CLASS OF 2019 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hey everyone! Hope you all are continuing to stay safe and healthy. Here are some updates from our classmates:

Samantha Schreiber will be starting a school-clinical PsyD program at Pace University in the fall.

Josh Signore will begin a PhD program in chemistry in fall 2021 at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Nikolas Ortega will be relocating to San Francisco in August 2021. He’s looking forward to experiencing the Bay Area and the rest of the American West Coast. Niko cannot wait to connect with other Wes folks out in SF! If you’re out there, don’t hesitate to reach out.

He also recently completed the Colorwave Fellowship, a program designed to help close the racial wealth gap in venture capital and the startup ecosystem—making the innovation economy more accessible to BIPOC.

Katie Tyner moved to D.C. in July for her new job as a fellow at the Cohen Group, a government relations advisory firm. She looks forward to reconnecting with fellow Cardinals who are in the area!

Zachary Obstfeld finished his first year of his master’s at the University of Chicago. He’s enjoyed working with faculty here, including Michael Kremer and Brian Williams. This past summer he worked for the World Bank and is planning a trip to Joshua Tree.

Amy Breitfeller and her pal Cara Bendich ‘19 stayed in Middletown after graduating. She stayed to work in the Wes Office of Admission as an assistant dean, and Cara worked with both Upward Bound Math-Science and GEARUP, two programs that provide extra academic and mentorship resources to high-poverty school districts and primarily serve low-income students throughout their time in middle and high school. Cara worked in both Middletown and Meriden.

Throughout their two years living in their home on Home Avenue, they have had an incredible array of truly authentic, warm, and caring roommates (including Meghan Jain, Breanna Cavanaugh, Mackenzie Mitchell ’20, Michelle Nivar ’20, Emily Moon ’21, and Clare Glickman ’21). The two years following graduation spent in this beautiful home had been filled with such incredible love, heartfelt laughter, and life-long friendships. Their time there has been unforgettable.

Cara and Amy are both heading off to NYC to become full-time educators, a dream they’ve had since working with Kindergarten Kickstart, a project that is part of the Cognitive Development Lab at Wes (Cara worked with Kickstart for three years, and Amy for a year during undergrad). This upcoming year, Cara will be a teacher of mathematics for 4th and 5th graders at the East Harlem School, and Amy will be a teacher of PE and Fitness for 4th-8th graders and the head coach of the girl’s lacrosse program at Trinity School.

And as for me, I am starting graduate school in the fall at the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. There I will be studying public policy with a focus on inequality, race, and poverty.

Special thanks to everyone who reached out with their life updates. Keep an eye out for my next email about the next edition of the alumni magazine soon.

CLASS OF 2018 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Congratulations to Hannah Skopicki and Matthew Renetzky who graduated with their Juris Doctors from American University Washington College of Law. From sitting next to each other coincidentally in the fall 2014 Wesleyan orientation picture, you have come a long way! After graduation and studying for the bar, Hannah and Matt will have judicial clerkships in the District of Columbia and California, respectively.

CLASS OF 2014 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

McClain-Silversmith wedding celebration
The McClain–Silversmith celebration: (from top left to right) Nicole Okai, Mary Diaz, Esthefany Castillo, Will Durney, Jessica Titlebaum, Oren Cook, Juliana McClain, Ferhad Sultani, Reina Barnswell, and Jake Smith

Juliana McLain and her now husband Zach Silversmith officially tied the knot at a beautiful and dancing filled Jain-Jewish fusion celebration in Pier 60 in New York City that I and many Wesleyan alums including Ferhad Sultani, Reina Barnswell, Jake Smith, Esthefany Castillo, Nicole Softness, Jessica Titlebaum, Nicole Okai, Lauren Seo, Will Durney, and Oren Cook had the privilege of attending. The Wesleyan fight song was definitely featured at the end of the night. Mazel Tov!

Jenna Lamm reports: “I’ve been in NYC since graduation and am now the associate director of Disability Programs at the City University of New York. Would love to connect with fellow alums who are in the field or work at an organization trying to ramp up disability hiring efforts. My students are amazing and many are looking for opportunities!”

Rachel Warner is earning her PhD in 20th-century American literature and gender and sexuality studies from UNC Chapel Hill this spring 2022.

Jay Benedith is leveraging her expertise as an instructional coach and a life coach, and founded J. Benedith Coaching Services ( Through her business, she facilitates workshops for educational entities and coaches Millennial and Gen Z educators to reach their professional goals. Furthermore, she is a contributing writer and podcast speaker for Truth For Teachers ( Last but certainly not least, she is a doctoral candidate in Educational Sustainability at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point and lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their mini-aquarium.

Take care of yourselves and keep shining.

CLASS OF 2013 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

We were all heavily impacted by the pandemic, and James Gardner managed to experience it working as the after-hours administrator in the emergency room of his Veterans Administration hospital. The federal government’s response was swift for a heavily bureaucratic agency, but he saw firsthand the toll on patients, their families, and staff alike—the uncertainty, deaths, resistance, PPE shortages, rapid change to policies, etc.—and decided to move away from frontline work. In October, James transitioned into a national VA career program for health care data analysis and informatics, where he—among funding, diversity, equity and inclusion, program analysis and other data projects for the leadership of his facility—oversaw the staff and veteran vaccination data for his facility. He’s happy to better the lives of veterans who trust him with their care in this new capacity.

Anna Swartz and her wife Netta are still camping out in the Boston area where they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. She continues to work remotely as a managing editor for the content section of Policygenius, an insurtech company. She did manage a trip back to Brooklyn in June to catch up with friends in person, including Lila Murphy and Jason Katzenstein. She hopes everyone is adjusting as well as possible to our new reality, and that any breakthrough infections are mild.

Mary Vallo and Bohao Zhou ’14 got married in July 2021 after first meeting at a performance in Crowell Concert Hall eight years ago. They were happy and grateful to celebrate with friends.

Sandy Durosier moved to Mesa, Arizona, to begin her medical education at A.T. Still University–School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. She is very excited to explore the desert and learn medicine. If you’re in the area, feel free to reach out!

Evan Okun recently finished his first year at Yale School of Management. This summer he’s working at Kapor Capital, an Oakland-based venture capital firm investing in racial and economic justice in the United States. Outside sourcing and diligencing early-stage companies, he is responsible for building the firm’s investment approach to the justice sector.

Margot Sidman and Matthew Lichtash are getting married this fall! After going on their first date to Fiore II on Main Street (shoutout to Jonathan Lis for the recommendation and Christian Lalonde for letting Matt borrow his pickup truck) and months of serenading Margot with Taylor Swift piano covers, it was inevitable that this day would come.

Best wishes to my classmates, hope everyone is staying safe and sane.

CLASS OF 2011 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hi Class of 2011,

Great updates to read below. Thanks to all of you who contributed!

Kim Prosise is currently living in Boston, Massachusetts. She works as a performing artist and talent agent with her events company, Gold Arrow LLC, and spends her free time writing, hiking, and trying new desserts. She contributes to a number of causes and has become particularly passionate about premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) awareness.

Mallory Cruz writes, “I was recently invited to contribute a chapter to the book, Sincerely, Your Autistic Child. It was published back in April. It’s an anthology written by autistic individuals where we talk about our experiences growing up autistic and what we want relatives of autistic children to know and understand.”

Barbara Fenig and Patrick Cline welcomed their daughter, Eleanor, on April 8, 2021.

Ameen Beydoun (Film Studies) who is currently living in San Diego, California, tells us, “I published my first graphic novel called Habibti Pada. Available at I was product manager for EdTech Company in Nairobi (2018–2020), launched a solar refrigeration startup in Dakar, Senegal (2018), and received a masters and MBA from Middlebury Institute of International Studies 2016–2018.” From 2015 to 2016 Ameen was an English teacher at Peace Corps Comoros and also an English teacher at Peace Corps Liberia from 2012 to 2014.

Tyler Wuthmann graduated from naturopathic medical school last month. He tells us, “An odd four years to be in medical school for sure but informative. I’m excited to start my residency in Seattle, Washington, in September. It is an integrative residency focused on family medicine and primary care at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.”

Eliza Gordon is starting her third year as an elementary school principal in Austin, Texas. She returned to the University of Texas at Austin to begin her doctorate this summer in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the Cooperative Superintendency Program with the hopes of completing her dissertation in three years.

Jacob Mergendoller graduated from New York University’s School of Social Work in May and started working as a psychotherapist at a community mental health center based in Manhattan (and anywhere else Zoom is available).

Thank you!

CLASS OF 2010 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Greetings Class of 2010! We’ve got a great column this time around, with book releases, podcasts, and as usual, new jobs, babies, and weddings:

First off is Gina Yeomans reporting that she has started a new position as assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) in April. Nate Green ’09 and Gina still live in the Washington, D.C., area with their two sons, Auggie (3) and Milo (1).

Sam Schilit ’10 MA ’11 and her twin sister published their father’s book, A Moral Tail: The Life and Times of Woodchuck Village, posthumously! This illustrated chapter book is intended for kids of all ages and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers worldwide. Please consider grabbing a copy for your little future Cardinals: all book sale profits go to Montgomery Hospice.

After a decade in New York City, Tony Zosherafatain is finally ready to embrace more chill vibes in Los Angeles (he will miss New York pizza though). He’s looking forward to new endeavors in the film industry, the sunshine, surfing, and plenty of hiking. If you’re also in the Los Angeles area, feel free to reach out to connect!

Ben Kuebrich reports that he’s launched a true crime podcast called Algorithm (find the podcast at!

Gloria Fanchiang shares: “It’s been just over a year since moving to Los Angeles to pursue music, and I recently released a song called “God Who Sees Us” which speaks to anti-Asian hate.” Gloria adds, “I would love to connect with Wes friends locally and/or on the internet!”

Jonathan Killeen married Alisha Wielgoszinski on a beautiful July afternoon in New Hampshire. The couple was surrounded by a “strong Wes Lax showing,” including Nick “the Jiggler” Ajello, Jason Ben-Eliyahu ‘09, Lonny Blumenthal, Gavin Brennan, Colin Campbell, Nick Hayes ‘09, Dan O’Brien, Bo Pratt, Ram Sivalingam, Matt Ward and Field Yates ‘09. David Layne and Ashley Kass were not in attendance as they were busy tending to their newborn baby girl, and future Cardinal, Charlotte, who was born just days prior to the festivities.

After eight years in Philadelphia, Shannon Sun-Higginson and Andrew Murphy recently returned to New York City this summer. Shannon is currently directing two episodes of an upcoming HBO docuseries about Asian American cuisine, while Andrew recently graduated from an MD/PhD program at UPenn and is now starting his psychiatry residency at Columbia. They’ve been spending their days catching up with old friends Samantha Sherman ’09, Tara Kahn Rooks, Seth Rosen, Ian Park ’11, and Aaron Izakowitz.

Finally, Dylan Marron contributes: “I’m finishing up my first book and it’ll be out in January! Conversations with People Who Hate Me retraces my steps through the social experiment I’ve been doing for the last four years in which I call up internet strangers who have sent me negative or hateful messages and try to understand where they’re coming from. It’s out January 18, 2022!” Dylan’s book can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers.

Thanks as always to those who contributed and, as always, feel free to pass along notes real-time at, or