CLASS OF 1999 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

Thanks to everyone who answered the call (begging?) for submissions this time around. Glad to have some good stuff to share!


Doug Russell and his family recently moved to Seattle, where he joined the child psychiatry faculty at the University of Washington. Dani Snyder-Young just moved back to Boston (with husband and toddler in tow) to join the faculty at Northeastern. Melissa Cantiello completed her lifelong dream of moving to the country last year when she relocated to the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York with her husband and two children. As a licensed clinical social worker, she continues to grow her local and web-based psychotherapy practice. Melissa recently enjoyed a visit from Jennifer Dorman. Jennifer is still based in Brooklyn, where she and her husband run a busy design-build landscaping company.

Jason Wong and Pao-Lin Tien moved to the D.C.-area in summer of 2016 with two girls (Zoe, 7, and Emma, 2). Jason works for Novavax, a biotech firm in Gaithersburg, Md., while Pao-Lin had a short stint at the Bureau of Economic Analysis as a research economist, and has now moved to a new position (assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies) in George Washington University’s economics department. They enjoy living in the Maryland suburb of Rockville, and there are lots of Wes alumni around including Rachel Mandal (who works only a few blocks away from where they live) and Nell Robinson. Naomi Huang ’00 also lives just a short drive away.


Jordan Vega recently started as a project manager at JPMorganChase in the Business Architecture and Transformation group. Living on the UES for about three years after too many years living in Murray Hill. “It’s ironic because JPM was my first job after Wes. Then after getting my MBA, and six-plus years at a smaller firm, I’m back to same bank where I began. Your email also reminded me the reach out to old friends today, so I’ve been playing phone tag and texting this evening with Geoff Dailey, who was my roommate freshman year in Clark. We both admitted to being the world’s worst former roommate since we only touch base about once year, but it’s always like no time as passed when we do talk to each other.” How about the rest of you? Reached out to your frosh roommate recently?

Ari Gerzon-Kessler had an eventful 2017. In late August, he married Sashi Gerzon-Rose in the mountains outside of their home in Boulder, Colo. William Messer blessed the couple with his presence at their small lakeside ceremony. After serving as an elementary school principal over the past six years, Ari was thrilled to start a new position for his local school district in October as director of parent and family partnerships, working primarily to empower Spanish-speaking families to engage more deeply in the school system. Ari is also working part-time as a financial wellbeing coach as he puts the final touches on a book about financial literacy aimed for people in their 20s and 30s. “Like all good Boulderites, Sashi and I spend much of our downtime in nature going on adventures with our Australian Shepherd pup.”

Katherine Goldberg’s editorial in the peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Record, “Exploring Caregiver Burden Within a Veterinary Setting” was press released and picked up by several news organizations including CBS, Newsweek, and Huffington Post. The article focused on the first research paper devoted to caregiver burden in owners of seriously and terminally ill pets. No surprise, stress, anxiety, depression, and psychosocial distress are elevated in owners of seriously ill pets compared with healthy pets, and the implications for veterinarian wellbeing are significant. One quote that was picked up in several of the articles, “Arguably, the greatest stressors and most difficult moments for vets have little to do with the animal-related aspects of professional life, but rather the people-related ones. The emotional labor of veterinary medicine is significant; much of this emotional labor is related to client interactions, which can be particularly intense surrounding serious or terminal illness.”


Bill Wilson and Mary Bridges welcomed Louisa Bridges Wilson to the world this February. Jennifer Schockett and husband, Dave, and welcomed their first baby, a boy, Max Lev, in 2016. They also bought their first house in Natick, Mass. “We’re so excited to be settling into our new life!”


Eve Fox met up with Sarah Benatar ’97 and Jonah Sachs ’97 and all their spouses in late September to celebrate the wedding of Ben Boothby ’97 to Darcy Yellin, overlooking the ocean in Bar Harbor, Maine.

In late September, Arthur Baraf celebrated his 40th birthday with Bill Foster, Alissa Farber, and Greg Tuzzolo ’00 in Providence, R.I., where he is in his 10th year as principal of The Met High School. These days, Arthur is also a Students-at-the-Center Distinguished Fellow, teaching graduate students at Providence College, producing the Student-Centered Learning Podcast, and fathering beautiful 6- and 8-year-old daughters.

Michael Hakim did his first triathlon and feels great! “The fear of long swims in the ocean is now over. It’s a mental and physical challenge and ready for the next challenge that comes my way.” If anyone is in the LA area, please reach out to him at “Wesleyan should postpone all sporting events on Yom Kippur!”

Marianna Ellenberg’s play Pawel and Ebola, which she wrote and will be directing, will premiere at The Kitchen in February. “I will be hosting a benefit for the play in November at David Lewis gallery in lower Manhattan, with a preview performance. All are welcome. The play stars rising independent film actor Hannah Gross as well as Tavish Miller and Erin Mullin from the Wooster Group.”

Suzanne Bouffard has a new book out! The Most Important Year. Here’s a link.


Several submissions from classmates who have never sent in notes or at least not in the past decade: Erin Morris and fiance, Michael LoCascio, live in Wilton, Conn., with their two pugs. They both work in Stamford where Erin is a market research manager for Charter Communications and Michael is a senior consultant at The Benefit Practice. Madhu Kannapiran finished OSU med school in 2005, and moved up to Minneapolis with his wife, Kelly, a med school classmate. She went to Williams, coincidentally. They’ve been in Minne ever since. “I’m in pulmonary/critical care, and she’s a pediatrician. We’ve got two daughters, a mastiff, two chickens, fish and caterpillars. Life moves fast…”

Kevin Black catching us up on his life as a first-time submitter (woohoo!). “After graduation in 1999, I enrolled in a PhD program at Boston University and received a PhD in experimental particle physics in 2005. For five years I was first a post-doctoral scholar and then a research scientist at Harvard University. In 2010, I returned to Boston University as assistant professor of physics and was promoted in 2016 to associate professor with tenure. In 2017, I became director of graduate studies and associate chair. I have worked at the Large Hadron Collider for the last 12 years and was part of the team that discovered the Higgs Boson in 2012. I got married in India in 2006 and had a daughter in 2010 who is now in the first grade and currently live in Wellesley, Mass., not so far from the college.”


Darryl and Bob are bracing for another Maine winter, after enjoying the sun of summer. Kevin and family continue to amortize their investment in an old Toyota Corolla. Professor Dick Miller would be proud.

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |