CLASS OF 1990 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

I’ve noticed a correlation between turning 50 and prolific writing. Lots of news this time around so heavy editing was required.

Victor Khodadad, is the cofounder of New Camerata Opera that just finished an extremely successful second season. The company’s seven co-founders (all active singers) make all decisions democratically and share all duties. The organization has three branches: NCO, for main stage productions; Camerata Piccola, for children’s operas; and CamerataWorks, for in-house video productions that include The Ives Project, which will be releasing videos of Charles Ives’ art songs on YouTube. Wesleyan Professor of Music Neely Bruce played on the recording of nine Charles Ives songs. Victor gave a Tedx Talk on innovation in the arts in December 2016.

Laurel Stegina is living in Deep River, Conn., and has been working at a planning consulting firm for almost 15 years. Laurel wears several hats, including environmental planner and senior project manager, specializing in NEPA and permitting. Laurel was promoted to assistant director of operations, with a focus on professional development of staff, mentoring, and career coaching. As an owner, she is involved with strategic planning and governance issues. “Although no longer part of the ’monkey wrench gang,’ I remain passionate about environmental and social justice issues.”

After 13 years working for Framingham, Mass., public schools as a counselor (with Sarah Guernsey ’92, Gina Capodilupo ’03, and Cora Jeyadame ’96), Tim Hintz started with Brookline Public Schools this fall. Tim celebrated turning 50 with some local friends, including Amy Robins and Denise Casper. Tim has been cleaning out his childhood home near Chicago, where he had dinner with Andy Griffin, his wife, Catherine, and their daughters, Lulu and Meg. He “found some true treasures, including the Wesleyan pencils given to me by Andrea Morse ’89 when I was accepted (they still work) and an original Wes sweatshirt with the tags from Atticus still on (still fits!).” Tim discovered that his 8th grade diploma was signed by the class of ’55 secretary, Donald Braverman ’55. Tim has twin 15-year-old sons and a 10-year-old daughter.

Persis Howe moved from “dark and cold London to sunny California” to work for the City of San Francisco on their digital services. “My kids love Berkeley, especially having green, blue, and purple hair, and no school uniforms” and Persis is “enjoying not being the loud American always. I’ve already managed to meet a few Wes folks in the Bay Area, but would love to find more! On the downside, my husband is not enjoying the constant changes to U.S. immigration rules.”

Peter Gravin writes, “I know many of us, including me, are celebrating our 50th birthdays this year. Yikes. So, I asked myself, what’s the best way to avoid entering into a mid-life crisis? A baby!” Peter and his wife, Ramona, welcomed Arlo Benjamin Gravin in January and “couldn’t be more pleased with him.” Peter has already been asked (including by an OR doctor!) if Arlo is his grandson, and is “prepared for a sharp increase in those questions as he gets older. It’s totally worth it, though.” Peter is finding parenthood a “great way to keep feeling young and energetic!” He sends congratulations to Kok Chong, who also had a baby last year, and asks if there are any other new parents among us.

On the subject of parents/grandparents, Jeffrey Needelman wrote on his 50th birthday to share the birth of his second grandchild, Nola Afia Asantiwaa Ansuh. Jeffrey reminded me that when his grandson was born over two years ago, I commented that he was the first grandparent I knew of in our class. That’s still the case, but here’s my official request for any other grandparents to please come forward.

Finally, Dr. Debbie Gahr writes about NYC alumni celebrating collective 50th birthdays at her place. Despite their advanced ages, they had a fabulous time! The strong Gingerbread showing included Debbie, Schuyler Allen-Kalb, Nina Grekin, Ed Brown, and Kate Hardin. “To make it a Gingerbread coast-to-coast celebration we FaceTimed Todd Thorner in California (Eric Greene, we need your number!).”

Debbie loved catching up with Carolyn Clark and Dave Patterson, Iriss Shimony, Andrew Siff, Susan Wong, Stephanie Donohue Pilla, Eugenie Kim, and Kati Koerner. There were guest appearances from nearby classes, including Elaine Perlman ’89 and her husband Len Bernstein, Lauren Levy ’91, Marni Pedorella ’91, Melissa Sobel ’91, Becky Rumayor ’91, Lilli Link ’89 and Jay Rosenberg ’83, Mike Santoli ’92, Ellen Friedman Bender ’82 and Sam Bender ’82, and Melissa Resnick P’20 who brought her daughter, Emily Koh ’20.

