CLASS OF 1998 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Hi, fellow ’98ers. After a decade or so of doing our class notes, I (Jason) am ready to pass the torch on to someone else. Abby has been my class notes partner for the past three issues and will stay on, but it would be nice if she had some help. Would any of you be willing to help keep this going? It’s fulfilling to keep everyone informed but it’s easier when two people do it. If you can, email Abby or me. And, here are your notes:

After 20 years of making commercial video games, Simon Strange has returned to academia, becoming a PhD candidate at the University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland. His goal is to earn the world’s first PhD specifically focused on game design and production. Not to be outdone, Simon’s teenage son, Oskar, hopes to attend Hogwarts during that same period.

Sean Dague is now part of the quantum computing team at IBM, helping make this next great leap in computing accessible to the public. He and Susan Tveekrem MA’99 live in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and have a daughter, Arwen, who just started kindergarten this year. To celebrate her 5th birthday, they revived the old Wesleyan Physics Department tradition of making liquid nitrogen ice cream. The 15 kids with safety glasses on all loved both the show and the ice cream that followed.

A few annual traditions keep them in touch with Wesfolks. For their Memorial Day party, they got to host Trey Belew and his wife, Lara. They took the train up from Maryland where Trey is part of the research staff at the biology department of UMD. Shoshe Cole ’99 stopped by on her way back from the 20th Reunion. She’s living in Ithaca, N.Y., and recently completed her PhD in planetary science. They also were visited by Mike Christie-Fogg and wife Kaileah and their twin daughters. They made it a day trip from their place in Mystic, Conn. Mike has transitioned from woodworking to faux bois, and you can see his work at David Sutherland’s showroom in Manhattan.

Another annual tradition is camping in the Catskills with Scott McCracken and family. The McCracken clan has been doing this since their first child was born 13 years ago. Sean and Susan joined when Arwen was 1. When not pitching a tent or grilling burgers over an open fire in a 24-inch frying pan, Scott works as the medical director for a community health center.

They got to see Nick Coleman and wife H.N. James last summer. Nick is now a tenured professor of computer science at Austin Peay University in Tennessee. A few years ago, Sean, Susan, and Arwen visited them in Tennessee to see the great American solar eclipse. The epicenter came right over their apartment complex, and they had a full day of eclipse festivities, including solar scopes and snacks all day long.

Inspired by Anil Seth, Sean has become very involved in Citizens Climate Lobby, a volunteer organization that is lobbying congress to put a steadily rising fee on CO2 emissions and returning that money to households as a monthly dividend. He participated in two D.C. lobby days this year, the second with Trey Belew. The end of lobby day saw 75 co-sponsors for H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, the legislation they are advocating for.

Back in New York, this volunteer work was a great excuse to reconnect with Alison ’97 and Brent Spodek. Brent is the rabbi leading the Beacon Hebrew Alliance and lent early support to the bill, and Alison is a professor of chemistry at Vassar College. Sean had an opportunity to give a guest lecture in Alison’s climate change class this last spring on making climate policy.

Dahlia Schweitzer writes: “I have published another book (L.A. Private Eyes) with Rutgers University Press, and I have moved back to NYC for a teaching position at FIT in film and media studies. I’m really excited to get back in touch with all my Wesleyan people who live out on the East Coast and to finally be able to make it back to campus for the occasional visit.”

Jason Becton |

Abby Elbow |