CLASS OF 1986 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

Something different in this issue. Responses to the prompt: How are you contributing to society in diverse and extraordinary ways?

Molly O’Brien: “I wear several hats professionally, and one is developing media for museum exhibits all over the country. This doesn’t fall into the ‘extraordinary contribution’ category, but in this time of fake news and suspicion about news-as-propaganda, museums represent a trusted source of information, often presented in engaging ways. Our studio currently has three Wes alumni and an intern!”

Joe Cassidy: “I’m a fellow at the Wilson Center and write on two subjects I care deeply about: the international refugee/humanitarian system and the State Department. My last piece explored loyalty, bureaucracy, and the Trump Administration, and was published in Foreign Policy:

Randy (Levinson) Clancy: “As a co-founder of the CARLE Institute, a trainer for Border Crossers, and an independent consultant, I work with schools and organizations to understand and address racism. As a white woman, I strive to build accountable partnerships with people of color while focusing on the specific roles white people must play in challenging systemic racism.”

Marc Rosner: “I am transitioning between two careers. I’ve been a public and private high school science teacher and technology specialist for 30 years, and hope I’ve taught my 2,500 or so students well. I also have an estate business; my niche is appraisals and sales assistance for families who have inherited coins, jewelry, and other material assets. It’s very satisfying to break up needless fights between siblings, or to ensure a senior citizen gets the most for his or her personal treasures.”

Tamar Rothenberg: “I am a professor and department chair teaching history and geography at Bronx Community College-CUNY, where many students are immigrants or children of immigrants. Most are on financial aid, and most are the first generation to go to college. My goal is to help them find their academic footing, see themselves in complex global contexts, and think critically.”

Matt Pachman: “I currently serve as chair of the Ethics and Compliance Association (ECA). ECA is a best practice community of organizations committed to creating and sustaining high quality ethics and compliance programs within corporations, non-profits, government agencies, and academic institutions. ECA brings together professionals and academics globally to share benchmarks, techniques, research, and new ideas.”

Elaine Taylor-Klaus: “I help parents stay sane while raising complex kids. Five years ago, I created an online resource for parents of kids with ADHD and related challenges, providing support, coaching, and training that is both affordable and accessible. We set out to change the way that parents manage the challenges of raising ‘complex’ children, teaching a progressive, holistic ‘coach-approach’ to parenting. We now do this work with parents all over the globe.”

Sarah Holbrooke: “After over 25 years as a television news producer in NYC, I moved to Telluride to run a nonprofit providing STEM education for kids in rural southwestern Colorado. The research I did at Wesleyan stimulated my switch to science. My love of learning, nurtured at Wes, helps instill the same spark in the 7,000 kids I try to inspire each year.”

Judy Seiff: “I’m newly elected to my community’s school board. Through Yonkers Partners in Education, a superstar organization, I mentor students 9th through 12th grade. I am privileged to work with a new group of seniors annually as I assist them with all aspects of their college applications. The school’s extraordinary diversity reminds me of my alma mater, Bronx Science, where I also volunteer as a ‘practice’ college interviewer.”

Ellen Santistevan: “Taking compassionate action in the world, one client at a time. Through a combination of bodywork, deep listening, and nonjudgmental presence, I allow people to have an experience of themselves as valuable and valued human beings. Especially powerful for marginalized people.”

Charlie Berthoud: “I am surrounded by people doing extraordinary things. I have been a Presbyterian pastor for 25 years, with the last four here in Madison, Wis. People from our church are hosting homeless families at church, providing food and fellowship. Others visit shut-ins, help with affordable housing, work for racial justice, and share money generously with our partners—from domestic violence groups to schools in Guatemala. Together we try to love our neighbors.”

Joyce Burnett: “I remain passionate about health and fitness. I formed a company that focuses on increasing the daily intake of green leafy vegetables. Loice Mae’s Kitchen makes vegetable/fruit smoothies that make your colon dance (”

Lisa Dipko: “I have learned the importance of human connection and ‘living in the moment’ during 16 years of social work with veterans who need nursing home care for dementia and other life-altering/ending conditions. I believe my struggles as a French major have given me an edge in understanding my patients’ communication when their speech becomes unreliable.”

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2016 | ISSUE 3

Thanks again to all of the classmates who came to our Reunion earlier this year. It was great to see so many people having a good time—from meeting with old friends to learning about interesting ideas by Wes alumni they hadn’t met before. It’s 4.5 years to our next big Reunion, but all are welcome to come to campus next spring to participate in Reunion and Commencement Weekend. I think some of us even have a child graduating from Wes next spring.

From our classmates, here are some updates. Ayelet Waldman has a new book coming out: A Really Good Day: How a Microdose Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage and My Life. Elaine Taylor-Klaus and her co-author, Diane Dempster, also have a book coming out: Parenting ADHD Now! Easy Intervention Strategies to Empower Kids with ADHD. Elaine’s middle daughter is a frosh at Wes, as is the daughter of William Greene, who is still in San Francisco and CEO of Iconic Therapeutics. And there are probably some others in our class who are now ’86, P’20.

Liza Baron and her husband, Bart, were given their first foster baby in June. He’s a 9-month-old boy, and they are hoping to adopt him if none of his family members qualify to get him. They will know for sure early next year. “It is tiring to care for an infant again, but we are so enjoying it, and he has brought us a lot of love and joy.”

