Dear Classmates: As I write this, we are going into the second year of the COVID pandemic. Things have slowed down for sure, but there is a surprising amount of news from the class of 1992 to share!
One of the most exciting things I did this last year (low bar, I know, but trust me, this event would be exciting in any year) was joining my senior year housemate Simon Fulford online to witness the swearing in of another housemate Jon Pratt to be the new U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti, on January 6, 2021. Given the other news from D.C. that day, it was heartening to see that good men like Jon remain dedicated to government service.
Simon is still living in Portland, Oregon where, since last year, life has been quite an adventure—local forest fires in September giving way to ice storms and power loss in February. All that, and his family just got a kitten!
Sarah Tunik and Dan Oppenheimer ’89 are thrilled to report that their third and final child is headed to Wesleyan, class of ’25. Their oldest son graduates from Wes this fall (it’s like they’re the House of Windsor!), while their daughter continues at the University of Vermont. Sarah and Dan are hoping the empty nest will lead to travels once COVID conditions permit! They should have plenty of time for that: Sarah is retiring after 20 years of teaching and Dan has been doing remote rare disease biotech consulting.
Jonathan Soros reports that in the midst of a pandemic he launched a new network of professional sports leagues. Athletes Unlimited had an extremely successful inaugural softball season in August 2020, and will add volleyball and lacrosse in 2021.
The New York Times ran a great piece on Edoardo Ballerini’s thriving career as an audiobook narrator.
Matt and Soo Schortman’s older daughter, Sophia, is a sophomore at Boston College and their younger daughter, Liv, is a senior in high school.
Amy (Andrews) Alznauer published three children’s books in 2020, one of which ended up on The New York Times Best 25 Children’s Books of 2020 list (see amyalz.com for more).
In other publishing news, Shura Pollatsek has a new book, Costume in Motion: A Guide to Collaboration for Costume Design and Choreography. It explores the interaction between costume designers and choreographers. The book has strong Wesleyan connections: it features photo essays documenting dance pieces, including one essay on our classmate Jody Sperling and her company Time Lapse Dance as well as an interview with current Wesleyan Professor of Dance Iddrisu Saaka, about West African dance.
Heather Nash is practicing psychology and publishing poetry (under her middle name Claudine). Her latest collection Beginner’s Guide to Loss in the Multiverse won the 2020 Blue Light Press Book Award.
Jonathan Bell and Sarah Zurier report from Providence, where Sarah works as a historian for the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, and Jonathan has an architecture practice and teaches in the Interior Architecture Department at RISD. Their son is 11 (and shout out to their dog, who turned four). Next year, Jonathan will be in France for six months on a research fellowship and they look forward to a change of scenery!
Chris Chezak is in Cincinnati, with his wife and two teen daughters. He continues to run the Outdoor Writers Association of America and freelance-write on the side.
Francesca Harewood was featured in Uptown Magazine in a story about her promotion to senior vice president of business affairs for NBC series, specials, and syndication. Congratulations, Fran!
David Shadrack Smith is in Brooklyn with his two boys Leo (12) and Lucas (10). His TV/film production company, Part2 Pictures, came out with a well-received series on Hulu, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, and continued production on their long-running series, This Is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN. Also on the TV production front, Darcy Dennet was in Alaska last Summer directing Yukon Vet for National Geographic Wild. The new season premieres on March 13.
After retiring from the Navy in 2017, Tamara O’Neil moved into the world of civilian employment at the USPS HQ in DC as an ethics lawyer. But now she’s hung up her Swingline stapler for good and joined the ranks of the faux-retired.
Amy Palatnick has written her first book, Can I Be Honest With You?, a romantic comedy dating memoir, that includes some stories from Wesleyan. The paperback, audiobook, and e-book will all be available on May 31.
And wrapping this thing up, we have news from a first-time notes giver—Jen Crittenden, who is a TV writer and created a new animated show that will air in May. The show, Housebroken, stars Lisa Kudrow, Nat Faxon, Tony Hale and Will Forte.
Let Jen be an example for everyone out there. We love to hear from everyone, especially folks we haven’t heard from in a while. So keep sending your news!