CLASS OF 2014 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

The class of 2014 is continuing to take the world by storm (in true Wesleyan fashion). Here’s a glimpse into what your classmates are up to:

Jason Mix started a job as a relocation accounting analyst at Cartus in Danbury, Conn.

Natalie Robichaud is “doing what all English majors do and working for a technology-based hedge fund in NYC. Of course.”

Lizzy Steiner says: “Hi, everyone! I completed the Columbia Publishing Course in July (along with Hanh Le ’12) and am now interning at a literary agency in Brooklyn. I love living in NYC (especially since many of my friends and Rho Ep sisters decided to move here) and am having fun working in publishing. If anyone is interested in the Columbia Publishing Course/wants to talk about publishing in general, please feel free to e-mail me at”

Lawyer in training and yogi Anya Morgan writes, “I’m in my second semester at UT Law in Austin, Texas. I teach yoga once a week, I’m on the Texas Law Fellowships board, and I’m a research assistant for my Critical Legal Studies professor. I’ll be working at the DLA Piper Austin office as a law clerk this summer.”

Julian Harris is working in the sports industry at a startup in NYC, OpenSponsorship. They were recently featured in Forbes; the future looks bright!

Alex Cantrell moved back to Boston and is busily leading a double life: By day, he works through New Sector Alliance (a nonprofit fellowship program that matches young professionals with nonprofits) at Jeff’s Place, a children’s bereavement center in Framingham. By night, he is endeavoring to launch Sealed, a social app that allows users to send time-delayed photos, videos, and gifts. He wishes that he’d had Sealed during college so he could have captured some of those gloriously youthful late nights and sent them to his friends to unlock on their 50th Reunion. Reach out to him if you want to help make it happen!

Tom Brewer: “From Tulsa, I headed westward by bus, ultimately landing softly on the couch of Casey Feldman ’12 in Santa Monica. Inspired by SoCal’s palm trees, dry heat, and pretty faces, I have been working diligently from aforementioned couch on a book of semi-erotic poems, all based on my most beloved sitcom characters: Ross, Phoebe, Rachel, Joey, Monica and, of course, Chandler. I plan to sell the rights to Friends with Benefits (working title) to a big-time LA movie studio by spring of 2016. With any luck this penniless English major will be able to cash in on his much-cherished but oft-maligned liberal arts education.”

Maurice Hill started his career in higher ed administration: he’s an admissions counselor for Kenyon College. He recruits students from the Chicagoland area, Michigan, and Toledo, and he works with the director of multicultural admissions on the recruitment, retention, and success of students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Sarah Litton Burkett: event coordinator and media relations at Henke & Pillot downtown lounge and kitchen in Houston, Texas.

Yusaku Takeda writes, “After graduation, I moved to NYC to take a position as an IT consultant. But realizing that academics is a better fit for me, I quit my job and moved back to Japan. I work as a research assistant at the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy of Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. It’s nice to be back home.”

Maureen Gorman: “I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Aurelien. I’m a junior consultant at a financial technology firm. A bit after our intimate wedding back on a gorgeous October day in my hometown of Milwaukee, Aurelien and I spent a lovely honeymoon in New Orleans, enjoying the unique architecture, delicious food, and bayous. We love taking advantage of all of the cultural offerings of NYC and our proximity to Prospect Park!”

From our nation’s capital, Maggie Feldman-Piltch writes, “Julian Purkiss and I are living in D.C. with our newly adopted and incredibly adorable pitbull, ziva bell hooks. (Pretty sure no one cares about this, but just in case, I’m finishing up a national security and international trade fellowship and he’s working at a non-public, tuition-free school for boys in South East.) We’ll be hosting the Wes GOLD party on April 2 and really look forward to seeing everyone. Leo Liu, Izzy Rode, Olivia May, and Benny Doctor are close by, and we get to play Settlers, drink boozy milkshakes, and be homesick for the crunchy people of Wesleyan on the regular. I also see Emma Daniels ’13 weekly during Congressional Chorus rehearsals.”

Leslie Lai started her PhD program in cognitive science at Brown. Her research investigates how perceptual information is transferred to conceptual understanding in human vision. Leslie is interested in how color and perceptual organization influence the way people process visualized information.

Nick Buffie is working at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, DC. He writes blog posts on economic policy, provides research assistance for various economists at the Center, and tracks CEPR’s appearances in the media. His writings to date have focused on the Affordable Care Act’s positive effects on the job market; the pace of economic recovery; hidden regressive features of the tax code; the conditions necessary for wage growth; the difficulty of prolonged unemployment; and living standards in the U.S. versus other developed countries. His writings have been cited in various newspapers and media outlets for public policy.

It’s always great hearing from you all. Never hesitate to write. Much love,

Mary diaz |

Class Notes intern: Susannah Betts ’15

CLASS OF 2013 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Let’s get right to it!

Syed Ali is at the national offices of FoodCorps in NYC, helping get the word out about a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them to grow up healthy. If you’re interested, they’re recruiting!

Corey Guilmette is halfway through his second year at Yale Law School, well on his way to becoming a public defender.

Hannah Bailenson was promoted at the National Dance Institute (NDI), where she’s been working on school-based arts education programming. Her Home Ave. housemate Joel Hochman is on the forefront of recent changes around immigration, working with relevant populations as a paralegal at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG).

After stints in Boston and New York working for Analysis Group, Saumya Chatrath has settled in between in New Haven. She’s now a research associate for a Yale University health economist.

After 1.5 years pursuing being an “employed professional” at a tech startup, Evan Carmi quit his job to go backpacking in South America. He’ll be in Mexico, Argentina and Chile from February to May. He is simultaneously excited and terrified.

Marisa Stotter directed and produced She Makes Comics, a documentary celebrating the history of women in comic books, released in Dec. 2013 to great acclaim. Now based in LA, she’s begun working in TV and film development at Valhalla Entertainment, the legendary producer of Aliens, the Terminator trilogy, and The Walking Dead. Marisa is happy to report that she is not yet a zombie.

Laura Machlin is in DC, doing research on anxiety as part of the Post-Bac IRTA program at the National Institutes of Health.

Estée Rubien-Thomas is going strong as an associate researcher in neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her roommate, Leah Koenig, has been working at a reproductive health advocacy nonprofit in NYC. This fall, she’ll begin pursuing an MPH. Their other roommate, Lisa Lee, is a strategy consultant at Deloitte. She’s making migrations to New Jersey every week as part of her current project posting.

Ryu Hirahata moved to Williamsburg after graduation and has been living there while working for an architecture firm based in NYC’s financial district. Zack Sulsky also made the move from Wes to Williamsburg with Ryu to work at Carnegie Hall, but has since moved to Colorado to work full-time on his start-up, Edify Technologies, Inc. Their mobile app, Sketch-a-Song, makes music composition accessible to beginners.

Janet Cushey moved from Seoul to New York in September and began working for a boutique investor relations firm called Argot Partners. Her clients are pharmaceutical companies, with a majority working in the oncology sphere.

Miriam Kwietniewska left the 9-5 race to freelance and pursue her passion. She’s happy to announce the creation of Four Ingredients, a healthy frozen dessert company serving the vegan, paleo, and health-minded communities with delicious desserts made from the best stuff on earth. Check it out at

David Shimomura is actually back at Wesleyan after having spent a year back home in Chicago. He is the new program coordinator for the Center for the Arts, otherwise affectionately known as the CFA. His New Year’s resolution is to have more Twitter followers than Gabriel Urbina.

Samantha Melvin is a lab manager at Columbia University’s Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development Lab. Meaning she gets to hang out with adorable preschoolers and do science. She’s moved in with boyfriend Andy Ribner ’14.

Christina Ermilio has been working for nonprofit executive search firm Isaacson Miller and is living in Somerville, Mass., with Lydia Rex ’14, Sarah Kalish ’14, and Yara Kass-Gergi ’12.

Chelsea Goldsmith has been living, working, and enjoying life in Baltimore, where she’s worked at six different museums and is the volunteer coordinator at the Baltimore Urban Debate League, an educational nonprofit. When not organizing debate tournaments, Chelsea is out and about exploring the city, learning how to use her new sewing machine, and waiting for NYC Wes friends to come and visit. (“Yeah, I’m looking at you, Cassie Liu.”) If life ever brings you to The Greatest City in America, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Anna Swartz is a staff writer for The Dodo, an animal news site. She writes a lot of cat listicles, and is very happy to live within walking distance of so much of the Class of 2013 in Brooklyn.

Since last writing in, James Gardner has taken on an Afro-German mentee and is tutoring him in German and American history. He also helps out at workshops for the parents of Afro-German children. The mothers have reacted positively to the presence of a brown-bodied male figure in their children’s lives. Additionally, James has taken on more responsibility at his job and is showing more entrepreneurial initiative (one of his New Year’s resolutions!). He is working on becoming an even more valuable member of his company’s executive committee. As always, he hopes to convene more frequently with WesBerlin-ers and WesAffiliants passing through the area.

Kateryn Nuñez is getting a second degree at the NYU College of Nursing. She works closely with a midwife as part of her aspirations to join that field.

Jaewon Chung lives on the edge of Queens, NY, working as a clinical research coordinator for the North Shore-LIJ Health System

Bill Beluch is in Tübingen, Germany, working as a research assistant at The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society.

Aria Danaparamita was invited to take part in a documentary series on Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (founder of Singapore; subject of her thesis). After finding her thesis online, the filmmakers asked her to share her insights as one of their experts. The “Raffles Revealed” episodes aired this January on Channel NewsAsia, a Singapore-based news channel broadcast in more than a dozen countries around Asia and the Pacific. It was a great opportunity to share her research on Raffles and the history of British colonization in Java.