Debbie Roff is concluding a stint as the coordinator of community service for the Kinkaid School in Houston, where she directed a program in which 600 students complete more than 4,000 hours of service through 90-100 projects per year. They have done the usual building houses with Habitat for Humanity, tutoring underserved elementary school kids, playing cognitive games with residents at retirement centers, and feeding the hungry. Her students also initiated original projects including a music enrichment program for children living in a shelter, after-school field trips for inner-city children to tour Houston’s bayou and forested wetlands, and a bocce ball tournament for 150 Special Olympics athletes who will compete on 20 bocce courts constructed on the school’s football field.

Kathryn Lotspeich Villano is still super involved with Lotus House Shelter for Women and Children in Miami. She’s facilitating the addition of a free clinic for guests and uninsured neighbors and hopes to integrate functional medicine group visits for chronic disease management. Also, active in this sector is Marsha Cohen, who is executive director of the Homeless Advocacy Project in Philadelphia.

Lucy Malatesta is still involved with the homeless outreach organizations: Family Promise of Morris County and Bridges Outreach in Summit, N.J. This spring, Lucy and her son put together a wonderfully creative event. He’s on a robotics team, so they linked up with a friendly rival team, made 150 brown bag lunches, and convened for a competition. After feeding and hanging out with various homeless friends, they put on a little robotics demonstration. “It was a terrible, windy, freezing day, but our homeless friends stayed and watched as if they were these kids’ uncles, aunts, or grandparents, not wanting to disappoint these young people who had made an effort to connect with them. It was so sweet and lovely and important. People cannot move forward if they don’t believe in their own humanity.”

On our Reunion weekend, Emily Cowan heard that she had been hired by Between Us Associates, a group psychotherapy practice in Manchester, N.H. “I’m very happy there, after years of scraping by and fretting in a solo private practice. For fun I went rock-climbing and visited friends in Massachusetts and Connecticut.” She also noted that two good friends each lost their mothers. “I discovered that it’s a sacred time, when the everyday is sometimes indistinguishable from the profound.”

Ellen Santistevan says that she collaborated with a trans-massage therapist to create an ethics class for LMTs called The Trans Body On the Table. “There doesn’t seem to be any other class like it in the whole country, so we are pretty stoked about that. Who knows where it might lead? But it’s very important work nonetheless.” Ellen also went through the program from the Celebrant Institute and Foundation to become a life-cycle celebrant. This feels like important work to do as well, at a time when ritual and recognition of many important life passages go unremarked except for weddings and funerals and graduations!

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2016 | ISSUE 2

1986 WEbIf you would like to know what happened at our 30th Reunion, please contact any of the classmates listed in our online notes at —and click on “Class of 1986.” All were registered and attended, and we look forward to seeing you in about 250 weekends from now for our 35th Reunion (May 2021). Some also posted photos at

You can also go to the Class Notes online to see a partial listing of some of the websites that our classmates have. If you’d like to include yours in the list, please write and let me know. If you tell us about yourself and your work, we can include that info (and the site listing) in the printed magazine.

In news from some who didn’t come to our Reunion, Joe Cassidy retired from the U.S. State Department, having served at overseas posts in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and South America during a 26-year career. He is joining the Wilson Center this year, with a focus on international refugee law and humanitarian mega-crises.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus, a parent coach and speaker/author on ADHD, says that she “is supporting the arts by consciously empowering my incredibly talented daughter to fulfill her dreams to be an actor. Forget the glamour—this industry takes incredibly hard work! Bex is currently filming Season 2 of Scream (MTV), and is officially a cartoon character (Pidge) in the re-release of Voltron. My role is to provide emotional support when it’s hard to keep going, and cheer her on every step of the way!”

Ellen Santistevan missed our 30th Reunion, due to her youngest son’s high school graduation and her daughter’s wedding, so “I can comfortably say that my life has never been more full.” For details visit:

And many thanks to those who contributed five years ago to our class gift. There were some large gifts, but also many smaller ones (under $100). We funded the granite benches and terrace/patio between the new student center and the new career center (the Gordon Career Center, named after our classmate Andy Gordon), so it’s a very prominent location for this plaque that recognizes the class gift from our 25th Reunion. Many thanks to all who contribute to the ongoing legacy of our class, our legacy at Wesleyan, or our legacy through your paid or volunteer work in your respective home communities.

Eric Howard |

If you would like us to mention your webpage in the next issue, please send it

CLASS OF 1986 | 2016 | ISSUE 1

We will be meeting soon in Middletown for our 30th Reunion, so here is a brief update from some of your classmates.

Dan Barrett has a new book: Social Psychology: Core Concepts and Emerging Trends (Sage Press); he is a professor of psychology at Western Connecticut State University, happily married, and living in Redding, Conn. In the same field, Alex Rothman remains busy with research and teaching as a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota and continues to enjoy life in Minneapolis. Son #1 is at Bowdoin, so there’s only one at home who is barely surviving now as the sole focus of attention. Alex looks forward to catching up with folks in May.

Also in Minnesota, Lydia Crawford is still with Wells Fargo, working in the law department as a consumer credit attorney, and her husband Phil Davies is also in the financial industry as an editor writer for the publications of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “Neither of us would ever have thought that our careers would lead us to banking, but such are the vagaries of life. Our two kids appear to have outgrown us in every way—Owen (17) quite literally, as he is the tallest in the family by several inches—although we do manage to have dinner together almost every night and have a little family outing most weekends just to take us away from our respective screens, work, activities, etc.”

Tavy Ronen lives in NYC with her 16-year-old daughter and is a finance professor at Rutgers University. She is the founding director of the Business of Fashion Programs at Rutgers Business School and of the Business of Fashion Research Center. Tavy is the academic affiliate of Stanford Consulting Group and provides expert testimony on securities litigation cases, primarily in matters relating to credit markets and market microstructure. When not working on the above, she runs The Yarn Company, a groovy art-fiber yarn store in Manhattan, which she owns with her brother.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus says her business, continues to expand globally, providing behavior management and parent training for parents of complex kids around the globe. Last year, she did workshops in London and Melbourne and she’s also working on a book.

Paula Holm Jensen noted that after 22 years as a lawyer, 18 years in Portland, Ore., and 11 years in solo practice (IP, technology licensing and commercial contracts), she joined one of her long-time clients as general counsel this March. “For fun, I sing in a choir dedicated to performing Bach cantatas and other baroque works, and I root for Portland’s pro soccer teams: the Timbers, Thorns and T2. I haven’t missed a Reunion since graduation, so you’ll find me—as always—at Alpha Delt.”

Ellen Santistevan wrote about her children: “My children are taking center stage as they move into adulthood. My youngest son, Mark, graduates from high school this spring. My middle child, Dorothe, is getting married one week after that (and so I’ll miss Reunion). My firstborn child came out as transgender last spring and now goes by the name Felix. That’s been perhaps the biggest one to deal with, although overall, planning a wedding is more stressful. My eldest daughter, Lauren, has a sweet little girl that I get to baby sit sometimes, and her older son is going into high school this fall.”

Daniel Seltzer writes about his music. “I could write about empty nest, work stories, feeling my age…but I’ll just say that I’ve finally gotten back to playing music and love it passionately. While trying to make up for lost time, I’m playing funk/rock/blues/jazz with a variety of people in NYC and am always interested in meeting others who enjoy group improv with a deep groove. All the other stuff seems easier to deal with when you’ve got music in your life.”

Monica Jahan Bose is living in Washington, D.C., after many years in Tokyo, New York, and Paris. “I am still married to Michael S. Bennett ’87 (not the Senator!). We met in 1987 at Columbia Law and we have two daughters. I spend most of my time on what I call “artivism,” art and advocacy. Since 2012, I have been working on a collaborative project called Storytelling with Saris with women from my ancestral village in Bangladesh, drawing attention to issues of gender and climate change. This year, I am trying to make a film about the project.”

Brian Grzelkowski escaped D.C. after 10 years there. He moved with his son and wife Beatrix to rural Bucks County, Pa. “I had already switched from a career in international humanitarian aid to high school teaching, so trading a bustling city for an old stone house and some acres of land seemed like a good step in regaining quality of life. Beatrix has reestablished her psychotherapy and distance-counseling practice and I’m now rediscovering some of the outdoors and lumberjacking skills of my childhood in Maine. With the exception of regular taunts from brazen and hungry deer, we’re all settling in nicely, and hopefully a few Wes folks to stop by for a visit.”

From our Facebook Group, Nicholas Waltner says his daughter will be going to Wesleyan this fall. Timothy Burke notes he won’t be at Reunion; it’s exam period at Swarthmore. Andrea Wojnar Diagne is working to promote reproductive health in Africa. George Justice hopes to come to Reunion; he’s dean of humanities at Arizona State University and recovering (I hope) from his own nasty cancer year. Sandy Goldstein is living in Westchester, N.Y., and Mike Sealander “is alive and living in eastern Maine.” And the closing update: Steven Meyer and his wife, Julia, had a daughter in October—perhaps Elena will go to Wes 18 years from now!

Susanna Wenniger and Rudd Kierstead are still married after 23 years! Still living in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Rudd is still working in healthcare, now as director of Physician Network at Weill Cornell, and still creating amazing food for all their friends. Susanna is still working for as the senior specialist of photographs for the online auctions. She writes, “We have a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old who are polar opposites in every way imaginable. I see a lot of Shirley Hedden ’82, as our kids went to the same neighborhood school and we are still part of the same Mom group for the past 12 years. Rudd lunches with Ben Sternlieb ’85 on a weekly basis. And I was thrilled to get a visit last summer from Sarah Flanders, who is practicing as a psychiatrist in Pittsburgh. Seeing her again made me realize how much I want to reconnect to so many of the people whom I have fallen out of touch with! I hope to make it to Reunion.”

Several have written me saying, “We’re not yet sure whether we can make Reunion, but are going to try. We know it’ll be a lot of fun!” See you soon.

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2015 | ISSUE 3

Newsmaker: Michael Silber ’86

Michael Silber ’86 was recently named chief financial officer at McKinsey & Company, a leading management consulting firm worldwide. Additionally, he continues to serve as head of the firm’s pharmaceutical and medical health care division, with which he has been affiliated since he joined McKinsey in
1991. “My ‘day job’ and passion has always been serving companies in health care. It’s a great chance to work in an industry that makes a difference, to work with companies that are focused on innovation, and to be a part of trying to bring better products and services to society worldwide,” he says. A graduate of Stanford Business School, he was a studio art major at Wesleyan and recently funded a scholarship in honor of John Paoletti, Wesleyan’s Kenan Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, and Professor of Art
History, Emeritus.

