Cannot believe we are preparing to close out 2014. I am completing my first year of grad school. I am in pursuit of my master of science in integrated marketing at NYU. It’s been quite a nuanced balancing act with full-time employment and a curious 3-year-old toddler. Very thankful to my husband for helping to keep our routines consistent.
Leah Brown (@AyannaSpeaks) wrote in to spread good news and cheer with her fellow Wes alums: “I’m excited to share that I am the founding executive director of the only urban squash educational program in New Jersey. Just completing our second year and expanding in the fall, StreetSquash Newark is changing lives in Newark, N.J. I was married in August and in a few months I am releasing my second spoken word CD to music. My website with upcoming details is speakitco.com.”
Frances Northcutt Green writes, “Next year I’m starting a children’s literature reading group in NYC for adults who love children’s literature and would love to include Wesleyan folks next. Anyone who is interested can reach me at email@example.com.”
Patrik Nylund (@PatrikNylund2) shared a few laughs. “Though I enjoy reading others’ updates, I have been terribly bad sharing my own for the last…well, maybe 10 years…Well, here are some. I returned to San Francisco two years ago after a four-year stay in my native Sweden. For the last four years, I have worked as a freelance research analyst and security adviser in the private security sector. I’d love to meet other Wesleyan alums doing similar work; please feel free to contact me via LinkedIn or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Lauren Porosoff (@LaurenPorosoff): “Just writing to report the news that my book, Curriculum at Your Core: Meaningful Teaching in the Age of Standards, is coming out this fall. The book is a guide to designing curriculum, using values as a starting place because deciding what’s most important for students to learn is always a values-based process.”
Alexandra (Sasha) Lewis-Reisen was full of good news: “Working at the New York Legal Assistance Group, representing domestic violence survivors at trial and appellate levels. NYLAG, which represents needy New Yorkers for free, is a hotbed of Wes alums—awesome to see all the Wes mugs and posters around the office. The rest of the time, my husband Alex and I hang out with fellow NYers who have similar-aged kids as Anya (5) and Wes (almost 4). Earlier this year, my daughter Anya and I got to see Jessica (Shea) Lehmann (@JessicatheRD) in Arizona. Jess is teaching nutrition at ASU, appearing on local TV as a nutritionist, and raising three amazing boys with husband Greg Lehmann.” Sasha also added, “Visited Sarah Kollman and she is practicing charter school law and reveling in her adorable baby son, Peter, with husband Justin Regnier. Next trip: seeing Cheryl (Goldman) Governale, who is in California, finally stateside after years in Italy and England with her family. Wish we were all living closer to each other. And to O’Rourke’s!”
Andrew Frishman (@AndrewFrishman) wrote: “On the professional side, this past May I completed an EdLD (Doctorate in Education Leadership) at Harvard Graduate School of Education. My work focused on a year of residency with Big Picture Learning (bigpicture.org) and was titled ‘The Future of Big Picture Learning: A Strategy to Spread Student-Centered Personalized Education.’ My committee members included my incomparable and inspiring adviser Mark Moore, and Clayton Christensen. I have now fully transitioned onto the BPL leadership team—if there are any folks out there in the Wesleyan alumni world interested in talking about how to innovate and transform the public education system, I’m eager to connect! On the personal side, my family loves living in Cambridge where my wife, Leigh Anne Needleman ’96 (a neuroscientist at Harvard), can walk a few blocks to work; our children, Jordan (almost 5) and Lundy (2), continue to thrive. We’re thrilled that Jordan is attending Amigos bilingual public school in Cambridge as a junior kindergartener this fall.”
A couple of short and sweet notes: Susanne Sreedhar recently received tenure and is now an associate professor of philosophy at Boston University. And Charlotte E. Scott, Esq., has been an attorney for the past 11 years in northern California with her own law practice in Mendocino County, right across the street from the courthouse. She recently had her second baby, Zara Rose and her first, Violet, is 4-1/2.
Semeka Smith-Williams wrote in to say hello and to provide a couple of general updates. “My daughters and I just made it back from our weekend at Wesleyan, where we saw Gillian Todd ’98 and Javaid Khan ’96 at the screening of Bobbito Garcia’88’s Doin’ It in the Park. What an incredible film! We had the pleasure of walking around the campus and soaking up the sun while exploring many the new spaces Wesleyan has to offer. Aside from that, things are going well for me and the family. I am working at Packer as a kindergarten teacher and LS diversity coordinator. My daughters are there, too, and feel like valid members of the community. It’s an extra exciting year at Packer, because Jose DeJesus is the new head of the upper school, and there are other Wesleyan grads in the building, but nothing compares to the class of ’97!”
And to close, Wesleyan’s Precision founder, Abdul Lateef Rasheed (Abdul Latif), following his inaugural artist-in-residence position at Lincoln Center, was the first Rockefeller Foundation Fellow to have a grant proposal that was his brainchild brought forth into a residency program, which he conceived, founded, and recently completed: The Artist Mentoring Lab.
Thank you ’97s for showing up strong with your notes for the end of the year. Until we meet again, please e-mail or tweet me @BGunlimited.