Alex Kuwada is in his second year working at Saint James School in Maryland. He teaches upper school math, coaches basketball and soccer, and lives in a dorm with 8th grade boys at the boarding school. He takes pride in being the self-proclaimed best FIFA player on campus and convincing the student body that his nonsensical nicknames are funny, especially “BKE.” Overall, he would describe his journey as an educator and mentor as “flippant,” “circuitous,” and “hardo.”

Michael Steves is still in LA directing and writing. In December, he was hired to write and direct his second feature film The Cold Descent, a horror-western set on a midnight train headed for Atlanta in the 1870s. The movie stars Tony Todd (Candyman), Michael Eklund (Bates Motel), and Lance Henrkison (the Alien series). More recently, Michael directed a horror-comedy feature film, Clinger (made by many Wes students and ’13 alums), that was an official selection of the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival. It premiered January 24,  in the narrative feature competition, as one of 11 selected out of 3,000 feature submissions, and one of three American films in competition. The movie sold out both of its Park City screenings, and has received multiple distribution offers. In between features, Michael writes and directs commercials.

Wishing all my classmates the best! Cheers,

Laura Yim |

CLASS OF 2012 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Cheers to the class of 2012! We are celebrating our third anniversary away from Foss Hill. As juniors in the “real word,” many of us are exceeding all expectations, not surprising for a Cardinal!

Grace Ross joined the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, a New York-based boutique agency. They count many distinguished nonfiction and fiction authors as their clients, including Lydia Davis, Karen Russell, and Gary Shteyngart. Grace hopes to begin taking on her own clients, under the tutelage of Denise Shannon. In the meantime, she is always on the lookout for new authors, so you creative Wes alums, be sure to connect with Grace regarding your literary aspirations!

On a similar note, Harry James Hanson was promoted to creative director at Black + Gold, a full service creative agency in Brooklyn. Harry splits his time between Black + Gold and WENN, an international paparazzi agency, where he is a photography editor. Hopefully, Harry will be snapping the picture of one of our many talented Wes alums.

Harry Bartle is fundraising for a short film he wrote and will be directing: Rouler, Sonner (roo-lay, son-nay). The crew is full of Wesleyan folks: The co-producers are Thomas Waltcher and Chachi Hauser ’13, the director of photography is Justin Zweifach ’11, the lead will be played by Bennett Kirschner ’13, and the production designer is the multi-talented Anna McKinsey, among others. Please check out Harry’s Kickstarter campaign and support your fellow Wes alum!

Alexa Narzikul has completed her first semester at Jefferson Medical School in Philly, where she’s been exploring different areas of medicine and pursuing her love of biology. As a freshman, she serves as an interviewer for Admissions. She meets with prospective med students and helps the university decide on the next generation of doctors. In her free time, she enjoys playing on a pick-up hockey team and supporting all Philly sports teams!

Sunil Chulani has traded in his days as a Mandarin translator to China’s ambassador in Jamaica for a white coat. Sunil is in his second year of medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine and is loving it. He says, “I dearly miss Wesleyan and cannot wait to see everyone again.” I know many of us share his sentiments.

Up in Troy, N.Y., Cella Jones has been working with a prominent alternative energy researcher at RPI. Together, they are transforming developing countries and our environmental footprint. When she is not making the world a greener place, Cella spends her time in NYC.

As for me, I have completed my master’s in education from Relay Graduate School in NYC. I’m still fighting for education equality and have the privilege of working for the hardest working students at Achievement First East New York Charter School in Brooklyn. Wishing the class of 2012 Wesleyan alums all the best!

Daisey Perez |

CLASS OF 2011 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Updates from the Class of 2011!

Todd Keats writes, “This Feburary I visited Sun Valley, with Anthony DePietto ’11 and Adam Kaiser ’13 to play with the St. Nicks Hockey Club of NYC in a senior men’s hockey series against the Sun Valley Suns. A 119-year-old franchise and perennially one of the country’s best elite squads, the St. Nicks brought our usual fleet of ex-NCAA Division I and III college and minor league hockey veterans. We swept the weekend series 9-0 and 6-2. Anthony finished the weekend with two goals and one assist, Adam dished out two assists. In addition to the hockey, we also had a great time on the slopes and, of course, at the local watering holes (especially Grumpy’s).

Moon Herrick reports, “I’m in NYC, working to navigate the health insurance system for clients of the AIDS Services Center during the week, and teaching yoga and Brooklyn Boulders on the weekend. On the side, I’m communication manager for CapraCare, a nonprofit based in Haiti.”

Jared Gimbel returned from Germany and is living in NYC, studying at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s grad school. In addition to designing his upcoming game “Kaverini,” he also teaches Scandinavian languages as a personal mentor.

Katherine McDonald is living in Oakland. Having just completed her master’s in music composition at Mills College, she is now recording her first album while continuing to collaborate with Bay Area dancers, filmmakers, and musicians:

Arielle Hixson reports, “I just started a job as a reporter for Channel One News:” Lindsay Ballard writes, “I’m in my first year of medical school at Florida International University in Miami and had a Wes reunion with Eleni Healey and Margaret Aldredge in NYC.”

An update courtesy of Joe Giaimo: “Our Wesleyan football team finished 7-1 this fall for the second time in a row. First time that has happened in 66 years! Congratulations, Cardinals!”

Allie Southam |

CLASS OF 2010 | 2015 | ISSUE 1

Greetings, Class of 2010: I hope you enjoy the following updates from our classmates:

Alice Goldsmith has started a floral design studio, Wild Vase, in LA. Check it out at

Jessie Schiewe is in LA, a freelance journalist and photographer for a slew of publications like The San Francisco Chronicle, LAist, Miami New Times, The Oakland Tribune, Flaunt Magazine.

Caitlin McHugh earned an M.Ed. at Western Washington University in 2014, and moved to Moscow, Idaho, where she is the education coordinator for the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute. Caitlin manages grants that pay the institute to educate children on the diminishing aquifers from which their community draws its water: “Additionally, we have spearheaded a new winter family education series for the community that seeks to connect folks with the natural world and each other even when it’s cold outside. It’s been a lot of fun and really successful this far!”

Alice Maggio checks in from the beautiful Berkshires: “Over the past year my life has intertwined with many Wesleyan graduates, mostly in the realm of music. In March, Eli Hetko ’11 and his 5 Mile String band came to play at the Sheffield Contra Dance that I help to organize. This March, my friend Emily Troll—the girl most responsible for my love of contra—is coming from Somerville to play our dance. I’m excited to tell my fellow organizers that Emily wrote her thesis on contra dance fiddling at Wesleyan. At the beginning of this January I had the pleasure of hosting musicologist and singer Tim Eriksen M.A. ’93 and his Trio de Pumpkintown, who played a concert in my living room to an audience of 50 people. In June, Anna Roberts-Gevalt ’09 stopped by to play her second house concert here, and she will be back on March 17th with Elizabeth LaPrelle to put on a “crankies” show at our local little community hall in Sheffield. I remember Anna’s senior project well—it was the genesis of her current “crankies” project! I have now worked almost three years at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics as the local currency program director, where I’m in charge of BerkShares, a currency for the Berkshires that celebrates our region, supports our locally owned businesses, and serves as a tool for community-driven economic development. My path crossed with Jean Willoughby ’08 in California last January, and then she came to visit us in the Berkshires for a few days. She is doing really cool work at Rural Advancement Foundation International in North Carolina, managing their grants program for farmers. We wish she would come work for us! The two most surprising things that happened to me this year were a visit to Cuba and being interviewed by punk rocker Henry Rollins. Henry came to the Berkshires to learn about local currency for an episode of his show called 10 Things You Don’t Know About Money. I went to Cuba as part of a ‘new economy’ delegation organized by the Schumacher Center and Christopher Reynolds Foundation, to learn about Cuban organic agriculture and social enterprise.”

From Dan Heinrich Manuyag: “I wrapped up four years with the Admissions Office at Wes and landed 5,000 miles away at the Iolani School in Honolulu, as an associate director of college counseling. I had the good fortune of being welcomed by island locals Lindsay Kosasa ’13 and Lindsay Kukona ’07. The transition has been smooth and life couldn’t be better (especially in the winter). I certainly miss all my WesFriends and family dearly back on the mainland but am ready to host with awesome hikes, surf, mai tais, and sunsets to those who venture out here. Until then, I’m looking forward to our 5th Reunion this May!”

Dylan Marron wrote and directed The Human Symphony, a show that is currently running in NYC, entirely performed by randomly selected audience members via individual MP3 tracks that Dylan has recorded for them. Dylan is also going on a two-month tour of every state in the continental U.S. with Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast that he’s been working for since 2013. Finally, he got engaged to his boyfriend, Todd. Congrats from the Class of 2010!

Jess Brownfeld works on communications and event planning in the Psychiatry Department at Mount Sinai, and she teaches yoga in NYC. She is excited to be chair of the Reunion committee and hopes you will all return to campus in May!

Tara Kelton is lead editor at Brave New Films, making social justice short documentaries. “I am also getting married in March on Pi day (because this year is 3.14.15, and we are signing our marriage license at 9:26 a.m.)” Congratulations, Tara!

Tony Zosherafatain found his way back to NYC after moving back home to Boston for a bit. While in Boston, he got to hang with Elise Herrig and Franni Paley and also got to see Kait Halibozek and Paul Edwards ’09 the week before he departed. Tony is attending NYU to become a nurse practitioner, with a focus on trans-inclusive endocrinology. He’s also aiming to take more film classes and is directing and producing (with the help of Kait Halibozek)  I Am the T: an FTM documentary, which chronicles the stories of trans men around the world. He wrapped up production of an I Am the T segment in Norway this November, which will be released for viewing this spring. Check out

Michael Keoni DeFranco “Things have been going well at Lua: We now have 30 employees and representatives in Boston, Chicago, and London We’re working with healthcare providers such as Kaiser Permanente, professional teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, and branches of the Department of Defense. We’ve also been donating our software to nonprofits such as the Special Olympics and Team Rubicon (a unit of first responders) and are launching with our first hotel chains, retail stores, and airlines, as well as expanding into Europe and Asia. I was featured on BloombergTV’s In the Loop, alongside Strauss Zelnick ’79, where we discussed Lua, the enterprise market and Wesleyan.

