CLASS OF 1984 | 2021–2022 | WINTER ISSUE

Hello, Classmates!

Gail Farris and her husband, Jay, became grandparents at the end of March, when daughter Kim Farris Buckley ’14 gave birth to baby boy Killian. Killian already has Wes swag and with luck will be rolling down Foss Hill at future reunions.

Arthur Haubenstock is moving back to Washington, D.C., with his wife Nidhi, and their nearly two-year-old daughter. He is taking a job as a vice president in Regulatory Law with Bloom Energy, which has a national and international focus, enabling deployment of alternative energy solutions and helping develop hydrogen replacements for fossil fuel–fired power generation. Their hearts go out to all those who have endured tragedies during the pandemic.

John Tauxe has retired from his part ownership in Neptune and Company, which specializes in environmental decision-making support. Now under his own shingle, Tauxian Solutions, he will continue to consult internationally in radioactive waste management and environmental risk modeling. John majored in Earth science, and seriously considered the advice of Professor Jelle de Boer, who suggested that geologists had an important role to play in social issues like nuclear power and radioactive waste. John’s liberal arts background, combined with his PhD in civil engineering from the University of Texas, gave him the added skills to communicate through writing, illustration, and generally teaching clients about the work. He lives in Los Alamos and hopes people will look him up when traveling through New Mexico.

Michael F. (“Misi”) Polgar has been promoted to Penn State professor. He is developing his second book on the Holocaust, editing a collaboration of authors who are writing about remembrance, respect, and resilience, sharing perspectives from history, the arts, and social sciences.

Ophelia Papoulas reports from Austin that her son, who has struggled with ADHD, dyslexia, and OCD, has reached a milestone. Ophelia lost her husband to cancer some years back, and has raised her son through all these challenges. Now that he has turned 18, has his driver’s license, and has graduated high school, there is jubilation at the house in Austin. Ophelia’s latest venture (besides her career at the University) is dundysisters.com. Ophelia and her sister are sewing whimsical pincushions, sachets, and small toys, raising money for various causes. Due to rising home prices in Austin, Ophelia expects to remain in Texas for some time.

CLASS OF 1984 | 2021 | ISSUE 1

Hello again, Classmates. It has been a long winter and hopefully by the time this issue arrives the worldwide health situation will be improving.

     During this long turn inwards, Stephanie Fleischmann has been co-creating The Visitation (here.org/shows/the-visitation/), a sound walk produced by Here, set to launch March 26, which can be experienced anywhere. She has also been writing libretti and texts commissioned by Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Brandeis University, and developing new works supported by West Edge Opera’s Aperture and Opera America. Poppea, with composer Michael Hersch, premieres in Basel and Vienna this fall.

     Mark Randles did not get to go on his annual summer trip to see baseball games at a few different stadiums (and to take in the local history), a tradition he shares with Michael Bailit, Jim Glickman, Bill Barry, Hans Schweiger, and Melany Kahn ’86. Dallas and Houston were supposed to be on their 2020 itinerary, and they are hoping to resume this coming summer.

     Annmarie Zimmerman is taking the time and space afforded by the pandemic to move on from the end of her 35-year marriage. Her kids are supportive and helping complete long-standing house projects. She is reconnecting with old friends, playing the piano, reading more and doing less laundry. She is a physician so her work life has not changed much, just more safety precautions, and she is hopeful about the vaccines on the horizon. As she says, “A fallow time is sometimes what we need to create anew.”

     Karen Rosenberg gets together with a large group of Wes Friends for regular Zoom cocktails, mostly from West College or off-campus on 69 Oak Street. One recent gathering included Maria Mead, Charlotte Sonnenblick Van Doren, Dima Litvinov, Dana Sachs, Heidi Wasch (and her husband Bob), Monica Elias, Sara Jamison, Jim Wasserman, Eric Caplan, Tony Richter, Eileen Kelly, Andy Tauber, Mike Kaplan, Jennifer Colton, John Miya, and Arthur Haubenstock.

     Rob Leland came back from China at the end of 2000, with his wife, and has been living in the Bay Area since. His eldest son began studies at UC Berkeley but has been stuck in his dorm for the pandemic. His daughter will launch next year, and California may or may not be in his future plans.

     Paul Baker continues his work in sculpture, available at his website c-clampstudios.com. During the pandemic, he has been rereading the Hardy Boys series, and is marveling at the vocabulary in these otherwise young adult books. Inspired by the books (and by Professor John Risley’s Visual Connections art class) he has been imagining what camera the different characters would use. He has created a 1959 style Leica camera for Laura Hardy (the mom) and a family movie camera (1961) for Fenton, the dad; and has works in progress for the boys and their friends.

     Gail Farris is excited about becoming a grandparent (daughter Kim, class of ’14 is expecting in April).

