Exciting updates below from the Class of 2013. Thanks to all of you who contributed!

Vivianne and Benjamin Swerdlow (né Abravanel) moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Lebanon, New Hampshire, in the summer of 2021, where Benjamin is completing his clinical psychology internship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Vivianne began her master of social work through Simmons University. They will be moving to Chicago in July so Benjamin can begin his new faculty position at Lake Forest College.

Sarah Chrystler and her husband Noah welcomed their daughter, Penelope Elizabeth, this past August. They are so excited to have a future Cardinal!

Ilana Bondell and Adam Hirschberg got married this past October in Brooklyn, New York, after many COVID delays. It was the 11-year anniversary of when they first started to date, which all began with a night out at Eclectic. You never know where you’ll meet your future husband at Wesleyan!

Sam Walker and his wife Jesse Greenblatt ’12 welcomed their first baby boy on January 6th in their hometown of Washington, DC. They decided to name him Wesley as a homage to the birthplace of their relationship at Wesleyan. Wesley can’t wait to be part of the future graduating Class of 2044.

Ross Gormley is still in Boston, still teaching English, but will attend either a MSW or LMHC program in the fall. He’s in a band with Justin Pottle and Maxwell Bevilacqua and their working band name is Wait for me Henry Robertson. Frank Fineis, Jacob Eichengreen, Nate Jacobs, Maxwell Bevilacqua, and Ross were planning a trip together to North Carolina in March.

CLASS OF 2013 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

We were all heavily impacted by the pandemic, and James Gardner managed to experience it working as the after-hours administrator in the emergency room of his Veterans Administration hospital. The federal government’s response was swift for a heavily bureaucratic agency, but he saw firsthand the toll on patients, their families, and staff alike—the uncertainty, deaths, resistance, PPE shortages, rapid change to policies, etc.—and decided to move away from frontline work. In October, James transitioned into a national VA career program for health care data analysis and informatics, where he—among funding, diversity, equity and inclusion, program analysis and other data projects for the leadership of his facility—oversaw the staff and veteran vaccination data for his facility. He’s happy to better the lives of veterans who trust him with their care in this new capacity.

Anna Swartz and her wife Netta are still camping out in the Boston area where they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. She continues to work remotely as a managing editor for the content section of Policygenius, an insurtech company. She did manage a trip back to Brooklyn in June to catch up with friends in person, including Lila Murphy and Jason Katzenstein. She hopes everyone is adjusting as well as possible to our new reality, and that any breakthrough infections are mild.

Mary Vallo and Bohao Zhou ’14 got married in July 2021 after first meeting at a performance in Crowell Concert Hall eight years ago. They were happy and grateful to celebrate with friends.

Sandy Durosier moved to Mesa, Arizona, to begin her medical education at A.T. Still University–School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. She is very excited to explore the desert and learn medicine. If you’re in the area, feel free to reach out!

Evan Okun recently finished his first year at Yale School of Management. This summer he’s working at Kapor Capital, an Oakland-based venture capital firm investing in racial and economic justice in the United States. Outside sourcing and diligencing early-stage companies, he is responsible for building the firm’s investment approach to the justice sector.

Margot Sidman and Matthew Lichtash are getting married this fall! After going on their first date to Fiore II on Main Street (shoutout to Jonathan Lis for the recommendation and Christian Lalonde for letting Matt borrow his pickup truck) and months of serenading Margot with Taylor Swift piano covers, it was inevitable that this day would come.

Best wishes to my classmates, hope everyone is staying safe and sane.

CLASS OF 2013 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

After a postdoctoral fellowship at Mount Holyoke College, Stephanie Huezo joins the Department of History as an assistant professor at Fordham University. She is happy to be teaching Latin American and Latinx history in NYC where she grew up. 

Evan Carmi is now a puppy papa, spending his days reparenting himself via his Brittany, named Pluto. Cute puppy photos can be found on Instagram @plutzthepup.

 Krysten Thomas was elected to be a 2020 Democratic National Convention Delegate in D.C. She is excited about the upcoming general election.

Michael Steves and Lucas San Juan have been making commercials and documentaries through their production company, Rule of 3. Their work, for clients including Amazon, Ring, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Bloomberg, and others, has been featured in CNN Business, The New York Times, and at Michael Moore’s film festival. They are also in production on their first documentary feature film, following a community of Rohingya refugees living in Chicago. They’ve loved working with fellow Wes alums on their productions, so reach out if you want to collaborate!

Vivianne Swerdlow has been working for over a year as a mental health coach at Joyable (acquired by AbleTo, Inc.) where she supports people in completing and getting the most out of eight-week digital cognitive behavioral therapy programs to reduce depression, generalized anxiety, or social anxiety. She recently started her own coaching practice, specializing in behavioral coaching, life coaching, and career coaching. As someone with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, she often works with chronic pain clients in particular to develop more fulfilling lives.

Benjamin Swerdlow (nee Abravanel) is in his last year of a clinical psychology PhD at UC Berkeley, where he has been studying interpersonal emotion regulation and emotion-related impulsivity. 

Zach Schonfeld recently survived a near-death encounter with an exploding can of shaving cream. His first book, chronicling the strange story of the widely sampled funk band 24-Carat Black, was published on November 12. It’s called Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth and it’s part of the 33 1/3 series of books about individual albums. 

Thank you to my classmates who contributed to this column! Hope everyone continues to stay safe during this time.

Laura Yim | 

CLASS OF 2013 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Anna Swartz and her wife, Netta, are quarantined with Anna’s parents in Massachusetts. They’re lucky enough to still have their jobs and be able to do them remotely. She hopes all her fellow Wes alumni, as well as faculty and campus staff, are similarly safe and well and able to stay home. She reminds everyone to tip their delivery people!

James “Jim” Curley and Maryalice Gill were married in Boston on Aug. 17, 2019. Many of his Wesleyan teammates and classmates were in attendance: Andrew McKeon, John Guay, Carmen Boscia, Matt Hadge, Derek Lukin, Nick Ferris, and Glenn Stowell. He said it was great to see everyone. Jim and Maryalice honeymooned in Italy, Croatia, and Greece. Being Game of Thrones superfans, they were able to visit the filming locations while in Croatia. Jim also completed his MBA at Boston University in May.

James Gardner made the transition from German corporate to the U.S. public sector in 2018, where he works for the Department of Veteran Affairs. His role is to oversee the VA hospital—the inpatient wards, emergency room, outpatient care, patient administration, and emergency management—outside of business hours. He finds himself surrounded by health care civilian and veteran employees who really care so much about the veterans coming through their doors. Especially with regard to the current pandemic, this dedication is terribly necessary.

Max Ward recently moved from Chicago back to his hometown of Portsmouth, N.H., where he’s now doing promotional videos for Gutermann, Inc.—a company specializing in selling leak detection equipment to water utilities. In his free time, he’s posting art on Instagram and helping write and illustrate a comic book that’s funded through Patreon. In his other free time, Max enjoys playing with his parents’ dog, Nash. He is a good boy!

Ben Smith is a video editor at Evidence Video, which produces documentaries to help attorneys build damages for clients whose lives have been catastrophically changed. Good stuff. He also continues to write, produce, and direct sketch comedy and short films. His film, Bump in the Night, will be hitting festivals around the country this fall.

Elisa Waugh has had a whirlwind year! A long cross-country drive with her boyfriend and dog rooted them back in her home state. They then decided to plan and throw a tiny wedding in a beautiful inn. Now there is a baby on the way and a house in the works! As the school year finishes, Elisa is looking forward to enjoying the bounty of Colorado and redirecting the energy usually used for her lively middle school students to a ferociously large garden.

In the fall, Evan Okun will attend the Yale School of Management in pursuit of his MBA. He hopes to expand his capacity to help nonprofits and social enterprises do courageous work. Evan also hosts weekly Zoom calls for anyone wanting to freestyle rap. Reach out!

As for me, I’m still in the Bay Area, working remotely for Apple. During shelter in place, I’ve picked up puzzling and also enjoy playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Sam Jacobson. I hope that all my classmates, their loved ones, and other readers stay safe and sane during this time.

Laura Yim | 

CLASS OF 2013 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Zach Schonfeld celebrated the one-year anniversary of the time he got laid off, got a book deal, and went to see the repulsive 1975 film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom all on the same day. He is nearly finished with his first book, a 33-1/3 volume chronicling the story of the widely sampled funk band 24-Carat Black. He lives with Rebecca Vaadia in New York City, right near the diner from Seinfeld.

Peter Horton has been living it up in Japan for the last year but came back to Brooklyn on New Year’s to see his friends The Strokes. Croy Salinas has moved to a Park Slope adjacent neighborhood and is remembered fondly by his friends. Ethan Grund is loving the trials and tribulations of being a Midwest farmer at his homestead in Minnesota. Will Davis is loath to admit he has a new hobby, and Mark Popinchalk is looking to reinvent his identity as we enter the next decade by introducing an extra consonant into his name. Noah Masur ’15 has found clarity, Sora Akiyoshi ’14 wants to rue the day, Chloe Rinehart ’14 has been there, done that, Susanna Banks is happily employed, and Natalie Robichaud ’14 falls in love almost daily.

Matt Motta is starting his second semester as an assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State University. Matt joined OSU after finishing his PhD at the University of Minnesota in 2018 and completing postdoctoral work at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (University of Pennsylvania and Yale University) in 2019. Matt teaches courses on political campaigns, public opinion polling, and statistical programming. His research tests the effectiveness of strategies aimed at helping scientists communicate more effectively with the public about controversial environmental and public health issues. His work has been published in academic journals like Nature Climate Change and has been featured in press outlets like Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Matt lives in Tulsa, Okla., and would love to meet up with alumni in the area!

This fall, Nick Orvis returned to Connecticut, where he’s begun working on an MFA in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama. For the past five years, Gabriel Urbina has been living and working in Brooklyn. In that time, he has created, written, and directed a series of award-winning audio fiction podcasts, including Wolf 359, Time:Bombs, and Zero Hours, often collaborating with various Wesleyan alumni. In 2020, he’s excited to dive into new work, including finishing the manuscript for a novel and continuing to produce new original audio content through Long Story Short Productions, the company he runs along with Zach Valenti ’12 and Sarah Shachat ’12. Gabriel also works as a freelance writer, teacher, and public speaker. Ally Bernstein and Audrey Kiely continue to seriously question their life choices as they embark on adventures in other peoples’ problems as newly minted MSWs. They routinely call each other crying, wondering why, oh god why, would they choose to do this work? They could have done those demos for cookware at Costco or given duck boat tours. Instead, they spend their days listening to endless detail of trauma, prompting coping skills, and having things thrown at them. Ally and Audrey have also discovered their dogs are a force dyad, so that’s cool.

Haley Sacks was in the New York Times and on Good Morning America. She is a financial pop star that makes keeping up with the Dow Joneses as fun as Keeping Up with The Kardashians.

Zoe Muller moved to Philadelphia a little over a year ago with her fiancée, Ivy, and two dogs, Roosevelt and Quinn, to start a new job in urban planning and design at WRT Design after graduating from MIT’s master’s program in urban planning. She bought a house in West Philly and went full HGTV on it, complete with surprise basement flood, bathtub leaking, neighbors trimming trees without permission, weekends full of sanding and painting, and beautiful hidden historic fireplaces to help reassure her this wasn’t a crazy idea. It is now a functional and beautiful home with most of the kinks worked out and a handful of half-complete projects. Zoe is looking forward to a year of getting back into more physical activity and outdoor time, spending more time and energy making ceramics, and making time to visit and reconnect with friends.

Laura Yim | 

CLASS OF 2013 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

Kristen Salustro is working on her fourth book and is expecting to publish it in 2020. Her debut novel was awarded a silver medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards in the sci-fi category, which made her so excited she accidentally bounced her partner awake at 6 a.m. on a weekend before shoving the announcement under his nose. She just passed her third-year mark at her day job and has been officially named someone’s manager.

Bryce Hollingsworth’s custom traditional dry stone construction business has been going really well. He spent two months this winter working with a certified dry stone Master Craftsman down in New South Wales, Australia, building a huge 600-foot long slate wall which was awesome. Since then, Bryce received the Preservation Trades Network’s International Trades Exchange grant, and used that to spend two weeks working with a Master Stonemason in Galway, Ireland. Later this fall, he will be traveling down to Lexington, Ky., to work with the Dry Stone Conservancy, a nonprofit organization focused on preserving the craft of dry stone walling. This year has been insanely busy, but he’s been loving every minute of it.

Benjamin Smith completely missed chances to script supervise Batwoman and Utopia and is seeking forgiveness from himself. He completed his short film, Bump in the Night, in September, and is making plans to force it on audiences around the world. He likes to call it a short film, as if he really knows what he’s created. You can also find Ben performing improv and sketch at Second City in Chicago. He’s trying to have more friends and stuff. Improv is good for that. Need life advice? Improv, friends.

After nearly four years gallivanting around Asia Pacific, Julian Azaret is finally moving back to the USA! San Francisco and Cambridge have even odds. Zach Libresco just moved from Brooklyn to Harlem to be closer to his new job, modeling for the National World War I Memorial. His theater company, The Humanist Project, is remounting their devised clown show, centered on quantum physics and Russian fairy tales, in November and December at The Tank in Midtown! He is very happy to have moved closer to his best friend, Emily Hunt.

After spending five years in Washington, D.C., working on environmental policy for the National Wildlife Federation and later as a U.S. Senate staffer, Taran Catania moved to Burlington, Vt. She’s pursuing a Sustainable Innovation MBA at the University of Vermont with plans to confront environmental challenges in new, better ways. (And yes, she still loves birds. In fact, she’s the seventh-ranked top birder in D.C. for 2018—including #1 female birder and youngest in the Top 10.)

Victoria Chu is an entertainment finance/corporate associate at Akin Gump in Los Angeles. She would love to connect with other Wes alumni in the entertainment/legal industry. Evan Hazelett is studying the spatial and racial politics of food and farming as well as critical urban histories and theories as a master in urban planning student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He hopes to pursue a PhD in human geography after this program. He’s also the editor-in-chief for The Urban Review, the student journal of urban studies and planning. On the side, Evan is trying to publish short stories and poetry, and at home he cooks himself to the ground. Shira Gaudet (formally Shauna Pratt) is pleased to announce her marriage to Amelia Atwater-Rhodes on June 2. She now has two children, Rebecca (4) and Michael (1). Both children attended the wedding; Michael slept through the whole ceremony. The couple’s first dance was actually a singing duet, “I’ll Never Tell” from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Once More with Feeling.” Rubber ducks abounded.

Laura Yim | 

CLASS OF 2013 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

Last year Zach Schonfeld became the first writer in the 86-year history of Newsweek to submit an expense report for an ASMR therapy session. This year he got laid off by Newsweek and spent the past five months working as a full-time freelance writer. He is working on his first book, which will be published by 33 1/3 Series in about two years.

Ben Smith shoots courtroom documentaries to assist juries that assess monetary damages for plaintiffs with life-changing afflictions. On a lighter note, he is completing his project, Bump in the Night, a horror film with a musical twist. He writes and directs as many projects as he can in Chicago.

Sydney Lowe is associate producer on the A24 and Plan B feature film The Last Black Man in San Francisco that debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The film is winner of both the 2019 Sundance Special Grand Jury prizes for Best Director and Creative Collaboration. She is also a 2019 Film Independent Project Involve Fellow and a fellow for the inaugural Times Up Who’s In The Room mentorship program. Sydney lives in Los Angeles, but is forever a New Yorker at heart.

After years of moving around, Gabriela De Golia is headed to NYC late August to pursue a master of divinity at Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary. Hit her up if you live there!

Anna Swartz lives in Brooklyn with her wife, Netta, and their tiny, very spirited dog Laney. She started a new role as an insurance editor on the content team at Policygenius. Any Wes grads interested in writing for an insurance tech startup should get in touch.

Laura Yim | 

CLASS OF 2013 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Peter Horton, having never really left Middletown, welcomed his friends back for Reunion. Alex Pogosky, Amanda Morrow, and Ashley Swan removed items from the bucket list, with Simoneil Sarbh getting them up in the morning and making the most of each day. Croy Salinas, Will Davis, Allie Carey, and Laura Ligon recounted updates over discounted plates. Ethan Grund and Evan Carmi were fryed to see each other again. Chelsea Lassiter PhD’16 talked house music with Louise Brown (class dean of 2013) and her band, especially the importance of being on time to the rhythm section. Leah Temes and Jenna Bluestein were excited to meet Susanna Banks’ fresh-faced friend in their freshman-year dorm. Lu Corporan was sorely missed at Reunion, his attention needed on the West Coast with a Sinatra event.

Caitlin Aylward and Corey Guilmette celebrated their marriage in August at a crabbing “resort” on Guemes Island, Wash. Syed Ali, Bill Beluch, Chris Ceccolini ’11, Saumya Chatrath, Jaewon Chung, Gabriela De Golia, Marjorie Dodson, Will Durney ’14, Ryu Hirahata, Jessica Jordan, Melanie Koren, Laura Machlin, Anthony Mascolo ’12, Missy McCabe, Kateryn Nunez, Zack Sulsky, Estee Rubien-Thomas, and Lizzie Williams attended.

After earning their master’s degrees at Boston University, Max Kaplan and Kara Wernick ’14 are headed west, as Max pursues his PhD in linguistics at UC Santa Cruz. They are getting married next year.

Sarah Cassel lives in NYC and works at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, where she focuses on diversion, reentry, and bail reform initiatives. Sarah congratulates the incarcerated students who graduated with associate degrees through Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education.

Zach Schonfeld returned to Wesleyan for Reunion. He visited the Clark room where he published his first Wesleying post in 2009 and was startled to find it occupied by Bobby Burvant and Jake Blumenthal. After five years in Brooklyn, he moved to Morningside Heights with Rebecca Vaadia. In lieu of a housewarming party, they had a Kate Bush 60th birthday party.

Bryce Hollingsworth is a stone worker in Northampton, Mass. He’s been certified by the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain and is starting his own business. He will be apprenticing with a certified master craftsman in Australia. Check out his Instagram @stonebearmason and website

Taryn Murray graduated from medical school and is doing a preliminary medicine year at Cleveland Clinic Akron General followed by a dermatology residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Marjorie Dodson traveled through Kazakhstan last October with Erin Newport. Marjorie worked remotely while scuba diving around the Pacific, primarily in Bali where she participated in a divemaster training and marine conservation volunteer program. She was lucky enough to make it back stateside in time for Reunion. Marjorie moved to D.C. to pursue a master’s in international affairs at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Emma Daniels joined the LA office of Abernathy MacGregor Group, a leading strategic communications firm. Emma will specialize in crisis management and corporate reputation building.

Anna Swartz got married in August in the Berkshires. There were a few of her classmates in attendance. She and her now wife, Netta Bob, are still enjoying the post-wedding glow.

Evan Hazelett traveled with his partner to New Zealand, Japan, Berlin, Amsterdam, Spain, and Iceland. They ate, hiked, hosteled, trained, and drove across these countries, WWOOFing with five different families. They became good friends with an old Japanese couple and middle-aged Catalonian

man who is rehabilitating a 1,000-year-old farm house and making goat cheese. Now Evan is studying urban planning at Harvard.

Janet Cushey rejoined Argot Partners as the firm’s event manager and app development project lead. She moved to Queens and oversees Patch English, a review service for Korean corporations she founded in 2017.

Kevin Curtin rejoined J.P. Morgan this year as an advisor in the private bank. He provides J.P. Morgan’s banking, credit, and investment advice to wealthy families, institutions, endowments and foundations. He’s been encouraging Wesleyan grads in Boston to meet each other—you should reach out to him and join!

Catherine Doren finished her PhD in sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and is doing a postdoc with the Office of Population Research and Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton.

Barbaralynn Moseman resides in East Harlem with her partner and graduated with her master’s in social work from Hunter College. She is a home-based family therapist at New York Foundling.

Prince Emenalo earned his master of public health degree with a concentration in public health management and policy. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity of the Kappa Alpha Sigma Chapter in Stone Mountain, Ga., and also an assistant coach for his little sister’s softball team.

After liquidating all assets associated with his entrepreneurial endeavors, Bennett Kirschner has transitioned into naturalist writing. His new book of essays will be published next February by a small New Orleans press.

Laura Yim |