CLASS OF 1995 | 2019 | ISSUE 1

Katy writes for this issue: As I compose this at the beginning of January, I am wanting to wish you all a Happy New Year; yet by the time you get this newsletter, we can all be saying happy spring (except for any of you in the southern hemisphere). We hope that 2019 has started well for all of you. I’m happy to share the news from your classmates; including, for the first-time—yay!—Josh Stevens; we are especially glad to hear from those of you who haven’t been in touch for a while.

Rob Armstrong writes: “Wylie and I and our 9-year-old twins moved back from London to New York. Now living in Greenwood, Brooklyn. I am still scribbling away for the Financial Times. Keen to hear from all ’95 and ’94 types who come through the city.” Welcome back to the States, Rob!

Chelsea Farley writes: “I live in the Hudson Valley of New York with my family (daughter Noah, partner Isaac, and our Alaskan Malamute, Lulu). I am the communications director at NYU Steinhardt’s Research Alliance for NYC Schools, where we are working to produce evidence that contributes to better, more equitable public schools in NYC and around the country.”

Ken Kwiatkowski writes: “I would like to announce the birth of our third son, Sebastian, on Dec. 23, with wife Anna.” Many congratulations, Ken! We hope your whole family is in good health and enjoying such a special time.

Michelle Limaj writes: “My son, Axel, and I visited Jeanne Bonner and Michael Cocca in their new home in Connecticut this fall and got to meet their gorgeous little boy. So proud of Jeanne, her beautiful family, and her award-winning work translating literature by visionary Italian authors. I’d heard her reporting on NPR and CNN, but creative writing and literature are where she clearly lives. So grateful for this lifelong friendship.”

Beth Price writes: “Greetings from Charleston, S.C.! I’m still working as a family medicine doctor at the joint Navy/Air Force base outside of Charleston. Kevin and my kids (David, 14, Madeline, 12, and Lily, 9) are growing up so fast . . . hard to believe that in a couple of years, we’ll be making the college tour rounds! This fall I completed my second competitive trail ride with my quarter horse, Chilli. We rode 35 miles over two days, and were judged on his fitness, our ability to maneuver trail obstacles, and my horsemanship skills. Exhausting, but great fun! Can’t wait to see everyone at Reunion next year!” We are all impressed, Beth!

Michele Gershberg, U.S. health editor at Reuters, wrote a touching and personal special report about her son Natan’s diagnosis with a slow-growing brain tumour. Read it here: https://reut.rs/2UkHAeO.

Josh Stevens writes: “Enjoying life in the Bay Area, going on 15 years in 2019 . . . working in health care tech and happy to connect and network any Wes alumni who come to Silicon Valley.”

Lastly, I, your humble secretary, can share news of my own next adventure—I have just begun an MBA program—part-time, largely distance education—based at the University of Warwick.

Keep sending us your news and updates—we love to hear from you!

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2018 | ISSUE 3

Hi, Wes fam! Many new and long-lost names highlight this season’s edition of ’95 Notes. I personally have seen a number of you recently—highlighted by a June cookout at the Croton-on-Hudson home of Leila Goldmark. We were blessed by the presence of M.C. Campbell, who recently moved to Reston, Va., where she is neighbors with Bill Burton ’74. Also got a note from old friend Julia Lazarus; she and her husband, Steve, were delighted to share the birth of their daughter, Eleanor Lazarus Aurora Parman, in September.

Fall brings the paperback edition of Vanessa Grigoriadis’s nonfiction book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus, which describes what she learned talking to students, administrators, and profs at Wesleyan (among other schools) about sexual assault and its aftermath. Vanessa answers many of the questions of sexual consent in national debate, and grapples with the future of the #MeToo movement.

Matt Duffy sends a quick update: “I am just starting my third year as superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, an urban school district of 30,000 students in the Bay Area. It’s been crazy but really good. We also welcomed a new baby, Luna, into the family last year, which has been an amazing experience for our whole family. I am still in touch with a number of Wes folks, including Malcolm Edwards, Randy and Brooke Jackson, and others. Shout out to the Wes family.”

Rachel Posner and Jody Kuh met up as new members of the Kings County (aka Brooklyn) Democratic Committee, as part of a campaign called #RepYourBlock launched by the New Kings Democrats to transform the Democratic Party from the grassroots up. They’ll be representing their neighbors in shaping the party, ensuring it is increasingly inclusive, transparent, and democratic.

Rafhia Foster writes from her hometown of Philadelphia: “I’m working at Girard College as the director of cultural competencies and admissions. I get to have a mini-reunion and see lots of Wes folks at the NAIS People of Color Conference each year. DJ VanVader ’96 was the DJ for the conference party last year. I felt like I was back at a ’90s-era Wes party. I have two sweet and energetic boys, 9 and 2, who keep me very, very busy. And the biggest update is that I reconnected with a lost love this spring and eloped in August. Lots of good changes! I would love to connect with anyone stopping through Philly!”

