CLASS OF 1990 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hello, all.  It was nice to hear from a bunch of new people this time around. Here’s the latest:

Alexis Roberts writes that she, Chris Roberts ’89, and 16-year-old India are moving to Los Angeles for Chris’s new job at the UCLA School of Law (daughter Beatrix ’22 is a senior at Wes and daughter Willa is a sophomore at McGill). They are looking forward to spending lots of time with Liza Maizlish, Ted Skillman ’91, Dan Partland ’92, Ben Brand ’92, and other Wes friends!

In March, John Rasmussen and Krittika Onsanit ’91 met for dinner with another Wes couple, Carolyn Clark and David Patterson, who were in Richmond on one stop of their daughter’s college tour. “We picked a large redbrick restaurant with columns for dinner, so that we could pretend we were on the Olin steps.”

Jonah Pesner’s “happiest update is that my daughter Noa Pesner ’24 had a great first year, culminating with a trip to NCAA finals as part of Wes Women’s Crew who placed fourth overall!”

Meg Steele has launched a walking tour business in her town of Bath, Maine, which was just named one of the “best small towns in America” by Smithsonian Magazine! (Website and social media are Embark Maine Tours.) Meg invites all Wes friends that find themselves nearby to come for a tour!

David Steingart is living in Tallahassee, Florida. “I am a practicing psychotherapist and I have a nine-year-old son. It’s hot.”

Victor Khodadad will be singing the role of Turiddu in New Camerata Opera’s live, fall production of Il Borgo Siciliano. This production will be a unique, 90-minute version of the popular operatic double bill of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. The score was prepared by stage director John de los Santos, conductor Sam McCoy, and dramaturg Cori Ellison, and was presented on September 23rd, 25th, 30th and October 2nd at The Muse in Bushwick, Brooklyn. More information is available at

Jennie Bauduy recently got to catch up with “my still dear friend Rona Cohen, who lives with her family in Montclair, New Jersey, and educates and advises state officials on clean energy and climate policy. I generally keep close tabs on my buddies Meg Fry ’91 and Mike Novak, both doing well with their teenage son in Queens, New York, and planning their next adventure biking trip. I am also very happy to still be in touch with Professor Alex Dupuy (we discovered we were cousins at Wesleyan), who is doing very well with his wife in Middletown. My own son is headed to Brown in the fall. He has some longtime friends headed to Wesleyan, so I’m expecting some back and forth between the two campuses. I’ve been working as a journal editor for many years in Washington, D.C., and have recently returned to focusing on my own writing. This year, I published a memoir essay in the Maine Review.”

Carolyn Vellenga Berman, who is associate professor of Literature, chair of Literature and co-chair of Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School, wrote to say that she and her husband Greg (’89) “were delighted to attend the in-person graduation of our daughter Hannah ’21 from Wesleyan this spring. Our daughter Milly ’24 will be a sophomore this fall; she’s looking forward to a post-vaccination campus life.” Carolyn’s second book, Dickens and Democracy in the Age of Paper, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2022. “I enjoyed stopping by the Center for the Humanities on campus, remembering how I first got a taste for the life of a scholar.”

Finally, on July 2nd, just as I was wrapping up these notes, I received the wonderful news from James Rosenblatt that “this morning we welcomed our first grandson!  Theodore Rudy Preblich was born to our daughter and her husband. Everyone is happy and healthy but a little tired.”

On that happy note, I wish all of you happiness and health and, as always, look forward to hearing from you.

CLASS OF 1990 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Greetings from cold and snowy New York—which I hope will be neither by the time you are all reading these notes. Here’s the latest news.

     Carol Lynne Booth writes that she and her family are doing “COVID fine.” Amidst all the craziness, Carol’s youngest daughter has become a sophomore at Vanderbilt, where she has a mix of in-person and online classes. Carol’s middle daughter is about to graduate from Barnard and will be moving to Tucson to work for Intuit in the fall, while her oldest son is in Seattle, enjoying life with his partner of four years and their two cats. “My exciting news is that Jewish Baby Network, my little outreach organization, has become a program of the Bay Area Jewish Family and Children’s Services. It is a great move for us and will help expand our reach and mission. David ’91 is still the senior rabbi at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto where they have just opened up their newly-built building. Of course, because of COVID no one can use it, but it does look beautiful. And we remain hopeful to all be able to be in it and celebrate soon! David and I continue to enjoy our empty nest and have managed to sneak away for a couple outdoor getaways even during this crazy time, though as I write this we are looking forward to having our girls home for Thanksgiving and winter break. I wish everyone the best and hope everyone is doing ok during this time. Maybe by the time the next issue comes out we will all be in an easier place!”

     When the first of Nicole Grieco Butterfield’s three children left for college in 2017, she left her job teaching English in a traditional school and reinvented her career as an educator, tutoring and teaching custom classes, and advising students and families through the college and secondary school admissions process. Amid the pandemic, she began teaching outdoors, working with pods in her Westchester County neighborhood and recently launching a Writing in Nature program for adults at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pleasantville, New York. This shift has created time for her to keep working on her book about teenage intimate partner violence and to take on public speaking engagements about healthy relationships for students, parents and school personnel.

     While we are on the subject of Nicole Grieco Butterfield, I would like to mention and thank her for setting up Foss First Fridays— regular Zoom calls for those of us who lived in Foss 5, 5.5, 6 and 7. The idea stemmed from the very successful Zoom Reunion sessions last spring and meetings are now scheduled for the first Friday of every month at 5:30 Pacific/8:30 Eastern time. I thought it was great catching up with people at the first one, including, in addition to Nicole, Sarah Ellenzweig (who now can officially add a P’25 to the ’90 after her name!), Peter Brastow, Becky Lloyd DeRoches, Page Fortna, Stephen Norton, and Arieh Rosenbaum. If you are a former Foss dweller and you don’t have the Zoom information for the calls, please email Nicole at The philosophy is the more the merrier so it would be great to have lots of people join!

     Peter Mills Finfrock published Fodder Plants of the New World, a book of poetry.

     Graham Guest has moved to Glasgow, Scotland with his wife, Jen, and daughter Edie. Edie is attending senior school at Kelvinside Academy (online at the moment), and Graham is pursuing his second PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK), in philosophy. Graham’s first PhD was in English at the University of Glasgow.

     Eric Gilman is a fisheries bycatch scientist with The Safina Center and a Pew Marine Fellow, based in Honolulu. He is starting to take virtual college tours with Quinn, his 16-year-old daughter with whom he just recently enjoyed the official Wes campus tour video (about halfway down on the landing page).

     Chris Carlisle writes that after his stint with the Peace Corps in Poland, in 1994, Ulandt Kim drove him as far as Minneapolis to visit Jeff Levine ’91. “From there I flew to San Francisco, flopped for a night on Tracey Jones’s ’91 couch in Oakland, and have been living in Berkeley ever since, just a few blocks from where Eric Gilman first lived and worked. Someday I hope to meet either an extraterrestrial biological entity or my other Wes housemate Holly Folk ’91 or both.”

     Finally, congratulations to Carole Trone, whose team was a winner in September 2020, in the Alliance for the American Dream national competition supported by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, for the Opportunity Calculator, a digital tool to help raise the net income of 10,000 Dane County, Wisconsin families by 10 percent. More information about the Opportunity Calculator can be found at

     Wishing all of you health and safety. Please write with any updates that you have. That’s all for now.

CLASS OF 1990 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Hello all. Not a lot of news this time around. Here’s what we have: 

Alfredo Viegas writes of a bittersweet spring where his “oldest daughter Alessandra graduated in May in Wesleyan’s online Zoom broadcast commencement. Like everyone else we could not throw her a proper party to celebrate her success which was a big disappointment. She also entered the worst job market for graduating seniors in our lifetime, but fortunately she has an internship with a Los Angeles–based film company and she will be reading scripts, which she is excited about.” 

Kate Hardin is still happily settled in Harvard Square with a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old. Kate changed jobs last October, and is now leading the Energy Research Center for Deloitte’s U.S. firm, “which has been a great experience so far.” Kate “really enjoyed the virtual sessions, and a few of us from our freshman hall managed a separate Zoom reunion also, which was long overdue. So, I’ve been using some of the no-travel time to catch up with Wes friends!”

