CLASS OF 2013 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Zach Schonfeld celebrated the one-year anniversary of the time he got laid off, got a book deal, and went to see the repulsive 1975 film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom all on the same day. He is nearly finished with his first book, a 33-1/3 volume chronicling the story of the widely sampled funk band 24-Carat Black. He lives with Rebecca Vaadia in New York City, right near the diner from Seinfeld.

Peter Horton has been living it up in Japan for the last year but came back to Brooklyn on New Year’s to see his friends The Strokes. Croy Salinas has moved to a Park Slope adjacent neighborhood and is remembered fondly by his friends. Ethan Grund is loving the trials and tribulations of being a Midwest farmer at his homestead in Minnesota. Will Davis is loath to admit he has a new hobby, and Mark Popinchalk is looking to reinvent his identity as we enter the next decade by introducing an extra consonant into his name. Noah Masur ’15 has found clarity, Sora Akiyoshi ’14 wants to rue the day, Chloe Rinehart ’14 has been there, done that, Susanna Banks is happily employed, and Natalie Robichaud ’14 falls in love almost daily.

Matt Motta is starting his second semester as an assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State University. Matt joined OSU after finishing his PhD at the University of Minnesota in 2018 and completing postdoctoral work at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (University of Pennsylvania and Yale University) in 2019. Matt teaches courses on political campaigns, public opinion polling, and statistical programming. His research tests the effectiveness of strategies aimed at helping scientists communicate more effectively with the public about controversial environmental and public health issues. His work has been published in academic journals like Nature Climate Change and has been featured in press outlets like Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Matt lives in Tulsa, Okla., and would love to meet up with alumni in the area!

This fall, Nick Orvis returned to Connecticut, where he’s begun working on an MFA in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama. For the past five years, Gabriel Urbina has been living and working in Brooklyn. In that time, he has created, written, and directed a series of award-winning audio fiction podcasts, including Wolf 359, Time:Bombs, and Zero Hours, often collaborating with various Wesleyan alumni. In 2020, he’s excited to dive into new work, including finishing the manuscript for a novel and continuing to produce new original audio content through Long Story Short Productions, the company he runs along with Zach Valenti ’12 and Sarah Shachat ’12. Gabriel also works as a freelance writer, teacher, and public speaker. Ally Bernstein and Audrey Kiely continue to seriously question their life choices as they embark on adventures in other peoples’ problems as newly minted MSWs. They routinely call each other crying, wondering why, oh god why, would they choose to do this work? They could have done those demos for cookware at Costco or given duck boat tours. Instead, they spend their days listening to endless detail of trauma, prompting coping skills, and having things thrown at them. Ally and Audrey have also discovered their dogs are a force dyad, so that’s cool.

Haley Sacks was in the New York Times and on Good Morning America. She is a financial pop star that makes keeping up with the Dow Joneses as fun as Keeping Up with The Kardashians.

Zoe Muller moved to Philadelphia a little over a year ago with her fiancée, Ivy, and two dogs, Roosevelt and Quinn, to start a new job in urban planning and design at WRT Design after graduating from MIT’s master’s program in urban planning. She bought a house in West Philly and went full HGTV on it, complete with surprise basement flood, bathtub leaking, neighbors trimming trees without permission, weekends full of sanding and painting, and beautiful hidden historic fireplaces to help reassure her this wasn’t a crazy idea. It is now a functional and beautiful home with most of the kinks worked out and a handful of half-complete projects. Zoe is looking forward to a year of getting back into more physical activity and outdoor time, spending more time and energy making ceramics, and making time to visit and reconnect with friends.

Laura Yim | 

CLASS OF 2012 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

A new year and a new decade have arrived. Many of us will look back at the last 10 years and recall the impact Wesleyan had on our last decade. Personally, I am grateful for the foundation provided to me on the Hilltop and the influence it still holds on the journey I am on today. Now a look into what a few our classmates have accomplished in the last year of the decade:

Nate Mondschein started a music production company, Echo Base Production, received the 2019 ASCAP Robert Allen Award for his songwriting and production work and released his debut solo album, . . .And the Sky, under his artist name Best Mann. Nate is working on a few new projects, including some Wesleyan-adjacent songwriting and production work with Spencer Hattendorf and Matt Bernstein ’11, and co-producing Josh the Word’s (aka Josh Smith ’11) upcoming collection of singles. Take some time to listen in on Nate’s debut album.

Benjamin Kaufman started a new job this year at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Benny is the associate director for Team Fox, the grassroots fundraising arm of the foundation.

Tess Minter got engaged in 2019 and will be tying the knot over Labor Day weekend in Santa Cruz. Her fiancé is Craig Lahti, who is from Minnesota and graduated from St. Thomas. They met when they were both working in a homeless youth shelter in 2012.

A few of our classmates ended the decade with an adventure. Noa Borkan, Anne DeBoer, Ally Wang, and Saumya Chatrath ’13 visited Rachel Levenson in Nairobi, Kenya. They road-tripped across Kenya, including visiting national parks and ringing in 2020 by the Kenyan coast. Rachel continued the Wes-in-Nairobi reunions, spending time with Nathan Mackenzie and Yinka Taiwo, who were visiting Kenya.

As for me, I am enjoying the newlywed life and coastal living. Wishing the entire class of 2012 an incredible year and decade to come.

Daisey Perez |

CLASS OF 2011 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

I hope 2020 is off to a great start for the Class of 2011. Some exciting updates from our classmates below.

Isabel Magowan writes, “I am a working artist and photographer based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and married last June. Thinking of all my fellow Wes classmates and hoping they are doing well!”

Christopher Ceccolini and Jordan Gratch ’13 finally tied the knot, nearly 10 years after first meeting at Wesleyan. The two were married on Oct. 19, at Gedney Farm in Massachusetts. They were surrounded by many close family and friends, including 26 Wesleyan alumni from numerous graduation years (2010-2014). Jordan is now a first-year associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York and Chris is a clinical fellow in psychology at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Chris looks forward to joining Jordan in New York when he finishes his PhD in counseling psychology next year.

Ceccolini-Gratch wedding

Amanda Faraone lives in Austin, Texas, with husband Alex Anthony ’10, and their son, George. She is the new development director for American Short Fiction and is at work on her novel about teenage girls and love magic.

Becky Eidelman writes, “In the fall, I began a two-year master’s degree program in urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University.”

Jared Gimbel became a member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA) in late 2019. With his video game about Greenland, Kaverini Nuuk Adventures, slated for a 2020 release after many delays, he has begun working on the expansion.

Cheryl Tan writes, “I am still in Singapore! Last year I did four screen projects and a difficult play called Displaced Persons’ Welcome Dinner, about humanitarian aid workers in conflict zones. It premiered at the Singapore International Arts Festival and took up 13 weeks (two workshop sessions before the full production). It’s a semi-devised work, very tiring.”

Marshall Johnson reports, “Back in September I started a new job in astronomy as a staff scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) in Santa Barbara, Calif. LCO operates a network of 23 robotic telescopes at seven observatory sites around the world, and, in my new position, I’m working with our NRES high-resolution spectrographs that we operate at four of those sites, in addition to conducting my own research. I now work closely with Tim Brown ’72, among others.”

Last but not least, Jennifer Spero writes, “I will be marrying Tristan Tully ’09 and moving to London!” Congrats, Jen and Tristan!

As always, thank you for your updates!

Allie Southam |

CLASS OF 2010 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Greetings, Class of 2010!  Please enjoy the following updates from our fellow Cardinals.

Kait Halibozek married Jack Fitzmorris in October in Palm Springs, Calif. Her bridesmaids included Katie Boyce-Jacino, Rebecca Weiss Roberts, and Lauren Valentino Yadav. The wedding was also attended by Dave Bachy, Tony Zosherafatain, Rose Agger, Emily Rasenick, Heather Stanton, Brenna Galvin ’11, Carrie Cohen Smolen ’12, Lindsay Keys ’11, and Danielle Klimashousky ’08.

Justin Papermaster reports that “Gary Garofalo and I have started a new company called LoudCrowd in Austin, Texas. Our software helps consumer brands turn their regular customers into advocates. Our platform makes it possible to incentivize and measure customers to create more user-generated content about them on social sites like Instagram. We raised our pre-seed funding round in October, led by Active Capital. We actually work in the same building as a company called People Pattern founded by Ken Cho ’94, so lots of good Wes stories get shared at office happy hours!”

Dan Bloom moved to Seattle in 2015 when his company, Slope, received investment from Microsoft. Dan and his business partner grew Slope (work management software for marketing and creative teams) in Seattle for the last few years, raising money from Wesleyan alumni like Strauss Zelnick ’79 and Frank Sica ’73, and other investors in the Pacific Northwest. In January 2019, Smartsheet Inc. acquired Slope. Dan has been working at Smartsheet for a year now and the Slope technology has been added to Smartsheet’s core capabilities. Dan still lives in Seattle with his fiancée, Laura.

Seth Rosen moved to Brooklyn a few months ago after four years in the Bay Area. He is preparing to start teaching game design as an adjunct at NYU while continuing to work on a few game development projects of his own, one of which Seth hopes to release this year.

Exciting news from Jess Brownfeld Spierer! She and Eric Spierer welcomed their son, David Ari Spierer, on Dec. 5.

J.P. Valette contributes the following: “I completed my family medicine residency at the University of California San Diego in June and I’m halfway through my sports medicine fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. I’m about to finish the hiring process for my first job in primary care sports medicine in San Francisco, where I’ll be moving in August. I’m excited to move back home and finally get my career in medicine started after a long journey of training. Shout out to anyone already in the Bay Area. I would love to reconnect when I get there. In Wesleyan-specific news, I’ve been hanging out with Jed Rendleman ’12 and together we’ve been getting back into Ultimate Frisbee by playing in a recreational men’s winter league and pickup games. We both played on the club team Nietzsch Factor while at Wesleyan. In other news, I’ve been to Burning Man for the past two years and am looking forward to going back this year for another amazing time.”

Katherine Kitfield Bascom is working as a writer-designer creative lead for the analytics and behavior change marketing team at Aetna-CVS Health in NYC. On the side, she is still pursuing her passion for all things fitness. Katherine is happily engaged and living in Jersey City.

Finally, you may have heard that our classmate and friend Pedro Ventura was shot last October by a stranger outside of a nightclub in North Carolina. Pedro suffered major injuries to his spinal cord as a result of this senseless act. Many of you know Pedro as a dear friend, a fighter, and a joy to all who know him. As he embarks on the long road to recovery, our friend is now in need of support. More details on Pedro’s story and his recovery can be found here: If you can, any contribution would go a long way.

Thank you as always for the wonderful updates, and as always, feel free to send them anytime.

David Layne |


CLASS OF 2009 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Hi, Class of 2009. Some exciting notes to share on your classmates as we enter the new decade:

Bryan Wieland writes: “My wife, Nicole, and I welcomed the newest future Cardinal to our family, Cameron Wieland. He was born Sept. 18.”

Justin LaSelva and Sarah Yost married in Hawaii in December. Wonderful Wesfolk Jeffrey Kaplan and Laura Rubin attended the traditional Hawaiian ceremony, which took place on an off-grid mountainside coffee plantation. Justin, who has been living in Austin since 2011, works in information security at The University of Texas at Austin; Sarah is a senior product marketing manager with National Instruments. The two recently built a house and share it with their adorable Havanese, Seymour. Outside of work, Justin produces a weekly radio show on the cooperatively owned and operated KOOP 91.7 FM.

Annie Paladino began a barbell-coaching business last year. Paladino Strength is body-positive, identity-affirming, and no-nonsense, helping folks of all ages, genders, and sizes become strong and capable. She enjoys working with beginners and those who are new to fitness, as well as anyone who has felt intimidated or unwelcome in traditional fitness spaces. She coaches private sessions and group classes in Seattle, as well as offering online coaching for folks around the world. Find her at

Daphne Schmon writes: “I am approaching my fifth year living in London and will be going into production on my debut narrative feature film this March. The Eye is a very personal project, a psychological thriller co-written with close friend Emily Carlton, and set on the Greek island where my mom is from. This spring will also mark the third edition of our Breaking Through The Lens initiative, connecting female directors to film financiers at the Cannes Film Festival (”

Sofia Warner and Eric Weiskott welcomed their daughter, Lili, into the world in August.

Katie Hanna got married to Will Cerbone on Aug. 17, in Cold Spring, N.Y. Bridesmaids included Madeline Trimble, Lauren Barth, and Joan Bosco. Eyal Bar-David and Jia Yee also attended.

Lastly, former tennis stars Matthew O’Connell and Ania Prenata are teaming up in doubles play versus a new opponent, their daughter Natalie Halina O’Connell, born on Jan. 4, 2020. This match will certainly end with a score of Love-Love.

Thanks for sending in notes and please keep them coming!

Alejandro Alvarado |

CLASS OF 2008 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Since graduating from Wesleyan, Kyra Beckmann has been living in Los Angeles, amassing marketing expertise and enjoying the sunshine. She joined Sephora a year ago as the director of content production and is active in the evolving content landscape.

Lyz Nardo Levy writes, “We are counting down in the Levy household—we will welcome baby girl #2 in early March. My daughter Mila (13 months) will be promoted to the role of Big Sister and my husband, who always dreamed of being surrounded by women, will get his wish (just maybe not the way he intended).”

Kate Krems graduated from George Washington Law in May, gave birth to her second child, Adela, in June, and somehow managed to pass the Bar in July. She works for Zuckerman Law, a small firm specializing in employment and whistleblower law in the D.C.-metro area and takes time to practice and teach yoga when she can.

Emma Komlos-Hrobsky writes, “2019 was a year of wild and weird pleasures in writing for me. In June, with support from the Elizabeth George Foundation, I made a trip to CERN, the international particle research center outside Geneva, to research a novel. It was nothing short of life-changing to see such wonders as the Compact Muon Solenoid that detected the Higgs boson and to interview women particle physicists about their work. In September, The Colony—a performance piece about sisterhood and the eusocial behavior of army ants—premiered at UConn; it was a treat to co-write it with my friend Anna Lindemann and to imagine what an ant aria might sound like. Otherwise, I am living in New York City with my longtime boyfriend Matt and hoping for more particle physics and bugs in 2020.”

Amanda Sim is happy to announce the launch of a new design studio, Working Hard. Working Hard is a design consultancy that creates visual experiences and design solutions with a special focus on taking on projects for social good. In tandem, Working Hard has also created a line of desk organization products—the first product set just went live in January. Check it out at

Alicia Collen Zeidan |

CLASS OF 2007 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Happy New Year, Class of 2007! Megan here to keep you posted on what’s new. Exciting news: Maude Bass-Krueger curated an exhibition in NYC with an accompanying book published by Yale University Press. Maude adds that the book was “designed by the fab Irma Boom to boot!” The expo got rave reviews from Roberta Smith at the New York Times.

Wedding bells continue to ring: Eric Altneau reports that Ben Byers was married to Loretta Douglas on Sept. 1, 2019.

David Scardella and Jaime Wendel are living in Pembroke, Mass., with their two sons Tyler (17-months) and Andrew (3). David owns a dental practice in Duxbury, Mass., and Jaime is a manager of donor relations and events at Crossroads for Kids, a Duxbury nonprofit.

Finally, Jane Charles-Voltaire is a lawyer working with the International Association of Women Judges. She and her husband Paul currently live in Santiago, Chile, and will be moving to Madrid, Spain, this summer.

As always, please keep sending us any and all updates!

Megan Harrington |

Victoria Belyavsky Pinsky |

CLASS OF 2005 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Captain Jesse Sommer is deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Stephanie Marcus and Jon Shestakofsky welcomed their own Wes baby, Theo, in November 2018. Last August they celebrated their five-year wedding anniversary. They have been living in Cooperstown, N.Y., for four years. Steph is an elementary art teacher and Jon is VP of communications and education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Marcella Winearls |

CLASS OF 2003 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Alison Criscitiello, director of the Canadian Ice Core Lab, is leading several multi-disciplinary, multi-national ice coring initiatives, including an upcoming expedition to drill an ice core high on Mount Logan’s summit plateau ( Her daughter, Winter, just turned 1!

In August, Mark Forscher joined Bison Trails, the leading blockchain infrastructure provider, as head of brand and design. The company announced its $25.5 million Series A financing round and is one of the founding members of the Libra Association.

Ryan Garbalosa was named the Best Cardiologist for 2019 in the first annual Best of Clarendon Awards hosted by the county newspaper. The Sumter Item recognizes professionals in Clarendon county. Also, he was selected as one of the Top 20 under 40 young professionals in the Sumter-Clarendon-Lee tri-county area. He serves on the medical executive committee for Tuomey Hospital and as the medical director of the cardiac rehabilitation and echocardiography departments at McLeod Clarendon Hospital.

John Graham has expanded his high-end cultural tourism business to include Ethiopia! While completing his PhD, John has been leading tours in Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey since 2006. Details listed at He would love to have Wes alumni on the tours!

In September, Joey Wender, his wife, Lauren, and their 3-year-old son, Sam, welcomed Abby Wender into the world.

Tejas Desai befriended Zaheed Essack ’05 and Rashida Abuwala ’05 after meeting them at a mutual friend’s wedding in Brooklyn! He also hung out with Brett Carty ’04 for the first time in many years when he helped set up a play date with Ted and Laurie Quinn, Bayard Templeton, and their wonderful children on a trip to Philly! As for his books, in December 2019 The Brotherhood became a #1 bestseller on Amazon in two separate categories and briefly surpassed Crazy Rich Asians and Pachinko on the Asian-American bestseller list. The Brotherhood also won the Pencraft Award in the Fiction-General category and both it and its sequel, The Run and Hide, have continued to garner great reviews. He is going on another Southeast Asia trip in February and working on the final edits for his next book, The Dance Towards Death, scheduled to be released in the fall.

Tim Schwartz’s first book, A Public Service: Whistleblowing, Disclosure and Anonymity, was released by OR Books in January. Thomas Drake, a former NSA executive and whistleblower, described the book as providing “a practical roadmap when making that often life-altering choice of standing up and exposing abuse and misuse of power across all sectors of society.” The goal of this book is to help individuals expose unethical and illegal acts while limiting retaliation.

Stu Sherman was awarded a two-year grant to support his ongoing legal aid work for low-income seniors with diminished capacity. In March he announced his candidacy for the New York City Council in 2021. His district (33) covers north Brooklyn, downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, and the East River waterfront.

Nezia Azmi formalized a “side hustle” and became executive director of Arts Focus Southeast Asia (, a Honolulu-based nonprofit entity that promotes and fosters an appreciation of the arts of Southeast Asia through education, performance, preservation, collaboration, and innovation. She completed her first documentary film showcasing the unique Asian Theatre Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; the film walks through the four-month process of rehearsals and training to produce a professional award-winning theatre production with a primarily student cast and crew and a core team of Balinese guest artists. Her “main hustle” remains as the lead for global engagement at the College of Education on the same campus. She and husband Paul Rausch never get tired of waking up to views Diamond Head and going in to work in beautiful Mānoa Valley every day.

Last October, after four years of development, Jamie Antonisse and his team at Sirvo Studios released their debut mobile game Guildlings on Apple Arcade. Jamie and his family are basking in the warm glow of positive reviews and bathing in a sea of customer support emails. They dream of taking a real vacation someday soon.

On a personal note, on Oct. 26, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Zoe Madeline Gottlieb, to the world. My daughter and I share a birthday!

Amy Tannenbaum Gottlieb |

CLASS OF 2001 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Thanks to everyone who wrote in at the start of 2020. It’s nice to kick off the new year with some feel-good news!

Andrew Calica and his wife, Jacqueline, welcomed their third child at the end of 2019. Baby Theodore made the perfect gift, arriving just in time for the holidays.

Melody Moezzi just finished her second year teaching creative writing at UNC Wilmington, as well as her book, The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life, which was published by an imprint of Penguin Random House. Melody’s husband, Matthew Lenard ’00, finished his second year as a PhD student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. The couple lives happily between Wilmington, N.C., and Cambridge, Mass., with their two ungrateful cats, Keshmesh and Nazanin.

Woody Fu co-created a digital series, UR Asian Friend, produced by Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy and Nerdist. One of the shorts, Ghost, is an official selection at Just For Laughs (Montréal) and Just For Laughs Northwest (Toronto). Oh, Canada! Woody toured his one-man character show, Too Many Asians!, at San Francisco Sketchfest and Upright Citizens Brigade Franklin in Los Angeles.

Chietigj Bajpaee and his wife, Neha, welcomed a new baby girl into their family. In the same year, Chietigj found time to complete a PhD at King’s College London, and he intends to publish his dissertation as a book. He also works for Equinor (Norwegian energy company) as a political adviser on its global strategy and business development team. Chietigj, please tell us your secret for squeezing more time out of a 24-hour day.

In 2019, Roger Smith’s passions for environmental advocacy and “all things Japan” finally merged when he started a new job with the environmental protection organization, Mighty Earth, to fight against coal-fired power plants in Japan. Roger invites any Wesleyan alumni passing through Tokyo to reach out!

Heather Tseng packed up and moved the family from Colorado to North Carolina, where they’re now trying to assimilate into Southern culture (bless their hearts). Heather still works in marketing, volunteers in animal rescue, and trains a young horse for show jumping. Another Wes slacker over here!

Seriously, you guys are all such overachievers, we’d get an inferiority complex if we didn’t like you so much. Thanks to everyone who shared their news. We wish all of our 2001 family (and the rest of Wes) a happy and healthy 2020.

Your 2001 keepers of the notes,

Mara Voukydis |

Aryn Sperando |