CLASS OF 1995 | 2022 | SPRING ISSUE

Katy writes for this issue: We are all thinking of each other, through the local and global challenges of this moment, and I hope these notes find you well.  It’s been lovely to hear your updates.  Read up below on how your classmates are spending their time and talents: composing, writing, serving others, braving major career changes, and making the most of everyday life.

Jeanne Bonner writes: “I won a 2022 NEA translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to continue my work translating a transnational Italian author who survived the Holocaust.”

Pat Charlemagne writes: “My EdD from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education was conferred in December. My dissertation will be available via ProQuest: ‘The Unexpected Value of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Elevating the Importance of and Essential Need for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Serving as Youth Development Professionals.’”

We also got word that Simona Kwon joined the New York City Board of Health in 2021.

Christine O’Brien writes: “Alternating between treading water and drowning as an emergency physician in San Francisco.  Enjoying beautiful hikes and my 10-year-old daughter on my days off.”

Sarah Kirkland Snider announces: “In June, at Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic will give the world premiere of my orchestral work Forward into Light, inspired by the American women’s suffrage movement (originally scheduled to premiere in 2020). The same week will see four NYC performances of my Mass for the Endangered, which was released as an album on Nonesuch/New Amsterdam Records last year. Wes friends: holler at me for tickets! I live in Princeton, New Jersey, with my husband, son Jasper (13), daughter Dylan (10), and two dogs.”

Stacy (Theberge) Taylor, still in the Portland, Maine, area writes: “Our son Niko is in first grade, and I have met quite a few families who have moved to town from NYC and other points afar. (One of the only benefits of the pandemic.) Last summer we had two Wes visits: from Ed Lee (who is in Boston) and Bo Bell and family. It’s great to see other Wes folk in Maine. Let me know if you plan to be around Portland and I will treat you to a lobster roll . . .  or two.”

Carrie Turner (née Fischer) exuberantly writes: “For anyone thinking of making a midlife career change, just know that it CAN be done! For 20 years (after a short-lived stint in the world of musical theater), I had a successful run in luxury retail management. Two years ago, I decided that it was time for my next act—and after much soul searching and hard work, I am now in human resources and loving it. I am grateful to a few Wesleyan alumni along the way who gave me great advice, but mostly it was all about the hustle . . . and if I can do it, anyone can.  My partner Nils and I welcomed a new addition to our household two years ago: a French bulldog named Rousseau. Nils and I also still make electro-pop music as Nite Haus, and we still live in NYC. I am still BFFs with Brett Aristegui. Best wishes to everyone out there.”

Keep sending us your news and updates—we love to hear from you!

CLASS OF 1995 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hello fellow ’95ers!

Bo Bell writing here with updates, starting with some sad news from Danny Greene, Leslie (Katz) Genova, and Sarah Hirzel: Our dear friend and classmate Andy Neiman passed away in June. Leslie, Danny, Sarah, Gregg Osofsky, Jennifer (Scheff) Ransburg, Tomer Rothschild ’94, and Jessica Sharzer ’94 gathered in St. Louis to remember him at a memorial service, with many more Wes friends joining online. Many of you will remember Andy’s energy, creativity, and his pie-themed parties. He was a one-of-a-kind person and friend, and we miss him terribly. Donations in Andy’s memory may be made to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, or to his family. We hope everyone will see a Shakespeare play and eat a slice of pie in his memory.

Former class secretary Dwayne Busby was recently appointed to the board of directors of JSC Federal Credit Union, strengthening that institution’s connection to University of Houston–Clear Lake, where Dwayne is executive director of Strategic Partnerships. Dwayne said that he’s so excited about this, because JSC FCU recently finalized their new strategic plan that aimed to become more of a digital resource to the community to which it provides financial resources; his joining the board is helping the credit union become more agile in that way. Nice work, Dwayne!

     “Meanne” Jeanne Bonner writes: “All is well in Connecticut where I moved in 2017 with my partner and my son, Leo, who is now 9. I’m headed to New York in August for a short-term fellowship I won at the New York Public Library to do some research on an Italian writer who survived the Holocaust and whose work I am translating into English. I still work part-time as a news editor at CNN while also teaching writing and literature part-time. I sometimes even teach at Wes! When I returned to campus in 2019, I felt as though I was walking with the ghosts of Jeanne Past! It was actually a thrill, and the campus has changed in some very good ways. Lots of benches to sit back and enjoy!”

     Scott Rubin just started a new position as Assistant Vice President of Development at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. Looking forward to advancing Einstein’s social justice mission and raising funds for groundbreaking research and top-notch medical education.

    Cheryl Mejia continues her work in interventional pain management, working several offices in rural western Maryland, with ownership in surgery centers on the horizon. She’s still supporting LGBT, diversity, and inclusion programs through her wife’s job as LGBT nurse navigator at Hopkins, and she also volunteers, does board work, and helps charities.

     Tavia Nyongo is still teaching at Yale, where “I was recently named chair and William Lampson Professor of Theater and Performance Studies. I’m also active in American Studies, African American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After a busy year teaching remotely, I’m looking forward to returning (safely) to the classroom soon.”

     Jason Segal reports, “After 13 years working in climate-related finance, our business, Javelin Capital, is overwhelmed with opportunity as investing in ESG themes has become mainstream. I hope to connect with more fellow climate finance travelers from Wes. Kids (Julia 7, Ari 6) continue to be enjoying life in and around NYC with plenty of time at the beach this summer. Very happy to see them growing up in NYC and attending public schools here—something I never had the opportunity to do. We are pulling for NYC and hanging in through these choppy waters.”

     Ryan Knox was recently named Dean of Students at New Haven Academy, an urban, collegiate-prep charter school.  He’s also in final negotiations to publish his book about his experience during the student protests in Hong Kong, where he also taught and resided as an expat from 2011 to 2015. Ryan lives with his partner, garden, and goldfish in the Little Italy section of New Haven, Connecticut.

     Josh Gilbert writes, I’m happy to let everyone know that my and Carey Bartell’s daughter, Eloise (’25), is now a frosh at Wes, exactly 30 years after we all matriculated! Excited to have great excuses to get back on campus. Also, Temperance Beer Co. (the brewery I founded in 2013 but is perhaps better remembered as the official beer of our 25th Reunion) once again hosted our four-day outdoor concert, Out of Space, on Labor Day weekend. It’s kind of like Spring Fling but without Foss Hill. This year’s acts were Big Boi, J.D. McPherson & the Drive-By Truckers, Neko Case, and (former Spring Fling performer) George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.

CLASS OF 1995 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Katy writes for this issue: We are all thinking of each other, through the challenges and transitions of this moment, and I hope these notes find you well. It’s been lovely to hear your updates. Read up below on how your classmates are spending their time: working, sports, horses, home renovation—and a bit of a pandemic dog theme!

     Rob Armstrong writes: “To deal with lockdown blues, we got a rescue dog, Billy. He is a super cute Collie/Jack Russell mix and a menace to anything anyone leaves on the floor. The twins, now 11, are thrilled. Being a journalist during lockdown is not much fun, but I’m getting close to 10 years at the Financial Times, where I’ve been happy. I write about finance and, in a periodic weekend column, men’s style.”

     Jennifer Parker Dockray is still living in Oakland, and working for reproductive justice at a nonprofit called All-Options. She and her eighth grader are doing pretty well after a year of working and learning from home—even got on board with a pandemic puppy—but really misses trips back to the East Coast! She sends love to everyone and hopes for a healthier and more just 2021 for us all.

     Beth (Shilepsky) Price writes: “After five years at the Naval Health Clinic Charleston, I recently left to work for my alma mater, the Medical University of South Carolina (still as a family medicine doctor). Loving my four-day work week, which means more time relaxing with my husband Kevin and our kids: David (16), Madeline (14), and Lily (11). We got a second horse a year ago and since then, David and I have been spending lots of quality time on the trails. It’s the perfect COVID activity—plenty of Vitamin D, fresh air, exercise, and social distancing. Hope everyone stays healthy (physically and mentally) during this difficult time!”

     Marc Schleifer writes: “Not much to report. My wife and I are healthy, as are our parents, so thankful for that, and lucky to be able to both work remotely. We’ve been mostly pandemic’ing in New Jersey, avoiding the weirdness of Washington, DC this fall and winter. One major upside is being in the Philly TV viewing area allows me to watch the Sixers and Flyers after work every day, much to my wife’s dismay. Hope everyone is doing well and that we eventually get to meet in person.”

     Stacy (Theberge) Taylor writes: “I’m still in the Portland, Maine area, running an animation studio with my husband. We were super lucky in that Little Zoo Studio was always remote, so feeling extremely grateful that our work continued uninterrupted. In addition to keeping the virus at bay, I spend time taking care of a five-year-old son, dog, cat, and rambling farmhouse that we will apparently never finish renovating.”

CLASS OF 1995 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Greetings ’95ers! Bo Bell here. Sorry that I missed you all at the virtual reunion, but hoping we can do it for real next year! Here’s what’s been happening with your classmates.

I consider it to be a smashing success that I finally got dear friend Hannah Knott Rogers to send in some notes! “I am still a librarian at Emory’s Health Sciences Center Library and go to work in person every day and feel great about it—the university mostly has things 

under control—only a handful of cases among residential students (knock on wood). Our girls (14 and 16) are channeling their inner rage and future Wesleyaness into phonebanking for Generation Ratify, Sunrise Movement, student government and lots and lots of art and creative writing. Super shout out to every teacher out there hustling every day to make something that’s totally not normal seem ok. Other positives: no colds, lots and lots of family time, many trips to ramble in the north Georgia wilderness, and plenty of energy put towards plants and food. I haven’t seen anyone from our class in person, but have definitely enjoyed an uptick in texts, calls, and reluctant video conferences with old friends. I am thankful daily for the friends and experiences at Wesleyan and optimistic that my kids will be able to have a comparably meaningful college experience in the near future.”

Matthew Duffy is still living in Oakland, now in his fifth year as school superintendent in the Bay Area with his family, trying to stay healthy and sane. He recently had a great reconnect with Sherwin Yoder, and is also staying in touch with Malcolm Edwards and Brooke and Randy Jackson.

Lara Tupper writes from Maine: “I have become a chicken mama during the pandemic. Our eight hens bring us tremendous joy. My Zoom calls with Chelsea Farley ’95, Laura Pinsof ’95 and Mireille Abelin ’96 have been a saving grace. And my new book, Amphibians (a collection of short stories) will come out in March 2021 from Leapfrog Press.”

Lauren Monchik is still in NYC with husband Davison and two daughters (ninth grade and sixth grade) and is a new science teacher and loving it. 

Cheryl Mejia reports on her experience during quarantine: “Telemedicine has the sweetest commute. Trying to teach rural folks to be more open-minded so that they exercise more, eat healthfully, and act in ways that help them get more health care providers to their underserved areas. So many skilled services come from minorities, so try not to scare them off with your political signs promoting exclusion! Also, stayed in an RV for the very first time ever. This might have been the bright side of COVID-19, since the in-laws got one for the now-limited ways of travel. I miss Son “Jackson” Tran, one of my only local Wes pals that I knew. Now I got no one, to my knowledge.”

Ian Boyden writes with some news! His first book of poetry—A Forest of Names—was published by none other than Wesleyan University Press. ianboyden.com.

Old pal Julia Lazarus checks in: “The past months have been defined largely by toddler entertainment and management activities (for my daughter Ellie, now two), but I am also working on a fellowship with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities that is exploring the relationship between cultural participation and civic health. It’s been nice to reconnect with my interest in the ways arts and humanities can deepen our engagement with public life. At the same time, it’s been a weird time to have just stepped away from working in online education­: what a thing to see people so suddenly ramping up in those practices (and grappling directly with what’s challenging and what opportunities there are for something interesting and new to take place).”

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Katy writes for this issue: As I write, I’m looking forward to our virtual 25th Reunion event in May. Of course, we all look forward to getting together face-to-face when we can. For now, we’ll enjoy the connections we can get! Here’s to the Class of ’95, and glad to share these updates on our classmates.

Nathalie Perez-Cino writes: “For 14 years I had the privilege of staying at home and raising the kids. I have now rejoined the workforce at Clark University in the education department as teacher diversity and special programs coordinator. I work to attract and support candidates of color into our Master of Arts in Teaching program. Our program prepares teachers to be successful in an urban school environment. If you know of any aspiring teachers, please send them my way!”

Matvei Yankelevich writes: “I’ve recently published a series of essays on small press history and its politics at the Poetry Foundation Harriet blog. Also, I received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to work on an annotated translation of Osip Mandelstam late poems (written in exile in a small southern Soviet city in the 1930s). Otherwise, working on keeping the small nonprofit poetry and arts press I co-founded (Ugly Duckling Presse) afloat through the pandemic, and just finished teaching a half-online semester on artists’ books and bookmaking for writers for Columbia’s MFA in creative writing.”

Cheryl Mejia writes: “New job, helping those even more rural. It’s been interesting being a multiple-minoritied physician working in rural West Virginia, western Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania. Hopefully, it helps to bring evidence-based science and mindset, as well as compassion and diversity to rural people (voters) who are helping to shape our present and future. Normally I work as an interventional pain management doc, but since America is not performing injections/procedures that aren’t life-saving, that is on the back burner. Been revisiting a lot of primary-care based health care lately.”

Keep sending us your news and updates—we love to hear from you!

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Hello, Class of 1995! Bo writing for this issue and I’ll start with my own updates. I’m still living in New York’s idyllic Hudson Highlands, working on digital products, raising two really fun little humans, and playing soccer as often as my knees will allow. I get face time with Mike KleinsteuberKiersten Miller, and Laura Roberts ’97 occasionally.

Jennifer “Parker” Dockray is still living in Oakland CA, co-parenting a delightful 13-year-old, and working for reproductive justice. She is the executive director of All-Options, a national organization supporting people in all their experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.

Brett Jones, international woman of mystery, writes: “I’ve been living in Suva, Fiji, for the last two years, where I work as a foreign service officer for USAID, and my husband for the State Department. Next month, classmate Nicole Robinson ’96 is coming to Fiji for a visit. Our next assignment is Canberra, Australia, starting this March.”

Jacob Waples and Sandy Miller have been living in Golden, Colo., for 20 years (!), aside from a two-year stint in Santiago, Chile. Jacob works at a small consulting company in Golden as an environmental geochemist to support mine permitting and closure. Sandy is a baroque cellist, teaching and performing in Denver. They see a group of Colorado Wes alumni regularly for skiing, geology discussions over beers, and to hang out with each other’s’ kids, including Tom Rutkowski ’96Hillary Hamann ’94Josh Pollock ’96, and Adam Hobson ’97.

My WesCo Up-4 hallmate, Cheryl Mejia, is always good with the updates, so of course she sent one for our Reunion issue! “Going into smaller private practice from large interventional pain group. Loving what I do. It’s a thank’ful’ job (as opposed to thankless job). Wife and I are doing great. Living in western Maryland. Enjoying boutique fitness like heart rate training programs, barre, and snowshoeing. I miss Son Tran ’95 because he moved to Canada with his ortho surgeon spouse.”

Speaking of Up-4, Adam Hirsch is living in Madison, Wisc., with his wife and two kids, not far from Matt Edes-Pierotti. Adam’s working remotely as a software developer for Axios and doing occasional hobby forays into fiction writing and podcast production. Nicholas Moran, who along with spouse Adair and dog Tala are currently traveling the country performing in Jurassic World Live Tour, got to visit with Adam when he brought his daughters to see the show in Milwaukee this past November. Nicholas will be touring North America for at least another year but encourages everyone to look him up if the show passes through your area.

Sabrina Prince sends some long-distance love: “I moved last year from New York to Germany for life and love. I am still working on health care advertising and have relocated to our European offices. I still speak regularly with best friend Jacqueline Moon and received an adorable Christmas card from Frank Truslow of his lovely wife and adorable two sons!”

Rob Armstrong and his wife Wylie are back from London and buying a house in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, with their 10-year-old twins. Rob still writes for the Financial Times. He says: “Amazingly, we are as dull as this makes us sound, but people should come visit us anyway. I see Russell Agle and Scott Laton ’94 all the time, and they are just like they were 25 years ago, only more so.”

Stacy Taylor writes: “I’m still living outside of Portland, Maine, helping my husband Jason run our animation shop, Little Zoo Studio. Our son Niko is turning 5. (Last Reunion he was only a few weeks old, so I missed it.) Niko is really into dinosaurs and Legos and making me pick up things in his wake.”

David Biello is still in New York, now as the science curator for TED Talks and working on a next book, among other side hustles. Still hanging out with Marcus Green, Shobana Shankar, and others. He’s father to two wonderful kids, Beatrice (12) and Desmond (10), and is always looking for pro-tips for the tween/teen years!

Greg Rolland writes: “I am in my eighth year working at Deerfield Academy—a western Massachusetts boarding school—in financial administration and, with my wife as the nurse director and my eldest daughter now a ninth-grade day student there too, it’s a convenient family set-up. I see nearby Peter Follet and Stephanie Flaherty regularly, and Peter and I hiked some of the upper-Hudson river valley with classmates Justin Stern and James Becker ’97 this past fall. Made proud of Wes recently (again) after reading its Common Reading selection for all incoming students: Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum co-authored by two inspiring alumni. Also just finished a memoir of Jimmy Carter from about 25 years ago, and it’s amazing to consider how much peace-making he did even just in the years we attended Wesleyan. A true embodiment of compassionate faith in action. Time to move forward. Go Wes!”

After two “rollercoaster” years as CFO at the National Network of Abortion Funds, Jen Levine-Fried took a bit of a swerve and moved into a finance position at Suffolk University in downtown Boston a year ago. She’s still staying connected to abortion rights, serving as the treasurer on the Board of Medical Students for Choice, and is also on the finance committee of her synagogue, which is currently composed 100% of Wes alumni.

Finally, news from Jessica Peterson: “My family and I moved back to the Denver area in 2015 (after almost 15 years on the ruggedly beautiful western slope of Colorado). In 2017, I started working at Front Range Community College (which is the largest community college in the state, serving approximately 28,000 students annually). I have wholeheartedly consumed the proverbial Kool-Aid and am happy to play a small part in helping so many students improve their circumstances. (I have to sheepishly admit that I was not fully aware of all the ways in which community colleges provide educational and career opportunities to traditionally underserved populations.)”

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Katy writes for this issue: As the end of 2019 grows near, we can anticipate the coming of 2020 and our 25th Reunion! As we look forward to getting together face-to-face, I am glad to share news from our classmates to catch us all up.

Wes couples Thy Pham ’97 and Tyler Moriguchi and Min Lee ’97 and Alejandro Santandrea ’97 loaded up their kids into an RV for an eight-day trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Evenings were spent reminiscing about classes, dorms, MoCon, and the student art gallery. Plans are already in the works for an Alaskan adventure. (BTW, Tyler contributed to class notes for the first time—heartily welcomed!)

Julie Zaidler ’95, MA’96 shares: “After completing my Wesleyan education and subsequently receiving an MBA from NYU, I landed in pharmaceutical industry doing market research in immuno-oncology. I lived in NYC for 10 years, and four years ago made a move to the Philadelphia area with my husband and two boys. Still adjusting to suburban life (and travel soccer schedules) but enjoying a somewhat slower pace. I am actually on my way back from vacation in North Carolina as we speak, and we stopped in Virginia to visit Miriam Liss. So good to see good old friends, have the kids meet each other for the first time and reminisce!”

And, speaking of whom, Miriam Liss also wrote: “I am married to Julian Kilmartin ’94. We live in Fredericksburg, Va., with our two kids Daniel (13) and Emily (11). I am a professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington, a public liberal arts college in Fredericksburg. Julian is a school counselor at our local high school. My most recent news is that I published a textbook (with two co-authors) called Psychology of Women and Gender.”

Ken Kwiatkowski now has three boys, Roman, Adam, and Sebastian, and is enjoying life in Jersey City with his lovely wife, Anna.

Eric Meyerson writes “I’m still living in San Francisco with my family, with both of my kids enjoying the chaotic public school system here. Hard to believe I’ve been here 19 years. What happened? I’ve had some wonderful personal Wesleyan reunions this year, including a night out in D.C. with Jason Walta, Seth Kaufman, and Julie Knauer, pho and coffee with Ned Lazarus in Virginia, margaritas with Bill Goldberg ’94 in Maryland, a recent dinner here in San F with Ben Foss, and a night out with Mark Ladov ’94 and his kids in Brooklyn. Career-wise, I made a deliberate move to cleantech this year, given the dire state of the environment and need for rapid modernization. I’m now VP of marketing for Software Motor Company, which makes ultra-efficient electric motors that slash energy demands from heating and ventilating buildings and farms. I’ve been traveling to Wisconsin a lot to support a strategic partner that makes ventilation systems for agriculture. Ask me anything about cows. Moo.”

Lara Tupper shares, “I spent a beautiful summer afternoon in the Berkshires with Mireille Abelin ’96, Chelsea Farley, and families. I’m thrilled to say that I have two books coming out in 2020: Off Island, a novel based on the life of Paul Gauguin, and Amphibians, a linked short story collection. Hope to see all of Clark 4 at the Reunion in May!”

Beth Price writes “I had a great visit with Dawn Peters Weinstein and Dave Weinstein ’94 and their two kids on their way to vacation in Edisto, S.C. They’re living in Cambridge, Mass., where Dawn is a pediatrician and Dave works for Brandeis University.”

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

Newsmaker: Michael Brotchner ’95

Michael Brotchner ’95 joins YouthBuild USA in a newly created role as chief strategy officer. He will lead the nonprofit’s strategic plan and supervise the development, communications, and data services departments. Brotchner previously worked as a program officer at the Schultz Family Foundation in Seattle and as the executive director of Sustainable South Bronx. YouthBuild USA provides training, leadership development, pass-through grants, quality assurance, and advocacy for the 360 local YouthBuild programs operating in 23 countries. After majoring in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan, Brotchner earned his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.