Victor Khodadad is continuing his work with New Camerata Opera. “We are about to announce our fifth season which includes a live concert in Times Square on October 22 and our virtual gala—The Sleuth Salon—on November 12. More information is available at”

The future has been impossible to predict, and our planned  30th reunion in May has been postponed again. Details on a new date are forthcoming. Still, reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening all year long with even some virtual events to be scheduled. If you want more information or want to get involved, please contact our class liaison, Amanda Broulik, at

That’s all for now. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2021.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

We begin with the very sad news that our classmate Thea Trachtenberg passed away on April 12. Good Morning America, where Thea had worked for over 20 years, did a lovely tribute to her on

As Rebecca Rossen wrote: “It’s such a tragedy. She was so smart and funny. The ABC tributes are testaments to her amazing career, and just how respected and loved she was.”

Nina Grekin recalls getting together with Thea not long after the election of 2016 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “We had (a lot of) oysters, wine, and conversation that has held me to this day. She shared the reasoning of responsible journalism…She even indulged the volume and passion of my…ranting with curiosity, humor, and patience. We laughed loud and hard. In Judaism, we say, ‘May her memory be a blessing.’ And so, with my heart dropped down so deep, I can’t even hold it up…I will embrace my memories of Thea Trachtenberg and let them be a blessing.”

Sharene Azimi started a private Facebook group in memory of Thea and shared that “Thea became my best friend in college after we met the first day of freshman year in Foss 5. We lived together in Foss 8 and in High Rise and then lived three blocks apart on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Together we traveled to Italy, Egypt, and the weddings of various friends. We frequently spoke about everything and nothing—a continuous conversation that lasted for 33 years…. Thea was fierce and funny and independent, and I’ll remember her that way.”

Julie Doar-Sinkfield’s family is planning to relocate to Atlanta, Ga., from Weston, Fla. “We were supposed to move in July, but now, who knows? If the kids are in online school still or the real estate market tanks or whatever happens in this world the move might be as late as December. But Atlanta is the plan now.”

Lara Small Laurence writes that the “quarantine, while challenging, has created weekly connections with Wes folks. When I moved back to New York after grad school, a few Wes people and I, along with some other friends, started meeting regularly for Friday night services at one of the synagogues and for dinner. We continued meeting weekly until my kids were in elementary school, and almost everyone married and moved to the burbs.” The Shabbat group had a ritual where each person shared “Sweet Things of the Week.” Now, in quarantine, they are zooming with their families each Friday evening before Shabbat to share their sweet things. In the group are Michelle Elisburg ’92, Jennifer Hammer ’91, Shira Koch Epstein ’98, Tzvi Mackson ’89, and Jenny Simon Tabak ’93.

Lara said, “This time has become a highlight of my week. Currently, I’m hunkered down on Long Island, working as a learning specialist via Zoom, with my husband, Aviv (Vassar ’90), and my three children.”

Mark Hsieh sends greetings from Taiwan, “where early precautions have allowed us to contain the COVID-19 virus effectively and carry on life as usual with restrictions. I was particularly happy that Kazutoshi Ohkubo was able to visit Taiwan with his family before the whole pandemic made international travel next to impossible. I am glad to have had a nice coffee in Washington with Edward Ungvarsky when I attended the Invest USA Conference last year!” Mark sends wishes to everyone to stay safe during the pandemic and included photos of his and Kazu’s family in Taiwan and of him with Ed in D.C.

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Lara Goldmark sent an update to recognize the late Mike Mahon ’89, a fellow Wesleyan swimmer, and the group that gathered virtually with him a month ago and then again on May 22 to honor his passing: Jen Zoltners ’91, Dana Schultz ’91, Steve Jackman ’89, Dave Griffiths, Bill Fabbri ’91, Doug Bothner ’91, Jil Zilligen, Mark Mullen ’89, Mark Seasholes ’89, Courtney Fahy ’89, Karen Smolar ’88, Greg Lesser ’90, Dave Kane ’92, Morgan Bain ’92, Jono Marcus ’88, Dana Hoey ’89, swim team manager Nadine Angress ’90, friend of swimmers Ed Brown ’90, and Assistant Coach Diane Callaghan, who read a message from Coach John Ryan ’82. Lara has started a company called Just Results ( Summer internship positions were just filled, but Wes students are welcome to apply for the fall.

Netania Steiner writes from Brooklyn, “Sad that we’ll miss our Reunion but happy for the Wes friends who keep me sane. One silver lining of the stay-at-home life has been weekly Zoom parties with the Aloha Deck—my sophomore hall of Jon Bakija, Peggy Lionberger, Dan Gilman, Alan Busby, and Brett Terry.” Netania also speaks regularly with Amy Redfield ’89, who lives in St. Louis with her husband, Scott, and their dog Josie. “The Mutt to my Jeff, Rob Daniels ’88, lives in NYC with his wife, Laura Sherman ’88, and their two daughters.”

Finally, in May, our class celebrated its first-ever Virtual Reunion, or “ReZOOM-ion,” as it’s been called. While nothing can replace on-campus Reunion, the weekend was surprisingly fun and gave us a great opportunity to reconnect with classmates. We heard updates, broke into first-year residence halls, “met up” on Foss Hill, and participated in a deeply moving panel discussion with Professor of Psychology Emeritus Karl Scheibe, Carolyn Clark, Joy Challenger Slaughter, Deborah Gahr, and Andrew Siff. As successful as it was, remember that we WILL have a real Reunion on campus next year: May 28-30, 2021. Mark your calendars now!

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Hi, all! Happy New Year! We start with Al Viegas, whose eldest daughter, Alessandra ’20, will be graduating this May with a double major in American studies and English. Alessandra is an aspiring playwright. Al’s youngest applied to Wes and a few other NESCACs and “we will know her outcome by April, and of course I am hoping she can continue the legacy as a member of the Class of ’24 . . . crossing our fingers.”

Lawrence Jackson launched the Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts at Johns Hopkins, where he is Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History. The BHPLA is conceived to share the resources of the university with Baltimore’s neighborhoods, steward African American archives, and to open up authentic pathways of mutual creativity that help to alleviate the historic socio-economic inequity of the city. Lawrence would love to have Wes classmates from around the region participate; they can also tag donations for BHPLA to JHU, where Elena Weathers ’91 is an officer. On Sept. 12, “we will have our second annual free concert in homage to Billie Holiday in Lafayette Square in Sandtown (always the first Saturday after Labor Day). I won a Guggenheim award in 2019 and am working this year on a book about returning to Baltimore, where I live with my oldest son Nathaniel who is now 15. I am also writing and making digital map presentations about Holiday, Frederick Douglass, and race and American western films.”

Edward Ungvarsky’s wife Olivia Smith ’92 founded Bridges PCS, a public charter school in Washington, D.C., whose mission is inclusive education for children with and without special needs. Bridges is a go-to elementary school for parents whose children have high-level special needs and for parents whose children speak English as a second language. Bridges’ charter was just renewed for another 15 years. “I shared a meal with fellow RA and now frequent marathoner Mark Hsieh when he was in town from Taiwan, our first time together in too many years. Our daughters, Nola and Lena, are teenagers, with the triumphs and trials of teenagers. We were all campaigning for friend Michael Bennet ’87, Hon.’12 in New Hampshire in February.”

Becky Lloyd DesRoches ’90, MA’90, lives in Lexington, Mass., with her husband and two boys, though her eldest is a freshman studying music technology at Carnegie Melon University. Becky loves her job as an assistant professor of psychology at Regis College and works with Heidi Webster. Becky sings in a number of groups. She’s a frequent soloist with the Lexington Pops choir and will tour NYC this spring with the Regis glee club. As at Wes, Becky fills her days with academics, sports, and music. Becky is hoping to release a CD of original music this spring.

After many years of practicing technology law and consulting at big firms, Adam Cohen has launched his own firm, Digital Discipline LLC, providing integrated legal and technical services in cybersecurity, data privacy, information governance, and electronic discovery. He “hopes it will be successful enough to pay tuition for his two kids currently at expensive private universities (not Wesleyan).”

Sarah Townsend, psychotherapist, teacher, and author of Setting the Wire: A Memoir of Postpartum Psychosis, was recently featured in an interview with NPR. Sarah shares her visceral experience of psychosis after the birth of a child. Listen to it at

Jessica Mann Gutteridge has been appointed artistic managing director of the Chutzpah! Festival and the Norman Rothstein Theatre, which are operated by the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver. Jessica is looking forward to bringing exciting performing arts programming to the festival and hopefully seeing old friends as she travels on her search. She is serving on the board of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, “which is as glittery and fun as it sounds. Last year I participated in the Cultural Leadership Program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, working with arts leaders from across North America, in what I like to think of as Hogwarts for artists.” Jessica would love for Wes folk passing through Vancouver to say hi.