Daniel Greene curated a new exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which opened in April at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. to mark its 25th anniversary. He’s also teaching history at Northwestern University and living in Evanston.

Rob Armstrong writes: “My wife, Wylie, and I moved back to Brooklyn this September after five years in London. Still writing about money for the Financial Times. Our twins are 9 and going to Brooklyn New School, which is some kind of hippie commune and a big change from British state schools, uniforms, and so on. Still hang out with Russell Agle all the time. Keen to hear from any other ’95ers in the big city.”

Up in Boston, Jason Wiser made comics for the Boston Globe and Franciscan Children’s Hospital and School to help four kids in longterm care envision themselves as superheroes. The comics and stories about these extraordinary kids can be found at bostonglobe.com.

This year, Jason celebrated the bat and bar mitzvahs of Rebecca Fried Weisberg’s [’97] daughter and Nicole Goldstein’s [’96] son.

Boston was also the site of a recent retirement party for Wes Dean of Admissions, Barbara-Jan Wilson, who specifically remarked upon the class of ’95 (her first class admitted at Wes). Katy McNeill, Jen Levine-Fried, Brendan Coughlin, Karsten Cash, and Amy Casher were some of the ’95ers at the event. Amy writes: “We represented our class and reminisced about our singing group connections (in Onomatopoeia and Ebony Singers) and work memories (Brendan and I were both hired by a small consulting start-up called Mainspring, after finishing our MBAs at Yale one year apart, and were acquired into IBM as part of their Strategy & Change group way back in 2001). What a treat to have the opportunity to catch up after all these years.”

Personally, Amy has been designing and making jewelry out of her studio in the SoWa Art + Design District for the past 10 years, living in Concord with her husband and two kids (ages 6 and 4), and recently traveled to San Francisco to link up with Foss 9 hallmates Davina Baum and Alissa Van Nort.

Thanks all of you for writing—keep on keepin’ us up to date!

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2018 | ISSUE 2

Katy writes for this issue: I’m very glad to share news from a nice bunch of our classmates. David Aaron writes: “I graduated in May from the Brown University Executive Master in Cybersecurity program. They gave me a nice award too, the Brown Master’s Award for Professional Excellence.”

Jeanne Bonner writes: “I’m the winner of the 2018 PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature for an Italian novel I’ve begun translating (and hope to publish)—a dream I’ve had since majoring in Italian at Wesleyan! It was an incredible thrill to win the award from such a prestigious organization, which, in addition to supporting the written word, safeguards free speech all over the world. An excerpt of my translation is available at pen.org/from-a-walk-in-the-shadows. I’m teaching Italian at UConn part-time, working as an editor part-time at CNN (where I worked in Atlanta as a contractor before moving—back!—to Connecticut last year), and raising my little boy, Leo, whose curiosity and passion for learning could position him well for the Wes Class of 2034.”

Cheryl Mejia’s ups at the moment are her family life and her job, while the downs are catching up on retirement savings and not bicycling lately. She speaks regularly with Amy Hundley, Lisa McQueen, and Son Tran, the latter who is purported to be moving to Canada in the upcoming year.

Nathalie Pérez-Cino writes: “Even though we’ve lived in Worcester, Mass., for 17 years this is the first time my family vacationed in the Berkshires. Must be the New Yorker in me! Now that our youngest has joined her siblings at Worcester Academy, we are finally on the same school schedule again. Giovanni is 15, Isabella is 13, and Christiana is 11. I still can’t believe we now have two kids in high school! It’s been a great year full of new beginnings and emerging talents for our kids. And, not to be outdone by them, I am learning to play the guitar. Three of us ran our first 5K in May and I am proud to say the youngest, Christiana, bested her parents!”

Carrie Fischer Turner, in NYC, writes: “I’m really psyched to announce that Nite Haus’s second album, Saturation, is being released on June 1! We plan on playing a few shows in the city over the summer, and I am just really proud that I have kept my drive to make music intact as I head into my dotage. I’m still in regular contact with one of my best friends from Wesleyan, Brett Aristegui. He lives outside Pittsburgh with his wife and two daughters.”

