. This round was no exception. Thanks. And without further delay…

Since 2014, Sujata Sidhu has been the lead legal counsel for We Are Seneca Lake, defending over 650 charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing related to peaceful nonviolent protests to stop a gas storage project in the Finger Lakes. After years of fighting, the legal team has succeeded in getting most of the charges dropped or acquitted at trial. More importantly for We Are Seneca Lake, the gas company just announced that it was discontinuing its plans to expand its propane storage, which was the primary issue necessitating the civil disobedience campaign. Good timing, as Sujata and her husband, Carl, just had a second baby a few months ago. When she goes back to work, Sujata will be teaching a civil disobedience clinic at Cornell Law School and continuing to practice small-town law.

Last year, Elaine Ho opened an educational childcare center, Kiddie Academy of Cambridge, in Cambridge, Mass.: “Any alumni getting advanced degrees at Harvard and MIT—come to drop off your kids at my daycare! There is something new every day as an entrepreneur. It is quite different from my previous 15 years working as an actuary and I love every minute of it!”

Nora Friedman writes, “Teaching Suzuki violin in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and out of my private studio. It’s a fact that Wesleyan offspring make the best violinists. Openings for ages 3.5 to 7. Anyone interested can get in touch at joyful-violin.com.”

Louisa Michaels works on robots in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her son, Leon, is redheaded, happy, and 7. I can personally vouch for her claim about robots, and also for how awesome her kid is.

Alexis Brooks and husband Brendan Fitzpatrick announce the birth of their son, Callan Brooks Fitzpatrick, on May 12. They live in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of D.C., a short walking distance from Alexis’s work at the U.S. Treasury Department. Jenny Selgrath Rauf was able to celebrate the upcoming birth of baby Callan at Alexis’s baby shower in Chicago last March.

Eric Schultheis writes, “I completed my urban studies doctorate from MIT. I’m moving with my partner to Montpelier, Vt., to join the Healthcare Consumer Advocate Project of Vermont Legal Aid as a staff attorney. I would love to connect with WesTech alumni in the area. My email is eric.schultheis@gmail.com.”

“Still working in Houston for BHPBilliton as an exploration geologist,” Adam Goss writes. “Promoted to principal geologist in January, working on deep-water projects in the eastern Caribbean, namely offshore Trinidad and Tobago. Just came back from an awesome field trip in Central Tobago that totally rocked. My wife, Janice, and two kids, Joaquin (5) and Amelia (3), are enjoying the heat and humidity this summer that Houston is known for.”

Michael Polson was awarded a PhD from CUNY Graduate Center in anthropology for his dissertation on the marijuana economy in Northern California. He finished out his first job at American University, and he is departing for UC, Berkeley with his boyfriend, to commence a two-year writing fellowship. In response to my request for excellent nonprofit nominations, Michael plugged a friend’s nonprofit. “My friend, Alisha Berry, runs Camp Sojourner, which takes girls from Philadelphia who have little chance to leave the city, to the outdoors every summer and provides year-round social justice-based leadership development for those girls in their communities. Alisha is a tireless advocate for the 100-plus girls, mostly low-income girls of color, and puts a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making it run. Their website is girlsleadershipcamp.org;  people can make donations online if they’re inspired.”

Flo Anito wrote a song called “In Your Hands” for a Bolivian-based NGO that her husband and his brother co-founded. The Fuller Center for Housing Bolivia seeks to eradicate poverty housing in the country by building homes for families in need. “They are always looking for volunteers to come down and help build homes in Bolivia,” Flo writes, “and it’s a beautiful country that I think a lot of Wesleyan students and alumni would enjoy visiting” (fullercenterbolivia.org).

Kannan Vasudevan performed at L.A. Opera from June 15-18, in a new opera called Thumbprint. Kannen writes: “It is a fusion of operatic and South Asian musical styles and tells the true story of Mukthar Mai, who has become a pioneering figure for women’s rights. I’ve been involved with the opera for a few years now, including its premiere in NYC in 2014.”

Aryn will be covering the next round, so please send updates her way.

Mara Voukydis | maravee@gmail.com

Aryn Sperando | arynsperandio@yahoo.com