Finally, congratulations to Nora Wade (now Wade-Schultz) who wrote in with news that she got married on Aug. 22!

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Hi, all! Very quiet this time around, but we do have big news from Ben Klau and Joan Gundersen Klau. So great to hear from them that “at a time when notes from our class are typically filled with news of our classmates’ children heading off to high school and college,” Ben and Joan “are proud to announce the birth of their second daughter, Hannah Rose Klau, born on May 29. The whole family, including Hannah’s big sister, Avery, 4, went on an extended East Coast summer tour in August, which included visits with Meg Steele Barker in Bath, Maine, and Amy Robins, who lives in Joan’s hometown of Milton, Mass.”

Since we have extra space, I thought I would throw out the fact that our 30th Reunion is next spring. I so clearly remember moving into Foss 7 in 1986 that I find it hard to believe that so many years have passed. More information will be coming and I’m hoping to hear from lots of you as we move toward this next milestone.

Right before printing, we were saddened to learn that our classmate David Bucci passed away on Oct. 15. David’s obituary can be found here. We send our condolences to his friends and family, including his wife Catherine “Katie” Hancur and his three children, Joshua, Ava, and Lila, and welcome any memories that people would like to share in an upcoming edition of the notes.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Hi, all. Hoping by the time this arrives that everyone will have been enjoying the summer. Here’s what we have:

Becky Lloyd DesRoches is pursuing academics, music, and sports. Becky is a psychology professor at Regis College and lives in Lexington, Mass. Becky stays involved in several music groups and sports teams. In January, she performed Beethoven’s Mass in C Major as a soloist for the Lexington Pops chorus. Married to David, with two kids, she says she’s “still overextended but we try to get up to the White Mountains as often as possible for skiing, hiking, and other fun activities.”

Persis Howe, after living in London for 20 years and “finally dragging my family to the U.S. last year,” has been enjoying Berkeley and meeting up with Wes folks in the Bay Area.

Catharina Schuetz is an associate professor in pediatric immunology at Dresden University, taking care of children with rare diseases (immunodeficiencies and immune dysregulation syndromes). Catharina, who was an international student, plans to send her eldest son, Florian, to Wes for a year in 2022, as “I only have excellent memories from my two years there.” Catharina misses her friend April Cotte ’91, who passed away in 2018.

Sarah C. Townsend’s debut book Setting the Wire: A Memoir of Postpartum Psychosis was published in April by the Lettered Streets Press. The book weaves together personal anecdote, film, music, visual art, and psychology in its exploration of postpartum psychosis. Sarah writes, teaches, and practices psychotherapy in Seattle:

Paul Nikitopoulos wrote in for the first time to share that, after years working in corporate law, mostly in New York, he went to business school and has been involved in plastics manufacturing and, more importantly, recycling (of PET bottles) in Southeast Asia. Paul plans to open a new facility within the next few months.

So long for now. Keep me posted. I always love hearing from you!

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1990 Scholarship
Bryden Auer ’21, Lake Oswego, OR

Edward Ungvarsky received the Bill Geimer Award from the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse of Washington and Lee School of Law for his almost 10 years of service and successful outcomes as a dedicated capital defender. Ed’s string of successes was capped by the October 2018 unanimous life sentence verdict for his client in a county whose prosecutor had never before failed to obtain a death sentence in 50 years in office. Ed has mentored Melanie Berman ’17, Patricia Merlino ’18, Anna Oakes ’17, Maria Rodriguez-Castro ’19, and William Dempsey ’19. It was a class at Wesleyan that led Ed to this line of work, so he feels indebted to Wesleyan both professionally and for his wife, Olivia Smith ’91.

Jennifer Palmer and her husband attended the fabulous 50th birthday party of Jennifer’s Gingerbread housemate, Schuyler Allen-Kalb in New York. “It was amazing to reconnect with friends including—but not limited to—Liz Pelcyger, Letitia Pinero, and Majora Carter. The party, of course, was a blast, complete with a photo/gif booth & John Hughes movies projected in the bar/dance area of the venue.”

Page Fortna, the Harold Brown Professor in the department of political science at Columbia University, is spending a sabbatical year with her family in Sri Lanka. She is living in Colombo, conducting research on the recent civil war, and “exploring this fascinating, chaotic, and beautiful country.”