Matvei Yankelevich writes: “I’m a founding member of the collectively-run, nonprofit Ugly Duckling Presse (UDP). We’re celebrating 25 years since UDP’s inception as a zine (The Ugly Duckling) at the Russian House at Wesleyan. We publish poetry, translation, essays, performance texts, and books by artists. I teach translation at Columbia University’s MFA and I’m on the writing faculty at the MFA at Bard College. My most recent book of poems, Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt, was published by Black Square Editions. My novella-in-fragments, Boris by the Sea, was republished in a new edition by Octopus Books. I had dinner with Simone White ’93. She’s been the program director for the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church for a while. She’ll be teaching at the University of Pennsylvania next year. We just published her new book of poems and a long essay—Dear Angel of Death—at UDP.”

Keep sending us your news and updates—we’d love to hear from you!

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2018 | ISSUE 1

NEWSMAKER

JIEHO LEE ’95

Jieho Lee ’95 is one of 22 business leaders under the age of 45 selected as a 2018 Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute. Established in 1997, the fellowship offers outstanding entrepreneurs an opportunity to harness their individual skills and creativity in developing solutions for some of society’s most vexing problems. “I am honored to be included in this driven and diverse group of innovators, and together with all the Crown Fellows, I look forward to finding new ways to effect profound, positive and enduring change,” said Lee, who co-founded Knighted Ventures in 2012. Lee, a film studies major at Wesleyan, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dear, ’95ers. Thank you all for your submissions, and I’m excited to announce that we have two first-time entrants to class notes! First up is Soraya Selene Burtnett, who moved to Spokane, Wash., to teach as a professor in film studies at Eastern Washington University. She has 3-year old twins and works as a director and cinematographer. A feature documentary she shot called Half the Picture premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She had a visit from Stacey Samuel ’96 and would love to connect with other Wes folk in the PNW!

Becky Nulty, who admits that she’s “been a lurker of the notes for years (decades!),” is also finally joining the fray! She writes, “2018 will be a big year for me: I’ve just started a new position as associate dean of teaching, learning, and assessment at Shoreline Community College, just north of Seattle. The new job should ensure that I finish my doctorate, which focuses on faculty development in higher ed. Also, I’m a recently-licensed foster parent, and my pup and I are hoping to welcome a kiddo into our home in the coming months.” Great news Becky! Thanks for sharing—your notes are welcome here anytime.

Spencer Douglas is a director of integrated marketing for Warner Bros Pictures and the board chair and liaison to the LGBTQ group at WB, where he was able to bring in Jennifer Finney Boylan ’80 to help educate the WB community about issues surrounding transgender representation in media. Over the holidays, Spencer had a great time catching up with Tracy Ferguson ’94, Anne Swan ’96, and Kim Sicard, and regularly keeps up with Megan Caper and Flo Stueck ’96. Spencer says, “I’m thrilled to learn that Eclectic members will be able to move back into the Haus next year!”

Naomi Greyser is continuing to work at University of Iowa, where she recently earned tenure and is executive director of POROI, Iowa’s Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry. She’s excited to be joining faculty in the departments of American studies and gender, women’s and sexuality studies this coming fall. Naomi writes, “Iowa City is a bit off the map of where I imagined ending up when I was in college—yet my husband and I are loving raising our 10-year-old daughter amidst the prairies. Wesleyan helped me think in incredibly intentional ways about political impact and the kind of projects I want to take on—and I feel frequently grateful for my time there!” Naomi has also recently published a book, On Sympathetic Grounds: Race, Gender and Affective Geographies in Nineteenth-Century North America. Anyone interested in social justice issues in relation to the arts and humanities—check it out!

My old WestCo mate Lara Tupper writes: “I released my first full-length CD, This Dance, a tribute to my favorite jazz and pop tunes, on CD Baby and iTunes. I got married in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Torrential rain and a fabulous day. My talented husband, Bobby Sweet, is featured on the album.” Congratz on both accounts, Lara!

David Perry is now a columnist for the west coast magazine Pacific Standard, covering history, politics, culture, and disability rights.

Danielle Langston, another WestCo alum, writes, “After three years living in Brisbane, Australia, working in architecture in the areas of education and aged care, I have relocated to Melbourne with my husband Carl and children, Otto and Sylvie. Carl has taken a position leading the new urban planning department at Monash University, and I am looking for a new architecture firm where I can torture my co-workers with bad jokes and kitten videos. I will miss my time playing in the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, but I am excited to explore the opportunities for music-making here in Melbourne. Get in touch if any of you are ever in this southern neck of the woods.”

Patrick Hutter-Bluml has done a full career flip and started as chef de cuisinefor the owner of one of the largest ecological, organic farms, and online shops in Germany.

Son Tranis in D.C., working as a senior project manager at Forum One, a digital agency, along with two other Wes alumni, Leah Stern ’06 and Shawn Bracket ’97. They recently won a Webby award for their work on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture website! Son also has been kicking around with Cheryl Mejia, who is currently an interventional pain management doc in Western Maryland, and who recently married her partner Clare Madrigal (LGBT nurse navigator for Johns Hopkins) at the pride parade in D.C.; attendees included Son, Joah Iannotta, and probably some other WesFolk inadvertently attending.

Jason Wiser, “I’m living in Somerville, Mass., with my wife and daughter (8), with whom I made a cooperative card game for kids last year called Monsters in the Elevator. Just finished a job as department chair of animation at a private arts college, now teaching classes at Tufts and Harvard in game design and animation at night and working as a mobile game animator by day. Also working with the Boston Globeto make comics to help kids in a rehab hospital imagine themselves as superheroes yayaplay.com.”

Ken Kwiatkowski is living in Jersey City and just celebrated the first birthday of his second son.

Greg Rolland writes, “This past stretch had Wes folks molding my kids right underneath my nose. On my family’s swing through Boston recently, accomplished violinist and music teacher Leah Bartell stuck a viola in the hands of my eldest daughter Sally and convinced her she had natural viola form. The brainwashing took: now she’s determined and excited to start viola. Also, rang in the new year with Peter Follet and Stephanie Flaherty in Easthampton, Mass., who preside over the local basketball league in which my three kids play. So, my girls are hooked on that. All this after they starred in a minor film produced by their cousin Becca Engle ’18 not long ago. Go Wes!”

Finally, big shout to my co-secretary, Katy McNeill, who writes that after spending the past couple of years living in the U.K., she and her family have moved back to the States. They’re back in the Boston area (Arlington) and Katy has started a job at the Harvard Business School library. Living abroad was a really rewarding experience; now they’re settling in back here, reconnecting, managing reverse culture shock, and finding ways to stay connected to British culture (for Katy it’s continuing to listen to a high volume of BBC radio).

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

Newsmaker: Jieho Lee ’95

Jieho Lee ’95 is one of 22 business leaders under the age of 45 selected as a 2018 Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute. Established in 1997, the fellowship offers outstanding entrepreneurs an opportunity to harness their individual skills and creativity in developing solutions for some of society’s most vexing problems. “I am honored to be included in this driven and diverse group of innovators, and together with all the Crown Fellows, I look forward to finding new ways to effect profound, positive and enduring change,” said Lee, who co-founded Knighted Ventures in 2012. Lee, a film studies major at Wesleyan, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

CLASS OF 1995 | 2017 | ISSUE 3

Katy writes for this issue: Fall brings news from an array of places. This issue I’m particularly glad to share news from people who are writing for the first time, or not since a long while. Please do keep coming out of the woodwork so that we can include you!

Kirsi Baird Barber writes: “I live in Portland, Ore., with my husband, Tony. We’ve been here about 18 years. I received my master’s in education at Portland State University in 2009 and am starting my eighth year working for Camp Fire Columbia, a nonprofit youth development organization serving families across the Portland metro area. I am in my sixth year as the director of our before-and-after-school program, which serves about 750 youth in 12 schools across two school districts. I love working with youth and families, and partnering with schools, state child care professionals, and other local and national out-of-school-time organizations.”

Jeanne Bonner writes: “I’ve just begun teaching Italian part-time at UConn. The new job comes on the heels of a major relocation to Connecticut, after nine years of life in Atlanta. It seemed like the right move now that my son Leo, 5, is starting kindergarten. We wanted him to be closer to family and friends. I’d love to connect with anyone from Wes who is living in the state where we spent our collegiate years! You can actually still e-mail me at my Wes address!”

Cheryl Mejia got in contact, as well. Cheryl is a doctor of osteopathic medicine in the National Spine and Pain Centers in Hagerstown, Md. She particularly appreciates the mentions that she’s had in others’ class notes!

Aisha Claire Mike started her personal image business, Perfectly Claire, a few years ago to help people enhance their appearance and achieve inner clarity. After a career as a model and singer/songwriter working with names like Nike, Puma, Essence, Glamour, Carly Simon, Luther Vandross, and Talib Kweli, this new role came naturally. She now styles on-air talent, corporate executives, media professionals, and full-time moms who all simply want to look and feel their best.

Beth Shilepsky Price writes: “Greetings! I am still a family medicine doctor, but I changed locations almost two years ago and now work at a Navy base outside of Charleston, S.C. I love providing care to the spouses and children of active-duty members and retired servicemen and servicewomen who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. Go, Navy! My husband, Kevin, our three kids (David, 13, Madeline, 11, and Lily, 8), and I had a visit this summer from Steve Belin ’96 and his family. He and his wife, Danielle, have two kids (Zoe and, Jackson) and live in Colorado, where he is a general contractor (and part-time movie assistant director in Hollywood) and she is a teacher. Looking forward to seeing you all at the next Reunion!”

Sabrina Prince is doing well and has relocated to Harlem in NYC. She sees Jacqueline Moon often and attended the christening of the son of Frank Truslow, Theodore Hopkins Truslow, in October.

Hannah Knott Rogers and Tom Rogers are entering their seventh year in Decatur, Ga., and love living in intown Atlanta and 5th congressional district #JohnLewis. Hannah is head of information services at the Health Sciences Center Library at Emory, and Tom is an associate professor in the Department of History there, with a focus on modern Brazil. They have two girls, Dinah (13) and Juno (11), in middle school, and it is not nearly as bad as it sounds. Hannah enjoys conducting alumni interviews for high school seniors applying to Wesleyan.

Keep sending us your news and updates—we’d love to hear from you!

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2017 | ISSUE 2

Dear Class of ’95: Bo Bell here, co-secretary for our class (along with my partner-in-crime, Katy McNeil). This is my first time at the helm for these notes, and I want to set it off with a shout-out to my frosh hallmate Cheryl Mejia, who just got married! She and partner, Clare, celebrated with a reception at the Washington, D.C., Pride parade.

I’ve heard a lot from fellow WesCo alums, including Ana Maria Kleymeyer, who started working with a new group in D.C. and will be representing the Federated States of Micronesia in the global climate and ozone negotiations (even if the U.S. president refuses to be part of the solution, many U.S. citizens are still working on these problems), and Danielle Langston, who, with her family, is approaching her third anniversary of living in Brisbane, Australia! Dani is an architect, working on retirement, aged care, and education projects, and stays busy on the side playing a full concert schedule with the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra as assistant concertmaster. Her husband, Carl, has an academic position at the Queensland University of Technology, and their kids, ages 9 and 13, are into their brass instruments and identifying Australian bird species.

Anne Bellows Lee writes: “I just moved to a new place in Santa Monica, Calif. Brought my two little girls, a few cats, and the husband with me. I am still working at UCLA in the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs as a project director for research studies of treatment for co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. We are always looking for intern and volunteer research assistants—so if you, or anyone you know, wants in, let me know!”

Sabrina Prince has relocated to central Harlem in New York, still delighting her healthcare advertising clients while volunteering as a marketing consultant for small business owners in Afghanistan on behalf of Bpeace. She recently came back from Croatia and is looking forward to a summer of rating the best pizzas in New York with Jacqueline Moon.

Jason Segal, who is active in Wesleyan’s Social Entrepreneurship program, writes: “My company, Swift Current, continues to do our best to bring large-scale capital into initiatives to address climate change. Kids Julia (3), Ari (2) and family are enjoying life on the Upper West Side.”

Lauren Monchik is still in NYC with husband Paul Davidson and daughters Violet (10) and Lena (7). She’s a science educator with Growing a Wild NYC, teaching kids in New York public schools, K–12, about native plants and pollinators, as well as working on native habitat restoration. She loves getting to check out neighborhoods and schools all over Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

My Wes former soccer teammate Jeremy Lurgio says, “Life is great in Montana. I co-directed a short documentary called The Hard Way. It has been a finalist at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Telluride Mountainfilm, the Vancouver International Film Festival and it was awarded a bronze for the People’s Choice Award at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival in England. It’s an inspiring story of an 89-year-old ultra runner who does things the hard way to maintain purpose, momentum, and vitality. This coming year I will be taking a sabbatical from my job as an associate professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism, where I co-teach a course on how to effectively report stories from Native American communities in Montana. My wife, Caroline, and our two kids, Lachlan (7) and Amelia (4), will be living in New Zealand for the year while I work on projects that explore the relationship of indigenous communities with the news media.”

Andrew Neiman is just living the dream as a St. Louis actor/bartender/adjunct professor of playwriting, screenwriting, directing, and movement. He’s received a commission to adapt Shakespeare’s Richard III into an hour-long hip-hop production for an Illinois middle school, and later this summer he’ll be co-producing and playing the title character in an immersive onsite production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Andrew says, “Cheers, y’all.”

Neil Parekh surfaces! “It’s been several years since I have been to confession/submitted an item for Class Notes. Pam Stumpo ’96 and I moved to D.C. two years ago when I got a job in communications with United Way Worldwide. Our daughter, Emily Margaret Parekh, turned 4-years-old in April. It was great to see Wesleyan’s VP for University Relations Barbara-Jan Wilson giving the Philip Brown Memorial Lecture with Director of Admission Nancy Hargrave in April. Also met Andrew Fairbanks ’90. He did my on-campus interview back in the day. Thanks, Andy.”

Randy Jackson and Brooke Leinwand Jackson are in Inwood (upper Manhattan) with children Ty and Frida (twins, 13 now and about to finish seventh grade), and haven’t moved from NYC since graduation. Brooke is now principal of the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, a public high school in Chelsea, and Randy has bounced around in the social justice organizing sector for the last two decades—working on the local, state, and national levels—and most recently has landed at ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York (www.alignny.org), where he’s the director of development and planning, fighting for progress in New York City at the intersection of a healthy environment, a fair economy, and racial equity. They they stay in touch with dear Wes friends—especially Dan Smith, Zeke Volkert ’96, and Julia Lazarus.

Shayne Spaulding checks in: “A couple years ago, I moved with my husband, Josh Shepherd, and boys Wiley (9) and Kieran (6) to Swampscott, Mass., after living in Brooklyn, N.Y., for nearly 15 years. Small town living has been an adjustment, but we are enjoying the ocean breezes, our garden and local politics. We live around the corner from Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker. I work for the Urban Institute in D.C., a social policy think tank. Lots to write about these days.”

Jen Levine-Fried started a new job as the CFO of the National Network of Abortion Funds at the end of February. She writes, “It has been a steep learning curve, but so rewarding to be working for an organization that is at the forefront of reproductive, social, and racial justice during these challenging times. Last November, after a work trip to California (which started the day after the election), I was able to visit with Eric Meyerson and Jennifer Parker Dockray. I regularly see Noam Shore and Noah Rumpf, as we all belong to the same synagogue outside of Boston. And we recently moved to an ever-so-slightly larger condo in the South End, and now we have space for visitors that does not involve a couch. Please let me know if you will be in town!”

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2017 | ISSUE 1

Katy writes for this issue: I’m excited to be sharing your news. Lots to report in 2017!

Leigh (Copperman) Burchell writes: “Life remains groovy down here in North Carolina. Chris ’96 and I are kept busy by our three kids and spend a lot of time at lacrosse tournaments.  Our oldest started high school this year and has her eye on Wes for the film program. The election process was a doozy, both because we are passionate opponents of HB2, the so-called ‘bathroom bill’ here in N.C., but also because of my role running government relations for one of the world’s largest health IT companies. The positive is that my job is never boring!”

Rebecca Fulop writes: “I teach science at Mission High School in San Francisco where I’ve taught for the last 13 years. Recently a book was published about the teachers and remarkable students there (Mission High: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph, by Kristina Rizga). I have a 3-year-old daughter and live in Oakland with my husband. I’ve bumped into other Wes grads in our neighborhood.  We bought a fixer-upper a couple of years ago so our free time is completely spoken for!”

Sarah Yuhas Kirn writes: “I am currently serving as the acting assistant commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and enjoying life in Concord with my husband, Josh Kirn ’94, and two daughters.”

Ken Kwiatkowski writes: “Announcing the birth of our second child, Adam, born on Jan. 4.  My wife, Anna, and our first son, Roman, and I, are living in Jersey City, N.J.”  Congratulations, Ken!

Julia Lazarus writes: “I kicked off the new year by spending a lovely long weekend with Tammy (Tracy) Sufi ’94 and our mutual friend Sasha O’Connell (Barnard ’94) in Austin, Texas. Much has changed since we lived there in the 1990s, but still full of music, food, and dancing. In December in San Francisco, I got together with Christine O’Brien, Sarah Zaner ’94, and Zeke Volkert ’96; always a treat. And back in Providence, where I am assistant director of online learning and innovation at Brown University, I’m happy to have terrific Alison Perry ’94 in town, and Claire Reardon ’94 not too far away in New London. Appreciating the ongoing pleasures of the extended Wesleyan crew.”

Ben Lee writes: “Life is good in Los Angeles.  About a decade ago, I traded being a lawyer for brokering residential real estate. The market is booming and I have been busy with a development side business. I have a wife and three great sons. I stay active with Wes by hosting its Annual Admissions Reception for LA applicants every year, so look for it in October because alumni are always included.”

Jason Segal writes: “All good on this front, with fun time with family (Julia is now 3 and tri-lingual—English, Hebrew, and Spanish), and Ari is 11/2 and the smartest/sweetest kid ever. After eight years doing environmental finance, I co-founded a merchant bank called Swift Current focused on the same sectors—starting to really go well. Not seeing enough Wes folks, so please reach out!”

Stacy Theberge writes: “I’m still living outside of Portland, Maine, running after a busy 2-year-old and working with my husband at his animation company, Little Zoo Studio. We worked on the film Rock Dog, which came out in February. If you haven’t seen it yet, track it down! It’s good!”

