CLASS OF 1998 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Happy spring, fellow classmates! I hope this issue finds you nice and warm after a terrible winter. Here’s what’s going on…

Laura Kirk’s baby, Theo Kirk, arrived Aug. 19, 2013, and he is a total love.

For the last two years Ysette Guevara has been working to transition youth from NYC’s foster care system into fulfilling adult lives. She works most closely with a group of aspiring social entrepreneurs, ages 21 and up. You can read about their work at

Marcus Chung married his partner, Ryan Black, on April 4 in a small ceremony in San Francisco with a big party on April 5 to celebrate. It was a bit of a swim team reunion with Neil Seth, Jill Kantrowitz, Abby Posner, Emelie Gunnison, Penny Linge, Meaghan Reilly ’00, Alison Hirsch ’00, Leah Rosenblum ’99, and Lena Sadowitz ’99. Several other Wes friends arrived including Kate Haviland, Rebecca Knight, Meredith Hoffa, Sarah Margon, Sophie Middlebrook, Lisa Winegar and Doug Sabo ’95, and Becky Wildman-Trobriner ’03. Ryan and Marcus are grateful for the opportunity to be legally married in the state of California after nearly six years together.

Please make sure to keep us updated so we can share your news with our classmates. Take care.


Jason Becton |

CLASS OF 1997 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Happy 2014 four months into it! I’ve been deep into the books since I last checked in. Grad school has been keeping me quite the busy bee this semester. I’m lucky if I get to check in with everyone personally, but the power of social networking is wonderful. Social media is such a great way to stay connected and see what’s happening with everyone. It at least allows me to find a few updates here and there to report in. Sam Laybourne, wife Herran Bekele, and their two beautiful kids—son Skender and daughter Lulit, relocated back to New York in 2013. With the tough winter the East Coast had this season, I’m sure they miss the California sunshine and can’t wait for summer to arrive.

Read about Daniel Poliner’s #ThisIsWhy story about preparing for his first film, Jack, Jules, Esther & Me. You can visit to watch the trailer and for more information, but the film is available on iTunes, Amazon, cable on demand and many other platforms. Even my old In-Town roommate Christopher Andrews shared his own story on I love the nostalgic personal mini-essays on the site from so many generations. Definitely check it out when you get a chance, or better yet, contribute your own story.

Jose DeJesus was appointed head of the upper school at Packer in Brooklyn, N.Y., effective July 1. As a teacher and administrator, Jose has served at a variety of well-respected institutions throughout his career. Super confident, his biggest cheerleader is his wife, Andrea Rosario De Jesus, who is also a Packer alumna. Love seeing the Wes connection come full circle in another dimension.

One of my oldest Wes friends, Christopher Gore, wrote me to share the good news of boldly stepping into the entrepreneurial world with his own practice based in Mount Holly, N.J. Gore Law Office provides legal representation across a wide range of practice areas including: Night Court including DUI, Traffic and Municipal Ordinance violations; Estate Planning including Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Trusts; and much more. You can seek Chris’ services at

And speaking of entrepreneurs, Santi White, also known as Santigold, is doing the most these days. A March 2014 New York Magazine cited her latest movements by noting: “It’s been a year since Santigold released her last album, Master of My Make-Believe, but the artist (née Santi White) is now focused on two upcoming projects: a baby (‘I feel good!’ she says) and a new makeup collaboration with Smashbox Cosmetics.” Smashbox Santigold: The Santigolden Age Collection will be available this summer, 2014. How ultra-amazing for the singer/songwriter and mom-to-be. Congrats to Santi.

Until we meet again ’97ers, please e-mail or tweet me @BGunlimited.

Kimberly Cooper King

CLASS OF 1996 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Koyalee Chanda writes in that she and Neal Brandenburg had their second baby girl, Noa Jayne Chanda Brandenburg, in August. Their older daughter, Ruby, is 5.5 years old and is very excited to have a real-life baby doll as a roommate. They are still living in Brooklyn (it will be 18 years this fall—yikes!) and regularly see a bunch of Wes folks (too many to mention by name!). What’s really cool is that their kids are starting to become close friends, so they’re back to doing dinner parties, only starting a couple of hours earlier. Neal is working as a lawyer for the Department of Education of New York City, where he sees Debbie Marcus, who also works there, on a regular basis.

