CLASS OF 1989 | 2022 | FALL ISSUE

Y’ALL. Get the popcorn. Our Wes ’89 classmates shared some of their fave food/food hack and snack stories and they are here for you to graze thru. (See? I’m still totally corny and mercilessly single too. Gah! #sendhelp. I’m taking apps … as in appetizers! :))

Erik Attkisson leads with a passionate ode to cheese fries. He described them as a “no doubter” and the prime source of his frosh 15. He reminisced about how he “always found a willing partner to commiserate with” and “solved the world’s problems over” them. However, after “four years of indulgence he never wanted to eat any more. . . .”

Kelem Butts writes, “Living in Low Rise, I used to cook steak for dinner, this was grade-Z quality from Waldbaum’s mind you. But I was not an effective cook and I constantly cooked it on the top shelf of the oven, which would lead to smoke and a fire alarm at least once a week. But how cool was it to be able to eat what you want every night?” He provides a further food-related update: “In May of this year, housemates from Intown 21 all met in New York for dinner, as it’d been some time since we’d all been together, COVID you know. We dined at Congee Village Restaurant in Chinatown and my god was it fun. Greg Berman, Josh Drew, Kevin ‘Juice’ Majewski, Mark Saudek, spouses/significant others, and me. We dined in a private room designed for karaoke; I can neither confirm nor deny that we did a lovely rendition of Guns N’ Roses Paradise City. A joyous time was had by all.”

Carrie Holden Emmerson offers a veritable cornucopia of food memories. She recalls Dave Lahey, Adam Long, and John Hlinko making Taco Bell tacos their go-to dinner. Also, that Adam Weiss considered oatmeal an all-purpose meal. She also remembers Liz Gossels and Lisa Paolillo helping with carbo-loading on Friday nights before soccer games with fettuccine Alfredo.  She had never had it before and has loved it ever since. Also, senior year, Kelly Morgan’s mom visited one weekend and made a REAL MEAL of beef stew. There was also an awesome potluck Thanksgiving dinner with other folks who stuck around senior year.

Likewise, Reggie Jenkins would make REAL FOOD like roasts (!) in his kitchen in High Rise. He still makes magnificent food to this day. Junior year, she remembers Rosemary Reilly testing the “doneness” of our spaghetti by throwing it up on the ceiling. Sophomore year, she recalls Ed Thorndike and his girlfriend cooking meals for us once a week at Delta Tau Delta.  Maybe a precursor to WesWings? Other memories involve ramen, mac and cheese, pasta, and of course, CHEESE FRIES, as well as the sundaes at the pub. She mourns the days when she was exercising a lot more and could eat such things without worrying about adding extra pounds by even looking at it.

Also weighing in on CHEESE FRIES is Alisa Berman. They were “her food”—never had them before Wes and hasn’t eaten them since!

From Lynn Rosenbaum, the following food-related confession. “When studying in SciLi, I often visited the snack vending machine on the first floor. One evening, I discovered that when I pulled the handle, the snack came out—without putting in any money! I got a bunch of free snacks and might have tipped off a few other people.”

Michelle Cleaver relates a couple of quickie one-pot meals: couscous, hot dog, peanuts, and broccoli. Or baked potato, dill pickles, garlic, cheese. She also recalls that between herself and my fellow foodie, Anneliisa Aubrey-Walton, they had two hot plates and a toaster oven or two, which led to many wonderful meals in their Butterfield hall.

If alcohol counts as a food, then we can include Liz Marx’s memory of Sandeep Wahdwa blasting Born to Run on Friday afternoons while breaking open Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers.

David Bradley relates the “unexciting but true” observation that ramen figured large in his Wes dining. There was much controversy about preparation despite the mathematically small number of possible variations: Noodles into boiling water? Boiling water over noodles? Drain? Don’t drain? And critically, how much of that spice packet to add? As for the actual ramen variety/flavor, I’m not sure that mattered!” He also reports he’s in Kigali for the year on a Fulbright U. S. scholar grant, helping the University of Rwanda develop training programs in pediatric cardiology, taking time away from my work at the University of Michigan to commit some time to global health. Happy to connect with any Wes alums!