Lara Tupper writes: “I just got engaged to (singer-songwriter and lovely human being) Bobby Sweet! We live in the Berkshires and often perform together as a guitar-vocals duo. I teach writing workshops at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and I’m at work on a new book, a memoir/ghost story. I loved reading (former Clark 4 resident) Dave Biello’s The Unnatural World. Kudos!”

Matvei Yankelevich writes: “I’m in New York these last 20 years. I am a founding member of the editorial collective of the non-profit Ugly Duckling Press, soon to celebrate 25 years since its inception as a zine at Russian House at Wesleyan. We publish poetry, translation, essays, performance texts, and books by artists. I teach translation at Columbia University and I’m on the writing faculty at Bard College. My novella-in-fragments, Boris by the Sea, was just re-published in a new edition. I recently had dinner with Simone White ’93, now program director for the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.”

Keep sending us your news and updates—we’d love to hear from you!

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2016 | ISSUE 3

Hi from your new class co-secretaries: Bo Bell and Katy McNeill! We’re delighted to take the baton from former secretary, Dwayne Busby. Thanks again, Dwayne, for your many years of service! This is a fun way for us to help everyone in our class to keep in touch with each other from all our various locations, with Bo from his home in New York and Katy from her (new) home in the U.K. Here’s the news this round and we look forward to keeping in touch with you into the future!

Bo writes, “I’m living in the town of Cold Spring in the lower Hudson Valley of New York and working in New York City, leading the digital team for an advertising agency. My wife and I are raising two fun kids, a hound dog, and a small flock of chickens. I semi-regularly meet up with Mike Kleinsteuber over burgers and beers at the Old Town Bar near Union Square, and caught up with Kiersten Miller on her annual summer visit back to NYC from her home in Rome, and with Ben Harbert ’97 and Alison Brody ’97 on a work jaunt to D.C. Finally, huge shout out to Michelle Duff, Liz Fernandez, Rachel Hunt, and the rest of the 1994 ECAC Champion Wes Womens’ Soccer team, 2016 inductees to the Wesleyan Sports Hall of Fame!”

Rob Armstrong writes, “I’ve been living in London for close to three years now, where I write editorials for the Financial Times. When you write anonymously, no one knows you’re American. My twins are 7 and have no accents. I am, despite their efforts, in touch with my former housemates, Russell Agle and Jen Quest-Stern, who have turned out better than anyone expected. If any of you are in town, let’s have a pint.”

David Biello writes, “I’m publishing my first book in November. It’s called The Unnatural World. It’s about the idea that humans have started to make changes on a planetary scale, like the glaciers of an Ice Age or an asteroid crashing into Earth, and what we might do with this new knowledge of our world-changing impacts.” A link to purchase can be found here. “I’m still married and have a daughter and son who are growing like weeds. I got a new job as the science curator for TED Talks, hoping to help spread some good ideas.”

Matt Duffy writes, “I am still out in Oakland. I just started a new job as the superintendent of schools for the West Contra Costa Unified School District, a public school district of 30,000 students in the East Bay, centered around Richmond, Calif. Crazy and amazing! My boys are now 5 and 8, and life is very full.”

Alexis Greeves writes, “I’m living in Minneapolis, working as a mental health therapist for deaf and hard of hearing children. I have a small private practice (hopenandhealingmn.com). David and I have two daughters and are trying to figure out what it means to be raising Midwestern children.”

Ana Maria Kleymeyer writes, “A couple of years ago, I moved back to the D.C. area, where I finished producing a music documentary and continued my work on international climate change negotiations. I’m enjoying the schizophrenic life of a musician/lawyer who refuses to give up the groove.”

Anne Bellows Lee writes, “I am in Santa Monica with my husband, Greg Lee, my two little girls (3 and 5), and three big cats. Working at UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs as a research projects director in substance abuse treatment, also working on getting my LCSW license.”

Michelle Sachs Limaj writes, “All is well in Massachusetts. I took a great job in-house for one of my clients, Agenus, an immuno-oncology company. My kids see a lot more of me, which is extra good because Idriz (whom you’ll recall I brought home with me after the 1999 war in Kosovo, without a college degree or even good English) is now COO for a system of four hospitals in Baltimore. So he commutes home for the weekends, and the rest of us chill M–F on Mommy Time.”

Brandon Patton writes, “My wife had a baby this year, Sylvia Pearl Patton Schroeder. Emily Essley also had a baby earlier this year, Lily Rose Essley.”

Lisa Hastings Rosenman writes, “Burt Rosenman and I celebrated our 17th anniversary this year. We live in western Massachusetts with our two daughters, Hannah, 11, and Leah, 14. Burt is a biology professor at Western New England University, and I’m a school librarian in Hartford.”

Christianne Meneses Jacobs writes, “My only news is that I traveled to the East Coast this summer. I visited with Lauren Sitzer Avery and her family in Boston. Hung out with Ryan Knox in New Haven and we watched Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention while drinking wine. I also stayed with Jeff Levinson and his wife in New York. It was also awesome to see Mark Quinones and his wife, Rachel, when they were visiting Arizona.”

Ethan de Seife writes, “My wife, Laura, and I welcomed a son, Levon Ray, in August 2015. He is cute and round-headed, and he loves to watch birds. When he was about 9 months old, we packed up everything—dog, cats, nursery, a million books and records—and moved from Burlington, Vt., to Santa Rosa, Calif., where Laura got a great job in a local hospital. It’s beautiful here and we hope not to move again for a long time.”

Eric Meyerson writes, “I was in Chicago over the summer with the family, where we got to visit the incredible Temperance Brewing Co. started by Josh Gilbert. Josh and I also got to spend a wacky weekend in New Orleans last fall with Adam Borut, Jason Walta, and Greg Walter ’96. I just started a new job in July. I’m running marketing for media and video at Facebook.”

After a decade teaching at the Department of Performance Studies at New York University, Tavia Nyong’o is now a full professor in American studies and theater studies at Yale. He is dividing his time between Connecticut and NYC.

Bo Bell | bobell.forreal@gmail.com 

Katy McNeill | mcneill40@gmail.com

CLASS OF 1995 | 2016 | ISSUE 2

Rachel Hunt and her family will be moving to Los Angeles this summer as her husband begins a new role at USC. She is excited to meet/connect with Wes folks out there. Her kids (K and grade 2) will begin school at the Franklin Avenue Elementary in August. Please reach out! : )

Stacy Theberge Taylor: “Sorry to have missed our Reunion last spring, but Niko Taylor made his debut on April 30, 2015, which was a little too close to make it possible. I was thinking about all of you, and wish I could have been there to celebrate on Foss Hill. Next time! In my small local mom group there are randomly two other Wes folk… Bryn Sewell ’04 and Jamie Green, who is married to Ezra Steinberg ’01. Ezra is also Makeala Steinberg Kingsley’s ’98 sister. Guess I had to have a baby to find my Wes tribe here in Maine.”

Laura Egendorf and Lauren Sitzer were in Phoenix, Ariz., celebrating Christianne Meneses Jacobs’ 45th birthday. Christianne reports that they enjoyed the weekend at the Marriott Revive Spa and ate real Mexican food for dinner every night. For her birthday, Christianne gifted herself a new 2016 Toyota Corolla.

Leah Bartell still lives in the Boston area, freelances as a violinist, and directs the music program at a small private school in Lexington. She founded her own youth orchestra in 2014, and it is endlessly inspiring to work with young musicians. Leah’s two sons, Adrian, 7 and Bryn, 4, keep her running around and laughing. Though Leah missed the last Reunion, she hopes to make it next time!

Katy McNeill: “Last month we (my wife, two daughters, and I) took a big leap and moved ‘across the pond’ for a job opportunity of mine. I’ve taken a position as the functional director for access for the UK Data Service (the primary archive for social and economic data for the UK), which is based at the University of Essex near Colchester. I look forward to connecting with alums out here (already work with Melanie Wright ’84, who is a colleague at the archive) and if you’re ever in the neighborhood please drop me a line!”

Matthew Gold writes: I’ve recently co-edited (with Lauren F. Klein) a new book out from the University of Minnesota Press: Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016. The book is the second Debates volume—the first was published in 2012 and was accompanied by an open-access, interactive Web version: dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu. We’ll be releasing a new version of the website in a few weeks that will contain the new book, as well. And Debates is now a book series from Minnesota, so more volumes will follow.”

Jeanne Bonner writes: “I have finally, finally added a grad school degree to my résumé—an MFA in creative writing from Bennington. It was hard work (the fantastic faculty included Alexander Chee ’89) but also fun to see what another New England liberal arts school was like!

In April, Dwayne Busby and his family enjoyed a Bajan vacation with Dale AllsoppMike JonesAyeisha King and Damon Smith and their families. Dwayne still lives in Houston and works at University of Houston-Clear Lake as executive director of development and alumni relations. Though this will be his last Notes as class secretary it will not be his last class note. Once a Wesleyan alumnus always a Wesleyan alumnus. Go, Wes!”

Ed. note: We thank Dwayne Busby for his many years of gracious service as 1995’s class secretary, and we’re delighted to welcome Bo Bell and Katy McNeill as the co-secretaries for 1995. You’ll hear from them soon as they begin preparing for the notes you’ll see in the next magazine in December.

DWAYNE BUSBY | dwaynedbusby@gmail.com