CLASS OF 2008 | 2015 | ISSUE 2

Our class has been busy, including myself. My husband, Paul, and I had a baby girl, Eliza, in May and couldn’t be happier! But we’re not the only ones who were visited by the stork… Johanna Richlin writes: “News from Baltimore: my husband, Gabe Paquette ’99, and I welcomed with great joy our baby daughter, Antonia Bard Paquette, into the world on June 5. We’re over the moon, as are her long line of Wesleyan alum relatives: grandparents Pamela Bard Richlin ’75 and Dean Richlin ’74, great uncle Gar Richlin ’67, and aunt Sara Richlin ’04!”

Ben Smyser will soon join the proud parents as well. He writes: “This is my first class note, so I have a lot to tell! I got married to a beautiful woman named Elanor Schoomer in the summer of 2012, and she and I are having a baby, due in September! I’ve been admitted to the bars of New York and New Jersey and am working as a corporate associate at a large law firm, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP. After living in Atlanta during law school, Elanor and I now are back in Brooklyn, still hanging out with many of my (now our) Wes friends.”

In somewhat related news (the opposite side of delivery), Lillian Siegel recently moved to Boston and started work as a nurse-midwife with Harvard Vanguard, delivering babies at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She looks forward to reconnecting with other Wes folks in the area. Drop her a line!

Meanwhile, Leslie Prado is in her last year of PA/MPH. Her first clinical rotation is OB/GYN, where she is seeing the birth of many babies. She was able to scrub in for a few C-sections, and is excited to get the rest of her clinical rotations done and figure out where she would like to practice.

Joe Stankus, along with Destin Douglas ’09, spent the last year producing a movie called Jackrabbit, which premiered at the 2105 TriBeCa Film Festival. The movie was made possible with the help of several other Wesleyan alums, specifically gaffer Sam Jones ’10, key grip Tim Curtin ’07, co-editor Talia Barrett, and composer Will Berman ’04.

Aaron Tabak writes: “After six years in NYC, I’ve moved to Portland, Ore., and am now working for SMART (Start Making a Reader Today), a statewide literacy nonprofit based here.”

Nick Benacerraf started working as a full-time theater professor last fall at Kean University in New Jersey. He still lives in New York, where he co-runs a Wes-based company, The Assembly, which is currently in residence at the New Ohio Theatre in the West Village and has a new show coming up July 15–18, called I Will Look Forward to This Later. Check out for details. Recent beloved work includes a show called Up and Away, which is an immersive experience for autistic children at Lincoln Center. It previewed last spring and will premiere this fall.

Emily Rosen-King shares: “I’m getting married on June 27th to Jared Chester (whom I actually met through a Wesleyan friend at a birthday party more than five years ago!)”

Other ’08ers taking vows include Micki Baron, who married Jamie Hiteshew in September 2014 in San Francisco, where they have lived since graduating from Wes. The ceremony was officiated by Kai Johnson. Micki graduated from UCSF Medical School this summer and is now an OB/GYN resident at UCSF. Jamie is a project manager at BRIDGE Housing Corporation, where he develops low-income housing in the Bay Area

Shivani Kumar is graduating from MIT Sloan this spring in the Class of 2015 with an MBA. Afterwards, she will be joining McKinsey & Company. Rebecca Gitlin graduated this year, too, with her Ph.D. in clinical psychology; starting in September, she’ll be doing a Women’s Behavioral Health postdoctoral fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Emily Gallivan has spent the last year adventuring. Last summer she drove to LA to take a course at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and ate more tacos than she ever had in her whole life prior. Emily then drove up the Pacific Coast Highway through California to wonderful Seattle, followed by Yellowstone, Minneapolis, Madison, and Chicago, seeing Wesleyan alums all over. Upon her return to the D.C. area, Emily worked for a digital library nonprofit, finally learning a bit of what Jacqueline Chapman has been talking about all these years. Fall saw a trip to the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival outside Birmingham, Ala., and in spring one to Ireland. Come August, she will head to California to start graduate school at UC, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, pursuing a master of architecture.

Becca Broches is on to a new adventure, as well. She writes: “After spending three years in D.C., and one in Boston, I am very excited to be moving back to NYC in September where I will spend the next two years working as an Equal Justice Works fellow in the Bronx, providing legal services to food entrepreneurs who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer.”

Caroline Raclin, meanwhile, is now the health coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Jordan. She oversees four primary health clinics and a small army of community health volunteers that serve Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians along the Syrian border. She adds, “If any Wes alums are ever in Amman, look me up!”
Finally, Ruby Ross writes in: “It’s been a busy year! I did a house concert tour in Boston in January and one in California in March. I’m currently doing a house concert tour on the East Coast, which includes fellow Wes alums among the hosts, so I’m looking forward to some Wes reunions! Later this summer I’ll be moving into a new house and going to Costa Rica, and then in the fall I’m getting married!”