     Paul Gross writes from Seattle about his high schoolers in remote (now hybrid) school, and the long wait for the vaccines. They expect to be on the East Coast shore for the summer, following expected orthopedic surgery for their son. He has reconnected with senior housemate Rich Macy and Brian Whittier during the pandemic, as well as his freshman year head resident Joe Barrett ’82. When he connected with RA Janet Cranshaw (Mink) ’82, he found that her husband Jonathan Mink ’81 was also an advisor to the NIH and they have collaborated on research together.

     Lee McIntyre has a new book, How to Talk to a Science Denier, to be published by MIT Press in August 2021, and yes, will include a chapter on COVID denial.

     Finally, I received a late note from Sally Bromage (Suhr), who was one of my fellow denizens in Gingerbread House. Everyone in her house is healthy and employed, and she is one of the people who actually did get to long-term projects and cleaning out. She and husband Scott are empty-nesters in Atlanta, and have children in Denver and both Portlands (Oregon and Maine). She will be giving Delta Airlines a lot of business when we are all able to fly again.

     Time marches on. Talk to you all soon.

CLASS OF 1984 | 2020 | ISSUE 3

Greetings, Classmates. A short round of updates for this season.

Susie Kang Sharpe was happy to connect with classmate, Beverly Hutt after 35 years! Susie is still enjoying her medical practice and painting as an artist. Her paintings are in numerous exhibits, on Facebook, and Instagram. She is thrilled to be invited to show her artwork at the International Contemporary Art Fair in early 2021. Her work is about bringing out beauty, healing and joy. Her website, to get a look at her work, is susiesharpe.net. 

Susan Howard writes in with a wonderful life journey. Her work in social justice has included writing and reporting projects related to AIDS, as a producer/TV host in Honolulu and special projects producer in Baltimore in the mid-to-late 80s; seeking to better understand health inequities particularly among vulnerable populations globally by pursuing a master’s in public health and working as a global health practitioner in the 90s; endeavoring to solve problems through what we now call innovations for social impact as an entrepreneur and co-founder of a global health consulting firm from the mid-90s to the present. Now she is about to finish and defend her PhD dissertation in her third year as a professor at George Mason University.

Michael Bailit is working with a theatre and is quite busy with online productions.

We get an update from Karen Potischman Wise, who has added a “P” next to her graduation year, as her daughter has started at Wes, and is an empty nester until Thanksgiving. Karen is encouraged by everything Wes is doing to keep the kids safe and engaged, but wants her daughter to have the full on Wes experience. As she was hoping last issue, her son is at Colby, and her older daughter is teaching in Boston. Her work life as a freelance copy editor is still unchanged—aside from a few delayed photo shoots, the book publishing industry doesn’t appear to have been affected too dramatically by the pandemic.

Thanks to all who wrote in just to say hello. Stay safe out there!

Michael Steven Schultz | mschultz84@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 1984 | 2020 | ISSUE 2

Hello, classmates!

What can we say in times like these? I heard from a few of you, who had nothing to report but just wanted to respond in some way. Michael “Misi” Polgar, Marc Sholes, and Michael Murphy all send their greetings, and Dave Blauer writes from Cape Cod that he wishes everyone and their loved ones health, happiness, and security.

Robert Leland writes from his Los Altos Hills, Calif., perch above Silicon Valley. He’s 15 miles from Google, Apple, and Cisco, but his cell service “completely sucks.” He describes this “strange place to live—billionaires here and there and then on the street El Camino outside of Stanford University are 40 broken down RVs where workers live in them.” His son, Davis, is enrolled in CAL next year. He is feeling his age (aren’t we all?), and offers that Wesleyan is known in California as the “Berkeley of the East.”

Scott Pearson reports he will be leaving his job with the DC Public Charter School Board after eight-and-a-half-years. After spending months dealing with shutdowns and keeping students connected (even providing devices to families), he reflects on the extraordinary giving spirit he has seen. The most exciting action, Scott says, is in public service at the state and local level, where a mayor or governor can make an “immediate and positive difference.” He is looking forward to some fun times—sailing, skiing, hiking, cycling, reading, learning, and celebrating his marriage of 25 years to Diana Farrell ’87. Even though neither of his children opted for Wesleyan, they turned out happy and healthy despite it all. Scott is grateful for his time at Wes and his dear friends, helping to navigate this crazy world.

Rick Davidman ran into Jennifer Watkins in early March, at the Art of Paper Fair in New York (resulting in a mini-Gingerbread House reunion). Rick, former head of DFN Gallery, was curating a booth, and Jennifer was there representing her Boston-based firm, PSG Framing.

Karen Wise is tickled pink she will be able to add P’24 next to ’84 in the alumni listing, as her daughter enrolled at Wes in the fall. Status of the all-campus opening is unclear at this time, though her son hopes to be entering his senior year at Colby, and her daughter hopes to be teaching elementary school in the fall (having completed her master’s at BU). Karen has worked full-time at home for decades—editing cookbooks and other “trade non-fiction” (parenting, self-help, health, entertainment, memoir, etc.)—so her work life has not changed much since the pandemic began.

Jonathan Sadowsky let us know that his book, The Empire of Depression: A New History, will be available from Polity Books in November.

Kari Friedman Collier is back to work at reduced hours at Barnes and Noble, and is grateful for that. She had been scheduled to give a lay preacher’s sermon during Lent, but like many events, it was canceled. She is filling the time, reading a lot of Longfellow and other early American writers.

Michael Feldman is working and studying at home in D.C. His wife, Diane ’86, is working for Bloomberg Law as team lead for transactions. Son Harry was accepted to Washington University in St. Louis, and of course, is waiting to hear if the campus will be open. And fortunate timing, a new puppy was welcomed into the household just before the pandemic hit. Read Michael’s piece that he was asked to write for the Foreign Service Journal about his theater and policy work at afsa.org.

And that’s the news this time around. Best to all of you.

Michael Steven Schultz | mschultz84@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 1984 | 2020 | ISSUE 1

Hello, classmates! I apologize for my lapse last time around. We do have some news this month. It’s lovely to hear from you all. It warms me in my (imminent) dotage.

Maureen Sweeney directs the Immigration Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law in Baltimore, where she lives with her husband. Her three adult children joined them on a 16-day trip rafting at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She would like to give a shout-out for Malu Rydfors to drop a line sometime.

Karen Rothblatt Zilberstein’s book, Parents Under Pressure: Struggling to Raise Children in an Unequal America, has won two 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards since it was published last year (in the categories of Parenting/Family and Current Events/Social Change). In more personal news, after 26 years of working while parenting three children, she is now an empty nester. Despite the creaky joints (and because of the extra time) she has run two half-marathons since the summer; though that is about as much as she is prepared to do.

Steven Barg has left Goldman Sachs after nearly 10 years and is joining Elliott Management as global head of corporate engagement (one of the leading alternative asset managers). After nearly 35 years as an investment banker, he is looking forward to his move to the buy-side. He is now an empty nester and is wondering why he is still putting up with the Northeast winter.

Scott Pearson will be stepping down as executive director of the District of Columbia Public Charter Board at the end of May 2020, after 8.5 years. He has been focused on how public charter schools can play a constructive role in improving public education. With both children in college, he is setting a new course.

Nina Mullen is proud to have been selected as landscape designer of the year by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Her design, Panoramic Haven, in the Oakland Hills of California, converted a vast lawn to a stunningly vibrant, water-wise space with sweeping views for relaxing and entertaining. Her design for her client developed the surrounding natural landscape of verdant green winter and tawny summer. You can see more of her work at mullendesign.net.

Murrey Nelson has been in San Francisco for 20 years, despite her long-abandoned vow to leave and return to NYC after only two. She has concentrated on fundraising for the arts for 14 years and is in her third year as development director of two-time Grammy-winning choral ensemble, Chanticleer. She is active in the theatre community, serving on the board of a Middle Eastern theatre company, Golden Thread. Recently, she was in NYC and caught up with Lea Barth (who is getting ready to send her last child off to college next year). She has also been in contact with Paul Oh and Philip Anker ’86.

I am sorry to not be in closer touch with our Philadelphia classmates. Simone Zelitch’s fifth novel Judenstaat is now available from PM Press (an alternative history of Germany had it been established as a Jewish state). And Julia Lopez has a book of poetry scheduled to be released in the spring and is working at Mural Arts Philadelphia as program manager in the department of art education. (Julia’s blog is juliascarnaval.blogspot.com).

Also, you should see what Vashti Dubois ’83 has accomplished at The Colored Girls Museum in Germantown (thecoloredgirlsmuseum.com). I have been to her space several times and it is extraordinary.

Michael Steven Schultz | mschultz84@wesleyan.edu

CLASS OF 1984 | 2019 | ISSUE 3

I am sorry to not have an update this month.  Wesleyan converted their mail system and I did not get the notification that it was time to collect news. It’s too late to catch up this time around, but by the time you read this I will be sending out the next call for notes. (After all, we just had a slew of new for the Reunion, so a month off to center ourselves will do us all good.)

Hope all is well, and talk to you next time.

Michael Steven Schultz | mschultz84@wesleyan.edu

Newsmaker: Joel Armijo ’84

Joel Armijo ’84 is the new chief financial officer of Comcast Advertising, the advertising arm of Comcast Cable, a division of Comcast Corporation. He previously worked in senior leadership, finance, and strategy roles at fuboTV, AT&T, DirecTV, Merrill Lynch, Cablevision, and Time Warner. Marcien Jenckes, president of advertising at Comcast Cable, said, “[Joel] has helped launch and raise venture capital funding for new category entrants, built teams from scratch, led companies through major new product launches and mergers, and acquisitions, and covered our industry as an equity analyst. His skill set is incredibly versatile, rich, and diverse and we are excited to have him on board.” At Wesleyan, Armijo majored in history and earned his MBA from UCLA.

Roger W. Pincus ’84

Roger W. Pincus ’84 passed away on Feb. 14, 2019. He was 56. Roger majored in government while at Wesleyan. He then earned a JD from the University of Pennsylvania and a MFA from George Mason University. He served for several years as a class secretary for the Class of 1984. He leaves behind his wife Jamie and three children, Heather ’19,  Jillian ’22, and Melanie.

CLASS OF 1984 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Hello, classmates! This month we feature a Class of ’84 book club.

Lee McIntyre has a new book coming out in May entitled The Scientific Attitude (MIT Press, 2019), which concerns how to think about what is distinctive about science, with an eye toward defending it against science deniers. The blurb on Amazon reads: “Attacks on science have become commonplace. Claims that climate change isn’t settled science, that evolution is ’only a theory,’ and that scientists are conspiring to keep the truth about vaccines from the public are staples of some politicians’ rhetorical repertoire. Lee McIntyre argues that what distinguishes science from its rivals is what he calls ’the scientific attitude’ caring about evidence and being willing to change theories on the basis of new evidence.”

Francesca Jenkins (who writes under the name Arya) announces her short story collection, Blue Songs in An Open Key, was published by Fomite Press in November. Reviewing it for Booklist, Mark Levine noted, “These are powerful stories with appeal to more than just jazz aficionados.” Besides her literary goals, she had a rich experience as a disaster volunteer with the Red Cross, deployed to help those impacted by hurricanes in North Carolina.

Michael “Misi” Polgar teaches at Penn State Hazelton and has written Holocaust and Human Rights Education, published by Emerald. The book addresses “crucial questions” of how to explore the narrative of the Holocaust by “exploring the way in which we teach and learn about [it].”

Julie Reiss has edited and published an anthology on art and the environmental crisis titled Art, Theory and Practice in the Anthropocene (Vernon Press, 2018).

Apart from the book announcements, we heard from Paul Baker who got his bachelor’s in art history at Wes and went on to a master’s in 1987 at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Paul is a professional sculptor in San Francisco, working in the medium of “found objects” in his own studio.

Paul is working on an elaborate project based on The Grand Tour as it was taken by the upper class in the mid-1890s, heavily inspired by his History of Photography course. He imagines a fictional character, an amateur photographer, whose steamer trunk full of camera gear is stolen on the way to Constantinople; then goes around to the bazaars in the city and buys old lenses and other gear—and builds his own cameras. Paul is constructing the most elaborate and beautiful and creative “cameras” using a wide variety of found objects. You can see some of his work at c-clampstudios.com. He was strongly influenced by Prof. John Risley’s Visual Connections and wood working studio and the ambience of the “monolithic” CFA.

Paul would love to hear from alumni whose relatives made the Grand Tour, especially to exotic locales like Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and the Holy Lands. You can visit his website or write to me and I’ll put you in touch.

We got word that Doris Barry passed away on June 11, 2018. Ricardo Granderson sent a loving tribute: “She had a 30-year career on Wall Street where she managed and inspired staff while battling lupus. A woman of faith who loved her family and friends, Doris was a member of Delta Theta Sigma and on the board of trustees at Concord Baptist Church, where she inspired many of the church’s best and brightest to attend Wesleyan. Doris loved Wesleyan, and her legacy will be evident in the scores of students who attended Wes because she was the university’s number-one cheerleader, especially for first generation students of color.”

Finally, a public service announcement from the Reunion committee, who want to remind everyone to head to campus May 24-26 for our 35 Reunion, featuring a ’84 dance party with “Kung Fu,” a Foss Hill Roll, and the requisite cocktails and dining. I will be there this year and will look for “live news feeds” from you all.

Michael Steven Schultz | mschultz84@wesleyan.edu

Doris P. Barry ’84

Doris P. Barry ’84 passed away on June 11, 2018. She had a 30-year career on Wall Street where she managed and inspired staff while battling Lupus. A woman of faith who loved her family and friends, Doris was a member of Delta Theta Sigma, Incorporated, and was on the Board of Trustees at Concord Baptist Church where she inspired many of the church’s best and brightest to attend Wesleyan. Doris loved Wesleyan and her legacy will be evident in the scores of students who attended Wesleyan because she was the University’s number-one cheerleader especially for first generation students of color. See her obituary here.

We thank Ricardo Granderson ’84 for this heartfelt tribute.