She also mentioned that another Wes ’96er, Adam Peltzman, has created a new animated series for Nickelodeon called Wallykazam!. It’s a comedy-adventure series with a literacy curriculum, set in a world of trolls, goblins, and dragons. Koyalee is producing it, so they work very closely together every day. Sascha Paladino ’98 wrote a couple of episodes as well. It’s been really amazing to work with such close friends and colleagues. Definitely check it out. It’s on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.— and you can find it On Demand and on iTunes. There’s also an app available on iTunes that had a very successful launch in April.

Sam Effron, his wife, and 2-year-old twins just decamped from NYC after almost 18 years. They are moving to Hastings-on-Hudson, in lower Westchester along the Hudson River.

Ernest Koe is working on his second software company, Proof, which provides integrated data management software to schools. He escaped the cold of New England and now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., with his wife, Charmaine Chiu, and two children (Beckett, 4, and Declan, 2).

Margaret Wright is happily living in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Jon, daughter Olivia (age 3), and two dogs. She recently made a career change, and works as a senior grant writer at the best non-profit organization in the world—The American Academy of Pediatrics. Last fall, she traveled to New York City and caught up with old pals Mark Davis and Jeremy Bernstein ’97, who are both doing well. Margaret and Mark spent most of the time commenting on what tremendous chefs Jeremy and his wife are, and how amazingly cute their kids are.

Jim Leiken writes that he and his wife, Candice, recently moved out to Napa, Calif., from West Palm Reach, Fla. He worked for Daniel Boulud close to 12 years, mostly in NYC (Restaurant Daniel, DB Bistro, and as the opening chef at DBGB in the East Village), but for the last two year in Palm Beach, running the kitchen at Café Boulud. He took a job in Cali with Cindy Pawlcyn, as the exec chef of Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena. Their twins, Maggie and Charlie, 2, are adapting really well to life in the country—they like climbing on the tractor and feeding carrots to the neighbor’s horse and donkey every morning.

Joel Levin drops us a line that after creating MinecraftEdu (an educational version of the popular sandbox game, Minecraft), he left his teaching job to start a company called TeacherGaming which brings games into the classroom. His business travels let him visit some other classmates recently: Jonah Hershowitz ’97 who runs an acupuncture and pain management clinic in San Francisco, and Ian Kavanagh, who is a programmer in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mark Davis and his wife, Megan, live in Middletown with their two kids, Minerva (“Minnie”), 4, and Oliver (“Ollie”), 2. Mark works at Wesleyan, so feel free to look him up if you’re visiting campus!

Colby and Sara Evans are expanding their dermatology practice to three offices in Austin, Texas, this summer. They are kept constantly entertained and on the move by their sons, 6 and 4, and daughter who is 2. Colby is the chair-elect of the board of trustees of the National Psoriasis Foundation, a role he will assume next year. The NPF is the largest national charitable organization that advocates for the over 7 million Americans with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Jacob Ward writes that he was editor-in-chief of Popular Science from 2012 to 2013, and just left to join Al Jazeera America as the network’s science and technology correspondent. He has two young daughters with his wife, Julie, and they live on Lake Merritt in Oakland. He sees Walter Einenkel ’97 and Emily Weinstein ’97 all the time, and he believes Vivek Asija just moved to the neighborhood, and that Susan Yee is there as well, but he hasn’t bumped into them yet.

Sabrina McCormick is a producer on the new Showtime TV series about climate change, The Years of Living Dangerously­—she produced a story with Matt Damon about heat waves and another with Michael C. Hall in Bangladesh.

Anya McMurray and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their second child, Zev Thomas Keller, to the world in March. Big sister Thea has reserved judgment regarding her level of excitement over this event but they are optimistic she’ll join in their enthusiasm soon.

Tori Peglar and Tom Rutkowski are living in Boulder with their two daughters and looking forward to this year’s season, as they have family passes to Winter Park for the first time. Tom’s an environmental engineer cleaning up water at mine sites and Tori works at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They see Dan Cohen and Mara Kailin in Denver with their kids. Tom also works with Jake Waples ’95, who lives in the area with his wife, Sandy Miller ’95, and their daughters. They had the opportunity to visit them when they lived in Chile two years ago. Time flies!



CLASS OF 1995 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Wendy Gale is working in literacy and Bible translation with Wycliffe Bible translators in Yaoundé, Cameroon. She sends greetings to her classmates.

Lara Tupper is working on a new book and continues to croon jazz standards in intimate venues in the Berkshires. She is looking forward to putting out a live CD soon.

Ryan Knox is finishing up his third year teaching American literature at an international school in Hong Kong. He will return to Yale University in New Haven on June 1, 2014.

Suzanne Snider and her partner, Robin, welcomed a baby girl, Claude Poppy, last September. Currently, Suzanne is teaching oral history at Columbia University and directs a program called Oral History Summer School in Hudson, N.Y. She is in touch with many Wes friends and looks forward to hearing her Wes housemate, Lily Mazzarella, read at the Poetry Project on April 21.

Josh Gilbert shares great news that Carey Bartell was recently promoted to vice president of litigation at Hospira, Inc.

Wesleyan has meant a lot to us all. So take some time, reminiscence, and go to to tell us your “This Is Why” story. Or just go there to read other Wesleyanites’ “This Is Why” stories. I appreciate all your notes and updates; they mean the world to me and you are part of my “This Is Why” story. In advance, I thank all of you ’95ers for taking the time to tell your stories and for supporting our Wesleyan.

Best wishes from Houston, Texas.


CLASS OF 1994 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

By the time you are reading this magazine, we’ll have already enjoyed our 20th Reunion. For those who couldn’t make it, we’ll include all the juicy details in the next issue of the magazine. This issue has a pre-Reunion deadline, so here’s all that we’ve heard from you recently.

Jonathan Kirsch: “I’m moving from North Carolina to Minnesota, where I’ll work at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and be part of the core faculty of the Global Health Pathway for residents. I can’t wait to ski, winter bike, and enjoy the lakes.”

Tonya Ward Singer: “I’m still my own boss (, enjoying the collaborative work of helping schools create equal opportunities for all English learners. I’m writing a book on professional learning and doing a few poetry slams here and there to fuel my creative soul. My boys, now 5 and 8, keep me laughing and focused on what is most important. I will be at Reunion! Can’t wait!”

Kristy Scanlan: “I am currently working as VP of Business Development in the Animation & Games group at Technicolor in Los Angeles. In other news, I recently became co-president of the non-profit organization Women in Animation, which promotes women in our industry. Here is the press release from Variety:”

Danielle Pelletier Fiery: “It can’t possibly be 20 years, can it? Apparently, I am celebrating by graduating again. I won’t be able to attend Reunion, as graduation is about the same time. I’m finishing up my M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, with a concentration in the neurodevelopmental approach to teaching from Plymouth State University. I actually kicked this degree off with an adolescent psychology class at Wes through MALS during the summer of 2012. It’s been a busy but really worthwhile two years; I’m in my 10th year of teaching at my old high school, Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H. Mostly I teach Algebra 2, plus a finite math class for seniors, and I’m mentoring a new teacher, and that’s been fun, too!”

Jason Platt Zolov: “I am living in Brooklyn with my wonderful wife and three boys. They will all be ready to party at Reunion. I am working at HBO, where I’ve been for the past eight years.”

Matthew Solomon: “I live in D.C., with my wife and two kids. After many years at DOJ, last year I was named chief litigation counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where I help manage the agency’s national litigation program. I keep in touch with a few folks from Wesleyan, including Jon Liebson ’92 and Gideon Stein, and I really hope to re-connect with others at the Reunion.”

Amit Nigam: “I moved to London with husband, Scott Linder, and two cats in tow. We live in the charming neighborhood of Stoke Newington, and I’m on the faculty at the Cass Business School. I’d love to hear from Wes folks in London. Sadly, the move meant we missed John Pollock’s wedding in Alabama. Luckily, he and spouse, Katie Rose, will be swinging through on their honeymoon.”

Jeff Yaus: “I’ve been living in Boston since graduation, working first as a videogame designer at Looking Glass (alongside Richard Wyckoff and a handful of other Wesleyan alumni), then as a Web developer, which has become my career. I’m currently in the software architecture group at Vistaprint, where I’ve been for three years. I met my wife, Kathleen, through Amanda Bennett ’96, who was the maid of honor at our wedding, in a wedding party that also included best man Adam Hirsch ’95, Seth Hill ’97, Katrina Traber ’97, and Jeremy Bernstein ’97—and a few dozen other Wes alums in attendance as guests! Kathleen and I have a beautiful daughter who just turned 1; Kathleen is the owner-operator of a veterinary practice here in the Boston ’burbs. Looking forward to seeing everyone this May!”

Carolyn Buckley Fusco: “I am sad that I won’t make it to the Reunion this year—I have two weddings and a graduation this May. However, I am happy to announce the birth of my first child, Eleanor Buckley Fusco! Born Jan. 16, 2014, weighing eight pounds and measuring 20.5 inches. Like many new moms, I am amazed, perplexed, and overjoyed as I sleepwalk through these first few months! I wouldn’t trade her for the world!”

Thanks everyone for your notes. If we haven’t heard from you in a while, please be in touch.

Jiyoung Lim Gilbreth and Ilana wind newell

CLASS OF 1993 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Mac McCurry writes, “I’m starting my 20th year in the N.J. State Police (man, that makes me sound old). I am the senior detective sergeant in our Strategic Investigations Unit. I’ve been married to my lovely wife, Colleen, for almost 15 years. We still live in Sparta, N.J., with our 8-going-on-18-year-old daughter. She keeps us busy with basketball, softball, soccer, swimming, skiing, triathlon, karate, and chess club. When I’m not driving her around I enjoy hunting, fishing, shooting, and the occasional adult beverage. I am eagerly awaiting a bottle of Triple Divide vodka from our classmate Karen Powell in Montana.”

Mac’s frosh year Foss 8 neighbor, Derek Thompson, writes: “Our family recently moved to D.C. My wife, Ayanna, is professor of English at George Washington. I joined the faculty at Georgetown University Hospital, where I am helping to build a palliative care program. Our son, Dashiell, is 11, and our daughter, Thaisa, is 4.”

Over the past year Dan Crane has been writing pieces for the New York Times (including one about freezing his sperm!) and making music with a new band called Ray & Remora, whose debut EP, 1994, features covers of indie rock songs by Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk, Pavement, etc., that originally came out in 1994. The EP is available on iTunes, Amazon, etc. He also continues to compose music for film, and has a piece of music featured in the Oscar-winning documentary, Twenty Feet from Stardom.

Lisa O’Donoghue-Lindy has co-launched a blog on women making significant career transitions later in life. With a new story each week, profiles women who have left years of seniority, prestige, and salary to start entirely new careers in midlife. Understand why and how they did it? Are there lessons to be shared? Do their stories inspire you to finally take your dream down from the shelf and wipe off the dust? If any Wesleyan alumni have or know of great stories to share, she would love to profile them. You can contact Lisa through the blog.

Hillary Rosner writes, “I’ve spent the past 12 years as a freelance journalist, writing about the environment for places like The New York Times, Wired, and National Geographic from Boulder, Colo. In January, I’ll be joining the faculty of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, helping launch a science journalism program. I’m slightly concerned about leaving sunny Colorado for bleak central New York, but excited about the opportunity. I’ll be moving there with my husband and our son, who was born in August.”

Jason Moss launched a new business, Metis (, that provides intensive courses teaching job-ready skills for the new economy. Its first course is a software development bootcamp based in Boston for people who want to become entry-level Web developers. Metis is a part of Kaplan Test Prep, where he’s worked since 2007.

Eve Abrams writes, “I produced an hour-long radio documentary about the changes happening (gentrification, most recently) in my little corner of my adopted home town, New Orleans. Along Saint Claude aired on our local NPR station, WWNO, and got a tremendous amount of press, too. Here are links to the articles: In what remains of the Times-Picayune. In our weekly paper, Gambit. In the Baton Rogue paper, The Advocate, who’s expanding to give the Times Picayune a run for its money.”

Kim Frederick is suffering from extreme sleep deprivation. As she explains it, “The adorable cause of the sleep deprivation is Vince’s and my third child, Theodore Ellis Frederick Webb, who arrived May 23, 2013 (5 lbs, 6 oz.—he was an early little peanut), to join big sister Zora, 5, and big brother Isaac, 3. And here’s what I don’t recommend about this experience: We had a third child, moved house, and Vince started a new job all within a month. I recommend separating all of these major changes.”

Tim Olevsky writes, “I was excited to see so many Wesleyan alums at John Pollock ’94’s wedding in Montgomery, Ala., in November, including Leah Bartell ’95, Rob Mangels ’92, and Jennie Van Cleef ’92. I hadn’t seen Jennie or Rob in 20 years! And in December, I got to sing with the Boston Pops on their holiday concert tour of the Northeast.”

Jeff Juris has a new edited volume: Insurgent Encounters: Transnational Activism, Ethnography, and the Political. You can find it on Amazon.

SuZanna Henshon |


CLASS OF 1992 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Adam writes: Greetings all! Hope everyone is doing well. I just finished my first year as a housemaster at a graduate dorm at MIT, living with 550 graduate students. It’s been quite a year for us but my family is having a great time. The space is great not just for entertaining graduate students but others as well—in January, I hosted a talk by Associate Professor of Religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein for about 50 Wes alums and current students. It was great to see so many folks there and I hope we can do it again in the future.

Andrea Lachenmayr lives in DC with her husband, Tom Russell, and their 11-year old daughter, Cecilia. After 15 years practicing in big law firms (primarily doing infrastructure finance), she is starting her own law practice to focus on the needs of charter schools and other education innovators.

Alfred Culliford is director of plastic surgery at Staten Island University Hospital in NYC. Currently he is also pursuing a physician executive MBA degree and will graduate in Dec. 2014. He is living in New York in a blended family with his 8-year-old daughter from a previous marriage and his partner and her 9-year-old daughter.

Katheryn Berla still lives in Louisville and saw Hal Skinner and Whitney Witt and their children Halcyon and Sammy over the holidays. The two families were able to spend the night and ring in the New Year together when Hal and Whitney were on their way back to Madison, WI.

Kevin Prufer remains professor of English and director of graduate studies of The Creative Writing Program at The University of Houston. He has two new books coming out this year: Churches (Four Way Books, 2014) and Russell Atkins: On the Life & Work of an American Master (Unsung Masters Series, 2014)

Moving to the West Coast, Mouncey Ferguson is married, living in L.A. with his wife, Elise Robertson, and their kids, Stella (8) and Sadie (7). He produced an independent horror/thriller, Donner Pass, directed by his wife, which came out in 2012 and is airing on Showtime and available on Netflix. Mouncey and his wife are finishing up a short web series for Nickelodeon which will be available on, called The Wisdom of Children. The rest of the time, he works in advertising.

Also in L.A. is Stephanie Ivy, who is still working for Goldman Sachs. She remarried in June 2013. Stephanie reports that she sees Scott Hatter occasionally as they work in the same building.

Ziba Kashef writes that after the last decade in San Francisco, she is heading to the East Coast. Her husband, Tony, just landed a job at the University of St. Josephs and they, and their two kids, are going to move to West Hartford in August. She’d love to reconnect with any Wes alums in the area and can be reached at:

Also on the move is Jody Sperling who writes, “This May-June I will be embarking on a six-week journey to the Arctic as research for a choreographic project entitled “Ice Melt.” I’ll be accompanying a scientific expedition aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy that will be studying the relationship between the thinning Arctic sea ice and increased phytoplankton blooms that may be altering the polar ecosystem. Upon my return I’ll be developing a dance-theater piece for my company, Time Lapse Dance, that will focus on the dynamism, fragility and loss of sea ice. This is the longest I’ll have ever been away from my daughter Evie, now 2 1/2. I will miss her dearly, but the voyage is an exciting (and unexpected) opportunity. I plan to use my experience as much as possible to increase awareness of climate science.”

That’s all the news for now. Please send updates to me or Paul—we’d love to hear from you!.



CLASS OF 1991 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Happy spring? I wonder as I compile the notes. I do hope it’s here to stay once this column hits your mailbox. There are far more interesting things to read than the weather, so here we go:

Carol Sherwin writes, “I just finished a two-year stint in the retail sector; working in a department store environment has been the toughest career to date, and for anyone keeping score I now count at least five, including: “mad scientist” at Consumer Reports Magazine, clinical professor at NYU, business strategy consultant and HR director. Not sure of my next step, I headed back to where it all started and attended Connect@Wes, a two-day seminar. I hadn’t been back to campus in more than 10 years, and it is as beautiful as ever. I ran into Cecilia Pohorille McCall, who is doing very interesting work that draws on her legal training.

“While on campus, I participated in the “speed interviewing program organized by the Career Center and got to check in with our class’ dean, Meg Zocco, who now works in University Relations. So many surprises on campus: a moment of silence for Mocon; a moment of amazement at the coffee bar/sandwich shop in the Science Center lobby. And everyone has a laptop….”

Carol adds that she still lives in Westchester, N.Y., with her husband of 17 years and while she figures out her next career step, she’ll continue her volunteer work for Wesleyan, conducting alumni interviews for prospective students, “I joined WAAV six months after we graduated and have never failed to learn something from interviewing a student!”

Kristin Sandvik Lush was in Tokyo in autumn 2013, and when she posted on Facebook “I’m in Tokyo,” Sarah Sutter responded “OK! Where can we meet up?” Kristin and Sarah connected in person over the course of the time Kristin was in Japan. The impromptu visit concluded with a gathering at an izakaya in Kanda later in the week. “It was great to see her—it had been 20+ years!”

Kristin adds, “Upon my arrival, my former student asked, “What do you want to do in Tokyo?” I hadn’t done any pre-tour homework, until I met up with Sarah, and she wrote out a Cool-Things-to-See-and-Do list, with a key train stations map on the back! Who needs Lonely Planet when you’ve got a frosh year WestColleague with local knowledge?! I’m looking forward to her spending a holiday with us in New Zealand!”

Sarah continues to teach at the American School in Japan. Some of her photos were published in The Sky Unchanged, a collection of photographs, interviews and tanka poems from survivors of the 3/11 triple disasters. The poems are printed in Japanese and English, but the interviews are only in Japanese. You can view Sarah’s photos in the book here:

Michelle Lockhart has been busy in Texas launching Charlotte Max Designs, named for her grandmother. Michelle took her love of 1950s vintage Lucite handbags and accessories and updated them with bright colors and contemporary lines. Look for them in museum stores and at “We are proud that all of our products are handmade in the US and cruelty-free.”

Alexander Levi a hybrid 1990–91 grad, shares “recent highlights of a very Wesleyan-rooted adventure in creative, innovative, professional success: after practicing 10 years in Spain and five years in NYC, my studio, SLO Architecture, is winning awards: Harvest Dome 2.0 won the 2013 Dwell Vision Award and the 2014 AIANY Design Award; Bronx River Right-of-Way won an unprecedented second Blinder Award from the James Marston Fitch Foundation; and SLO is almost done with the construction of an integrated art installation for an elevated NYC Subway stop in the Bronx, the Cross-Bronx Waterway.”

More awards for classmates: Andrew Junke won this year’s Marvin B. Sussman Best Dissertation Award from Yale University’s sociology department. He will give a lecture at Yale in conjunction with the award. Brian Howell has been promoted to full professor at Wheaton College in Illinois.

Dan Prieto, Jerome Copulsky and Jeff Hayes spent a “what happens in…” style weekend in New Orleans in March. Not long after that, Jerome and Dan hosted Jeremy Sacks in DC, when he was in town from Portland, Oregon. Of note, they were sitting across the bar from Sting, who was in town for a concert.

Stuart Rockoff is now executive director of the Mississippi Humanities Council. He and wife Susan live in Jackson with their two daughters. A few hours away, Laurie Woods lives in Oxford, Miss., with her Mississippi-native husband. She teaches a very small class (three boys) of elementary students at a Montessori school and will soon begin a master of education in literacy with the goal of becoming a literacy specialist.

Jennifer Fletcher completed a Master of Teaching degree at the University of Sydney in 2013 and teaches high school English. She recently took her family to their first baseball game in Australia! Jennifer excitedly reports, “We (Team Australia–notice my shifted allegiance) thrashed the Diamondbacks.”

After 10 years raising children, Debby Popkin is practicing midwifery again and finally fulfilling her dream of attending home births, along with Lillian Siegel, ’08, CNM. You can find them in the Southington, Conn. area.

I close this issue with sad news. Brain Lenhard died suddenly on March 13, 2014. Brian lived in Wilmington, Del., and his loss is mourned by his wife, Melissa Dodds Lenhard, and children Nicholas and Caroline. If you’d like to share a story about Brian, I would be happy to publish it in the next issue of class notes.

Renée K. Carl |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

We start with an update and some interesting coincidences from David Bucci, who is living in Norwich, Vt., with his three children (ages 9, 7, and 4), one wife, and zero dogs. David is a professor in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at Dartmouth College and loves to hike and ski with his family. David has heard from Laura Desimone lately. She has a 6-year-old daughter and is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. David writes, “Karl Furstenburg, who was formerly the Dean of Admission at Wes (and who accepted the class of 1990 at Wesleyan!) was the Dean of Admissions here at Dartmouth until he retired a few years ago. Similarly, our current Director of Safety and Security here at Dartmouth is none other than Harry Kinne, who held the same position when we were at Wes. Interestingly, we had some serious unrest on campus last year, resulting in a Day of Unity just like we had at Wesleyan in 1990 and Harry and I were chatting about the similar tumult at Wes back in 1990. He also claims to know the exact location of the Douglas Cannon at all times.”

Jennifer Miller Lee writes from Indianapolis where she is a medieval art history professor, with a 4-year-old son. Jennifer has met a few Wes alumni in the city, but would love to find more.

Todd Thorner is living in his home state in Oakland, Calif. He celebrated his seventh marriage anniversary to Leyla Khosrovani. “Being half Swedish and being married to a Persian, they have three ‘Swersian’ kids, Jahangeer, 6, Teymour, 4, and Noor, 2.” Todd recently founded his third renewable energy company after the sale of the previous two. The first was a wind power company, the second a solar PV company, and the third is a small hydropower company.

Nick Hardigg writes that “we welcomed our second child, Eleanor, into the world last June.” He is happily settled down in Portland, Ore., where he runs a nonprofit that supports city parks.

Victor Khodadad just sang in Bum Phillips: All-American Opera in its world premiere in New York City at La Mama Experimental Theatre. The production was very well received and recorded by NFL Films. Victor will be singing Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Hill House Opera Company in New Haven, Conn., in June 2014 and Mr. Ford in Salieri’s opera Falstaff in New York City in August. He would love to hear from old friends and can be contacted through his website

After 3.5 years at PayPal, Peter Karpas “recently left to become the CEO of North America for Xero (a $4B valuation public company that provides ‘beautiful accounting’ online to small businesses in over 150 countries). On the personal front, in April my wife, Beth ’92, and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We still live in Silicon Valley and are somewhat guiltily enjoying all the amazing weather.”

Finally, Jacqui Gabay lives in New Jersey with her husband, Julian, and three children, Alex, 11, and 7-year-old twins, Nicole and Matthew. She often sees Gina Leclerc who lives in Philadelphia. Gina just celebrated her one-year adoption of two beautiful little girls (sisters) from Haiti.

That’s all for now. Thank you to all those who wrote. Please keep your updates coming.

Vanessa montag brosgol

Class of 1990 | 2014 | Issue 1

Hi all. Here’s what we have:

Carolyn Vellengo Berman writes that she has been thinking about Wesleyan quite a bit since she and her husband Greg Berman ’89, along with Sarah McNaughton Williams ’88, hosted a fundraiser for the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education last spring. “It was fun to catch up with Wesleyan friends and make some new ones as well. I also had an opportunity to review Wesleyan Professor Andrew Curran’s marvelous new book, The Anatomy of Blackness, for H-France this year. Highly recommended.”

Josh Leichter is doing “excellent, with lots going on.” He is engaged to be married to “the unparalleled Dr. Kyra Bobinet. My daughter’s a freshman at college. Not Wes, but a school that I am in love with, College of Wooster in Ohio. My son is a junior in high school and more focused than he’s ever been about anything on getting his driver’s license (those in Boston area, beware).” Josh is about to switch jobs and in two years will be moving to SF Bay Area, where his fiancée lives.

Alison Bowers writes in after attending the beautiful Bar Mitzvah of David Gottlieb, son of Bethel Gorin Gottlieb and the late Brian Gottlieb ’88 and grandson of Robert Gorin ’57. Also at the event were Laurie Malkin, Kerry Kourepenos, Seth Bergstein ’88, and Alex Mochary Bergstein ’88.

Also writing from the Northeast is Ben Robertson, an actor and writer in Keene, N.H. Ben helped start the Monadnock International Film Festival and is on the board getting ready for the second annual festival in April. He “would love to get film submissions from Wes alums as well as see friends from Wes next year at the fest.” You can see more about MONIff at

Next door in western Vermont, Ernie Luikart ’91 and Wendy Herrick ’90 are still living happily with their two daughters, Molly (8) and Emma (11). Ernie is working both as a full-time RN and also teaching a class, Natural Disasters, at Green Mountain College. Wendy continues to counsel students and teach classes on psychology and other subjects at Long Trail School in Dorset, Vt. Ernie has made a nearly full recovery after falling out of a tree (“testing it to see if it was safe for the daughters to climb—it wasn’t”) and fracturing the lateral processes of three lumbar vertebrae and cracking a rib or two. “I am not quite as good as new, but I wasn’t before the fall either.”

Bruce Hooke moved to Plainfield, Mass., and bought a home next door to a retreat center called Earthdance, a center for improvisational dance, theater, and movement. His life is “now closely interwoven with the community at Earthdance.”

Ed Ungvarsky writes from his family’s new house in Washington, D.C., where “they expect to stay until the golden years.” The special needs-focused public charter school that his wife, Olivia Smith ’91, founded and directs has expanded to a second campus and is frequently cited as a model school. Their daughters happily play soccer and listen to Taylor Swift.

Congratulations to Gerald Richards, CEO of 826 National (, a nonprofit network of creative writing and after-school tutoring centers located in eight cities. He was in D.C. at the Library of Congress to receive the inaugural American Prize for Literacy, which was given to 826 National for their work over the past decade. “There are 826 centers in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Detroit/Ann Arbor, and San Francisco. It was a great honor for our organization and cool to be in the Library of Congress. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, walk into an 826 center in your city or take your kids by to visit one of our storefronts.”

Finally, it has been brought to my attention that congratulations are also due to Michael Thomas, a veteran of Kosovo and Afghanistan, who has become a hero to local veterans in Connecticut. Michael has taken over a Subway franchise location and used it to set up a veterans program. He employs several veterans, some with disabilities, and teaches them (along with his employees who are not veterans) a broad range of skills necessary for today’s job market. His vision includes using the location as a space where veterans can network, obtain career advice, and meet with VA or New Haven Vet Center staff. In addition to awards and certificates he received during his military years, Michael has recently been given a few more honors for his latest work. First, the Connecticut Small Business Administration awarded him the 2013 Veteran Owned Small Business Award. Second, he was inducted into the Connecticut Veteran Hall of Fame. Fewer than 100 people have been inducted to the Hall, which is for veterans who have contributed significantly to their communities after the conclusion of their military service.

That’s all for now. Please keep your updates coming.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol