Christopher Lawrence Rosaschi ’98 passed away on February 17, 2022. A full obituary can be found here.
Angie Montgomery (Leader) Arnold ’98 passed away on December 11, 2021. A full obituary can be found here.
Hello fellow ‘98ers.
It was great to hear from a few of you, and from some farther off spots than usual. Please keep sending in your notes and sightings. I know we would all love to hear a whole range of everyone’s experiences.
Here is the most recent news:
Jehan Manekshaw continues to live in Mumbai with his family—wife Shez and two kids Aden, 7, and Zaya, 3—and have been, like every other family on the planet, dealing with the balance of WFH, Zoomschooling, and staying safe. He continues to run two organizations now in the digital/blended medium: the Drama School Mumbai, and with his wife Shez, Theatre Professionals Education, which focuses on giving schoolteachers the tools from drama with which to do a lot more in their classes. He really misses Miller’s Pond in the summer.
It’s been a long 1.5 pandemic year for Sarah Margon, with both her boys (8.5 and 11.5) doing virtual school until this May (when they returned for just a couple days a week) and her husband and her working from home—sharing an office for much of the time—after nearly 20 years of regular travel for them both. They are nonetheless all healthy and know they are lucky and are so grateful to science for the vaccines that have led to cautiously returning to some version of the “before times.” To that end, Sarah got to join a “just what we all needed” NYC dinner with Amy Rowland (Abbazia), Danielle Woodrow, Emma Cooper-Serber (‘97) and Lauren (Tehan) DiLoreto ‘97 in late May where they laughed and hugged and laughed some more. For the most part, Sarah is now relishing the time at home and with family as she has been nominated by President Biden to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. It’s a tremendous honor, with no lack of urgent issues on which to focus. She reports confirmation will hopefully happen by early fall and then she’ll hit the ground running with a grueling schedule, to carrying out the president’s and secretary’s agenda and restoring the U.S. government’s commitment to meaningful human rights and democracy around the world.
Nathan Eddy reports life is good in London—though lockdown restrictions in the UK have made him miss family and friends in New England. He’s been serving as Interim Director of the Council of Christians and Jews since September. CCJ is the oldest interfaith organization in the UK, and their patron is the Queen. He finds it a privilege to be leading dialogue over Israel-Palestine, Holocaust education, and theological education for clergy and rabbis.
Sarah Miller Lipton is happily working at Kaiser Permanente in the Occupational Medicine department in Panorama City, California. She and her husband Glenn have two boys, ages 8 and 6 years old. They are busy with all the kids’ activities—baseball, soccer, tennis, and swimming! They are looking forward to a nice summer in Los Angeles and enjoying the warm weather. Wishing everyone from Wesleyan good health!
Nathan Camp is returning to Connecticut after two decades out west. He is joining Yale University’s Office of International Affairs and looks forward to reconnecting with New England friends and alumni.
I, meanwhile, have been searching out open camping spots, trying to remember, and slowly regain, the feeling of having real-life social activities, and looking for ways to make the world just a little bit better– so send those ideas too, we could all use them.
Catherine “Catie” Lazarus ’98, MA ’99 passed away on December 13, 2020. A full obituary can be found here.
Hi classmates: It’s hard to know what to say these days. I don’t know if the time since our last notes has gone by quickly or not moved at all. Or as a good friend always says, “Why can’t it be both, Abby?” As of this writing, the COVID vaccine is slowly making its way into more and more arms and immune systems—but not with the equity so desperately needed—while we all continue to try and figure out what is safe enough or not, each of us balancing our own risk-benefit calculation as best we can. There are joyous moments and heart-breaking ones, and a whole lot of the in-between. I hope you are all as well as can be, and finding lights at the ends of all the little and big tunnels.
Here is the news from our fellow ’98ers.
Jesse Vincent is living in Oakland with his wife Kaia and four-year- old son Ira. For most of the past month, he’s been neglecting his day job running keyboard.io to serve as one of the volunteer coordinators of cinateca.com.
Adam Borden’s family decided to decamp for a month with remote learning and work to Stowe, Vermont. They were able to ski every day during winter break and then for a couple of weeks each day after Emma and Ian finished remote school. It was such a welcome relief to have a change of scenery and get in some great skiing. Before they left, Adam and Ann Bakun surprised them with a holiday muffeletta shipment from NOLA’s Central Grocery which definitely took care of any muffeletta hankering they might have had for years! The Bordens returned in mid-January in time for Adam to start a new job as the VP of digital advertising for Live Casino and Hotels, a Maryland gaming company with properties near Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and in Philadelphia. He has much to learn about the gaming industry but is learning quickly!
