JIEHO LEE ’95
Dear, ’95ers. Thank you all for your submissions, and I’m excited to announce that we have two first-time entrants to class notes! First up is Soraya Selene Burtnett, who moved to Spokane, Wash., to teach as a professor in film studies at Eastern Washington University. She has 3-year old twins and works as a director and cinematographer. A feature documentary she shot called Half the Picture premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She had a visit from Stacey Samuel ’96 and would love to connect with other Wes folk in the PNW!
Becky Nulty, who admits that she’s “been a lurker of the notes for years (decades!),” is also finally joining the fray! She writes, “2018 will be a big year for me: I’ve just started a new position as associate dean of teaching, learning, and assessment at Shoreline Community College, just north of Seattle. The new job should ensure that I finish my doctorate, which focuses on faculty development in higher ed. Also, I’m a recently-licensed foster parent, and my pup and I are hoping to welcome a kiddo into our home in the coming months.” Great news Becky! Thanks for sharing—your notes are welcome here anytime.
Spencer Douglas is a director of integrated marketing for Warner Bros Pictures and the board chair and liaison to the LGBTQ group at WB, where he was able to bring in Jennifer Finney Boylan ’80 to help educate the WB community about issues surrounding transgender representation in media. Over the holidays, Spencer had a great time catching up with Tracy Ferguson ’94, Anne Swan ’96, and Kim Sicard, and regularly keeps up with Megan Caper and Flo Stueck ’96. Spencer says, “I’m thrilled to learn that Eclectic members will be able to move back into the Haus next year!”
Naomi Greyser is continuing to work at University of Iowa, where she recently earned tenure and is executive director of POROI, Iowa’s Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry. She’s excited to be joining faculty in the departments of American studies and gender, women’s and sexuality studies this coming fall. Naomi writes, “Iowa City is a bit off the map of where I imagined ending up when I was in college—yet my husband and I are loving raising our 10-year-old daughter amidst the prairies. Wesleyan helped me think in incredibly intentional ways about political impact and the kind of projects I want to take on—and I feel frequently grateful for my time there!” Naomi has also recently published a book, On Sympathetic Grounds: Race, Gender and Affective Geographies in Nineteenth-Century North America. Anyone interested in social justice issues in relation to the arts and humanities—check it out!
My old WestCo mate Lara Tupper writes: “I released my first full-length CD, This Dance, a tribute to my favorite jazz and pop tunes, on CD Baby and iTunes. I got married in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Torrential rain and a fabulous day. My talented husband, Bobby Sweet, is featured on the album.” Congratz on both accounts, Lara!
David Perry is now a columnist for the west coast magazine Pacific Standard, covering history, politics, culture, and disability rights.
Danielle Langston, another WestCo alum, writes, “After three years living in Brisbane, Australia, working in architecture in the areas of education and aged care, I have relocated to Melbourne with my husband Carl and children, Otto and Sylvie. Carl has taken a position leading the new urban planning department at Monash University, and I am looking for a new architecture firm where I can torture my co-workers with bad jokes and kitten videos. I will miss my time playing in the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, but I am excited to explore the opportunities for music-making here in Melbourne. Get in touch if any of you are ever in this southern neck of the woods.”
Patrick Hutter-Bluml has done a full career flip and started as chef de cuisinefor the owner of one of the largest ecological, organic farms, and online shops in Germany.
Son Tranis in D.C., working as a senior project manager at Forum One, a digital agency, along with two other Wes alumni, Leah Stern ’06 and Shawn Bracket ’97. They recently won a Webby award for their work on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture website! Son also has been kicking around with Cheryl Mejia, who is currently an interventional pain management doc in Western Maryland, and who recently married her partner Clare Madrigal (LGBT nurse navigator for Johns Hopkins) at the pride parade in D.C.; attendees included Son, Joah Iannotta, and probably some other WesFolk inadvertently attending.
Jason Wiser, “I’m living in Somerville, Mass., with my wife and daughter (8), with whom I made a cooperative card game for kids last year called Monsters in the Elevator. Just finished a job as department chair of animation at a private arts college, now teaching classes at Tufts and Harvard in game design and animation at night and working as a mobile game animator by day. Also working with the Boston Globeto make comics to help kids in a rehab hospital imagine themselves as superheroes yayaplay.com.”
Ken Kwiatkowski is living in Jersey City and just celebrated the first birthday of his second son.
Greg Rolland writes, “This past stretch had Wes folks molding my kids right underneath my nose. On my family’s swing through Boston recently, accomplished violinist and music teacher Leah Bartell stuck a viola in the hands of my eldest daughter Sally and convinced her she had natural viola form. The brainwashing took: now she’s determined and excited to start viola. Also, rang in the new year with Peter Follet and Stephanie Flaherty in Easthampton, Mass., who preside over the local basketball league in which my three kids play. So, my girls are hooked on that. All this after they starred in a minor film produced by their cousin Becca Engle ’18 not long ago. Go Wes!”
Finally, big shout to my co-secretary, Katy McNeill, who writes that after spending the past couple of years living in the U.K., she and her family have moved back to the States. They’re back in the Boston area (Arlington) and Katy has started a job at the Harvard Business School library. Living abroad was a really rewarding experience; now they’re settling in back here, reconnecting, managing reverse culture shock, and finding ways to stay connected to British culture (for Katy it’s continuing to listen to a high volume of BBC radio).
Bo Bell | firstname.lastname@example.org
Katy McNeill | email@example.com