Debbie’s three children, Rebecca (16), David (13), and Ricky (10), “are all super happy and enjoying their respective tap dance, tennis, and baseball endeavors.” Debbie “appreciated hearing from all the folks who almost made it to this shindig and sent their good wishes.” Debbie’s husband, Roy Pomerantz, enjoyed the party too. Debbie is trying to get him to admit that Wesleyan is way cooler than Columbia.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Hi all. I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer. Here’s what we have:

I’ve started to lose count, but our class certainly seems to have a growing number of Wes parents in our midst. Joining the club are Alexis Neaman Roberts and Chris Roberts ’89 who are very excited that they will be on campus more frequently for the next four years—visiting their daughter Beatrix ’22!

It was also great to hear from Ruben “Bengy” Ballesteros, who remains a staff attorney at Legal Aid in the Baltimore area, specializing in juvenile and foster care cases. Joy Challenger Slaughter moved to Alexandria, Va., and would love to connect with some Wesfolk soon!

Writing to our class notes for the first time is Graham Guest, who has a bunch of great news. First, in 2016, Graham’s philosophical novel, Winter Park, was published by Atmosphere Press. Second, in 2017, Moses Guest, Graham’s band, put out its seventh album, Light. Finally, in 2018, Definition, a work of Graham’s in the philosophy of lexicology, was published by Floating Records Press.

Carol Booth was awarded the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in their Informal Education category.

Carol help started the Jewish Baby Network in the San Francisco Bay Area. The award is for her work with Jewish Baby Network. The award includes $2,500 for Jewish Baby Network and $10,000 for Carol. “The goal of Jewish Baby Network is to bring together Jewish community organizations and funders to create programs for parents with babies and toddlers. The focus is on community building and connection. We add over 100 member families each year and now have two chapters in the Bay Area, and we will add one more chapter in 2019. The award is very exciting for me personally and also for Jewish Baby Network. It recognizes the need for Jewish organizations to create supportive programs for families with babies and toddlers. I love the work, especially since I get to hold and play with lots of babies!”

Carol’s son, Josh, is still enjoying Seattle, and her daughter, Naomi, just finished her first year at Barnard College. Her youngest is finishing her junior year of high school. “I am trying to convince her to apply to Wes, but we will see.” David Booth ’91 is the rabbi at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto. “The congregation is in the middle of rebuilding its entire facility, so currently the synagogue site is a large hole in the ground. The new building should be completed by January. In the meantime, we are truly wandering Jews having services and events all over the community. We leave soon for a four-week vacation to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, which I think will be enough adventures to last us through the year!”

Kate Hardin, in Boston, has taken on a new focus at work, leading a couple of projects on low-carbon transportation, looking specifically at the impact of electric vehicles and ride hailing on global oil demand. Kate and her family are gearing up for summer with their 13-year-old headed to camp in western Massachusetts for a month, and their 10-year-old taking sailing lessons on the Charles. Kate has been in touch with Debbie Gahr, whom she saw when she was in New York recently to see Dear Evan Hanson. “I also wanted to say thanks to Wes for the excellent article in the alumni mag on the book, Blood Sugar—it’s on the reading list!”

Finally, we have Mark Cooper as another first-time class notes contributor. Mark is a professor at the University of South Carolina, and has a new coauthored book coming out in August that might interest folks: Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education (Columbia UP). Mark and his coauthor, John Marx, also blog about higher education issues at

That’s all for now. Please send news for the next issue!

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |


CLASS OF 1990 | 2018 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1990 Scholarship

Bryden Tierney Auer ’21, Lake Oswego, OR

Happy New Year! Here’s what we have for 2018, when many of us will be turning 50(!):

Laurie Baum is the middle school director of a progressive school in Brooklyn called Greene Hill School. Laurie was hired to plan and launch the middle school division “and it has been exciting to be part of a new and growing school. We graduated our first class of 8th graders in June. Greene Hill is committed to social justice and is unusual for independent schools in NYC because it has a sliding-scale tuition.”

Jennifer Teitelbaum Palmer is president of the Maryland Psychiatric Society, her local branch of the American Psychiatric Association. In that role, she is asked to write regular columns for their publications.“I just submitted an essay contemplating whether Alexander Hamilton suffered from type two bipolar disorder, in the context of my frank obsession with fellow Cardinal Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02’s musical and the biography upon which it was based. Wesleyan just keeps giving!”

Other big news: two more members of our class are becoming Wes parents. Dan Jewelewicz writes from Delray Beach, Fla., where he has been for 18 years (“has it really been that long?”). Dan is busy with his ophthalmology practice and has four children: identical twin girls, 13; a son, 16; and daughter, 18. “Although we don’t live on a farm, it feels that way: we have two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, two horses, one parrot, and a pot-bellied pig named JellyBean. Our big news is that eldest daughter, Natalya, got accepted early to Wes. She is super-excited; I’m really proud of her. I’m looking forward to being back on campus a lot in the next few years.”

Our second Wes-parent-to-be is Gabriella Nawi who writes that “my son was accepted to Wesleyan, class of 2022, so that is exciting.” Gabi will be starting a new role at Travelers in 2018, as head of financial planning for personal insurance.

Finally, after seven years as CEO of 826 National, Gerald Richards “decided to move on and see what the next adventure in life would be. After a sabbatical of six months, with travel to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France, and Scotland, I decided to accept the role of CEO for a new nonprofit called The Superpower Agency in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Superpower Agency is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the writing skills of students in Edinburgh through fun and creative writing workshops and programs. I am excited to be living overseas for the first time and working on my Scottish brogue. Before I left, I had the opportunity to have drinks and dinner with David Patterson, Carolyn Clark, Nina Grekin, Linda Turnbull, Claude Szyfer and his wife Elana, Laurie Malkin, and Iriss Shimony. It was a lovely sendoff. If people are ever out this way, come visit!”

Thanks to those of you who wrote. That’s all for now.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

I am happy to report that there is lots of news this time so I will get right to it.

Jennifer Teitelbaum Palmer is having a great year representing Maryland psychiatrists as the president of the Maryland Psychiatric Society, the Maryland district branch of the American Psychiatric Association.

The architectural practice of Andre Kikoski, Andre Kikoski Architect, recently hit a big milestone, with over 100 articles in the press this year on three marquee projects! Some excerpts shared by Andre include: One Hudson Yards, their luxury residential building interiors was featured in Architectural Digest for integrating art and artisan work, praised in the New York Times for evoking a boutique hotel, and cited as “suitably seductive” in Wallaper* Magazine. 75 Kenmare, their ground-up condominium designed in collaboration with Lenny Kravitz, was praised in the Huffington Post for “exuding joy and energy,” lauded in Interior Design for its contemporary aesthetic, and written up in the New York Times and The Real Deal, respectively, for architecture that will “set the tone for (buildings to) follow” and brings “subtle gracefulness” and “rich sobriety” to Nolita. 97 Mid Ocean Drive, their $45M oceanfront home in the Hamptons, that was lauded in Mansion Global for its Manhattan style and “flair for clean lines and natural light,” and featured in Cottages & Gardens for its “ultra-modern design” and transparent pool. Curbed Hamptons described the house as “jaw-dropping” and setting a new standard in the Hamptons.

Dan Gilman had a “mini-reunion of some of the East College ‘Aloha Deck’ at his Ocean City beach house in August. Netania Steiner, Jon Bakija, Alan Busby, plus all the wives and kids.  ons of fun getting all the families together. My oldest of four kids just started at Northeastern. Kids going to college! Ah!” Dan went to the alumni son/daughter weekend this fall. He had a great time when he went two years ago and saw lots of ’90 folks there. He is working as an investment banker in NYC and living on the Upper West Side with LB and their 3 other kids (one in high school, two in middle school). Dan’s two smallest kids dance full-time at American Ballet Theater and frequently perform at Lincoln Center with ABT.

Carole Trone headed to the Midwest for graduate school in Madison, Wis., after Wesleyan and “couldn’t pull myself away from this fun town.” This past July, Carole rode 411 miles across the state of Iowa during RAGBRAI with about 30 mostly-Madison friends. They called themselves the MOOKS and you can find their photos and fun on Facebook.

Persis Howe and her family moved from London to the Bay Area over the summer. “It’s been a huge adjustment after 20 years in the UK. The kids are settling into school in Berkeley while I’m building digital services for the City of San Francisco.” Persis would love for any nearby Wes folks to please get in touch!

Kate Hardin is still in Cambridge, Mass., continuing to work at the intersection of energy and climate at IHS Markit. “I have taken on a new project in the past year working on our outlooks for electric vehicle penetration in key markets and assessing the impact on energy demand and carbon emissions. We are still enjoying life in Harvard Square, but really appreciated time spent this summer in rural Wyoming and in the hills of east Tennessee. And the kids are doing well, now 10 and 13!”

David Petti has “decided to take the plunge and change careers. I’ve left the legal profession and I’m in my final year of the clinical MSW program at NYU. Currently I’m interning at the VA in Westchester County New York. I’m enjoying it a lot and I hope to hear from some of my friends in the class of 1990.”

Gabriella Nawi is still head of investor relations at Travelers Insurance, living in Glen Ridge, N.J., where her son is a senior in high school. “I also joined my first nonprofit board this year: Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), which helps unrepresented people in the NYC family court system, which I’m very excited for and I look forward to engaging more with the Wesleyan community in the area.”