“Personally, I’ve been working with a taro root farm on Kauai to ship 60 lbs of poi, a staple food of Hawai’i, to NYC once a month to distribute to the Polynesian community out here. Over time, I am working to powder the root and help ship it into disaster zones as a simple and easily transportable form of nutrition, just add water!

“I am also on the greeting committee for the Hokule’a voyage, landing in NYC in July 2016. The Hokule’a is a four-year worldwide voyage in a Hawaiian outrigger, stopping in 60 ports around the world with a mission of “Malama Honua” or caring for the earth. The Hokule’a is sailing with no navigation equipment, traveling only by the stars.”

From a business trip in Mumbai, Johanne Lin shares that she has been happily working for a tech company going on three years now. Johanne’s territory includes India, Israel, and South African markets. She enjoys her job for the places it has taken her and may be headed to Israel in March. She hopes to connect with any alums living in Tel Aviv!

And Gina Yeomans anticipates graduating from Columbia Law in May, taking the bar in July, and starting a clerkship in New Haven, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in August. “Also in August, I’m getting married to Nate Green ’09 with a little help from my bridesmaid, Cate Haring.” Congrats, Gina and Nate!

Finally, don’t forget that our 5th Reunion is around the corner! For more information, visit We hope to see everyone in May.

David Layne |

CLASS OF 2014 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

It is hard to believe that we are now considered alumni and are not collectively witnessing the beauty of fall in Connecticut. I know there is a lot of Wes-talgia in the air, but do not fear, for I come with updates from your peers.

Tom Brewer is quite busy living in Tulsa, with Michael “Piddy” Piderit ’12. Tom writes: “We make and sell artisan pickled goods. There is unfortunately not much of a market for the wares of amateur picklers in Tulsa, but we are making do—selling whatever we can on Craigslist and eBay when things get desperate (not what you are thinking, ha-ha). It is, if not the most thrilling life, a comfortable one; we’ve eliminated The Man from the picture almost completely—no more worrying about income taxes or angry bosses.”

Emily Weitzman is almost done with the first three months of her Thomas J. Watson Fellowship exploring spoken word and poetry communities around the world. She has spent the beginning of her journey attending poetry events, performing, writing, interviewing, and meeting some amazing people in New Zealand and Australia. In a week, she is off to Nepal, where she will be collaborating with the Word Warriors poetry group and will be an artist-in-residence at Nepal Children’s Art Museum.

Representing red and black, Sydney Lewis is the new assistant dean of admission at Wesleyan, covering Georgia (her home state), Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and parts of Connecticut.

Izzy Rode is working hard as special assistant to the president and CEO in communications and policy at Martha’s Table, an antipoverty nonprofit in D.C.

Henry Cheung writes to us from the boogie down, where he is a Teach For America Corps member, teaching math in the Bronx at Fordham HS for the Arts. “The students are great and the learning curve is becoming less and less steep!”

Luke Harrison writes: “Luke Harrison is unemployed, but he’s doing great emotionally, so no one worry about him!”

Hannah Knudsen spent the summer teaching herself how to cook from a farm-to-table style cookbook. She also built an herb and vegetable garden which was very exciting and rewarding (and also encouraged her cooking!). She was planning a  move to Telluride at the end of October to start a new journey. She’ll be working for the mountain and living in the heart of town. In her free time, she plans on expanding work on her photo thesis, which was a project on the world of horseracing. She is interested in transitioning her project into cowboy culture and the “true west.”

Leah Khambata writes in from the Big Apple: “I moved to Manhattan on June 1st, a week after graduation, and was fortunate enough to land my first post-grad job the very next week, working on the set of the independent feature film, Outliving Emily, which starred actors, Kal Penn and Alexis Bledel. I got to assistant edit and work with the digital imaging technician on a daily basis, which was a thoroughly rewarding and exciting experience.

“In August, I then worked in the art department of the feature film, Meadowland. I was primarily based in the office where I got to do creative tasks like drawing caricatures for classroom sets (heads up—if you see a caricature of Shakespeare or Mark Twain in a classroom scene, you’ll know who drew them!) and also got to do more of the financial accounting side to filmmaking—managing crew members’ petty cash accounts and so on.

“Immediately after that ended in mid-September, I started working at Laura Rosenthal Casting & Process Media, which I am enjoying immensely! I love reading scripts in pre-production, learning about the advertising world and commercial projects, and interacting with all the different people who come in here to audition!