Jeff Brez offers a first-year memory from Butterfield C of snacking on “sleazy cheese” (Cheese Whiz) on crackers (or heck, just plain!) and enjoying “goldfish in a cloud” in MoCon, which was Pepperidge Farm Goldfish with cottage cheese. He also reports that he left the UN Secretariat in New York and “with my husband and two children moved to Rome” where he works for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

No food updates, but Garry Schumacher reports that his wife Nicole, and youngest son Stormy (now in high school) live pretty much across the street from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. They often see Ethan Garber ’90 who also lives there. And Bev Tomov (Wachtel) ’92. Anyone passing through is invited to say “hello.” His two older kids have just completed their degrees, one a bachelor’s and one a master’s, and so for the first time in years they have a hiatus in making tuition payments! Very exciting!

Lynn Lazarus and Andrew Shear relocated back to NYC last fall during COVID to be closer to family. Andrew just started a job as the director of post-conviction litigation at the Innocence Project. Lynn has been venturing into modern healthcare and working doing telehealth for two start-ups. She is enjoying taking a break from a physical clinic after spending a lot of time during COVID in full PPE. She specializes in seeing patients while on an island, so far working from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Deer Isle, Maine, in addition to Manhattan. Their kids are both in NYC. Sam is a senior at Bard College and Leah is a junior at the New School. They are very happy to be back close to family and friends after 15 years in Oakland. “We’ve seen lots of Wes folk, including Jonathan Fried, Stephanie Dolgoff, Dave Milch, Art Halpern, and Greg Benson.”

Dave Milch also adds: “On a happy note, it was great to catch up with Josh Feldman at the ‘every-five-years’ celebration that Jonathan Fried and his Brooklyn-friends-since-kindergarten host that I’ve been fortunate to be ‘grandfathered’ into. Josh was visiting the East Coast from his digs in the Bay Area where he continues to build beautiful things (literally and metaphorically). On the sadder side, I was able to attend the dedication of a tree on Foss Hill in memory of our dear classmate, Mike Mahon who passed in 2020. Thanks in large part to the organization and love of the Wesleyan swim team (of which Mike was a member), the beautiful tree was planted at the top of Foss Hill between West Co and the Observatory. There was a lovely group that gathered to pay tribute to Mike and share stories of his unique and spirited friendship.  I hope everyone will be able to visit campus and take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the tree, and feel Mike’s warmth, friendship, and love of all things Wes when they do.”

Let’s plan on that for the 2024 Reunion. And also, Michele Barnwell may actually be open to going out for “apps” 🙂 IJS . . . If you’re in North America (or wherever planes fly) get app’ me. HAHA! (There’s no end to the corny, y’all. Save yourselves. 🙂


When we nudged, our fellow ’89ers sent in some good Wes memories. But, y’all (!!!!), wait until you read some of these memories . . . I mean confessions. . . . No, ok—definitely memories :)! Grab a snack and let’s spill the tea:

Lee Ann (Jacob) Gun, whose daughter Emma is a sophomore at Wes (and is loving her experience!), shares: “My freshman roommate and I decided we needed a second couch in our Clark quad living room. So, we set our alarm one night for 4:00 a.m. and set out for one of the Fosses. We walked into their common room, picked up a couch not being used, and walked out, lugging the couch. We struggled to the top of Foss Hill when public safety shined their headlights on us. We dropped the couch and ran. The next morning on the way to MoCon, the couch was there at the top of Foss Hill, students sitting in it. We laughed. We decided we were fine with just the one couch.”

Listen to Lori Lobenstine’s story of what her parents ultimately did after she got arrested on Wesleyan’s campus for protesting: “I forget if it was junior or senior year when we had the sit-in at the president’s office, trying to get Wes to divest from South Africa because of apartheid. Folks were camping in there 24/7 and others were coming and going in support, while other were leading rallies outside. In the end, a whole bunch of us decided we would get arrested instead of leaving willingly. My first arrest! (Not my last.) The best was when my parents sent me a formal card, ‘Proudly announcing the arrest of their daughter . . . ’ like it was a birth announcement. Gotta love being the kid of activists. They were so excited.”

Sherry (Lehr) Föhr remembers “that time during Hurricane Gloria, when we spent hours huddled in the hall of Foss 9, eating a rather eclectic variety of snack foods and telling weather-related horror stories.  That morning, I had to venture out into the storm for a German exam (because why cancel classes for a full day just because of a hurricane?). The classroom was on the top floor of Fisk Hall, where we could see tree branches crashing onto the roof of the frat house next door as we frantically tried to remember various verb endings. When it was finally over, I had to dodge flying bits of shale from the roofs of various old buildings along Wyllys Avenue. It was so nice to get home and be welcomed by my hallmates!”

Hurricane Gloria happened our freshman year and Melissa Herman asks if you remember “putting masking tape on the windows in the dorms? I was biking across campus back to the Butterfields and almost got blown over by the wind. And then it was pretty much nothing compared to our fears and expectations.”

Elizabeth “Betsy” Henry recalls: “It was Uncle Duke Day weekend and I entered the basement of Foss that had been spectacularly decked out with strobe lights, upside-down rooms (furniture on ceilings), velvet everywhere, dark rooms with funky lighting, disco balls, the works, and I get through the maze and there is this awesome band playing this rockin’ song about a magic carpet ride and everyone is dancing and jamming like crazy and the lead singer is this fabulous chick who is belting out this line, ‘Why don’t you ride with me little boy, on a magic carpet ride,’ which is just so catchy. Loved it!  For four years I attributed “Magic Carpet Ride” to this band (which I sadly can’t remember the name of, but always caught their gigs around campus) and danced my heart out every time they played it for years to come. To this day, I still interject ‘boy’ into the lyrics when the Steppenwolf classic comes on the radio and think of that Wesleyan moment. Rock on!”

Checking in from Maine, Karen McVey Fussell mused the following mash-up of good memories: “The spaceship-ness of MoCon, the announcements from the upper deck, Uncle Duke Day, the wonder of an endless supply of Cap’n Crunch.”

Alex Dohan recalls “those crazy evenings in frosh year when we would blow off studying to sneak up to the roof of Judd Hall—for a breath of fresh air!”

Kevin Heffernan writes: “I’d say one of my best memories was playing softball with everyone during senior week. There wasn’t a person who didn’t have a smile on, what with classes over and summer coming.”

Kim Slote wrote in that: “A great memory for me was performing with the Cardinal Sinners in the World Music Hall and how amazing it felt to sing our hearts out and have the crowd be with us every step of the way!”

Phineas Baxandall remembers “that time when the ultimate frisbee team went to Santa Barbara, California, for college nationals was an amazing memory.”

Sending us all greetings from Shanghai, Robin Smith recalls: “that time when I was touring a prospective student around campus, after he finished a late afternoon interview in the administration building and walked into Alpha Delta, when they were having a co-ed Naked Party in the living room. Fun times.” (Also, I wonder if that prospective student ended up WISELY choosing Wes?!?! 🙂 Robin also shared some personal fond memory gems:

“That time when . . .  I would go down to the boathouse in the very early morning, on the Connecticut River, to get ready for crew practice, and the sun was just coming up. Even though it was extremely cold, and steam was rising off the river, it was incredibly quiet and so beautiful.”

“That time when . . . I would leave rehearsal from the ’92 Theatre late at night and meet one of my roommates (a microbiology major), to walk her back home from feeding her cells at the lab. It was our best time to talk and catch up on our day/week and plan for the upcoming weekend.”

“That time when . . . I performed as the character of Babe in Crimes of the Heart, for my senior thesis show as a theater major. Such a wonderful cast and crew to work with in doing that show.”

And the good Wes memories are still being made to this very today; or as Liz Marx aptly says, “It’s a memory that we keep making:  Every Monday night for the past year, Sneep Wadhwa, Anne Liss Johnson, John Hlinko, Lauren Bruck Simon, Adam Long, Ed Aubry, and myself get together for online bar trivia. Our team name is Gross Hall Reunion and we kick ass. We have such fun and our Wesleyan education is put to good use.”

Past met present in this dispatch from James Shiffer: “Last summer, I took a three-month sabbatical from my job at The Star Tribune in Minnesota to reconnect with friends near and far, including many Wes folks. Katrine Bangsgaard ’90 and I laughed about old times while dining in a roadhouse in northern Westchester County. Dan White and I watched humpback whales lunge-feeding in Monterey Bay. Bill Sherman ’90 showed me the magnificent Cascades, including one path along a terrifying sheer cliff. I traveled with my daughter Annika Shiffer-Delegard ’23 to Los Angeles, where Mike DeWitt ’90 took us to the Griffith Park Observatory and gave Annika a surprise gift: the custom wooden sign reading ‘Whispering Pines’ that once graced our Wes-owned house at 37 Home Avenue. I am so grateful for my Wesleyan network.”

Theresa Zinck-Lederer says “Just the other day, when watching my niece and nephew sledding, I commented to my husband about how much fun we used to have sledding down Foss Hill on cafeteria trays from MoCon!”

Kelem Butts didn’t hold back on the good humor with his recent good memory of “that time when Michele (Barnwell) asked for, neigh DEMANDED, we submit to the class notes (and it) was a great reminder of how much Wes meant to me and how much my time there impacts me to this day.  Oh, and my niece was just accepted to Wes, and I really hope she goes so she can get that same Wes experience.”

We hope she chooses/chose Wes too, Kelem.

Clearly, we as a class have shared (and continue to share) in making good Wes memories.

That all said, if you’re reading all this and you did NOT have the best-time-ever at Wes, we sincerely appreciate and embrace you and your experience. Seriously, there are several pain points for so many. We aren’t (ever) looking for any of you to bright side the bs you went through then (or are going through now) either. Each of your/our Wes memories and current challenges are all part of our shared lived experience as classmates and as humans.

We’ve still hopefully got miles to walk together and there’s time to make NEW Wes memories going forward. So let’s make them WITH you at our next on-campus reunion. Deal? (And this is definitely not an official pushy plug, YET!) We’re volunteers. We get nada EXCEPT the fun pleasure of staying connected to you. It would just be really nice to see all of you at our next big reunion, our 35th…?!?! Sheesh!

See you then or see you sooner, around these social media streets.


CLASS OF 1989 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Our collective class of ’89 good-newsy update is . . . we’re still here. Seriously, cheers to that y’all.

Life is still being lived and we’re going to celebrate this thankful fact with news from some of our classmates:

Lesley Savin reports that she is no longer snowboarding y’all. She is living full time in South Florida now and is currently working as a realtor for Illustrated Properties—selling beautiful homes of all shapes and sizes while making people’s home-owning dreams a reality! (Me next please, Lesley!)

Fun fact: Two of our classmates now have daughters who will also be classmates. Kim Slote and Stephanie Dolgoff bumped into each other (virtually) at an orientation for the parents of incoming students at Sarah Lawrence. Each of their daughters—Kim’s daughter Kate and Stephanie’s daughter Vivian—are now freshmen there.

Stephanie is the mom of twins. So she did the drop-off drill twice and says this: “I’m outrageously proud of my kids Leo and Vivian for earning their places in School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Sarah Lawrence, respectively. But I’m also really proud of myself for only voicing a version of ‘back when WE went off to college. . . ‘ 13,000 times, instead of acting on the urge closer to 13,033 times. My reward is I can go into their room and retrieve everything they ‘borrowed’ from me over the last 18 years.”

My own freshman Foss 6 roommate, Michele Chase, was back on Wesleyan’s campus this year to drop off her son Alessandro—Wesleyan class of 2025. Woohoo, let’s GO! Sidebar: Yes, the Wesleyan housing overlords put two “Micheles-with-one-L” (one from California and the other from New York City each with an interest in some sort of science major at the time) together in a two-room double freshman year because . . . Wesleyan has jokes. I made a friend for life though. So, #winning!

Hearing about students starting college has me in my (good, warm, fuzzy) feelings and thinking about the company that Elizabeth “Betsey” Schmidt has launched!

Betsey is CEO and Founder of MeshED. Imagine a company that engages students of all backgrounds in project-based learning experiences and archives them. So by the time that student gets around to applying to colleges (and/or pursues a professional position somewhere), they have an archive of their works of imagination, social justice, environmental stewardship, etc. So good and also I’m pretty sure I’m glossing over the good they do. So read up on them!

Til next time y’all!

CLASS OF 1989 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Hey classmates. We are thankful that if you’re reading this, you have made it this far through a historically meaningful, utterly challenging (and traumatizing/RE-traumatizing), and in some ways hopeful time.

We are with you. We want to hear from you; and we can’t wait to roll or slide down Foss Hill again—shout out to Mocon trays—with you someday when we can “reunion” again in person. Until then, please keep being “here” and take good care.

CLASS OF 1989 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

THANK YOU for writing in, in such enormous numbers. Here’s the mildly edited LONG version of what’s happening in the class of 1989!

Having just rescued a dog named Smokey, Stephanie Dolgoff is totally smitten with him and has decided to make is official: “I’m engaged to marry my dog, and as happy as I’ve ever been.” (lol)

Colleen McKiernan is on the Board of the Waltham Fields Community Farm, a non-profit farm with a CSA and educational programs. She has been working to prevent this 400 year old farmland from being sold by the State of Massachusetts and after a two year campaign hopes to secure permanent protection through the state legislature this year.  The Farm donates 20% of its food, including to school lunch programs.  She invites any support for this organization from her classmates. 

Phil Rutovitz has been living in The Hague for the past 6 years with his wife and 3 kids.  After 23 years living in Europe, he finds it very strange to view from afar what the United States is going through now.  Although, as British citizen, he recently had to secure a resident permit to stay in the Netherlands which was surreal in its own way. After his company restructured in November, he started his own fintech consulting business.  In his copious free time, he was able to finish his first novel, a thriller called The Scarabus Deception, and is looking for an agent. 

Durba Ghosh writes from Cornell, where she has been on the faculty for 15 years.  She estimates she is one of about a zillion historians who were undergraduate majors who are now in faculty positions across the country.  Her son is a sophomore soccer player at Hamilton College and her daughter is entering her junior year in high school.  She thought the best college tour to date was at Wesleyan and the highlight seeing Brian O’Rourke behind the counter at the diner, and sitting on Foss Hill once again. 

Early on, Phineas Baxandall was feeling very grateful during quarantine because his son came back from college and senior-in-high-school daughter was home much more. They spent lots of time playing board games, watching old movies, and doing ceramics in their basement kiln. Then the kids got squirrelly as the months dragged on, until they started spending time in Cape Cod. Eventually, both kids went off to their college towns.  Now, he and his partner Sarah get to live the quiet remote-work life with lots of long runs  and swims and few people. In October, they’ll be returning to Cambridge to continue calling and writing letters to swing-state voters. 

2020 would have been a big year for Debra Steppel even without Covid-19: her firstborn graduated from high school and left for Arizona State University and she and her husband marked 22 years in the same home in Reston, VA.  It has also been 10 years since her husband Mark founded Sunrise Wealth Management, where they both work to help their clients plan their financial futures. 

John Hlinko is still living in Washington, DC, but he travels to many exotic locations, such as the living room, the kitchen, and the couch.  He did manage to get in a Vegas trip just before the plague hit with fellow 89’ers Sneep Wadhwa and Adam Long, and he looks forward to another trip with them sometime before 2030.  He is spending most of his time these days running Left Action, a progressive activist community currently focused on avoiding a fascist takeover.  But he did manage to write a second book — Pandemic Pickup Lines — a collection of groaners which no doubt offended many, but which also managed to raise $12,000 for José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, to fight pandemic-related hunger. 

In October, Amy Randall organized the Twin Pandemics Forum, an interdisciplinary 2-day event in Santa Clara responding to COVID-19 and racial injustice.  It was co-hosted by the Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Bannan Forum in the Ignatian Center.  She is also finding California to still be wonderful but stressful. For over three weeks she couldn’t be outside because the air was so toxic from the fires surrounding her home.  She has been sheltering in place for over 6 months — although things have begun to open up more recently. As a professor and historian of 20th century European history (with a focus on the Soviet Union) — and gender and genocide — she no longer thinks it is alarming to suggest that authoritarianism if not fascism is on the march in the United States. If you don’t agree with her and think she’s wrong, she hopes you are right. 

Laura Hardin still works as a testifying expert on damages issues in international arbitrations for Alvarez and Marsal out of Houston. This November she will be cross examined in a virtual hearing for the first time.  In her personal life, she is settling into being an empty-nester and focusing on being healthy.  Over the last year she lost 160 lbs and is happy to share tips on how she is literally half the woman she used to be.  She now runs 8-10 miles every other day and cross trains with a Peloton bike and weights. She has run 2 half marathons since January and feels fantastic.  She is also riding my horses again and plans to start competing again next year.  Her daughter Samantha is in her second year at Colorado State Graduate Veterinary school and doing her first two years in Fairbanks, AK.  Her son Michael is in his third year of the Electrical Engineering program at the University of Texas. 

Robin (Allen) McGrew and her family just passed the one-year mark living in the energy efficient house she designed in Washington DC. The house is designed to the Passive House standard for energy efficiency and uses roughly 80% less energy than a code-built house. Photovoltaics on the roof are modeled to make the house net zero energy on an annual basis. The house has been comfortable in every season which they have gotten to know intimately since they have been working from home for the past seven months. Should would love to hear from anyone curious about Passive House design, which is a proven way to lower the carbon impact of the construction industry and make a dent in global warming.  

Julie Strauss and Joel Brown are “remarkably still happily married, even though they work, sleep, exercise, eat and whatever else in the same damn house. All. The. Time.  Joel ostensibly continues to work as an attorney but it feels more like a grossly overpaid scheduler of Zoom sessions.  Julie’s business of running content rich lectures for senior citizens dried up although some of her business has now returned through virtual offerings.  Their son, Ezra started graduate school in Non-Profit Development work at the University of Michigan. With Ezra continuing his life in Ann Arbor, they are able to visit with the esteemed Dr. David Bradley and his lovely family, long-time residents of Ann Arbor.  David and Joel were one-time Hi-Rise roommates, and would both be living large today had they only launched their much-discussed line of “Soup and Cous”.  David will have to settle for a career of fixing children heart defects at the U of M Medical Center.  Julie and Joel’s younger son, Jonathan, is a sophomore at the University of Illinois studying drums and communications.

Chris Roberts and his oldest daughter, Beatrix ’22, drove from their home in Austin up to Middletown so she could move into Low Rise and quarantine for the start of her junior year. She’s an American Studies major and a Dance minor.  Daughter Willa is a freshman “at” McGill University in Montreal, but is actually doing her studies in a pod in New York with similarly remote students. Chris and his wife Alexis (Neaman) ’90 also have India, a high school sophomore.  Chris hasn’t been to his office since March 12 and is not expected back until January, but is still somehow busier than ever.  

Marjorie Levine-Clark reports her household of three (plus dog, Theo) has been cozily working remotely since March. Isabel (‘22) was already on spring break in Denver when Wesleyan announced campus would be closed for the rest of term. Michael (’92) and Isabel flew back to Wes to get all her stuff right on the edge of danger. Marjorie is still happily a professor of history and associate dean for diversity, outreach, and initiatives at the University of Colorado Denver; and reports more on some deeply interesting projects that she is spearheading and that her partner is working on too!