Gregory Lesser, an assistant U.S. attorney, was a member of the team of federal prosecutors, staff, and FBI agents who were presented with the United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2016. The team received the award in recognition of its efforts in the investigation and prosecution of a number of excessive force, civil rights violation and obstruction of justice cases brought against former personnel of the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which have resulted in the convictions of over 20 former Sheriff’s Department personnel ranging from line deputies to former LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca, on charges ranging from excessive force to obstruction of justice. Greg, a 15-year veteran federal prosecutor, participated in all of the cases filed as part of the investigation.

Finally, Karen Fernandez Garity writes from Puerto Rico on her iPhone where, being one of the lucky ones who has AT&T mobile service, she was one of the few who can communicate in all of Puerto Rico. Karen was born, raised and still lives in Puerto Rico, and, “as I am sure you know by now, we were first hit by Irma and only a week later hit directly by Hurricane María. One week later there is no electrical power in all of the Island and only 40% of the Island has water service. I won’t go into details of the horror that our people are going through, as I am sure you have access to more information than us. We are the lucky ones. Our home is solid and withstood the storm well. Only some water damage and a decimated garden. We got water three days after the storm but have no electricity, cable or internet. I feel especially grateful because today we were able to fill our generator. We ration the use of our generator because we do not know when we can get diesel again. Our home has become a refuge for relatives and neighbors who don’t have these luxuries. My husband, my two teenage children and I spent the first five days after the storm clearing debris from neighborhood yards and streets and cleaning up the kids’ school, hoping they can return to some kind of normalcy soon. There are gas and diesel shortages and distribution is not working properly, so food and essential services are limited. Things in the rural areas are much worse than in San Juan, where we live. During this time I am so very grateful for my Wesleyan family who have sent emails, texts, worried for us and have made donations for Puerto Rico. Special thanks to my dearest friend and roommate Jane Randel 89, Vicki Donnellan 89, Andy Fairbanks ’90, June Lee ’88 and Peter Schubart ’89, whose messages have brought comfort to me during this terrible time. I pray that I can have better news of our people’s situation soon, knowing I am privileged to have what I need for my family and others who depend on me.”

I’m sure I speak for the entire Wesleyan community in saying that our thoughts and hearts are with all those affected by the recent devastating hurricanes.  I hope we are hearing much better news about progress and recovery by the time of this publication. Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2018.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2017 | ISSUE 2



Nicole Curvin ’90 was promoted to director of undergraduate admissions at Middlebury College in Vermont. Since 2014, she has been associate director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment. Previously, Curvin worked for many years with a variety of student populations, from high school students and adults returning to school to artists and designers at the New School (Parsons and Eugene Lang College), Marlboro College, New York University, and the University of Vermont. At Wesleyan, Curvin majored in English, and she holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.

Hi, all! I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer. Here’s the latest.

Meg Steele and her husband are relocating to Bath, Maine, after a two-year cross-country trip in a restored Airstream. The trip included a stint as a national park ranger in Vermont and time volunteering at an Oregon lighthouse and tide pools. Meg still works in education and is “hoping to do some rowing up here, along with lots of sailing.”

Jim Desmond is teaching at the Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, Mass. He’s been there for six years teaching arts and humanities. “My inaugural session of a ukulele elective was mad popular, and I had a blast helping kids play and write songs when not teaching The Odyssey and the end of U.S. slavery. Who knew I would love teaching teenagers so much?”

Page Fortna continues to split time between NYC, where she’s a professor of international relations in the political science department at Columbia, and Portland, Ore. She and her husband, Pete Beeman, migrate between NYC for most academic years and Portland for summers and the occasional sabbatical year. She was touched by the representation of Wesfolk, including from far afield, at her father’s memorial service this spring—Sarah Travis Buck, Carolyn Clark and Dave Patterson, Amy Robins, Jeff Lewis, Ethan Flad ’89, and June Lee ’88. And a quarter century later, Page still gets together one weekend a year with Sarah Travis Buck, Carolyn Clark, Amy Robins, and Amy Scanlan.

After living in Zurich, Switzerland, for almost two years, Stacey Rouse Kruckel will be changing countries again. Stacey has accepted an offer as the chief marketing officer at a consulting firm in London, and “will relocate to that fine city with her husband, two sons and dog. Wes folks who will be passing through London are welcome to visit us.”

Tim Corkran reports (via his father John Corkran ’58), that a team of eighth- graders from the school he heads, Capital Day (PK-8) in Frankfort, Ky., earned a $20,000 prize from Verizon for developing an app, Waste Free America. The app alerts homeless shelters and soup kitchens when restaurants within a 10-mile radius have leftover food available for pickup. The idea developed during an eighth-grade trip to Chicago, where the students were struck by the plight of the homeless. The students will work with engineers from MIT in perfecting the app and make a presentation to a national audience in Orlando, Fla., in June. Tim, who has been head at Capital Day for two years told local media, “We focus on teaching kids how to think and be independent learners…It produces things like this.”

James D. Rosenblatt says, “Hard to believe our oldest graduated college over Mother’s Day from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. Her two younger siblings survived freshman year at Sarah Lawrence and junior year at a local high school.” The law firm that James started 12 years ago now employs eight attorneys and is a full-service business-oriented law firm in San Antonio.

Cari Medd wrote about a new documentary featuring Jill Sung and her family. “Jill was one of my roommates at Wes and I always admired her toughness and devotion to family.” The documentary, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, chronicles the five-year prosecution of the Sung family’s bank, Abacus Federal Savings Bank, following the 2008 financial crisis. Abacus Bank is a small community bank founded by Jill’s father over 30 years ago to serve the Asian-American community in NYC, and remains the only bank prosecuted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The family’s ordeal culminated in 2015 with a five-month jury trial where Abacus and the Sung family finally prevailed on all counts. The documentary, which was filmed during the trial, is directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams and Life Itself), and has just been released ( Watch it Sept. 12, on PBS’s Frontline.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone enjoys the remaining days of summer. I will be back with more news at the end of the year. Please feel free to write anytime.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1990 Scholarship 

Kathryn Toner ’20, Doylestown, PA

Hi everyone and Happy New Year! Here’s the latest from our class.

Alfredo Viegas has been back to Wes a few times this year because his daughter, Alessandra ’20, started in September. Al got a surprise at the Alumni-Legacy reception when he ran into Shawn ’88 and Ellen Burgess ’88, as “Shawn had been my freshman RA in Butterfield C, and his daughter, Ramsay ’20, was also starting. It was great seeing Shawn and Ellen again and knowing that the Wes legacy continues for our kids.

Two major announcements come from Joy Challenger. First, in May, Joy graduated with a D.Min. from Duke University’s Divinity School in Durham, N.C. Second, in September, Joy married Brian Slaughter on Martha’s Vineyard at the home of classmate Denise Jefferson Casper. Joy has moved to the D.C./Northern Virginia part of the country.

Carol Lynne Booth is the director at Jewish Baby Network, a small nonprofit outreach organization that builds community connections for Jewish families with babies and toddlers in the Bay Area. “We have really expanded our programs and community partners and just added an SF chapter. We host a variety of events at many different Jewish institutions as a way to connect families to each other and to the wider Jewish community. I meet wonderful people, help them make friends and find their place while holding lots of babies, so I am having a great time!”

Carol’s other piece of big news is that she and her husband, David Booth ’91, will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this June. “So crazy! Our days of running around Wes together do not feel that long ago, so I guess it is true that time flies when you are having fun. Continuing the milestone theme, my son, Josh, is living in Seattle and will be 21 in March. My daughter, Naomi, just turned 18 and most likely heads off to college in the fall, and my daughter, Maytal, is now 15 and just got her driver’s permit. It makes me realize that I must be getting older and leaves me wondering where the time has gone. I wish the whole class of ’90 a very healthy and Happy New Year!”

Amy Morgenstern spent the second half of 2016 on sabbatical in Oaxaca, Mexico, with her wife and 9-year-old daughter, “all of us making lots of art, writing, and improving our Spanish. Then, as tempting as it was to stay outside the United States forever, it was back to my work as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, where I’ve been for 13 years.”

Victor Khodadad is a recent co-founder of New Camerata Opera, which is a new opera company based in New York City. NCO produced its first main stage production, The Count of Luxembourg and Other Tales: A Viennese Pastiche, in October, which played to rave reviews and sold-out audiences. Victor was invited to give a TEDx Talk in December about innovation in the arts which featured New Camerata Opera. More information is available at

Ben Robertson continues to live in Keene, N.H., where he is working as a Web designer with his company Menadena. Interested classmates can learn more about Ben’s work at

Finally, I just heard from Lara Laurence, for whom the Women’s March in D.C. turned into a Wesleyan event. “First, on my Amtrak train heading south, the woman sitting across from me turned out to be a Wes grad from the Class of 1980—too bad I never asked for her name. Then, in D.C., my daughter, a sophomore at Bryn Mawr, Colleen McKiernan ’89, and I stayed with Ladeene Freimuth ’89. After the march, my daughter and I headed to Sarah Leavitt’s (’92) house for dinner. Also, there were Michelle Elisburg ’92, Jessica Feierman ’92, and Susannah Beals-Simon ’92.”

That’s all for now.  Thank you to those who wrote. As always, please e-mail me anytime with news.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2016 | ISSUE 3

Hi, everyone. Here’s the latest news from some classmates:

In June 2016, Victor Khodadad sang the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Md., and Philadelphia, Pa. He is a recent co-founder of New Camerata Opera, a professional opera company in New York City that is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization. NCO will be commissioning new operas specifically for YouTube, developing children’s operas, and using media in innovative ways to promote the art form of opera. Their inaugural main stage production is The Count of Luxembourg and Other Tales: A Viennese Pastiche, which was performed in New York City in October. Please visit for more information.

Laurie Baum has taken on the exciting challenge of being the middle school director of the Greene Hill School in Brooklyn. Greene Hill is a small independent PreK–eighth grade school with a sliding-scale tuition and a progressive approach to education. “For the past several years, it’s been my job to plan and launch the middle school division, and this year we will have our first graduating class! I know lots of folks from Wesleyan are in education and I would be happy to show our growing school to anyone interested.”

Kate Hardin is still in Cambridge, Mass., working on energy, climate, and Arctic issues. “We welcomed friends from Spain this summer and enjoyed showing them the United States and answering their questions about Trump and Clinton(!). I took the family to my 25th Reunion last year and it was great to see old Gingerbread House compatriots! Most recently, I ran into Debbie Gahr on the Upper East Side and also caught up with Mateo Cummings in Washington.”

Elizabeth Friedman Haybron writes with news about her husband, Daniel M. Haybron, PhD, professor of philosophy at Saint Louis University, who has received a $5.1 million grant to study happiness and well-being. The award consists of a $4.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, along with $453,000 in funding from the University. The three-year project began July 1, 2015. This is believed to be the largest grant ever awarded to a researcher in the College of Arts and Sciences at SLU. Titled Happiness and Well-Being: Integrating Research Across the Disciplines, the project will promote dialogue and collaboration among well-being researchers across a wide range of disciplines, including the sciences, philosophy, and theology and religious studies. Advising Daniel on the project will be a board of 14 leading well-being researchers, including some of the best-known figures in the field such as Ed Diener and Martin Seligman.

Bonnie Cohen, formerly my Foss 7 next-door neighbor, and now a first-time contributor to our class notes, went back to school in medicine seven years after graduating from Wes and became a family physician, focusing on urban underserved and immigrant communities. She worked for nine years at Cambridge Health Alliance, a safety-net system of hospitals and health centers north of Boston. In 2011, she married Brad Braufman (MIT ’85) and in 2014 they adopted newborn Shay Daniel Braufman. They are all living in Somerville. Bonnie is “currently not practicing medicine, but instead practicing full-time parenting, which is even more rewarding, though the pay’s not great. In May, we paid a delightful visit to Liza “Maiz” Connolly, her husband Joe, and three wonderful boys in LA. Warm hello to all Wes buds.”

Jon Lipitz is still living in Baltimore with his wife and two sons, hanging out on a regular basis with Jennifer Teitelbaum Palmer and Brian Klaas ’91. He was named director of events at the Maryland Institute College of Art, managing annually more than 1,300 events at the college, “including Commencement, from which he has liberally stolen a few ideas from our 1990 Graduation. (However, not the ugly pink gowns.)”

Thanks for sharing your news. That’s all for now!

Vanessa montag brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2016 | ISSUE 2

Hi all. Here’s what we have:

Jeanie Tung reconnected with Marisa Cohen ’89, “first on Facebook of course, then we found out our daughters attended the same school and that both had a love for music/violin!”

Jennifer Teitelbaum Palmer has been made a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, due in part to her work for the Maryland Psychiatric Society as the chair of the legislative committee and as a member of the council and executive committee. Jennifer, the MPS president-elect, will be president in April 2017.

Alexis Neaman Roberts and her husband, Chris Roberts ’89, are living in Austin, Texas, with their three daughters, Beatrix, Willa, and India. Chris is working as the director of communications at the University of Texas School of Law and Alexis spends her time driving her kids around Austin and “working on secret plans to turn Texas blue for the next election.”

Ben Robertson is “working as an independent consultant with recent engagements in nonprofit, Internet of things, cybersecurity, and enterprise search.” People who want to learn more about him (for example, his work as an actor and a writer) can do so at and Ben noted how great it was to see classmates at our last Reunion. He writes that Ethan Garber and his brother recently visited him at his home in Keene, N.H. “They stayed the night and Ethan slept on the floor (I only have one guest bed), and I made buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, while we watched a documentary about cartels in Mexico, a place where Ethan’s company is doing business. Ethan bought an environmental company called Idle Air. of which he is now CEO. Ethan and I were also partners in crime at the Reunion, and ended up sleeping in his car behind a Walmart, unable to find a hotel. So the college adventures continue, even as we approach 50. I never would have expected any of this and look forward to seeing what happens next.”