“In the midst of all this film work, I’ve been hanging out with a lot of Weskids and my high school friends who are all here in New York. It’s a weird feeling to hang out in groups where my Wes friends and Bombay ones come together because it’s like two such different worlds colliding, but it’s the good kind of weird, the surreal one, the ‘omg I’m so happy to be in a city where I have these great people around me’ one. So even though post-grad life is still a pretty confusing time all-in-all I’m very grateful for the wonderful experiences I’ve had so far and hope to be able to explore more aspects of the entertainment industry moving forward!”

Sarah Burkett moved to Houston in late June. She is still acting and teaching yoga, in addition to being an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay.

Alex Pack is in Hong Kong teaching English to college freshmen. He is catching up on all the things he missed out on by not studying abroad—like eating strange street food, flying around Asia on hyper-budget airlines, and remembering what “not being busy” feels like—before he returns state-side in a year-and-a-half to work in consulting in San Francisco.

Danny Blinderman hunted for jobs all summer and finally got one at the end of August. He is now working at the American Jewish Committee in Boston, and moved to Allston three weeks ago.

Leah Khambata writes in from the big apple: “I moved to Manhattan on June 1st, a week after graduation, and was fortunate enough to land my first post-grad job the very next week, working on the set of the independent feature film, “Outliving Emily,” which starred actors, Kal Penn and Alexis Bledel. I got to assistant edit and work with the digital imaging technician on a daily basis, which was a thoroughly rewarding and exciting experience, and enabled me to truly see all the different departments that work together to make a film (as compared to a much smaller scale student thesis film I had made at Wesleyan. Seriously, so different!)

In August, I then worked in the Art department of the feature film, “Meadowland,” directed by Reed Morano, and starring Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson. I was primarily based in the office where I got to do creative tasks like drawing caricatures for classroom sets (heads up – if you see a caricature of Shakespeare or Mark Twain in a classroom scene, you’ll know who drew them!) and also got to do more of the financial accounting side to filmmaking – managing crew members’ petty cash accounts and so on. (Math was actually my favourite subject in High School so I weirdly enjoyed this a lot haha)

Immediately after that ended in mid-September, I started working at “Laura Rosenthal Casting & Process Media” where I currently am at now, and am enjoying immensely! I love reading scripts in pre-production, learning about the advertising world and commercial projects, and interacting with all the different people who come in here to audition! And of course the people here in the office are super nice and friendly, which makes for a great environment!

In the midst of all this film work, I’ve been hanging out with a lot of Weskids and my high school friends who are all here in New York. It’s a weird feeling to hang out in groups where my Wes friends and Bombay ones come together because it’s like two such different worlds colliding, but it’s the good kind of weird, the surreal one, the omg I’m so happy to be in a city where I have these great people around me one. So even though post-grad life is still a pretty confusing time for me, all-in-all I’m very grateful for the wonderful experiences I’ve been able to have so far and hope to be able to explore more aspects of the entertainment industry moving forward!”

Thanks for writing in everyone, keep the notes coming, and let me know if you’re ever in the area!

Mary Diaz |

CLASS OF 2013 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

It’s been a year since the Class of 2013 bid Wesleyan adieu. A year full of spontaneous adventures, not-so-spontaneous work/school schedules, old and new friends, and the promise of constant transition.

Kristen Raddatz moved to Chicago last September for an assistant position in the publicity department at the University of Chicago Press, and was promoted in August. Now a promotions manager at UCP, she handles their Asian studies, anthropology, cartography, and literary criticism titles, as well as publicity for their clients, Unicorn Press and Zed Books. Ally Bernstein and Audrey Kiely also write in from Chicago, where they are questioning their life decisions. They’re finding solace in comedic television programs and bubble tea, but unfortunately the restaurant forgot to add the bubbles. Way to go, Chicago.

Andrew Perlmutter is a management and technology consultant for McGladrey. He has been traveling around the country, helping businesses select software and refine processes to support their cloud computing strategies. He lives in Sherborn, Mass., where he walks his neighbors’ dogs and also works in his garden with his parents. He is training his dog to compete in the 2015 National Dog Show. Andrew Lieberman has been coaching football at Rutgers University as a player development/offensive assistant since January. Julia Bond lives in Boston with Jessica Jordan and Matt Adelman, and works in academic journals publishing at John Wiley & Sons. Julian Applebaum is a software engineer on Squarespace’s e-commerce team. He plays bass in Sirs&Madams, and stays actively involved with WesHack. William T. Davis has successfully started his own gardening business based out of his Brooklyn apartment. Peter Horton and Croy Salinas have officially signed a domestic partnership agreement, which Mark Popinchalk was extremely proud and happy to serve as the primary witness. Ethan Grund left Wesleyan without a specific career path in mind, but has finally decided to follow up his general academic accomplishments by applying for an equally broad second degree as a MD/PHD in neuroscience. All five of them are based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

On the West Coast, Claire Dougherty is living life big out in Californ-i-a! When she isn’t working as a professional off-leash dog walker and trainer in the beautiful Oakland hills, she dedicates herself to producing content for the East Bay Car Project, a digital homage to rectangles and rims. Claire moved in with her best friend, John Schmidt, and enjoys spending her time watching MTV and searching for NY pizza in all the wrong places. Find her on LinkedIn!

Max Ward just finished up a one-year masters program in TV, radio, and film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, N.Y. He has since moved to Los Angeles and started an unpaid internship at a production company called Pantheon Entertainment. His goal is to become a screenwriter; he has a feature written and submitted to several film festivals. Lindsay Kosasa writes in from the Aloha state, where she is currently a TFA corps member teaching special education, world history, and creative dance at Waipahu High School in Oahu. She established the dance program at Waipahu, turning the dance club into a for-credit class. Lindsay plans on teaching past her two-year TFA commitment.

Jess Seward is in her second year as a college counselor in China. She spent three months in Southeast Asia this spring and is planning to return next spring to SE Asia for six to nine months to volunteer/work following China. Peter Myers has spent much of the past year in Valparaíso, Chile, as an English teacher. Highlights include: having lots of barbecues, navigating the labyrinthine, slang-filled universe of Chilean Spanish, feeling several 6.0+ earthquakes, and being bitten by a stray dog.He also had some poetry published in the Berkeley Poetry Review. James Gardner has been meeting up with many Wes travelers in the Berlin region since his last post. He is in the process of assuming the chief operations officer (COO) position at his company, and plans to put his career aside in a year or so to study for his master’s in Berlin. After spending a year teaching high-school English in the Austrian Alps, Adam Rashkoff has returned to Austria for a second and final year in the same fellowship program. He will be working at a school in the capital city of Vienna and also studying towards an MA in comparative literature at the University of Vienna. Any Wes classmates who find themselves in the area are more than welcome to give him a shout if they are looking for a place to crash or simply for suggestions of which cafés and bars to hit!

Prince Emenalo writes in about starting a graduate program at Georgia State University. He is pursuing a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in management and policy. Amanda Morrow just started physical therapy school in Denver at Regis University. After spending a year working at the Pancreas Center at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC, Taryn Murray has moved back to Ohio to attend medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Matt Motta is beginning his second year of PhD work at the University of Minnesota, studying American politics and political psychology. This past spring, Matt won a three-year graduate research fellowship (GRFP) from the National Science Foundation. While on fellowship, he will conduct research focused on better understanding how Americans’ implicit racial attitudes shape public opinion, and work on developing empirical tests designed to improve the quality of data collected from online survey research.

Vivianne and Benjamin (Abravanel) Swerdlow graduated. “Married. Moved. Worked. Quit. Got degus: Fred V and George V. Watched Buffy. Spent time with family. Worked. Quit. Spent time with family. Repeat last three as necessary for the next 40 years, then expect a reevaluation.”

As for me, I’ve finished up my first year at Apple as an engineering program manager. I spend my free time perusing farmers markets, eating my way through the Bay Area, and traveling whenever possible. Thanks to my classmates for all the contributions, and best wishes to everyone!

Laura Yim |

CLASS OF 2011 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

Moon Herrick just finished her work with the Harlem Children’s Zone in June and is now working in New York City for the Allied Services Center. Her responsibilities include connecting HIV-positive people to medical insurance and care. She has also gotten involved in the WAPPS LinkedIn group and was meeting regularly with alums to plan the October 9th event!

Elizabeth Hunter Gauvey-Kern just released an E.P. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon or Spotify. Search Elizabeth Hunter.

Devon Hopkins reports “I’m excited to be joining NGP VAN as the new director of inbound marketing. NGP VAN powers the digital campaign tools for every Democratic committee and most Senate, House, and down ballot races.” Devon is still living in DC and loving it. He recently enjoyed a trip to Chicago to visit Christian Hoyos ’11 and Lauren Goldstein ’11.

Margot Boyer-Dry has been in Brooklyn for the last year-and-a-half and has recently started as head of marketing at Poncho, a betaworks company. She reports, “Every day is a blast.”

Jourdan Hussein, Rudisang Motshubi, and Sandy Yudhistira ’12 just had a mini-reunion in one of the biggest malls in Southeast Asia, Grand Indonesia, in Jakarta. Rudi, who originally hails from Botswana, sailed all the way from Thailand to come down south. They had a fun catch-up and delicious Indonesian meals.

Jen Liebschutz states, “After three years of working for nonprofits in Cambodia, I am excited to live in Cambridge and start my master’s in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. I’d love to connect with other Wes alumni in the Boston area!”

Jamie Thabault is heading to nursing school at the University of New England in Portland, Maine. She also plans to run the Philadelphia marathon with Corinne Duffy and Amanda Baker!

Joe Giaimo took a new job at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., as the executive director of the Maroon Club for Athletic Development. He includes, “Wesleyan was very good to me as an undergrad and employee. I was able to finish my master’s, be a part of a NESCAC/Little 3 Championship football team, and am looking forward to this next challenge. I’ll miss Middletown!”

Thanks for the updates!

Allie Southam |

CLASS OF 2010 | 2014 | ISSUE 3

Newsmaker: Chia Wei (Wade) Hsu ’10

Chia Wei (Wade) Hsu ’10, a doctoral student working with MIT Professor of Physics Marin Soljacic, has found a new way to confine light. “Typically, in free space, light will go everywhere,” he explained in an article for “If you want to confine light, you usually need some special mechanism.” Last summer he demonstrated the confinement of light on the surface of a photonic crystal: held at a certain angle, the crystal would keep light bound to the surface and oscillating continually. At Wesleyan, Hsu was a Freeman Scholar and winner of the Bertman Prize. A math and physics major, he was also the first Wesleyan winner of the American Physical Society’s LeRoy Apker Award. He is using his current research to explore potential applications in crystal lasers. His doctoral thesis will be split between research on nano­particle displays and his work on the confinement of light.

Chia Wei (Wade) Hsu ’10, a doctoral student working with MIT Professor of Physics Marin Soljacic, has found a new way to confine light. “Typically, in free space, light will go everywhere,” he explained in an article for “If you want to confine light, you usually need some special mechanism.” Last summer he demonstrated the confinement of light on the surface of a photonic crystal: held at a certain angle, the crystal would keep light bound to the surface and oscillating continually. At Wesleyan, Hsu was a Freeman Scholar and winner of the Bertman Prize. A math and physics major, he was also the first Wesleyan winner of the American Physical Society’s LeRoy Apker Award. He is using his current research to explore potential applications in crystal lasers. His doctoral thesis will be split between research on nano­particle displays and his work on the confinement of light.

“Ben Seretan has just released a new album. It’s self-titled, self-released, and is the most thrilling and wonderful music you’ll hear all year.” Find his music at

Dylan Marron writes: “The web series I was in, Whatever this is., was hosted on panel at the Paley Center for Media last year and just a few weeks ago my work on the show was highlighted in a Boston Globe feature on Web series that deserve to win Emmys. Kinda nuts! Also I was cast as a major role on the popular podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, a cult-hit fictional sci-fi podcast that I’ve been touring around with since January.

“What’s kind of singular about these projects is that they are very much indie creations that have made it in the mainstream. I’ve been lucky to find a place for myself in this movement of de-commercializing art and finding new ways to sustain it. Feel very proud of this work.

“Not to pile it all on at once but I’m also in the current TD Bank ad campaign and a play I performed in and helped develop back in the spring was a New York Times Critic’s Pick and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Production. Forgive the long list I’m just excited to share it with my alma mater where I got to hone these skills! And it’s all part of the same theme; independent art and entertainment can be accessed more readily because of the amazing platforms we have at our disposal. I only got the opportunity to film that TD bank campaign—the literal definition of commercial and corporate entertainment —because I was scouted out from my work with the New York Neo Futurists, a downtown theater company.

“And finally, I’m writing a full-length play for my theater company, the New York Neo Futurists. It’s called The Human Symphony and it’s entirely performed by randomly selected audience members. The quick and dirty tagline is ‘stories of strangers meeting each other online, performed by strangers meeting each other in a theater.’ It’s currently in development and will open on Jan. 22, 2015, in New York.”

Elizabeth Larner writes: “I am in my second year at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va. In addition to taking classes, I’m serving as a Writing Fellow for the 1L class, as a member of the William & Mary Law Review, as secretary of the Children’s Advocacy Law Society, and as a general board member for the Public Service Fund. Needless to say, I’m super busy, but I’m really enjoying myself. Following graduation in less than two short years, I will be making the move to Charlotte, N.C., to start my career.

Kristen May: “I am currently living in Denver and just started a master’s program at the University of Colorado, Denver. I am working towards a master’s in public administration with a focus on education and nonprofit management. I spent the summer working for Big City Mountaineers leading backcountry trips with urban high school girls in Minnesota and the Rocky Mountains.”

Adrienne Russman: “I’m still a policy adviser in Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s ’74 office, and am also serving as the policy and research director on his reelection campaign through November.”

Matthew Lamothe, production executive at Jeff Rice Films (Academy Award-Winning Lone Survivor, 2 Guns), based in Beverly Hills, Calif., is executive producing the thriller Shut In with Steven Schneider, the creator of the Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchise. Hollywood Reporter article link:

Sandie Weisberger: “I just graduated from Boston College Law School in May and started a job at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in September as an assistant district attorney in the Framingham District Court.”

Hallie Coffin-Gould: “I’m living in Boston and working at a private wealth management firm. I just adopted a dog, Paxton (see photo on the web class notes and am excited for Reunion this spring!”

David Layne |

CLASS OF 2014 | 2014 | ISSUE 2

Congrats, class of 2014!!! I still cannot believe how fast these amazing four years flew by. Do not be afraid, though! This space will serve as a place where you will find your class notes in upcoming issues and you will thus be updated on what the class of 2014 is up to. I will be in touch when it is time to request your submissions. Until then, have a rocking summer and GO WES!


Mary diaz |