Thanks for always writing in. Here goes.
Chris Tacy is still living in San Francisco. “I now work for Mozilla Corporation doing Corporate Development. I still travel a lot to Hawaii for outrigger paddling and surfing. I still rarely if ever see other Wes Alum, though I did see David Raymond and Jessica Glass last year in New York City, and had a lovely evening with Jon Lee in Portland a few months ago.”
Claire Conceison is a professor at Duke University but is spending 2014-2015 as a visiting professor at Harvard University and MIT, teaching courses on China, theater, and sports. She just wrote the introduction for a new edition of Arthur Miller’s book Salesman in Beijing (retitled Death of a Salesman in Beijing) being published by Bloomsbury (2015) for the hundredth anniversary of Miller’s birth. She spends weekends in NYC and would love to hear from Wesmates in NY, Boston, and NC.
Nancy (Dobrow) Bean writes that “Life is fun here in the Pioneer Valley – snow snow snow…!! My family is great – oldest daughter is starting her Clinical Rotation at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the middle child is looking at colleges and my youngest is working on becoming a famous pastry chef (she is 10 yrs old and a good planner.) Mike Bean is selling Organic Coffee and I am busy planning the Nantucket Wine Festival. I have been traveling a lot for work – France and Napa mostly – and our 19th annual NWF is around the corner – May 13-17, 2015. Would love Wes alums to join us this year!! Eric Asimov, NY Times Wine Critic (and Wes class of 1980) will be there again… email me and you can get the special Wesleyan Pass…!! email@example.com. Cheers!
Adam Joseph is alive and well and living in God’s country (Maplewood, NJ) with his lovely wife of nearly 24 years, Susan Kraham (Columbia ’87), three sons, two dogs and a cat. I tried to get my oldest son interested in Ole’ Wes but he chose Colby where he is a freshman. On the career front, I’ve worked in the muni finance business for the last 20 plus years, financing the infrastructure you use every day. I don’t see too many Wes folks other than my dear friend, the magnificent Dan Bellow, but keep up with more on social media and think about many more of you often and fondly. Recently ran up to Middletown on a side trip from my middle son’s soccer camp, saw my old boss Brian O’Rourke and enjoyed a Graduate Omelet.
Lisa Pavlovsky “is now Manager of Scholarship programs for the SF-based Jewish community federation working half time so I can still be active in the schools of my two sons, ages 10 and 12. Still in regular touch with Elissa Wolf-Tinsman and Vivian Trakinski who are both doing well. Can’t believe I’m turning 50 this year!”
Dorian Harding-Morick works at Yale University’s library system—and every once in a while travels the ½ hour or so to see Wes and Middletown.
Martha Haakmat writes: “On January 31st, a handful of Wes grads from ’87, and one kooky interloper from ’89, gathered together in Brooklyn to celebrate the group’s first dive into their 50th decade! Rob Nix (now working at Penn State) turned 50, and Wes friends who celebrated with him in the home of Martha Haakmat and Stephen Warner were Gail Wheeler and Louis Canfield (’89). Rob, Steve and Martha are planning a giant 50th birthday for them all this summer in Belize, where they will be joined by other friends from ’87, Brian Shelly, Nelly Taveras, Barney Berkowitz, Greg Barr, Wendy Trippe (’89) and Andy Kevy.
Steve Kaminsky married Leslie Repetto (UVA ’96) in March “and we’re expecting a daughter later in February. Had a great time working on two movies last year with Brad Fuller. Enjoying life in Los Angeles. Looking forward to fatherhood!”
John Katz and Lisa Dipko (’86) continue to enjoy living is sunny and dry dry dry San Francisco. I am going on 20 years at EPA, currently focusing on green electronics and safer consumer products. Lisa’s work at the VA nursing home continues to provide daily challenges, from flu outbreaks to new programs to marveling at the healing powers of the resident cat (see this link for pictures! http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Miley-VA-Medical-Center-s-healing-pet-cat-5024638.php). I’ve been kept busy coaching soccer and baseball for our 10-year-old Nicky, a particular challenge since I never really played baseball. Lisa sings in the San Francisco Soundwave, a women’s barbershop group that is known for their witty parodies and awesome costumes. We have kept in touch with Michael Foster who is a professor of folklore at Indiana University, though he has spent the better part of the last several years doing research in Japan. Simon Heart and Johanna Van Hise continue to live in Boulder CO with their three kids. Johanna has recently launched her nursing career after a resolute effort to get into and through nursing school. Locally we cross paths with Darya Mead having shared a preschool, and Mark Mowrey who works at EPA (and whose son recently graduated from Wes).
“Joan Morgan here. I’m a doctoral candidate in American Studies at NYU. I was recently awarded the 2015 Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies for my dissertation The Pleasure Principle: Moving From a Politics of Silence To Politics.”
Sarah Plagenz Liepert “intended to write in a year ago, after a wonderful visit with fellow Foss 6-er Marc Benoff. Marc was in Boston on business from Philadelphia, and joined our family for an evening in Lincoln. Marc and I hadn’t seen each other since 1989! Fortunately, we recognized each other — despite his shorter haircut, and my braces (now off!). Marc was in Asia during our 25th reunion, so I shared some of that news. He sent shout-outs to Brad Lubin, Eric Leifer, Johanna Van Hise and many others (sorry — this is why I should have written when the memories were fresh). Marc and his wife have a daughter at Skidmore and a son who is a senior in high school. I had the pleasure of attending my freshman roommate Jenifer Goldman Fraser’s daughter Sasha’s bat mitzvah in February 2014. Sasha is a very accomplished young woman — no surprise! It was also a treat to see Jenifer’s parents, who are ageless. They looked just as young as when I met them in 1983.We now have two in high school: our son is a senior (all the college apps are in!) and our daughter is a freshman. Various sports, drama, and community service keep our family busy. For my part, I enjoy playing in several competitive tennis leagues (singles and doubles) throughout the year.
Natalie Diffloth sent this “Briefest of the brief updates: I’m in graduate school at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany, and am very excited to almost be done with my thesis in Transcultural Studies! Sending a big hello to all my old friends out there.”
John Penney: “Living in Santa Monica CA with wife Julie Rousseau and daughter Celeste Penney. Working as Chief Strategy Officer for Starz Networks and trying to build a crystal ball to predict the future of media.”
Holly Campbell Ambler is “still living in Cambridge with my husband and two teenage daughters. I’m working part-time as a child and family social worker. I keep up with Trish and John Dorsey, Doug Koplow and his wife Michele, and Dennis Mahoney and his wife Karen, connecting for dinners, plays, and musical events in Boston. I also see Barbara Lewis frequently, as we went to Simmons School of Social Work together (as “older” students) and now practice in the same field.
Kimberly (Jackson) DuMont works at the William T. Grant Foundation as a senior program officer. For the past 25 years I have been happily married to Mark DuMont (who received his masters from Wesleyan in 1987) and we have two boys and a spirited, 11 year old poodle. Jackson, our oldest son, is a sophomore at Wesleyan who hopes to major in film and Russian studies. Alex, is a high school senior. He is soon bound for Brandeis where he will continue studying music and venture into philosophy. When life slows down, we venture to Maine to spend time off the grid at a small cabin in the woods. Life is good!
Liz Kromelow-Dietz writes “Both my boys are at Wes now and loving it, Max Dietz ’16 and James Dietz ’18. I’m playing ice hockey most days. Still playing bridge. The life of an empty nester.”
Sheila Rhatigan Arcelona “still lives in San Francisco, still works for the District Attorney, happily married to Steve, raising a teenage daughter … San Francisco is changing before my eyes but I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else … interesting and challenging times.”
Mick Malter wrote that “Jill and I had a busy fall, doing both high school applications for my daughter Astrid, and college applications for my son Ted. Guess which was more work… correct, the NYC high school applications! Old news, but last year, when my son was a junior in high school, we took advantage of the Wesleyan college prep weekend for alum and staff. It was a great weekend on campus, getting familiar with the college application process, and seeing Wes. In the small world dept, my daughter goes to school with Helen Reiss’ (nee?) son, and my son goes to school with Dana Goldberg’s daughter. I now have 22 years with the FDNY, and was excited to spend part of last summer on the fire/rescue boats, working the waters all around NY City.”
Sometimes I just have to print a submission as is, like this one from Linda Malias Passaro. “New career road taking me to Rockville MD as COO Chesapeake Bay Candle. Building global home fragrance multi Branded company. Factories in China. Vietnam and USA. Thinking back on what Wes taught me. How Wes prepared me. 3 kids learning a telecommuting mom life. Oldest Leeann at Lawrenceville school junior looking for liberal arts life. Allissa starting HS. Luke 13 starting his first company jewelry line called Luv Picks. Life full. Learned old Wes boyfriend Matthew Delson passed away last year. Life fragile. Enjoyed speaking on career panel at Wes last Feb seeing old familiar faces. Muzzy Rosenblatt and David Hill. Reconnecting with Joanne Melikian and Liza Barrett. Peace in 2015. O.A.R song Peace my go to.”
Lisa Ranghelli is “writing from snowy, cold Western Massachusetts, where I’ve finally embraced winter after 13 years of living here by learning to cross country ski. Better late than never…The rest of the time I (a) raise my son, Noah, who is 12, about to surpass me in height, and obsessed with Magic the Gathering; and (b) telecommute to my job at a national philanthropic research and advocacy organization in DC (National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy), where I’ve been for 7 years and currently lead a project that evaluates large foundations. I also participate in a cool drumming group, Offbeat Womyn’s Drumming Ensemble. I recently hosted Janet Lieberman, who lives in eastern MA, and during the fall I saw Karen Goldenberg on one of her visits home to Amherst from San Francisco. Last summer I rendezvoused with another long-time San Franciscan, Rachael Nusbaum (’88) and her family in Reston, VA to celebrate her birthday. On that topic, I’m looking forward to lots of 50th birthday celebrations with fellow Wes alum this year!
Maureen (Mo) Craig’s oldest son is now a sophomore at Amherst, so we’ve begun legal proceedings to officially disown him. :-). Next kid in line for college is currently a sophomore in high school and is interested in any school with a crew team, so Wes might even make the short list. We’ve really enjoyed the college tour process–and that’s good because we will get to do it four times over. Indeed, life is grand.
From David Josephs: Professionally, after tiring of doing financial services, credit cards, and healthcare transactions, I recently left JPMorgan Chase after 12 years to join First Data, where I’ll be doing financial services, credit cards, and healthcare transactions. But with a different business card. My wife, Holly, and I visited my dad in southern California in December where we took a great hike in the hills and had a fantastic dinner with David Igler and Cindy Willard. [Wit and Flash, I can already hear you giving me crap for not calling but it was a quick trip, I promise, and we spent a whole day at the Huntington Library with my dad, somehow managing not to see Blue Boy, and didn’t even get outside of Pasadena.] Aside from that, just typical life in the Chicago suburbs, shoveling snow and looking forward to spring (which I assume will have arrived by the time this sees print).
Amy Baltzell is “living on Cape Cod with my husband while we are both professors at Boston University. We have three kids: Zoey who loves her unicycle and tap dancing, Luke who loves computer programming and basketball and Shayna who hit 5’8” and loves to dance ballet. I have a book coming out this year, A Cambridge Companion to Mindfulness and Performance. I am finding meditation a great pathway to joy and appreciation for life just as it is.
Lastly, I am very sad to report that our dear classmate, Annie Ravitz, passed away at the end of January.
Much love to you all,
Amanda Jacobs Wolf