Stephanie Donohue Pilla lives in Harlem, NYC, with her husband and 8-year-old daughter. She is the development manager at Maysles Documentary Center where Hellura Lyle ’89 has been a guest curator and Bobbito Garcia ’88 has presented his films. In April, Stephanie saw Kati Koerner at the Face to Face Arts in Education Conference that she was co-chairing. Stephanie’s daughter attends Manhattan Country School, “which not only feels like a mini-Wesleyan (super diverse, social justice curriculum), but also has a number of Wes parents and teachers. She also keeps fit with Linda Turnbull ’90 every week at a barre class!”

Jeffrey Needelman writes with the show-stopping news that he has become a grandparent. I’m not sure if he’s the first in our class to do so, but he’s certainly the first one of which I have heard. He is grateful to be able to share with the Wesleyan community the happy news that on April 3, 2016, his daughter, Ona Sofia, “gave birth to my first grandson, Shilo Nana Kwasi Ansuh.”

Andy Siff’s daughter, who was just two months when she joined him and the rest of his family at our 25th Reunion, is now 14 months. “She and big brother Zeke (5) are big Wesleyan fans. I’m still at WNBC-TV (after 12 years!) and my wife, Dawn, is working in marketing at Google.”

Eric Berg ’93 is teaching English as a Second Language and living in Boston. “I got my B.A. from Northeastern in English Lit in 1994, and my M.A. in English Lit from the University of Virginia in 2009. I have been studying languages at the Harvard extension school for the past nine years, and am trying to get in shape to start rowing on the water again (which I did at Wesleyan and Harvard). I also taught sculling at the Weld Boathouse at Harvard for two summers from 1990–1991.”

Finally, Lisa Shactman Grissom wrote and produced the short film Tattoo You ( based upon her award-winning one act play. Shot entirely in a high school bathroom, the film centers on an encounter between two women that reveals the indelible marks left by their shared past. Tattoo You explores the impact of bullying on adulthood and is resonating with film festival audiences, winning awards at The Berkshire International Film Festival and Dances With Films. Lisa would love to see some of you on the festival circuit! She can be reached at

That’s all for now. I hope you have all been enjoying the summer. You will be hearing from me again at year’s end.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2016 | ISSUE 1

Class of 1990 Scholarship 

Dara Mysliwiec ’16, Biology, Earth and Environmental Science

Hi, all. I am writing these notes on Valentine’s Day, during what is being reported as record-breaking cold for many cities on the East Coast. Here in New York, it is freezing and windy and I can only hope that by the time you are reading this, an early spring has arrived. Here’s what we have.

It was great to hear from David Buchbinder with an update about what he has been up to since leaving Wes. David moved to New York after graduation and enrolled at Columbia for his MFA in creative writing. From there he went to Mozambique, covering the end of the war and the peace process as a cub reporter. “I gigged around as a journalist for about 10 years, mostly for the wires, with long-term assignments in Afghanistan and Venezuela—and a brief detour into social work at a transitional facility for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles. Since then it’s been about human rights in Africa, first as a researcher (Chad/Sudan conflict for Human Rights Watch; use and recruitment of child soldiers for Child Soldiers International), more recently as a teacher/trainer (fact-finding and advocacy at African Human Rights Consortium, a pan-African training institute based in Botswana; and LGBT rights in Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi for Benetech, a technology company based in the Silicon Valley).” Currently, David is working with a group of southern African LGBT rights organizations on a research project looking at barriers to HIV/AIDS care and treatment for lesbians and transgender individuals. David lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Sally, and their two boys, Ziggy (8) and Hugo (3).

We have baby news from Alex Navarro-McKay, whose daughter, Eliora, was born last April and joins big brother Avi and mom Kate, and travel news from Jennifer Palmer, who went to London in August and “saw Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet, Chiwetel Ejiofor in Everyman and Mark Gatiss in Three Days in the Country.” Also checking in was Zak Penn, who is still living happily in Los Angeles with his wife, Michele Weiss, and their three children.

My former Foss 7 hallmate, Jessica Mann Gutteridge, writes with “lots of change over the last year-and-a-bit. After leaving my life as a lawyer and the New York area, my husband and our three sons and I moved to his hometown of Vancouver, B.C. I spent a wonderful year home with the kids getting us all resettled into our new surroundings, and then my dream job suddenly appeared before me. I’ve returned to my first love, the theatre, as the education manager of Carousel Theatre for Young People on Granville Island in Vancouver. So far, I’ve survived my first two productions of school matinees and the end of a drama school term and start of another!”

News of another relocation comes from Jennifer Heppel, who accepted the job as commissioner of the Patriot League, a Division I collegiate athletics conference, last summer and subsequently moved to Bethlehem, Pa. Jen is loving the job and slowly settling into her new home and city. “Great to be back on the East Coast.”

Edward Ungvarsky runs an office in Virginia that represents persons charged with capital murder who are facing the possibility of receiving the death penalty. He “credits a Wesleyan class on ethics of life taught by Rev. Arnold Thomas for inspiration.” Ed’s wife, Olivia Smith ’91, founded Bridges Public Charter School in DC for teaching together children with and without special needs. Olivia’s school opens a new building this fall. “Our girls, Nola and Lena, wear their Wes shirts with pride—because the auteur of Hamilton went to Wes.” (As an aside, I will add that my husband David and I saw Hamilton two weeks ago and thought it was absolutely fantastic.) Ed had pizza and beer in NYC in November with Yau-Mu Huang ’93, who works at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Phil Yanos, who teaches and practices psychology at John Jay.

More baby news comes from Victor Khodadad and his wife, Kristina Dunatov, who just welcomed their first child into the world. Roko Antonio Khodadad was born on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 2015. “He was 5 lbs., 15 oz., and is doing great!” On the performing front, Victor maintains an active career as an actor and classical singer. Upcoming engagements include the comic role of Captain Dietrich in the opera Evangeline in Portland, Maine, in April 2016, and the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Music Festival, on June 10th–12th in Chestertown, Md., and Philadelphia, Pa. More info is available on his website:

Julia Moffett has been based with her family in Nairobi, Kenya, since 2013. Julia leads innovation for a large African bank’s foundation and is also launching a venture fund to back education entrepreneurs. It’s an “amazingly exciting place to be, as it is a place brimming with ideas, creativity, and energy around solutions to problems at the base of the pyramid. And it is one of the most beautiful countries for my 10-year-old twin daughters to grow up in!”

Finally, Alfredo Viegas writes with the exciting news that he is about to become a Wesleyan parent! Al’s oldest daughter, Alessandra ’20, just got accepted to Wesleyan ED2. “Not sure what she wants to study…maybe film, or creative writing. We are all totally pumped!! Apparently this was the most competitive class ever, with over 12,000 applications! Yikes!!”

That’s all for now. Please write with news, big or small. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2015 | ISSUE 3

Hi, all. Our class notes are particularly light this time around so I’m hoping a few more of you can send me e-mails for our next issue. Here’s what we have for now:

Tim Freundlich reports that he has set up camp for the last 15 years in San Francisco, living in the Mission District with spouse Julie and their two boys, Gus (6) and Milo (9). Tim runs across Wes alums left and right in his impact investing and social enterprise work (companies he co-founded: ImpactAssets, Good Capital, ImpactHUBs in a few cities, and the SOCAP Conference). He writes of his plans to journey back to Wes for the Social Impact Summit in mid-November with Mark Mullen ’89 (an ImpactHUB member in SF), so I’m hoping that he’s looking back on a great visit by the time all of you are reading this.

Ben Klau and Joan Gundersen Klau had a good reason to miss our 25th Reunion, as Joan was seven months pregnant with their first child. Avery Josephine Klau was born on July 16 and is “already bringing great joy to both parents (although they’d like it if she could find some time other than 3 a.m. to do so).” Ben is the general manager and co-owner of Mortar, an advertising agency in San Francisco, and Joan is a writer/producer, running the media department for Shaklee Corporation.

Kate Hardin writes that she is still in Boston working in energy consulting, focusing on Russia and the Arctic these days. Kate “would be happy to connect with others working on energy and climate change issues. I was thrilled to see so many friends in Middletown at our Reunion and resolved to do a better job staying in touch.”

Finally, Lara Small Laurence lets us know that she “missed Reunion because my youngest chid, Eyal, became a bar mitzvah that week. It was a great weekend, celebrated with family and friends, including some Wes grads, Jenny Simon Tabak ’93, Jen Hammer ’91 and Tzvi Mackson-Landsberg ’89. A week later, my eldest, Revital, graduated from high school. She is currently a very happy freshman at Bryn Mawr College. My middle child, Tsivi, is a junior in high school, so college touring will start up again in the spring. Earlier in 2015, Jen Hammer, Jenny Simon Tabak and I traveled from New York City to Louisville, Ky., to attend the bat mitzvah of Michelle Elisburg’s ’92 older daughter. While in Louisville, we met up with Sarah Leavitt ’92, and had a great weekend exploring the city and celebrating with Michelle. I’m still happily working as a learning specialist in Manhattan, and living on Long Island with my husband, my kids, and our dog.”

That’s all for now. I’m assuming this magazine will be arriving toward the end of December, so I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year. I look forward to hearing from you in 2016!

Vanessa montag brosgol |