It’s reunion time! Can’t believe it’s been 20 years since we graduated. Just like college was a blink of an eye, so was the last 20 years (well . . . maybe not the last two during COVID). Looking forward to seeing you all in May on campus! Onto the notes:
Felicity Kohn was elevated to counsel at the law firm of Pryor Cashman in New York. She is in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Media + Entertainment practice group, where she handles a wide range of intellectual property and complex commercial matters. Felicity was named “One to Watch” in Intellectual Property Law by Best Lawyers in America (2021–22) and “Women in the Law: One to Watch” by Best Lawyers in America (2021).
Sallomé Hralima is partner in a New York–based archiving and media company. With Umi NiiLampti ’99, she cowrote Through the Wire, a short film about a young West African college student on the verge of making it in the music industry. In 2017, Sallomé returned to WesU to teach a course at the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship and received the Edgar Beckham Alumni Achievement Award. In 2018, she delivered a TEDxWesleyan talk, “Workplaces Suffocate Human Potential” in which she referenced Bozoma Saint John ’99. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters, Dream and Legacy.
Angie Schiavoni recently started Montessori Public Works, an organization dedicated to bringing the first Montessori classrooms to public schools across New Jersey. This proud Wisconsinite (who drove her minivan to Wes full of Wisconsin beer, bratwurst, and cheese one year) still can’t believe she settled on the Jersey Shore, and thinks it must be because of the subconscious brainwashing of college roommates Alena Fiorentino (née Weller) and Cara Summit (née Smith).
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Debra Granik is set to direct a feature adaptation of Una LaMarche’s YA novel Like No Other. She and Anne Rosellini of Still Rolling Productions optioned the book, in partnership with Mad Dog Film’s Alix Madigan. Published in 2015 by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, Like No Other is billed as a contemporary take on West Side Story. It watches as the unlikely paths of a Hasidic girl and a secular boy meet on Eastern Parkway and blossom into a forbidden romance.
Ryan Akers is a stay-at-home dad. His daughter, Isadora Eleanor Akers, was born last June.
Jenny He is the exhibitions curator for the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Ben Allen has completed five years now as technical advisor for Microfinance Research and Learning at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, Maryland. Since 2020, Ben has coordinated surveys in Africa and Latin America to learn how the informal savings and lending groups trained there have fared during the pandemic. Ben has also been moonlighting as an economics instructor at Loyola University–Maryland in 2020–21 and Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) this spring. His eldest daughter, Livia, is two and started preschool in December; and his youngest daughter, Norah, turned one in February.
After spending two years in Seoul, Korea, building the global security function for Coupang Inc., Eric Donelan moved back to the U.S. to be closer to family. He recently joined eBay as the senior director for Global Security and Resiliency based in the San Jose area.
Ernest Hartner is living in Miami with wife Raquel and three kids. He plans to stay in a dorm room with Nick Bazos at reunion.
Rachael Slivka and husband Joel had a baby boy, Dov, in August. Big brother Ori is excited to have a new friend.
As for myself (Justin Lacob), after spending a year during the pandemic in Vancouver with my wife Melanie and two daughters (Scarlett, now 7 and Juliette, now 4), we returned to Los Angeles in July 2021. Still working at documentary studio XTR, I recently produced the Oscar-nominated feature documentary Ascension; They Call Me Magic, a four-part documentary series on AppleTV+ about Magic Johnson; Butterfly in the Sky, a documentary about the impact of Reading Rainbow and LeVar Burton; The Territory, a Nat Geo film that premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival about an indigenous-led land defense against illegal loggers and nonnative farmers in the Amazon rainforest (edited by Carlos Rojas); art-heist documentary The Thief Collector (which premiered at SXSW); The Hobby, a documentary about the recent trading card boom; and about 15 other documentary features and series. I also am the cofounder and head of Documentary+, an ad-supported streaming platform (www.docplus.com) for passionate nonfiction fans.
See everyone on campus soon!