Indy Neidell reports that life in Sweden has been as weird as anywhere else this year.  He was sick with Covid-19 the entire month of May, but is doing better now and is very busy with his new Youtube series “WW2 in Real Time.”   

Jeffrey Naness continues in his work in employment and labor law for employers, as well as playing keyboards in a couple of rock bands (to the extent the Pandemic allows). His two sons are in college, Muhlenberg College (PA) and Colgate University (NY).

Alexandra Aron shares that “a few months ago, I formally incorporated a non-profit theater company, The Remote Theater Project (RTP), an initiative to bring underrepresented international artists to perform in the US.  On the Board of Directors are two ’89 alumnae: Julia Brock (formerly Julia Randall) and Wendy Trippe. RTP commissioned, developed and produced  GREY ROCK by Palestinian writer/director Amir Nizar Zuabi which premiered at La MaMa Theatre last year. We brought Palestinian actors from the West Bank and Israel to LaMaMa Theater. The production was subsequently invited to the Melbourne International Arts Festival and returned earlier to the US earlier this year for a 5-week tour including at the Kennedy Center, The Public Theatre/ Under the Radar, The Guthrie Theatre, and Kimmel Center in Phili. The tour ended (thankfully) in mid-February just before Covid hit. RTP is currently developing several more projects: a collaboration with actor-writers from Uganda and Palestine, as well as one based in East Africa and involving artists from 5 countries (Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania).  I never would have imagined forming this company two years ago.The support of Wendy and Julia has been instrumental. I am incredibly grateful to them and to the many other Wes. alums who turned out for and supported Grey Rock.” Also, Alexandra’s daughter Sofia Aslan ‘23 is in CSS at Wesleyan now and loving it.

Finally, we were so very sad to hear of the passing of our classmate Michael Mahon. Mike died suddenly, at home, on May 20th 2020. He was an English major, swimmer, marathon runner, avid outdoorsman and lover of life. An excellent storyteller, he loved to regale his friends with their adventures (and misadventures), with a twinkle in his eye and an infectious laugh. A New Jersey native, Mike lived in NYC after graduation, working at ABC News. He later moved to Boston and a career in advertising and marketing. At the time of his death, he lived in Quincy. He is survived by his husband of 10 years, Peter Damon, extended family, and many, many friends. Many of you were his friends. We send our Wes best to his family, framily, friends and fellow classmates grieving this loss. May his memory be for a blessing.

Stay safe and stay in touch, classmates. 

Jonathan Fried | 

Michele Barnwell |

CLASS OF 1989 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Kevin Heffernan lives in Boston, where he practices landlord/tenant and family law as a solo practitioner. He is looking forward to judging a high school moot court competition, which is probably as close to wearing the black robes as he expects to get. His two wonderful boys (8 and 11) make him laugh almost every day. He hopes to get back into geezer jock baseball after a five-year layoff due to coaching and old age.

In August 2018, Mark Mullen welcomed into the world his son, Archie, who has just started walking and talking, in addition to his normal hobbies of shaking lamps and putting shoes on his forearms and waving them around. Mark and his wife, Julie, are in San Francisco, where she is doing an MBA at Hult. He is also working hard on a national voter turnout effort. In addition, Luka Mullen ’23 is at Wesleyan and loving it.

Pam Greenspon is a general pediatrician in Las Vegas, where she has lived for nearly 16 years, growing to love the beauty in the desert, particularly the amazing winters. She married Jeff Ng, a family doctor, and has a son at the University of Arizona and a daughter who will graduate from high school this spring. In her free time, she is active in the Nevada chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, where she is the president and involved with advocacy, education, and community events for children and pediatricians. She also finds time for an improvisation ensemble called Judg(e)ment City. She hasn’t been back for Reunion in some time, but if anyone is visiting Las Vegas, she would be happy to provide insider tips.

Marc Brotman and Sabrina Zook are married with two sons. Their younger son Alex ’23 just finished his first semester at Wesleyan. He is living in the same dorm as Sabrina did freshman year and is happy there. Their family just came back from the Galapagos and highly recommends it for anyone looking to see unique wildlife.

Holly Adams does arts-in-ed projects, narrating audiobooks, and performing circus/stage combat. Also, spending time with her wonderful family.

After being a “seriously amateur” photographer for 40 years, Dave Eichler finally gave in to the encouragement of everyone in his life and took the plunge in 2019 to share his work with the world. He culled through 160,000 images in his database, built an e-commerce site (, and has been invited to exhibit by galleries in nine states. He’s also been accepted as an artist-in-residence at the Burren College of Art in Ireland later this year. This doesn’t replace his work running his PR agency, Decibel Blue, that turns 15 years old this year, but it sure is a fulfilling activity.

Seth Kaplan has shifted from doing policy work for a renewable energy company to working on the development of one big offshore wind farm off Massachusetts. He and his (“law professor and smarter than me”) wife Liz and have achieved one particular type of parenting success, as their eldest Juliana graduated from college (Barnard at Columbia) and is now employed as an associate editor (taking freelance pitches) at Business Insider and living in NYC. Their middle child, Daniella, is enjoying Dean College in Franklin, Mass., and the youngest (Ben) is attending and complaining about Brookline High School. During the rare moments when he is not working or with the family, he can usually be found walking the dog or listening to the Promised Podcast featuring his sister, Allison ’86, or biking to and from work.

Peter Badalament is doing swell, as he is now living in Portland, Maine, and serving as the proud principal of Falmouth High School. He sees some ol’ Wes friends on occasion, but since he’d need permission to mention them here, and that’s a hassle, they will go nameless . . .

Phineas Baxandall’s daughter is starting University of Vermont next year and his son is at UC Berkeley, where he especially enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee. Phineas is playing in an over-40 league that he once would have snickered at. He still works at a think tank on Massachusetts policies to improve the lives of low- and moderate-income people, spending a lot of time geeking out on transportation and tax policy. He and his partner spent a lot of time in Cape Cod over the summer and recently put a kiln in their basement for ceramics.

Nancy Curran moved out to Portland, Ore., after vet school and lives there with her wife. She feels somewhat bi-coastal because she returns to Long Island frequently to visit friends and family and to manage her mom’s care. She’s also close to finishing a master’s in mental health counseling, which she undertook to be a resource to helping professionals and caregivers struggling with grief, compassion fatigue, and burnout. She’s still a practicing veterinarian so it’s been a busy time, but she is loving Portlandia with its amazing restaurants and the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

Stephanie Dolgoff is planning to spend her next 52 years unlearning everything she thought she knew in her last 52. Turns out she was wrong about some stuff. In all seriousness, she is enjoying the hell out of her kids (who are starting the college application craziness themselves), also good books, and people who get it. Fortunately, she has many, many who do.

Melissa Herman and her family are going to spend a sabbatical year in Berlin, Germany, for the 2020-2021 school year. Anyone passing through should give her a ring and she will show you around Berlin, which is full of great cultural and historical sites, plus fun restaurants and bars.

Co-class secretary Michele Barnwell gave a TEDx talk on “Scripting Your Own Reality”—that shares the crazy outrageous personal story of exactly HOW she ended up at Wesleyan as our classmate. It’s a troubling story that she revealed the secrets of on the TEDxUStreetWomen stage. Search for it on YouTube!

Lastly, shout out to our Dallas, Texas, based classmate, Kelem Butts, who answered our crazy question about how you all might splurge with $25K that you could only spend on travel! He says he’d snag two business class airline tickets and: “Lori and I would go to Buenos Aires in July.” He notes that “it has everything that we love about travel; great walkability, fantastic shopping for both of us, excellent food, good friends to visit, and probably the best wine you’ll find in the world.” He’s thinking six or seven days and might even sneak over to Montevideo, Uruguay; since it’s just a short ferry ride away!

Hoping this is a year full of a lot of goodness for each of you. Write soon

Jonathan Fried | 

Michele Barnwell |