Joey Wender left Capitol Hill after working there for nearly 13 years and started as director of the Capital Projects Fund at the Department of Treasury, working to ensure all communities have access to high-quality, affordable broadband. Joey also continues to enjoy his frequent conversations with Adam Lachman, who, as a longtime staffer for Senator Angus King, helped create this connectivity program.

Emily Teitsworth recently became the executive director of the Honnold Foundation, supporting community-based solar energy access around the world. She lives in Oakland, California, with her partner, two stepkids, and son Jai, who turned one in January. She’d love for any Wes alums working in renewable energy to reach out!

Bayard Templeton and his wife Alex welcomed their second child, Jamie, to their family on February 4th. Issie (8) is excited to be a big sister.

Alexander Yellen and his wife Kelli McNeil-Yellen have had a busy year, buying their first home in LA and recently wrapping their first feature together, an indie road trip movie called Daruma, starring two lead actors with disabilities in a story that is not about disability.

Tejas Desai reconnected with a few old Wes friends, including Jessica Stewart, who recently moved to NYC from San Francisco, and went to a Mets game with Bayard Templeton. He performed a musical version of his novel, The Run and Hide, in the New York City subway system with Blues Hall of Famer/Tampa Bay Lightning Fiddler Greg Holt, aided by a City Artist Corp grant in partnership with MTA’s Musical under New York Program; the virtual version was broadcast on the Queens Public Library’s Facebook Live platform. His latest book, The Dance Towards Death, won a Pencraft Award for Literary Excellence and was a bronze medalist in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Contest. He completed the first draft of his new book, Bad Americans, fulfilling his New Year’s resolution, at a whopping 300,000 words in length. He’s currently revising it.

I am very sorry to be sharing the sad news that Daniel Moger passed on March 13, 2022, due to complications from COVID-19 and an underlying blood condition. He is survived by his wife Julie and daughter Georgina. Daniel was a former U.S. Treasury Department official and most recently Asia Pacific Sanctions director for Citibank. In Dan’s memory, his family asks to consider gifts to OutRight Action International in support of human rights and dignity of LGBTIQ people everywhere, and Phillips Academy where donations will be directed to supporting disadvantaged students. I extend my sincerest condolences to Daniel’s family and friends.

(Editor’s note: Daniel’s mother, Angela Moger, was the first woman employed in the professional Wesleyan administration (1969) as the University entered co-education. Ms. Moger was also an adjunct professor of French during the several years she was at Wesleyan.)  

CLASS OF 2003 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Michael Lewis and his husband, David Scott, adopted a baby boy, George Scott Lewis, earlier this year. They have enjoyed bonding with him by taking long walks around their neighborhood in Berkeley and a few road trips around California.

     Matt Kushner has been slowly emerging from the cocoon of isolation with Lauren Kushner (Brown ’04) and kids Mimi (6) and Tessa (3.5). Matt has been freelancing at Radical Media as the head of pipeline/CG supervisor on a new immersive theater experience called Illuminarium ( whose first show, Wild, premieres on the Atlanta Beltline in July. He’s also excited to have been a small part of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s ’02 In the Heights, getting to do some visual effects on the film adaptation, now in theaters. Lauren is a staff CG artist at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, where she created 3D and 2D screen content for the renovation of the Gems and Minerals exhibit, which opened in June. Mimi is completing a year of virtual kindergarten, while Tessa is finishing home preschool, and both are excited to attend in-person summer programs and first grade and pre-K in the fall. Matt and family are looking forward to re-engaging in the world, and attending some mini-Wes reunions this summer.

CLASS OF 2003 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Dr. Merissa Blais lives in Old Greenwich, Connecticut with her husband and two kids. She has an orthodontic practice  in Scarsdale, New York, seeing both children and adults.

      Amy and Tom Hodgman are living their best 2020–2021 life stuck inside their home in Evanston, Illinois with their two kids (Quinn, 7 and Sam, 9) and two dogs (Nesta and Frank). Lately Tom has taken to snowblowing not only his own driveway and front walk but also the entire alley and half of the street. He offsets his fossil fuel usage by working at The Nature Conservancy. Amy runs a bustling tutoring business while also monitoring the kids while they remote school and cooking delicious dinners that her children refuse to eat. Both Amy and Tom feel like most of their time is spent either walking their dogs or telling their children to turn their iPads off. On a positive note, there has been a lot of forced family fun time camping, hiking, swimming and skiing in Michigan. Go Cardinals!

     Tim, Jessica, Lius (9), and Josie (7) Harrington are moving from the Bay Area to Ann Arbor, Michigan to be closer to Jessica’s family. Tim continues to practice corporate law at Google and Jessica remains in marketing. Hit them up if you’re in the area!

     Jessica Ely and her husband Will Carter moved to Arlington, Massachusetts last year, and they welcomed their new baby, Carly, on November 7. Back in Boston she’s been running into lots of Wes alums in the area, including Megan Crowe-Rothstein at daycare pickups.

     Jules Jones has been living and writing movies in Poland for the past three years. She’s embarking on her directorial debut, a self-authored psychological horror flick, in winter of 2021 if Pandemia allows. She still plays rock music, although she hasn’t seen her band Pop-up Books in person since March of 2020.

CLASS OF 2003 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Matt Sienkiewicz is an associate professor and chair of the Communication Department at Boston College. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife, Carrie Benedon, his son Leon (four), his daughter Dottie (one), and his mother Faye.

James Burke and his partner Hilary welcomed their third son, Charlie, in May of this year. Older brothers Monroe and George appear to have accepted the newcomer. James runs the Client Success team of a (former) fintech start-up, acquired by Nasdaq earlier this year shortly before the world fell to pieces.

Ben Rhatigan still lives in Barcelona and is heading up a brand strategy agency, and finally got married to his Spanish husband.

Cara Herbitter recently completed a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. They started a postdoctoral research/clinical fellowship at VA Boston Healthcare System focused on the intersection of sexual and gender minority stress, trauma, and substance use. Cara lives in Jamaica Plain with their wife, Xiomara Lorenzo ’05, who is a director on the digital strategy team at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Cara and Xiomara remain grateful for connections to other Wes alum near and far—since everyone is just a Zoom call away.

The third volume of Tejas Desai’s international crime trilogy The Brotherhood Chronicle: The Dance Towards Death, was published on September 16, 2020 and became a #1 Amazon Bestseller on its 

opening day. His short story collection Good Americans (2013) was an Award Finalist in the 2020 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Content in the Fiction-Urban category and has experienced revived interest due to the political situation. During the toughest months of the pandemic in NYC, he was privy to many of its harsh realities since his mother is an essential worker at Elmhurst Hospital Center, the worst hit hospital in Queens. He hopes to use this and other experiences, observations and anecdotes while writing the anthology sequel to Good Americans (The Human Tragedy, Vol. 1), tentatively titled Bad Americans.

Mayuran Tiruchelvam was appointed the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Social Justice Fiction Filmmaking at San Francisco State University. He made the cross-country move in August. In addition to teaching, he supports grassroots social justice movements, with an emphasis on stopping the growth of armed white supremacist groups.

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |

CLASS OF 2003 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Jacob A. Bennett recently earned his PhD in higher education leadership and policy studies from the University of New Hampshire. The next steps are unclear given the uncertainty at most colleges and universities these days, but Jacob and his wife, Charlotte, are happily awaiting the arrival of their third daughter due to join big sisters Eloise (4) and Ruby (2) in September.

George Obulutsa is still going strong in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is working as a journalist for Thomson Reuters News.

Larisa Buck is a hospitalist in San Antonio at UT Health. Her husband, Shannon, is a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in the U.S. Air Force. Last fall, Larisa finally took Shannon to see Wesleyan, which was fun to see after all these years and was a little different than his alma mater—the United States Air Force Academy! The best part of the trip was catching up with great friends and fellow Wesleyan alumni Christopher and Austin Walsh, Rob Mitchell ’06, and Katy and Robbie Botta ’05.

Christopher Walsh and Austin Horne Walsh welcomed a baby girl, Cora Belle Walsh, on May Day! Cora was born on her late grandfather’s birthday, bringing lots of happiness to everyone amidst the pandemic.

Bayard Templeton is finishing his 17th year of teaching, having spent the last 13 years teaching middle school history and health and wellness, as well as coaching at Germantown Academy in the Philadelphia suburbs. He has served as the head advisor for three different classes as they cycle through the middle school. He was featured as part of the cover story in the spring 2020 issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine about utilizing young adult versions of history texts in middle school classrooms.

John Graham and family are weathering pandemic times in Tbilisi, Georgia. The cultural-tourism sector has collapsed in the short term, so John is focused on promoting unique private tour opportunities in the Caucasus and Ethiopia regions beginning in 2021. Meanwhile, he spends more time with two growing kids and with his academic publishing projects.

Ryan Garbalosa was elected as the chief of medicine for Tuomey Hospital in Sumter, S.C.  He was also named the Best Cardiologist in Sumter County for 2020 in the annual Best of Sumter awards hosted by the Sumter Item, recognizing professionals in the area. He continues to serve as the medical director of the cardiac rehabilitation and echocardiography departments at McLeod Clarendon Hospital.

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |

CLASS OF 2003 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Alison Criscitiello, director of the Canadian Ice Core Lab, is leading several multi-disciplinary, multi-national ice coring initiatives, including an upcoming expedition to drill an ice core high on Mount Logan’s summit plateau ( Her daughter, Winter, just turned 1!

In August, Mark Forscher joined Bison Trails, the leading blockchain infrastructure provider, as head of brand and design. The company announced its $25.5 million Series A financing round and is one of the founding members of the Libra Association.

Ryan Garbalosa was named the Best Cardiologist for 2019 in the first annual Best of Clarendon Awards hosted by the county newspaper. The Sumter Item recognizes professionals in Clarendon county. Also, he was selected as one of the Top 20 under 40 young professionals in the Sumter-Clarendon-Lee tri-county area. He serves on the medical executive committee for Tuomey Hospital and as the medical director of the cardiac rehabilitation and echocardiography departments at McLeod Clarendon Hospital.

John Graham has expanded his high-end cultural tourism business to include Ethiopia! While completing his PhD, John has been leading tours in Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey since 2006. Details listed at He would love to have Wes alumni on the tours!

In September, Joey Wender, his wife, Lauren, and their 3-year-old son, Sam, welcomed Abby Wender into the world.

Tejas Desai befriended Zaheed Essack ’05 and Rashida Abuwala ’05 after meeting them at a mutual friend’s wedding in Brooklyn! He also hung out with Brett Carty ’04 for the first time in many years when he helped set up a play date with Ted and Laurie Quinn, Bayard Templeton, and their wonderful children on a trip to Philly! As for his books, in December 2019 The Brotherhood became a #1 bestseller on Amazon in two separate categories and briefly surpassed Crazy Rich Asians and Pachinko on the Asian-American bestseller list. The Brotherhood also won the Pencraft Award in the Fiction-General category and both it and its sequel, The Run and Hide, have continued to garner great reviews. He is going on another Southeast Asia trip in February and working on the final edits for his next book, The Dance Towards Death, scheduled to be released in the fall.

Tim Schwartz’s first book, A Public Service: Whistleblowing, Disclosure and Anonymity, was released by OR Books in January. Thomas Drake, a former NSA executive and whistleblower, described the book as providing “a practical roadmap when making that often life-altering choice of standing up and exposing abuse and misuse of power across all sectors of society.” The goal of this book is to help individuals expose unethical and illegal acts while limiting retaliation.

Stu Sherman was awarded a two-year grant to support his ongoing legal aid work for low-income seniors with diminished capacity. In March he announced his candidacy for the New York City Council in 2021. His district (33) covers north Brooklyn, downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, and the East River waterfront.

Nezia Azmi formalized a “side hustle” and became executive director of Arts Focus Southeast Asia (, a Honolulu-based nonprofit entity that promotes and fosters an appreciation of the arts of Southeast Asia through education, performance, preservation, collaboration, and innovation. She completed her first documentary film showcasing the unique Asian Theatre Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; the film walks through the four-month process of rehearsals and training to produce a professional award-winning theatre production with a primarily student cast and crew and a core team of Balinese guest artists. Her “main hustle” remains as the lead for global engagement at the College of Education on the same campus. She and husband Paul Rausch never get tired of waking up to views Diamond Head and going in to work in beautiful Mānoa Valley every day.

Last October, after four years of development, Jamie Antonisse and his team at Sirvo Studios released their debut mobile game Guildlings on Apple Arcade. Jamie and his family are basking in the warm glow of positive reviews and bathing in a sea of customer support emails. They dream of taking a real vacation someday soon.

On a personal note, on Oct. 26, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Zoe Madeline Gottlieb, to the world. My daughter and I share a birthday!

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |

CLASS OF 2003 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

After nearly a decade running an independent design practice, Mark Forscher joined Bison Trails—a leading blockchain infrastructure provider—as head of design in NYC.

Rachel Morris Bruce and her husband, Samuel Bruce, welcomed their second child in January, Aviva Miriam. Everyone is doing well.

Kirsten Yamaguchi is happily engaged to Jahna Berry and living in the San Francisco Bay area. Kirsten is animating at Pixar Animation Studios.

Alexander Yellen married Kelli McNeil, an LA-based writer with whom he has been sharing adventures for the better part of four years, in a ceremony at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7. Among his groomsmen was fellow PsiU alumnus Matt Pierce. Also celebrating with them were Alex Brown, Jason Sax, Matt Gottlieb ’05, and Chris Connor ’04. Alex and his new bride are hard at work fundraising for their feature film collaboration, Daruma, a dark comedy starring a pair of lead actors with disabilities.

Tejas Desai’s new novel, The Run and Hide, was released on Sept. 16. An article in the Queens Courier praised The Brotherhood Chronicle trilogy as “timely and exciting” and a “must-read” that “will keep you guessing.” He will be on local TV and headlining various reading series in NYC to promote the book. He is also attempting to create a multicultural stories program at the Queens Public Library where he works as a supervising librarian. The third book of the trilogy, The Dance Towards Death, is tentatively scheduled to be released on Sept. 16, 2020.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has recently named Jonathan Selter as senior vice president of strategy and impact. In his role, he will work with the foundation to expand its reach of empowering military and veteran caregivers.

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |

CLASS OF 2003 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Jamie Weiss-Yagoda is living with her family in Tarrytown, N.Y. Her little girls are 6 and nearly 3, and she’s working as a senior policy advisor for the International Rescue Committee.

Jason Pinter and his wife, Dana, welcomed their second daughter, Lyla Sage Pinter, on Nov. 14. Jason signed with literary agent, Amy Tannenbaum, who sold his new novel, The Broken Woman, to Thomas & Mercer/Amazon Publishing, for a January 2020 publication.

Newly minted entrepreneur Raquel Davis launched a weekly newsletter, Interstitial, which focuses on her life as a new business owner and black woman in America. The newsletter offers its readers a curated list of artists, creatives, businesses, and events from/by marginalized individuals and aims to reshape the media landscape for talent that is, at best, overlooked and at worst, completely ignored. Subscribe to the newsletter at and follow her on Instagram @weareinterstitial.

Heather Wieler Harrison lives in Montpelier, Vt., with her partner, Noah, and their 2-year-old son, Luca. She is a sixth-grade teacher and is on a mission to fill her classroom library with equity- and social justice-themed fiction, so please send her titles if you have suggestions.

Sophie Woolston is enjoying life in Seattle. She is busy as an infectious-disease doctor at Virginia Mason Medical Center and raising her 3-year-old twin daughters with her wife, Cait. They love living up the street from Regan Pro and family!

Morgan Stecher and Paul Feder welcomed their daughter, Corinna, in June. Corinna joins big brother Sebastian, 3.

Rikkia Hunter Ben Yehudah of New Haven, Conn., spent a lovely Thanksgiving with Dr. Sherry-Ann Brown while Sherry was taking a break from looking for new doctoring opportunities. Rikkia lives in New Haven with her three children. She’s setting up her private practice as an expressive arts therapist she will have two locations; one in New Haven and one in Waterbury. She works full-time at Turnbridge as a primary therapist for young adults in recovery from mental health and addiction disorders.

John Adler is living in Brooklyn with his wife, Katie, and they are expecting their third child in March. After 14 years in restaurants, John moved to Blue Apron, where he is the vice president of culinary.

John Behlmann still lives in NYC and will be performing on Broadway this spring in the new musical, Tootsie. He attended the wedding of Corina Tennant alongside Will Cushing, Betsy Fippinger, and Andrew Fippinger.

Tejas Desai visited Ted Quinn, Laurie Shaner, and Bayard Templeton last summer near Philadelphia and enjoyed getting to know their wonderful children, Elsie, Issie, and Henry! In September, after a successful GoFundMe campaign, he was able to release the second edition of his first novel, The Brotherhood. He is gearing up to publish The Run and Hide, the second book of The Brotherhood Chronicle Crime Trilogy, in September, and is headed to Thailand to revisit some of its settings in January.

Alexander Yellen completed a five-season run on the Syfy zombie series, Z Nation, by directing the series finale. He is working on a passion project about a dysfunctional family road-trip featuring actors with disabilities, alongside his partner, Kelli McNeil, to whom he recently became engaged.

Aaron Gilary lives in Alexandria and works for the Census Bureau, providing methodological guidance for several surveys related to education. In July, he and his wife, Jennifer Styles, and older daughter, Nora, welcomed a baby girl, Tess Elly Gilary.

Coe Will, hubby Craig, and big brother Owen welcomed Luca Sinclair Hoeksema to the family on May 10. Coe shifted to digital media consulting for Dattner Architects and various related clients in order to also manage the absurd logistics of raising kids in Brooklyn. She maintains perspective and her sense of humor by following other NYC Wes parents on Instagram.

Chris Watters and Jill Green ’02 had a baby! They welcomed little Hyla into the world last May, and now all she wants to do is walk and crawl even though she can’t do either. Jill runs the prop shop at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Chris is working in communications at Ubisoft. They are enjoying life in South Berkeley and spending time with the increasing number of Wes friends living nearby.

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |

CLASS OF 2003 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Lauren Kirchner and Evan Simko-Bednarski ’07 welcomed a son, Emmett Beatty Kirchner-Bednarski, in January. Lauren and Evan are both reporters in New York.

Jesse Soursourian is in post-production for a film about women in Nagorno Karabakh who clear land mines. He is codirecting the short film which will go out to festivals next year.

Tim Harrington is a corporate counsel at Google and begins the Great Divide Mountain Bike Ride in August. His wife, Jessica, has a new position at Gigamon. They have two children, Lius, 6, and Josie, 4.

Kate Reder Sheikh and her husband, Nadeem, welcomed baby Dominic on Oct. 18, 2017. He has already enjoyed hanging out with Ari Wolfe and hopes to meet more of his mom’s Wesleyan friends soon.

2018 marks nine years since Dan Jones left the East Coast for sunny Colorado. He wishes he could’ve made it to the Reunion but feels fortunate that he got to hang out and catch up with Ranae Desouza when she was in Denver last year.

Ryan Garbalosa is settling into his cardiology practice in South Carolina and has served as the president of the county medical society for 2018. He was elected as the chair of the Young Physicians Section of the South Carolina Medical Association. A special trip back to Wes was made with Greg Ferrucci for Reunion and some time was made for a nostalgic drink at Eli Cannon’s downtown with Arnab Bhattasali, Glen Lindeke, and Ayalur Krishnan PhD’05.

After teaching in the music department at Yale for one year, John Graham is back living in Tbilisi, Georgia, and running an academic-cultural travel company that was recently written up in the New York Times travel section. He says, “Please come visit Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey with!”

In personal news, I married David Gottlieb on Dec. 16 at one of our favorite Manhattan restaurants, Lafayette. The Class of ’03 was well-represented by: Margaret Haglund, Leslie Burns, Annie Shaw, and Pauline Wyrembak.

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |