Class of 2006 | 2014 | Issue 1

This is a column full of congratulations (and variations on the word) so I hope you won’t get tired of seeing it!

Congratulations to Stan Parish, whose first novel, Down the Shore, will be published by Viking in June 2014. The novel is about a promising high school student at a boarding school in New Jersey whose path to an Ivy League School and success is preempted when he gets caught selling drugs. Stan guarantees that it is a vastly different version of his Wesleyan honors thesis. The novel has received a great review by former Wesleyan teacher and acclaimed author Alexander Chee.

Speaking of creative congratulations, Anna Moench was awarded a fellowship in playwriting/screenwriting by the New York Foundation of the Arts. Anna’s plays have received rave reviews and have appeared at the Old Vic, 59E59, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Dance Theater Workshop. She’ll probably buy an island or two with the cash; I’d say go for Turks and Caicos.

In the same writing vein, congratulations are in order to Katey Rich who is now the Hollywood editor at Vanity Fair’s website, working out of New York City. Katey was previously editor-in-chief of the website CinemaBlend for six years. She promises not to give off any Miranda Priestly vibes!

Ronald Lim works in Singapore as an architect and regularly sees Sam Han, who now teaches sociology at Nanyang Technological University. He also goes on regular urban culinary excursions with jetsetting alums who fly in like Tokyo-based Takahiro Haneda, as well as U.S.-based alums Kingston Wong, Elizabeth Khoo, and Wilson Co.

Juan Sebastian Moreno graduated with a M.A. in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the New School University in January 2013. He is engaged to Enie Rosales Ramos; the wedding will take place in the Philippines in 2014. Ben Magarik is still D.C.-based, although he has been traveling a lot for his job at MSCI (ISS) to help companies improve governance practices and sustainability reporting. He had the rare of treat of dinner with Louis Caditz-Peck and Jesse Watson in Berkeley in November.

Daniel Dykes plans to finish his law degree at Harvard in May 2014, after which he’ll be working in corporate law in NYC. This spring, he will direct the Harvard Law School Parody, a musical comedy making fun of law school and life in general.

Congratulations to Becca Seely who got married to the delightful Abby Ferjak at Yale Divinity School in New Haven. Alix Sleight Warner, Sara Covey Ortiz, Aurora Maoz, and Molly Greenberg ’05 were bridesmaids. An amazing Wes crew was in attendance, including Diego Ortiz ’05, Phil Amidon ’05, Bettina Schlegel, Nona Willis Aronowitz, Sarah Gunther, Lizzy Cohen, Matt Ferrisi ’03, Kate Mitchell ’05, Daniel Rubin, and Maggie Starr. Currently, Becca and Abby are living the dream in Venice Beach. Becca is completing the final step in her ordination process to become a Lutheran pastor by serving one year as vicar of a church in Santa Monica.

Belated and huge congrats to Vanessa Meer who married Marc Schreiber at Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., on Oct. 6, 2012. Wesleyan was well-represented by Andrew Beckler ’91, Leslie Shasha ’82, Amelia Geggel, Beck Straley ’07, Jaimie Dougherty, Michelle Atwood ’05, Zach Strassburger, Anna Pinkert, Astrid Hesse ’08, Rachel Schreiber ’05, Alan Witt, Stephen Hartley, Maya Wolf Hartley, Samuel Duncan ’05, Kate Thorpe, Kim Landry, Sharisse Kanet, Leah Stern, and Teague Hopkins, as well as their associated significant others. Vanessa and Mark are living in Jersey City, where she is an environmental consultant at a multidisciplinary engineering firm and Marc is on an interest-rate-products trading desk at Goldman Sachs.

Jessica Pearce married Adam C. Jonas ’04 on July 19, 2013, at a lovely outdoor ceremony at Bryant Park Grill in NYC. Wesleyan alum attendees include Emily Titterton, Kaylea Moore, Jenna Bonczewsk, Douglas Collins ’07, Molly Adams ’07, Jaime Wendel ’07, and Megan Willey ’07. Congrats and best wishes in 2014!

Congratulations to Rachel Berger, who gave birth to a son, Colin Ezra Jankelowitz, on Aug. 14 2012. Rachel lives in Brooklyn with her husband Ari Jankelowitz. Ilana Davis Sharpe and her husband Dan Sharpe welcomed their first child Lorelei Olivia Sharpe born on September 18, 2013. The new family of 3 greatly enjoyed their first holiday season together. Needless to say, congrats! And last but certainly not least, congrats to Tal Beery and his wife, Eugenia, who gave birth to a bouncing baby boy Abraham Manwelyan Berry on August 8, 2013.

I wish you all the best in 2014 and hope to run into you in New York City soon!

Calvin Cato

Class of 2007 | 2014 | Issue 1

This time around we tried to do something a little different for the class of 2007. As the call for class notes came out around Thanksgiving, I asked my fellow ’07ers what they were thankful for over the last year. We got great responses, but far too few of them! Next time around I look forward to knocking it out of the park.

To start, I am thankful for my beautiful wife and family. I am thankful that my friend Thomas Bendon is getting married this summer and was fortunate to see Hooter Glidden, Jared Ashe, Julian Canzoneri, and several others during travels the last few weeks.

Deirdre Salsich has had a great year and is thankful for a number of things “1) I passed the New York Bar Exam; 2) I have a fabulous job with New York State United Teachers, the public school teachers’ union as a labor and employment attorney; and 3) I love my neighborhood in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and that so many Wesleyan people are nearby! Last but not least, I am so thankful that my sister, Mairead Salsich Viegas ’04, married a wonderful guy, Bob Viegas, on Nov. 23.”

Grace Nowakoski is thankful for America’s interstate highways which allowed her and her fiance, Jeff Diteman, to switch coasts this October, trading Portland, Ore., for her hometown of Putney, Vermont; for four good years in Portland, the wonderful community of people they left behind, and the friends they’ll always keep; for snow, and stacked firewood and a woodstove to burn it in; for Thanksgiving with her family.

Tess Amodeo-Vickery is thankful for finding her true passion in song writing and the Wesleyan music mafia (she plans on giving you all a call when the time is right).

Doug Rubenstein sent this my way “I’m thankful for my lovely wife, my family, my cool kick ass dog, my health, my amazing friends and my new pilot that I shot.” Best of luck with the pilot, Doug!

Lauren Smith scored an invitation to the White House Harry Truman bowling alley—and was kind enough to invite her pals Jesse Young ’06, Seth Samuels ’06, Molly Gaebe, and Margaret Dickson. The final score of the game remains unknown…but they are all winners.

Thanks again to all who wrote. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for Wes 07!

Victoria Belyavsky and Jesse Bardo

Class of 2008 | 2014 | Issue 1

Lauren Goldman writes: “I just finished working my third campaign cycle as a field organizer. The last campaign I worked on was called Garden State Forward—a campaign to elect progressive politicians to New Jersey’s highest offices. Although Christie won the governor’s seat, the state senate and assembly were carried by Democrats. I got to work alongside Michael Berger and we shared many laughs and good times. Looking forward to seeing the whole of Wesdom/NYC in the coming weeks.”

Emily Hauck writes: “I’m working for the city of Beauvais (about an hour outside Paris) in charge of various sustainable development action plans. Being a French public servant has its perks, notably nearly seven weeks of paid vacation. Julien and I took full advantage and came back to the U.S. for a month this summer. While home, we stayed with Izaak Orlansky in his Brooklyn apartment, ate burgers in Harlem with a bar-exam-wearied Emma Rosenberg, visited Becca Feiden ’09 on Martha’s Vineyard, and hung out with Maura Scully and Emily Malkin in D.C. Stephanie Schwartz used her frequent flier miles to come visit us in Paris last spring and we’re looking forward to hosting Mark Purser for Thanksgiving!”

Chaz Ganster writes: “I’m in Tokyo, visiting family and Wes friends. I’m the first person in my family to go to Japan after my grandmother left in 1956. But I live in L.A., animating and character designing for an all-Wesleyan educational software company called Pup’s Quest for Phonics. The software is being used in many elementary schools in L.A. (

Liat Olenick is recovering from liverfest.

Nick Benacerraf writes: “The Assembly, my performance collective (with Edward Bauer, Jess Chayes ’07, Stephen Aubrey ’06, and Ariela Rotenberg ’10), has been invited to perform at the CFA Theater in January! It’s really exciting for us to come home to where it all began. We will be presenting HOME/SICK, our collectively-written show about the Weather Underground, which recently ran for three sold-out runs in New York and was a critics’ pick in the NY Times. We make smart, visceral theater and if you live in New York, you should hang out with us. I am also one of the leaders of an initiative called The Brooklyn Commune Project ( that is writing a position paper about the economics of the performing arts, which will be published online in January. I’m making lots of theater and visual art, while still managing to eat food. (Yes!) People at LA Weekly gave me an award for set design. And… I went to India for six weeks this summer! All thanks to Wes.”

Steph Calvert writes: “Some recent news of mine is that I was the youngest alumni artist to show work in the Alumni Show II that was recently up in Zilkha Gallery. I went for Homecoming & Family Weekend for gallery talks, and interview, and to participate in a panel discussion on art and science, along with two other artists from the show and a couple of scientists from Wesleyan. I stood out there as well, as the youngest and only female on the panel.”

Grace Overbeke is in her first year of the interdisciplinary PhD in theatre and drama at Northwestern University.

Anthony Albrecht writes: “Although I have lived in Middletown my whole life, I just bought a house in town (as opposed to living with parents and then in an apartment) with my wife, Kelly. After my first teaching job last year at New Britain High School, I currently teach (and happily am doing so) at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, also in Middletown, as a language arts teacher.”

Maggie Siddiqi began studying at Hartford Seminary, pursuing a master’s in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, as well as a graduate certificate in Islamic chaplaincy.

Zachary Davis and Travis Fitzgerald ’09 are closing Appendix Project Space, their art residency and gallery space in Portland, Ore., after a successful five-year run. They are moving to NYC, where they plan to collaborate with Joshua Pavlacky on another curatorial project, American Medium.

Alpay Koralturk writes: “After four years in the investment banking and startup scenes in New York, I moved back to Istanbul to start a mobile gaming company. We have raised venture capital funds from Europe and the US and will be expanding our team over the next year. You can check out Gram Games on the iOS AppStore.”

Devon Golaszewski began a PhD program in history at Columbia, focusing on African history this fall, after several years in Mali.

Phoebe Jones is in the second year of her master’s degree in public health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she has been falling hard for the City of Brotherly Love. She is concentrating in health management and policy and her work focuses on autism, aging, and ethics. She traveled to Israel this past summer to do research with her professors and she is excited to get back to the workforce after graduation this year. She is also loving being an aunt to two adorable nephews (sons of Serena Jones ’00!) and living with her boyfriend, a seasoned Philly native.

Sam Grover has moved to Madison, Wis., to start a career as a staff attorney for the nonprofit organization Freedom from Religion Foundation. He will work to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church while learning to eat cheese curds and enjoy ice fishing. Go Badgers!

Before starting grad school in May, Leslie Prado did a road trip in March and saw the Grand Canyon. Now she is in D.C., doing a dual master’s degree in physician assistant and public health at George Washington University where she will be for the next three years.

Ruby Ross writes: “My only big news is that I released my first CD, an EP called Solid Ground, back in October. I recorded it in Jess Myhre’s ’09 basement when she lived in Baltimore last year and she and her friends laid down a bunch of tracks on it so it turned into much more than I’d originally envisioned. I’m excited to finally have the finished product. I also have a track on a new compilation CD of New Orleans songwriters, recorded and released by Buffa’s Back Room Bar. Other than that, life’s still pretty much the same: waitressing at JIMS cafe, teaching adult ESL, and making music as Ruby Ross & The Precious Gems and as Pyeya with other NOLA Wesfolk.”

Caitlin O’Shaughnessy

Class of 2009 | 2014 | Issue 1

Winter is near and what better way to enjoy a warm fire and a big mug of hot chocolate than with some class notes, right?! Here’s what some of your fellow classmates are up to:

Seth Halpern is working in Washington, D.C. as a strategic consultant for hospital executives at The Advisory Board Company, and is also in his second year of the evening MBA program at Georgetown University. Seth is overworked and underpaid, and looks forward to seeing everyone at the five (5!!!) year Reunion in the spring.

Laura Masulis is working as the senior partnerships manager at Interise, a social enterprise that trains local business owners to help take their businesses to the next level. On the side, she is helping found a community bike and board shop, The Lawrence BiciCocina, to improve the quality of life in Lawrence, Mass., encourage more physical activity, and provide job and leadership training for youth. Laura also just had a wonderful woodsy get-a-way weekend with Tressa Eaton, Sara Hirsch, and Ellie Wiener.

Lilly Fink Shapiro shares that she is studying public health and sustainable food systems at the University of Michigan.

Dominic Ireland left Bridgewater Associates back in February, spent March wandering solo around Turkey (awesome), and now he’s in Connecticut, working IT at Stamford Hospital.

Elana Baurer is a first-year associate at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia, PA, working in the Employment, Labor, Benefits, and Immigration group. She splits her time between employment and immigration matters. Elana passed the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars and was to be admitted formally before the New Year.

Ray Ward, Sawyer Greene, and Jeremy Finch are now living in Cambridge, Mass., where their apartment features nearly one pull-up bar per capita.

Ari King has launched a website and podcast titled Off Campus, which is based on his book Now What?! Conversations about College, Graduation, and the Next Step and has a Kickstarter to raise money to produce the show. To find out more, see:

Only five months until our 5-year Reunion. Get excited! And keep the notes coming!

Alejandro Alvarado

Class of 2009 | 2014 | Issue 1

Four years after graduation, here is what some fellow 2009 grads are up to…

Elana Baurer graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in May. After taking the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars she will be moving back home to Philadelphia to work at Duane Morris, LLP. She also hopes to start a juvenile advocacy nonprofit in Philadelphia.

Katie Shelly is publishing Picture Cook, which is a collection of more than 50 dishes that completely re-invent the traditional recipe format by rendering each recipe as a hand-drawn, flowchart-like illustration that uses a minimum of words. It will be published by Ulysses Press in October. The link to pre-order is on

Aviva Tevah has been in NYC since 2009, working on reentry education issues with the non-profit service providers, city agencies, and academic institutions that constitute the New York Reentry Education Network. The Network is organizing its first conference, called “Pathways of Possibility: Transforming Education’s Role in Reentry,” which will bring together stakeholders to build a shared reentry education agenda moving forward.

Chris Goy spent the summer in Chicago as a management fellow in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and then returned to Philadelphia for his final year studying public administration at UPenn before starting a life out in the Rockies…or Hawaii.

Julie Neuspiel will be moving to Boston (living in Allston!) to begin a PhD in clinical psychology at UMass Boston mentored by Dr. Abbey Eisenhower. She will be studying the supportive roles of parent-child and teacher-child relationships in social emotional development, particularly within contexts of economic and developmental adversity during early childhood and the transition to school. Her training will be supported by Boston’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities fellowship which is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services through the 2006 Combating Autism Act. Max Wu ’08 is a second-year doctoral student in the same program, and Cara Herbitter ’03 is in her entering class as well! George Bennum is living in Boston, working as a GIS analyst for a civil engineering company. He is hanging out with Adam Nikolich a fair amount and brewing beer with him.

Sarah Gillig Sunu just wrapped up her first year of graduate school at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, where she is earning a master’s of environmental management with a concentration in coastal environmental management. Sarah has also changed her name to Sarah Sunu (maiden name at Wesleyan was Gillig); her husband, Steve Sunu ’08, is in North Carolina with her and is a freelance journalist.

Gabriel Fries has taken the four years since Wesleyan to do the “post-college wandering” thing. He has been a zombie in an episode of Good Morning America, passed out real estate flyers in a monkey costume, and been a tall skinny Toys “R” Us Santa, among other odd jobs. He has also gotten into teaching—teaching filmmaking for three summers at a camp in New Hampshire, teaching English, baseball, and hamburger eating (this is not a joke) at a place called American Village in France, and most recently, teaching English through theater with a traveling children’s theater company in Italy! It’s been a good ride, but now he is ready to stay in one place and start focusing more on depth than breadth

Ari King recently published his book, Now What?! Conversations about College, Graduation, and the Next Step. More information can be found on the alumni website., which is exactly what it sounds like—a night of veterans sharing their stor ies.

Dominic Ireland is leaving his position at Bridgewater Associates, taking a month to travel through Turkey, and then moving to Austin, Tex.

In 2012, Daphne Schmon finished her first feature documentary, Children of the Wind. So far, they have been to four festivals and won six awards, most notably Best Documentary and Best Emerging Filmmaker at X-Dance Film Festival, the world’s premiere action sports film festival. The film will be released this spring worldwide. Website and trailer can be found at: Daphne is living in New York where she has founded her own film company, Seek Films. In addition to touring the festival circuit, she is in development for her next feature film project.

Chris Helsel has just arrived in Madrid where he will be completing a master’s (LLM) in international sports law this semester. Chris finished at Villanova Law this fall and will receive his joint JD/LLM degree when he finishes in Spain.

Karl Grindal and Laurenellen McCann have been living in Washington, D.C., for the last 3+ years and celebrated their first year of living together by getting a domestic partnership. Karl is a cyber-security consultant for the government and is helping a former professor write a history book on cyber conflict. Laurenellen is the national policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation and spends her days thinking about government transparency and open data. On the side, she runs a project about mapping public art and occasionally gets Karl to help her run The Alley of Doom, a pop-up game, funded by the Awesome Foundation, that allows passersby to pretend to be Indiana Jones.

 Jesse Coburn has been on the road doing his Mute Puppets show for the past three years. Drawing on his readings of mysticism and Martin Heidegger, he has developed a performance that bypasses the “Gerede” of the everyday, allowing (for once) silence to pour out of the furry mouths of puppets. Their frenzied gestures refer to a different language, one inscribed in the natural world. In ’13-’14 he will mostly be in Tennessee, West Virginia, and upstate NY. He is always dutifully polite upon meeting a fellow alum.

Zeeba Khalili is living in Somerville, Mass., and started an awesome new job as a program associate at Summer Search, a national non-profit that supports low-income youth to develop leadership skills and graduate from college. She is still waiting to find out if she can join the Mystical Seven.

Sam Ottinger is living in New Orleans and is now a licensed mortgage loan officer. He’s baking bread, brewing beer, and growing his own tomatoes. Come visit! Minimum of five drinks required per visitor.

Brittany Delany, based in the Bay Area, collaborates regularly with Wes Alums in art and performance projects. In February 2012, she danced with Shayna KellerSamantha Sherman, and Sarah Ashkin ’11 at Movement Research at Judson Church in New York and also co-choreographed a dance sequence for a film directed by Nikhil Melnechuk ’07.

Delany runs a monthly arts program Ground Series in Oakland with Sarah Ashkin ’11Ground Seriescreates a space where art and community find common ground. All of the programming prioritizes communal exchange of skills, resources, and experiences in order to strengthen and unite artist and neighbor. In January 2013, Britt and Sarah hosted Wes Alums Khalia Frazier ’07Aaron Freedman ’10Allison Hurd ’11, and Samantha Sherman with director Pedro Alejandro, professor of dance at Wes, to create a dance for camera in a Berkeley arts space and to develop a new work premiering at Wesleyan in April 2013.

Michelle Brown and Paul Boulat are wrapping up a wonderful year living together in Astoria, NYC, following a tradition starting at Wesleyan where they lived together for five semesters. Michelle graduated from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts with an MA in art history in May and is now looking to enter the museum professions. Paul is a manager for Vermont-based textile company Anichini. They are looking forward to staying neighbors, as both are staying in Astoria for the foreseeable future.

Ryan Walsh sends “a pic of me and Dino playing for the Eaton Vance hockey team. We worked together for most of the year until Dino left to work for a start-up, this is all we have for memories…. just in case you needed some ammo.” You can see the photo online: go to and click on “class notes.”


And finally, Sara Swetzoff, her spouse and her child have moved to Portland, Ore.

Alejandro Alvarado