CLASS OF 1988 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Peter writes for this issue.

David Silverberg advises, “I started a podcast focusing on how the pandemic impacts the field of education, which features interviews with superintendents, professors, authors, and other leaders ( Great if you want to spread the word to others in our class—or to Wesleyan grads in general—who might be interested in listening or, perhaps, being interviewed.”

Michael Taylor writes, “I am serving as the music director for St. Joseph Parish in Stuart, Fla. Since the middle of March, the church has been closed to the public, but we began live-streaming our services. Although we can’t have our choirs and praise bands participate, we still have music (a singer and me). Happily, they are still keeping me on the payroll, although it’s certainly strange celebrating Mass for an almost empty church. In our abundant spare time, we’ve been reading more, trying to exercise, and, like so many other musicians, amusing ourselves by coming up with coronavirus-related song parodies. Here’s a link to our latest silliness:”

Sue Haiken Parmet shares, “Some good news in the midst of the chaos, my daughter Sara will be (hopefully!) heading to Wes this fall. She was accepted into the Class of 2024, and we’re all very excited. I hear there may be some others with kids who will be joining the Class of 2024. Hopefully, they’ll let you know themselves!”

Rob Wrubel ’88, MA ’89 notes, “My children and I had a New Orleans food day yesterday—beignets for breakfast, shrimp po’boy sandwiches for lunch, and jambalaya for dinner. They watched The Princess and the Frog, and we listened to NOLA inspired music all day. I finished my next book and am waiting for it to come back from the editor before publication this summer/fall.”

Keith Seibert reports, “We are fine and riding out the pandemic in Palo Alto. We are very fortunate that the Bay Area began the sheltering-in-place process early, it really saved lives. That also meant we experienced panic buying and hoarding early on—I still regret not grabbing the Purell bottle off my office desk! A silver lining in this has been reconnecting with a number of friends across the country and keeping in close touch, exchanging news and humor by text.”

Tim McCallum shares from Hawaii, “I am the busiest unemployed person I know. My Pilates studio shut down for now, but I am helping a friend create an off-grid homestead in the jungle on the North Shore. I’m also doing shopping trips for a few families and some seniors (we call them “kupuna” here), so they don’t have to risk the virus at Costco. Keeping my 3-year-old son, Logan, busy at the beach, and trying to lay my hands on enough bailout money to keep my biz afloat until our All-Knowing Leaders decide the coast is clear, pandemic-wise. Full of gratitude that Hawai’i got a very mild case of pandemic (14 dead). Now, if I could just get Logan to potty-train!”

Greg Wolfe tells us, “Had a great Zoom call with Raph Worrick, Wayne Reiss ’86, and Helen Reiss ’87 last week. Our youngest, Ben, started Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in theater lighting design but had to exit campus in March. His older sister, Emily, graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2019, and after extensive travel in east Asia with Michigan friends, is also back home in Connecticut. We’ve been writing songs, learning songs, and playing music together during the quarantine, which has been great. Everyone’s healthy here and hoping for better days ahead for all.”

Gail Kahan writes, “I live in Maryland and opened my estates and trusts practice about 15 years ago. I’m a solo attorney with two paralegals who are integral to providing friendly, competent service to my clients. We, Kahan Law ladies, are working from home and anticipate that this horrible tragedy will last far longer than anyone would like. I’ll be married 30 years this May, have two almost-grown kids, both of whom are home and attending school via Zoom. Husband Jeff (Oberlin ’88) also works from home with no discernible change in his work life. The four of us feel incredibly lucky to be healthy and together in our little capsule. Wishing all who read this good health.”

Peter V.S. Bond | 

Hillary Ross |

CLASS OF 1987 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Hello, Class of ’87! I am writing to you in May, while many governors are weighing the risks of opening back up. This has been an unimaginable part of our lives, and the notes I am reporting reveal the strangeness of this time in quarantine.

Giles Richter reports that he is hunkered down with his wife in San Mateo, Calif., having returned from Tokyo in January. He works at Stanford for a Japanese language intensive program. Giles worked to move the program online to keep it running despite the crisis. He has kept tabs on classmates sheltering in New York, including Anne Dunham, Adrienne Fitzgerald, Becca Gallagher ’90, Jack Levinson, Jeremy Mindich ’87, MALS ’89, and Vivian Trakinski.

Gabrielle Sellei was sworn into the New York Bar from her front porch in May. She is an entertainment lawyer, getting increased interest from New York-based clients. She’s now a Pennsylvania-New York-New Jersey triple threat.

Amy Baltzell shares a little joy in a time of so much dark news: Shayna, her oldest daughter, is attending Wesleyan this fall. She will be joining the rowing team. Amy says she is overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement for her to have the chance to experience Wesleyan.

David Josephs and his family relocated from London back to Chicago in March, arriving at O’Hare on the first day of newly-instituted customs procedures at O’Hare Airport. It took them six hours to get through immigration. They have moved back into their home in the Chicago suburbs and are happy to be closer to their daughter and families now. David took a new job as CEO at daVinci Payments, after five years with Visa. Living in London was fantastic, including a visit from David Igler ’88, MA’88.

After 26 years in Chicago, J.B. Davis and his wife, Rachel, moved their family Josiah (18), Eli (15), Abby (13), puppy Booker, and cat Billie to Cleveland three years ago. Rachel is an administrator at Cleveland State University, and J.B. is the director of engagement and marketing at Suburban Temple – Kol Ami, a reform synagogue.

Hemanshu Nigam has built a career working on the safety initiatives in the public space and cyberspace. Recently, he developed an app called Syndesy (, offering protections including connecting emergency alerts to contacts and the ability to track negative interactions in a verified form. The app has a recently-added check-ins feature that makes it easy for users to voluntarily capture where they have been and when, and inform family and friends should they be diagnosed COVID-19 positive. This feature provides an approach to contact tracing, balancing civil liberties and privacy with the ability to protect society.

The pandemic pushed Wendy Blum’s dance education work online. She has been designing and teaching remote curriculum for pre-K through fifth grade in New York City public schools. She enjoys the upsides of technology, such as the ability to use the media of masterworks made available during the pandemic. However, teaching physical dance via video has been challenging. During the stay-at-home order, Wendy interacts with many Wespeeps via multiple digital platforms. She took a Zoom dance class alongside Molly Rabinowitz, had Jody Sperling ’92 as a guest artist in her GoogleMeets classroom, and has met virtually with Kim Sargent-Wishart (Australia), Sue Roginski (California), Evelyn Shapiro (Illinois), Darya Mead (California), Pauline Frommer ’88 (New York City), Eddie Zas (New York City), Dave Cole (Illinois), Debby Hamilton (California), Andrew Grimaldi (Massachusetts), Steve Morison ’88 (Bulgaria), Nancy Nachbar ’89 (Maryland), Steve Kullback ’89 (Georgia), Christie Trott ’88 (California), and Paul Gosselin ’88 (France).

Ian Rosen and his family are persevering in London. He finds himself grateful for the opportunity to work hard from home. He’s busy in sustainability across three businesses—investment management in renewable energy, a technology company in electric-vehicle charging, and property development. His daughter finished her Wesleyan frosh year from home in London. In his role as alumni rep, Ian is planning virtual gatherings given physical ones seem a way off.

Josh Calder works as a futurist, offering support across many industries. Years ago, his company sent out a prediction about the possibilities of a pandemic and its deep effects. Josh said that even being intellectually prepared, he was not inoculated against how weird the pandemic is. In the kind of news a class secretary delights in, Josh reports a previous column of class notes informed him that his sons’ peace teacher is our classmate Linda Ryden, who lives five houses down from him in Northwest D.C.

Finally, we got news in early April that Willie Greeke had died from COVID-19, a stunningly cruel disease. Willie was remembered on Facebook by his classmates for his activities at Wesleyan, and for the good guy that he was. The world is a little darker for this loss.

In addition to news of their activities during the pandemic, our classmates wrote in to send best wishes and love to their Wesleyan friends. I sincerely hope this message finds you and your family safe and healthy.

Rebecca Zimbler Graziano |

CLASS OF 1986 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

First: Our 35th Reunion is in 2021, so we will have virtual celebrations this winter and spring, and (if all goes well) an in-person celebration in Middletown in late May. Please watch your email or our Facebook page for updates. If you haven’t been receiving emails from Wes, please let me know.

Earlier this year, many of us had children who were graduating from college or high school. Sue Bidwell’s comments about a senior week and virtual commencement were true for many of us. She said replicating senior week at home was a bit of a challenge, but “on the positive side, family members from around the country were able to participate virtually. Whereas even if there were no pandemic, they would have been unable to attend in person, so it was nice to be inclusive of the whole family—and best of all, we could all attend commencement in our PJs!”

Erika Levy wrote from NYC, where she’s an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Teachers College, Columbia University. Erika and her colleagues recently received a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a program fostering collaboration between speech-language pathologists and teachers of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Erica is in regular contact with Craig Hetzer and Liza Baron.

Also, in New York, Jeff Liss has been spending this pandemic time cleaning and organizing his basement and garage. “In other news, I spent the last year losing 75 pounds and can now fit into the Wesleyan sweatshirt I bought in December 1981 the weekend after I was accepted! In December, I joined the Board of Trustees for a small nonprofit that has been making headlines recently as a result of all of the COVID-19 deaths in New York City—The Hart Island Project. You can learn all about it at”

Dennis Carboni wrote a long email; some extracts are below. Dennis has become a certified ice technician, meaning he operates and maintains a Zamboni ice resurfacer. “I use my engineering skills and art skills every year when we install the ice, layout, and then paint all the hockey markings. It’s hard to describe how much fun, joy, and peace I get out of physically working on the ice.” He’s in regular contact with David Rose and Hal Phillips; in fact, this spring, they’ve been doing a video call every Saturday night. Carboni’s son and daughter are both in their mid-20s and good in their post-college lives. Although Dennis never smoked or chewed tobacco, in recent years his right upper lung lobe and one-eighth of his tongue were removed because of two separate cancer diagnoses, but “I’ve been fine ever since.”

My inbox also had notes from, among others, Elena Scharnoff (“I have my own consulting business, and work continues to flow in”), Charlie Berthoud (a pastor for a Presbyterian congregation in Madison), Steve Price (one of many in our five-year club—those who started Wes in 1981 and graduated with us), Melany Kahn (near Keene, N.H., and very active in progressive politics), Shawn Cuddy (who referred to her husband, James Hallett), and Ann O’Hanlon (we are all fighting the passage of time, eh?), and Ester Amy Fischer (who like many of us, was wondering about the next chapter in her life).

I also acknowledge the new fellowship among many of 50-or-so classmates who participated in one or more of our video conferences earlier this year. It was a great way to learn about the interesting things that our class members are doing with their lives (and look into their private lives, as we saw their backyards and living rooms). The larger gatherings had about two dozen classmates, with some living only 20 miles off campus and some joining us from hundreds or thousands of miles away (the distance winners were Melbourne and the South Pole—each being about 10,000 miles from Middletown).

Our three class agents—John Gannon, David Hill, and Michael Levin—and I look forward to seeing you online or in-person in the coming months. If you would like to volunteer a few hours in the coming months to help support the university or help make the Reunion program a success, please let me know.

Eric Howard |

CLASS OF 1985 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Hello, Class of ’85! It was terrific to see so many of you at our Re-Zoom-ion this weekend. Even though the socially-distant format reminded us that we were far apart, it also allowed for some far-flung classmates who otherwise wouldn’t have attended to hang out for a while. (Looking at you, Paul Krystall, Al Septien, and Lisa Rosenblatt!)

At the reception held by President Michael Roth ’78 on Friday night, Patricia Calayag, Hiram Chodosh, and Bill Wrubel were honored for their service to and continued engagement with Wesleyan. Patricia lives in Stamford, Conn., and is an ob-gyn, among her other activities. Hiram, an internationally recognized specialist in mediation, currently serves as president of Claremont-McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. Bill is an Emmy-winning producer and writer of some very popular TV shows. He and Patricia also have served on many a Reunion committee!

After the president’s reception, our class had a social hour, and if you’ve ever imagined a Zoom meeting with 90 or so people, well, this was much more fun. In an effort to recreate the serendipity of running into people under the big tent on Andrus field, we landed in random breakout rooms, caught up with some classmates, and generally all agreed that we’ll try to get together in person as soon as we’re able. I was able to catch up with many folks, among them Crystal Turner-Moffatt. Crystal is the founder and president of a consulting firm that specializes in environmental health and safety; she’s also married and lives in Milford, Conn. Both Crystal and Amy Nash livened up our online happy hours with photos from our Wesleyan years; everyone was super polite and lied that we all look exactly the same!

On Saturday afternoon, there was a smaller gathering of those who competed in sports at Wes. I’m proud, of course, that four of us were from the crew, Margaret Bracken Thompson, Hillary Hess, and, the ’85 co-captains, Amy Clark and me. In the evening, there was a larger happy hour where we were sorted by our first-year dorms. It was very fun to see one another, even in an attenuated medium. Someone characterized the idea of gathering by dorm “inspired,” and having loved my first-year housemates, I agree.

Back before the pandemic, Hillary and I went west to visit Aram Schiffman in Eugene, Ore. After years in the Bay Area, Aram relocated to Eugene where he works for Thermo Fisher Scientific when he’s not working out or creating gorgeous pieces in his woodshop. We had a great weekend, drinking pots of coffee, taking in the scenery, listening to music, and cracking up. Aram’s daughter, Allison, is a math major at the University of Wisconsin.

Let’s keep staying in touch. Please write me if you have anything to share, and please think about coming to Middletown for a “consolation prize” reunion next spring.


CLASS OF 1983 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

I sit here in disbelief, thinking about what the new normal will be. I must admit I feel frozen. While those fortunate can resume work online or safely maintain social distancing at work, many I know are newly unemployed and worried about staying afloat. I am somewhere in the middle. Two in the morning is my least favorite time of day as my monkey brain jumps through too many what-if scenarios. I wish by the time you read these notes, the worst is behind us. I pray we have pressed the reset button to create a just and fair society for all.

Kirsten Wasson sends good vibes, “This is a scary time for all of us. I live alone—not easy. But it’s an excellent time to meditate on what’s really meaningful about life: observation of nature, appreciating friendship, gratitude for health.” Cori Adler started a Zoom dance craze in Seattle and declared Sundays 5:45-6 p.m. (Pacific time) as a Zoom Garden Dance Party. Ken Fuchs writes, “With all of Hollywood shut down, Kate and I enjoy our 18-month-old baby, Bella. She fills every day with laughter and love, which helps make these strange times quite bearable.” Jonathan Chatinover had “a Wesleyan swimming alumni Zoom chat in early May with Kay Robertson, Martha McNamara, Carol Freuh Russo ’84, Josh White ’84, Al Spohn ’80, Margot Schwartz ’85, Lisa Rosenblatt ’85, and former coach Pat Callahan ’71 and his wife, Anne Goodwin ’79. Kenny Gordon received the “Top Doctor 2020: NJ Top Docs Award” for his dedication, accomplishments, and devotion to patient care. Wayne Logan is sheltering in place in lovely Tallahassee, Fla., where he’s lived for the past 12 years teaching at FSU Law.

Life goes on, albeit remotely. Michele Deatrick is “chair and founder of the DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council. I’ve transitioned from non-stop travel on a national listening tour to doing the same virtually. I’m leading the Council’s effort to craft bold, ambitious recommendations for the climate and environment planks of the 2020 Democratic Party Platform. As for shut-down activities, the highlight this week was growing alfalfa and radish sprouts. Son Alexander is taking a leave from Amherst to run Arati Kreibich’s campaign in New Jersey’s 5th congressional district, and daughter works at NIH specializing in infectious diseases.” Sheila Spencer writes, “Thankfully we are all healthy. I have continued volunteer work remotely, assisting first-generation and low SES students with college applications and career development through the community-based Neighborhood Youth Organization. I started my first Coursera class, Career Decisions, taught by the director of Wesleyan’s Career Development Center. I look forward to gaining insights for a career pivot as well as those that I can share with others. During these strange new times, I am thankful that social media has enabled me to reconnect with COL classmates Beth Ross, Sue Peabody, and Ann Wise ’82.”

Andrea Smith is a professor of Anthropology at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa. She and her son, Nathaniel ’13, live on a farm in rural New Jersey where they have spent the past several months mostly outside as they develop a minor egg and poultry business: building duck houses and turning their living room into a chick and duckling hatchery. Andrea writes, “While shifting classes to remote learning has led to some hilarious glitches, moving faculty meetings to Zoom has been surprisingly smooth and even welcomed.” Craig Edwards and family (wife Mary K, a tenured professor of English at UConn, 27-year-old son Jesse who lives nearby, and 24-year-old daughter Annie living at home) have weathered the pandemic in remarkably good shape, but as a full-time musician in a niche area (American roots music—traditional styles from Appalachian fiddling, blues) his income has taken a big hit. He is developing online lessons and performances and marveling at the tools available for such things. Additionally, he is gardening seriously for the first time in years. He started two Hugelkultur beds, “a form of permaculture based on old European sustainable farming practices. Once planted, tilling, weeding, and watering are minimal because the bed holds moisture like a sponge. Pretty cool!”

Emily Zhuvkov writes, “Before COVID-19, I spent my time between Panama and Berlin, where I was working on a series of cast bronzes. I am also in pause mode on a large sculpture commission here in Panama, waiting for things to reactivate. Meanwhile, I have moved online in my teaching roles as an adjunct art professor at Florida State University-Panama and head of the visual arts department at the International School of Panama. I design and facilitate residencies and workshops between artists and scientists, with the nonprofit association Estudio Nuboso, a nomadic platform for exchange between art, ecology, culture, and society.”

Catherine “Cat” Maguire and David Campanelli’s son, Keegan, graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. He has worked on projects in microgrids, grid modernization, renewable energy, and their intersection with software and cyber-physical systems.

Lastly, two-thirds of my trio graduated from grad school and are looking for jobs in public education.

Laurie Hills |

CLASS OF 1982 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Dear classmates, thanks to all of you who joined Michael and me at our first Class Notes Live. Special thanks to talented performers Bill Anschell, Steve Budd, Ron Mendelsohn, Jeannie Gagné, Beck Lee, Ginny Pye, and Danielle Rudess’s husband, Jordan Rudess. Happy 60th, all!

Not surprisingly, news has been a little scant. We’re all Zooming with friends, watching the roots of our hair grow, cooking, drinking too much, and maybe reading that pile of books by the bed.

But a few updates: Suzanne Kay has been in New York. “Many of my friends are working on the front lines helping the black and brown communities of this city, which are hardest hit, the epicenter of the epicenter.” Last October, Suzanne’s mother, Diahann Carroll died. “She was a pioneer in the entertainment industry as a black woman. I held a beautiful memorial for her at the Helen Hayes Theater with dear friends like Lenny Kravitz, Cicely Tyson, and Laurence Fishburne.” Suzanne is working on a memoir, as well as a documentary of her mother’s life, “based on both her personal journey and the historical times in which she lived, from the civil rights movement through the Sexual Revolution all the way up to our first black president.”

Susan Bodnar has also been in New York and recovered from likely COVID. She and her husband have been sheltering with her daughter, a sophomore at Northwestern; their son, a rising senior at UChicago, is fresh off the Buttigieg campaign and sheltering in Iowa with campaign friends. “It feels weirdly normal, but some days I’m hit with the rush of how abnormal and crazy this all is.” She is working clinically via Zoom, trying to keep sadness and loss at bay. So glad you recovered, Susan.

Stephen Daniel responded to the pandemic by setting up the Chatham Impact Fund to help local families. Chatham is a resort town, the type turning away cars with out-of-state plates. Stephen had a different idea: Why not start an emergency relief fund to help local people, and finance it with donations from summer people? He and his wife, Mary Beth, seeded the fund, which raised over $270K in two weeks, dispensing grants to residents in need. Stephen has been having Zoomtails every Saturday night with Alex Thomson, John Mooney, Peter Frisch, Kevin Foley, Bruce Crain, Dan Hillman, Jack Taylor, and their wives and children who are all friends.

(I glimpsed Peter Frisch when I crashed a Zoomtail party with my husband, Peter Eckart’s [’86] class, and spied another ’82 lurker there, Beck Lee. Nice to see all those faces!) Meanwhile, Bob Russo has been doing the Hollywood Squares thing with John Brautigam, Joe Barrett, Nettie ’84 and Mike Greenstein, Steve Davies ’82 and Laurie McFarlane, Anthony Pahigian, Tom Davis, Mike Levine, and Mark Sirota.

Lyndon Tretter celebrated his 60th birthday via a Zoom cocktail party with Mike Plotnick, Vin Bonazzoli, and Fran Hack and their respective spouses. Lyndon’s daughter, Rachel Tretter ’12, helped curate the online party with photos of the birthday boy over time streamed to the tune of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years.” Lyndon noted that the juxtaposition of the video montage with live, present-day images of himself and his William Street 10-man suitemates “neatly and poignantly drove home the ravages of age.” Thanks for that.

Susan Budlong Cole ’82, MALS ’97, an Etherington scholar who graduated with us at the age of 42, has been retired for 16 years, but secured a part-time position in finance (after a 25-year career in substance abuse prevention and treatment, 16 of them as a volunteer teacher with author Wally Lamb at York Correctional Institution in Niantic). “Of all the things I miss during this crisis while being ‘locked down,’ it is the women’s prison and the remarkable and talented women there with whom we have forged bonds.” She says a number of the women participating in their writers’ workshop also participate with the Wesleyan college behind bars program.

Kweku Forstall’s youngest daughter, Cailey, married Caleb Rash in Kannapolis, N.C., on Jan. 4. Joining her and her family at the celebration were members of their WESU Crew from the Class of ’82: Ron Comrie (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), John Johnson Jr. (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), Cheryl Stevens (Oakland, Calif.), and via WhatsApp, Nasser Ega-Musa, class president (Nairobi, Kenya). Nasser is the director of the United Nations Information Centre in Nairobi.

Matthew Capece is spending his time at home fulfilling a lifelong dream assembling a woodworking shop in the basement when he’s not working for the carpenters’ union from his laptop.

Weirdly, I got my first full-time job ever during the pandemic as a “wordsmith,” working with MacArthur fellow Saul Griffith, a physicist and inventor, helping him to write about climate change, so that feels useful. How great would it be if we could keep these clear skies and clean air after COVID by switching to a decarbonized economy? Meantime, Peter and I are riding electric bikes and don’t care if anyone thinks it’s cheating. They flatten the curves in San Francisco.

Cheers to all of you.

Laura Fraser |

Michael Ostacher |

CLASS OF 1981 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Greetings from Brooklyn! Like many of you, I have been working remotely from home as a financial professional. A friend joked, “Has my curve flattened?” Why, yes, it has. This was the quietest April 15 ever. While I love my commute, I don’t like having to console widows with young kids and have to help them figure out how to sell the business they suddenly inherited from their husbands but lack the license to operate. I’m sure you all have stories of loss from the pandemic. I truly hope, without much optimism, that by the time you read this, the world will be back to some kind of “normal.” One can hope.

Speaking of hope, before the quarantine, I was at a meeting of the Emergency Committee For Rojava, recalling the first time I met Murray Bookchin, whose ideas inform the egalitarian, ecological, ecumenical, feminist, liberatory laboratory of participatory democracy that is Kurdish Rojava, the allies we notoriously betrayed, and that Turkey’s trying to ethnically cleanse.

I met him, Murray (“only the FBI calls me Mr. Bookchin”), the night before our ECOSFair: Conference on Social Ecology, May 1981, where he and Winona LaDuke would be two of our keynote speakers.

“Wait. What school did you say you went to?” I was asked, at that meeting, by a woman roughly my age.


“I thought so,” she said. “I thought I recognized you.”

“What year were you?” I asked.


“I co-write your class notes.”

And so, I became reacquainted with Erika Goldman-Giraudets. We do what we can, little as it may be, to help. As I write this in May, Turkey is shelling Rojava daily while disrupting their water supply.

In other news, Peter Gryska is enjoying “quarantinis” in Houston, keeping Texans in good spirits as the director of grocery at Spec’s Spirits, Wines and Finer Foods. “Caviar, peanuts, pâté, tonic, soda water, and margarita mix make the day go by quickly. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, really, we are clearing additional acreage for soybean planting and will rotate into winter wheat in the fall. Cattle prices have tanked with the pandemic, so we will be growing out the herd this year. Our native cattle herd has reached a milestone. It has been 100 years since new heifers have been introduced to the gene pool. Family is all well, and we wish all Wesleyan folks good health.”

Joan Herrington is excited to have had the opportunity to direct a show for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park this past winter. Created collaboratively with the award-winning Universes theatre ensemble, Americus exposes the harsh realities of what it means to be in America today. Joan had two new books published recently, How Playwrights Teach Playwriting 2 and When the Promise Was Broken, a collection of plays she edited based on the songs of Bruce Springsteen. She serves as chair of the department of theatre at Western Michigan University.

David P. Miller writes that “like most people, I have spent the vast majority of the past couple of months in my apartment. In 2018, I became a program director at NSF through an IPA from my university. My apartment in Alexandria is only a couple blocks from NSF, but I wonder if I will make it back to the NSF building before heading back to Norman in a year (or if I’ll be able to get back to my house in Norman—I had been making monthly trips, but those stopped in March). I work online, have happy hour, and otherwise socialize online. Things could be much worse. I’m employed, Cathryne is here, and between Amazon, Hello Fresh, and a little help from our friends, we have food and toilet paper. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy,”

Pete Congleton is now the director of planned giving for Hartford Hospital and is proud to announce the birth of his first grandson, Crew Fox Congleton, who was born on May 3, 2020, in Augusta, Maine.

Elisha Lawrence moved back to Manhattan Beach, Calif., where she raised her kids, after the last five years in San Francisco. “Loving every minute of being back here. I’m in my seventh year as AVP of Global Anti-Piracy for a large studio. Other news: I got married last May to a lovely guy who is a physician. My daughter is finishing her last year at Wesleyan, and my son has two years to go at Stanford. One thing about being an alumna who has a child at Wes is reliving moments of those wonderful years. I showed my daughter my favorite spot in Olin’s Reference Room, where I spent most of my four years studying. She loves studying there too! I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Wesleyan!”

David I. Block |

Joanne Godin Audretsch |

Ed.’s note: In the last issue, we misspelled Kerry Burnstein’s last name.

CLASS OF 1980 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

We are all going through unprecedented experiences with COVID-19 so I asked to receive your stories of hope and resiliency, family milestones, and special experiences. We’ll continue our 40th Reunion Zoom connection calls and look forward to meeting in person in 2021! If you haven’t received the emails or participated in the Zoom calls, please let me know and I’ll make sure Wes has your correct email so you can get connected! Sending out a big thank you to all our classmates and their families for your work on the front line and/or for your just showing kindness to family, friends, neighbors, and community. I hope you and your families are all well and safe.

Steve Mooney: “It makes me sad to pen this note, not because of any tragic news, but because we will not return to campus for our 40th Reunion this year, something I’d been greatly looking forward to. You see, I don’t remember much about Wesleyan, other than the wonderful friends I made. When I arrived in 1976, I wasn’t ready to be a serious student, and so I imagined a return 40 years after graduation where I discover what I know to be true—that Wesleyan mattered greatly to me, just not in a way that’s ever been easy to express. I didn’t find law, or finance, or even a likely career path while enrolled, and yet my time did spark curiosity and creativity, which in turn lead to something worthwhile—a passion for photography and storytelling and a marketing career made up of pictures and ideas. For that, I am forever grateful. It gave me such pleasure to see our classmate Jenny Boylan on the spring cover of this magazine—she is truth lived large. I was so looking forward to hugging everyone after what would have been a standing room only reading from her new book, Good Boy. Virtual hugs to all. Life is short. Have some fun and see you at the 45th!”

Randal Baron: “This has been an eventful and emotional quarter for me. First, I went on a fabulous trip in early March to see antique cars which are my passion. In seven days, I went from retro-classics in Stuttgart to the museums for Maybach, Audi, Skoda, Austro Daimler, and Zeppelins as well as exhibitions in Basel, Antwerp, and St. Augustine, Fla. Seven countries in seven days. I came home with COVID-19 which my husband and I both weathered successfully without permanent damage. I am retiring at the end of May after 36 years working with the Philadelphia Historical Commission. I have been working from home since my trip, but it is with great sadness that I will finish up without seeing my colleagues in person since February. I have had a friend die last week from this disease, but thanks to unknown angels, my loved ones and I have survived. I am grateful to be here. I wish good health to my classmates.”

Alan Jacobs: “What’s all this about a virus? I am connecting with more Wesleyan folks than ever. Dave Stern joined our Billionaire Boys Club monthly Zoom last week from a basement hideaway that revealed a little too much information. Also joining was Kyle Wilkinson, who is stowed away in the Berkshires with spouse, Vicki Cohen. And I just heard from three of my In Town housemates: Jeff Green, who sent a lovely news profile about his globetrotting medical practice, Scott Karlin, who retired from ENT medicine in Atlanta, and Nancy Danielle Rudess ’82, whose husband Jordan and I are working on a movie/music gig. Okay, as we say in the movie business, ‘enough about you, let’s talk about me.’

“After years of longing, planning, and dreaming, I finally moved to New York City on Jan. 31. My timing was impeccable. At first, I behaved like a kid in a candy store, frolicking at the Met, the Whitney, the gloriously refurbished MOMA, all three Soho Houses, four jazz clubs (including the highly recommended Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem), running three races in Central Park, and one in Prospect Park, until, alas, the tsunami hit six weeks later and I fled to my brother’s place in Weston, Conn., for a month—taking long, cold morning walks in search of Keith Richards’ mansion. I seem to be accomplishing more than ever, launching a new TV series and reading all those books I missed at Wesleyan, including Don Quixote. I figure if Cervantes could write it in a prison, I could read it in one. On the home front, my two older boys, Gil ’16 and Ron ’16 are hanging on in the live music business, and my daughter, Avia, is a year out of Mount Holyoke and heading to Israel for a while. My youngest, Guy, is completing his freshman year at University of Oregon. And now, I must return to tilting at windmills…”

Jeff Green: “I unexpectedly ended up locked down in Tel Aviv for seven weeks and just recently went back to work in the emergency department at Assuta Ashdod University Hospital in Israel. I cannot express the joy that I feel returning to my work family and my comfort zone. Here’s a piece that was just published about my odd turn of events.”

Wendy Davis Beard described her life in the U.K. with COVID-19: “Our daughter and her partner, who had been living together with us 24/7 before lockdown, moved out to protect my husband who is high risk; they’ve been isolating at his parents with his siblings. They are taking the day off tomorrow to come see us through our front door window. We are very paranoid, but I would like to use the occasion to step out of our front door for the first time in months to go to the park; our only nature are fresh cut tulips which do life cycle beautifully!”

Sara Epstein: “I am well, and my three kids and their partners, too. My oldest and youngest, Ben and Nora, work in the family business (power generation—generators for homes, hospitals, etc.) with their dad Owen Duffy. My middle son, Sam, is in his first year of medical school at George Washington University, and luckily, he finds studying online is fine. The kids and I communicate often during the pandemic, usually by text messages about what food we are cooking up. I am able to work from home as a therapist and find that the kids in my psychotherapy practice have lots of good ideas for stories. I’m working on a book of short poems for children; these rhymes are also featured on a new app called Juna, which teaches American accent for English language learners. I am finishing a book for children called The Princess and the Dragon, about a girl who tires of being cooped up in the castle all the time and finds a way to tame the dragon on the sly.” Read two of her recent poems here.

Owen Duffey, president of Kraft Power Corporation which sells and services generators and industrial engines used for generating power and also ship propulsion: “Interestingly, several years ago we sold a combined heat and power system that’s installed at the Freeman Athletic Center at Wes; it is part of their microgrid, providing efficient electricity and thermal energy, while helping make the campus more resilient. Nothing too dramatic in my life: riding a bicycle a lot, figuring out how to put my canoe on the car so I can go down the nearby Assabet River, and working in my company. Three grown kids, two of whom are working with me, which is very rewarding. Hoping to harvest from my vegetable garden before the woodchuck and rabbits discover it.”

Terri Jalenak Mendelson: “My Wesleyan daughter, Sara ’13 (post-wedding her name will probably be Martinez Cruz Mendelson), is living in Nosara, Costa Rica, and had to Zoom her May wedding. My other daughter is in New York going to grad school at Columbia. I have enjoyed working with community banks for the last 30 years, mostly in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, though the work is especially crazy right now, of course. I am very proud of all my amazing classmates.”

Scott Hecker: “When I was a sophomore at Wes, I remember David Schenkein ’79 telling me in Hall-Atwater that Rex Pratt had just been awarded a big grant to study beta-lactamase enzymes and their inhibitors; these are produced by bacteria to ward off beta-lactam antibiotics like penicillins and cephalosporins. Fast forward about 40 years and his company, Qpex Biopharma, is developing a new beta-lactamase inhibitor to address all of the new enzymes that have emerged to cause resistance to this very important class of antibiotics. They just published a paper in the Journal of Medicinal chemistry on the discovery of QPX7728:  DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01976.  Respect the chemistry!”

Mark Zitter: “We’re riding out the pandemic at home in Oakland, Calif., with our three kids. Sol missed graduation and most of his final semester at Brown, where he majored in computer science and won the senior computer science award. He hopes to head to Israel, COVID permitting, for five months before starting a software engineer job at Facebook. Tessa ’21 is double majoring in archaeology and classics, giving tours, and singing a Capella. She’s the lead fight choreographer on campus and recently was awarded the Ingraham Prize for excellence in Greek. One of her favorite professors is Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, who was my freshman advisor! Sasha just finished high school and will start at UC Berkeley soon—whether on-campus or remotely. She volunteers for Crisis Text Line, which has been flooded with pandemic-related stresses. My wife, Jessica, has been volunteering remotely as an ICU and palliative care doctor for COVID patients in NYC. Her new documentary, Caregiver: A Love Story, just launched amid the pandemic. She’s also working on a podcast with our classmate, Julie Burstein. I sold my company in 2019 and chair the Zetema Project, which brings together America’s healthcare leaders to discuss thorny issues—fascinating conversations during this pandemic. I also have been doing extensive health care programming for the Commonwealth Club, the nation’s largest public affairs forum, which for now has gone completely virtual. One plus of being cooped up has provided extra time to reconnect with several classmates, including Irene Chu, Paul Singarella, and Paul Oxholm. And I’m delighted to see so many of us at our virtual reunion Zoom calls. Stay healthy and maintain social distance.”

Halsey Frank, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine since October 2017: “Alex is a rising senior at Cornell in the School of Ecology’s Policy Analysis and Management program—a quantitative social science. He’s interested in a range of things from government to business to consulting. Much to our surprise, Alex followed Laura to Cornell (we suspect her good reputation helped him get in). Laura, who graduated from Cornell last year, has been working for a startup in Manhattan that does market research for the hospitality industry. She teleworks from Maine.”

Walter Calhoun: “Stephen “Fritz” Freccero, my Wesleyan freshman and sophomore roommate and Chi Psi fraternity brother, reached out last week to say he had a reduced role as a California state Judge to a couple of days a week and that his family is all excellent. Prior to my self-quarantine, I had a wonderful dinner with Psi U friend and 1980 classmate Andrew Parkinson and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, along with my New Trier East High School friend, Mary Gately, at my favorite North Shore restaurant, Apple A Day, in Glencoe. A great time was had by all. Wishing everyone well.”

Amy Natterson Kroll: “Still living in D.C., married to Steve Kroll (35 years and counting!) and am a partner practicing securities law at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius: “Our kids are grown and flourishing—Hannah (31) is in NYC, a school nurse (so currently mainly tracking the many current issues) and mother to Max. Sam (25) moved to Park City this month (yep, drove from D.C. to Utah last week) for a new job. I’m a besotted grandmother of Max, 2-years-old in July. They are coming here for the month of June and maybe longer, so that Max can have the backyard to play. Suddenly the house is filling with little kids things…we have a small slide and chalk, and a booster seat…Rejoined a book group this year that I left 15 years ago when I went back to full-time work; I found myself yearning for the connection. Still wondering what I want to do when I grow up, but this time its ‘what’s my second act’…and where do we want to be in the next phase. We bought a condominium in Sun Valley, Idaho, and hope to spend time there this summer, but we may be driving there! Loving the planning group for the Reunion that isn’t! I want a reunion/connection with all of you forever. It’s making me value my role as class agent again.”

So, please, contribute to Wes, even a small amount to the fund established to support financial aid and the annual fund more generally. So, so important these days!

Jacquie Shanberge McKenna |

CLASS OF 1989 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Kevin Heffernan lives in Boston, where he practices landlord/tenant and family law as a solo practitioner. He is looking forward to judging a high school moot court competition, which is probably as close to wearing the black robes as he expects to get. His two wonderful boys (8 and 11) make him laugh almost every day. He hopes to get back into geezer jock baseball after a five-year layoff due to coaching and old age.

In August 2018, Mark Mullen welcomed into the world his son, Archie, who has just started walking and talking, in addition to his normal hobbies of shaking lamps and putting shoes on his forearms and waving them around. Mark and his wife, Julie, are in San Francisco, where she is doing an MBA at Hult. He is also working hard on a national voter turnout effort. In addition, Luka Mullen ’23 is at Wesleyan and loving it.

Pam Greenspon is a general pediatrician in Las Vegas, where she has lived for nearly 16 years, growing to love the beauty in the desert, particularly the amazing winters. She married Jeff Ng, a family doctor, and has a son at the University of Arizona and a daughter who will graduate from high school this spring. In her free time, she is active in the Nevada chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, where she is the president and involved with advocacy, education, and community events for children and pediatricians. She also finds time for an improvisation ensemble called Judg(e)ment City. She hasn’t been back for Reunion in some time, but if anyone is visiting Las Vegas, she would be happy to provide insider tips.

Marc Brotman and Sabrina Zook are married with two sons. Their younger son Alex ’23 just finished his first semester at Wesleyan. He is living in the same dorm as Sabrina did freshman year and is happy there. Their family just came back from the Galapagos and highly recommends it for anyone looking to see unique wildlife.

Holly Adams does arts-in-ed projects, narrating audiobooks, and performing circus/stage combat. Also, spending time with her wonderful family.

After being a “seriously amateur” photographer for 40 years, Dave Eichler finally gave in to the encouragement of everyone in his life and took the plunge in 2019 to share his work with the world. He culled through 160,000 images in his database, built an e-commerce site (, and has been invited to exhibit by galleries in nine states. He’s also been accepted as an artist-in-residence at the Burren College of Art in Ireland later this year. This doesn’t replace his work running his PR agency, Decibel Blue, that turns 15 years old this year, but it sure is a fulfilling activity.

Seth Kaplan has shifted from doing policy work for a renewable energy company to working on the development of one big offshore wind farm off Massachusetts. He and his (“law professor and smarter than me”) wife Liz and have achieved one particular type of parenting success, as their eldest Juliana graduated from college (Barnard at Columbia) and is now employed as an associate editor (taking freelance pitches) at Business Insider and living in NYC. Their middle child, Daniella, is enjoying Dean College in Franklin, Mass., and the youngest (Ben) is attending and complaining about Brookline High School. During the rare moments when he is not working or with the family, he can usually be found walking the dog or listening to the Promised Podcast featuring his sister, Allison ’86, or biking to and from work.

Peter Badalament is doing swell, as he is now living in Portland, Maine, and serving as the proud principal of Falmouth High School. He sees some ol’ Wes friends on occasion, but since he’d need permission to mention them here, and that’s a hassle, they will go nameless . . .

Phineas Baxandall’s daughter is starting University of Vermont next year and his son is at UC Berkeley, where he especially enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee. Phineas is playing in an over-40 league that he once would have snickered at. He still works at a think tank on Massachusetts policies to improve the lives of low- and moderate-income people, spending a lot of time geeking out on transportation and tax policy. He and his partner spent a lot of time in Cape Cod over the summer and recently put a kiln in their basement for ceramics.

Nancy Curran moved out to Portland, Ore., after vet school and lives there with her wife. She feels somewhat bi-coastal because she returns to Long Island frequently to visit friends and family and to manage her mom’s care. She’s also close to finishing a master’s in mental health counseling, which she undertook to be a resource to helping professionals and caregivers struggling with grief, compassion fatigue, and burnout. She’s still a practicing veterinarian so it’s been a busy time, but she is loving Portlandia with its amazing restaurants and the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

Stephanie Dolgoff is planning to spend her next 52 years unlearning everything she thought she knew in her last 52. Turns out she was wrong about some stuff. In all seriousness, she is enjoying the hell out of her kids (who are starting the college application craziness themselves), also good books, and people who get it. Fortunately, she has many, many who do.

Melissa Herman and her family are going to spend a sabbatical year in Berlin, Germany, for the 2020-2021 school year. Anyone passing through should give her a ring and she will show you around Berlin, which is full of great cultural and historical sites, plus fun restaurants and bars.

Co-class secretary Michele Barnwell gave a TEDx talk on “Scripting Your Own Reality”—that shares the crazy outrageous personal story of exactly HOW she ended up at Wesleyan as our classmate. It’s a troubling story that she revealed the secrets of on the TEDxUStreetWomen stage. Search for it on YouTube!

Lastly, shout out to our Dallas, Texas, based classmate, Kelem Butts, who answered our crazy question about how you all might splurge with $25K that you could only spend on travel! He says he’d snag two business class airline tickets and: “Lori and I would go to Buenos Aires in July.” He notes that “it has everything that we love about travel; great walkability, fantastic shopping for both of us, excellent food, good friends to visit, and probably the best wine you’ll find in the world.” He’s thinking six or seven days and might even sneak over to Montevideo, Uruguay; since it’s just a short ferry ride away!

Hoping this is a year full of a lot of goodness for each of you. Write soon

Jonathan Fried | 

Michele Barnwell |

CLASS OF 1988 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Peter writes for this issue. My wife, Zahra, our 11-month-old daughter, Nadia, and I spent the month of December with our family in Connecticut. Just before Christmas, Stu Ellman dropped by on his way through from Rhode Island with his son, Ben, who had just finished his semester.

Steve Morrison advises: “I’m in Sofia, Bulgaria, serving as the dean of students at The American School of Sofia. I was in Paris for the holidays and met up with Paul Gosselin ’88 at Shakespeare & Co. Paul’s a senior director at Infovista, an IT and telecom software firm.”

Tim McCallum writes in from Hawaii: “I’m still living on Maui and amicably co-parenting my 3-year-old son, Logan. I took up outrigger canoe paddling; hike, swim, surf, and snorkel quite avidly; and just joined the board of directors of the noncommercial community radio station (KMNO, 91.7 FM) on which I have a Friday show (5-8 p.m. Maui time—stream at I won’t be able to retire until I’m 80 (when Logan graduates from high school, I’ll be 70. I can’t wait for the first PTA meeting: “Oh, it’s so sweet his grandpa came!”), but I’m focusing on making 80 the new 50.”

Christie Trott lets us know: “Since graduation, I’ve moved back to Northern California, changed careers (lawyer to teacher), married, and had two daughters. I teach middle school humanities at a K-8 school for gifted children. Academics follow the Expeditionary Learning model, based on the educational ideas of German educator Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound. Life is crazy busy, but good. It was great to connect with some old friends at the Reunion (and to make some new ones) and I look forward to heading back for another Reunion in the near future. Happy 2020!”

Dan Albert shares: “I’m pleased to announce that W.W. Norton published my book, Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile, Past, Present and Driverless. It all began with my Wesleyan senior essay, The Crisis of the American Automobile, a Cultural History. Check out my monthly column at Kelley Blue Book’s and my articles on cars and culture at n +1.”

Tom Kealy lets us know: “I am still working at Colby-Sawyer College (20 years!), where I am a professor of literature. This year I transitioned into administration as the dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences.”

Finally, Laura Wiessen was “a first-time candidate for local political office in 2019 and on Nov. 5 I was elected to be a member of the Gloucester School Committee. So, as of Jan 1, 2020, I am now one of a seven-member board determining policy and budget for the Gloucester Public Schools. This is an underfunded school system, facing a rash of challenges. I’d love to hear from any Wes folks who have worked on education and can lead me to some innovative solutions!”

Peter V.S. Bond | 

Hillary Ross |