Let’s begin with happy news from Ira Skolnik. “In April my wife and I attended the wedding of Steven Meyer ’86, where I was the best man. Steve is an attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, where the wedding was held at the Polo Club. Steve married Julia Maskivker, who is a professor of government at Rollins College in Florida. She has both brains and beauty and has finally made an “honest man” out of our boy Steve! Also at the wedding was Chris Pearson ’86 and his entire family, who flew in all the way from California to celebrate with Steve and Julia. The weather was perfect, as was the celebration.”
Nancy (Dobrow) Bean has “Wes on the mind as some of my daughter’s friends and my niece (Sarah Dobrow-class of 2018) head off to Middletown this Fall! Her dad, Marty Dobrow, was class of 83! Crazy to watch my 19-year-old daughter Maddi going off to her sophomore year in college (Simmons), how long ago was it that I was packing up for my Sophomore year at Wes – a long time ago. We are ending a long and eventful summer on Nantucket. I commuted to my Boston office mid-week and worked remotely as much as possible. My husband Mike was out on weekends. Summer was filled with kayaking, biking, adventures and Jules (16) and I competed in our first triathlon. We are still alive and we FINISHED – that was the goal! I am loving work – producing the Nantucket Wine Festival and The James Beard Foundation Taste America Tour along with some other fun food and wine events – very fulfilling, learning new things always! I am heading to Paris and Bordeaux for work this September – someday I will live there halftime. So family is great, work is great – and I am surrounded by a lot of people who are very passionate about what they do!
Alisa Kwitney is writing freelance for DC entertainment and starting a new job teaching part time at Kildonan, a middle and high school for students with dyslexia. I’m also going to be teaching McDaniel’s online romance writing certificate program, starting in January.
Kelly Washburn started a job in Development and Membership at Romemu, a synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “I’m back in the city after a year living in Woodstock, and would love to be in touch with local Wes alums.”
Kim Sargent-Wishart is “full-steam-ahead trying to finish my PhD by the end of the year. Then in January we’re moving a few hours west of Melbourne to Warrnambool, a smaller city on the coast (known for the annual spawning migration of the Southern Right Whales, among other things). It will be hard in many ways to leave the bright lights of the city but I think the fresh ocean air will more than make up for it, plus space for growing boys to run around – and for old friends to come and visit!”
David Abramson is “in my 13th year at the State Department, my 9th working as a Central Asia analyst (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), keeping my Russian skills alive. I try to keep one foot in the academic world, publishing and teaching the occasional anthropology course at Georgetown University. I recently returned from a vacation in Maine with my family. En route I visited Skip Lockhart and Jessica Miller in Needham, MA. In June, John Gould ’86 and Becky Riccio ’87 and their two boys visited us in DC. My wife, Kelly Hand published a novel, “Au Pair Report,” last year, which is available via Amazon, etc.”
After 17 years teaching in the Drama Department in the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, Cobina Gillitt has accepted a new position as Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase College, SUNY starting fall 2014. Cobina is also currently the dramaturg for a chilling new original horror opera by Elizabeth Swados about a Golem created by Rabbi Loew in 16th century Prague to protect the inhabitants of the Jewish ghetto during the “blood libel” when Jews were being accused of using the blood of Christian children to bake their Passover matzos. The opera will premiere in NYC in February 2015.
Stafford Smith received tenure as a professor of photography at Grand Valley State University this spring. He’s also writing a paper about how photographs really do steal our souls.
Ian Rosen and his wife, Sagra, continue to thrive “completing our 18th year in London, with our daughters Isabel (13) and Olivia (6). We spent a wonderful summer holiday in Spain and are planning more travels in the coming months. I continue to work in the sustainability sector, overseeing investments in renewable energy projects. Of our classmates, I remain in closest contact with Vitaly Fiks who lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.
Wendy Blum wrote in to report that Debby Hamilton (a holistic pediatrician in CO) published a book, Preventing Autism and ADHD. Wendy “sees Dave Cole when he comes to Brooklyn in the spring to compete in the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle conference (6 of em in 2 days!). He now lives in Chicago.”
Scott Pryce has moved back to the US after 20 years in Europe and South America. He and his family, living in the US for the first time, are in the DC area enjoying American culture and family. Scott has moved back to found and head a US real estate business.
Amy Stahl met her husband, Bill Hulley, in graduate school at Naropa University in Boulder. “Finally escaping Boulder in 2010, we are thrilled to have landed in magically green Portland (OR), right across the street from Dana Buhl ’88. I serve as the director and teacher for Dharma Ocean Portland, and was ordained this summer as a Chaplain in that Tibetan Buddhist lineage. My Dharma Ocean siblings include Andrew Merz ’99 and Douglas Goetsch ’85 — we just spent three weeks together in Crestone, Colorado at The Blazing Mountain Retreat Center. I provided the (almost 30) flower arrangements for the duration of the retreat, since I have studied Sogetsu Ikebana (Japanese floral arrangement) for about four years. I had the pleasure of spending yesterday with Pierre Hecker ’88 and his wife, Julianne, who were in town from Northfield, Minnesota. We celebrated our 30th anniversary as friends, having met at the orientation square dance on Andrus field in 1984!
Muzzy Rosenblatt “was in M’town briefly for 25th reunion of my RA hall. Dinner with Alex McClennan Dohan and David Dohan, Jim Levine, Claire and Scott Burns; great fun. None have strayed from Wes, physically or spiritually. Sunday was chucking the disk on Foss Hill with Ethan Flad and Alan Cohen (and Alan’s N-Factor to be son), joined at brunch by Laura Flaxman. And then a truly inspiring, must-read speech by Ted Shaw on civil rights, freedom and equality, and the critical role of liberal education and Wes. My life is good and work rewarding, and it helps to have Wes well represented on my board, with Julia Hodgson the newest member, joining Andrew Goffe, Todd Snyder and Richard Swanson. And speaking of Boards, I am truly honored and thrilled that so many of you elected me to serve as alumni trustee. I’m cramming for my first meeting, and have to say it kind of feels like being a freshman all over again. Wonder if our orientation will include a lap-sit of all the trustees on Andrus Field.”
This year Robert Norden received the National Historic Preservation award from The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a citation from the Bergen County historical society for 25 years of living history, and the Rockland County Historical Society’s award for preservation and stewardship of a national landmark. “I can’t believe it has been 25 years since I restored Americas oldest tavern…. come visit!”
Clarinda Mac Low just completed a Master of Fine Arts in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from The City College of New York-CUNY. “Yes, after 25 years as a professional art-maker, in several fields, I finally got an advanced degree! I am also getting married, to Peter Stankiewicz, whom I met through two of my best Wes friends, Chris Lotspeich ‘88 and Dan Sharp ‘88. After a few decades of dancing around each other, Peter and I became an item in 2006, and now we’re making it official. Chris is raising two great girls with his wife, Amy Dunn, and doing excellent work on micro-grids with Celtic Energy. Dan has a successful practice as a psychiatrist, in Manhattan and White Plains. I was lucky enough to see Evelyn Shapiro and her beautiful son recently and briefly in NYC, and I’ve been skyping every once in a while with Kim Sargent-Wishart. I also had a nice long chat with Mark Sussman ’86 recently while we trekked across Brooklyn. He lives, teaches, and performs in Montreal and Brooklyn with his wife and two rambunctious sons. My organization, Culture Push (which I started with Aki Sasamoto ‘04 and Arturo Vidich ‘03, has been doing well. Our mission of cross-sector conversation and civically engaged art practice is very Wes, I’d say, and I continue to have contact with recent Wes grads through our internship program. I also see a lot of Lydia Bell ‘07, and other Wes folk scattered across the graduating decades. The Wes mafia is alive and well in my life, thank goodness.
Liza Smith is “on sabbatical and will be road tripping from California to Maine to visit family and friends, eat lobster, see the leaves turn, and acquire a puppy. After crossing the country again, I will be moving to Portland, OR for 9 months–because I can! (My sabbatical project has to do with online teaching.)”
Eric Lotke has a new novel out, Making-Manna. Read all about it (and him) at www.making-manna.com.
Kevin Pratt is living in Corte Madera, Ca with my Brazilian wife of 10 years, our 5-year-old daughter, Gabriella, and our 3-month-old foster baby! We live about 10 minutes away from Catherine Schram ’89. I was in New York in April and stayed with Shawn Cuddy ’86 and James Hallett ’86, saw Cobina Gillet and Maureen McSherry ’87, and my dear friends Vashti Dubois ’92, Ian Friday ’87, and Tim Raphael ’84. I work in the family real estate business by day, and write screenplays and play music at night. My fantasy is that I’ll return to the stage as Daddy Warbucks with my daughter playing Annie…Wes folks always welcome here in Marin!
Amanda Jacobs Wolf |email@example.com