CLASS OF 1996 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Koyalee Chanda writes in that she and Neal Brandenburg had their second baby girl, Noa Jayne Chanda Brandenburg, in August. Their older daughter, Ruby, is 5.5 years old and is very excited to have a real-life baby doll as a roommate. They are still living in Brooklyn (it will be 18 years this fall—yikes!) and regularly see a bunch of Wes folks (too many to mention by name!). What’s really cool is that their kids are starting to become close friends, so they’re back to doing dinner parties, only starting a couple of hours earlier. Neal is working as a lawyer for the Department of Education of New York City, where he sees Debbie Marcus, who also works there, on a regular basis.

She also mentioned that another Wes ’96er, Adam Peltzman, has created a new animated series for Nickelodeon called Wallykazam!. It’s a comedy-adventure series with a literacy curriculum, set in a world of trolls, goblins, and dragons. Koyalee is producing it, so they work very closely together every day. Sascha Paladino ’98 wrote a couple of episodes as well. It’s been really amazing to work with such close friends and colleagues. Definitely check it out. It’s on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.— and you can find it On Demand and on iTunes. There’s also an app available on iTunes that had a very successful launch in April.

Sam Effron, his wife, and 2-year-old twins just decamped from NYC after almost 18 years. They are moving to Hastings-on-Hudson, in lower Westchester along the Hudson River.

Ernest Koe is working on his second software company, Proof, which provides integrated data management software to schools. He escaped the cold of New England and now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., with his wife, Charmaine Chiu, and two children (Beckett, 4, and Declan, 2).

Margaret Wright is happily living in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Jon, daughter Olivia (age 3), and two dogs. She recently made a career change, and works as a senior grant writer at the best non-profit organization in the world—The American Academy of Pediatrics. Last fall, she traveled to New York City and caught up with old pals Mark Davis and Jeremy Bernstein ’97, who are both doing well. Margaret and Mark spent most of the time commenting on what tremendous chefs Jeremy and his wife are, and how amazingly cute their kids are.

Jim Leiken writes that he and his wife, Candice, recently moved out to Napa, Calif., from West Palm Reach, Fla. He worked for Daniel Boulud close to 12 years, mostly in NYC (Restaurant Daniel, DB Bistro, and as the opening chef at DBGB in the East Village), but for the last two year in Palm Beach, running the kitchen at Café Boulud. He took a job in Cali with Cindy Pawlcyn, as the exec chef of Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena. Their twins, Maggie and Charlie, 2, are adapting really well to life in the country—they like climbing on the tractor and feeding carrots to the neighbor’s horse and donkey every morning.

Joel Levin drops us a line that after creating MinecraftEdu (an educational version of the popular sandbox game, Minecraft), he left his teaching job to start a company called TeacherGaming which brings games into the classroom. His business travels let him visit some other classmates recently: Jonah Hershowitz ’97 who runs an acupuncture and pain management clinic in San Francisco, and Ian Kavanagh, who is a programmer in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mark Davis and his wife, Megan, live in Middletown with their two kids, Minerva (“Minnie”), 4, and Oliver (“Ollie”), 2. Mark works at Wesleyan, so feel free to look him up if you’re visiting campus!

Colby and Sara Evans are expanding their dermatology practice to three offices in Austin, Texas, this summer. They are kept constantly entertained and on the move by their sons, 6 and 4, and daughter who is 2. Colby is the chair-elect of the board of trustees of the National Psoriasis Foundation, a role he will assume next year. The NPF is the largest national charitable organization that advocates for the over 7 million Americans with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Jacob Ward writes that he was editor-in-chief of Popular Science from 2012 to 2013, and just left to join Al Jazeera America as the network’s science and technology correspondent. He has two young daughters with his wife, Julie, and they live on Lake Merritt in Oakland. He sees Walter Einenkel ’97 and Emily Weinstein ’97 all the time, and he believes Vivek Asija just moved to the neighborhood, and that Susan Yee is there as well, but he hasn’t bumped into them yet.

Sabrina McCormick is a producer on the new Showtime TV series about climate change, The Years of Living Dangerously­—she produced a story with Matt Damon about heat waves and another with Michael C. Hall in Bangladesh.

Anya McMurray and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their second child, Zev Thomas Keller, to the world in March. Big sister Thea has reserved judgment regarding her level of excitement over this event but they are optimistic she’ll join in their enthusiasm soon.

Tori Peglar and Tom Rutkowski are living in Boulder with their two daughters and looking forward to this year’s season, as they have family passes to Winter Park for the first time. Tom’s an environmental engineer cleaning up water at mine sites and Tori works at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They see Dan Cohen and Mara Kailin in Denver with their kids. Tom also works with Jake Waples ’95, who lives in the area with his wife, Sandy Miller ’95, and their daughters. They had the opportunity to visit them when they lived in Chile two years ago. Time flies!