Carole Trone is warding off middle-age by throwing “herself into new worlds: a new virtual college-access nonprofit started by college students called Fair Opportunity Project, and working out of a new co-working space for entrepreneurs in Madison, Wis.”

John Collins is teaching in the global studies department at St. Lawrence University, directing Weave News, an independent media platform focusing on underreported stories and making 80s-influenced indie rock with Bee Children.

Elizabeth Friedman Haybron wrote to update that her husband, Dan Haybron, with the completion of his Templeton Happiness project, has been selected as the inaugural Theodore R. Vitali C.P. Chair of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. “This is quite an honor for Dan and is even that much more special since Ted, the former chair of the SLU Philosophy department for 28 years, pledged his own savings to make the chair possible. We continue to live in St. Louis, with our 3 kids, all of whom have graduations this year—Sarah from high school and William and Michael from middle school.”

Sharene Azimi and her husband moved last fall from the Philadelphia area to the small town of Bernardsville, N.J., so that he could take a job at Verizon’s HQ. Sharene continues to do communications consulting for nonprofit organizations around the country, in between taking care of their 7 and 4 year old boys. “We are on a very slow train line to Manhattan, but it’s basically country here. Wes folk driving by on Route 78 or I-287 are welcome to stop in for a visit!”

James Rosenblatt writes in with big changes in his household.  “We are officially empty nesters with our youngest heading off to SMU last fall. Our oldest is engaged to be married, & we are clearly moving to a new phase in our lives.  The practice of law continues to be a full-time occupation with our office moving into a new building last June and the hiring of our eighth attorney.”

Bill Sherman has been in Seattle since 1999, where he heads up an environmental protection division of the state attorney general’s office, prosecuting big polluters and, lately, suing the Federal government to stop rollbacks of environmental laws. He gets outside to bike and hike a lot and last summer led a group of 26 conservationists, including his boss, the attorney general, on a 20-mile backpack trip on the Washington coast. Bill’s wife, Holly, teaches anthropology at the University of Washington. Their older son is a first year at Whitman College & younger son is a 10th grader. “I run into Wesleyan people all over Seattle, including Julie Shapiro ’77, Roger and Sarah Townsend ’90, and Tara Urs ’98. Last summer, we got to host Carolyn Clark and David Patterson’s daughter Bridget while she was interning at the UW, which came with a bonus visit by Carolyn!”

Rose Duhan is living in Delmar, N.Y., near Albany, also home of Wes alumni Brion Winston ’97 and Melanie Schoen ’97 and just got to see an amazing production of The Count: A Musical written, composed and performed by Brion with David Hollander, and also starring their daughter, Willa. Rose is running a small non-profit that advocates for community health centers: championing primary care for underserved in New York State. Rose “has the honor and privilege to work closely with Harold Iselin ’77, in my work.”

Victor Khodadad recently directed Kamala Shankaram’s opera Enchantress, based on the life of Ada Lovelace, for New Camerata Opera. The performance took place at The Flea Theater in New York City in December. Coming up, Victor will be singing the role of The Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s powerful opera The Rape of Lucretia which will take place in May at The Flea Theater. Camerata Piccola, the branch of New Camerata Opera that produces children’s opera, has been very active having debuted their newest offering, Rumpelstiltskin, as well as performing Peter Rabbit with the Montclair Orchestra which was conducted by it’s music director David Chan, concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. More information about the upcoming season is available at

JR Rhodes: “My highlights for 2018 were getting commissioned to create songs for Alice Walker and Nikki Giovanni and performing for them both at two separate events at Benaroya Hall here in Seattle, Washington. The song I wrote for Alice Walker was based on a piece from her new book, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. The song is titled “Ancestors Never Sleep” after one of her pieces in the new book. The song I wrote for Nikki Giovanni was based on a piece from her new book, A Good Cry. The song is titled “The Fly on the Wall” after one of her pieces in the new book.

“Both performances were life changing events. I got to meet two of my heroines and they both really enjoyed the songs I created inspired by their works. Nikki smiled and said she really enjoyed the song. Alice smiled waiting for me with open arms backstage after my performance to thank me. It was an incredible gift share the music and to thank my heroes and heroines face to face, eye to eye.”

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |