CLASS OF 1998 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Nancy Shane Hocking is currently working at JetBlue where she works in flight operations and manages their Pilot Gateway Programs. These programs are pathways that those with little or no flying experience can follow to one day become JetBlue pilots. She is also honored to report that she is one of 20 people appointed by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to serve on the Youth Access to Jobs in Aviation Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to develop and provide recommendations and strategies to the FAA on how to encourage and facilitate youth in America to pursue jobs in aviation. The airline industry is certainly challenged these days due to COVID-19, but they are all doing their best to keep things moving forward. At JetBlue, they are lucky to have a member of our board of directors who is a Wesleyan alumna: Ellen Jewett. Wherever you find a Wesleyan graduate, you’ll find someone who is working to do good and take care of people.

Marcus Chung and his husband have been sheltering-in-place in San Francisco, joining thousands of people in the mental exercise of wondering if life in the suburbs is the next move for them since they haven’t left the confines of their little home in months. Besides longing for a world where he can be social and mobile again, and hoping for a country that will heal with a new administration, he has been leading the supply chain team for online underwear company ThirdLove. He has also joined Wesleyan’s Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee and looks forward to learning more about the process to elect alumni to the Board of Trustees. If anyone has ideas of alumni who would be strong trustee candidates, please send them his way! 

Jessica Golden Cortes has just been elected president of the Wesleyan Lawyers Association. She would love to hear from any classmates in the law who may be interested in getting involved in networking or mentoring events around the country. Anyone interested can find the group on LinkedIn. 

Nathan Eddy is enjoying work in Jewish-Christian relations in the U.K. and is serving as deputy director of the Council of Christians and Jews. 

Tina Harris is currently an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and has been living there with her partner George and son Thomas (six years old) for the past ten years. Her latest research focuses on aviation in the Himalayas. She started feeling nostalgic about Wes again after watching the last few seasons of BoJack Horseman during lockdown, so if there are any classmates living in the Netherlands or close by, please feel free to reconnect. 

Michael Lawrence-Riddell is the executive director of Self-

Evident Media, which he founded in September 2019. They are creating highly accessible, engaging multimedia resources for educational communities to use in their quest to honestly and rigorously understand the history of systemic racism in order to envision and build a just future. Michael is doing this work with a number of other Wesleyan graduates including advisory board members Nicole Rodriguez ’97, Makeda Mays Green, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, and Eric Soto-Shed. Check their work out at:

Abby Elbow |

CLASS OF 1997 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

2020 has shown us the importance of staying connected to our loved ones near and far, and that includes our Wes fam. We enjoyed hearing from everyone who wrote in to share how they are doing. 

Kevin Carr O’Leary wrote: “We are good here in Brooklyn, thankfully. My husband Brian and I have two kids through adoption, Keith, 9, and Jason, 6. Brian is a family law attorney and we are coming up on 20 years together. I am a book collaborator, focusing on memoir. My most recent was Jessica Simpson’s Open Book, and my next one is out December 1 with Ruth Coker Burks. It’s called All the Young Men: A Memoir of Love, AIDS, and Chosen Family in the American South.” Kevin, we loved Open Book and can’t wait to read your next book. Congratulations to you and your husband on your milestone anniversary! 

  1. Elijah Hawkes wrote: “I’ve got a book out last spring, drawing from fifteen years as a public school principal in NYC and Vermont, it’s called School for the Age of Upheaval: Classrooms that Get Personal, Get Political and Get to Work. Also, my work in a rural Vermont school confronting racism has been featured recently in a special podcast series by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Sounds Like Hate (chapter 2).” We will definitely be adding your book to our shopping cart and podcast episodes to our playlists. 

In addition to running her business, 3am Writers LLC, Aileen McDonough has been working as director of communications for the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team this year. The team’s story ignited on social media, and gained international press in the lacrosse world and beyond. Aileen explained, “The Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) are the originators of the game of lacrosse, or ‘medicine game.’ INL is ranked 3rd in the world and is the only Indigenous team sanctioned 

to play at this level. The team had been denied a place at the 2022 World Games, which prompted an outcry in the lacrosse world, including a social media response, a petition that garnered over 50,000 signatures, and stories that were picked up by CNN, Sports Illustrated, Sky News, CBC, etc. In an act of stunning generosity, awareness, and allyship, Team Ireland voluntarily vacated their spot to make way for the Iroquois team to play.” So inspiring! We are so happy that the Iroquois team will be playing their game in the 2022 World Games. 

Alek Lev wrote that he might have had to wait for an entire new form of media to be invented, but he has finally made a Hollywood sale. Coming up in just a few months will be the premiere episode of his new podcast, Meeting Tom Cruise. A part of the Dan Patrick Podcast Network (Dan Patrick, whom Alek remembers watching in WesWings on a nightly basis) and produced by iHeart Media, the show is hosted by a duo of Tom Cruise super-fans who haven’t ever met their idol—the greatest and craziest movie star of all time—as they interview, and desperately envy, some lucky bastard who has. (Alek, in the background, produced the show and mocks it all mercilessly.) We’re not trying to change the world. We’re just trying to meet Tom Cruise. (And we’re wondering whether this is the better Waiting for Godot for our age. Love!)

Matt Albinson is teaching high school computer science in the East Bay and expecting his first child in November. (Congratulations, Matt! So exciting.) He finds time to play disc golf with other Nietzsch Factorians Ben Snyder, Sam Borgeson, Andrew Levine, Jason Monberg ’95, and Chris Wilmers ’95.

Lauren Porosoff has a new book coming out this March, The PD Curator: How to Design Peer-to-Peer Professional Learning That Elevates Teachers and Teaching. Lauren explained, “It applies the same psychological science that all of my books draw upon to professional learning.” Keep those books coming, Lauren! 

Keep your updates coming, dear classmates. Sending you our best wishes for a healthy and safe winter.

Jessica Shea Lehmann |

Sasha Lewis Reisen |

CLASS OF 1995 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Greetings ’95ers! Bo Bell here. Sorry that I missed you all at the virtual reunion, but hoping we can do it for real next year! Here’s what’s been happening with your classmates.

I consider it to be a smashing success that I finally got dear friend Hannah Knott Rogers to send in some notes! “I am still a librarian at Emory’s Health Sciences Center Library and go to work in person every day and feel great about it—the university mostly has things 

under control—only a handful of cases among residential students (knock on wood). Our girls (14 and 16) are channeling their inner rage and future Wesleyaness into phonebanking for Generation Ratify, Sunrise Movement, student government and lots and lots of art and creative writing. Super shout out to every teacher out there hustling every day to make something that’s totally not normal seem ok. Other positives: no colds, lots and lots of family time, many trips to ramble in the north Georgia wilderness, and plenty of energy put towards plants and food. I haven’t seen anyone from our class in person, but have definitely enjoyed an uptick in texts, calls, and reluctant video conferences with old friends. I am thankful daily for the friends and experiences at Wesleyan and optimistic that my kids will be able to have a comparably meaningful college experience in the near future.”

Matthew Duffy is still living in Oakland, now in his fifth year as school superintendent in the Bay Area with his family, trying to stay healthy and sane. He recently had a great reconnect with Sherwin Yoder, and is also staying in touch with Malcolm Edwards and Brooke and Randy Jackson.

Lara Tupper writes from Maine: “I have become a chicken mama during the pandemic. Our eight hens bring us tremendous joy. My Zoom calls with Chelsea Farley ’95, Laura Pinsof ’95 and Mireille Abelin ’96 have been a saving grace. And my new book, Amphibians (a collection of short stories) will come out in March 2021 from Leapfrog Press.”

Lauren Monchik is still in NYC with husband Davison and two daughters (ninth grade and sixth grade) and is a new science teacher and loving it. 

Cheryl Mejia reports on her experience during quarantine: “Telemedicine has the sweetest commute. Trying to teach rural folks to be more open-minded so that they exercise more, eat healthfully, and act in ways that help them get more health care providers to their underserved areas. So many skilled services come from minorities, so try not to scare them off with your political signs promoting exclusion! Also, stayed in an RV for the very first time ever. This might have been the bright side of COVID-19, since the in-laws got one for the now-limited ways of travel. I miss Son “Jackson” Tran, one of my only local Wes pals that I knew. Now I got no one, to my knowledge.”

Ian Boyden writes with some news! His first book of poetry—A Forest of Names—was published by none other than Wesleyan University Press.

Old pal Julia Lazarus checks in: “The past months have been defined largely by toddler entertainment and management activities (for my daughter Ellie, now two), but I am also working on a fellowship with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities that is exploring the relationship between cultural participation and civic health. It’s been nice to reconnect with my interest in the ways arts and humanities can deepen our engagement with public life. At the same time, it’s been a weird time to have just stepped away from working in online education­: what a thing to see people so suddenly ramping up in those practices (and grappling directly with what’s challenging and what opportunities there are for something interesting and new to take place).”

Bo Bell | 

Katy McNeill |

CLASS OF 1994 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Greetings from Chicago! The pandemic continues and I hope that everyone and their families, friends and loved ones are all safe. I continue to practice law in Chicago—mostly remotely these days—and was recently named my firm’s administrative partner. As many are, I am negotiating working from home with two kids who are schooling from home! I caught up with my sister Humera Syeda ’90 in Albany, New York with her kids and our parents over the summer. I reconnected with frosh hall mate Amy Grundt whose daughter started at Wesleyan this year! Also, I had great fun being a guest on Peter Chandler’s cooking show where Lourdes Arista also made a cameo experience. Check out Peter’s show on Facebook!

Evan Sils writes that he relocated to Los Angeles after 20 years in NYC. He is heading up the in-house legal department and business affairs team at a media company. 

Josh Thomases writes that he is living in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons. He helps run a small school in Brooklyn (El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice), leading the small schools effort in NYC where he helped open 350-plus schools and currently leads a small organization providing high dosage tutoring and mentoring to secondary schools in five cities on the East Coast. Josh keeps in regular contact with our classmates Monique Sully, Terry Johnson, Mike Goodman and Ben Pappas.

Aram Sinnreich announced that he and Jesse Gilbert are writing a new book called The Secret Life of Data, based on an article they published in the International Journal of Communication in November: They recently signed a book contract with MIT Press and hope to have it in print in 2022–23. Congratulations!

Congratulations also to Joel Gershon whose first feature-length documentary film, entitled Cirque du Cambodia, is set to have its world premiere at the United Nations Association Film Festival in October! Cirque du Cambodia is about two teenagers from Cambodia who became determined to be the first Cambodians to take the stage with Cirque du Soleil after seeing one of their videos. The teens learned how to become circus performers at a special school for the arts near their home village and later moved across the world to Canada where Cirque du Soleil is headquartered to attend the world’s most elite circus school after receiving full scholarships. Joel started work on this film in 2011 and tracked the two main characters for more than six years as they continued to try to fulfill their dreams, filming in four countries in three languages! Check out information about the film at

It is always wonderful to hear from you all. Please continue to send in your updates!

Samera Syeda Ludwig |

Caissa Powell | 

CLASS OF 1993 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Greetings from Naples, Florida! We have some exciting news from classmates, including travel, moving across the Atlantic, and career updates. Please continue sharing your news!

Lee Ayrton writes, “I have gone into voluntary exile in the bleak, rubble-strewn, and desolate post-industrial wastelands of northern Rhode Island, where for the good of the realm I have been living a monastic life of solitude, Netflix, and take-away pizza. September will see me employed again by AMC Studios on a new series, my last having departed for the great syndication market in the sky, cut down after a mere two seasons.” 

Darren Linkin writes, “Hi class of ’93. No change in job, location, etc., but enjoy reading about everyone else’s interesting adventures!”

Noah Rosen emails, “I remain an associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra. My primary job is program director of the neurology residency and the director of the Headache Center. This year I was elected to the board of the American Headache Society and I became a voting board member of the UCNS (United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties). I’m continuing on my work to make Headache Medicine recognized by the federal government.”

Jodi Samuels writes, “My spouse, Evan, and I are working full-time from home, and our cats are loving the extra daily attention. We’ve cut way back on our travel, of course, but we have managed some local trips for wine tasting and hiking in Lassen Volcanic National Park as well as visits to family in Denver and Austin (no travel restrictions or quarantine requirements for those areas, thank goodness). Our weather in Sacramento has included some nasty heat waves and lots of terrible air quality with smoke from the multiple wildfires that have already broken records even though the peak of wildfire season isn’t typically until next month. Hmm . . . record temperatures, un-breathable air, global pandemic, economic downturn, racial injustice . . . hard to find bright spots and beauty and joy in the world these days, but we’re trying!” 

Antonia Townsend emails, “After nine years in San Francisco, we are moving to London. I’ll continue to run my lingerie business, Enclosed, in the land where they understand the word knickers. Please reach out if you are visiting the land of winkle-pickers and over-cooked vegetables.”

Finally, it is with great sadness that we learn of Adam Ford’s passing on July 10, 2020. We will provide more details as we hear them.

Suzanna Henshon | 

Sarah Estow |

CLASS OF 1992 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Greetings and salutations from D.C. It’s Election Day minus 35 and I am just recovering from watching the first presidential debate. I’ve showered, taken a stiff drink and can now share with you some news of our classmates. Let’s hope this goes more smoothly.

I start with medical news, specifically infectious disease and specifically COVID-19. You thought you were going to escape? The good news is we have a classmate on the inside. Corey Casper, interim president and chief executive officer, Infectious Disease Research Institute, University of Washington, is principal investigator for a study of Celularity’s COVID-19 treatment using human placental hematopoietic stem cell derived cells. He was also recently named to the Scientific Advisory Board of Why We Vaccinate, Inc. to promote the use of vaccines and “dissemination of clear and factual information on the value of vaccines and immunization for our communities’ health and welfare” according to the organization’s website. He probably needs to catch up on his sleep. Just not yet.

On a perhaps related subject, Dan Partland’s documentary Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump was released August 28. It features on the record, for the record interviews with prominent doctors and mental health professionals on the psychology of the president as part of their ethical “duty to warn” the public of imminent danger.

Jonathan Soros launched Athletes Unlimited, a totally new sports league that totally reinvents how you view sports, creates balance in the force and re-invents how to build teams and how you score points—even how you pick the MVP. The summer softball season was a hit and the league is gearing up to add women’s volleyball next year. It’s a lot more fun than watching a Mets game. Or Phillies for that matter.

An excerpt of Jonathan Liebson’s essay on teaching during the pandemic ran in the fall alumni magazine. The full piece (“Teaching Moments in a Time of Diaspora”) can be found at magazine (in the Letters section). Jonathan currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches writing, literature, and culture at Eugene Lang College of The New School and at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. A list of other articles and recordings can be found on his website

It was nice to hear from Abigail Saguy who reports all is well from the left coast. She describes her recent promotion to department chair of the UCLA Sociology Department “an exciting new challenge” and sends news of a recent book release, Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are, published earlier this year. Her eldest daughter Claire is now a first-year student at UCLA, son Jonah is in eleventh grade (at least virtually), and husband Dotan has taken advantage of quarantine to create an online photography class.

Lee Schlesinger has departed from Boston after five years and returned to Chicago in June of 2019 to take a new role as vice president of portfolio management and education for Winesellers, Ltd., a national wine import company. 

Elizabeth (Lisa) Liang’s film of her one-woman show, Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey, is being “taught” on college campuses in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It’s now streamable at Lisa also leads workshops that help people to tell their own hard-to-label stories: She and her husband Dan live in Los Angeles.

Lisa Laing (who writes under the pen name Lisa McLuckie) published her third novel, Love Me Not, in May.

Grant Brenner, CEO of Neighborhood Psychiatry, is focused on the recent pivot to telemedicine and has also launched a podcast called Doorknob Comments, about living well, hosted by two psychiatrists. He is working on a fourth book, Making Your Crazy Work for You, all the while raising a family in New York’s increasingly grungy East Village . . . while occasionally sleeping. 

And last but certainly not least, my lovely and talented wife, Michele Greenstein, took a new position at the State Department as a senior advisor for peace and security. She is working on a congressionally mandated effort to establish the interagency Global Fragility strategy to stabilize conflict-affected areas and prevent violence globally. How do you like them apples?

Hope you are all safe and doing well.

Adam Berinsky | 

Paul Coviello |

CLASS OF 1991 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

A huge cache of notes for you to peruse, but a quick word before you do: I am compiling these in early autumn 2020, and you’re reading them in December or January 2021. It already feels like a time capsule.

The horticulture work of Todd Forrest was featured in the May 2020 New Yorker article, “The Essential Workers of the New York Botanical Garden. 

Julie (Arlinghaus) Charles is obsessively watching School of Life videos and trying to work out what that thing is that’s the opposite of pessimism. 

Adam Wilbrecht launched a startup called CONCERT with some blockchain experts. CONCERT brings digital signatures and IP protection for design and engineering professionals.

Jeremy Arnold’s latest book is The Essentials Vol. 2: 52 More Must-See Movies and Why They Matter, published in Autumn 2020. It’s the second companion to Turner Classic Movie’s long-running “Essentials” series. Movie fans might also note Jeremy’s work in Blu-ray audio commentaries, most recently for Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, The Lavender Hill Mob and Day of the Outlaw.

Jeff (Harmon) Nova married Alexandra Casazza in 2012, welcomed daughter Kaya in 2013, then suffered the heartbreaking loss of Alex to cancer in 2017. He’s a single dad and CEO of Colorhythm, a retouching and software company in San Francisco, where he’s lived the past 23 years. 

Rajal Cohen and her partner adopted a nine-year-old girl from foster care. She’s been living with them since December 2019. “It’s been a wonderful experience; we received excellent trauma-informed training through our local DHW and are able to access ongoing support. I’d be happy to talk with anybody considering becoming a foster parent or adopting through the foster care system.”

Michelle Lockhart reports she is “down to one child in the Lockhart Circus Tent. Eleanor is a Junior at Hockaday and Billy just graduated from St. Mark’s and started his freshman year at Dartmouth, competing as a heavyweight rower. Bill is “on the beach” (in the middle of a long non-compete) so it’s pretty slow here. Not that I’m counting, but we are 757 days from empty-nesterhood.” 

John Roy is in his 26th year teaching at St. John’s Prep School in Danvers, Massachusetts, and his wife, Amy, is in her 24th year teaching in the Danvers Public Schools. “It is easy to agree that this is the strangest start to a school year ever.” Their son Ethan graduated Syracuse University in 2020, Trevor started his junior year at UMass Amherst, remote, and Phineas is a junior at St. John’s.  I am going to miss seeing John Kennelly* Jon Gellar* and Peter Paris ’92 at homecoming weekend.

Curry Rose (Mills) Hoskey’s full-time school librarian job got cut to half-time, so now she is a librarian for both an elementary school and a middle school.  Her school district will be completely virtual until February 2021, so for now, she is the digital resources librarian for both schools. Curry is in regular touch with Alison Gelb Andrus, who now serves on the Hastings-on-Hudson School District Board of Education.  Curry visited with Gavin Whitelaw ’93 and his family at the socially distanced Wellfleet Drive-in this past summer.

Sarah Sutter celebrates 10 years teaching at The American School in Japan in Tokyo. “One bright spot with the global pandemic has been the migration of events to virtual spaces, where I can participate at a distance even if the time difference is sometimes a challenge. Alpha Delt has hosted a few virtual events, and I’ve connected with Ian Gerrard and his wife Zanne ’94, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth ’90, and Bernadette Buck ’92, among others.”

Greg Baldwin adds P’24 to his alumni status, as son Elijah started at Wesleyan. Greg oversees remote learning for high schoolers at New Haven Academy, and hopes to open hybrid in November (health conditions permitting). 

Alys Campaigne’s daughter, Livesey, also joined the Wesleyan COVID-19 class in 2020. “So far so good. We’ve been impressed with how Wes has stepped up to the plate to manage the situation with creativity and good sense. It is fun to reconnect with classmates as alumni parents even though I am much too young for this to be possible.” Alys, in Charleston, South Carolina, works on federal and state strategy and policy with her firm, Engage Strategies, recently focused on tackling sustainable packaging, regional landscape conservation, carbon pricing, flood resilience and marine protections.

CSS folks convened a virtual event with Professors Richie Adelstein and Giulio Gallarotti, along with a whole host of folks, reports Brian Howell, who began his 20th year at Wheaton College as a professor of anthropology, while Marissa Sabio ’89 starts year 14 in social work with the Outreach Community Center. Their son started his senior year of high school in online mode, another son studies at North Park University in Chicago, and daughter Hannah works for the Democratic Caucus of the Senate in Washington State, as a communication specialist. 

Jeremy Sacks, coordinating with the ACLU of Oregon, represents a group of BLM protesters suing federal agencies and officials, including President Trump, Chad Wolf, and DHS, for unleashing federal police forces on them in a manner that violated their civil liberties and other laws.

Beth Haney began a new role leading finance and operations for a homeless shelter called “Avenues For Youth. Scott Moore’s treating his “COVID-19 Blues” with a weekly virtual workout with Bill Kumler and Joe Dalton. He took an extended, socially-distanced trip over Labor Day, including visits with Steve Grahling (NJ), Mark Wittenberg (San Diego) Bill Kumler (Ohio), and Chris Albanese ’93 (NYC). Both Haney-Moore kids were able to get back to on-campus school.

After 20 years of residence, Amit Gilboa is now a Singapore citizen. He lives in one of the ubiquitous HDB government flats, and his children attend the neighborhood school, but “with my United States upbringing, and Wesleyan education, we can’t be considered a typical Singaporean family. In any case, because dual citizenship is not allowed, I did have to renounce my US (and also Israeli) citizenship. Pandemic-wise, we’re doing ok over here. In many ways, life is getting back to normal, but with 100% public mask compliance and people registering for contact tracing every time we enter a mall or eatery. The numbers for Singapore are high, but the reality is that cases are concentrated in a single, specific sector, the migrant worker dormitories, to our absolute shame, and there is very little spread outside of that sector.” 

Michael Chaskes and Sarah (Lewis) Chaskes have both been able to keep working from their Los Angeles home through lockdown: Sarah teaching sixth grade, and Michael editing unscripted TV, including Selena + CHEF, Haute Dog, and the recent run of Supernanny. Last year, Michael was a lead editor of the Emmy-nominated A Very Brady Renovation. Both daughters attend college in Ohio and New York. They miss seeing friends, notably Ben and Liz (Beckenbach) Leavy, but are keeping up via electronic means.   

Lindsey (Cowell) Parsons hosts a popular podcast called The Perfect Stool: Understanding and Healing the Gut Microbiome.” Find it wherever you get your podcasts!

Joshua Samuels continues to practice medicine (kidney disease) and teach at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science in Houston. He was promoted to Tenured Professor this year. 

Tina Demastrie Lippman completed a project position at the Newburgh Chandler Public Library, scanning and cataloging a collection of historical photographs for the Indiana Memory digital library. She’s also successfully entered the world of crossword puzzle creation, and her grids have been published by the Inkubator, GAMES Magazine, Universal Syndicate, and the Los Angeles Times.   

Renée K. Carl |

CLASS OF 1990 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Hello all. Not a lot of news this time around. Here’s what we have: 

Alfredo Viegas writes of a bittersweet spring where his “oldest daughter Alessandra graduated in May in Wesleyan’s online Zoom broadcast commencement. Like everyone else we could not throw her a proper party to celebrate her success which was a big disappointment. She also entered the worst job market for graduating seniors in our lifetime, but fortunately she has an internship with a Los Angeles–based film company and she will be reading scripts, which she is excited about.” 

Kate Hardin is still happily settled in Harvard Square with a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old. Kate changed jobs last October, and is now leading the Energy Research Center for Deloitte’s U.S. firm, “which has been a great experience so far.” Kate “really enjoyed the virtual sessions, and a few of us from our freshman hall managed a separate Zoom reunion also, which was long overdue. So, I’ve been using some of the no-travel time to catch up with Wes friends!”

Victor Khodadad is continuing his work with New Camerata Opera. “We are about to announce our fifth season which includes a live concert in Times Square on October 22 and our virtual gala—The Sleuth Salon—on November 12. More information is available at”

The future has been impossible to predict, and our planned  30th reunion in May has been postponed again. Details on a new date are forthcoming. Still, reunion planning and fundraising for our reunion gift is happening all year long with even some virtual events to be scheduled. If you want more information or want to get involved, please contact our class liaison, Amanda Broulik, at

That’s all for now. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2021.

Vanessa Montag Brosgol |

CLASS OF 1999 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Not surprisingly, the theme of these notes is “quarantine”, starting with NYC. Liz Garcia writes from self-isolating in Brooklyn, “where it’s deserted enough that you can hear the birds for once, but of course it’s not altogether relaxing. Our neighborhood gets out our tension every night at 7 p.m. by cheering wildly and banging on drums and lots for all the brave folks who keep the city running.” Liz is homeschooling two elementary school-aged sons and continuing to work from home as a screenwriter. “I feel incredibly lucky to be healthy and employed given the immense suffering of so many. I send love and strength and, dare I say hope, to all my beloved Wes folk.” Marianna Ellenberg has been working as photography teacher this year at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, alongside writing a new play, to be produced in 2021.

Gloria Weber Plaks (aka Glo) writes from NYC, while her sister-in-law is telling her to “get the heck out of here.” She’s happily married to an awesome man, Eric Plaks, for almost 14 years. Glo has been a high school math teacher on-and-off since graduating from Wesleyan in 1999 and currently a special education math teacher at Vanguard High School for the last four years. “I am surrounded by a team of super dedicated, caring colleagues and just funny, hard-working students. I finally feel like I have found a place where I can stay for a while. Remote learning means that some of my days end with me falling asleep with my phone in my hand after texting with my student until 11:30 p.m. Remote learning and teaching, while helping my 12-year-old son, 8-year-old daughter, and 14-year-old nephew with their remote learning, while taking care of a 9-month-old, can be a bit of a hot mess. Yes, I have a 9-month-old. But one thing that I learned through all of this is that I really like my family!”

Moving to NorCal quarantine: Danielle Lazier and family are sheltering in place in Noe Valley, San Francisco. “The twins are almost 4 years old. Real estate sales are different but folks still need to move. I’m figuring out how to help my clients as safely and successfully as possible.” After 15 years building and leading community development finance for Charles Schwab, Sahra Halpern left in March to join Capital Impact Partners as senior director of strategic lending initiatives. Capital Impact Partners is a mission-driven lender that operates with the belief that equity, inclusiveness, and cooperation are keys to building communities of opportunity. “We deliver capital to address systemic poverty, create equity, build healthy communities, and promote inclusive growth. I’m beyond thrilled to be here!” On the home front, Sahra and Dan Engler are celebrating 10 years of parenthood (to Hanna, 10, and Adam, 8), 10 years of living in Oakland, Calif., and the milestone of having spent half of their lives together.

Katie Mayland Redwine lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons, ages 9 and 11. She works as a licensed clinical psychologist conducting psychological assessment and specializing in autism spectrum disorder. “I spend as much time as humanly possible taking my family on adventures (when I’m not quarantined) including to Australia, Italy, Mexico, and various U.S. states. Also to my favorite exotic locations, the gym and the supermarket, haha!”

There’s a chance Katie could have seen Leevert Holmes, who reported receiving our email request for notes submissions while standing in line at the grocery store. “Ahhhhh!!!! You didn’t ever think you’d be reaching out during a pandemic?” Leevert and his wife relocated to the South Bay of Northern California, where he taught math to middle schoolers in Palo Alto and his wife was a principal of an elementary school in San Jose. Next year, they plan to relocate even closer to family in the East Bay (Oakland) and work towards closing the achievement gap in San Francisco or Oakland. “I’m enrolled in Mills College to gain certification in math. In my free time, I moonlight as my alias, DJ Elbow Greasy and starting to craft my memoir as a schoolteacher.”

After 14 years at a large law firm, Allegra Jones has moved in-house as senior counsel at Pacific Maritime Association in San Francisco. “PMA is a trade association that negotiates maritime labor agreements with the union of 25,000 longshore workers on the West Coast. Staying in touch with our friends from Wesleyan is definitely keeping me going during this time of quarantine!” Nicholas Kyte is getting back to trail running when not working and homeschooling his two sons, Noah (9) and Benji (7). “Hit me up if you want to run with me in Martinez, Calif.”

Mike Hakim and family are holding up in LA: “Keeping the dream alive. I’m on my fourth kid Alaster Harrisson Louis Hakim who is turning 1 in June and celebrating life in the new normal. There are plenty of blessings through all the challenges life brings…I miss people and hope for only good vibes In the coming years! Please reach out to me just to say hi and what you’re working on in LA. If you need a new office or place to live or know someone please email:

Kabir Sen is in his 20th year teaching music at Shady Hill School in Cambridge and playing and recording music regularly. His most recent album The Good Life (If You Only Knew), a mix of hip hop and soul, is available on Spotify. Kabir’s wife, Rebecca, is still the head of her science department at Newton Country Day School, and their three kids (Eva, 10, Julia, 8, and Ethan, 5) are mostly doing well. “We are trying to balance our work and all the distance learning for our kids and it has been good to all be together despite these dire circumstances. My band Krush Faktory has been playing weekly and monthly residencies in the Boston area and I am really missing playing live music right now! From home I have been working on a new website for my music career ( and have been putting on Zoom plays with my students of my original musical, True Courage—A Whaling Adventure. Sending much love to the ’99 crew!”

Leila Buck is working from home in Brooklyn with husband Adam Abel ’98, grateful to be able to teach and work remotely. Since all theatrical productions are postponed until next year, Leila and her creative team are transferring their theatrical game show about immigration, citizenship and what it means to be(come) American, online for a virtual election tour this fall. If you’re interested in voting on who will be the next U.S. citizen, check out

“And most importantly, if you’re able to support our neighborhood hospital, one of the most under-funded COVID centers in NYC, please visit their GoFundMe.”

As for your class secretaries, we’re both bunkered down on the East Coast. Kevin continues to lead the growth of Quartet Health, a health tech company helping people get access to the mental health care they need, as COO. The pandemic is only increasing the need for access to high quality mental health care resources, and increasing the prevalence of mental health conditions. It’s really inspiring work. Darryl was recently interviewed for the Admission Leadership Podcast (aka The ALP), “a series of one-on-one conversations with people who have been climbing the leadership mountain in the world of college admissions.” As Darryl said to Kevin in an email, “if there were a silver lining from the pandemic, it is the need to stay even more connected now than ever before.” We hope you all feel a bit more connected to one another through these Notes, and hope you are inspired to reach out to a classmate to say hello!

C. Darryl Uy |

Kevin Kumler |