CLASS OF 2009 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

Hi ’09er’s! Below are a few updated on your classmates.

Chris Mixon was married in Dallas, Texas, in October and had Steve Rebh, Pearce Talbot, Alex Segal, and Carl Maloni keeping him in check.

Max Krafft married his long-time partner, Thomas Zemp (Brown University ’05), in October. Their wedding was officiated by their good friend, Bess Thaler ’04, and several other Wesleyan friends joined in their summer camp-themed ceremony, including Sam Fentress ’04, Dan Stillman ’04, Christopher McDonald ’06, Allison Hughes ’06, Tristan Chirico ’06, Jeffrey Rovinelli ’10, Ben Morse ’04, Ben Abrams ’03, Abraham Lateiner ’04, and Ethan Butler ’04. They currently live in Guadalajara, Mexico, where Max is on a diplomatic assignment with the Foreign Service. His next assignment—to the U.S. Embassy in Oslo—begins this fall.

Andrew Dermont's wedding
The wedding of Andrew Dermont ’09 and Elizabeth Wolff ’06

Emily Reisner is the new program director for school-based programs at Aspiranet, a nonprofit providing family and child services in the Bay Area. She oversees Mouse California, a Web-based technology platform that encourages students from underserved areas to access technology careers, and Experience Corps Bay Area, a literacy program in partnership with AARP, that recruits retired adults to volunteer as reading tutors.

Andrew Dermont married Elizabeth Wolff ’06 on Sept. 10. Many Wesleyan alumni were in attendance, including Rachel Seebacher ’06, Liberty Thomas McAteer ’06, Alexis Krisel ’10, Mufaro Dube ’08, Saul Carlin ’09, Emily Frost ’06, Nick Bullard ’06, Derek Silverman ’09, Catherine Kast ’09, Reid Jewett ’11, Merrill Frew ’07, Gianna Sobol ’06, and Shaine Truscott ’06. For a picture of the festivities, visit

Jodie Rubenstein reports that she got engaged this past year and will be getting married in September. She and her fiancé, Alex Whitaker, are moving to Denver, Colo., in May, where Jodie will continue her job as regional director at J Street.

Finally, Ally (Heaney) Lamson had a baby, Harriet, on July 3, and is working as a divorce attorney in New Jersey. Ally is going to be the maid of honor in Jodie Rubenstein’s wedding!

Thanks for the updates and please keep them coming!

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2009 | 2016 | ISSUE 3

Hi, Class of 2009! So much news to report this time around. Below are some of the latest and greatest updates from your fellow classmates.

Wesleyan tennis superstars Matthew O’Connell (aka OC, aka Cash Money, aka Oye Tiooo) and Ania Preneta were married in Newport, R.I., on July 9. Many members of the Wesleyan community were in attendance including Casey Simchik ’10, Anika Fischer ’10, Alex Sirois, Matt Schaff ’11, Michael Frank ’08, Jaafar Rizvi, Graham Immerman, Alejandro Alvarado, Vincent Colangelo, Aaron Truchil, Lauren Cruz, Micki Stager Black, and Kwabea Osae-Kwapong.

Eugene “Geno” Wong and Caitlyn McCann were joined by many Wesleyan alumni as they got married at Memorial Chapel on Aug. 20. Applause is in order for their epic wedding hashtag #McCantgoWong.

Andrew Dermont married Elizabeth Wolff ’06 on Sept.10.

Daphne Schmon writes, “I moved to London and am directing a narrative short called All of Me. Through my company, Seek Films, I have also been filming promotional content in the Greek Islands. I am heading back to Mykonos in late October to film for a boutique hotel.”

Shane Heckstall reports, “My book titled Did You Create a Monster? is available on Amazon. This book focuses on the black-white achievement gap in higher education. This issue is unique for minorities going off to college. Even minorities who went through college can benefit from the scholarship of the book. I’m fortunate enough that my book is going to be used in a college class for teacher education. Also, I wrote an epic children’s book that doubles as a coloring book called The Romance of Lala, also available on Amazon. And lastly, I wrote a screenplay. If you are in a position to review my screenplay please reach out to me at We all know by now that Wesleyan is deep into Hollywood, so don’t be shy.”

Jodie Rubenstein is engaged and will be getting married next September. Jodie and her fiancé, Alex, live in Logan Circle in D.C., and Jodie is beginning her second year as regional director at J Street, and her fourth year with the organization.

Asia Neupane writes, “Kevin ’08 and I are delighted to announce the birth of our son, Kieran Emerson Kromash. Born June 9—making him the Class of 2038 for when he continues the tradition of attending Wesleyan! He is an absolute joy and we look forward to introducing him to ,many of you soon enough!”

Sophie Reagan writes, “I’m living in D.C. My husband and I adopted a dog, which is not, as I’d previously assumed, just like having a large cat/house plant. Willie had a pretty rough puppy-hood, but I think he’s loving life with us in Georgetown. I’m working at Deloitte as a senior consultant in the federal human capital practice, primarily in the national security sector. Not at all what I saw for myself back in 2009 as an English major at Wes, but it’s been really great. I also had the pleasure of traveling to Greece with Jodie Rubenstein and Sophia Dumaine for the incredibly beautiful wedding of our dear friend, Emily Dine. The wedding was divine, and so was the feta.”

Annie Paladino and Eric LaMotte were married on June 11 in Washington’s Olympic National Park, a couple of months after celebrating 13 years together. Their ceremony was officiated by Gedney Barclay, with a reading by Miriam Krent, a reception emceed by Adam Black, hair/makeup/flowers/staging by Second Stage alumni, and many other classmates making the trek out to beautiful Washington State.

Rachel Berkowitz writes, “I’m living in Boston, where I completed my residency in ocular disease at the Boston VA. I am now an optometrist at the Lynn Community Health Center and a clinical assistant professor at the New England College of Optometry.”

Arthur Nazarian graduated with his MBA from Cornell and moved from the East Coast to Seattle with his girlfriend, Catherine Walsh, to work as a strategy consultant at Grant Thornton. He has enjoyed recent encounters with Wesleyan friends, including Silver Kim, Dustin Brockner, Wesleyan still-newlyweds Eric Weiskott and Sofia Warner, Paawan Punjabi, and Jermaine Lewis, who all helped him settle into his new home. While continuing to wait for his West Elm furniture delivery and to hit the jackpot, he is devising plans to move to the south of France to live on a diet of wine and homemade sourdough bread. It is unclear which event will happen first.

Nina Gonzalez-Sisson started a business, Dyer & Sparks, creating hand-painted textiles, clothing, and accessories. Find her online at and

And last, but not least, Brittany Delany reports: “I am enjoying life and creative work in the Coachella Valley and desert region. It’s been fun to link up with Wesleyan alumna dancer and choreographer, Sue Roginski ’87, and participate in her programming.”

Thanks for all of your notes!

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2009 | 2016 | ISSUE 2

Greetings class of 2009! We have some exciting updates from our classmates!

Brian Studwell graduated with a master of human-computer interaction and design from the University of Washington and jumped down the coast to work at Ravel Law, a Bay Area startup building tools for legal research. Having spent several years in the Pacific Northwest and originally hailing from New York, he has yet to come to grips with Californians’ general cheerfulness.

Aviva Tevah just graduated with an MPA from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, and is working for the City of Philadelphia, coordinating the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, which brings stakeholders together to share information and resources and develop city-wide systems solutions to reduce recidivism. Aviva is hoping to see a lot more of Elana Baurer now that she is done with school!

Katie Shelly and Jean Willoughby ’08 write in with exciting news of their forthcoming book from Chronicle Books, due out in bookstores later this year (but is already available for pre-order online). Titled Nature’s Remedies: An Illustrated Guide to Healing Herbs, the book was written by Jean, who has studied and grown medicinal plants for several years, and illustrated by Katie, whose previous book, Picture Cook, is an eclectic cookbook whose recipes are explained with pictures instead of words.

In the meantime, Katie will complete her MA in experience design at Hyper Island in the UK this summer. She’s planning her next career adventure in design thinking and innovation consulting. Jean has worked for the past four years at the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) as a project director and was recently promoted to communications manager. She looks forward to finishing up an advanced herbal medicine program at the Herbal Academy of New England, premiering a new documentary film that she is co-producing called Under Contract, and growing lots of medicinal and culinary herbs in her garden this year.

Seth Halpern recently founded, an angel-backed HealthTech venture developing mHealth solutions like chatbots for medicine.

Brittany Delany is enjoying desert life in Greater Palm Springs, and working in the arts and culture sector: “Excited to be continuing dance collaborations this summer and fall with Sarah Ashkin ’11Samantha ShermanAaron Freedman ’10Khalia Frazier ’07Chelsea Smith ’07, and Allison Hurd ’11.”

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2009 | 2016 | ISSUE 1

Having finished her four-year teaching-writing MFA stint in Iowa City, Sara Deniz Akant is now bouncing around Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Her first full-length book of poems, Babette, was selected by Maggie Nelson ’94 and published this past November by Rescue Press. She is also the author of Parades (Omnidawn, 2014), and Latronic Strag (Persistent Editions, 2015). Sara recently returned from a residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and continues to pursue a PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. After teaching poetry and writing at the University of Iowa and Baruch College, she’s looking forward to teaching at Medgar Evers next fall.

Mike Repplier is an editorial producer at ABC’s 20/20, where he develops stories of national and cultural importance into hour-long shows. One of his key responsibilities is to secure highly competitive exclusive interviews for the network. Right now, Mike is preparing to embed in upstate New York for a murder trial and is stocking up on hand warmers, as the daytime temperature there often averages below minus-15°F.

Finally, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen Reagan is living in D.C. with her husband and she’s about to finish her MBA at Georgetown. This fall she’ll start as a senior consultant with Deloitte’s federal practice.

Thanks to those who sent in notes; let’s keep them coming!

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2009 | 2015 | ISSUE 3

Hello, class of 2009! I hope everyone is enjoying the fall season. Below are some quick updates on your fellow classmates:

Brittany Delany recently moved back to California to take a full-time position at the La Quinta Arts Foundation. She writes, “It was so lovely to connect with Leslie Prado ’08 in Washington D.C. in September. [I’m] currently making plans to visit Sarah Ashkin ’11 in Santa Fe for continuing dance and choreography projects. If any Wes alums are in the Palm Springs area, reach out!”

Megan Vees reports that she just started her first year at Harvard Law.

In September, Eric Weiskott and Sofia Warner got married at Sofia’s parents’ home in Brookline, Mass. Many ’09 alumni attended.

Matt Nevin and Melanie Nelson were married on Sept. 12 in Canterbury, N.H. The wedding was officiated by the lovely LaShawn Springer ’08. There were many Wesleyan alumni in attendance including Maddie Sage-Ee, Aaliya Zaveri, Ben Brewer, Harold Flores, Jamil Alexis ’10, Noel Flores ’10 and Michael Nelson ’12, who were all in the bridal party. Mel and Matt live in Boston. Matt is wrapping up his MBA at Northeastern this fall and Melanie is working as a commercial litigation associate at Nixon Peabody LLP.

Finally, Jacob Milstein released his 2015 album, As Free As Wanting Anything.

Thanks to those who sent in notes. Let’s keep them coming!

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2009 | 2015 | ISSUE 2

Your fellow classmates have been busy earning degrees, publishing works, traveling, and getting married—read below for more details!

Kwabea Osae-Kwapong just received her MBA from Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business.

Rachel Berkowitz graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in May. In July, she will begin a one-year optometry residency at the Boston VA healthcare system in Brockton, Mass. She is sad to leave Chicago, but is looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and Wes alum in Boston!

For the last three years, Jake Abrahamson has been writing and editing for Sierra, the magazine of the Sierra Club. His piece on solar power in rural India will appear in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015, to be released in October.

Seth Halpern graduated with honors from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He purchased a condo near Dupont Circle and is now working in new product development at Privia Health.

Laura Masulis moved and took a new position at MassDevelopment working on the downtown revitalization of Springfield, Mass.

Sara Deniz Akant’s first book of poems, Parades, was published by Omnidawn in Oct. 2014, and a full-length collection, Babette, is forthcoming from Rescue Press this November. She’s also the author of chapbook titled Latronic Strag, published by Persistent Editions in April 2015. She mostly lives in New York and plans to begin a PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center this fall.

Mike Repplier is a booking producer at ABC News, securing competitive interviews for Good Morning America and digital platforms. He recently traveled to Germany to cover the German wings plane disaster. Last November, he ran his first NYC marathon and is currently deciding whether to train for this year’s race… or if the summer would be better spent drinking sangria on the beach.”

Daphne Schmon finished directing a feature documentary called Down to Earth, which follows Venezuelan Ernesto Gainza on his journey to achieve a Guinness World Record for skydiving with the smallest and fastest parachute in history. Trailer available here:

Keiko Hamano writes, “I am in my second year of practicing as a certified massage therapist. After receiving my initial training I went on to complete an additional course in neuromuscular massage therapy. My education and experience in massage has exposed me to a whole new world of health care practices. This has sparked my interest in complementary and alternative medicine, especially chiropractic and acupuncture. I have been accepted into the doctor of chiropractic program at the Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier, Calif., and I’m starting courses in September. I’m also hoping to complete a masters’ of acupuncture and oriental medicine as well. I am passionate about providing holistic health care options to people suffering from pain or disease. I believe in the power of these fields on their own, but feel the best way for me to serve others is through a multi-disciplinary practice. Looking forward to taking the next step on my journey of helping others through health and wellness!”

Megan Nash and Charlie Kurose ’10 were married on June 6 in Chicago. They were thrilled to celebrate with so many of their Wesleyan classmates: Chris GoyGraham ImmermanCatherine Kast StickneyErik UnderwoodJenny Ajl ’10Abby Blake ’10Dan Charness ’10Chris Foley ’10Matt Nestler ’10Jamie Pesuit ’10Rachel Schwerin ’10D Williams ’10Julia Heffelfinger ’11Zoe Jick ’11Rick Maynard ’11, and Sophie Sadinsky ’11.

Finally, Paul Edwards will be going to Germany with a grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service) for his dissertation on the reception of jazz culture in interwar Germany.

Thanks to those who submitted notes. Please keep them coming in!

CLASS OF 2009 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Hi, everyone! After a grueling winter, your fellow classmates have been eager to share their latest and greatest news. Hope you enjoy!

After several months of training in DC, Max Krafft is heading off to begin his new career as a diplomat in the Foreign Service with an assignment to the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. He’s looking forward to hosting some visitors during his next two years abroad, and is eager to find out where the State Department will send him next.

Lisa Zweigenhaft and Adam Kirk are getting married on June 20, 2015, in New York. Jennifer Bianculli ’07, Amanda Facelle, Yuri Hoshino, Katie Bofshever, Hailey Sarage, Russ Follansbee, Terence Malangone, Nick Hayes, Jason Ben-Eliyahu, and Field Yates will be in the wedding party.

Matt Patterson writes, “In December I left my job of four years and started traveling in Southeast Asia. I had been running a young craft brewery in San Diego and one of the highlights of these months on the road will be working on a New Zealand hop farm for harvest this March. I will be back in the U.S. visiting friends and figuring out relocation by late summer. See you then!

Tyler Chapin wed Lauren Scheese on Sept. 12, 2014, in Philadelphia. Tyler’s groomsmen included Grayson Connors ’08, Louis Gabel ’08, and Baker Woods. The four lived together in Lowrise E2 in ’06-’07, after meeting on Nic 7 third floor the year prior. Tyler met his wife in Hawaii while vacationing with Grayson during August of ’07. The wedding was a great celebration with food, fun, and plenty of dancing late into the evening.

Aviva Tevah is in Philadelphia at UPenn, getting an MPA at the Fels Institute of Government. This semester she’s a policy intern at the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, an agency responsible for organizing and implementing a coordinated approach to reducing poverty in the city.

Jeremy Finch lives in Somerville, Mass., with Stephanie Fungsang ’08. He’s excited to be attending MIT’s Sloan School of Management in the fall.

Jess Eliot Myhre has been exploring intersections of different kinds of American roots music, working full-time as a clarinetist, vocalist, and bassist in DC. She fronts and manages a band, Bumper Jacksons, which will be releasing a new record this summer, Too Big World: An Adventure Story. (You know you went to a liberal arts college when your albums contain colons, eh?)

This January Joe Newman moved to SF with his wife, Allie. He’s a privacy and consumer protection attorney at Electronic Arts, which has been great so far! “Looking forward to meeting up with all my Wes friends in the Bay Area!”

Tressa Eaton is living and writing in Tel Aviv. Drop her a note if you are in the area!

Mike Repplier produces digital video and live streams for ABC News. He also hosts an ABC News/YouTube series focusing on viral content. He ran the New York City Marathon in Nov. 2014, finishing in 3:14:44. He plans to begin training for this year’s marathon… maybe next week.

Graham Immerman is the co-owner and CMO of Olive Natural Beauty, a 100-percent organic skin care line that focuses on the amazing anti-aging benefits of extra virgin olive oil. Learn more about his company on the class notes website!

Anastasia Chiu finished her MS in library and information science in May 2014 and is on the hunt for academic library jobs and residencies. She enjoys the occasional crafting hangout with Annina DeLeo and Linda Shum, and would love to catch up with other Wes folk in the area.

Brittany Delany is living in southern Arizona with her boyfriend and working as a grant writer. In the upcoming months, she will be involved in dance projects in Santa Fe, N.M., with Wesleyan associate professor of dance Pedro Alejandro and Sarah Ashkin ’11. She had a blast connecting with Ginna Curry for a visit in Phoenix.

Saul Carlin heads business strategy for Medium’s publications platform, which helps media startups acquire funding, reach sustainability, and maximize their impact in the world. Life in San Francisco as a coffee sipping, cocktail mixing, vinyl listening, road biking tech yuppie treats him well.

Ari King writes, “I’m exceptionally honored and pleased to announce the third season of Off Campus, an online community and podcast based out of Brooklyn. Off Campus offers interviews, stories, and advice about life in college, getting a job in the ‘real world,’ and how to have a career.” More information about Season 3 can be found on the class notes website!

Alan Ashenfelter is assistant director of admissions at The Rivers School in Weston, Mass., and founded Standout Recruiting Consultants. They provide college counseling and guidance services for student athletes going through the college recruiting process: .

Grace Petersen has been living in London for the past year working on business development for Google Glass. She has been learning to appreciate cask-pulled ales, or at least trying to, and using weekends to explore Europe farther afield.

And Shane E. Heckstall writes, “Hi. I finished a book titled, Did You Create a Monster? Available on Amazon starting June 1, 2015, this book is a keen way of ‘looking back to move forward.’ All material personally written and researched by me in a way to answer questions about African-American identity in higher ed and their success. This book comes from within and it makes an easy summer read, a good source of college-level coursework, a gift for a college-bound minority student or a thought-provoking book for educators across the board. If you know me, support me. Remember: June 1, 2015. Did You Create a Monster?! Help me reach 500 books sold and reach out to me on LinkedIn. Thanks.”

Graham Immerman:

Olive Natural Beauty is a 100% natural and organic skin care line that focuses on the amazing anti-aging benefits of extra virgin olive oil. The company was founded by CEO and President Jessica Dupuis (Emerson ’10) in 2009, and is co-owned by Chief Marketing Officer Graham Immerman (Wesleyan ’09).

Olive currently offer 15 piece product line of lip balms, bar soaps, salves and are launching a body lotion and facial skin care line in retailers this month. Olive currently hand-make and manufacture all of their products in the Olive Natural Beauty headquarters & manufacturing facility in Easthampton MA.  We have 25 retailers in 6 states, as well as Canada, and are expanding rapidly. We’ve sold over 130,000 units to date and have some very exciting partnership opportunities lined up for 2015 including:

-Working with Ipsy (the largest cosmetic sampling program in the world)

-Accepted into the Springfield Valley Venture Mentoring Program Spring 2013

-In January, we were accepted into and are currently participating in the the Mass Mutual/Valley Venture Mentors Business Accelerator Program in Springfield, Ma where we work with industry professionals and compete for $250,000 in grants.

Our products contain no parabens, no pesticides, no chemicals, no synthetics or synthetic colors, no sulfates, no silicones, and no genetically modified ingredients. Also, we never use animal tested ingredients, only use recyclable packaging, and support fair-trade. For instance, our Good Trade organic cocoa butter and organic shea butter are fairly traded through the African Fair Trade Council, who’s profits support the empowerment of women in Africa.

Ari King:

I’m exceptionally honored and pleased to announce the third season of Off Campus-an online community and podcast-based out of Brooklyn, NY. Off Campus offers interviews, stories, and advice about life in college, getting a job in the “real world”, and how to have a career.

Season 3 episodes of Off Campus will feature:

Margaret Sullivan-Public Editor of The New York Times, Malik Yoba-Actor on FOX hit show Empire, Kristen Kish, Top Chef Season 10 Winner, Jen Messier & Jonathan Soma- Co-Founders of the Brooklyn Brainery, Ian Harnarine-NYU Tisch Professor, Taylor Pemberton-Creative Director of  Pemberton , Nicholas Woo-Academic Director of Highbridge Voices, Kris Hayes, Proprietor of Easy Plateau Productions.

There has been no marketing budget for the show and I quit my full-time real estate job in Manhattan because I believe in the people and I believe in our mission. We are raising money for Season 4 through kickstarter! Please consider donating to the show so we can hire interns, editors, producers, do more interviews and take Off Campus to the next level. To listen to interviews and learn more, please go to

To access Season 1 & 2, you may listen through iTunes and to read highlights and bio’s of each episode, please visit

Thanks to everyone who sent in notes and please keep them coming!

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2009 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

Let’s welcome the fall/winter season with some new updates from your fellow classmates!

George Bennum is living in Cambridge, Mass. He works for Bjönd, a healthcare start-up co-founded by Dave Blauer ’84 and Ben Flynn ’03. Their first application, called BjöndHealth, invents and automates hyper-personalized workflows that clinicians, social workers, and family members execute collaboratively to intervene with patient’s suffering complex diseases and conditions. George mentions seeing Conor Veeneman and Adam Nikolich around town a lot.

Seth Halpern has been promoted to strategic consultant at The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C. In his new role, Seth will deliver actionable insights and advise a large cohort of several hundred of Advisory’s member health systems across the United States. Seth is in his third and final year at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business (evening program) and will earn his MBA in May.

Anthony Marsella is in his sixth year coaching college football. He coached at Wes in the 2009 season, then worked at Mount Ida College for a year. He is now in his fourth year at Middlebury College coaching running backs, tight ends, and coordinating the special teams.

Sophie Regan (formerly Sophie Pollitt-Cohen) is living in Washington, D.C., and pursuing her MBA at Georgetown University. Sophie got married this summer with some help from two wonderful Wesleyan bridesmaids—Emily Dine and Jodie Rubenstein.

Tess Smagorinsky and Tim Horgan-Kobelski got hitched outside of Boulder, Colo., amongst mountains and margaritas in late June. Among the wedding party (moral support, y’all!) were Barry Finder, Robbie Rindlaub, Liz Demakos, and Liana Hernandez, with many other Wes alumni on the attendee list. Tess and Tim continue to live in Oakland, Calif., where Tim is attending law school at UC, Berkeley, Tess works in HR for Zenefits, and their dog, Huck, spends his days pondering existential questions and eating things from under the couch.

Heather Sheriff just started her graduate studies at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, to become a certified nurse midwife/women’s health nurse practitioner.

On Aug. 3, 2014, Samantha Hurley Doucet and Hannah Barber Doucet were married in a ceremony at Dream Away Lodge in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Attendees included Lesley Chapman, Lily Bushman-Copp ’10, Adrienne Russman ’10, E. Evnen ’10, Katherine Nilson ’11, Mattie Liskow ’11, and Nina Terebessy ’11. Upon returning from their honeymoon in Belize, Hannah began her third year of medical school at SUNY Downstate and Samantha took on a new position with St. Nicks Alliance, a community nonprofit, where she will put to use her graduate degrees in education and social work. The two reside in Brooklyn, with their dog, Olive, and two cats.

Sara Deniz Akant received an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in May 2012. She won a chapbook contest for her manuscript Parades, which will be out from Omnidawn Publishing on October 7th. Her first full-length book manuscript was selected for Rescue Press’s Black Box Poetry contest, and will be published in fall 2015. She also has a chapbook coming out titled Latronic Strag (Persistent Editions). She just moved back to New York and teaches composition/writing at CUNY Baruch.

Shane E. Heckstall writes, “Whats up? I’m doing well. Please buy a copy of my book titled The Romance of LaLa available on Amazon. Stay tuned for my next book scheduled for a 2014 December release titled Did You Create a Monster?, which looks at African-American identity in higher education… much more dense, intriguing, research-based, and contemplative. Find me on LinkedIn.”

Thom Sisson and Nina Gonzalez were married on Sept. 15th in Brooklyn, where they live. Thom is also a graduate of NYU Law and has been working as an attorney since 2012. Nina is an MIM graduate of Instituto de Empresa in Madrid and works in nonprofit management.

For the New Orleans’ Art Biennial Prospect 3, Wesleyan grads and artists Silvie Deutsch and Kira Akerman ’10 have collaborated to create Intimate Immensity, an immersive, site-specific art installation. Using a cloud tank (a hands-on SFX technique) and the centuries-old process of paper marbling, stop-motion animations are projected onto a ceiling: the small-scale process becomes gigantic. An organic interaction between pure water and spray paint reveals a push-and-pull relationship—two substances making room for each other on a finite surface. The piece opened Oct. 25th.

Arthur Nazarian has started his first year of his two-year MBA program at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management alongside Arran Bardige ’10, who joins him in the same class, and Alison Kung, who is a second-year in the program. He is enjoying the unusually pleasant warm weather this autumn as he studies accounting, marketing, and economics—all very exciting fields of study that are unfortunately lacking that intellectual Wesleyan flair.

Jon Short spent three years as a special education teacher, earning a master’s in education, and is now in his third year as an instructional coach, working to bring under-performing K-8 Phoenix, Ariz., schools into high-achieving status. He dedicates most of his free time to working as the vice-chair for the Board of Grand Canyon Performing Arts, Arizona’s oldest and largest LGBTQ arts organization.

Paul Boulat and Michelle Brown are roommates once again, now living in Astoria. Paul is continuing his work with Vermont-based luxury textile company ANICHINI and recently started an MBA at NYU’s Langone program. Michelle completed her master’s degree in art history from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts in 2012 and currently works in the editorial department at Sotheby’s.

Alicia Garrison writes: “I have been working on mosaic murals in Philadelphia. The first mosaic is for Maplewood Mall, a small area in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia that is undergoing a long-term beautification and revitalization program. It is a 5 x 6-foot mural, due to be installed this fall. I worked with wonderful students at Germantown Friends School and the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in creating this image. The mural with the two children reading and sitting back to back in the sunset is the first mural I had the pleasure of designing and creating all myself. It was for Belmont Charter School, an elementary/middle school in West Philadelphia. I was given two words for the theme: ‘Youth Empowerment.’ My goal was to create an image that represented a safe haven for youth, education, growth, and knowledge. The design was loosely based on a piece of work I actually made when I was in middle school.” See the photos of Alicia’s work on our Class Notes website.

Thanks to everyone who sent in notes. Please keep them coming!

Alejandro Alvarado |


TOAN VU TRAN, a video blogger based in Hanoi, Vietnam, died July 23, 2014. He was 27. Known as Toan Shinoda to his followers, he returned to live and work in Vietnam after graduation from Wesleyan. His humorous video blogs covered various topics of modern social issues, and he was also know for music videos in which he sang, rapped, and covered famous bands. Fluent in English, he also posted videos on how to learn English effectively. His parents and family survive.

CLASS OF 2009 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Your fellow ’09ers have been staying busy—below is a glimpse into some of the exciting things your peers have been up to…

Jake Abrahamson writes and edits stories for Sierra magazine. He recently covered Trevor Thomas, a blind long-distance backpacker, and a group of unlikely environmentalists in Missouri’s Ozarks.

Alex Segal is living in Los Angeles, where he and business partner Riley Rea opened furniture company, Croft House. It is now in its 3rd year! Croft House furniture is handmade in LA primarily with reclaimed and sustainable materials.

After living for a year in Kabul, Alex Footman opted to move to Berlin, which offers more public transportation options and slightly less kebab. Alex has connected with some Wes alumni but would be glad to see more of you!

This May, Eric Weiskott graduated from Yale with a PhD in English Language and Literature and moved to Brookline, Mass. In September, he will take up a position as assistant professor of English at Boston College.

Hollie Matlin is a current third year medical student at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She is engaged to Ross Littauer, a Swattie she met at the post baccalaureate premedical program at Bryn Mawr College. Their wedding date is the ultimate Pi Day, 3.14.15!

Saul Carlin is joining Medium, a new online publishing platform created by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, after receiving his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. As one of the first members of Medium’s business team, he’ll be working to help people and organizations share stories and ideas that inspire change.

Justin LaSelva has been doing IT work at UT Austin for about three years now and co-hosts a radio show called This Great White North, which airs every Friday on KOOP, America’s only radio cooperative. In December, he and his girlfriend, Katie, made the trek from Austin back to his native Massachusetts and also spent a night in Middletown exploring the campus, the river, Wadsworth Falls, and (of course) enjoying Klekolo and O’Rourke’s. When he’s not working or in the studio, he’s partaking in Austin’s incredible live music scene and eating large amounts of food.

Elana Baurer graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2013. She passed both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars and is working at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia as an immigration and employment attorney. Elana is also in the process of launching a juvenile justice focused nonprofit organization that will serve system-involved youth in facilitating their reenrollment back into school when they return home from juvenile detention facility placements.

Sophie Pollitt-Cohen is living in Washington, D.C., where she stays cultured by going to book club with Jodie Rubenstein. Sophie is getting married this summer and then starting Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business this fall.

Still in north Idaho, Oriana Korol is writing for Sandpoint Magazine and guiding nature connection trips through Rewild Institute, a nonprofit that she and her partner, Mike Kopf, began. Visits from Maggie Starr ’06 and Jey Ehrenhalt have been great!

Laurenellen McCann recently organized D.C.’s first ever Dino Co-op, which collaboratively purchased and stewards the use of a Kickstarter-custom-made, 13-ft-tall velociraptor costume. (Look for pictures this fall.) The #DCDino Co-op is sort of connected to Laurenellen’s new gig as a civic innovation fellow at the Open Technology Institute (part of the New America Foundation), but not really. In other news: Laurenellen and her partner, Karl Grindal, proposed to each other in March and plan to get married in 2015. (Yes, the dinosaur will be part of the wedding party.)

Brittany Delany is moving to Santa Fe in early summer 2014. She looks forward to dance collaborations with Sarah Ashkin ’11 and to continuing work in fundraising and development for nonprofit organizations.

Keiko Hamano is now a certified massage therapist in California. She will graduate from the National Holistic Institute in early July. In addition to building her private practice, she has also been hired at a local spa. Keiko volunteers her services at a homeless youth clinic and at various sporting events throughout the Bay Area. She is also progressing through the post-bac program at UC, Berkeley, Extension in preparation for graduate school in physical therapy.

After five great years in D.C., Abby Rosenstein is moving to Philadelphia to study at Penn to become a nurse and family nurse practitioner.

Laura D’Iorio, Becca Freed, Tyler Snell, Jade Scott, and Tanya Moss united to recreate happy Foss Hill memories at San Francisco’s Dolores Park in March. The afternoon rekindled Wesleyan friendships and featured a visit by Tyler’s adorable Labradoodle, Scooter.

Additionally, Laura D’Iorio, Becca Freed, and J.Z. Golden ’08 took the city of Philadelphia by storm in December. The trio took in a victorious Eagles win and tailgate, noshed on Philly’s finest cheese steaks ’wit, and stole the show at a renowned karaoke bar.

Please see photos on the Class Notes website.

Thanks again for all your updates!

Alejandro Alvarado |