CLASS OF 2017 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

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Jake Lahut moved from New Hampshire to NYC in February and started working for Business Insider to cover the 2020 election and national politics.

Katie Holbert will be starting her PhD in philosophy at Boston University in the fall. At this point, Katie intends to focus on 19/20th century continental and classical philosophy, especially Nietzsche and Plato. Katie and Jake Rosenberg will get married at some point in the near future and will finally adopt a kitten companion for their senior cat, Itty Bitty Bean.

In the fall, Anthony Dean will be attending The New School, pursuing a master’s in media studies. For the last few months, he has served as the creator, sound designer, and co-producer for the New York Neo-Futurists’ new podcast Hit Play, which the New York Times praised as “cathartic” and “a treasure chest.”

Zach Lambros ’17, MA ’18 is back in Colorado and now has a girlfriend. Applications for the position are no longer being accepted at this time.

Liz Farrell is quarantining with their family in San Antonio, Texas, and recently launched their own digital writing and arts publication, Lizard Letter (LizardLetter.com).

After graduating, Taylor McClain completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in New York City. Since the fellowship, she has worked in urban planning to support inclusive economic development in cities across the country. In March 2020, she moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta to prepare to attend the University of Georgia School of Law. She is engaged to AJ Wilson ’18 who will be starting law school at UGA alongside her in August. You can reach her at taylorfmcclain@gmail.com.

Callie Monroe is combining her passion for mathematical analysis and skincare as a CX operations analyst at Glossier. This is her second time working at a start-up since graduating, and she’s loving the experience of working for a smaller company.

Hyunji Ward helps brands stay relevant and connect to pop culture through her role in entertainment marketing at United Talent Agency. She works in talent strategy and management for Covergirl and helps oversee a program created in partnership with Queen Latifah, Procter & Gamble, and Tribeca Studios that empowers female filmmakers of color to tell their stories on the big screen, supporting their projects from concept to distribution.

Leneil Roderique is crafting stories that help brands make an impact in the world. As a creative at VICE Media Group, his work sits at the intersection of human-centered storytelling and audience insights to ultimately create powerful narratives for brands. At the moment, he is creating a documentary series that highlights COVID-19 essential workers for Mailchimp.

Sofi Taylor is glad her documentary series, (413)Art, premiered on Feb 28 instead of even one week later. This is her first major film project post-Wesleyan. She was lucky to have help from fellow Wes folk: Dylan Beckman, Ben Goldberg ’13, Josh Rode ’19, Alex Fabry ’18, Ellie Black, and Sarah Corner. The nine episodes on different Western Massachusetts-based artists are available on saltboxfilms.squarespace.com.

The Racquets (Sam Beck, Ryan Breen, Jared Fineberg, and Jeremy Freeman ’18) released their debut EP and played their first New York show at the Mercury Lounge in January. The EP is streaming on all platforms.

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu 

CLASS OF 2017 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

On Christmas Day 2019, Liam Tran, 25, informed his friends that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Four days later, he passed with his family at his side.

He was a four-year board member of AASC; cofounder of SHADES, Wes’ SOC theater collective; senior interviewer; and a friend and chosen family to more than can be named.

At Wes, he was the first friend to so many. As a tour guide, admissions intern, and senior interviewer, often he was the first person a baby cardinal ever met. If you attended WesFest during his tenure as a student between 2014-2017, then you met him or benefited from his organizational handiwork.

You heard him before you saw him. Sometimes, you just heard him because he was belting Rihanna in the shower while everyone had left for Thanksgiving break. From Olin to Exley to Foss, as part of the Spirits, you could catch his tenor voice reverberating, hurtling at you like the most loving vocal body slam.

It’s a social faux pas to self-declare your test scores as a sign of your intelligence, but maybe if a friend does it, it’s not as cringeworthy. He was a Questbridge scholar who aced every single test he took. You wanted to hate him because he was a music major taking organic chemistry for fun and skewing the curve while you were crying your eyes out in the Butts lounge studying until the sun rose.

But you couldn’t hate him even if you wanted to because he would be there at the end of midterms, hosting an AASC self-care night at AAA house, offering you a plate of Vietnamese spring rolls with a heap of peanut and hoisin sauce.

In a world where fighting the good fight for humanity is too often draining and seemingly impossible, he would slide in with a smile and witticism to keep you going. He was a laugh-and-a-half, a day-one-er, a ride-or-die, a build-with-you-from-the-ground-up kind of guy.

Post-Wes, he spent two years at another NESCAC school working as an admissions counselor, doing the college-access work he was so passionate about. He left Maine for his hometown of Houston in pursuit of the big stage. If you missed the opportunity to see him shine on stage, some of his performances can be viewed on the Wesleyan Spirits’ YouTube channel.

He is missed by his mother, brother, sister, best friends, 260 Pine St. housemates, and all those whose lives he touched. If you want to help continue his legacy, consider donating to MECA, a Houston-based nonprofit organization providing underserved students access to the arts.

On behalf of AASC Board 2013-2017, we love you dearly, Liam. You will never be forgotten.

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu 

CLASS OF 2017 | 2019 | ISSUE 2

The Wesleyan Denver crew is breaking up. Keyonne Session is moving to the concrete jungle to start a new position at Girls Who Code. Kate Suslovic is taking a cross-country journey with her family to Maine. Avery Kimmell has accepted a teaching position in Denver and Sarah Lazarus will be starting med school at the University of Wisconsin.

Anne Cooperstone has set sail to find what is west of Westeros.

Anna Lu is working at UMass medical school as a research coordinator. She has a great work environment, appreciates the research realm, and will graduate with her master’s in heath science next May.

Jake Lahut has been reporting on the 2020 presidential election and New Hampshire state politics at The Keene Sentinel. He started their first ever podcast, Pod Free or Die, where he interviews presidential candidates and other interesting political figures in the Granite State.

Cole Morissette finished his first year of medical school at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is likely pursuing either orthopedic spine surgery or neurosurgery. He is conducting orthopedic spine surgery research and will be working at Royalty Pharma this summer in Midtown. They are a financial entity that deals with investing in pharmaceutical development.

Han How joined Equity Residential three months ago to work on multifamily acquisitions and developments in the Bay Area.

Kaitlin Chan is moving to Taipei this summer to make comics with the support of the Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship. She would like to thank Professor Jason Adam Katzenstein ’13, Kate Ten Eyck, and Dat Vu ’15 for helping her with her application.

Remy G. Hatfield-Gardner is finishing up grad school at UMass Boston, pursuing a master’s degree in American studies.

Nick Daley has been spent the last year dancing in New York City. He taught his first professional dance classes as a nominated substitute at the Peridance Capezio Dance Center, and his work with Ehrstrand Dance Collective brought him to Taiwan to teach and perform alongside the Seed Dance Company. He is beginning a residency with Ehrstrand Dance Collective in Styggbo, Sweden, then heading to Berlin for b12, Europe’s biggest contemporary dance festival.

Zach Lambros is melting in Georgia and still in search of a girlfriend.

Ilana Ladis is starting a PhD program in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia this fall. She’d love to meet up with anyone living there.

Liz Farrell started a new job in investor relations with the nonprofit Global Health Corps and adopted a dog named Otis.

Mark Otdelnov is an SAT tutor. He lives with family in Moscow and plans to study for a PhD in philosophy in the U.S. So far, he’s received a funded offer from the University of Houston. His writing sample is on Plato’s Timaeus.

Fred Ayres finished his AmeriCorps service term with City Year Detroit and will move to Ann Arbor to begin medical school at the University of Michigan. He will begin seeing patients and examining the role played by cognitive biases in such conditions as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

Julie Magruder co-produces a podcast series with Deepak Chopra, called Deepak Chopra’s Infinite Potential. She’s also a producer for Daily Breath, also with Deepak, but more focused on daily uplifting messages and thought-provoking themes.

Sam Shillet needs a roommate in Brooklyn. Hit him up. He’s still gainfully employed. Nisha Grewal is going to grad school for physics at the University of Edinburg. Jack Reibstein is in Portland, Ore., pursuing comedy, writing, and comedy-writing. Althea Turner finished a year of teaching at San Francisco’s Presidio School and is moving to Bar Harbor, Maine. Alex Minton just moved into NYC’s tiniest apartment and is finishing a two-year fellowship in aviation and public policy at the Port Authority. Sophie Miller is starting her first year of law school at Cornell University.

Davis Reid was promoted to senior associate at System1 Research and is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Kacie Eis. Andrew Rock received a promotion. Eli Spector accepted a position in the Moore Lab at Temple University, where he is investigating the cellular mechanism of circuit formation in neurons.

Ali Felman made it through her first year as a lead teacher physically unscathed; however, middle school students are quite adept at inflicting emotional and spiritual lacerations, so the jury is still out on those. Just kidding. She is still in Oakland, Calif., enjoying the high gas prices and perpetually temperate weather.

Allison Conley, Tricia Merlino ’18, and Peter Dunphy ’18 live together in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. They have been magnificently unsuccessful on dating apps.

Sara Dean and Lydia Tonkonow live in D.C. and are housemates once again (thanks, 7 Fountain)! Coincidentally, they both work in fields related to health policy, and they have been slowly realizing their favorite childhood video game, Zoo Tycoon 2, by adopting a dog and a cat.

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu 

CLASS OF 2017 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Sam Shillet says that Sam Beck lives in Brooklyn and is generally dissatisfied with the F train, as he must take it every day on his dull and monotonous way to his mundane writing job. Sam Beck also wants everyone to know that he has a boring job in New York and is still single.

This past year Yael Horowitz has been dealing with the standard and classic issues of existential dread, despising capitalism while being a full-time participant in it, and watching the world fall apart in front of her over and over again.

Alyssa Domino is working as a paralegal for a law firm in D.C. called Norton Rose Fulbright. Her boss is a 71-year-old Wes alumnus with so much Wes pride that it sometimes feels like she is still on campus. The firm is an international corporate law firm, and Alyssa is most involved in two practice groups: mergers and acquisitions and “project finance” or energy law. There has been a learning curve—it was not until about a month into this job that she grasped that not all lawyers are litigators—but so far, it’s been so good!

Fred Ayres is a pharmacology lab technician at the University of Michigan Medical School and a therapist on a public health intervention in Flint to reduce adolescent substance use. This fall he begins work as a City Year service member in Detroit and providing academic and social support to struggling teens. He’s excited to be involved in efforts to revitalize the D! He’ll spend the summer applying to medical schools and training for his eighth marathon.

Alexandra “Zandy” Stovicek works at a reproductive health nonprofit and volunteers as a full spectrum doula in NYC. This fall she will attend Yale School of Nursing’s MSN program to become a nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner. In denial that she is about to learn a ton of science, she spent three weeks this summer on a cross-country road trip and self-drive safari around South Africa.

Harry Rafferty is a Lyft driver in Ann Arbor, Mich., chasing his dream of playing professional basketball. He volunteers for many organizations at the University of Michigan. All Wes family members have a place to stay in Michigan if they need one.

Nick Miceli spent seven months living in Adelaide, Australia, working as a bartender and playing professional baseball over the fall and winter, and is now in his living in Bremen, Germany, playing professional baseball in the Bundesliga.

Catherine “Cassie” Willson’s musical, If Sand Were Stone, opened off Broadway this summer in the New York Musical Festival. Music was done by Cassie, book and lyrics by Carly Feinman ’16, and choreography by Nora Thompson ’15.

Nick Daley is living in NYC. After recovering from a knee surgery in his senior year, he has begun his career as a dancer in New York in collaboration with choreographer Lane Gifford, the excellent Eury German ’16, and many others, while apprenticing under the tutelage of renowned teacher, Max Stone. He is also a tutor to help pay the bills, so he is putting that Wesleyan liberal arts degree to work. Find him on the stage, in the studio, or at the library brushing up on some good old Latin grammar.

Ali Felman is spending the summer driving through flyover country (her homeland) to start at Synergy School in San Francisco. She’s teaching middle school English so that she can stay hip on all the style trends while staying true to mechanics.

Sam Stern, in New Hampshire, is working as a software engineer in test. He spends his weekends volunteering and exploring the local trails. He discovered that his city plays host to the self-proclaimed largest taco tour in the country every year, and he’s since seen the proof. Anyone in or around Boston is welcome to visit.

In July, up your aesthetic toured the Northeast, Philadelphia, and D.C. It was the combined capstone of Jess Cummings, Constance Des Marais, Nola Werlinich, and Cheyanne Williams and they took it on the road this summer with collaborators, Katherine Paterson ’18 and Chloe Briskin ’18. up your aestheticis a short, powerful retelling the Greek stories of the Amazon warriors told in an intimate setting through ritual, song, and dominoes.

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 2017 | 2018 | ISSUE 1

Sam Shillet was hired by Ditto PR in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in December as an assistant account executive. He still lives in Queens, for now. Sam Beck says that Sam Shillet’s favorite snack is the new, limited edition peppermint Twinkie.

Eric Jasinski is working for an Israeli medical cannabis company called Tikun Olam. In Israel they serve 30 percent of the population and do tons of research.

Lizzie Shackney is living in Birmingham, Ala., serving as an AmeriCorps member with Impact America. She’ll be running a VITA tax site in Troy, Ala. She never imagined that she’d be so excited about free tax preparation, but here she is. Alabama has yet to shake her vegetarianism, but has great food all around, so she’s happy. She says, “Y’all are always welcome to come visit!”

Ali Jamali has barely had a break since graduation. He immediately moved to NYC and started working. Since then, he has worked with various theater companies such as Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage Theater, Network Theater Company, and Musical Theater Factory, where he is a producing resident. He’s also been directing multiple projects, from site-specific pieces at the 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station, Governors Island, Lincoln Center Plaza, and Riverside Park, to shows at Midtown International Theatre Festival and The Tank. If you are a fan of theater and want free tickets to shows in New York, he’s one message away!

Alexandra Bacchus, living in Nashville, works for an ethical shoes and accessories brand, which is related to what she wrote her senior thesis on.She’s on the brand partnerships team and found the job with the help of Venture for America, a fellowship that helps college graduates go to work for startups in non-traditional startup cities.

Fun fact: She’s already had eight—and soon to be 11—Wesleyan visitors come through Nashville to say hey so far…so everyone please go visit!

Julia Tyminski moved to Philly, where she is working at a wine bar while working on her music. She is going to Nashville at the end of March to record an EP. She’s not sure when this will be released, but hopefully by the end of the spring!

Avva Saniee is a post-baccalaureate IRTA fellow at the National Institutes of Health within NIAID, the Allergy and Infectious Diseases division. She works in an immunogenetics lab and loves living in D.C.—“there’s so much to do and so much to explore” and thinks it’s nice to have a Wesleyan community to spend time with.

Han How is based in San Francisco working in real estate private equity while biking and hiking on weekends. His Outhouse days sparked his love for the outdoors.

Julia Morrison is an English language and physical education teacher in a small town just outside Madrid. She’s enjoying the tapas and the siestas, and she’s also pleased to finally fulfill her college superlative of “most likely to earn a living from athletics.” She sends love to all her coaches and teammates who helped her make it here, especially those who showed up for Thursday night community building.

Isabel Fine and Penny Snyder ’16 co-habit a small, but bohemian-chic, top story two-bedroom, one-bath duplex in a mid-sized Texas city. They both drive to work, but talk about a day when they will take public transit, or bike! From two ends of one city, from two modern workplaces, they send emails, process documents, schedule happenings, go to meetings, drink coffee, and work for the weekend. They’re on the cusp of becoming involved in a number of hobbies including: women’s carpentry, biking, half-marathon-ing, getting involved in local politics, and reading the New Yorker. Thus far, all they’ve done is watch TV.

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu 

CLASS OF 2017 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

After graduation, Maddy Johl and Anna Lu moved to Brooklyn. Anna is working at Success Academies at Ditmas Park Middle School, as a fifth grade associate science teacher. She wrote, “I’m loving the classroom, but the scholar-athletes on my cross country team are also beasts. Wishing everyone else in the class of 2017 the best and hope senior year has been going well, ’18!”

Nisha Grewal spent this past month at her high school as a physics substitute, which has been a really fun learning experience. The opportunity has allowed her to use her physics degree and teach at the high school level. She always enjoyed teaching (and TA’d many classes at Wes), and this has certainly been her favorite summer job. In October, she started her official job as a technology consultant at IBM, and in the meantime she has enjoyed the exposure to a very different field.

Nicholas “Nicky” Antonellis, a BA/MA student in physics, was one of 14 students in the U.S. selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS).

Elizabeth Farrell is working at a tech company in NYC called Icreon Tech as the executive assistant to the CEO, and living in Bed-Stuy. She also took a grad trip to Costa Rica.

Annie Cooperstone is working as a financial consultant in Seattle. She enjoys math and the rain.

Susannah Clark is enjoying a year-long artistic fellowship at the Shakespeare theatre company in D.C.

Rachel Waugh began her master’s in food studies at Chatham University. She is incredibly excited about the program.

Ali Felman is completing a year-long teaching apprenticeship at The Park School in Brookline, Mass. Her current placement is in the upper division English department, where she experiences the joy and weirdness of the middle school thought process and emotional-moral development on a daily basis. Adorableness abounds!

Cindy Horng is enjoying life as a management consultant based in New York, and is always excited to connect with other Wes alums, both virtually and in the city.

Rit Chirathivat is working in e-commerce and omnichannel retail in Thailand.

Adam Mirkine had an awesome double-whammy experience at the end of August. It started off with a 10-day WWOOF, a farm stay through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, just north of Middlebury, Vt., at Golden Well Farm and Apiaries. He was lucky with the weather and had an unbelievable experience taking care of their animals, harvesting produce for the farm stand, making fresh jam, farm meals, and kombucha (he wasn’t a fan until he tried theirs, and dang it was good), meeting new people, and exploring the area. “Enjoyed some serious beginners luck WWOOFing and I can’t wait to do it again,” he said.

He then went on to volunteer at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF). It’s a three-day film festival that takes over the town of Middlebury at the end of August and features the amazing work of first- and second-time filmmakers from all walks of life and every corner of the world. MNFF attracts a swarm of Wes alumni, including the founder, Lloyd Komesar ’74, various attendees, and a handful of filmmakers. He got to hang out at a Wesleyan event with Sofia Taylor (whose film was screened at the festival), Maia Nelles-Sager, and Connie Des Marais. He highly recommends making the trip up next year and to submit films if you make them!

As for me, I’m living together in Denver with Sarah Lazarus, Wyatt Rees, Kate Suslovic, and Avery Kimmell. Come visit!

Keyonne Session | ksession@wesleyan.edu 

CLASS OF 2017 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 on your recent graduation! We’ll be reaching out soon for your news, which will appear in the December issue of this magazine.