Laura Kirk enjoyed a New York snowstorm in Central Park with her son Theo and sent an adorable happy snowy masked picture that I wish I could include!
Brendan Armm, DAOM, LAc, Dipl OM, lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two kids, practicing as a doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine at Lotus Integrative Medicine in Santa Monica (lotussm.com), which he founded in 2007 and serves as director. He hosts the weekly integrative holistic health and wellness talk show The Well with four other doctors and health care practitioners, to tackle all things body, mind and spirit, which is also on YouTube. Back in 2015, Dr. Armm received a U.S. patent for the BackInBand, a lower back pain relief acupressure device (BackInBand.com), after completing a six-month study showing the device’s medical efficacy. Brendan continues to play drums like he did back in the days of Wesleyan when he majored in world music (and pre-med, too), and used to play with campus bands Neptune, 2:10 Train, and others, with his schoolmates Kevin Strait ’97, Dan Gilbert, Eric Werner ’99 and others. He now enjoys watching his daughter (River) learn the guitar, and his son (Leaf) learn the drums, carrying on the spirit and pulse of music. Brendan’s also been playing tennis weekly, again like in his days back at Wesleyan, when he was on the school’s team his freshman year. Some things change, some things remain unchanged, and always each day is a present.
Finally, as many of you know, on December 13, 2020, we lost Catie Lazarus ’98, MA ’99 to breast cancer. Catie was a comedian, writer, and producer—well-known as the longtime host of the talk show and podcast Employee of the Month—and a friend and a light of optimism to so many. She switched from a doctorate in psychology into comedy after prompting from Tina Fey, and no doubt used skills she learned at Wes in psychology/sociology in her interviews with celebrities and laypeople alike, including a series in The Atlantic interviewing people who had lost their jobs. She brought both depth of feeling and humor to all her work, and it is clear from even the most random candid photo or interview moment that there is no more infectious smile than hers. You can find much of her work as well as wonderful tributes to her online, including one (at jta.org) written by a friend she made doing that most Wesleyan of post-grad experiences, an immersion experience in Israel. She is survived by her parents Simon and Rosalind, and two brothers Ned ’95 and Ben and their wives Nahanni and Katherine. She will be missed by so many.
Nancy Shane Hocking is currently working at JetBlue where she works in flight operations and manages their Pilot Gateway Programs. These programs are pathways that those with little or no flying experience can follow to one day become JetBlue pilots. She is also honored to report that she is one of 20 people appointed by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to serve on the Youth Access to Jobs in Aviation Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to develop and provide recommendations and strategies to the FAA on how to encourage and facilitate youth in America to pursue jobs in aviation. The airline industry is certainly challenged these days due to COVID-19, but they are all doing their best to keep things moving forward. At JetBlue, they are lucky to have a member of our board of directors who is a Wesleyan alumna: Ellen Jewett. Wherever you find a Wesleyan graduate, you’ll find someone who is working to do good and take care of people.
Marcus Chung and his husband have been sheltering-in-place in San Francisco, joining thousands of people in the mental exercise of wondering if life in the suburbs is the next move for them since they haven’t left the confines of their little home in months. Besides longing for a world where he can be social and mobile again, and hoping for a country that will heal with a new administration, he has been leading the supply chain team for online underwear company ThirdLove. He has also joined Wesleyan’s Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee and looks forward to learning more about the process to elect alumni to the Board of Trustees. If anyone has ideas of alumni who would be strong trustee candidates, please send them his way!
Jessica Golden Cortes has just been elected president of the Wesleyan Lawyers Association. She would love to hear from any classmates in the law who may be interested in getting involved in networking or mentoring events around the country. Anyone interested can find the group on LinkedIn.
Nathan Eddy is enjoying work in Jewish-Christian relations in the U.K. and is serving as deputy director of the Council of Christians and Jews.
Tina Harris is currently an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and has been living there with her partner George and son Thomas (six years old) for the past ten years. Her latest research focuses on aviation in the Himalayas. She started feeling nostalgic about Wes again after watching the last few seasons of BoJack Horseman during lockdown, so if there are any classmates living in the Netherlands or close by, please feel free to reconnect.
Michael Lawrence-Riddell is the executive director of Self-
Evident Media, which he founded in September 2019. They are creating highly accessible, engaging multimedia resources for educational communities to use in their quest to honestly and rigorously understand the history of systemic racism in order to envision and build a just future. Michael is doing this work with a number of other Wesleyan graduates including advisory board members Nicole Rodriguez ’97, Makeda Mays Green, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, and Eric Soto-Shed. Check their work out at: selfevidentmedia.com.
Abby Elbow | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dorothy Warner is supporting her 9-year-old son with his schoolwork and seeing clients through telehealth from home. She’s also volunteering with the Emotional PPE Project, offering pro bono therapy for frontline health care workers. They adopted a black lab puppy named Zelda, and are launching their sailboat soon for some physically-distanced adventures.
Makaela Steinberg Kingsley ’98, MALS ’05 is director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan. She says that moving her classes and programs online practically overnight was a welcome professional challenge, although she misses the energy of campus life terribly. Her husband, Matt Kingsley ’98, MALS ’04, is the associate head coach of Men’s Basketball at Yale. His team had just won its fourth Ivy League title in six years when the pandemic hit, canceling March Madness and bringing the entire sports world to a grinding halt.
If you saw Lynn Chen at our 20th Reunion, she was getting ready to direct her first feature film, I Will Make You Mine. She’s proud to share that it’s now done, an official SXSW selection, and available to watch on DVD/cable and video-on-demand streaming. The movie was edited by her husband, Abe Forman-Greenwald, and features a cameo by John Newman. We heard they’ve been getting incredible reviews so far (with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). She mentioned Wesleyan in a recent interview on Cinema Femme, too!
In August 2019, Annika Sweetland delivered a healthy baby boy and is actively involved in efforts to address the mental health consequences of the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil, Southern Africa, and the U.S. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and public health at Columbia University.
Abby Elbow | email@example.com
Hi, fellow ’98ers. After a decade or so of doing our class notes, I (Jason) am ready to pass the torch on to someone else. Abby has been my class notes partner for the past three issues and will stay on, but it would be nice if she had some help. Would any of you be willing to help keep this going? It’s fulfilling to keep everyone informed but it’s easier when two people do it. If you can, email Abby or me. And, here are your notes:
After 20 years of making commercial video games, Simon Strange has returned to academia, becoming a PhD candidate at the University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland. His goal is to earn the world’s first PhD specifically focused on game design and production. Not to be outdone, Simon’s teenage son, Oskar, hopes to attend Hogwarts during that same period.
Sean Dague is now part of the quantum computing team at IBM, helping make this next great leap in computing accessible to the public. He and Susan Tveekrem MA’99 live in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and have a daughter, Arwen, who just started kindergarten this year. To celebrate her 5th birthday, they revived the old Wesleyan Physics Department tradition of making liquid nitrogen ice cream. The 15 kids with safety glasses on all loved both the show and the ice cream that followed.
A few annual traditions keep them in touch with Wesfolks. For their Memorial Day party, they got to host Trey Belew and his wife, Lara. They took the train up from Maryland where Trey is part of the research staff at the biology department of UMD. Shoshe Cole ’99 stopped by on her way back from the 20th Reunion. She’s living in Ithaca, N.Y., and recently completed her PhD in planetary science. They also were visited by Mike Christie-Fogg and wife Kaileah and their twin daughters. They made it a day trip from their place in Mystic, Conn. Mike has transitioned from woodworking to faux bois, and you can see his work at David Sutherland’s showroom in Manhattan.
Another annual tradition is camping in the Catskills with Scott McCracken and family. The McCracken clan has been doing this since their first child was born 13 years ago. Sean and Susan joined when Arwen was 1. When not pitching a tent or grilling burgers over an open fire in a 24-inch frying pan, Scott works as the medical director for a community health center.
They got to see Nick Coleman and wife H.N. James last summer. Nick is now a tenured professor of computer science at Austin Peay University in Tennessee. A few years ago, Sean, Susan, and Arwen visited them in Tennessee to see the great American solar eclipse. The epicenter came right over their apartment complex, and they had a full day of eclipse festivities, including solar scopes and snacks all day long.
Inspired by Anil Seth, Sean has become very involved in Citizens Climate Lobby, a volunteer organization that is lobbying congress to put a steadily rising fee on CO2 emissions and returning that money to households as a monthly dividend. He participated in two D.C. lobby days this year, the second with Trey Belew. The end of lobby day saw 75 co-sponsors for H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, the legislation they are advocating for.
Back in New York, this volunteer work was a great excuse to reconnect with Alison ’97 and Brent Spodek. Brent is the rabbi leading the Beacon Hebrew Alliance and lent early support to the bill, and Alison is a professor of chemistry at Vassar College. Sean had an opportunity to give a guest lecture in Alison’s climate change class this last spring on making climate policy.
Dahlia Schweitzer writes: “I have published another book (L.A. Private Eyes) with Rutgers University Press, and I have moved back to NYC for a teaching position at FIT in film and media studies. I’m really excited to get back in touch with all my Wesleyan people who live out on the East Coast and to finally be able to make it back to campus for the occasional visit.”
Jason Becton | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Elbow | email@example.com
Sean Connell is working as vice president of government and public relations for LAVLE, a U.S.-Japanese joint venture company headquartered in Anacortes, Wash., and which is developing the world’s first solid-electrolyte battery energy storage system for the marine, renewable energy, and defense sectors. Sean is concurrently a senior fellow of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation in Washington, D.C., a leading organization promoting U.S.-Asia relations, and has been involved over the last few years with the D.C., think-tank community in several projects on economic and innovation policy interrelationships between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea. He also serves on the board of directors of the Washington State China Relations Council (currently chaired by Marc Berger ’04), the nation’s leading statewide organization dedicated to promoting stronger commercial, educational, and cultural engagement with China. In his free time, he is wandering trails and climbing glaciers in the North Cascades.
Adam Borden and his wife, Meredith, just returned from Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore with their 12-year-old daughter, Emma, and 10-year-old son, Ian. Driving through the West, the Hamilton recording was their music obsession (thank you, Lin-Manuel ’02!). They also visited the Galapagos Islands this summer, walking among blue-footed booby nests and having an orca pod surface behind the boat. They keep running into Wendy ’01 and Chris Jeffries ’99 in Baltimore because Chris and Meredith serve together on the board of Maryland’s state theater, Center Stage. Adam had dinner with Adam Bakun and his father this spring while in Washington, D.C., on their annual father-son trip and enjoyed an Asian/Peruvian fusion dinner. Adam Bakun and his wife, Ann, live in Boston. As for Adam Borden, he joined SAGE Dining in March as their marketing director. Their campus dining services may be familiar to many WesStudents, as they work with a number of independent schools like Milton, Choate, and Roxbury Latin. He also was appointed to the board of the National Aquarium, Maryland’s most visited attraction and a leading advocate for aquatic conservation.
Sarah Miller Lipton is living in Los Angeles with her husband and two boys, ages 6 and 4, who are about to start kindergarten and pre-k, respectively. Sarah is a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor with a private practice in Santa Monica. She works with her husband who practices interventional pain management and addiction medicine.
Lauren Berliner was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor at University of Washington Bothell, where she teaches media and communication and cultural studies. She is enjoying a year-long sabbatical and has plans to binge-watch all of the TV she missed. She released two books this year with Routledge: Producing Queer Youth: The Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment, and a co-authored volume (with Ron Krabill) Feminist Interventions in Participatory Media Culture: Pedagogy, Publics, Practice.
Cassie Colletti Mecsery and her husband, Sean, were blessed to welcome baby boy, Westley Stephen Charles Mecsery, on March 24.
Jason Becton | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Elbow | email@example.com
Arshad Chowdhury moved to Hong Kong last August after 20 years in Brooklyn. Asia, where travel is easy and the weather is balmy, has been great so far. He’s investing in early-stage companies throughout the region and, wow, there’s a lot going on. He’s not sure Asia is the best place to be to endure the eco-collapse, though, so they’ll probably return to the States within a few years.
Tom Cleary and his brother have started a new technology dental benefits company, Cirrus Dental, that allows dental offices to offer a subscription dental service at a fraction of the cost of traditional insurance. He and his wife, Morley Silver Cleary ’99, are working on bringing their three children to all 50 states before they apply to Wesleyan (34 down).
Patricia Selcke Grad finally caught up with her good friend Grace Wang Colman ’99 in Princeton, N.J. They hope to get together again in Pawling, N.Y. She reports no major changes since the 20th Reunion last year. She enjoys being a mom, lives on the Upper West Side, and works at Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity fund. She is in her third year as chair of the board of AMIGOS (amigosinternational.org), a nonprofit organization providing summer immersion and gap programs in Latin America.
Josh Rosenblatt published a book, Why We Fight: One Man’s Search for Meaning Inside the Ring, a memoir about his transition from self-proclaimed pacifist to trained mixed-martial-arts fighter.
It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of James Kamm ’92, president of Alpha Delt and Wesleyan employee for 10 years. Jim was previously married to Ellen Struzziero. He leaves two beautiful daughters, Eliza, 13, and Scarlett, 11, residents of Farmington, Conn., and both alumni of the Neighborhood Preschool at Wesleyan. The girls have beautiful memories of the times they spent with their father at Wesleyan.
As for me (Abby), I’ve been following in my grandfather’s stellar tradition, traveling around Alaska in my 1983 VW Westfalia on weekends in between working as a nurse with Alaska Native moms and babies, and getting to have other amazing Alaskan adventures, such as five days helping at a checkpoint for the 2019 Iditarod. And hoping to hear from many more of you as we head into Reunion!
Jason Becton | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Elbow | email@example.com