The most important news this winter is that our 30th Reunion is on the weekend of May 19–22. In recent years, Reunion Weekend has coincided with Commencement Weekend, so there are three days of activities, as well as many opportunities for quiet conversation with friends old and new. Please put that weekend on your calendar—we look forward to seeing you there.

If you have some old Wes clothes, please put them aside to bring to Reunion. Kathryn Villano recently wrote on our Facebook page that she still has a couple of WestCo T-Shirts. “Their threadbare, holey state is perfect for jogging in Miami!” In most issues of the alumni magazine, there is a story from Wesleyan’s past. As members of the Class of ’86, we are now at the stage where some of our belongings are considered “antiques.” If you have some unique Wes memorabilia, please consider donating it to the University Archives.

And now for some updates from classmates. Jeffrey Liss and his wife, Susan, have entered the empty nest phase of life. They bought an apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC, but will also be keeping the home in Yardley, Pa. He continues to work for a major retail company.

Robert McCrae has also moved. After 11 years as the head of the Cincinnati Country Day School, he recently became head of the New Canaan Country Day School in Connecticut. Education is his passion. “I believe having a wonderful and happy childhood is the basis for very enriching adulthood.”

Sam Atkinson spent an annual reunion weekend September in New Hampshire with Peter Hammond and Mark Woodbury ’87. Pete’s into raw milk, which apparently contains formaldehyde, as Pete hasn’t changed since college. Sam had dinner in SF last spring with Steve Cadigan and Paul Levitan ’85, where they relived the glory days of Wes tennis. Don Long for president in ’16? It must have been a great dinner, because Steve wrote from California. “Recently had dinner in SF with Sam Atkinson and Paul Levitan ’85 and a few months ago I connected with Scott Donohue, who is also out here. Happy to report everyone is in great shape and our tennis games are better than ever. See you in May.”

From the center of the USA, there were notes from Frank Randall and Michael Tomasson.

Frank: “I’ve called Minnesota home since 1988, currently living in Minneapolis with my wife, Karly Christensen Randall, and children Francis, Nina, and Jens. We enjoy life on the Mississippi, taking advantage of our city’s great bike trails, and still-kicking music scene. In the ’90s I released three albums as a singer-songwriter fronting the Sycamores, as well as an album recorded with fellow Wes ’86 alums from Van Gogh’s Ear, Elliot Sumi, Bob Ryu, and Chris Erikson. … I’m currently senior editor for HighBridge, the spoken word audio publisher for many public radio programs, where I occasionally catch up with Car Talk’s Doug Berman ’84. One of my titles, Mandela: An Audio History (produced by Radio Diaries) was recognized as Best Audiobook of the Year at the 2015 Audie Awards. … I thoroughly enjoyed attending the 25th Reunion, reminiscing with Brian Pass, Chris Erikson, Becky Mode, Brian Mulhern and many others. I hope to see more friends at the 30th!”

Michael has been working at Washington University in St. Louis since 2000 in the departments of Medicine and Genetics, Division of Oncology, and was recently promoted to full professor. “I treat patients with hematopoietic malignancies on the bone marrow transplant service and do research on multiple myeloma, which is going well. Wash U was recently named a center for multiple myeloma nanotechnology by the National Cancer Institute. Three amazing kids: Julia, 19, science and philosophy at the University of Chicago; Ellie, a junior in high school violin-playing, school-paper-writing, lab-going 16-year-old; and Erik, 13-year-old in eighth grade, the lead of the school play this fall, Science Olympiad champ, and obsessed with the Destiny video game. Personal life a little messier, but happy and peaceful at last.”

Sarah Holbrooke is living in Telluride, Colo., these days, running a nonprofit providing STEM education to school kids in rural southwestern Colorado. “If you’re a working scientist, and love to ski, please be in touch as we can host you in exchange for your time spent presenting to various grades at our partner schools in the region! My husband’s film, The Diplomat, about his late father Richard Holbrooke, will be on HBO in November, and meanwhile is touring at international film festivals. Our family traveled to the Balkans this summer for the Sarajevo Film Festival. Our oldest daughter, Bebe, is a sophomore at Brown, so that means lovely visits with Joanna Feinberg, who lives in Providence. I still keep up with Debbie Halperin in NYC, Nancy Cagan in N.C., and Eleanor Roche in Montana. Our middle daughter, Kitty, is at a semester school in Freeport, Maine, Coastal Studies for Girls, focusing on marine science. Our youngest, Wiley, is at home with us in Telluride, rock climbing and looking forward to the ski season. Let me know if you’re coming to Telluride!”

And from northern New Hampshire, we have an update from Emily Cowan: “Writing to tell you how much fun Reunion is. I am one of those who dreaded Reunions because I didn’t think I measured up to the Wes standard, whether in status, excellence, or creativity. I see myself as an average person with an average job, leading an average life. I anticipated feeling quite inferior as I rubbed elbows with the Wespeople who had achieved. This didn’t happen, though. Nobody lorded anything over anyone, I made new friends while enjoying old ones, and I didn’t sink into self-recrimination. I soaked up the wonderfulness of Wes and rediscovered everything I love about it. That was at our 15th Reunion and I haven’t missed one since. I’m still highly average, so if you have any performance anxiety about your life, come to Reunion and find me. I’ll be the one not standing out.”

Some of you may have met Emily’s daughter at our 25th. “At age 7, her biggest reason to look forward to our 30th was the ice cream social that she was too young to go to that year. I’ve been waiting all these years to see if she will still care about it at age 12. What’s lovely is, she decided after that Reunion that she wants to go to Wes.”

Closing thought: Even if your life is messy; if you are recently divorced, if you are having mid-life confusion—please come next spring. We are a community, and we are here to help each other. See you soon.

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2015 | ISSUE 2

Elaine Taylor-Klaus, writes, “When I was at Wes, I understood the value of “learning to think” in theory, but I never could have imagined how it would serve me in my life—as a parent and as an entrepreneur. No day goes by that I do not actively continue the extraordinary personal growth that started for me in the early ’80s—the ability to see a need in the world, the confidence to address that need, and the wisdom to call on the intelligence (of myself and others) to figure out how do it effectively.”

Lonnie Shumsky: “I live in the West and have now for half my life, but I love visiting my Wes friends back East. As a physician and parent, I spend a lot of my time taking care of other people. When I travel to NYC to see friends, I turn back into the former and less encumbered me, at least for a few days. Having friends, great friends, for over 30 years is pretty powerful stuff.”

Daniel Seltzer is still living in NYC with a wonderful woman and a lot of kids (who are now heading off to colleges). He is currently CTO at a FinTech startup, playing music as much as possible, and biking/running/boarding within the bounds of aging tendons.

Jaclyn Brilliant and Anthony Jenks ’85 have been in Brooklyn together for more than 25 years. One kid is one year out of college, and the other just wrapped up her first year at Wes! She is loving it, and her experience takes me back to the joy of my own Wesleyan friendships. I’m still in touch with Nina Mehta and Sarah Porter, and looking to reconnect with Ann O’HanlonJinny Kim, and many others (hoping we might all be at our 30th Reunion).

Samuel Connor wrote, “My Wesleyan experience led me straight into the Peace Corps, where I served in West Africa for a few years. I got hooked on adventure, diversity, challenges, and to contributing meaningfully to improve our world, and have stayed on that social justice course ever since. World music remains a passion.”

Steve Price has become a mild mannered commercial appraiser in Seattle, still doing lots in the mountains and now learning how to race surfskis. His latest pro-bono work is PR and fundraising for a state-wide ballot initiative that would impose a carbon tax and then use those proceeds to directly reduce other state taxes in a manner to make the state tax system more progressive and transfer about $200M a year back into the wallets of the bottom 40 percent.

In terms of progressives, Hal Ginsberg is blogging for the group Progressive Maryland. He owned and operated liberal talker KRXA 540 AM in Monterey, Calif., but sold it last May, and returned east. “Currently, I am focused on building audience for my politics-based website where I webcast a three-hour live call-in show Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to noon, East Coast.”

In terms of performers, Lisa Porter comments on the irony: “In 1985, I played Maria in Twelfth Night at Wesleyan. Today I play Viola/Sebastian in Twelfth Night at the California Shakespeare Theatre. Thirty year span … don’t really feel that different.”

Sarah Nazimova-Baum works nights as a crisis counselor on the overnight shift for LifeNet, a mental health crisis hotline. “Of course, now that our son Raphael is 14 and heading to high school, our home life is abundant in crisis as well.”

Ellen Limburg Santistevan was fortunate to receive so many extraordinary blessings over the last year, and has also “come to rely on two friends I made my freshman year at Wes, Karen Escovitz and Bennett Schneider, for their sensitivity and generosity of spirit as my family goes through some profound changes; I am so incredibly grateful to Wesleyan for putting us all in the same vicinity so our lives could weave these complex patterns.”

Complex networks! Judith Hill-Weld has her private psychotherapy practice, specializing in developmental disabilities, and added “debate coach” to a roster of responsibilities. “My husband and I took our son to visit East Coast colleges this spring, and traveled for a few days with Arthur Haubenstock ’84 and Amy Whiteside ’84 and their son. We said hello to Rob Lancefield ’82 at the Davison, and enjoyed seeing Laura Radin ’83 and Charlie Barber ’85 and their son. In Philadelphia, we shared a fabulous seder with Andy Clibanoff. Tyche Hendricks and her daughter joined us to walk the West Village and the Highline in Manhattan.”

Zahara Heckscher writes, “Highlight of Wes Friendship: Driving to Middletown for 25th Reunion with Dana Martin and her daughter and my son—discovering a friend of the heart for life. Look forward to the drive for 30th Reunion with Dana, and discovering more new and ‘golden’ friendships. In that spirit, in the meantime, I invite any Wes-folk in D.C. to contact me for an informal SUP lesson on the Potomac, or just a walk or jog in Rock Creek.”

Not much is changing for Kathryn Lotspeich Villano: “My son, Wes, will be Wes ’19 and fourth generation on my side. (I swear I didn’t name him after the family’s alma mater!) Love to all and hope to see you for our 30th. I know most of you won’t be using it as an excuse to visit your child and it’s not as big as the 25th but the 25th was so fun, so come!!! Brian Pass and his wife, Pascale (French TA ’86), have a son who just graduated from Wes; he is lawyering away at Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles, focusing on technology transactions in the Internet space.

Karen Escovitz wrote, “For all of its foibles, I’m grateful for Facebook and the opportunity it provides to maintain contact with lots of friends from Wesleyan. It’s gratifying to see our lives evolve, to share ideas and inspirations, and to see your beautiful aging faces from time to time. Old fondness sometimes sparks new and vital connections. Hope to see some of you in May!”

From the class secretary: Lucy Seham Malatesta wrote me to say that she missed our 25th and now will also miss the 30th—this time it’s to be her son’s commissioning at the United States Naval Academy. If you don’t come next May, I hope you have an equally good and valid excuse!

CLASS OF 1986 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Hope you had a great summer, and we look forward to seeing you on campus next spring for our 30th Reunion. You can already save the date: May 19-22!

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

From the Secretary: Congratulations to all who are now 50. My end-of-summer e-mail request for class updates included a prompt: What are you doing in the arts? Here are some updates.

Arts aren’t only found in NYC. Emily Cowan is in northern New Hampshire, where she “has to work a little harder to enjoy the arts, but they are there … I’ve attended poetry classes at The Frost Place, gone to poetry readings by state and national laureates and performances of Klezmer, Scottish, Acadian and Celtic music.” Last winter was a dinner soirée focused on a book by the late Wes ethics professor Philip Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, which is about a small town in France whose Protestant residents sheltered hundreds of Jews during WWII.

Hallie also influenced Dana Goldstein. Her new play, Daughters of the Sexual Revolution, is dedicated to him and will be performed this fall in NYC. Dealing with ethics and sexual politics in the 1970s, a fair amount of the play takes place at “a small, liberal arts college in Connecticut.” There’s also her musical, Liberty, which opens in October. It imagines that the Statue of Liberty herself was an unwanted immigrant who arrived at a time of recession and anti-immigrant sentiment, and was almost deported by the conservatives of the time—which is all true.

Julia Lee Barclay-Morton swerved into writing prose after many years creating theater. This summer she wrote a book about her grandmothers and the Stockholm Review of Literature published her short story “The God Thing.” She is also involved with works associated with the Indie Theater Now’s reading series, featuring Wes classmate Shawn Cuddy. Julia had updates about Spencer Reece ’85 (saw him read his amazing new book of poetry, The Road to Emmaus), Cobina Gillitt ’87 (who just got a professorship at SUNY–Purchase, hooray!), and saw Mark Sussman ’85 in Montreal (when her husband was getting his green card!), and Glenn Mitchell ’84 (a neighbor in Inwood who was her frosh hallmate). “All together, my life is forever and always enhanced by the friendships made at Wes. Grateful beyond measure for that.”

Speaking of frosh hallmates and NYC, Lucy Malatesta and Sarah Tilly and their Foss-2 hallmate Ellen Limburg Santistevan walked The High Line Park this summer when Ellen was visiting them from New Mexico. Lucy joined a community chorus, Concord Singers, in 1995; it’s a non-auditioning women’s chorus that tackles great music at a high level. Ellen’s news is that a piece of her art is in the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe through May 2015. “It is a really overwhelming experience to see one of my paintings, which I fully expected to be on the wall in someone’s living room, instead lovingly curated and installed in an international museum.”

Elaine Taylor-Klaus says her involvement in the arts has been a bit surreal. “My daughter, Bex, was just cast as a lead in MTV’s adaptation of Scream. My role is to manage the ‘team’ of experts who are representing Bex—and let’s just say this Southern mama managing Hollywood is never dull. Special thanks goes to David Kohan for talking me off the ledge the first year!”

Dan Seltzer writes, “I miss playing music and am trying to get back to it, including jamming with Peter Durwood recently and feeling a bit of the old magic… mostly I just appreciate the opportunity to wake up and seize what the day offers, orient to the love in the people around me, and try to keep my body in one piece while biking around the city.”

Dana Walcott’s creative impulses have been building: houses, custom cabinetry, recording studios, and electronic equipment for audio recording. “Everything I build involves art. Many people can build things. But can they also make it look good? Well, I can. That’s what makes it art. Science is science. But making science look good is an art. So I may not be involved in the formal arts, but everything I do involves art because I create beautiful things. You should see my new kitchen.”

Ever since Wesleyan “seduced” him into a career in the arts, John Jordan has been involved with dance. He teaches dance history, dance philosophy, and introduction to dance at Cal State Fresno, and serves on the board of directors for the Rogue Festival. “I have trouble imagining what my life would have been like without WesDance and the encouragement to ‘follow my bliss’ (except that I’d probably be making more money).”

Some Short Blurbs: Sarah Flanders: “I took art classes and studied art history at Wesleyan but dropped it for many years. In recent years I have taken some ceramics classes and started drawing and painting again.” Steven Cohen: “In terms of the arts, I do photography and just got back from my first trip to Korea where I took a bunch of photos. I’m still living in my hometown of NYC and still at the same job for over 23 years.”

Debbie Alter-Starr: “For the last several years I’ve been coordinating a bilingual community network called Somos Napa and co-coordinating the Napa Valley Latino Heritage Month.” In nearby San Francisco, Bill Greene, as part of his “midlife crisis,” accepted a board seat at the Museum of Performance and Design. Edie Cherkas Ellin says, “Kristen Hoyt and I took a class in hand quilting in the mid-1990s and I have been at it ever since. Just an enjoyable hobby with lots of baby quilts, chuppahs, and a few large bed quilts resulting over the years.” George Justice: “I have found myself working much more closely with the arts than in the past, having taken on the role of associate vice president for humanities and arts at Arizona State University… I’ve enjoyed getting to know brilliant visual arts, performing artists, and designers.” Eric Heinze: “I’ve been involved in the arts in the sense of writing (and teaching) about problems of law and justice in drama from the late 16th through to the 18th centuries (Shakespeare, Corneille, Racine, Schiller…).” Ayelet Waldman: “For the past 20 years or so I’ve earned my living as a writer, primarily of fiction. My new novel, Love & Treasure, was published this past spring.”

