We mourn the loss of our classmate, Sachiko Suzanne Isobe Mallach. Sachi’s husband, Daniel, wrote that she passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family on July 1, 2015, after a courageous five-year battle with cancer. Sachi was a resident of West Goshen Township, Pa., and served as a fundraiser and development officer for several nonprofit organizations. Dan wrote that Sachi loved listening to all types of music, playing the piano and violin, hiking and camping, gardening, laughing, and being with her family. She is also survived by her daughter, Katy, her brother and parents. Please find her obituary: articles.philly.com/2015-07-29/news/64962258_1_new-york-city-fundraising-development. If you would like to send Sachi’s family a note of condolence, Marcy Herlihy, our stewardship person in University Relations (email@example.com), has offered to pass along the messages.
Andrew Oppenheimer has returned from the Netherlands, where he spent three years as a lecturer in European studies at Maastricht University. He has since left academia to pursue an MBA. He and his wife, Jamie, are expecting their first child.
Jessica Sharzer writes, “My first studio movie, Nerve, wrapped production in June and will be in theaters in early 2016. I’m under contract at 20th Century Fox on a TV show based on Urban Cowboy, and adapting a YA novel called The Young Elites for the big screen. I have two great kids—Dante, 8, and Sasha, 5—and I’m about to get remarried to a guy with two kids—mini Brady Bunch.”
Oneka LaBennett is entering her third year as associate professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University. She was recently invited to deliver the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Public Affairs Lecture for Syracuse University’s African American Studies Department. She also routinely writes op-eds for the Ms. Magazine Blog and for The Huffington Post. Oneka makes regular visits to New York City to see friends from Wes, and for research and teaching projects. With her husband, Shawn McDaniel, and their dog, Bagel, Oneka is enjoying her new home in Ithaca. She also loved attending the special Wes alumni performance of Hamilton.
Jesse Hendrich writes, “I am still in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, with a psychotherapy practice and a happy family that includes my beautiful wife, Elizabeth Solomon, and our two kids. Our kids attend school with the son of Mark Ladov, whom I see regularly. We recently had dinner with Aaron Passell, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids and commutes to New York to teach urban studies at Barnard. I am also in touch with Scott Rosenberg, who is putting out a new album this fall, and Nicole Davis, who is also a psychotherapist here in New York City, living in Brooklyn with her partner and three kids. Lastly, I am also in touch with Jonah Ross, who still lives in Portland but we talk on a monthly basis via Skype.”
Kika Stump writes, “I recently earned my PhD in public policy and am still working in Maine as an education policy researcher. While thrilled to be back in the classroom again, teaching at Bowdoin College, I promise I am not cheering for their field hockey team! I had a recent visit at Wesleyan to give a talk on education reform at the Patricelli Center and see the great work being done there by Makaela Kingsley ’98. Topped off by a fantastic dinner at Wes Wings with Ed Thorndike ’89.”
Ken Barnett is happy to be back in NYC full-time after several years in Los Angeles. He recently filmed recurring roles on Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick and Amazon’s Mozart In The Jungle, and he is currently working at Fun Home on Broadway.
Aram Sinnreich recently relocated to Silver Spring, Md., with his family, to begin a new position as associate professor at American University’s School of Communication.
Raya Salter writes, “Pleased to report that I have just been elected VP of the Wesleyan Lawyers Alumni Association and I look forward to serving this Wes community. I also left my gig working for others (I’m an energy and environmental lawyer) to strike out on my own—Imagine Power LLC, where I focus on climate and energy justice issues and clean and renewable power development (including advisory services in New York, Hawaii, and the South Pacific). So I am transitioning from being New York-based to being Hawaii-based.”
John Pollock writes, “I’m pleased to share the birth announcement for my first child, Merritt Winton Pollock. He arrived a month early but still managed to clock in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 20 inches long, and he figured out how to sleep more than the occasional nap just in time to help us retain our sanity. Although an Alabama baby, Merritt got to meet Katrina Buchau and Leah Bartell ’95 via Skype, and has enjoyed presents from numerous Wes folks that range from clothes to books to personalized blocks and towels. I’ve told him many times how lucky he is to be joining the Wesleyan family.”
Matt Solomon lives in D.C., with his wife and two kids, and he is the chief litigation counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Matt reports that he regrettably missed his 20th Reunion last year (and got dinged by Sid Espinosa for doing so), but did make it to campus last summer on his way back from a Maine vacation. He remarked that while there have been numerous campus improvements, the Foss dorms are as shabby as ever!
Charlotte Castillo continues to travel the world for Viacom International Media Networks—including stops in Milan, Mexico City, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and other places this year. In addition, she was recently promoted to SVP of international brand management and creative at Viacom International Media Networks. She was also among 34 participants chosen to participate in Viacom’s Inspirational Leaders Program, along with Nadja Webb ’90.
Kate Gordon writes: “After stints working at the Center for American Progress and at Next Generation (Tom Steyer’s SF-based think tank), I’m now working on climate and energy issues in the U.S. and China at the Paulson Institute, a think tank founded by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. It’s based in Chicago and most of our work is in Beijing, but I’m able to do my job from my home in Berkeley, which is good for my two kids (Julia, 8, and Jacob, 4)—at least when I’m not traveling!”
David Niles writes: “My wife and I just had the pleasure of attending a traditional Chinese banquet in Flushing, Queens, to celebrate Joe Pirret’s recent marriage. In attendance were Eliza Comer, Adji Gadson, François Nguyen, and Sondy Youdelman. The robust, 10-course feast was followed by midnight karaoke in New York’s Koreatown where the varied playlist ran the gamut from the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” to Extreme’s “More than Words” to Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” Unfortunately, “Closer to Fine” was not in the system, so Eliza and Sondy didn’t have a chance to reprise their classic duet. Maybe at the next wedding?! See the photo at: classnotes.blogs.wesleyan.edu/class-of-1994
Jiyoung Lim Gilbreth writes, “My family and I moved to the DC area. For those living or working in and around DC, please reach out and so that we can all get together for a ’94 lunch or drinks.”
Thank you to all who wrote in with updates. Please send us your class notes for the next issue. We look forward to hearing from you.
Jiyoung Lim Gilbreth and Ilana wind newell