Scott Michaud: “I’m now managing the strategic and executive communications for the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. ECBC is the organization that has just completed the historic shipboard destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons that’s been in the news all summer, so it’s an exciting time to be here managing our story. Twenty-seven years of speechwriting and it’s still something that I love!” Andrea Wojnar-Diagne was appointed in March to be the UNFPA Resident Representative for Senegal. “I am thrilled to be working for a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is reached —such exciting issues to be working on given the demographics of most of the world’s developing countries—rapid population growth and enormous youth bulges of under 25s. Happy 50th!”

With us turning 50, many classmates have aging parents, and this update from Helen Miller Tarleton was special: “I spent time this summer with my father who has, during the past five years, acquired Parkensonian features. He expressed that this has robbed him of his sense of creativity. So, we spent a week in a pottery studio together hand-throwing and working on the wheel. It was a new experience for me, too. In the afternoons, we played his hammer dulcimer together. He hadn’t played in years and is currently able to remember the sequencing for the first six notes of the song we played. In spite of those limitations, just playing the six notes was perfect. Thanks to my experiences in the West African drumming classes at Wesleyan, I was perfectly happy using a call and response. And, in part, thanks to my experiences in West College, I was perfectly happy repeating those notes over and over again, hypnotized by the sound of the dulcimer strings. Getting to do this with my dad was the best way I can imagine being involved in the arts this year.”

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

For this issue of the class report, we begin with Lydia Crawford, who wrote: “I have not found the proverbial work-life balance—when my son was 10 and I was encouraging him to spend less time in front of the computer screen, he correctly noted that I spent my whole day in front of the computer! I then explained to him that I was paid to do work in front of the computer, to which he replied that I could certainly pay him to be at the computer….”

Some of the other news: Sam Atkinson has kept in touch with his three frosh roomies from Clark 312. He sees Tony Antonellis around Boston for lunch and Wes events. He recently spoke to Kevin Freund, who is in Ohio, has the 50th birthday year itch, and is planning the next chapter of his career. Sam also spends time with Peter Hammond every fall, when Peter visits for a reunion weekend in N.H., along with Mark Woodbury ’87.

Michael Tomasson and his wife, Kathy Weilbaecher (Harvard ’87), celebrated their 22nd anniversary. They are both physician researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, and their three kids are in 6th, 9th, and 12th grades. Michael is a physician on the leukemia and stem cell transplantation service and is scientific director of the multiple myeloma program. Generous with his time department: He does experimental science outreach as co-founder of, which uses a combination of Google Hangouts and Twitter to host (very) informal dialogues about issues in biomedical science.

Lisa Clough and John (now Johan) Booth met up again this year at the South Pole. Lisa is a program manager at the National Science Foundation, and spends about a month a year in Antarctica. Johan was spending his 10th winter in Antarctica, where he works for NOAA on many things including keeping track of the size of the ozone hole.

Lydia Crawford also wrote, “I have been living in Saint Paul for the past 23 years and endured all 23 winters—not bad for a girl who grew up in Saudi Arabia! I moved here after law school at the University of Virginia, was in private practice for a while, clerked for a federal district court judge for a while, and have been with Wells Fargo for the past 13 years. I am a consumer credit attorney, working with all the so-called “alphabet regulations—A through Z—and since the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I have been quite busy.…[With husband and kids,] we keep busy skiing, hiking, camping, biking, taking in the excellent regional theater in the Twin Cities, and savoring any sunny day above freezing!”

Dan Kolbert has been in Portland, Maine, since 1988: “50 had me freaked out for at least a year but so far hasn’t been so bad (or my dread successfully prepared me). I’m a building contractor and active in the regional community of ‘green’ builders and designers. I host a monthly Building Science Discussion Group as well, which has been both fun and a great way to share best practices. My spousal equivalent and I have two kids, the younger of whom is completely sick of my inability to watch a movie or TV show without telling her who I went to college with. ‘How come you’re not rich?’ she asks.”

Jody Lewen has been in the Bay Area since 1994, currently the executive director of the Prison University Project, which runs an associate’s degree program inside San Quentin State Prison for over 300 people. “I often think about how much my experiences at Wesleyan have informed my work—I seem to be driven to create a little Wesleyan inside San Quentin. I love my colleagues and the students at SQ, but there’s also a great deal of extreme heartbreak in working inside the California prison system. Work is very much the center of my life, so it’s a good thing the Bay Area is as beautiful as it is. Most regularly in touch with Judith Hill-Weld and Katherine Forrest, with occasional signs of life from Tyche Hendricks and Lizzie Carty ’87.”

John McIntyre was on a medical mission to rural Haiti in April; one goal is integrating remote interpretation of medical images from Haiti into the neuroradiology program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he works. “Great to have so much local cross-country skiing right out my door. Great fall and saw many Wes folks at the Head of the Charles when I rowed in a senior masters eight with Alex Thomson ’82 and Kevin Foley ’82. Seeing a lot of John Gemery ’85, Michael Zegans ’85, and Jinny Kim Hartman ’86, all DH doctors. Following in Jon Chatinover ’83’s footsteps in Martha’s Vineyard, I have gotten involved in coaching the Hanover High School swim team and enjoy the rapid improvement of the student swimmers over a relatively short season.”

Eileen Mohan Flaherty has found her second career as a high school English teacher in Hartford to be far more gratifying than the practice of law. She and her husband, Patrick, are savoring their time with daughter, Cat, before she heads off as a freshman to Sarah Lawrence College in the fall.

Bennett Schneider: “I celebrated my 50th on April 5 in New York, eating Chinese food with Julia Barclay, Shawn Cuddy, James Hallett, Cobina Gillitt ’87, and Nathan Gebert ’85. Melinda Newman and I explore restaurants around L.A. regularly and are as close as ever. I’m going on six years of performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (as an actor in their education series) and 10 years as creative director and director of operations with, making short animations. The work I’ve done the longest has been as vice-president of the charitable group, The Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for five years now and as a gay Hindu drag nun for 18 years.”

Eric Howard |

Class of 1986 | 2014 | Issue 1

We are nearing (or at) 50 years old, and there are lots of changes in our lives. For me, a new career path means I spend weekends in Maine with my family and weeknights in Boston with my 80-year-old mother. I now do corporate relations in the College of Engineering at Northeastern University, and in the evening I work on a doctoral degree in organizational leadership. The goal is to complete my degree in 2016, the same year my twins get their high-school degree.

Here are similar stories from classmates:
Sarah Bosch Holbrooke: “After living in NYC since graduation, I moved with my family to Telluride in August. My husband, David, runs, and we thought it would be nice for our three kids (Bebe, 18, Kitty, 13, and Wiley, 11) to experience four seasons of outdoor fun. I’m continuing to work in television production, freelancing for the Katie Couric daytime talk show. I think the biggest changes are that I’m making dinner rather than reservations, bears run outside our back door, and it’s mid-October and we’ve already had several serious snow storms. It’s all good, but a real adjustment from Brooklyn.”

Charlie Berthoud: “After 10 years near Pittsburgh, we moved to Madison, Wis. and love it here. I am serving as the pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church—a wonderful progressive congregation. My wife is looking for lawyer-related work after 12 years at home with our two boys. Emma Caspar ’85 is here too, and we enjoyed catching up at Nepalese restaurant. Life is good.”

Julia Lee Barclay-Morton: “I fell in love and got married at 50 for starters(!) to my beloved Canadian, John Barclay-Morton. I have found true love and am astonished by the grace of this. Having never experienced it, I didn’t know what I was missing until I found it. I was recently hired to edit a book by the widow of a well-known theater theorist (Stefan Brecht) of his writing on a favorite director/writer (Richard Foreman). This happened in part because of Wesleyan connections and work begun at Wes as a student. I also teach writing at Fordham, which is something new that I have discovered I love. Just two years ago, I moved back to NYC from the UK (where I had lived for eight years), with a PhD in hand (received at 46), a marriage ended, a theatre company disbanded, my father having died and finding out that my last name was a fiction because of WWII (and in the process discovering a new family). There were other losses as well, including a miscarriage, infertility, my stepfather’s death, friends dying, my cat of 20 years dying—in other words life in and around 50. Throughout all of this, I maintained my sobriety and celebrated 26 years clean and sober last year—a reminder throughout all of the good, the bad, and the ugly, that I am lucky to be alive. I feel truly blessed now, renewed after a time of grieving, and now able to participate once again fully in the world.”

Ellen Santistevan: “Going into the field of bodywork has been an absolutely amazing and life-changing journey. Everything about my life is healthier: most especially self awareness and relationships. It has been a true gift. Coincident (or nearly so) with opening myself up in this way has been a flowering of my artwork. Never before have I been so able and so needing to devote myself to writing and painting. There is a feedback loop between the creative personal work (internal) and the bodywork career (external), each of which enhances the other. I don’t suppose that I could have come to this point in my life without all the other experiences I have gone through. Just as I was unable to do a handstand as a child, and now am unbelievably surprised to be able to do so, even as I am approaching 50—age does have its perks.”

Elaine Taylor-Klaus: “In a nutshell, as a socio-preneur I am working to change the way that parents live with and manage children with chronic illness and special needs. Two years ago I launched ImpactADHD, a global resource for parents that is the first of a network of coaching/training resource sites and programs. With an emphasis on the importance of the role of the parent, we will expand the wellness model to teach parents to teach their children to live with and thrive with disease, rather than be defined and exclusively limited by it. We are setting up strong systems to meet the needs of families, introducing a new way to manage old problems. Research is proving that parent training improves efficacy of other treatment methodologies, and health care is moving in the direction of a wellness approach to medical care. These factors combined make the ‘coach-approach’ to parenting an ideal solution for families.”

Ethan Knowlden: “This summer, I had a job change: Senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for Complete Genomics, Inc., in Mountain View, Calif. We have about 200 employees, and my department is two. We have a very cool technology that allows us to provide the most accurate whole human genome sequencing available today. In March we were acquired by BGI, the world’s largest sequencing company, headquartered in Shenzhen. Complete’s mission is to improve human health by providing genomic information to understand, prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and conditions. That is something I’m excited to be part of.”

A P.S. from Eric: Many thanks to you for your generosity: 243 classmates made a contribution to Wesleyan last year. As I am turning 50 this year, I am giving contributions of $50 (or multiples of 50) to a bunch of organizations. Some gifts, such as the one to Wes, are in memory of friends who have died and never made it to 50. If you are looking for a reason to give to Wes, check out

Eric Howard